Monday, December 1, 2014


Hey everyone!

Thanksgiving was great! We went over to the Moore's on Wednesday to prepare for the meal for Thursday since the travel conditions weren't that safe with a storm that came in. We headed over there on Thursday as well, where the Haitian speaking Elders in our District joined us for the Thanksgiving feast. We were stuffed to the brim, and then a couple hours later we headed over to Sister Clement's for another meal. Since her family is Haitian, we had Haitian style-turkey and a mushroom rice as the main course. Sister Clement is a joy to visit as her laugh is contagious! We had a nice visit with she and her family. :)
The rest of this week has been very busy getting everything ready for this final week. It was weird sending home the packages full of medications and medical supplies, journals, and personal belongings. It also felt unreal that on Friday was our last District meeting. It was a little bit of a heavy meeting since much opposition has hit our district, but Sister Jones decided to stand up and went to the front of the room. Both of us gave our District an unexpected pep talk, declaring how we face opposition when good things do/are about to take place when we do what's right. We shared scriptures and bore testimony, which led to us all feeling uplifted. Afterwards our District Leader Elder Welker and Elder Davey then myself stand and bear our testimonies since we will be heading home. It was sweet and powerful. We have seven missionaries from our zone leaving and our entire zone will be at transfer meeting since there is one from every companionship either leaving or being transferred.
Everything has still been rolling for the area--more visits made, more preparations done for the ward Christmas party, and then there's preparing everything for this week. There have been many farewell's said with much food provided with Thanksgiving and more feasts to say goodbye. Many notes have been written and sent out. There is still packing to be done. It's gross to think about, but it is what it is. At times I feel excited but other times it is coming all too soon and I'm not sure how I feel about it all. Everything just keeps rolling . I'm not sure what else there is to say! is what I've been dying to tell about! Here in the Massachusetts Boston Mission, the rains came down and the floods came up! I couldn't ask for a more memorable way for my time here to come to a close. November here in the Massachusetts Boston Mission was most certainly a time to remember. It will go down in history. It will never be forgotten. Last night, our mission gathered for a conference phone call with the final results for the baptisms this month. More miracles happened throughout the mission. Remember--when the Packard's came in there were only TWENTY-SOMETHING baptisms as the highest that had ever taken place in one month in this mission. This weekend, to add to all the baptisms that took place, we had over THIRTY baptisms scheduled, placing us at NINETY-SEVEN!! We reached OVER our goal of seventy, but the question rang through President Packard's and other missionaries' minds who knew of this actual ninety-seven--"Why not reach one-hundred?"
On Saturday, desperation spread. Phone calls were made and appointments set for anyone who did not have a baptism date set but was ready...and could be baptized the following day on Sunday. After more prayers and every ounce of faith shown it happened...

President Packard's unsaid--until last night--hope when he arrived in the MBM to reach one-hundred baptisms in one month happened.

Going from 59 in October to this is remarkable. This was a month where every missionary "worked like everything depended on them and every prayer depended on the Lord." Each missionary was called to and willingly lived in complete consecration. Each placed a significant personal sacrifice on God's altar. We gathered weekly as a mission every Wednesday morning, praying within our companionship's by name for every baptism date. The temple prayed. Elder and Sister Lawrence and even Elder and Sister Holland joined. It happened. Yet through all our efforts, it was fully through the Lord's divine help as the windows of heaven opened. He elevated our vision. He increased our capacities and our faith. All of this was through Him.
At the end of the phone conference, one of President Packard's Assistants offered a prayer as we came together in great gratitude. He thanked Heavenly Father by naming every individual who was baptized this month. It was a moment that will never be forgotten.

With all of this, it is only the beginning for the mission. Elder Holland responded to this miraculous event with these words: "Tell the mission I could not be more proud of them. Tell them to keep opening their mouths, talking to everybody, keeping this kind of depth in their teaching pool and 70 will be the new base line every month. What was never done before will now be standard; it will be where the new goals start, not where they end.”
From this point, more miracles will happen here. There was not a recent convert temple baptism day in November, but the mission presidency is already preparing for the recent convert temple baptism day on December 27th to create sessions for these 100 recent converts.
Last but not least, as the cherry on top, Sister Bailey serving in the University Singles Ward called me last night, sharing the news that brought me to tears. Grace, who I taught back in Plymouth and now goes to school in Boston, decided to be baptized this Saturday! She has had a rough road coming to this point but is one of the most devoted investigators I've ever met. Sister Bailey and I will watch the program together through Skype this Saturday. :)
As I've been immersed in the sweet time of witnessing and being a part of the miracles happening here in the Massaschusetts Boston Mission, I want to add to the portion of Ammon's words that I shared last week by adding in one of my favorite verses. (Now as I've said a lot here "This is one of my favorite verses. I say that a lot but it really is.")
"Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my strength I am weak; therefore I will not boast ofmyself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for whichwe will praise his name forever." Yes, many miracles have been brought to this land--to New England--to the Massachusetts Boston Mission--which I will never forget and will always hold dear to my heart. This time here for the last year and a half has been precious. It will never be forgotten. The marvelous works and lessons learned here will remain with me, and will be shared in the generations to come.

A phrase I love "La vita e bella-- Life is beautiful." is what brings it all together perfectly.
Many more good times await. I look forward to seeing you all very soon!
Love you all!
Sister Roy

P.S. Be sure to watch the new video put out by the church for this Christmas. We are handing out pass along cards right and left to spread the news about it and there will also be portable visitors center for it in this mission. It's incredible as it's supposed to be the new "Because of Him." It's called "He is the Gift."

Tuesday, November 25, 2014

Giving Thanks

Hey all!

This last week was…well it was one of those weeks but it's all good now. I won't go into much detail, but the virus I must have caught at Boston Children's only progressed, so I was out for most of the week. We attempted to do exchanges with the Longfellow Park Sisters again, but while I was there they had an over-booked schedule so I was running much faster than I had strength when there was literally no time to exchange back. I ended up getting a blessing for comfort after Saturday's blessing for healing seemed to take no effect. It most certainly brought hope and assurance, and gave me a greater idea how last week was to make me spiritually stronger. For the remainder of the week I was at our apartment with Sister Platt, and then Sister Jones and I went on splits where I was at our member Sister Pritchett's home after District Meeting on Friday for the rest of the day. I was feeling much better on Saturday, even though my lungs took the toll, but soon enough they recovered. 

So yes, it was a little rough of a week, especially wanting to finish strong while seeing other missionaries leaving soon sprint to their finish line. Somehow CF took over, limiting what I could do temporarily. However, I could not deny the presence of my almighty Father in Heaven by my side. He continues to help me cross the finish line. Our ways are not His ways, as His plan is greater than we can imagine or anticipate with our own short vision. I was reminded how my own personal efforts are at times limited with physical limitations, but my loving Heavenly Father's upholding power is not. I bear witness that He is mine, and I am His. We are one, as He is helping me finish strong in the ways He sees important. 

There were some neat experiences that happened this week though which I am grateful for:

On Tuesday while on exchanges with Sister Blair, even though I was still in anticipation to take time to recover, I was able to be part of the lesson for Alex--Kyle's friend he introduced to the church. It was so neat--Alex's friend John, who attends the Longfellow Park Singles Ward where Alex was to go to--invited him to take the lessons. John had a remarkable experience where he literally just decided to walk into the church a few weeks back and felt it was right, so he wanted to take the discussions and share the joy he was feeling with Alex. Alex, however, was approached by missionaries in the past who gave him a card which he lost, so later on he was introduced by Kyle who was being taught by us, then by John who just had this miraculous experience. Our lesson with Alex was indescribable as we taught (my favorite to teach) the Restoration. He was ready to learn more. He was ready for change in His life and to do what it takes to become closer to the Lord.

Later in the week on Saturday, Sister Jones and I were able to talk to John and Alex, who Kyle brought, at our ward Thanksgiving feast (I was feeling much better by then to be able to attend.) Kyle bore his testimony on certain matters that we discussed together as we answered questions they had. It's been so neat to see Kyle sharing the gospel and being a remarkable influence through his lasting conversion. Even though John and Alex aren't in our ward, it's incredible to see them progress with their pure desires to become new.

We are seeing GREAT miracles happening here in the Massachusetts Boston Mission in November. As President Packard updated the progress to Elder Lawrence just yesterday, we are "Working like everything depends on us and praying like everything depends on the Lord." Today the 64th baptism for this month will take place. We have 45 dates set for this final weekend, so we are anticipating to reach over 70. If we even reach 75% then we will be in the triple digits. The reason there are so many numbers involved is because each number is an individual having spiritual experiences, pressing forward in faith with a steadfastness in Christ, committing and covenanting to live and press forward according to His ways and receive all that He has in return.

In all honesty, it feels unreal that the time for this full-time mission is coming to a close so soon. Yesterday I had my final interview with President Packard. It came much sooner than I anticipated, since there are (31?) of us leaving the same day next week so it would be hard to interview all the same day. He decided last week to spread us out during his routinely every-other-transer interviews. I was nervous at first as I wasn't sure what to expect, but it went wonderfully, as the interviews I've had with President Packard have always been meaningful and fulfilling. I couldn't help coming out of of yesterdays feeling more whole, hopeful, and genuinely loved, as I always have after them. I cannot express in words how grateful I am to have learned all that I have from him. I couldn't have been more blessed to have him as my mission president.

As Thanksgiving is this week, I echo a few of the words Ammon carried to his people in Alma 26, as this is what we discussed in our Mission WebEx this morning…

(2) "And now, I ask, what great blessings has he bestowed upon us? Can ye tell?...
(3)"We have been made instruments in the hands of God to bring about this great work….
(8) "Blessed be the name of our God, let us sing to his praise, yea, let us give thanks to his holy name, for he doth work righteousness forever…
(16) "Who can say too much of his great power, and of his mercy, and of his long-suffering towards the children of men? Behold, I say unto you, I cannot say the smallest part of which I feel."

When people will ask, "How was your mission?" or "What did you learn?" etc, as many returned missionaries can relate, the response will probably be " It was great" or "I learned a lot." As Ammon stated, "I cannot say even the smallest part of which I feel." It's impossible to explain the miracles I and the rest of this mission have witnessed, whether it be through moments of feeling God's confirming love and comfort, forgiveness and grace. Whether it be in front of the waters of baptism for someone taking on the name of Christ. There's the moment of being surrounded by 25 recent converts from all backgrounds and all races, crowded at the temple baptistry with family names for their first time.

There's also the penetrating experiences through the power of the spirit, all from being in a lesson to soaking in the impressions amidst the pin-dropping silence after the conference with Elder Holland. Then there's seeing investigators or recent coverts come together, sharing the gospel with each other from the lasting joy and conversion they feel and experience. Then there's the times following difficulty, seeing members come together with us, collaborating in what's no longer, as I like to put it "missionary work" but "the Lord's work." There's so much more I can expound on, but I'll just say, as Ammon had stated to  his "beloved brethren, who have so dearly beloved (them)" that "my joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy…this is my joy and my great thanksgiving, and I will give thanks unto my God forever" for the experiences that have taken place and will yet take place will doing all that I can to live in full consecration to the Lord in years to come.

I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving. Continue to pour out thanks to the Lord. As we lay down all that we have, as he has to offer us all that He has, we will continue to experience His joy and Thanksgiving.

I love you!

-Sister Roy

Monday, November 17, 2014

Final CF Appointment/Thoughts on Zion

Hey all!  So this week...

Sister Jones and I went on an exchange with our Sister Training leaders Sisters Blair and Platt, which ended up being for almost 2 days! That usually doesn't happen, but the appointment Sister Jones and Sister Platt were in went overtime, so we met up the next day, but then had to exchange again for a sudden happening that ended up working out well.

While I was with Sister Blair in Cambridge, we made a few stop by's for unknown members on the list given to us from our Bishopric. We also did quite a bit of personal contacting out on the streets, as I quickly learned how fearless Sister Blair is! For the rest of the week, some appointments fell through and plans changed, but everything ended up going well. Sister Jones and I have been working closer with our Bishopric, as we've been visiting a lot with the list of "Unknowns." We also decided to go to town with the Christmas Party our Bishopric will be holding in December. We offered them our help, which they said they would be grateful for! During our weekly planning, we brainstormed every possible idea that could come to use for the party, then presented it to our Bishop in an email. Before we knew it, we were invited to the Bishopric meeting for the party! They loved a lot of our ideas, so we immediately planned what needed to be done and went to work! Although I won't be here for it (it'll be on the 13th) I'm still glad to help out with it. :)
Also...we almost taught Ryan Seacrest, Usher, and an artist named Shawn Mendez (who apparently has been becoming more known while I've been out)!! I had my last CF clinic appointment at Boston Children's Hospital on Friday. Right as we left the icy winds and freezing weather outside, we found ourselves behind a large crowd in the newly remodeled lobby. Sister Jones gasped as we saw on the large screen ahead a young man singing to a child. She admired and always listened to Shawn Mendez, who I had no idea who he was. Apparently many people do. As he played an acoustic song live to an inpatient at the hospital, everyone had their phones and cameras out. He sang a song (that Sister Jones told me) was called "Ordinaries" as I discovered how much talent he has. (Maybe I'm going to look up his music later on, but time can wait. :)) When his song ended, we saw Ryan interview him with Usher in the background. Sister Jones and I took advantage of the time we had as we were early to our appointment. We paced our way up the stairs and passed by the studio. We caught a glimpse of them, but unfortunately they didn't let anyone take pictures or talk to them unless they had a pass. We were so close!! Nevertheless, it was touching to see how much the people who set up the studio want to help these kids and families going through a very rough time feel extra hope and light through this service. 
*As a side note: It turns out Ryan Seacrest recently set up a studio at Boston Children's, where inpatients can be interviewed and guest performers will come every now and then. The hospital lobby was also completely redone--with a Red Mango as well as stairs that light up and play music when you walk on them.
The CF appointment itself was the quickest I've had here. I had my PFTs done, to find out they were the highest they've ever been in the mission, even though it was by a tiny percentage. My weight has also been maintained the whole year and a half, which was my goal. Brandon wasn't there since he was out sick so I was a little distraught, but I was able to leave a couple conference talks and a thank you note. Dr. Cernadas and I had a quick good visit. Haha as always with our visits, she tried to give all the credit to me while she must have thought I was crazy as I would try to point out how even through all the effort I've had to put in, it could only be done with the Lord's help. After giving her a thank you care, we took a picture and bade goodbye once again. I don't know how I ever would have made it this far without the diligence, dedication, knowledge, and care of my health providers here. Even though it is a children's hospital, I'm sure going to miss Boston Children's! (Not to mention it was ranked #1 in the country in 2014.) My words don't serve justice for my gratitude to have attend there over the course of my mission.
Since the CF visit, I've been reminded that my body is still susceptible to temporary illness. It turns out I must have caught some kind of nasty bug while at the hospital so I'm still recovering from it. However I feel peace and keep holding to the promise I've been given several times that I'll finish the mission here. Sometimes it hits you when you realize how real the phrase "Endure to the end" is.
This week I have been pondering over the importance of Zion, as it's what our mission is built upon. I've learned quite a bit about Zion, as before the mission I never before put much thought into what it is. It seemed to be more of an unreachable destination down the road, as I had always heard of its description given in Moses 7:18. We can build Zion within our callings with our leaders and auxiliaries. We can work towards Zion in our families and in our closest relationships. Last but not least, we can achieve Zion between ourselves and our very Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. I won't go into full detail about what I've learned thus far of this concept "Zion"--it would most likely take days when I still am learning and discovering what it's all about.
I was studying in John 17 earlier this week, since a member recommended it during our fast and testimony meeting. In this chapter, Jesus offers His great Intercessory prayer. I never paid much attention to this chapter before. As I read over it, my understanding was opened even more to how our Savior and Redeemer was truly one in purpose with Heavenly Father, as He desires us to be. After all, as I realized, He prayed for this ambition for us--even as it was repeated several times--that (we) may be one, as (they) are.
10 And all mine are thine, and thine are mine; and I am glorified in them. 
11 And now I am no more in the world, but these are in the world, and I come to thee. Holy Father, keep through thine own name those whom thou hast given me, that they may be one, as we are.
21 That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.
2 And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:
23 I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.
It inspires me to know that He prayed for us to reach Zion, and that as we accomplish Zion, we become not only one in purpose and vision with each other, but one in purpose and vision with the Father's will for us.
I'm grateful to still strive to establish Zion here in every aspect, whether it be with Sister Jones and the Moore's, with our auxiliaries and our Bishopric, even with my doctors and I continually learn how to become one with the Lord. I know that if we take hold of this sweet privilege to do the same, we can discover the Lord's will for us as we feel a greater abundance of His sweet spirit in our lives.

More next week!
-Sister Roy
P.S. Our mission is hiking up to our goal! We had 19 baptisms this weekend so we are at 39. Elder Holland responded to President Packard's request for prayers for this, as he is praying for this every morning and night in his personal prayers. Elder and Sister Lawrence are also praying for this daily. Miracles don't stop happening!

Monday, November 10, 2014

November to Remember

 It's been a great week. There were still some ups and downs but overall it's been wonderful and we're seeing miracles happening here in Cambridge. :)

On Tuesday, we had the sweet privilege to begin our WebEx Book of Mormon "Knot chapters" studies with President Packard. We dove into 2 Nephi Chapter 2. We all read over the verses as he poured out in-depth responses and explanations to increase our understanding of how the Atonement is a central focus in this chapter. I learned quite a bit, as I'm sure all of us did. It was an incredible study and I'm looking forward to tomorrow's.

The rest of that day and the following were not terrible but not the best. There was a bunch of miscommunication between Walgreen's, the nurses at Boston Children's and my insurance, so after a week of trying to refill Hypersal I ran out of it so I wasn't feeling all that well. However, this led to spending some sweet time with one of our Sister Training Leaders Sister Platt (she is from West Valley) since she wasn't feeling that well either. During our "emergency p-day" we learned how we have a lot in common and I was able to learn a lot from how she's confronted challenges in life. Thankfully my Hypersal came in on Tuesday and even though I was still recovering Wednesday, I felt completely well enough the next morning, even well enough to complete an Insanity Max cardio workout. It was a miracle.

This week it was also incredible to see what a simple, outreaching act can lead to. About a year after Susan greeted Sister Patterson and I at the CVS in Waltham, followed by a series of invites and followups, she entered the waters of baptism in Belmont (at the church right across from the Boston Temple.) She was glowing as always and her husband Chris, who she was married to 3 days beforehand, was supportive by her side. I was so grateful to attend her baptism since a member from our ward, Sister Pritchett, was gracious enough to go on splits with Sister Jones and I since she wanted to continue the weekly D&C Scripture study/now weekly dinner with Andrea. It was a very memorable night. When I asked Susan afterward how she felt, she tried to describe but couldn't fully how clean and renewed she felt.  

Miracles are spreading throughout the mission, as we know November will be "a Time to Remember." Although we don't have any baptism dates here, we are still having large tender mercies taking place here. I am tremendously grateful for them!! Let me just touch up on a few...

--Al has been home from physical rehab for a few weeks. We were able to go see him on Saturday, during which he asked, "What time is church at?" We coordinated a way to get him to church and as soon as our lesson ended, I made phone calls like crazy to let our Auxiliary leaders know and to help him have a wonderful church experience. While making these calls, we found out even more potentials and less actives were coming as well. When it came time for church on Sunday, I was anxious, looking around for those expected to come, especially hoping Al would make it. I almost teared up when the sacrament was about to start--the chapel doors opened and in came the Moore's, Sister Bonnie, and Al's wife Janice pushing him in his wheelchair! He was able to stay for all 3 hours! This was the first time he was able to come in a LONG time!! It's been a year or so.  Al wants to be baptized but doesn't want to commit to a date yet since he's uneasy about his health, but it is slowly progressing and he sees the Lord's hand in his life.

--Kyle brought his friend Alex to church yesterday and Alex brought his friend.

--Our Bishop is easing up to us more. Since we've been focusing on this list of unknowns in the ward that he gave us and as we also touched on the miracles happening in the mission as "November is our time to remember", he's seen great success come from when Sister Scott was here, the Moores, Sister Jones and I being here that he's never seen before. Sister Orgill approached us yesterday, saying she signed up for their family to feed us, the Moore's and the Chinese Elders at the end of this month since I'll be leaving shortly after. It's incredible.

Great blessings are taking place. November is most certainly a time to remember. We could not do any of this without the Lord's guidance. This is not our work. Although we press through difficult times with diligence and patience, our efforts would not lead to anything without Him. 

A couple scriptures I would like to share are D&C 84:88 and Alma 36:22-25. I may have shared this before, but it has been on my mind this week. "And whoso receiveth you, there I will be also, for I will go before your face. I will be on your right hand and on your left, and my Spirit shall be in your hearts, and mine angels round about you, to bear you up." 

This is a beautiful reminder of the angels that attend to us to give added strength and support when we feel we cannot do it on our own. Whether it be during illness, emotional struggles, loss, grief or heartache, I know that His angels do bear us up, as they are round about. 

I also feel that Alma's words here describe how I often feel as a full-time servant of the Lord. 

Alma 36:23 But behold, my limbs did receive their strength again, and I stood upon my feet, and did manifest unto the people that I had been born of God.
24 Yea, and from that time even until now, I have labored without ceasing, that I might bring souls unto repentance; that I might bring them to taste of the exceeding joy of which I did taste; that they might also be born of God, and be filled with the Holy Ghost.
25 Yea, and now behold... the Lord doth give me exceedingly great joy in the fruit of my labors; 
26 For because of the word which he has imparted unto me, behold, many have been born of God, and have tasted as I have tasted, and have seen eye to eye as I have seen; therefore they do know of these things of which I have spoken, as I do know; and the knowledge which I have is of God."

There is great joy that comes through this work as we see hearts turn and lives change, as we help bring souls closer to Him.

Sister Roy

Monday, November 3, 2014


November 3, 2014

"Why do we need to call Noah?"-Elder Kerr to Elder Tait at our Zone Meeting
"Because there is a flood coming!!" replied Elder Tait
"That's RIGHT!" said Elder Kerr as he chucked the piece of chalk in his hand across the room.
TOO funny! I'll explain this more later in here :)
The Massachusetts Boston Mission is sprinting head on. There are some neat changes and additions that are taking place. A few to list off:

-The Digital Mission here is on fire. There are 64 different people in more than 30 different countries that were taught Skype lessons in the last month. We were also recently told that there was a Sister (Sister Layton who I shared I went on exchanges with a while back) who is an online extender who found someone in Uganda online and passed him to Elders Tait and Graff, who taught him online, committed him to baptism and helped him find the Church meetinghouse. He went to Church, found the missionaries in serving in his home ward in Uganda and got baptized yesterday. Two other digital investigators went to Church yesterday and should have baptismal dates soon.  There is also another individual who was originally referred from Real Life Answers, has been taught by the Chinese Sisters and by Elder and Sister Foote, who have all done a wonderful job. She will be baptized later this month.

-During our mission-wide WebEx on Tuesday, President Packard shared that we will now be studying the Book of Mormon "knot" chapters on the Atonement together. (He explains that learning and understanding the Atonement is like climbing a rope, and there are certain chapters in the Book of Mormon that give us a place to hold onto while climbing this rope.)

-Also, the amount of baptisms in the mission has soared beyond from where it used to be when the Packard's arrived here.

As an update on Tina...Sister Jones and I planned a great lesson for her earlier this week. We were scheduled to have a lesson at the Nordquist's after all enjoying dinner together. (They even had us over the previous night on Monday as it was the original plan but Tina had to reschedule.) However, when we arrived at the Nordquist's, Tina wasn't there. We called, texted, called again...her phone was off. We were all very disappointed, but luckily the Nordquist's both served missions so they fully understood. They were very supportive and we greatly look up to them. They have actually known each other growing up and went to Jordan High School back in Sandy, remaining as friends, and then helped and encouraged each other through their missions. They are one of the outstanding couples here in the ward as they sure help out a lot!

The highlight of this week was our Mission Meeting on Thursday. We had the sweet privilege to be taught by Elder Larry R. Lawrence and his sweet, very intelligent wife. They traveled from Salt Lake City to be with us. Since Elder Lawrence is in the Seventy, they travel once a year to a mission. We as a mission prepared for that day, making sure we showed appropriate etiquette and respect, were exactly obedience and spiritually ready. We stood when Elder and Sister Lawrence entered the chapel, followed by the Packard's. They asked us to tell them our name and where we are from, looking us each in the eyes as Elder Hallstrom and Elder Holland did. I'll tell ya, Elder Lawrence sure carried a sharp gaze as he was interviewing us. 
When we all sat down, Sister Lawrence gave a long (2 1/2 hour) very insightful lesson on why Jesus Christ is called the Holy one of Israel and how the need for a gathering of Israel came to be. Much was shared including the history beginning with how we were called and elected in the pre-mortal life, how we are "under the covenant as we promised to gather Israel before we were born." She spoke on how the Savior is gathering His descendants, what Abraham promised God and what God promised in return, leading to why the Abrahamic Covenant is important. We were flooded with knowledge! Overall, we learned why the gathering of Israel is vital in preparation for the Savior's return.

After the presentation, Elder Lawrence held a "Therefore, what?" discussion on what we could take away from it all. Following his remarks, President and Sister Packard spoke together on how the mission is doing and what it can become. The key point was "The Lord has all in store for us, much more than we can imagine. All we need is the faith." President and Sister Packard recently returned from a 4-day trip to Palmyra, where they were taught by Elder Holland in the Sacred Grove. (Nbd...) When they were there, the Packard's, in their hearts, pondered and prayed about what the mission needed. As President Packard often envisions what miracles can happen and then goes to work, the Lord opened his eyes to what is in store for us, as "The Lord is waiting on us; we're not waiting on Him." They emphasized how "November is our time." During this time of pondering in the Sacred Grove, he knew we could reach our goal of baptisms we had never quite yet reached.
At this moment in the Mission Meeting, as President Packard explained all of this, he had all the missionaries who attended the Missionary Leadership Council meeting stand up and go behind the podium where the Packard's remained. It was quite the sight. They shared their experience in MLC as they all were revealed the Lord's will for the mission--to have at least 70 of the baptism dates which were set (there are as of now 110 baptism dates for November.) The Packard's shared the 10 action items that needed to be accomplished for this to happen, requiring full consecration of each missionary, a personal sacrifice, prayers for it from every angle at every opportunity, a mission prayer roll for these names every week, and more. Right then we were all in. We are committed. The spirit of hope, unity, and power felt was indescribable.
Elder Lawrence concluded, sharing how he has been blown away by the Massachusetts Boston Mission. After his remarks on exercising faith and providing the steps on how we can do so, he gave us the chance to stand if we chose to share our thoughts on all that was taking place. The spirit felt was miraculous, and once again breath taking.

We held a follow-up Zone meeting to talk about our goals set with Elder Lawrence. We set the goal as a Zone to sacrifice poor/slang language as missionaries (i.e. instead of calling a missionary just by their last name, include "Elder" or "Sister"). Our Zone Leaders and Sister Training Leaders came up with the title for our Zone's efforts to give our all this month. The title...the CALL NOAH campaign. As Elders Kerr and Tait solidified at that meeting...there's about to be a flood!!

Following the meeting, since it was Halloween, we all had fun as a Zone. Fact: when you ask the Lord to provide hilarious moments and to recognize them when you are in need of a good laugh or haven't truly laughed in a while...He will answer your request. So, on a less serious note, I don't even know how I could describe just how funny Friday (Halloween) was. Sister Moore planned a party where she coordinated who brought which "creepy" treats for a lunch, followed by "Minute to Win It" Games. After that, Elder Espinola, as we were cleaning up, took the plastic table cloth and wrapped it around his head, still wearing his party favor fake moustache. As a few of us still had ours as well, we took turns as others placed nearby objects in our arms to be part of the picture. We were dying of laughter! (I even woke up the next day SORE from laughing so hard.) Later that night, right as Sister Jones and I arrived home early for curfew, the Trick-Or-Treaters came. That's why we decided to share the gospel with "every dispensation" as we handed out snacks and candy we've been desperate to get rid of along with pass along cards. For the reminder of the night, we wore our costumes. The end. That was our Halloween for you.
The week concluded with an incredible Stake Conference with Elder and Sister Lawrence. Saturday's Adult session was focused on Hastening the Work of Salvation. On Sunday, there were talks given on faith, having the spirit with us as families, and building faith. Sister Packard spoke on finding opportunities to share the gospel, and President Packard laid down the law on the importance of members coming with us--every member in the ward coming with us at least once a month to do the Lord's work. Sister Lawrence's turn came, during which she spoke on 10 ways to model and direct our families to the temple. 
Elder Lawrence's talk was phenomenal. He started with the quote from the Sound of Music "When the Lord closes a door, somewhere, He opens a window." Elder Lawrence focused on how the principle of compensation is a basic gospel truth. The Lord always remembers the sacrifices we put in, as he pours blessings from heaven in His timing. A few quotes I jotted down were "Sacrifice brings forth the blessings of Heaven; God remembers our sacrifices. As we approach challenges with faith we can overcome them. Setbacks in the kingdom are always compensated. Our trials will make life better, and not bitter."
There's a lot of sacrifice being put forth by every missionary here in the MBM. We are giving up what may be holding us down on the altar of God. There are challenges that come and the work is not easy, but no matter what we face, this principle of compensation is applicable no matter the circumstance. As we give our all in the best ways we can with all our heart, the Lord sees and remembers our efforts. The blessings come forth and great light is revealed in His timing. There is a great spirit of devotion and unity...a spirit of ZION that is happening here. I am grateful to be a part of it.
I know the Lord will continue to compensate for all of the challenges and struggles you face or have faced. Family, I can already see it unraveling for each of us in His ways. It still requires a lot of faith on our part as we continue on, but beauty in the Lord's timing and ways lie ahead.
I love you all. I wish you the best. :)
-Sister Roy


P.S. a great tender mercy happened this morning I knew I needed to share. As I was packing up the extra medications to send home soon, I opened the paper bag of 7-8 bottles or so of my Zenpep digestive Enzymes. Usually these pills are stored in heavy glass bottles, which is why this was one of the medications I was most nervous to send home because the cost would add up!! When I opened the paper bag this morning I picked up from Walgreens a couple days ago and took out the boxes of enzyme bottles, I realized it looked a little different and felt lighter. For the first time...all of the bottles were no longer stored in heavy glass bottles...but all in much lighter plastic bottles produced right by the manufacturer. It may not seem that big of a deal, but this was such a huge, sweet tender mercy from the Lord. He was aware of my concern, as He showed He cares and is there. :)

Monday, October 27, 2014

Andrea's Baptism!

It's a great time to be serving in Cambridge. :)

First of all, all I can say of the highlights of my mission took place this week. :)

After being introduced to the church by her friend, thirty-three years of signs and "coincidental" events followed suit for Andrea, reminding her of what she knew deep in her heart is true. After all these years, she found the courage within herself to refer herself to Sister Jones and I. She was ready for change, ready for her whole devotion to the Lord's will for her, with innumerable blessings following suit.
Andrea's Baptism!  (me, Andrea, Sister Jones)
After all the lessons, immediate changes, and much anticipation, Andrea's baptism date finally arrived! It was an absolutely remarkable day. Honestly, I don't know how to better describe the day other than there was pure joy felt all around. We could all feel her excitement, with nerves and all, as she couldn't stop beaming. As I observed her while I gave the baptism talk from the pulpit, I couldn't help but feel closer to Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ as I felt their immense love for her. When Andrea entered the waters of baptism, her fears departed, as she was at ease. Good cousin Elder Calvert was still able to attend to baptize her, even though he's now one of the Assistants for President Packard. Before the ordinance, he quietly whispered the instructions to her, giving her assurance. The ordinance was completed the first try, following Andrea's "Thumbs up" :) She continued to shine the rest of the day. Her joy was contagious. She is on her way to receive continued blessings, feeling the joy that comes through living Jesus Christ's gospel. Andrea's story and example has changed my life forever. I am grateful to have been a part in this exciting time of her life. :)

Elders McJanet and Calvert after Andrea's baptism

Elder and Sister Moore, Andrea, Sister Jones, and Sister Roy

We were going to meet with Tina tonight to continue on with the lessons, but unfortunately she had to reschedule. She is still so excited to meet and emphasized how she wants to see us later this week. We are in the process of figuring out a time to meet with her, most likely with the member who came with us last time, so that a member can be present to help her feel more welcomed in. We also had the sweet opportunity to have a brief lesson with Kyle (his wife is STILL pregnant!!!) Kyle bore witness of how much happier he is with the gospel in his life--how he is changed and turned from his wrong doings in the past. He just wishes everybody could feel how he does now that he has more direction and meaning in his life. His peers are surprised with how he has changed and never going back to his past mistakes. He now understands how much his Redeemer has done for him, enabling him to be forgiven and to become new. We are seeking ways to help support his family at this time of change with the baby coming soon--hopefully very soon--so we haven't been able to meet with him much lately but he is doing well. 

We and the Moore's were also able to meet with Al once again at the physical rehab clinic. We are hoping he doesn't have to stay much longer since he hasn't been treated fairly by the nurses and his health is improving. We kept our visit short as we caught up. We asked him if he prayed about being baptized, which he unfortunately did not as he wants to be more stable first. While praying about him that morning, we prayed about what we needed to do for him. Our answer came to be that we needed to show him how much he was cared for and to sing "I know that My Redeemer Lives" to him. I am truly grateful for the powerful spirit that can come through music, as it can uplift and heal spiritual and emotional wounds. 
Each day as a servant of the Lord, I'm continually learning of the great importance to rely on Him and His will. There is great power that comes as we seek His help through the thoughts poured from our heart and the questions, ambitions, and hopes that we yearn for while on our knees. As we turn our will to His, He uplifts, strengthens, and enables us to do what we cannot do on our own. Often times we move forward in faith, unsure of where He is guiding us. Yet as we look back, we can see how He was carrying us all along. He is always there. 

"Yea, blessed is this people who are willing to bear my name; for in my name shall they be called; and they are mine...For it is I that taketh upon me the sins of the world; for it is I that hath created them; and it is I that granteth unto him that believeth unto the end a place at my right hand. For behold, in my name are they called; and if they know me they shall come forth, and shall have a place eternally at my right hand." Mosiah 26: 18, 23-24)
Hope you all have a great week!

-Sister Roy

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Final Transfer! (Almost)

Hey Everyone!

Tomorrow are transfers. I'm staying in Cambridge, but is this already going to be the last one?...


Happy Birthday Mom! I know I already wished you Happy Birthday but here is another shout out for you.

Here are a few things I learned & was reminded this week:

- How to break open a lobster with its shell on. First, you wrap in in a paper towel. Next, you flick/hammer it with a spoon. Crack, then snap the shell off. Done.

-The weather here is very bizarre--warm some days, freezing the next, then repeat.

-How playing games with kids (thank goodness to Elder Moore for some ideas) to help them organize works miracles.

-How when you rely solely on faith in Jesus Christ, it frees you from doubt or worry.

-When you share the Book of Mormon through conviction and heartfelt testimony for it, people will feel of its truth, as it could increase their desire to read it.

We had some miracles happen this week. One of the greatest miracles was when we were able to get into a less-active's home named Nayanka that us and the leaders have tried to for months. Last weekend, Nayanka's brother and his wife came into town, so they set up a dinner for us at their house! Their family is from Guinea Bissau, close by Cape Verde. We had quite the fun ethnic experience, which I have MISSED! (We were exposed to a lot of cultures back in Waltham as well as with Yuri's family back in Plymouth.) When we arrived on Tuesday night, there were kids running around everywhere, the apartment was filled with the enticing smell of Cape Verdian cooking, and Portuguese Creole was being spoken off and on. Once Nayanka and her brother arrived with their friend Wayne, we all joined in for a carefree dinner. Paper plates were put out and a prayer was offered. Afterwards, we were free to scoop out as much food as we wanted from two HUGE pots that took up the whole stove--one full of a creamy sauce with chicken, sausage, kale, yuca, veggies...the other with corn on the cob and an assortment of seafood--clams, large shrimp and lobsters with their shells still was a feast (but don't worry, I didn't have too much!) Here at the table, I learned how to break a lobster open, as there was some hammering action going on with metal spoons. After dinner, we settled in the living room for the lesson Sister Jones and I prepared on Elder Ballard's talk "Stay in the Boat and Hold On!" We all joined in discussion and the spirit was powerful, as it allowed Sister Jones and I to boldly testify of the truths Elder Ballard brought up. After all of this, we have a return appointment with them tomorrow and are hoping to help them feel comfortable coming back to church.

Since Sister Jones and I have been working as hard as we can to have a stronger Zion built between us and that we are trying to improve in ways we serve and work, miracles have been coming up. For instance, on Wednesday night as we were heading to a member visit, we had an incredible conversation with a lady named Tina on the bus. It ended up being a long conversation as she had so many questions she asked us. She was so engaged, and we ended up going waaay past our stop so we got her contact info. From that point we kept in contact, answering questions she had. She, in one day, already began reading the Book of Mormon we gave to her, as she felt the spirit when we bore witness of the truth it holds. She also noticed how many of the principles we had were the same Christian principles she believed. We set up a time to go to her home for last night with a member, where we solidified how what we would teach would answer her many questions. It did take some directions as her questions led to us covering a little bit about temples, tithing, families...pretty much the whole shabang as we desperately tried to keep it on topic, but all in all we taught the Restoration! While we taught, every now and then, she couldn't help but quietly say "Wow," in awe. She agreed to pray to know if it is all true. We are keeping her in our prayers and hope for the best! 
Andrea's baptism this Sunday is also coming up quickly! We had another Doctrine and Covenants scripture study with her when she got off of work. It's been incredible to see Andrea change. She now holds herself up with confidence, as she knows who she is as a daughter of God. She sprints with faith, not looking back. I greatly needed to be reminded of her example that night, as a few nerves were kicking in about changes that may come up in just over a month. She has led the example to "Come to the edge, allow Him to push, and fly." She relies on her faith in the Savior as she is committed to keep going; she is never going back to her old ways in which she has improved. This decision she has made to change her life and ways in a whim, as she turns them to the Lord, shows her confidence and reliance in Him. It allows me to see how many blessings can be poured by continuing in faith and reliance in our Heavenly Father and Savior Jesus Christ. Even when we feel uncertain what will happen, they are guiding and directing our path as we continue on according to their will.
The rest of this week was good, as we helped clean Evie's apartment for her baby that is due this week. We helped her daughter Odessa put her toys away, helped Evie rid old items, swept, mopped, and much was a lot and Sister Jones and I were sure exhausted by the end but we were glad to help Evie prepare when she can't do much at this point! We also visited Al, who is going to pray if being baptized is right for him at this time. We had an awesome correlation with not only Julio and our Ward Missionaries, but also with our Elders Quorum and Relief Society Presidents and our Ward clerk. It was a great meeting as it focused on the individuals we are working with. 
I hope you are all doing well. Continue to seek the Lord's help and guidance in every aspect in your lives, as that is what I'm trying to remind myself to do that as well. When we were studying D&C 6 with Andrea, which I discovered has to be one of my favorite sections, I loved just about every verse, but here were a couple that I would like to share...

D&C6: 20 “Behold, thou art ______, and I have spoken unto thee because of thy desires; therefore treasure up these words in thy heart. Be faithful and diligent in keeping the commandments of God, and I will encircle thee in the arms of my love.
 21 “Behold, I am Jesus Christ, the Son of God. I am the same that came unto mine own, and mine own received me not. I am the light which shineth in darkness, and the darkness comprehendeth it not."
Our Savior is our light as we can look unto Him with faith and hope, relying on his saving and merciful grace.”

With love,
Sister Roy