Hey everybody! Still swimming :) so yes I had to get a couple things done this week and mail it to the FBI. I feel so cool. haha I mailed them 2 pages of fingerprints just in case one is too smeary or something. It was kinda funny because we got to go to the local jail to do it and through the window you could see all the guys in their cool orange jump suits. haha But yeah. Then I had to mail an $18 money order which I had no idea what it was at first, but thanks to members of our ward, we got one at Wal-Mart. Just hope I filled it out right because we had to ask the mailman that question. haha Also funny moment of the week, Sister Tycz and I had to walk over to the Elder's apartment to pick up the car, which they had borrowed that morning, it was super windy and as we started walking I was like, "Hmm my feet feel different from each other." I looked down and "Bah! sister Tycz! I'm wearing two different shoes!" Yeah, I couldn't decide which ones to wear and was going to ask Sister Tycz's opinion but forgot. Luckily we hadn't walked too far yet so we ran back to the house to change. haha
Anyways, glad everyone is doing pretty good. Sad about Mary Clark though. Didn't her husband pass away a while back? If so the good news would be that they're together forever now :) Blessings of the fulness of the gospel. :)
Katrina it sounds like school is ok. I was never any good at memorizing dates and stuff either. And we're going to the temple in about 8 days!!! so excited. Also fun fact, Sister Mortensen got emergency transferred to Lawrence so she's not in Dodge anymore and is in my zone!! so happy to see her again :) And Kansas weather is honestly just weird. It's been in the 50's for a couple days and it'll drop back to the 20s and 30s this week. Does Idaho stay pretty constant though? I can't believe you're already getting used to it. Fleece lined tights is all I can say. haha they're a blessing. Also I have heard that tornado weather here doesn't start til March...So I might see a tornado!
Thanks for the gloves and boots and stuff! And also, yeah. I don't know what my fingerprints will find for them, since, according to everyone here I know, I lived under a rock my entire life. haha I honestly am loving Kansas though! And I CANNOT believe that Madison will be 6. That's just crazy. And when you said that I barely remembered that she has been in Kindergarten these last 5 months too.
Mom glad to hear you got a day off! You deserve a little rest especially after having to work with hard kids all day :) did you sleep in at all? We're so out of the loop as to things that are going on in the world, that we forgot all about Martin Luther King Jr day. But we invited several of the youth from our ward (who don't have school today either) to join in an epic nerf gun war here at the church in an hour or so. Last week with our zone we played zombies. We set up tables as obstacles and turned out the lights, and taped flashlights to our nerf guns and everything. Someone told us that we're trying too hard because we can't play video games. haha Maybe.
Dad that is so funny that that investigator hid her cigarettes in the freezer. Good thing you were in tune enough to find them! I can't believe they tried it anyways though. haha And you were the missionary dad! I'm just one of your gospel topic resources. haha Go to bed! (in deep dad voice.) I told Sister Tycz about you saying that to Katelyn that one Christmas and she about died laughing.
We just found a new family! Well, re-found.haha Sister Tycz and Sister Huff talked to them during the summer when they had a yard sale, and we decided to go visit them again and they let us in and were so awesome!!! Their names are Mike and Marcie and they have a couple kids as well. They also know the Jensens! so cool. Marcie said she would come with the kids to church next Sunday. they were asking all sorts of questions and we taught them the whole plan of salvations and parts of Lessons 1 and 2. maybe got a little too excited. Sometimes we don't know when to stop. haha
Debbie came to church this Sunday again!!! She is super ready to be baptized, in our opinion. haha . it's just the truth because she knows the Book of Mormon is true and reads it pretty much every day and is so proud of how far she has gotten in it. She had cut down and is half-way to living the word of wisdom. She is the absolute sweetest most giving and loving person ever. She invited us and the Elders over for a delicious lunch after church even. She's got some skills when it comes to cooking. That is for sure.
Tony and Rhonda said they want to take us out to eat before Sister Tycz gets transferred too. We don't know for sure, but she says she probably will be since she's been here in Emporia for 5 months and it's her first area. Sad! We've really been working together to get along better and not be nit-picky about little stupid differences between us. And we've been having more fun and are more relaxed with each other, and it is AWESOME! Of course we start to figure it out 2 weeks before she leaves. haha She seriously is so awesome.
Also, Izak Butter, who we thought had moved away, didn't! So we got to go see him and his cousin even came out and talked with us too! They're really easy to talk to and said it was weird that we were so normal. haha I really hope Izak gets the chance to open up the book of mormon this week. He and Tyler are coming to basketball at the church this Tuesday though. We want to give them a tour while they're here so they can see the whole of it and hopefully feel the spirit here too.
Well, I know you already know, but I'm going to say it anyways. I KNOW this gospel is true. I was reflecting this past week on how my tree of faith is. it's not as big as it could be but that's also a lifetime process. I feel my testimony grow and strengthen as I share it with those we meet. I was reading about the 3 Nephites this last week and how they asked the Lord if they could remain on the earth to continue to serve their missions until He comes again. I'm working toward that mentality. That it's not long enough to spend just a few months of my time out here on a mission. I pray the Lord will help me to remember the many things and feelings I get out here so missionary work will continue even when I no longer wear the name badge. I'm honored to wear it and be a part of this great work. I want the world to know that Jesus is the Christ. That the fulness was restored through the prophet Joseph Smith so that we could have it today because we NEED it today. I thank my Heavenly Father for the strength He lends me to work by His Spirit and the reminders He gives me that keep me on the straight and narrow. Many of those reminders come from the example and words of my inspired companion. I know it is often time through other people that the Lord meets our needs. I love Him and am working to love Him more and all of His children.
I love you all and pray for your health and strength and happiness!!
So fun fact, these past couple days the people here who love us keep warning us about the freezing weather cause this is our week to walk. Sister Jensen came up to us this morning and said there's a severe weather warning that the high today is 0 degrees with -15 or something as the wind chill. She told us not to go out walking or anything for more than 6 min because we'll get frostbite on any exposed skin. What?! Crazy stuff!!! I've never experienced it down that low before. it's supposed to drop even more once the sun goes down of course. I've never worn this many layers of fleece lined tights before. haha missions are full of new experiences.
Nichole!! That is so cool that you could talk with that guy on the plane! Seriously just bringing up little reminders works on people more than you can see. We've been taught that you don't ask people if they've heard of the church but who they know who's a member so they have a good face in their mind, and he sounds like he knows several which is SWEET! That experience with your roommate's brother is really cool too. There is nothing more exciting than seeing the spirit working on someone and changing their heart and guiding their thoughts. I love when they have questions because then their really taking in what they're hearing. Sometimes it makes me nervous when they say, nope, no questions. then they're quiet. haha
Katrina!! Sounds like you have a good bunch of girls to get to know and have fun with. That'll be quite the party. What about the guys? haha have you been to your singles ward yet? Kinda a bummer about sleeping through new years. but I feel ya. We went to bed at 10:30like we're supposed to and got up at 6:30 like usual. We both almost forgot that 2014 had started haha You got lots of Christmas food too!! so yummy, but all our leftovers are definitely gone now. sad. haha but the members feed us some really yummy stuff, minus ham and beans. I don't know if I like that stuff yet. no flavor. haha Yeah, we had a sleepover on the couch. We just wanted to switch things up and make it a party. haha Sister Tycz bought me some footy pajamas too, but I'm a little too tall for them so we're on the hunt for a bigger size every pday. haha Can't wait to hear how school is and everything!!! (PS I don't mind if you tell me who your crushes are either. haha)
So this week, we went to the Holiday Resort as usual to paint nails of the ladies there, and some of them are so ornery. haha One of the ladies was walking around with a bucket of bath stuff sitting on the top of her walker that she had apparently stolen from someone's bathroom. One of the nurses took it back and the old lady cussed at her! Oh my. haha took me by surprise.
Anyways, we've been talking with Janet Hambleton (a less active member) each week and this last time we taught her and her husband (who isn't a member) the Plan of Salvation. He was actually interested!! He told Janet to invite us over for dinner because they enjoyed our company and he wanted to hear a little more! He's pretty soft spoken but we love being over there. They are the most loving people ever and so easy to talk to. Her daughter's family the Hernandez, also texted us so we have their number!!1 They are super awesome too and I really hope we can see them soon.
It snowed 3 inches this Sunday and we were a little afraid they would cancel church because Debbie was excited to go and we had a ride for her and everything. She almost backed out because her friend Rose had slept in her bed that night and she couldn't go in to get her clothes. sister Tycz was like "We have an outfit for you, and we'll bring it right over!" So we booked it got ready, grabbed an outfit that was warm and cute, and headed out. The snow was so dry that we cleared her walkway by me swiping the snow away with my feet and sister tycz using a broom cause we didn't have a shovel. quite the sight, I'll tell ya. haha Sister East and Erin East (who were the ones giving us and Debbie a ride) were laughing saying I looked like a skater or something. baha But we got it cleared so Debbie wouldn't fall getting in the car. She came to church for the full 3 hours plus choir practice and said she really enjoyed it and wants to come next Sunday!!!! We're so excited for her. She's so spunky and funny and many people welcomed her. It was so awesome and the testimonies bourn were perfect and the lessons were good and the Spirit was totally there. Ah. Totally worth every effort. We're still going to work with her to quit smoking and drinking coffee and tea, and we have a game plan now to use cinnamon mints and grapefruit juice. haha but seriously. We have to try and help her friend Rose quit smoking too or it'll be impossible for Debbie with rose around all the time.
I'm also learning quite a bit more about parenting than I thought I would out here on my mission. You see some great examples, and some really not good examples. Like I don't think you should force your kids to sit down and watch tv. Just saying. haha anyways One of our lessons the people were asking some difficult questions like "Why did our baby die in the womb? Isn't that unfair? She didn't even get a chance at life." We did what we could to explain about the Millennium, the Atonement, and how that little baby is in God's tender loving care. The spirit was super strong and I know they felt it, but whether or not they let him penetrate and speak to their hearts and minds was totally up to them. but I sure hope so. They also asked us about sealings and how a woman can only be sealed to one man. If she gets divorced to her first husband who she was sealed to and had kids with, can she break that sealing but still be sealed to those kids? She wants to be sealed to the husband she has now and has had kids with so she can also be sealed to her kids. Bit confusing situation, but I was wondering if you understand it better than I do and could explain that to me?? I trust the Atonement and God will make everything right, but I had no idea what to say to that one.
Also, quick question, I've been told to get the flu shot because apparently it's pretty bad this year or something so I might have to? I don't know. You get different facts about how important it is from different people.
But I know that the Atonement is very real and did happen for all of us. It heals us. It strengthens us. I love learning about it and I try to remember to use that precious precious gift everyday. I thank my Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ for it!!! There's no way I could accomplish anything in this life and feel truly happy without it.
Oh and I might need you to send me my winter stuff like by snow boots, jacket, and wool socks.. sorry! I'm just realizing how cold it really actually gets here and Brazil weather doesn't seem to be coming any time soon.I love you all dearly and hope you have a wonderful week! Enjoy the wonderful weather of California!
It was soooo good to see you on Skype! had no idea that I missed you all that much. haha but life is good out here. We keep busy and what a rewarding week it has been!!!
Sister Tycz used the phone I was on and finally got to finish her conversation with her family. apparently she didn't know you could see her either when I handed her the phone to fix it when I did something weird. haha
Kids are definitely good examples when it comes to loving and finding joy in the simplest things. They are so moldable, and pure. That's why sister Tycz and I think that Joseph Smith was so young when he had the 1st vision )
Sounds like Christmas Eve was pretty active!! so fun, feel free to send pictures if you have any :) That is so awesome that Laurel lead the program too :) Also, when is Tyler and Jessica's wedding date? Are they being sealed in the Sacramento temple or an other one? That's so scary about Brother Bingham! I wonder what was going on?! Good thing you have spidey reflexes mom! haha Sorry for giving you a fright with a break in dream. They seem so real! but good thing you had Dad to protect you, I had Sister Tycz....no offense to her but we both were kinda freaking out which didn't help either of us. hahaha
Chiropractors are definitely therapists too I would say. haha and Dad you're a good listener so it works!!! I've been adjusting Sister Tycz, just the simple back pop stuff where she lays on her stomach. She's easier to pop than you were dad. remember that time my feet came off the ground because I didn't have enough strength to push down anymore? bahah Yeah, hope I'm a little stronger by now. haha
The rest of Christmas was awesome. We went over to our investigator Tony and Rhonda's and got to see their family there too. They're all super familiar with who we are now. haha But it was really fun, one of their little boys was having Sister Tycz and I draw stuff and fold paper for him. so cute. That night we just went home and had dinner with the Jensens, the Neers (who is Sister Jensen's daughter's family) and the Davis'. We all played Taboo for a bit which was pretty fun. I also don't think I thanked you enough for the gifts you gave me!! Thanks for the little manger scene too Katrina!!! I love it all and it will get much use :D
The day after Christmas, sister Jensen gave us a bit of a scare and ended up in the Hospital. she's back home again but still not 100% I hope she'll rely on us if she needs any help at all, she already does so much for us.
We had another Christmas dinner on Saturday with Janet Hambleton and her husband, and her daughter and her daughter's family who is "church shopping" They're an awesome family and were surprised that we were normal people and liked a lot of modern things. Nope we're not nuns!! That was good to hear. But they really want to come to church because she wants someplace good for her kids too. I know she'll find it in the LDS church!!! and more too, because it'll bring her family closer than any other church because her family can be sealed for eternity and strengthened by that. Can't wait to talk to them later this week since we have the car :)
ALSO!! Last night was the bestest lesson ever!!! Sister Tycz and I had had a kind of a bad start and weren't in the best of moods. After church we went to the Reeves for a yummy lunch and they make us eat more than we should. haha they'd say, oh you have to have some of this, and this, and this. Man I was so full!
We went home and did companionship study debating whether or not to go to Debbie's house because she smoked which would make Sister Tycz feel worse than she already did. We had seen her Saturday and committed her to read 2 Nephi 29 and said we'd come bySunday, so we decided to go anyways. And boy am I glad we did!!! I really think that Satan was working hard on us that day. When we got to Debbie's, she said, "I have a lot of questions, I read 2 Nephi 29, then 30, and 31 and Jacob 1" "Why do you think kept you reading?" "Well it was interesting" I know it was the spirit :) She read 4 chapters!! and 31 is all about following the example of Jesus Christ by repenting and being baptized! What are the odds of her reading that on her own? We answered her questions while praying in our hearts the whole time to know what to say. Doing it right really takes a lot of effort and focus. We also talked with her about Joseph Smith and the Restoration again. She thought of Joseph Smith as just a man, not a prophet. As we talked more, we showed her how his young age was key, and that he didn't actually become a prophet until he had grown up more and was ready. We then asked her to be baptized and she said yes!!!! She's a little hesitant about the 25th of January but said it was ok. She also said, "don't I need to go to church first?" Well yes! She's coming this Sunday :D OH MY GOODNESS GRACIOUS!!!!! we could barely contain our excitement when we ended with a prayer and walked outside to walk back home. We were thanking Heavenly Father the whole way. That was happiness.
I KNOW the Book of Mormon is essential to conversion. Those who are investigating the church with have no roots without it. It is a powerful book that we can read, and read again, and always apply to our lives at the very moment we read it. What other book can do that besides the Bible?? I know this Gospel is true and will and does bless everyone's life who seeks to follow it's teachings which are the teachings of Christ. It is the fullness. I've never been happier in my life. I have the Lord at my side, the Holy Ghost as my guide, and the prayers of my strong family as my support, and wonderful people that I've met in Dodge and here in Emporia. I LOVE IT!!
Let me know how New Years goes and how the new school year starts, and all those good details :) Love you all!!
Also, forgot to say that we got to go to Holiday Resort (a rest home) last Tuesday (the place we usually paint nails at) and help Santa give out presents :) So fun! The little ladies there would get all excited and kiss him on the cheek and stuff. We're going there again tomorrow to help out and I'm so happy!!!!! Nothing like bringing smiles to those people's faces :)
The one of me in the Christmas sweater I'm with Sister McQuay who used to be Sister Mortensen's Trainer so she's my grandma. haha She also used to be in my single's ward In Alta in Utah.
which one does it look like? (hopefully Salt Lake incase you had no idea) haha Elder bird isn't in the picture because he refused to help us with it. haha but he made a cool Moroni
So Christmas is Awesome, what can I say? haha Also, I've sent out some Christmas cards and They'll get there late, but only a few people in the family are getting them cause I don't have everyone else's addresses, but I love you all the same!!!!!! :) So happy to hear Kegasi is home safe and sound and is doing fabulously ;) I also just heard from Amy (Sister Harston too!) haha which was awesome. So I guess the Primary is still pretty small if adding 3 kids doubled it. haha
As for SKYPING! Bah this is crazy, Christmas is coming so fast. So Sister Wyatt in our ward is going to let us come over to use her computers (I just need to remember my Skype password somehow. haha) We have breakfast with the Rhodes family in the morning and lunch with Tony and Rhonda (THANKS Tollett family! Since I know you're reading this Rhonda ;) haha They also have 2 presents under their tree for me and Sister Tycz and refuse to give us any hints about what they are. sheesh! haha So yeah, I really really really want to see everyone together, but I'll only have an hour at most to talk, so we'll really try to Skype in the morning, but I can't guarantee it because of everywhere we need to go. I might call for a few minutes in the morning to say hi and set up a time to Skype though.
Can't believe I'll have at least 4 little kids to meet when I get back! Is Kegasi amazed at the change in size of our family? haha Liam and Ryden are such boys it makes sense. haha Having so many nieces and nephews helps me relate to people out here which is an extra bonus :)
Thanks for the note Justin :) I'm excited you'll have another little addition to your family soon and hope Nichole's nausea stuff goes away soon. Can't wait to find out what you're expecting!! It's totally true about forgetting yourself because then you remember to rely on the spirit and trust so you can just go forth and forget your own nervousness, and weaknesses. I still have lots to work on but that's what the studies are for! to learn, make plans and goals of how to be better, then applying it.
I think last time I mentioned that Sister Tycz and I were given the idea to share the Christmas story out of the Book of Mormon so we made the 12 days of Christmas using it. And people have been reading!! That makes me so excited because the Book of Mormon are where all the answers are and as we use it fully and pray about it sincerely while also using the Bible, they will confound false doctrine so you are left with pure and simple truths. I love love love reading the Book of Mormon. i'm hungry to read more when my hour of personal study is up and I've never really experienced that before til my mission.
As Christmas draws closer I really wanted to focus on the Savior and gain a greater understanding of His birth, life, Atonement, and Ressurrection so I've been reading in Matthew and Mark and also Jesus the Christ. It's so amazing!!! Christ performed so many miracles and knew He needed others to help His gospel go forth to everyone so He gave authority to His apostles to teach and they would be given power also as they were exactly obedient. I'm learning about the significance of being called and set apart as a missionary. We have the promise from our Savior that He will be with us and go before our face if we trust in Him and are obedient so He can trust us. His children are sooo loved by Him that He wants them all to be happy and that is through the gospel of Jesus Christ. I know this because I feel it and have experienced it. I want to give people what our family has and what makes us so strong together! It's not just us but it is the Savior.
yesterday Church was cancelled again because of the Snow and ice so we were told to stay home for a while but we got the BEST text in the world from our new investigator Junior. He said, "I'm reading the Book of Mormon right now and was wondering what all the numbers and stuff on the bottom of the page are." Saweet!!! we get to go see him tomorrow :) Also during our little bit of down time, we built a snow temple. such missionaries haha Also Sister Jensen made us eggs, bacon, and applesauce pancakes for breakfast that morning. Mmmmmm....we're so spoiled here by their kindness :)
Oftentimes the people we visit who are Less Active really only need a friend to help lift them up. Home and visiting teaching are so important! even if they seem totally strong and like they don't need you, they do. I'm learning that you can't help but love someone once you get to know them personally.
Also, I have a funny story to tell you all on Wednesday about me and Sister Tycz freaking out at about 11:00 at night. baha you have to wait...
Also, I probably need to apologize a bit for all the money you had to spend on me to send me those packages. But thank you. I'm using the blue and gray and white striped one and they are so warm :) I'll open the other one on Christmas :) An apparently I've been spending too much money out here on a scarf and that bike and warm socks and stuff but I can't check my bank account, so could you for me? Thank you!!!
Also, funny, I have people praying for me to go to Brazil so I can get out of the cold, haha but I'm staying warm and the snow is super pretty :)