Monday, December 30, 2013

"I hope y'all have a wonderful new year!"

"So, all I have to say is that it was SO amazing talking to y'all on skype (: It was fun to see faces and joke and just have a good conversation "in the living room". What a blessing- definitely a good boost for the rest of the transfer."

"Christmas was nice! We had dinner with a member family. We spent the next few days trying to clean up our apartment and pick up our numbers a little bit. We had a disaster for a living room, and our numbers for the week were, well, Weak. So we rallied up some of our former investigator sheets and went a-searchin'. We picked up a couple of potential investigators, and are trying to find more people to teach. Our investigator that is progressing is in Roanoke for the holidays. It sucks- but we'll teach her again soon."

"Saturday night we got a phone call telling us that one of us will be leaving, either me or Sister V will get transferred, and then one of the other sisters will be leaving as well. I'm pretty sure it's going to be me...considering I have been transferred every 6 weeks anyways...jus' sayin'."

"I will miss serving with Sister V. I will tell you- this transfer has been a blessing, a privilege, and a trial all in one package. I have learned that sometimes the Lord gives us assignments that we don't understand until the end of the experience. One of my "stories of the year" that Sister Pitt talks about in president's email is the chance I had to serve with someone so unique and special. Only a select few sisters in our mission had the chance to serve with her. I feel almost honored to be able to be one of her companions."

"I can't believe it's pretty much 2014. It blows my mind a little bit. I will be 20 in a month. WOAH. I will be home in (doing math)...167 days, 8 months, whatever you want to call it. I realized that I only have 4 transfers left of my mission. It passes faster than you think. I'm sad it's come and almost gone, but for the time I have left, I have some serious work to do, and I am excited to finish this with a bang."

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

YAY Christmas!!

"So this week has been really eventful. We got in a car wreck after a district meeting last week on Friday. No one was hurt, but the other sisters' car looks great with its new facial...we're excited for its plastic surgery. We ended up giving the man that we hit a Book of Mormon. He was excited- he said "it's been a long year" for him. Unfortunately, he isn't in our area by a couple of streets...so the other sisters in Vinton are going to contact him. We're excited to hear what happens!"

"We spent our Christmas day at a member's home! They made us a lovely chicken dinner with potatoes and the whole Christmas dinner works. It was really wonderful."

"We all woke up at a 6:30 to open all of the presents under our tree. Thanks for all who sent gifts!! You all are fantastic!"

"Merry Christmas!! I love you all!"

Monday, December 23, 2013

Merry Christmas!

We received a quick email on Saturday letting us know that the library in Bedford will be closed Monday to Thursday so she won't be able to email us. She was allowed to use a member's computer to let us know about calling on Christmas. Next week is transfer week so technically P-day would be on Wednesday but that is New Year's Day so I don't know what they will do about that. I'll update the blog when I hear from her.

Thanks for all the prayers and support that you give to Elizabeth. She really appreciates it. Merry Christmas!

Monday, December 16, 2013

"What a Week!"

"The two programs we had went really well. Wednesday was the specialized training (super inspirational, I learn so much from President Pitt every time I listen to him speak), and the musical devotional was Sister Pitts portion of the training. It was really neat. I was super nervous to play a piano solo. I haven't played a piano solo, like in a recital or anything for a long time, but the Lord was with me and I played the song I practiced a brief 4 or 5 times almost perfectly. All the singers and participants did a very good job. The musical fireside at the church was so much fun! I love how relaxed it all was. We had a full house! I have never seen so many people sitting in the chapel until the program. It was such a treat. We didn't get any referrals from it, but we found an inactive church member from it. We had several nonmembers attend, and one performed in the program with Sister M- she plays the flute, so we are having a field day playing together! Our investigator came with her inactive mother, and her two nonmember siblings.She is doing really well- she is progressing quickly, and we're hoping to set her on date again soon."
 
"Searching for lost referrals is quite an adventure, but that's where the miracles and tender mercies come. We were at a HUDD apartment complex looking for a potential of 2 years ago, but people move in and out of those developments, so we just thought we'd clean up the list a bit. We went to knock on her door, and the door across the hall and one over opened and told us she wasn't there. We met a lady (: she's so sweet- we took her cookies the next day and we left her with a pass along card. We added her to our potential investigators list. The tender mercies of working hard!"
 
"We did get our tree set up this week! Sister V's mom sent her a late birthday package with every single Disney princess ornament she could find...so we have a Disney princess tree this year. Sister V LOVES the Disney princesses."
 
"The weather here is so strange. It's nice some days and others it's not. It's been overcast with a cold wind (the humidity does NOT help...) but we live on the border of the warm southern weather and the cold northern weather, so some days it's 25 and others it's 50. December here isn't like Utah. It doesn't start feeling like Utah December until late January. February is the worst winter month out here."
 
"So we have a cute sister in the branch that is older. She can't leave the house and she has a lot of medical problems. She's home alone all the time. We go visit her every week, usually on Tuesdays and Thursdays. She got the Forgotten Carols CD from the branch president's wife for Christmas. I took the book and I am reading it out loud for her. Then when we come to the songs, I play the song on the CD so she can hear what it sounds like."
 
"Sunday morning I woke up feeling really sick. We stayed home from church, and I started to feel much much better throughout the day. I got a priesthood blessing from the branch mission leader and another elder in the branch. They gave me a blessing of healing and of comfort. The blessing was incredible. It was what I needed to hear exactly! I am feeling MUCH better today and everything is going well. I love the blessings I get from serving a mission. (: "

Monday, December 9, 2013

Ice Storms, White Elephant Gifts and Ninjabread Men

"What a week! Yesterday I did get to see the Christmas devotional- SO GOOD! Ms. B is back in the choir! Well, now its "Sister M"...They did a couple of close ups on her last night. It was fun to see her again! I loved Sister Wixom's talk about children and Christmas. Elder Nelson's talk was really neat! All the video clips in it were really cool. I taught one of the older Primary girls in the "I'm trying to be like Jesus" video at APA. The little boy that winked killed me. Elder Nelson reminded me of Mr. Roger's Neighborhood in his cardigan and tie haha (: What a great message each speaker had to share! Because of the weather, we were late, and completely missed President Monson's talk, so I am going to watch it over again. I took a lot of good notes."
 
"Ok, so you're probably wondering about the weather. Holy bipolar! Living on the south/north weather boarder is a trip. Tuesday and Wednesday were almost 70 degrees. Totally no tights weather. It was hot- we had to turn our AC on in our house. Saturday night the branch auxileries called and canceled church because they were expecting ice and snowstorms in Bedford county. Because of the humitity, ice is what gets everyone out here. When it decides to rain and freeze, the black ice is so hard to see out here, and it gets everywhere when it does do this. Our back porch steps were frozen over. I was almost scared to drive. We stayed in most of the day yesterday and worked on area books. It finally thawed enough to work a little, so Sister V and one of the sisters next door went to an apartment complex I've been dying to work around, cause we have so many formers and potentials that live there. They also went to see some less active members. I stayed with the other sister and helped her clean up her area book and potential investigators lists. The four of us do a ton together, and we've all developed a great friendship".
 
"We had a zone meeting on Friday, and then exchanges Friday and Saturday with the Sister Trainer Leaders. One of them I went to school with haha. I think we had an English class together, too. We totally hit it off! I absolutely love Sister W! Sister V trained Sister W, so Sister W took Sister V to Vinton, VA and Sister W's companion Sister S came here. I love Sister S, too! Geez, I make so many good friends out here! I have a list of sisters I need to serve with before I go home Bahah. PS- I absolutely LOVE Bedford. I want to stay here the rest of my mission- so much work! I LOVE the branch! I love the people! This place is Zion (:"
 
"At the zone meeting, we had a white elephant gift exchange.  I got the most amazing thing ever- probably the best white elephant gift I have ever gotten...(see picture). We're going to cut the face out so that we can stick our own in. It's oil on VELVET. EW. The elder that gave it to me got it at a goodwill store. He said he couldn't keep it in their apartment because it gave him nightmares. He said that he talked to it...and it talked back. I could not stop laughing. The elders in our district are so great! Our district is just so much fun! It was the funniest district meeting I have ever been to."
 
"Our investigator is doing well- but she dropped her baptism date because she feels like she is not ready. We picked up a new investigator this week. She was a member referral and has so much potential!! We love teaching her (: We have a big list of former and potential investigators that we are going to crack down on this week and see if we can't get any new investigators out of it. This area is about to explode! So much to do! I LOVE IT!"
 
"I sent in a referral today of someone I went to school with. I love thinking of people at home I could send the missionaries to. Now that I feel for the missionaries and their referrals, I'm going to be the best member missionary ever when I get home haha."

"I'm excited for Christmas in the field!"
NinjaBread Men

Monday, December 2, 2013

Thanksgiving was great!

"Thanksgiving was great! Definitely different. A family wanted to feed us before they went out of town during Thanksgiving, so we got dinner twice, just on different days. The first meal was more of a traditional dinner. We had turkey, potatos, stuffing, gravy, rolls, etc. The one on Thanksgiving was super different. We had ham (my first year ever having ham on Thanksgiving), potatos, something equalivant to stuffing, but I dont think it was, and rolls, but no gravy.  The new food tradition I picked up this year- EVERYONE has green beans (alone, in a casserole, whatever), everyone has deviled eggs, and everyone has some kind of baked macaroni and cheese dish (both of which I had were SO good). We went and raked leaves at houses where there weren't cars. The house we mostly did was a vacant house with a thick blanket of leaves over the lawn."
 
"Last night after we went to bed, Sister Pitt called and asked that we be in charge of pulling together musical numbers for a musical fireside our zone is having on December 11th. On December the 14th, the branch is also having a musical nativity fireside. One of the other Bedford sisters put it together, but I am playing the piano for it. The history here with firesides and such, we always have a full house. There are always crowds of non members, members, investigators, etc. There will be a lot of people here, and we are really excited!"
 
"This past Friday, all the sisters in the south half of the mission got together with President and Sister Pitt and had a special sisters' meeting. We talked about the divine role of women- and holy moley was it powerful! I had never thought about it, but God created his creations from lowest to highest in divinity or importance. Human was created last of all...but who was created last of all?...EVE was! We as women are God's greatest creation! We carry with us very special gifts, both seen and unseen that are essential in the moving forward of God's plan. So cool huh?! I was mind blown at this conference".
 
"We've seen a lot of miracles this week- including setting our top investigator on date for baptism. She's hestiant about it, but we have a lot of faith that this will be our white Christmas baptism.  She is the daughter of a less active member. (Part member family baptisms are the best!) She's 13 years old, but doesn't seem like it at all- her spirit is so mature, and she asks really mature questions about the gospel. She is set for baptism on Dec 22nd. We just have to let the Spirit manifest to her. She knows it's all true. We have lots of referrals and potentials from the last sisters to follow up with this week. "

Monday, November 25, 2013

No Lions, No Tigers, Just One Big Bear! Oh My!

"Transfers were so fun! The sun goes down at like, 5 here now, so we were driving to Roanoke in the dark. We got to the Roanoke stake center, and picked up our car. We drive a 2013 Ford Fusion again. They're really nice cars. Im trying to get used to it. I had to drive us to our apartment in the dark, 20 miles from Roanoke using the GPS. I had no idea where I was going, but we eventually got there."
 
"There are 2 sets of sisters in Bedford, no elders. Sisters' area! Woot! We live in a duplex with the other set of sisters. The area isn't formally divided, so we just kind of share all of the ward members. Our area is Gargantuan. We cover 4 or 5 extra little towns on only 1100 miles a month, but we've seen a lot of miracles and success in our area this weekend!"
 
"Church on Sunday was definitely a different experience. There are about 130 people on the ward roster...enough to make a ward. Only about 60 are active/semi active, and maybe 50 show up every Sunday.  There is so much potential in this area though!!! We have a lot of member referrals and so much work to do here in the Bedford area."

"So the music..are you ready?? I am in the ward choir, playing half the music for our Christmas program...and teaching group piano/music reading classes Wednesday nights at 5:30 starting the 4th of December. The branch president at this point says, "if it will help the branch progress, do it." I am so excited to start teaching!! It will be open to the public, non members and members."
  
I absolutely LOVE my companion!! She is so sweet and she knows how to have fun and work hard and bring the spirit into lessons. She's from WA. She loves Disney movies, so we do a lot of quoting and singing during the day. She wants to learn to play the piano, so I am teaching her as well"
 
"So our miracle this week is pretty..well, WILD. Our duplex is right on the edge of a really forested area. Last night, we hear the sisters come running up the back deck stairs, and slam their back door. I heard a lot of running footsteps and squeeling, so I went next door to see what was up. They were standing in the bathroom with the light off, and the window open listening to something in the bushes. They told us that they pulled up to the house, and their trash was EVERYWHERE, and all the bags of trash ready to go out this morning had huge holes in them or were missing. They heard rustling in the bushes, and got scared, so they skipped their mile report for the day and ran inside. They called our landlords (they live across the street) and he came over with his flashlight, We all anxiously stood on the back deck waiting to see what the animal was digging in our trash. Leaning against a tree with a bag of trash in it's paw...was a full grown Black Bear. It was HUGE!!! It had come up on the deck earlier that day, because a bag of trash on the deck had a huge hole in it. It was so crazy! I almost sent Sister V to the car to get the ward directory, but I got a feeling that I wouldn't need it anymore...so I told her not to worry about it. We did some time math and realized that the bear was under our deck during our dinner hour, and if Sister V had gone out, she would've seen it, and maybe invaded its space without realizing it."
 
"Thanksgiving will be different. I don't know anybody here. Apparently Bedford is the Christmas capitol of VA or something...so maybe/hopefully lots of lights! There are a lot of older folks homes, and even a retired veterans home here that we want to go carol to with the other sisters. Christmas in Bedford will be so much fun!! I'm really looking forward to it!"

Wednesday, November 20, 2013

Drum Roll Please. . .

"Transfer news...We are being tripled out, which means all three of us are leaving. It's complete chaos. Our apartment is the biggest disaster. BUT! We are all going great places to do great things."

"I am going to BEDFORD, VIRGINIA (: Merry Christmas to me! The area is supposed to be really nice. I am serving in a branch, but our boundaries are enormous. Hopefully we can pick this branch up a little and get a few more people to come, reactivate some people. My companion is Sister V. She is super short, like me (: She is the sweetest sister I have met out here. I am so thrilled to be serving with this sweet sister this transfer (: "

"There's a few things I am so grateful for (during this holiday season especially) but I am extremely grateful for the chance I had to be in Special Needs mutual. It taught me a lot about handling situations, and being a friend to all."

"I don't have a whole lot of time. Our P-day is packed today. I will email more about happenings in the mission on Monday. I love you so much! I am looking forward to hearing from y'all soon! (: "
 
She is on the move again. Bedford is about 40 miles east of Roanoke, VA and about 3 1/2 hours from Charleston, WV. Bedford has a population of just over 6,000. In comparison, Riverton's population is listed at 38,000. If you plan to send her a letter, email me (cindy6@softsolutions.com) for her address.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Stake Conference and a Family Reunion

"Yay for p-days! I'm emailing from Sister Pitt's iPad today. The library is closed. Again...I hate Monday holidays. So a lot has happened this week! I have so much to tell you, so my news will be somewhat brief. Monday last week we went hiking in the Kanawha forest. We hiked up a way steep trail, that we thought was a different trail. I about died. Hiking the hills of West Virginia is not as fun as it sounds...But the leaves were way pretty and we all had a good time. We took the sisters serving in Teays Valley."

"Friday Elder Joseph Sitati of the Seventy came and spoke to us. It was amazing! I learned so much about my purpose as a missionary. His wife is a cutie pie, her accent was very thick and sometimes she was a little difficult to understand, but she still had a great message. Of course I played the piano :)"
 
"This weekend was stake conference! Saturday night two of the missionaries in the stake were speaking in the adult session so we all got to go to the adult session of conference. The Beckly sisters were staying with us all weekend, and going home Sunday afternoon, so we had an extra companionship staying at our apartment. Saturday morning I woke up not feeling well. Apparently several other sisters have felt the same way that I have felt this weekend, so it was some bug thing going around. It felt like I had mono again, and you can't get mono twice, so I knew this wouldn't last too long.  It got worse throughout the day, and finally I had to ask to go home and sleep. I slept for a good two hours, and Sister K and one of the Beckly sisters came back from Beckly (we were doing exchanges Saturday before conference) and I woke up and felt well enough to go. The first person I saw walking in to the chapel was Aunt Linda. Aunt Linda and I basically ran to each other from across the chapel haha we were so so SO excited to see each other! We sat next to each other during conference. Towards the end of the meeting, I started feeling like I had that afternoon. Uncle Seldon was sitting behind us, Uncle Gerald was running electronic things, and Uncle Jim was with Aunt Linda. I asked them to give me a blessing before they left. Uncle Gerald and Uncle Seldon gave me a blessing. It was a real treat to get a blessing from family. I woke up the next morning with a little bit of a stuffy nose, and I felt great the remainder of Sunday. Sunday was way neat! I saw a ton of people from Teays Valley (her first area)."
 
"We picked up a new investigator this week! He's totally elect, so ready for the gospel!  But he was so funny at our first lesson we had with him. We were teaching him about how God only has one gospel, and he totally agreed that God only had one gospel. After we said that he laughed and said "God's probably thinking, 'you idiots!" We laughed forever, because occasionally we ponder whether or not Heavenly Father face palms it every once in a while, with everyone thinking what they do out here hahaha :)"

Monday, November 4, 2013

Halloween, training and a baptism!

She actually did write a letter last week but it didn't arrive until Saturday. Here is how her week has gone.

"The Pitts (Mission President and his wife) live in our area, so we "dressed up" and went to their house to say hi.Sister K was an Indian, Sister E was a spy, and I was a hillbilly/native West Virginian haha (:  Well, I hope you are enjoying your fall weather. It rained last week, and finally the trees gave one last push of color before they are all starting to fall off. The sky is the bluest blue, and the air smells like fall. It's so wonderful (:

"So the training story...there was a sister in Parkersburg that was having a really hard time and her trainee was Sister E.  So in order to help her, the Pitts pulled both of them out of Parkersburg, and I am finishing Sister E's training. Training is a much better experience this time. All three of us get along so well! It's kind of a party when we drive places, we have AMAZING morning tri-panionship studies, and training itself is really kind of a miracle. I remember having a desire to train, but it was all totally for the wrong reasons. I thought I knew better, and that I could mold the trainee the way I thought a missionary should be, but I was SO wrong. I think that's why me and Sister H's experience wasn't as amazing as I wish it had been. But I have had to pray for the Spirit so hard this transfer, because I have never even looked over the back half of the training booklet. So I just go by what the Spirit asks me to do, and we all have a great time! We have some really amazing experiences together."
 
"This week I have "caught a glimmer" of what true Charity is like. We were in the car driving to a less active member's house, and we were listening to this CD that reflects the life of Christ on it. There are piano/cello arrangements, and it's just this wonderful CD that just reminds you of the Savior. One of the songs is titled "The Pool of Bethesda" and when you listen to it, it totally reminds you of the new Bible video, and pictures of those people waiting by that pool to just be healed. But then Christ comes and triumphs as usual over man's vain thinking that just stepping into motioned waters can heal them. Then Christ heals the man, and it happens to be the Sabbath, and the Pharisees (which I have really grown to dislike) try to accuse him, etc. You know the story. But then I also kind of thought of the painting by Greg Olsen called " O Jerusalem". Christ is sitting on this hill overlooking Jerusalem. I put myself in the position of Christ, and I thought to myself, "O Charleston...Wilt though not repent and come to the Savior? Wilt though not cast away thy sins and be baptized by water and by fire?" and while I was sitting in the front seat of our little car, driving through the trees and fall foliage, I mourned for the city of Charleston. I mourned for the state of West Virginia. I mourned for those in other places that wouldn't accept the gospel if they were offered it, because their heart wasn't open to it's promptings. I felt the way Christ does! It was the neatest thing! I had never felt that way. I mourned so much that I cried for the people here. It was totally unreal."

"So do you remember that media referral/golden investigator in Bridgeport? She's getting baptized this weekend, or was baptized on Saturday...either way, she's been converted!!! So I have officially been a part of someone's conversion (: "

Monday, October 28, 2013

Not much

Just so you know I didn't forget to do a post, this is what I had to work with this week.

"Not a whole lot happened this week. I will probably write a letter this week, I have so much email to respond to...I wish I had more time. Welp, look for a letter from me! I love you so much!"
 
There you have it. The email was actually 2 lines longer than that but it was just to me. If she does send a letter, I'll do another post this week. I don't know if she has less time at the library because her companion is the sister trainer leader and they have other things to do or if she was truly blessed with so many emails.

Monday, October 21, 2013

Update on mailing packages

This is a message sent from the mission secretary.

"I checked with the postal service and the only mail and packages that can be forwarded without extra postage is:
  First class – under 13 oz., Priority Packages, Flat Rate Packages

We CANNOT forward packages that come:
  Parcel Select, Parcel post, FED EX, UPS

You can send packages through the mission office at 888 Oakwood Road, Suite 310, Charleston WV  25314, and we will forward them the same day to your missionary’s current address.  We do begin holding all mail about 5 days before transfers and then resume the day after transfers to make sure we send it to their new address if they were transferred.   You may also send packages directly to their apartment if you prefer."


If you ever want to send a package directly to her apartment, just email me (cindy6@softsolutions.com) and I'll give you her current address. Thanks for all the love and support that you are giving to Elizabeth.

More Changes

"So this week we went on exchanges with the Teays Valley sisters...and I got to go to Teays Valley (her first area)!!! I got to see a few people that I haven't seen forever, including the cute girl who got baptized while I was there and we became way good friends. It was SO amazing to see her! She has become one of the most faithful converts I have ever seen- she made it to the temple to do baptisms and she is the Laurel's president (: Yay for true conversion and serious progression! I didn't get to see a whole lot of the people we were working with, but it just felt really good to be back in the area. All in all, the exchange was a party, and we had a great time."

"So some strange news...We got a call from Sister Pitt (the mission president's wife) this morning telling us that they were doing a little rearranging of some sisters that we are over. Long story short, one of the Parkersburg sisters is coming here with us, and I will be finishing her training. Her name is Sister E. She is possibly coming today, so that will be exciting!"
 
"I haven't really told you much about the ward-sorry! I am in the Charleston 1st...the ward here is cute- it's a little different. We sing ALL the verses of the hymns...not just the ones in the staff. ALL OF THEM. So of course we sang "How Firm a Foundation" for the opening song in church, and another song with like, 6 verses in it. I just pray that we don't sing "A Poor Wayfaring Man of Grief"or  "If You Could Hie to Kolob"...oh wait...we already SUNG THAT. :P"

Monday, October 14, 2013

Hello from Charleston!

"Alright- the area, I am sure you are dying to know (: I live in South Charleston. The area is called South Hills. We live like, 3 minutes from the mission office, so you can send everything there, and we go pick it up daily before they forward stuff throughout the mission. We live in a pretty nice apartment. The church building is literally across the street and around the corner! I was so excited to be walking to church to save miles...but of course they are remodeling the building so we have to drive to Sissonsville to go to church (Aunt Lilith's building). President and Sister Pitt are in our ward, and we share with the AP's and with our zone leaders, all fantastic elders. Aunt Lilith and Uncle Gerald are in the 2nd ward, and we are in the first ward.  Uncle Seldon and Uncle Jim and Aunt Linda are in our stake again. I always see Uncle Seldon at Transfers, which is so much fun. It's funny going over to give him a hug, and some of the missionaries look at me like, "what are you doing, hugging a random guy?!?" But then I tell them it's my uncle and they freak out I have family here."
 
"My companion is Sister K. She is the Sister trainer leader (basically a sister zone leader) and she helps the sisters in our zone and the Parkersburg zone. We will go on 24 hour exchanges with 4 sets of sisters throughout the transfer. I am SO THRILLED for exchanges- one is in my first area, Teay's Valley, and we are exchanging with them this week!! We are also going to exchange with Ripley, and also with the Parkersburg sisters (: I WILL see Aunt Linda this transfer!!) then we will also exchange with the Beckley sisters. All of the sisters we will exchange with are so wonderful, and I am excited to get to know all of them."

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Moving to Charleston.

"I am indeed being transferred. They sure like to move me around...this will be my fourth area. I am going to CHARLESTON (: I actually get to serve in the capital of my mission haha. My companion is sister K. She's a sister trainer leader for the Charleston zone, so I will get to go on exchanges with sisters all over the place- I am really excited to do an exchange in Teay's Valley <3 my first area!"

"Conference was AMAZING! Conference is like Christmas out here. I was really surprised that they didn't announce any new temples. This mission is waiting for the Pittsburg Temple to be announced haha, 2 hours closer than DC. I've been putting the audio of the conference talks on my USB, and we have a USB in our car, so we listen to conference talks in the car when we drive places. I really loved Elder Holland's as usual, and I liked Elder Christopherson's talk about women and their roles.  I also liked Elder Uchtdorf's talk as well, just because it was like, all about missionary work haha! I loved what he said towards the middle... "Doubt your doubts before you doubt your fears." Wall- worthy! That is going in my living room when I have a house."

Monday, September 30, 2013

The end of a transfer already?!

"I can't believe transfers are next week. It blows my mind just a little bit. This past week hasn't been too exciting, but we have had a couple of miracles."

"Our first miracle happened Wednesday night, after a dinner appointment with a really great family in our ward. A few weeks prior, we were over at a member's house for a meeting, when we met another ward member and his girlfriend. This girlfriend told us that she wanted to learn more. We told her we would teach her, and we said that we would meet every Sunday at the house we were at. A couple weeks went by and our weekly appointments fell through. We hadn't heard from her for days. Our zone leaders called one day and told us that her boyfriend landed himself in prison, and the two of them had broken up. We weren't expecting anything else and no further progression or interest from her. Wednesday night after our dinner, we got in the car and saw we had a voice mail from her. She told us that she had been reading the Book of Mormon through all the hard things that have been happening to her and her ex lately. She said that that had been her support system. She also told us she wanted to continue to meet with us as soon as possible.
We are so excited to teach her again, and we can't wait for the miracles to follow."
 
"I encourage all who like ice cream to appreciate Dairy Queens Pumpkin Pie Blizzard- it is DIVINE."
 
"I hope you all have a wonderful week. I know that this gospel is so true, and I am so grateful to be a part of this wonderful work that is hastening. Sorry this letter is so short. More miracles to come! (: "

Monday, September 23, 2013

Happy Fall!

"So I have been a total slacker on telling you about this area.We aren't working with too many people yet. We have a TON of potential investigators, and because we were sick (last week) we didn't get to see many of them, but we do have two that are totally fantastic, and we can't wait to keep working with them. The first was a media referral. She's kind of like J(her investigator in Christiansburg) when it comes to being ready for the gospel. Before she referred herself to the missionaries, she called the bishop of our ward and told him she wanted to come to church. She bought a modest dress and shoes so that she could come to church. She has a great desire to learn about the gospel. She loves family history, and we can't wait to take her to the family history center we have at the church. We have only been able to meet with her once. Satan is doing everything in his power to keep us from meeting with her. She has had to cancel every meeting we've had with her since our first one due to just life happenings. Satan is at his hardest with her. BAH! Our second is a school teacher going through a very difficult divorce. He was a referral from a ward member. We don't have too many people we're working with unfortunately."

"Also, we found an inactive member of our ward this week. It was so neat! We had never met the father before, so we got to talk to him. He invited us to dinner at their house Friday! We were so shocked. He "isn't the religious type", but he enjoyed our company (really the spirit we carry), and wants us to come back. I love the Spirit- I love giving it opportunities to testify to others about the gospel!!"

Monday, September 16, 2013

A Miracle

"Monday night to Tuesday night we went on exchanges with the sister trainer leader Sister L and her companion Sister M. They are the sisters in Morgantown. I got to go to Morgantown with Sister L. On the drive to Morgantown, Sister L told me we were teaching two Japanese exchange students attending WVU, who were staying at a member's house. The sisters had been printing out pages of the Book of Mormon in Japanese off of LDS.org for the girls to read, because they hadn't ordered a Book of Mormon in Japanese yet. One of the girls was going back to Japan Thursday, so they didn't order one in time. In my last area, the members  would set extra things they had on the serving counter at the church building for other people to take and leave as they please. One week there was this huge pile of books that anyone was welcome to take. Among the pile was a Japanese Book of Mormon. At first I thought, "I don't really need this...extra crap to carry around", but I was prompted to take the book. Plus it was really cool (: for a whole transfer and a half it sat on my study desk. When I moved here, I packed the book up and never ended up unpacking it. When Sister L mentioned that they were teaching these Japanese girls, I immediately thought of the Japanese copy of the Book of Mormon sitting in my suitcase at home. After exchanges were over the following evening, I  quickly dove through my suitcase to get the book for her to take back to Morgantown. Sunday night, Sister L called because she had heard both of us had been sick that week and wanted to see how we were doing. She also told me the rest of what happened with the Book of Mormon she gave to the girl going home..."

"Wednesday, the day after exchanges ending up being incredibly busy. Everyone they visited decided they needed to take up extra time with them, and by the time they got home it was 10:15. They called the sister that was housing the exchange students to see what time the girl was leaving to catch the bus to go to the airport. She told them that she would be at the bus stop at 6:30 the next morning. Sister L and Sister M got up at 6 AM the next morning, drove to Morgantown and got the book to her not 2 minutes before the bus came. I have a sure testimony and stand as a witness that when the Lord wants something done, he will find a way. He provides the revelation we need and the miracles that occur when we have the faith that he can do all things."

Monday, September 9, 2013

19 years and counting

"It is so wild to even begin to think that 19 yrs ago I was sealed to you guys...AHH! So amazing! I have the strongest testimony of forever families. We have a lot of less actives in our ward that are part member families, so they haven't been through the temple yet. We have one family that is SO prepared! The husband and age-accountable kids have been baptized, and they are waiting their turn to go through the temple. We had stake conference yesterday, and the 1st counselor of the DC temple presidency was the concluding speaker, and he talked about the temple, coming to partake of the blessings, and being sealed and stuff. It was so cool. He talked about how the Lord is hastening his work through temple work. I love the temple, and I am DYING to get back." 

"Last Monday night, Sister H and I went to visit an investigator. We were inside, but as we were driving there, this huge storm blew in. It rained and thundered. The lightning wasn't too close...yet. As we were visiting with our investigator, the lightning was so close, and the thunder was so loud. Halfway through our lesson, lightning struck the road outside the apartment complex. It was so close, you could see the shape of the lightning through the closed blinds. The thunder was ear splitting and scared us all so bad! Crazy weather out here, I tell ya! The weather here is so bizarre. Some days like today, it's 90 degrees and just fine. Then there are other days where you can definitely tell that fall is basically here. The leaves are starting to change colors. I am SO excited for the fall!! The tops of the trees outside of our apartment are turning colors. This summer has been SO wet. Really wet summer = really gorgeous fall, but also means a very bad winter according to the farmers almanac, and most every ward member we have talked to about the weather. This winter is gonna SUCK."
 
"We've decided that service comes in many forms out here haha. We helped a member family move this week, we helped a non member lady sort through her stuff after a big move, and we're helping a sister can apples and applesauce on Wednesday. We cover a couple of rural areas, so I am hoping I get to do a little farm work here soon (: we haven't done any gardening, but it's "give all your produce to your fellow RS sisters" season. So we have apples and apple sauce, and I can't tell you how many times we have been offered tomatoes.)

 

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hello from Bridgeport!

"I made it! I hate Monday holidays. I absolutely LOVE Bridgeport. I have SO Much to tell you!!"
"We live in the top floor of a funeral home on Highway 50. Fun fact: Highway 50 runs from Baltimore MD to San Francisco CA. True story!Yes, I live in a funeral home. A funeral home. Too good right? It is kind of weird.  There's an apartment that was added on and an older lady lives there. It's on the back of the home. Luckily the embalming room is under her apartment and not ours...but we have the creepy attic so I guess we level with her. It's actually kind of cool, cause I am totally creeped out by old houses, and I will never go to a haunted house, but there's something about this apartment that I love. I don't get nervous or scared about the attic, in fact, I want to go clean it up and make it somewhere I can study or something. I for some reason keep thinking about the people who built the house originally or who have lived in it, and my justification for it's haunting features, is that there's just a bunch of people who hang around the missionaries because they want their temple work done bahahaha (: PS! There's a piano downstairs that the landlord said I could play whenever I want!!! So I get to play the piano a ton! Could you possibly send me Rhapsody in blue?..."
"My new companion is Sister H...and she is AMAZING. I can't even begin to tell you how much I love her. Our missions have been almost exactly the same. We celebrated her 22nd birthday yesterday. My ward ROCKS. I just LOVE Bridgeport!!
"Saturday we went to the Clarksburg Italian Heritage Festival with the two sets of elders in our area. We share a ward with both sets.At the festival we were handing out Book of Mormons and pass along cards. We talked to a lot of the booth owners and I think the elders picked up a couple of new investigators from that. It was really neat! Our ward had a Labor Day breakfast and fun run this morning. It was a 5k.We have 5 investigators, two of which are super golden."

Wednesday, August 28, 2013

Transfer Week - Movin' On

"Transfer week is finally here. I will be serving in.....BRIDGEPORT WV! With Sister H, the sister who CALLED ME the weekend of my farewell to welcome me to the mission. Isn't that hilarious?! I keep serving with sisters that knew me somehow before the mission. Strange. I'm being zig zagged all over the mission, started in the middle, went to the bottom, now back up to the top haha I love the change!"
 
"Welp I have officially been out for 6 months. Those months have FLOWN. I do not even understand where all of this time is going. It's so sad yet so exciting at the same time."

"HAHA way funny story- this happened this morning. We locked ourselves out of our apartment, and left our keys and our phone inside. We had no idea what to do. It was wild. Sister O started pulling bobby pins out of her hair, and grabbed her debit card out of her wallet and started to pick the lock. The lock was a total piece of junk, and all we had to do was pull the door towards us, and push the lock and part of the knob back into the door. We totally got in. It was hilarious."
 

Monday, August 19, 2013

Much Better Week

"This week has been a WHOLE lot better. Lots of great things happened this week. First of all, we have 2 new investigators, and a potential family. They all live in the trailer park B(another investigator) lives in, so that makes things easier haha."
 
"Tuesday we had zone conference in Pembroke. It was really good- it's almost like general conference, we get all the good juicy mission announcements there haha...President got a call from church Headquarters asking if we could take 20-30 more sister missionaries by the end of the year. We are supposed to reach our "quota" by November. Because the limit of sisters is expanding, the mission is going to as well. We are splitting several of our zones in half, making 4 new zones, and ten new districts. We have 32 missionaries coming in next week. We are putting a sister trainer leader in each zone. (It's like a sister being a zone leader). We're all really excited about the big changes happening in our mission- so many awesome things!"
 
"Saturday was the ward mission leader's birthday. He took the missionaries out to dinner to a really fancy restaurant called the Farmhouse. It was so classy. I felt like I was almost out of place cause I was so used to eating at members' homes. It was really fun! There's a FroYo shop out here like Menchies, called "Sweet Frog". F-fully R-rely O-on G-God. It's obvious that I am serving in the Bible belt if they sell shirts that have that on it."
 
"Sister I's garden is producing. tomatoes, squash, and ground cherries. Her grapes are starting, and her zucchini is also ready to harvest. Backing up a little, unlike Utah, we have had some really unusual weather this year according to the locals. It's rained for weeks here. While you have had record heat, we have had record rainfall. It pours all the time here.  It's actually starting to feel like Fall. The temperatures have dropped dramatically. 60s and low 70s for several weeks."
 
"Sunday we got to teach the senior Primary sharing time. We talked about prayer. It was really fun, and the eight yr old that lives above us asked us last night if we would always be teaching Primary from now on. We told him no and he moaned. Apparently we did a decent job haha."

Monday, August 12, 2013

Prayer and Faith Work

"Our investigator is doing great! We are going to do the stop smoking program with her on Wednesday night. She will be getting baptized probably the last week of the transfer, or the first week of next transfer...she is SO READY! Her husband came to church with us yesterday!! He said he liked it a lot! They only stayed for sacrament meeting, but they both felt the Spirit. The talks were PERFECT for the both of them. They were on like, faith in the gospel of Jesus Christ, and then there was one about sacrifice and obedience. It was almost like they were directed at them, and our investigator B, who also came to church yesterday. I see great potential in the husband. Thank you for the prayers, and for putting them on the temple roll- it's working. Prayer and faith work, I tell ya! hahah (: "
"Sister I is doing great! She has harvested some things in her garden the past couple weeks, mostly zucchini and squash. They look really great though! She is now considered active, she has been to church 5 times in the last two months, so she is considered what we call a "save." All her husband has to do is come to church two more times, and they will be taken off of the less active list (: Sister I recognizes that she NEEDS the gospel in her life, and she asks herself a lot why she was missing out on the blessings that come from it. They are doing great (:"
"This week we are still trying to find people to teach. We have been going through our less actives list and knocking the houses around members and former investigators' homes. We are trying to get as much involved with the ward as we can! (grammer?) We love our ward members, and in all honesty, I really hope I train here next transfer (2 full weeks left!). This transfer has really flown by."

"I keep forgetting things that happened this week. I went on Exchanges with the Sister Trainer Leader in Bluefield VA! I learned so so much! My MTC companion, Sister M came here, and was companions with Sister O, and then I drove for 1 1/2 hrs to Bluefield with Sister T. It was SO fun! I learned so much!"

Monday, August 5, 2013

My Testimony

"I don't have much to say this week...the week was slow, and nothing happened. so I'll just bear a quick testimony...

"I love my Savior. I'm so grateful for the atonement in my life, and that I can use it whenever I need it. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation. The knowledge that we have that we can live with our families for eternity is incredible. One of the reasons I am on a mission is because I want people out here in Virginia to have that same knowledge I have. I'm grateful for the gospel. I'm grateful for the Book of Mormon. I know for a fact that it is the word of God, and that if I ever need comfort, guidance, or aid from my Heavenly Father, I can just turn to the scriptures....  I love the gospel and I know this church is true!! Missionary work is the best!"

Monday, July 29, 2013

5 Month Mark

She didn't have much to say this week. Strange, huh? She has one investigator that is struggling to quit smoking. Please join us in a fast on Fast Sunday to help her quit. Other than smoking, her investigator knows the Church is true and that Joseph Smith is a prophet.

"Update on Sister I's garden. We went and helped on Saturday stand her tomatoes up. She has some peppers coming up, blueberries and grapes ready to harvest, and tomatoes are slowly but surely coming in. She has several plants ready for harvesting. It was super rainy on Saturday, but there was a short window of no rain so we went and put up the tomatoes."

"Not much is happening here, but the work is moving along slowly but surely (: I love my new companion! Sister O is SO amazing! We have so much fun together. Can't wait for mail! (:"

Monday, July 22, 2013

Transfers are always an adventure

"Transfers are always an adventure. The morning of transfers we drove to the church building in Blacksburg (our ward building) and we dropped Sister H off with the rest of the missionaries going north. An elder from our district was going home, so that was really exciting. So everyone in the zone gathered at our church parking lot, and we loaded the "transfer train", two 15 passenger vans and a big U-Haul truck for the luggage. Everyone that was going up north piled into the van and left. By the time the other elders had left, and the transfer train was gone, there were five missionaries from our district left, including myself. All of our companions had left so we all went on exchanges with each other. We went to McDonalds for breakfast, and I did a day exchange with Sister S, the only other sister left in our district. She came out the transfer after me. Sister J and I actually called her the weekend before she came in so that was kind of fun. I love Sister S, she is so wonderful! At 4:30 the transfer train came back to the church with the new missionaries. We had several new sisters...one of whom I had gone to high school with, Sister W. Way funny! Everyone makes fun of me, cause I can somehow make connections to them through mutual friends, family, or activities. I had accapella with Sister W. Sister O is my new companion. (Elizabeth went to school with Sister O's twin cousins.) Sister O is from Provo. She's 20. She plays the violin (which she brought with her). Her mom's family actually all live in Huntington, WV." 

"What a sad inbox...Well, I can't wait to hear from you soon. It's been a way slow mail week."
Remember you can email her. Her email address is elizabeth.peck@myldsmail.net. She is really good about responding. If you want her apartment address in Virginia, email me and I'll send it to you (cindy6@softsolutions.com)

Wednesday, July 17, 2013

Transfers - Staying in Christiansburg

"I am staying here. I have a new companion starting tomorrow. She came out with me. Sister H is going up to Huntington with Sister C from Riverton. I am really excited to be companions with this sweet sister!"

"This week we had a ward fun night that me and Sister H put together - we tie dyed shirts. After the activity
was over, we stayed to clean up and ended up locking up the building cause everyone else had left. The weather had been gorgeous all day, but then around 3ish it started to build and create storm clouds. The sunset was unreal. It faded from a deep blue-grey to this gorgeous orange-pink color. The sky was so so so beautiful. It reminded me of some of the sunsets we see at the Great Salt Lake."

"Our investigator is still progressing like crazy. She wants to be baptized so bad. She was so elect, she already has a testimony of Joseph Smith and latter-day prophets. Even better...her husband is totally interested, but he's really good about not totally showing it. He sat in our lesson last night when we went over, and he asked a ton of questions. She says that they talk about it all the time, and that he has never asked questions like that before. "He's totally interested" she said. We promised her, because we are messengers of God and we can do that, that when she got baptized,  her husband would follow. And I know he will. The Lord is totally preparing him." 


Monday, July 8, 2013

"I freaking love being a missionary!!"

"What a great week- So many stories and miracles. We have had one awesome week!!"


It has been raining every day off and on for about a week and a half. Wednesday (Jul 3) Sister H and I were out contacting some referrals. We walked cause it wasn't too far away, and on the way home the wind picked up and it started to rain. We had umbrellas, but they weren't doing ANY good whatsoever. Sister H finally put her umbrella down and said, "What the heck?!" I put my umbrella down, and we walked home...in the torrential downpour. We soaked all the way through our garments! It was one of those "being a missionary is supposed to be FUN" moments. That is something I will never forget about my mission."


"So on to the reeeaally good stuff. We have experienced some mighty miracles this week. and I have gained a huge testimony on being specific with our prayers... 

So Wednesday, after our playtime with the rain, we went to visit a former investigator to see if she was still interested, which she was, so that was a blessing. Her neighborhood is a cute town home neighborhood. . . White is the minority, and everyone we have met in this neighborhood have been SO nice to us!! So after we visited her, we decided to tract this neighborhood. Before we did, Sister H prayed that we would specifically find someone in this neighborhood who was ready to hear the gospel. She plead that we desperately needed an investigator. The 2nd door we knocked on we met a woman. She has been searching for the Gospel for 40 some odd years. She has learned just about every religion you can think of, Christian and non-christian alike. We introduced ourselves and she came out on the front porch and listened to our message. We taught her the restoration on her doorstep...and she invited herself to church. Our second lesson with her we took a 3-yr convert in our ward, and it went so perfect. we taught the plan of salvation, and she said "this sounds so familiar, like I've heard it before". We went back the next day, and we taught her the gospel of Jesus Christ lesson. She straight up told us that she knew the Book of Mormon was true, she KNEW that Joseph Smith was a prophet, and that what we were teaching her had all the answers to her questions she has had all her life. We invited her to be baptized, by proper priesthood authority (which some people have a hard time understanding the priesthood, but she said it just made so much sense) on July the 20th, and she asked what she needed to do to be baptized. We explained to her a brief summary of the word of wisdom, and she committed to quick drinking coffee and smoking that day, and we briefly touched on tithing and the law of chastity, and she flat-out committed to living both of them. She said quitting smoking will be hard, but she has faith she can do it as long as she puts it in the Lord's hands. After she accepted the baptismal invitation, I was inspired by the spirit to tell her a little about temples and baptisms for the dead. She said that that was the most BEAUTIFUL thing she had ever heard. She wants to do her temple work for her mom. We looked up temples on the internet with her, and she is SO thrilled to go there someday."
"Her conversion took place in 5 DAYS. The Lord prepares his people, and when we specifically ask to find people, the Lord sends them to us. I didn't think anything that incredible would happen on my mission. I have been looking through my journal lately at some of my experiences that I have had in my last area and so far on my mission. I have learned so much and grown so much, and I feel like this is the real missionary work I was sent here to do. "
"After we met with her the first time, we proceeded to tract the neighborhood, and we gave out 2 BofM's to her neighbors. This neighborhood is SO READY FOR THE GOSPEL!!!! We also found a former (investigator) that has also been so prepared to hear the gospel. He's been investigating for 3 YEARS, and we came to him and he asked about getting baptized. Geez, the church is true!! I freaking love being a missionary!!!"
"I have noticed the blessings that come from being on a mission- they are immense and incredible. It's weeks like these when I wish I could be a missionary forever."

Monday, July 1, 2013

Sushi, rain and fireflies


"So, this week I made sushi for the first time (: I'm sending pictures. We had a pretty good week. We've
been working with the members on this way cool challenge, I'll send one home this week for you guys to do!" She didn't send any more details about her sushi making. I guess the picture is worth a thousand words.
 
"Sorry the weather has been gross back home ): It keeps raining here. It's monsoon season, can't say much else. A couple of days ago we were taking a break during the day and this huge storm blows out of no where, and the thunder was so loud it shook the basement door. We usually don't hear the thunder because we are below the house, but we definitely heard it. I secretly have wanted to experience a tornado because we are living in a basement, but at the same time I don't. We were under tornado watch about 3 weeks ago for a day, but it went away too soon hahah....I would just feel bad for the rest of the ward/town cause they aren't moles and don't hide in the apartment during the morning and night. but...service opportunities (: 
There is a pool in the backyard, and they're opening it next week....my terrestrial-aquatic side is dying really slowly inside of heart ache for the water."
"Sister I's garden is looking really nice! I'm hoping that one day I can have a big garden like hers. I have really fallen in love with gardening lately. It's the one thing that I can get dirty and be close to nature on my mission."

"The fireflies are out (: There is a neighbor across the street who has a massive backyard, and we see fireflies ALL THE TIME out there. It's like a Disney movie, it is so unreal. I like to drive home in our country-esque neighborhood with the lights off so that we can see the hundreds of fireflies. We've spent a couple of evenings after planning just out trying to catch them or even film them on our cameras, but you just can't capture the magic of fireflies."

Monday, June 24, 2013

Member Missionary Work


"PLEASE watch the broadcast! (She is talking about the Work of Salvation Broadcast that was on Sunday, June 23, 2013. Go to www.lds.org and click on the links on the main page to access information about the broadcast.) It is all about member missionary work, it was the COOLEST thing ever!! Trent and Kaden were both in the choir that sang for it. The messages were all way cool. you just need to see it, I can't explain how awesome it was in words. Yes the big announcement on media - we are so thrilled to be working with members through the social media. President's email this week said that they are going to get that up and running as soon as possible, but obviously there will be conditions and regulations. but I wouldn't be surprised if we became media missionaries, because tracting is the least effective source of finding people. Tracting through facebook - HOW COOL!!"

"Sunday we gave talks in sacrament meeting. Sister H had this way cool experience - she planned a talk, it was well written, and totally ready...but she didn't say a SINGLE THING she had prepared. The Lord totally used her as a mouthpiece to tell the ward that they needed to repent of not having any faith, and to step up to the plate about missionary work. The Lord, through her, basically did a little pulpit pounding...it was RAD! She raised her voice, and called all to repentance in love...it was so crazy. The spirit was so strong, and the Lord was totally in our meeting." 

"Seeing some really neat miracles. I love serving a mission, and I love it here in Virginia!"

Monday, June 17, 2013

Great 2nd Week

"Thank you so much for the letters those of you who wrote, and thanks for the emails. This week has been really interesting. It's been a good week, but required a lot of faith and abiding by the spirit. So this week we have had very little luck. We have one investigator on date, but we haven't been able to catch her. She won't return our phone calls, and she won't meet with us. Our other two investigators came to church yesterday! We got them from the zone leaders. They are progressing a lot. Yesterday one of them told us that she thought Sacrament meeting was boring, and asked if she could only come to the last 2 hours of church - in all my life, I have only heard people say that the last two hours are boring...it was WAY funny, Sister H. and I laughed a lot about it."

"So because the week has been so bad, the zone leaders have been so good about taking care of us. They heart-attacked our door with sticky notes with scriptures on them, and left us bags of truffles. We have the BEST zone leaders and District leaders."
"I have an assignment for you - Listen to "The missionary next door" if you haven't already. I don't remember who it's by...Diana someone...but EVERY member of the church needs this CD in their home. It is incredible! Keep striving to be good member missionaries, because the work really does start with the members. The members in this ward just need a little "pumping-up" about the work. It's sometimes really hard to get referrals from them, but we keep praying, and we keep realizing that if we keep the faith that the Lord is preparing people for us to teach." (The CD is by Diana Hoelscher and is available at the library.)

"Yesterday before church, Sister H. and I decided we wanted to go early to sacrament meeting and play the piano. I started to mess around on the organ. People started coming in, so I thought that I would play a little prelude to get the Spirit in there, and help others be prepared for sacrament meeting. After a few songs, I stopped playing and went to go greet people, when one of the counselors stopped me and asked, "You play the organ Sister Peck?" I told him I had been learning before my mission, and that it was definitely a work in progress.  He then asked me to play if the ward organist didn't show up. I agreed. She never showed up. I played my first Sacrament Meeting yesterday." (By learning to play the organ, she means the choir director in the singles ward gave her a few pointers so she could accompany one of the Christmas songs for their Christmas program.)

"Tomorrow we are having our first district meeting. I have been asked to play the piano, tell my funniest mission story so far, and to make treats. The District leader has assigned me officially the "treat-maker-piano-player" for our meetings. Can you send me some fun, easy, I'm-feeding-elders recipes? Tomorrow I am making mom's famous peanut butter rice krispy treats. SO excited!!" (If you have any recipes feel free to share them with her.)

Monday, June 10, 2013

Christiansburg, VA

"FANTASTIC week here in Christiansburg Virginia! It is greener and more beautiful than my last area. It's a little more "mountainous" where there are mountains, but it seems to be more flat than WV. It is a wealthier area - Christiansburg is a large college town. Virginia Tech is in Blacksburg, which is not even 10 minutes from our apartment. Our apartment is brand-spankin new! It is SO NICE. It's a basement apartment. Everything is definitely closer and shorter distances which is nice. We have a couple of investigators that live less than a mile away, so we walk to their house when we have them. Our brand new car is just like the one we had in Teays Valley, but its a 2013, and it's a bright sparkly shiny red. We named her Lucy. We get 1100 miles a month, and since we walk everywhere, miles aren't really a problem for us. YAY! (: our area is quite small...we split it with the zone leaders, who also share our ward."

"My new companion is Sister H.  She is pretty much like me...She is SO funny. She is studying musical theater, and Shower/bath nights at our house are Broadway musicals, and should require tickets. She is an INCREDIBLE singer! She played the oldest daughter in a production of the Sound of Music last summer.  She was in the process of auditioning to be the singing parade Belle at Walt Disney World before her mission.  It's not terribly difficult to live with a companion that sings as much as you."
"So there is a less active sister in our ward that has a MASSIVE GARDEN! She loves getting the sisters help with it, so we get to go over weekly to help her weed and plant - reminds me SO much of home, it is the BEST! We do our service with her at night, so the first night we went over there, we were out saying goodbye, packing up the tools and such, and she pointed over to an open area in her yard, and said "watch"...and there were FIREFLIES! It's firefly season, which makes me SOOOO SO SO happy! They are so magical - so I look forward to gardening with her every week. Pictures of the Garden to come! 
That's all - I have been noticing so many tender mercies in my life right now - my companion is amazing, we have a dishwasher and a washer and dryer in our apartment, and everything is so close to us. It is truly Zion here in Christiansburg."


 Elizabeth, her trainer (left) and her new missionary (right) on transfer day.




The family in her first area that introduced her to strum sticks gave her one. She is so excited. Her aunts think she is having way too much fun but that is Elizabeth. She just loves life.

Wednesday, June 5, 2013

Movin' On

"June is finally here, And I have some great news! I am being transferred this week to train and double-in [both missionaries are new to the area] with a  new sister. I found out I was training on Friday of last week. I am being transferred to Christiansburg, Virginia! I will be there for two transfers. . .. I am opening an area, which means new apartment, new car, new companion, new area book, new people to work with, and a new adventure, which means more pictures (: " I'm not sure but it sounds like she is excited. I did a little research and Christiansburg is about 170 miles from where she is now. The town is about the same size in area as Riverton, UT but has a smaller population. The population in Hurricane was less than 8,000 and the population of Christiansburg is around 22,000.

One of her investigators is moving to Washington State. She says once she gets settled she will ask for the missionaries again. "She still has a desire to be baptized and talks about it all the time! We are excited for her! So, because of the transfer, I am packing. The apartment is a disaster, probably about as bad as my room at home (We have been doing some sorting and we are using her room as the holding area. Her dad sent her a picture of it.) Getting rid of a sister and getting ready for a sister is tricky and messy. The weather here has been really nice lately- lots of sunshine. The storms out here have been pretty wild, but luckily we haven't had one in a while."

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Not one but two possible baptisms

Sorry about the delay this week. She didn't get to email on Monday because of the holiday. They go to the library to email and it was closed on Monday. She was allowed 30 minutes to email on Tuesday so I didn't get much. Today I got a letter in the mail.

Her big news this week is that they have 2 investigators with baptismal dates in June. One on June 15 and one on June 29. She is so excited! Unfortunately next week is transfer week so she may not be around to see them. Next week she won't email until Wednesday because of transfers. She asked that anyone who is planning to mail her something this week send it to the mission home which is the address on the blog.

This is a quote from her letter, "Today, the 27th, was my click day, aka my mission birthday! I'm officially 3 months into my mission. Wow, time has sure flown. I've been told regarding my mission that long days turn into short weeks, and long weeks turn into short months, and long months and transfers turn into a very short year and a half. Luckily, I'm only 3 -- I've got a TON of mission ahead of me."

My aunt and uncle live in the stake she is serving in. Their ward served the missionaries lunch at their zone conference last week so she got to see them. She loves randomly running into them.

Monday, May 20, 2013

Happy Rainy Monday!

"The weather this week has been insane. It has been raining everyday since Thursday. When it rains here, it pours. AUtah sprinkle is a heavy humidity here. A Utah rain is a WV sprinkle. A Utah pour is a WV rain, and when it floods in Utah, it pours here and usually it's the pouring kind of rain. I always think of the Wizard of Oz when it rains here. The wind goes insane, the clouds get super dark and super thick, and the thunder and lightning go crazy. The lightning gets super close, since the clouds settle in between the hills, and so the thunder gets really loud at times. It rains for hours at a time. They say it rains everyday all the time in Seattle- they haven't been to WV... My companion and I still question ourselves - Where does all that water GO?! It rains, and it rains, and it rains. (♪ and the rain rain rain came down down down...) As a matter of fact, it's raining, er, excuse me, POURING here right now. When you drive, the windshield wipers are on full blast, and it's still very difficult to see. One foot out of the car, and you've fallen into a pool. It's pretty great (: But the rain makes everything SO GREEN here! We drive a lot of backroads, and you can't see anything but trees. It's so beautiful! I am SO thrilled that the magnolias are coming out. The buds are on the trees, and they're getting ready to bloom. When the humidity wave hits in a couple weeks, they'll be in full bloom, and I am SO excited"

"We picked up a new investigator. She's about 50, and she is SO ELECT. She hates her church, how they "vote" everyone into their positions. She hates that she doesn't know where her tithing money goes, and how they do tithing at her church. She LOVES the BofM, and she says that every time she reads, she feels God never tells her that it is wrong. She has read the intro 4 TIMES. We can't wait to see her testimony of the Gospel and the BofM grow and flourish into a beautiful lamp that will guide her friends and family to the gospel as well."

As you can tell, the rain hasn't dampened her spirit.

Monday, May 13, 2013

Mother's Day Phone Call!

It was so good to talk to Elizabeth yesterday! She sounded so good and so happy. Because of the phone call, she didn't have a lot to say in her email today. Hard to believe, isn't it? Here is a little bit of her email.

"I look forward to your letters!! It's like Christmas getting mail as a missionary. Empty mailbox days (air-mail days haha) are kind of hard, and super disappointing. I forgot to tell you! Yesterday our investigator that is praying about a baptism date, we overheard her talking to the relief society president  after church about how she is picking a date right now, and that she should be getting baptized soon!! Me and Sister J are really hoping we have at least one baptism together, considering we only have three weeks together left. We are so thrilled for her! I can't wait to see her again, and teach her."

I finally got her to email me a picture of her trip to Hillbilly Hot Dogs. This is her with her companion. To read more about her experience, see the post for April 8.










Sister C from Riverton and her companion also enjoyed Hillbilly Hot Dogs.




Monday, May 6, 2013

Slow Week

She didn't have a lot to report this week. I'll just give you a quote from her email.

"We had stake conference yesterday, and it was so weird, they broadcasted it, and so 64 different stakes out here had it at the same time, and President Uchtdorf, Sister Wixom, Elder Hales and Elder Gay of the 70 spoke. It was like a mini general conference haha (: Elder Uchtdorf's talk was amazing, actually the whole conference was just incredible, but Elder Gay talked about conversion in our families- and he started out by talking about a relative or someone he knew that was a direct descendant of Jedadiah Morgan Grant...that really got my attention!(That got her attention because she is also a descendant of Jedadiah Morgan Grant.) I learned a lot about conversion and how to help our family members out here. It was a really neat conference!"

One of her investigators is close to accepting a baptismal date but her husband is leaving town for awhile and she wants him to be there so it is on hold. They had to drop another one of their investigators because he was high when they went to teach him and he wanted to marry them. It was a bit awkward. She ran into another relative. She is getting to meet relatives she's never even heard of before.

Monday, April 29, 2013

2 Month Mark

Here are some excerpts from her email.

"We didn't get to go to mass (AGAIN), but the couple we were going to go with came to sacrament meeting on Sunday. It was so great! We visit this couple every Sunday night in hopes of getting them to be active again, and to help them realize what the catholic church is missing. They said that Sacrament meeting was really touching, even though it was just fast and testimony meeting! They were so excited to see old friends, and to feel the Spirit. She was especially touched. Last night at their house, they got so into talking about their spiritual experiences, they pulled out their old LDS materials, and included was their Books of Remembrance. This especially made me think of Papa (Elizabeth's grandpa that died in Jan), and the genealogy that is awaiting my discovery at home! I was so thrilled to see family history stuff...it's been a while!  They found their sealing certificate too!! It was such a spiritual experience for all of us in the dining room. We can get them coming back, it will just take time, and a little "walk to remember".

"This week I got my first pizza meal! haha When the members have to cancel dinner one night, they order you pizza and have it delivered to you hahah...So I got my first pizza this week. Great stuff haha! Gotta love Papa Johns on a Saturday night. I had a s'More craving this week. so I made stove top s'mores."

"Driving was weird at first! I had to adjust to a brand new car, which isn't at all like a Honda, and it was super fancy and stuff, so it took adjustment for sure! I love being able to drive, and once I got the hang of it, I realized how much fun this car is to drive! It's a TON of fun! I can practice shifting for a real stick shift, but it has paddles on the sides of the steering wheel so I can paddle shift. It's definitely not like a real stick shift, but its fun anyway!"

Wednesday, April 24, 2013

Ticks, the pastor (finally!) and strum sticks

Elizabeth is a much better storyteller than I am so I'll just give you direct quotes from her email.

"This past weekend we did exchanges with the Huntington sisters again, and this time Sister C and I were companions (: it was SOOOO fun!!! We have become really good friends over a course of a few weeks.) We got to participate in an "adopt-a-highway" clean up Saturday morning together, and it was so perfect for Earth Day! However, we found ticks on our clothes on the way home...Sister J said later that the ticks get really bad out here. Good thing I have tick repellent in my mosquito repellant stuff! Ticks are so gross."
 
"We finally did have lunch with the pastor! It's way funny, cause we actually tracted into this guy back in March. Didn't know he was the same person. He's more like a teacher at the church he belongs to. He also teaches history. He wants to do a radio show with a few people from different religions, and sort out some of the misconceptions about these different religions, mormons included. Our president doesn't want us participating, but we did sit down and answer his questions. Unfortunately we didn't get to really teach him. They were all superficial questions about our takes on some scriptures, the sacrament and who Joseph Smith was. He was open to learning about the gospel, but more for other purposes, and not for himself. The TWO HOURS we spent talking to him Sister J and I feel like were kind of a waste of time. We didn't really get to help him come to Christ. It was kind of lame, but the roasted tomato asiago something or other bagels at the resturaunt were so so so good."
 
"We have a new investigator! She had visited with previous sisters, but something happened between her and them that made her turn away from learning about the church anymore, but now she feels like it's time to try again...and me and her connect REALLY well!!! I love her so much!! During exchanges me and Sister C went to her house and we made homemade spring rolls and teriyaki chicken! I LOVED the spring rolls...it made me think of making won tons and having Chinese with grandpa. Good times with chinese! (: "
 
"I was introduced to a new instrument on Sunday!! That family that has gone Catholic have this three stringed 3 1/2 ft long ukulele thing called a strum stick. Youtube it!!! They are sooo cool!!! I may or may not have to buy one towards the end of my mission!! Last night we went to the BYU-Idaho symphony concert. Lilith, Gerald, and Seldon were there (: I love running into them!" These are some of her relatives that live in West Virginia.
 

Tuesday, April 16, 2013

Yeah for investigators!

Elizabeth didn't email until today. They had interviews with the mission president yesterday so that pushed P-day off until today. I'll let her tell in her own words about her week.

"Our meeting with the pastor fell through again, and we didn't get to go to Mass. We went to Adoration on Wednesday morning.. it was so strange. Definitely a feeling of reverance in the chapel, but the priesthood presence just wasn't there. But we had a few really incredible things happen on Sunday. 
Sunday we had an investigator come to church, and he LOVED it! He got to stay for the baptism we had for an investigator of the Elders too, and he said that he thought it was really neat. We are teaching him about the plan of Salvation today, and we are soo excited!! The baptism was for a 16 year old YW. She was fellowshipped by a less active member of the church. The two of them are amazing friends. She was baptized Sunday, a month after the elders introduced her to the gospel. At her baptism, the ward mission leader asked me and my companion to be at the top of the font stairs to hold her towel. She came out of the font a whole different person. It was incredible. I wrapped her towel around her front, and we sat there and cried for a few minutes. She kept saying how amazing she felt, and how clean she was. I told her that that was just the beginning, and that my companion and I were so excited to teach her the new member lessons. That Sunday, I realized how amazing the gift of eternal life is, and how thankful I am for the Savior’s example of baptism. We can be made clean through the Sacrament weekly…which is SO BEAUTIFUL. I know that through the Savior’s atonement, all men can be made clean, and we can live in peace and rest for eternity. I totally thought of her in an eternal perspective. I saw her being sealed in the temple. I saw her going through for herself. I saw her salvation- and if she makes the right decisions the rest of her life, All that the Lord has promised her will be hers, and she will live with her Heavenly Father again, with the rest of us that have made those same covenants and kept the commandments with all diligence. Anyway…hahah that has been my great missionary experience of the week."

In case you are following the blog every week, she said that P-day is Wednesday next week because of transfers. 

Monday, April 8, 2013

Conference was amazing!

The first words in her email were "conference was amazing!" Some of her favorite talks were given by President Uchtdorf, President Monson, Elder Holland and Sister Dalton.

"This week I went on exchanges with the Huntington Sisters: Sister T and Sister C (Rachel from school!). Sister T and I were companions for 24 hours, and Sister C stayed in Huntington with my companion. After trading companions on Tuesday, we went to lunch at a place called "Hillbilly Hot Dogs" hahaha the BEST place I have ever eaten lunch, hands down!! The boys would LOVE it! They take a hot dog and put whatever you want on it basically haha, It was so fun! I'll send pictures next week, I forgot my usb to transfer pictures. It was built out of 3 buses! Look it up, google it or something, It's absolutely hillarious!" (see May 13, 2013 post for the pictures)

The meeting with the pastor was rescheduled so stay tuned to see what happens. Good news, though. They have a new investigator who is excited about the gospel and went to conference with them on Saturday. She is very happy they have someone to teach. They have been invited to attend mass on Saturday with an inactive couple. That should be interesting.

Tuesday, April 2, 2013

Bunnies, McPizza and Pastors

This is taken from her last email to me. "Yeah!! spring is definitely springing! The buds on the trees are more visible. There are frogs instead of crickets here that "chirp" at night, and they come out when it starts to warm up. The rabbits in our yard are cute little grey brown ones. We've seen at least three in our yard. We see a lot of birds, squirrels and the deer are starting to come out. Because WV is mostly forest, deer are all over, and it's common to see the deer in neighborhoods and fields in the middle of town. We have seen a bunch of Cardinals...they are sooo beautiful!"

"We had to drive to Spencer for our District meeting, which is about a half an hour away. We went to McDonalds for a light lunch, and you will never guess what we ordered. The McDonald's in Spencer has a PIZZA LICENSE. We had a McPizza. It was soooo weird. But now I can say that I have eaten a pizza at McDonalds. BLEH. hahah!" I'm guessing she didn't like it.



"We are teaching the pastor today at noon. I am SO nervous. We have been praying and studying about what to say. But yes we have concluded that bearing our testimony is the right thing to do." This pastor gave the mother of a girl that loves our church some anti-Mormon literature so now her mom makes her go to the pastor's church. An inactive family arranged for Elizabeth and her companion to meet with the pastor. Stay tuned to find out how it went.

I finally figured out how to put the pictures she sends to us on the blog. On March 16, they found a "leprechaun" standing outside a pub advertising for St. Patrick's Day so they stopped and had their picture taken with him.


 Elizabeth and her companion found this army hat in their apartment. They decided to keep it.
On their way home from a district meeting they saw this riverboat. It reminded her of the movie "Princess and the Frog."

Monday, March 25, 2013

Hoppy Easter!

Not much to report this week. No more guns which makes me happy but lots of dogs. Her coat finally caught up with her and she was glad because it has been raining. She said there are wild rabbits running around the property where their apartment is. She said they were very cute and just in time for Easter. Lots of appointments fell through this week so not much teaching. She said, "It makes me way sad when people decide that they don't need what we have to tell them...It's even more sad when we tract and people tell us they've already been saved. We want to shake them and tell them NO it's not truuuee!"

She is grateful for all of the people who are taking time to write to her by letter or email. She sent several pictures in her email but we haven't figured out how to re-size them yet. Check back in a few days.

Monday, March 18, 2013

Hollers, dogs, and a gun

First a little background information. When Elizabeth took out her endowments in the Oquirrh Mountain Temple, she met a family in the celestial room that has a daughter serving in the Charleston, WV mission. We thought that was pretty weird at the time but it just gets better. I have several  aunts and uncles that live in WV and one of them had this other sister missionary over for dinner a few months ago. Somehow they made the connection with Elizabeth. You'll never believe this but guess who Elizabeth's trainer is? This same sister missionary! What a small world! Apparently, these 2 girls were supposed to meet.

She gave us a little information about where she is living. First she explained what hollers are. A holler, hollow to us in the west, is an area between 2 hills and people build their houses next to creeks that run down the middle. Her first area is Hurricane. According to Google, there are just over 6000 people in Hurricane. She said it is all hills there. Most live in hollers and some of the hollers go on for miles. Some of the driveways are very long and are mostly rock and dirt. All of the roads are super windy. Everyone has at least one dog.

Friday was the first day they tracted. She stayed in the mission home until Thursday because that is transfer day in her mission. There was a piano there and it made her very happy to sit down and play it. She ran into one of my uncles on Thursday because he is a mission leader in his ward. It's kind of nice to have family there to look out for her. She said they did 3 hollers that day and the first house they came to looked a bit sketchy. There were 3 dogs in the front barking at them. There was a large man on the porch that was yelling at his dogs to shut up. He had something in his hand that he kept raising and putting down. He yelled at them to get lost and kept pointing the gun at his dog that was still going crazy. Elizabeth said that she had no idea what he was going to do next so she turned around and hustled down the driveway. Luckily the rest of the day wasn't that exciting.

Saturday they were very lucky to have Elder Dallin H. Oaks and a couple of the seventy come speak to them. She said that Elder Oaks shook everyone's hands. She saw another one of my aunts and uncles there and Rachel from school. She thinks the weather is pretty wild there. Her first big storm was Saturday morning. She said when the storms roll in she relives the scene from the Wizard of Oz, the black and white part in the beginning when the storm rolls in and the clouds are so dark. She said it was freezing and snowed all day on Sunday and it was raining hard today. I hope her coat arrives soon.:(