Tuesday, May 24, 2016

Where did the week go?

So this week was really fun!  I can't remember many specifics, but I know we got a lot done!  It was great! Yesterday we found a turtle in the yard. That was awesome. Then we had dinner with the W's.  They are a member family and we are helping their 21 year old son go through ARP (addiction recovery program).  This awesome member family also invited our investigator, H, and her daughter over because it was the daughter's birthday.  They threw her a birthday party!!  It was an amazing example of fellowship.  Members make all the difference!
H decided that she wants to be baptized in June!!!  I'm hoping that I get to stick around here and watch her baptism.  She is setting such a stellar example for her husband and her brother in law.  It's amazing.
We taught a wonderful lady named K last week.  We had her think of a question and flip open to a random page in the Book of Mormon. She opened to Ether 13.  We both debated on changing the chapter, but it turns out the chapter directly addressed her question.  This week we met again and she committed to reading a chapter a day of the book of Mormon.  Nobody has had this much success with her for a while so we are really excited!

We have had fun contacting, teaching, and loving people this week. I'm really trying to work hard out here- and I'm learning SO MUCH!
Love, Jess

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

A Week of Miracles

I don't even know where to begin with the miracles this week- so I think I'll just start listing them:

Monday: Sister Watson and I struggled with finding new people to teach last week, and on Monday we were both a little dead.  I was pretty homesick (Mothers Day Skype did not help with that:).   So we had planned to stop by one of our favorite less active members and she really opened up to us about some of her struggles in the ward.  We talked and she told us we were good missionaries, so we came away feeling better!
-Tuesday: was HARD. We walked a bunch and tried to teach but it was just one of those long tedious days.  We were both stagnating in faith. 
-Wednesday: we had DISTRICT MEETING (yay!!!) and we also had EXCHANGES! Exchanges are not always my favorite but we needed them this time around. Sister Jones was my companion for the day and she started by saying that we should pray for something specific, SO we prayed that we would find a new investigator who was a lady in her 40's and had 2 kids.  We started walking after we got HARD CORE dropped by a once stellar investigator.  A little while later though, we ended up finding a new investigator who was working in the yard with her two daughters and was 47! It was such a miracle!  I have never ever ever done anything like that- but I have started praying more specifically and we have been able to see so many good things.
-Thursday: we woke up and I was praying that I would be able to run with Sister Jones.  Here's the thing . . . I didn't know I was a good runner until I got on a mission.  I have been able to out-run all my companions and all the STL's I have gone on exchanges with... but Sister Jones is like an insane jungle cat who runs like it's life or death.  She like SPRINTS everywhere.  Anyway, I kept up for longer than I expected myself to!  Then she started running back and forth around me (how embarrassing). Here is a cool story though- have you ever seen, I-CARLY? Well you know the blond girl on it named Sam?? She happens to be Mormon, and so are her parents, and grandparents... well we taught her Grandpa! He is less-active in Sister Jones' ward (but they had never met him before). He was telling us how wonderful she is to him.  She is in all the family pictures and it was really fun.  Turns out celebrities are pretty normal.  Then at dinner, the member made GLUTEN FREE ALFREDO!  I haven't had Alfredo since I came on a mission and it. was. so. good.  I don't think I have had pasta in months, so it was amazing. Then Sister Watson and I got back together and had a night full of teaching and finding new people.
Friday:  we got to do IFC and that was pretty fun, then we taught and taught and taught all night (another miracle).
-Saturday morning we were both pretty pumped. We jumped up, got ready, studied, and went to work... But we had a brutal morning and early afternoon. We had like NO success and all rejection. It was so hard haha- but God does provide.  We got to see some investigators, have dinner with a bunch of members at a Cinco de Mayo party, find new people, and see the M family that we love.
-Sunday was church and A CAME!   She is a 14 year-old investigator we are teaching.  She came with a member so that was great - but she thought church was boring (MAYDAY MAYDAY!). Then we worked, had dinner with the Ingrams (love them) and we got to teach a really amazing Samoan family. 
Monday was a crazy miracle filled day. We saw extreme progression in two of our investigators (hopefully they will be baptized soon), and we also had a member go with us to a lesson!
-TUESDAY (today) WE GOT TO GO TO THE L.A. TEMPLE!  I love love love the temple.  And to make it even better, I got ride there, attend the session, ride back and have breakfast with GRANDMA & GRANDPA!  I'm going to miss them so much when they head home in July:(
There's my week!  Hope you are all doing well!  I love you all so much!
Love, Jess

I received this picture from Dad at 4:45am California time!  These missionaries like to catch the 5am session so they can get the rest of the things done they need to on P-Day!  Jessica told me she woke up at 2:30am to drive to Mom & Dad's . . . 

Two of Jessica's companions

Sister Lambson

Cutest senior missionary couple EVER!

Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Mother's Day

We really enjoyed visiting with Jessica on Mother's Day!  Instead of a letter she sent pictures . . . LOTS OF THEM . . .with captions:)
The BEST sushi ever!

This one is for SPENCER!

Zone meeting

This limo was HUGE!


Because if you know me, you know I love FLOWERS!

The girls asked about Jessica's daily planner.  WOW!  That's a lot of writing!
Sister Watson's birthday cake that I made for her!
A zone training

Cleaning and helping Sister B. out
Love this bench!

General Conference Pancakes . . . which I was allergic too

Hiking with the Elder's on P-Day


Im already on my 2nd pair of shoes . . . my tan line is hilarious!

We laughed a lot!

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

God Loves Us In a Very Personal Way!

God tends to help me more than I know.  I asked Him to help me feel joy this week.  Your prayers and  His grace have worked miracles in my life these past few days. They may seem like small miracles, but to me they are huge!  I know He hears and answers our prayers!  Sometimes He even grants our selfish desires.  Like for example- Saturday we woke up to the alarm and for some reason I didn't want to run- I have NEVER prayed in the 8 months I've been out that God would make it possible for me to not have to run.  Usually I suck it up and we go run. But I selfishly said a simple prayer and stood up to see Sister Watson standing at the clock saying, "What? It's 7:00? Did we sleep in? Why didn't the alarm go off?" Then she said, "Well maybe we can just go on a quick run..."   We looked outside and it had rained all night and was still raining . . . so no run:)  Another experience that reminded me how much God cares was on Thursday- I was thinking that I really wanted a brownie with ice cream- and the next day at dinner guess what the members had bought for dessert . . . GF brownies and ice cream!  This is SO RARE for me!  I know God is aware of me and loves me!

We taught SO MANY of our investigators this week.  We have quite the teaching pool suddenly and we do our best to teach all of them- but the majority of the lessons fall through and we continue to contact people quite often. I'll highlight a few things this week for you...

1) We saw JW.  He is technically YSA, but he was married, got divorced, and his wife has a restraining order on him so he can't go to the YSA ward because that's where she goes. He asked us to start teaching him every week and we decided to do ARP (addiction recovery program) with him.  I have a few bad habits that I really need to get rid of so I started doing ARP with those in mind.  HOLY COW!  If you have a bad habit and you want to feel the Spirit and get rid of it, or if you don't like something about yourself and you want to change it, DO ARP!  Anyway, he came to church on Sunday and is doing incredible. 

2) We got to help Sister B move.. Y.U.C.K.  I have never EVER seen so much nasty junk and dead spiders ever in my life.  But I cleaned with a smile and packed every little thing because I love her and she needed our help. 

3) We got to go to IFC twice this week!  

4) We were contacting and I had the impression to run to this house a little ways ahead of us . . . and guess what . . .  there was someone outside bringing a car seat into the house.  I stopped him, he grabbed his wife and kids, we taught them the restoration on the doorstep and told them they could be sealed in the temple for eternity.  I was really bold, and just said it like it is.  The gospel has been restored, we have all the truth, and you need to come to the fold of God to be with your family for forever!  It was a neat experience and I had to muster all the courage I had!

5) I contacted someone by asking them to be baptized this week hahahaha (that was a goal of mine).

Anyway- I love you all and I hope you have a good week.