Monday, March 17, 2014

The Power of Deliverance

Hi everyone!

To start off, there is a scripture that perfectly fits for this week. In fact, it was on the cover of Joe's baptism program on Saturday, as it is his favorite scripture…

1 Nephi 1:20 reads "But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom He hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance."

I'll tell more about how this scripture fit this week, so keep that in mind for now...

This week was eventful. First, I have to share some of the most downright funny experiences from this week. In fact, Sister Nielson and I are already laughing right now thinking about it, so I'll try to get through it and explain them as best as I can. :)

On Wednesday night, Sister Nielson and I went with our Branch Mission leader and one of our recent converts Dave for his first time to do baptisms at the temple. However, in order to go, we needed an adult female chaperone to come with us since we'd be with two men. Before we knew it, we arrived at a family's home to pick up Caitlyn to be our chaperone. She's 32 and has Downs Syndrome, and is by far bold and hilarious.

For example, in the car on the way to pick up Dave..."Yes! I know Dave! I just need to get his number!" As soon as we picked him up (6'6"-ish Dave in his 60s or 70s) she was dead silent, but later on asked if he has any sons...

The temple trip was very memorable. Sister Nielson and I just did confirmations, as well as helped Caitlyn out. First of all, we were not sure what was going to happen because last time Sister Nielson went with her, as soon as the baptism was finished, she started swimming in the water! Never have I heard of anyone doing that! This time, she did not want someone she did not know to baptize her, but then she said, "Fine, I'll give you a try" to the man who was going to do the baptism.

After the Priesthood holder instructed her how to bend her knees to help her (and she's done baptisms many times before), he began doing the proxy. As he was reciting the words, there went Caitlyn, slowly bending her knees and leaning back. She was trying to baptize herself! He would gently use his hands to bring her back up. This happened several times as mine and Sister Nielson's faces turned bright red as we held in laughter. We had to step out for a moment to contain ourselves. We felt bad afterwards, but we all enjoyed Caitlyn's company. After she was baptized for a few names, she exclaimed, "Let's do that again!" As soon as Dave went, we met in the chapel, where Caitlyn began singing, and then a lady joined in with her, and soon enough we were all joined in as Caitlyn led us. The spirit was very strong at that time.

On Saturday, I prayed that the Lord would open up funny experiences that we would notice. On Saturday night, we visited a lady who doesn't go to church very often. As I got to know her, she reminded me exactly of a couple I knew from the Weston 1st ward--they were both from Lima, Peru, spoke the same way, same accent, gestures--everything. When having dinner with her, I mentioned how much she reminded me of this couple I knew from Lima, Peru in my last area. I told her their last name, and asked if she knew them by any chance. She asked where they lived, then how many kids they had.  As soon as I mentioned their one son studies at Harvard, the Sister exclaimed, "You're talking about my ex-husband!"

Silence. Dead silence. Jaws hanging. Oh man...I believe Sister Nielson slapped her hand to her mouth as I was sitting there, honestly not knowing what to say. Haha :) The best that I could come up with was, "Well, we don't have to talk about it if it makes you uncomfortable."

Goodness, can you believe that happened?! Haha! :)

To be honest, I know the Lord knew he could provide these experiences, along with many others, for me to get a good laugh this week. After Sister Packard's message on Tuesday that Grandma was dying, then getting permission to call you, Mom, then struggling to say my last goodbyes to Grandma over the phone, I had to accept all that was taking place. At first I felt torn, but I was so thankful to be able to thank her for everything. Her support, her cards and letters sent, her acts of sacrifice, spunk, drive, humor, encouragement, faithfulness, determination, perseverance, and love have helped me become who I am today. I see a lot of her in myself, and I still look up to all that she ever has been and still is, as she will always be one of my eternal best friends and someone I hope to become more like. I know she was facing a lot of pain and suffering, so it was not fair for her to go through that any longer. I know that she, her sisters, and Grandpa must have had a joyous reunion in Paradise. :)

A large tender mercy took place the following morning. The lesson we taught our investigator Grace the morning after Grandma passed in the middle of the night was about what happens to us after we die, what Paradise is like, and how angels continue to spread the gospel, including How angels speak by the power of the Holy Ghost (2 Nephi 31:3). She had been waiting for this lesson since she was very close to her grandpa who passed away a while ago, but it most certainly was what I needed as well at the time. We taught about and discussed the peace and comfort the Plan of Salvation/Happiness brings and allows us to gain eternal perspective, and how we are all striving to live as eternal families in the Celestial Kingdom. It was most certainly the perfect lesson for that morning, and I've never taught the Plan of Salvation focusing that much on angels before. 

Joe's Baptism
On Saturday, I had the sweet opportunity to attend the baptism for Joe, who Sister Patterson and I helped teach, out in Weston. There was a family from this Branch that was heading to Boston, so they were kind enough to offer a ride to get us there. There was also a family from Weston 1st who had friends in Plymouth, so they offered to bring us back. When Sister Nielson and I arrived at the Weston chapel, I couldn't help but feel every ounce of giddiness and joy! When we came in, we were greeted by our previous companions--our dear Sister Patterson and Sister Slater! We saw more ward members come in who I have missed as well. I was so happy for Joe and his family and could once again feel their pure, meek, loving spirit fill the room.

I wasn't sure if I would share this experience as I hardly ever share them to many people, but I feel that it's alright this time. At Joe's baptism, as we all sang I am a Child of God, about halfway through the song, I could feel Grandma's presence right next to me. It was unexpected, and when I looked at my watch as it read 2:10 pm (12:10 pm Utah time) I realized her funeral had either just ended or she may have left it to spend this moment together. At that point, I lost it and the tears came.

I felt her stay when Sister Patterson spoke on Baptism, as I remember her having great respect for Sister Patterson, and she admired her words. She stood beside me as Joe entered the baptism waters and was immersed, and then walked beside me as we all left the room. I am not sure how much longer she stayed afterwards, but I could feel her rejoicing with me at that very moment. I couldn't believe she may have left her very own funeral to join me at this moment. I fought tears the entire time (haha poor Grandma) but I could feel she wanted me to know she was there, and wanted to see someone I taught and celebrate this moment together. It was a very sacred and special experience I will never forget.

The remainder of the baptism was incredible. Joe's wife sang a couple of beautiful solos with one of their daughters. As Joe was welcomed into the ward, I could see how much support he had--even his new home teachers sat by him. He was also confirmed right then and there since his work schedule does not allow him to attend church many Sundays.

I'll now go back to Nephi's words..."But behold, I Nephi, will show unto you that the tender mercies of the Lord are over all those whom He hath chosen, because of their faith, to make them mighty even unto the power of deliverance." This week, the Lord has most certainly delivered me from some sorrow carried, as He's graciously shown a few tender mercies through humor, love, and feeling my grandma near.

There's been a remaining feeling of peace that's stayed with me. It took some courage to keep going at first, but I know it's what she and the Lord would want me to do. The work here is going well and we have another busy week lined up. I know I've said this countless times but I truly am grateful to be here to spread the knowledge and fullness of Christ's everlasting gospel. I'm grateful to have the Book of Mormon to turn to and learn from and to have a living prophet, Thomas S. Monson, here on the earth to guide us. I'm thankful to know how families can be together for all eternity and for the joy that comes through this entire wonderful gospel.

Keep your head held high and remember who you are. Continue to count your blessings and know how much you are loved.

With love,
Sister Roy

Monday, March 10, 2014

His Work is Ever Hastening

Hey everyone!

March Madness is on fire! Sister Nielson and I set more specific goals the other day for ways we can work more fully with each auxiliary of the branch, and starting with the basics of having auxiliary interviews to see how we can help fulfill each presidency's vision, how we can involve the youth, and more. Our Branch mission leader is also working on a Facebook group for our branch that is focused in on how to hasten the work here. Our sacrament meeting attendance was higher than before yesterday, too.

The Lord is definitely hastening his work. In fact, President Packard said this month has been "March Madness" for the mission, as numbers are higher than they've ever been before in this mission, and continue to grow. I feel so privileged to be part of this mission to work with some of the most hard-working missionaries as we feel more moved to give our all and do our best. :)

Sister Nielson and I are still teaching Beth and Amy. Their baptism day was actually scheduled for yesterday, but there were scheduling conflicts with their fellow shippers, so we sure tried but unfortunately it didn't work out. However, Beth and Amy prayed about it more and April 13th came to mind and they felt very good about it, so we are supporting their decision. :) They are actually moving into our area soon so it will be after their move when everything has calmed down for them. They are truly amazing, as their faith and testimonies are continually growing. At one recent lesson with Beth, I complimented Beth on her testimony that she shared with Amy in the lesson. She responded, "Oh! I guess I do have a testimony!" It's been neat to watch them progress. :)

This week we had a great lesson with them on Faith in Jesus Christ and Repentance. The member who came (and she didn't know them too well) was so gracious enough to offer to buy Amy a vanilla milkshake nearby before we began the lesson since she was having a rough day. They were all able to connect through similar experiences throughout the lesson, too. I seriously love the members here and see how there's that importance of having them help those we teach. :)

This week we also had a great exchange for a day with our Sister Training Leaders, Sister Blair (who I was in the MTC with and am fully convinced will someday become the Relief Society General President or the prophet's wife), and Sister Layton. I had the sweet privilege to serve with Sister Layton! She's always uplifting and is honestly pure sunshine, and I was able to learn a lot from her that day. We brought a member with us to teach Shawn and Raina, who began coming to church, and it went very well. It was mainly a "how to begin teaching" lesson, and we were able to answer a lot of questions that they, (and Shawn's mom who was there as well) ended up having. Shawn actually had to leave for Tennessee for work and they didn't say when he would be back--anywhere from a few days to a few weeks, but we will continue teaching him when he returns.

After our appointment, we headed over to a referral's place. However, we realized we didn't know where we were. Before we knew it, the road we were on overlooked the large outstretched ocean extending from the shoreline. 

It was a beautiful day, and we drove along the road, passing coastal shops and found a parking spot. We noticed a large ship to mimic the Mayflower right by the coast, 

a few statues,

Immigrant Statue
and a monument in front of us, which we realized was, from what we understood, a burial spot for some of the Pilgrims. It was crazy! 

The Pilgrim Gravestone

After we visited our referral (who wasn't home), we had a lady take our picture (she turned down our invite to learn more about the church but was still nice), and then pointed down to a set of columns down a flight of steps, saying that Plymouth rock was right there! Haha we felt oblivious. :) Just picture 2 girls from Utah looking all over, wide-eyed, repeatedly exclaiming, "This is so cool!" Since Sister Layton was there for just that day, we decided to quickly head down and look at it. 
Surely enough it looked like a normal rock haha.  Who knows if it really was Plymouth rock, but it was neat to see it. 

Plymouth Rock

Rock on!!!  Get it?  ;)
Sister Layton and I felt so blessed to be there at that time, as it was a tender mercy for both of us, and especially for her since it could be one of her only times there. It's really so cool to be here in Plymouth. :) Sister Nielson and I headed to the same area again today to get a better look at it. I'm looking forward to this weather warming up so we can see more here on Mondays!

Anywho, the work is doing very well here. We continued teaching another new investigator last night and are still seeking ways to hasten the Lord's work here. It's great! We have an almost-packed week planned for this week and are still filling it up.

I was recently reading a talk from the last General Conference called "Drawing Closer to God" and there were a couple of quotes that stood out. The first relates to the the neat experience that I shared with a few that I am working on. Although I don't know all the answers of what to do, it most certainly is allowing me to rely on Him. 

"Rather than solve the problem Himself, the Lord wants us to develop the faith that will help us rely upon.Him in solving our problems and trust Him. Then we can feel His love more constantly, more powerfully, more clearly, and more personally. We become united with Him, and we can become like Him. For us to be like Him is His goal. In fact, it is His glory as well as His work." – Elder Terence M. Vinson (LDS General Conference Nov 2013)

And as I've been seeking ways to improve how I teach, invite, and abide by the Lord's will, I thought this quote was absolutely perfect:

"That’s exactly how I feel about the Savior. He is always near, especially in sacred places and in 
times of need; and sometimes, when I least expect, I feel almost like He taps me on the shoulder to let me know He loves me. I can return that love in my own imperfect way by giving Him my heart."

As we give him all of our Heart, we will feel Him near as we continue to do His work here on the Earth in the ways that we can.

I love you all! 

-Sister Roy

P.S. Here are some pictures from the week:

The very first Parrish formed in Plymouth
Turkeys!!!   Right behind our apartment complex.

Plymouth Rock

Monday, March 3, 2014

March Madness

Hey hey everyone!

It's been an awesome week!  We had another Zone Conference last Wednesday, and I wish I could explain how incredible it was! One thing I want to start doing is record some of the talks given, especially those by President Packard. It will happen someday! I flipped through my notes I took this Zone Conference, and even though there may have been some doodles or larger notes for certain pointers or insights to stand out :) 21 pages of my composition notebook were filled from that day.

It all started when President Packard emphasized his love for the Book of Mormon and how much we can get out of it. He actually read it cover to cover every month on his mission, and continually studies from it. He presented a slideshow focusing on Mosiah and his experiences, then he led into King Benjamin's speech--his farewell speech to have the people live under covenant with the new king. He broke his speech into the seven sections and included how scholars have seen the chiasmus pattern for every verse--in which is the literary technique for parallelism is shown as King Benjamin desired to get each central purpose of each message made known. There was a lot more work that he put into his farewell speech than I would have ever known. The main central focus of it all was the sanctification of the Atonement--mainly in Mosiah 3:17-22. As President tied all of his thoughts, discoveries, and powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon, a quote from his testimony that stood out was "The Book of Mormon is not only a source of revelation; it is a source of transformation." There's so much truth to that statement. :)

For the rest of Zone Conference, Sister Packard focused on family history and temple work and how we are here to focus on the conversion process for each person we teach. The rest of Zone Conference focused on our 5 priorities--1. Progressing Investigators 2. Bishop and Ward Leaders 3. Work with members. 4. Participation in meaningful community service 5. Personal contacting. All of the workshops were so good and Sister Nielson and I received greater insight on how we can lift up and build the Plymouth Branch. We honestly couldn't get enough of the information and spiritual nourishment we were fed that day.

 At the end, President Packard asked us all to stand and sing the hymn the Spirit of God--like a fire is burning! Wow. Everyone billowed their voices and at that time, I had a very spiritual experience which moved me to tears, which also made singing the rest of the hymn impossible. After the conference ended, I met one on one with President Packard to share the experience. He sat there quietly, soaking it in. Tears started to well up as he continued to lock his eye contact. Not much more came out than a simple "thank you" as he nodded, then sat in silence for a moment. Although I won't share the experience, I know it was exactly what he needed to help him bear with all on his plate. I'll never forget how even for a moment, we silently sat there in tears over the tender mercy from the Lord.

This area is booming! It's so awesome! The work is picking up--we had a couple that moved from Wyoming show up to church--one came up to Sister Nielson and I yesterday, asking, "What do I need to do to be baptized?" #shocked #excitedbeyondwords #saywhaaa   We are also teaching a mom and her 11 year old daughters named Beth and Amy. We had a beautiful lesson with them earlier last week on the Plan of Salvation. Once we taught a little more of our purpose here in earth, we led into the Atonement.
It took me a while to understand while teaching that they had a hard time understanding the Atonement because they didn't know much about it at all! We began with the very basics of Jesus Christ.
Sister Nielson then went up to the board (we were at the church) and began to write the sufferings He faced. As we gave input and soaked in what was being written, we were moved to tears. Beth and Amy, through the serious hardships and difficulties they've encountered, began to understand how Jesus Christ experienced and suffered for all that they have and still go through. We continued to teach about the crucifixion, and how the resurrection allows us to live with Heavenly Father again. We closed with Alma 7:11-13, and how He knew according to the flesh how to succor--run to, help--his people. He desires us to follow him because He's been there before and doesn't want us to face some of the pains that He felt. It's only through His experiences that He came to know how to run to us. I've never had to teach the Atonement from the very basics before, but I was able to see how gaining the knowledge and sound understanding of it allows doors to open, wounds to be healed, and hearts filled. The lesson took a slight different turn than planned, but the Lord led it into what Beth and Amy needed.

I also feel that I am getting a better idea and feel for this area. I'm constantly having to seek help from the Lord with what each individual's needs are--whether they be for investigators, Branch leaders or members. It can be challenging trying to seek out how to meet their spiritual goals, needs, and how to help them grow in the ways they and the Lord desire, but it is all going well. It' requires patience and time, but at the same time, I know the Lord knows all the details in His plan for this area.

My love for the individuals and families here is growing and connections are developing. For instance, we were meeting with a Sister from this branch who was baptized last year. We were teaching more about enduring to the end as part of the lesson reviews. Once I sat next to her and read one of my favorite scriptures 2 Tim 2:2, she sat silently, then looked at me while saying in a hushed voice, "I am so glad you are in this branch. It's interesting…I feel that I've known you from before." Her response took me by surprise, but it touched my heart. Had we known each other before we came to earth? It's definitely possible. It helped me remember how the Lord's plain contains no coincidences. I hope to be the help the Lord desires me to be in this area. 

Everything else is going well. As for other happenings, here's to post-cold antibiotics, a good follow-up visit at Boston Children's (and a whammy of a bruise from a blood draw),
drilling in dry wall in a home, and heart attacking doors. It's definitely been a good week. :) 

Keep being awesome, and see what you can learn as you further dive into the Book of Mormon and find ways to more deeply apply the Atonement in your life. 

I love you with all my heart. <3

Peace and blessin's
-Sister Roy

Blood draw=whammy of a bruise.  No bueno.
Sister Nielson finds amusement in nails.

Screwing in an extra layer of floorboard in bathroom before tile laid

Monday, February 24, 2014

I Love Plymouth!!!

Hey all!!

To start off, I am loving Plymouth! Last Sunday we had a snowstorm, so we only had Sacrament Meeting, which means that yesterday was my first official Sunday here. I'm still getting used to how there's not as many people, but again we are only 5 people--not priesthood holders--5 people away from becoming a ward! Some families are moving away soon so we are all trying to act on everything quickly! March will be, as I like to call it, "March Missionary Madness" month. It will begin with the Branch joining in for a fast this Sunday to hasten the work of Salvation here, and then there will be workshops, classes, and events revolved around how to pick up the work and spread the gospel here in the Plymouth branch.

Sister Nielson and I seem to have a lot in common, except that she loves the spiciest foods which can make my face turn purple, and she doesn't like ice cream, which I have an addiction for. However, we both have a passion for Chipotle. Just sayin'. Other than that, I am continually learning from her example. She has a strong testimony and desire to give her all. I look up to how much she loves each person here and strives to meet their spiritual needs. We also began doing "appreciations" every night here as well, which brings us closer together. However, here's the thing... we both feel she may be leaving during an upcoming transfer; it's crazy--I feel the Lord is quickening my memory with who the members are here and what their needs are and how to help. Who knows what will happen and all I can do is try my best to take it one step at a time.

Well, speaking of our companionship, Sister Nielson and I came closer as a "Zion companionship" this week. I was getting over my cold and then she started to have a tidious cough with sputum. (I'm good now, so don't worry) but before I knew it, I started to not feel so great myself. After our lesson with one of our investigators about prophets (it went very well), we hurried over to East Coast Grill to meet up for dinner with our Branch President. Holy Smokes, talk about some of the best seafood I've ever had! I've never had lobster mac and cheese before then, but it was divine.

Ha, aside from that tangent, I began to feel more weak to the point where every step required much effort. After dinner we hurried to another lesson, but by that point I couldn't tell if I was fighting a fever or why it was harder to breathe.

So, the next day, we mostly slept--I don't remember ever being that exhausted or dizzy in a while. Over the next couple of days, I slowly started to feel better. Sister Nielson was very understanding and helped out as much as she could. On Saturday, I woke up feeling much better--I even pulled out an Insanity workout and was willing to stop it if it became overwhelming, but I felt fine! It was still very difficult (ha--that's Insanity for ya :) ), but I was able to complete the 40 minute workout. I couldn't help but feel immensely grateful. Since then my lungs haven't felt so tight and I've had much more energy. (Sister Nielson is also feeling much better.)

I hope this story doesn't seem too dramatic, but the reason why I'm sharing it is because over the mission I've discovered how as I may fight a nasty bug every now and then, I can feel the physical power of prayers being sent. Honestly, even Sister Patterson noticed how there seemed to be a physical force around us as a protection against further harm for my health, as there were a lot of sickness going around. Along with my incredible family's prayers, which play one of the largest reasons for this, I don't know who exactly is sending them, but one thing is for sure--the Lord is hearing and answering them. I'm not telling this to plead for prayers--not at all. But the reason I'm telling this is because I am immensely grateful for all of your thoughtfulness and extended love.

Here are a couple more CF-related tender mercies:
-I found out our Branch Mission Leader is a respiratory therapist. Coincidence? Not at all!
-There's a family we ate dinner with last night, and as soon as Sister Nielson said we had to leave to get back for treatment, their 16 year old son asked what it was, so I began to describe how I put on a vest that inflates to shake up gunk in my lungs. He piped up "Do you have Cystic Fibrosis?" It turns out their family has some friends with CF and they go to the walk every year for them.

The work is going well here and our investigators are doing well. We have a busy week ahead with Zone Conference, more lessons, more of helping people move, service opportunities, another CF appointment at Boston Children's (another mini lesson with Brandon?? :) ) and possibly a temple trip with some recent converts. Although we still had some great lessons last week, I'm looking forward to being able to do more this week.
I know the Lord is watching out for each of you. Always know how much he loves you and listens to and will answer your prayers.

Here is one of my all time fav scriptures that stands out right now:
 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my own strength I am weak; therefore, I will not boast of myself, 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 which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12

Love love love you!!
-Sister Roy

Monday, February 17, 2014

First Week in Plymouth!

Plymouth Rock (year 1620 inscribed on it)
Hello hello from Plymouth!!  How are you all doing??

So here are a few things I've observed (so far) about this area:

--It has much more of a small-town feeling than the Weston 1st ward area. It's very different from Waltham! The streets are wider and there's not as many pedestrians, cars honking, and intersections everywhere. There's also far less cultural diversity and most people here seem to be laid back and love to talk.

-It gets very windy here, which make sense since I heard we are five minutes from the coast!

-More people here have heavier "Bastin" accents, which took me by surprise because it's a little further from Boston.

-Most of the tourist locations aren't open until Spring, but I look forward to seeing what's out here once it opens up. :)

My new companion is Sister Nielson, and she is incredible! She is from San Diego, California, and went to school at BYU Idaho. She was a pole-vaulter in high school. I know that in no time I'll probably find myself using her most-used phrase "awkotaco." She is a very hard worker, and also knows when to have fun. 

My new companion Sister Nielson
She has been very understanding of Cystic Fibrosis and the adjustments that are made for it, which is a great relief. :) She has a solid testimony that I am continually learning from, and we are both looking forward to continue working hard in this area.

The branch here also seems wonderful! It's very different from Weston and I'm still adjusting as I greatly miss those in my past area, but I am looking forward to working here. :) Want to know where we meet for church? Yep, we meet at what used to be a Shop and Stop grocery store! 

Before: Shop and Stop.  Now: The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints

Where our Branch meets for Church
Dad, as you pointed out with Branches, they do seem very close. There are all types of personalities and backgrounds, but they seem to have a love for this gospel. I've heard that, and am starting to see, how the work in this area is picking up quickly. Instead of the usual conflict of not having enough priesthood holders to become a ward, they only need 6 more people to join! I don't know how long it will take but I look forward to hearing when it will become a ward!

Hmm I'm trying to think about what happened this week...

It turns out that every Saturday here, the Sister Missionaries join with Habitat for Humanity to build/revamp homes for those in need. So, on Saturday, I was given a hammer and nails and went to work. 

Before I knew it, I was corrected continually on how to correctly use a hammer through proper technique--not something I ever put much thought into before! We nailed floorboards and walls together in an unfinished basement. I look forward to getting to know the whole crew better and it will be neat to learn more how to build a home! Again, it's not something I ever thought I'd do!

To be honest, adjusting here has been a little rough, with culture shock and some starting-off experiences that weren't terrible but not the greatest either. However, during one of my first nights here, the Lord was able to show how he's in control, and is able to fill in the gaps that I cannot fill, as He shows His tender mercies. 

On Friday we taught the family of a man who was baptized a while back, but seems to very much want to come to church again. He came in contact with the church as he asked missionaries to give his mom a blessing in the hospital as she was in a state of passing away soon. After the priesthood blessing, she recovered to be well-enough again. Since then, he's expressed interest in coming. I was actually nervous before the lesson, as we planned to teach him more about the youth program (young women's for his girls), but I knew we had to somehow fit in the Restoration. Once the lesson began, words flowed out as I wasn't sure what I was saying, but I could feel the spirit filling their home. Sister Nielson also bore her strong testimony and personal experiences that brought the spirit as well. I hope that we can continue teaching this awesome family. 

I'm still adjusting to the different culture here, but I know that the Lord has His plan for Plymouth. I so grateful to be part of it and to help serve His children here. 

Well I better go but thanks so much for all that you are and for all that you do. I cannot thank you enough for your strength and support. :)

-Sister Roy

P.S. My cold is slowly going away. Thankfully it hasn't targeted my lungs as much as colds sometimes do

Feeling loved on Valentines Day 

Swapping companions -- from Plymouth to Weston, from Weston to Plymouth

Last time seeing the only Wendy's in Waltham, which happened to be at the end of Bacon Street

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Going To...!!!

Transfer T-Texts Coming In!!!
Hey everyone!!

Here's the news...I'm being transferred to Plymouth, Massachusetts! In fact, in only a few hours because our transfer meeting was re-scheduled from tomorrow to tonight because of another snow storm coming through. I'll tell as much as I can about this week in the short time I have.

Some things I've heard about Plymouth: there's some history that took place there ;) a plantation where they have actors who dress up as Pilgrims and Indians, and a little rock that someone may have claimed was Plymouth Rock haha, and that it's a beautiful area right by the coast. It will be neat though to live where the Pilgrims landed and to see all that's there. As far as I can remember, I've never been part of a branch so that will be neat as well. Also, is it also true that we have ancestors from that area?

I wish I could express in words how thankful I am for all the experiences in the Weston First ward. It's been incredible to see how much this area has is flourishing as the work is picking up. I'm going to miss this area and everyone here and thinking about it wrenches my heart strings, but I'm looking forward to all of the experiences that will take place in Plymouth and to continue bringing others to the knowledge of the gospel that Jesus Christ established on the earth in its complete fullness.

The highlight from this week was Tyler and Emma's baptism on Saturday. It turned out so well, and it truly was a privilege and honor to teach them during most of my time in this area--from starting to finishing the lessons. During the program, Emma was grinning from ear to ear and Tyler carried a light in his eyes. The peaceful, joyful feeling filled the Relief Society room as it was packed with guests, including Jose who sat next to us, as he remembered his baptism.  
Emma and Tyler's Baptism
De-ja Vu for Jose
Sister Patterson and I gave talks on baptism and the Holy Ghost, and the man who baptized their mom years back baptized them as well. The following day (my last Sunday in the ward), we were able to listen to Tyler and Emma's confirmation as we couldn't help but feel grateful for how the Lord guided each step for this moment to take place.

It's been an honor to serve here and to experience all that has taken place and meet each individual here. All of these opportunities and the people here--Sister Gledhill and Sister Patterson, the ward members, investigators, and those coming closer to our loving Heavenly Father have changed my life; it most definitely wouldn't be the same without them.

As a fun note, here are more quotes from the past couple of transfers:
-Sister Patterson's most used phrase "Oh golly!"
-Hearing Sister Patterson across the exercise room at the YMCA exclaim to the person next to her to start a conversation: "This is so much fun!!!"
-At President Interviews, in between interviews during our district's laughing fit from being in a meeting for so long...:
Elder Bordeau (a Haitian missionary) to Elder Bloomfield: "You're turning red like a tomato!"
Elder Bloomfield: "You're turning a burnt krispy!"
-Elder Bordeau's famous phrase "Sir!"
-Sister Little--one of the Employment missionaries: "In the pre-mortal life, girls were taught the eye-roll!"
Sister Patterson: "It's crazy how we are barely able to manage one ward and God is able to manage more worlds. I wonder if each planet is like a ward to Him?"
And then there was Suzanne's voice mail (the lady we visited when the two Seventh-Evangelical missionaries were visiting her as well), as it began with: "Elder Roy! I miss you my dear!"

Here's to more lessons taught and learned, more life-changing experiences, more friendships, more laughs...a little bit more of everything in Plymouth. :)

I'm sorry if this sounds rushed but it's been a great week! I'm fighting off a pretty ugly cold right now as well, so hopefully it will go away soon. Other than that everything's going well.

Love you all so much!
-Sister Roy

Hey here's my new address in Plymouth:
Sister Rachel Roy
207 Samoset St #A6
Plymouth, MA 02360
People can still send mail to the mission office as well but this is my direct one in Plymouth.
Talk to you more on Monday! (Even though it's a holiday---we'll email at the church

Monday, February 3, 2014

7 Months and Still Going--the Best is Yet to Be

Our store. Done and done.


Well we weren't able to tour anywhere else today, but more opportunities will come later.

T-texts are coming on Saturday! Can you believe it? I'll find out if I'm being transferred this time, and I feel that I will be. Weston 1st Ward has been awesome and it will be hard to leave when it comes, but I'm looking forward to what else is out there. It's been incredible to experience and see the rate of progression in this area. Part of our ward mission plan is to have a new ward created in 5 years--that's through less actives coming back, more people joining, and more. I can definitely see it happening if this continues. :)

Sister Patterson and I are still working our tail ends off. I cannot believe how this ward area is flourishing! We've heard members say things like "The missionaries in this area are the most active, hardest working missionaries we've ever seen. If they could get me, out of all people to come out with them, then you should come with them." The Lord is opening a lot of opportunities up and none of this would be possible without Him. It still becomes difficult but it's rewarding. I'm not overdoing myself--still putting my health first and foremost with exercise, getting proper nutrition, full treatments, and more. Although it requires a lot of discipline, I'm truly grateful for having good health.

We are still teaching the young family that lives close to us more. The mom has been less active for 10 years but expressed a large interest to come back. Her husband Joe is not a member, and they have two darling girls. They are so sweet and the spirit was strong during the last lesson I went to (the lesson afterwards, Sister Patterson and I were on exchanges with the Sister Training Leaders so she was at that lesson.) Something really neat happened that morning. During my personal studies to prepare for their lesson on the Book of Mormon and Holy Ghost, a good subtle feeling came that it was time to extend a baptismal date for him. I prayed about it, and confirmed in my prayers to make sure that the answer I received was right. During companionship studies, I told Sister Patterson the impression I had, but that I wouldn't share the date I received as the answer--not until she prayed about it and receive her answer as well, then we would tell each other. Once she prayed about which date would be best, we exchanged answers--both were in fact March 22nd. We are hoping to move it sooner if he can get more Sundays off of work, but it was a neat experience and showed how the Lord has His plan and how we can receive the answers we need through prayer.

The lesson that night flowed so smoothly, and the peaceful feeling seemed to make the world stand still while in their home. There came a point when we asked them if they read the assignment/answered the reading guide questions we provided, and they didn't, but that they were reading the Book of Mormon. Joe already started in 1st Nephi, and tears came into his eyes as he tried to explain how he felt as he began to read--warm, tingly, peaceful--which he never felt with any other book, as he knew right then that it was true. We shared Moroni's promise and broke it down into the increments of action. This sweet family silently soaked in every word with anticipation. We taught more about the Holy Ghost and how it can be our constant companion, but only through baptism by the proper authority. At this point, we asked Joe if he wanted to work towards baptism. He responded 'yes' and we could see how tears welled up in his eyes as there was a light there. His wife was bewildered with what was happening as Sister Patterson and I began to share our experience that morning and receiving the same answer for his baptismal date. He said he would love to. :) The spirit was powerful, and we concluded in testimony, warning how Satan would try to stop and discourage them, as we promised blessings for this sweet, beloved family. Each of us were overwhelmed, holding back tears, as there are no words that serve justice for the pure joy felt that night. It was honestly one of the best, smoothest-flowing, most powerful lessons I've been able to be a part of during my time here so far.

We also finally taught Chloe, the girl out in the town where Pam, Jose, and the two kids being baptized are from. She has been seeking for the truth and gained interest in the gospel through her friend in our ward. The first time we tried to teach her there was a large blizzard so we couldn't make it out there, and the next time we set up, the members' home where we were going to hold the lesson had thier entire basement flooded. However, the workers fixed it in a jiffy so it all worked out. :)  It sounds like the family got permission from her guardian for us to teach her, but we are going to check in with her asap to be courteous and make sure. The first lesson went very well, and another member from this family brought his friend as well, who is the same age as Chloe. Again, we're not sure exactly how far it will progress since we want to check with their guardians before we teach them again, but we could see how they wanted to learn more. We'll keep praying for them and hope for the best. After the lesson, we all had what must have been one of the best laughing fits--I honestly hadn't laughed that much in a while! I even found myself sore the following morning. :)

Those were a couple of the most powerful experiences this week. We are also busy making preparations for the baptism this Saturday, which are coming along well.
Also, I cannot believe that Josh leaves this Wednesday!
In church yesterday, the lesson in Relief Society was based off of Elder Holland's talk "the Best is Yet to Be," in which he talks more about how we can learn from the story of Lot's wife--to not look back, but look ahead as faith points to the future. There's been some things I've been discussing and seeking answers for from the Lord--decisions to make, what to leave behind, and what to know to look for. Here's the link for the full talk, but one part he said that stood out was, "The past is to be learned from but not lived in. We look back to claim the embers from glowing experiences but not the ashes. And when we have learned what we need to learn and have brought with us the best that we have experienced, then we look ahead and remember that faith is always pointed toward the future. Faith always has to do with blessings and truths and events that will yet be efficacious in our lives." as well as a little poem he included:
Grow old along with me!
The best is yet to be,
The last of life, for which the first was made:
Our times are in his hand
Who saith, “A whole I planned,
Youth shows but half; trust God: see all, nor be afraid!
The lesson on this talk was a tender mercy, as it was exactly what I needed to hear and think about. I'm still praying and wondering about what to do about some things, and even wondering what wherever I may go to (if I'm transferred) will entail, but I love the message on how faith is always pointed to the future, no matter what it may be.
I love you all very much and have a great week.
-Sister Roy

After the lesson with the Pinsons

Sister Patterson's Cartoon Drawing of Me