Monday, December 30, 2013

Happy New Year! :)

Hey Everyone!

Sister Patterson and I are staying!

We have no idea how we are the only companionship in our district where both missionaries survived t-texts--each missionary companionship has one person leaving...

Except for our Elders, as Elder Wilhelmsen is going home and Elder Paiva is being transferred. We just found out that the new Elders coming in are the office elders, so they only have 3 hours each day to proselyte.

What does this mean? The Elders' whole teaching pool is being turned over to us.  Oh man. I was overwhelmed with that thought yesterday, especially I may be the "go-to" for each individual since I've been here since July. I'm feeling better about it now but it was a surprise we did not see coming! I sure thought I would be transferred closer to Boston but, as Remi said in the movie Ratatouille, "The most predictable thing in life is unpredictability."

I'm excited for all the new changes as the Missionaries in our District are going to other great areas. Sister Patterson have our Zion-like companionship, and we are ready to continue putting in full effort. In fact, although the idea of numbers may not matter so much, Elder Wilhelmsen told us last night that the number of Investigators (not all progressing, but at least they have exposure to the gospel) for the Weston 1st Sisters increased from 1 in August, 3 in September, 4 in October, 4 in November, and 9 in December. We must somehow be doing something right with the Lord's help for work.

I'll have been here over 7 months in this area. We will see what happens...

Besides that...

Dearest family, I sure enjoyed Skyping you all on Christmas. :) It felt so fulfilling and every minute of it was perfect. I hope the rest of your Christmas ended up being the best. I am glad that you are all doing well. Mom, I am glad you were feeling well on Christmas but am sorry you got sick after. I am also still keeping Grandma in my prayers. Sometimes I worry about her. She reminds me a lot of myself, including how I often push and keep going even when I know I should slow down, sometimes even to take my mind off of other things going on. She is definitely one trooper. 

There were some more memorable moments from this week.

Since Elder Wilhelmsen is our District Leader and is leaving soon, he put together a different set up for role-plays at the end of last week's District Meeting. He had us all sit in a circle, and placed a "charity chair" at the front of the circle. We each took turns to sit in the chair, and each person had to say what the positive qualities they observed in that person, without repeating what others said, with their companion going last. It was a special and very memorable experience, as there were some tears and the spirit was definitely there. At the end, he invited us to be charitable with those we teach and come in contact with by sharing the qualities we admire in them and how much potential we see in them. 

We also saw taught the first lesson to lady who came to church by herself. She is such a sweetheart and still wants to learn more, as she says it all makes sense. She has been searching for a church that feels completely right, as there were some religious practices she observed while growing up that she did not agree with. She came to church once again yesterday, and loved every minute of it. She asked us sincere questions that we were glad we could answer. I am very touched to see her progression and her desire to learn more of the gospel.

Right after her lesson this weekend, we hurried over to another lesson with someone we met at the Library (you know that's where it's at. :) ) We began to teach part of the first lesson, as we taught about God is our loving Heavenly Father, how the gospel blesses our families, and the importance of prophets, as well as Christ's earthly ministry and Atonement. I can see how he needs to truly know he is a son of our Heavenly Father, and we are also working on helping him learn more about our Savior and the importance of the Atonement. We asked him if he prays, but he says that he doesn't because he does not know how. So right there in that study room, we taught him step by step how we pray to our Heavenly Father, and asked him to pray more often, including that night. We followed up yesterday with how his prayers are going and received the absolute sweetest response from him...

I did pray last night for the first time.
I did talked to God
I'm sure his spirit was with me
Thanks to you all for your shining light in me.

Sister Patterson and I were very touched. Helping others come to know their Father in Heaven step by step is a one-of-a-kind experience. I am glad that we will be in this area to continue to see these people progress as we come to witness their conversion process.

Anywho, since there's really not much more that happened than those few experiences, I decided to take a different turn for this letter.

Do you ever wonder what happens "Behind the scenes"?

Memorable quotes from the past few transfers...

When Sister Bingham, Sister Patterson's previous companion, was telling me things I should know about her right before we became companions back in October...

Sister Bingham, as she was carrying some tissue boxes into our car: "Now, she uses a lot of tissues, so make sure she keeps them on her."
Me, when I was a little worried, thinking she probably got sick a lot..."Well, I usually keep a lot on hand too, since I have to cough up mucus. That keeps us on a similar page." 
It turns out she doesn't get that sick and needs them when she becomes overwhelmed from emotions.

Sister Patterson and I were listening to our cd with overplayed songs, so when the breathy "God, be with you..." I cried out "No!" and changed the song, realizing what I said "No!" to. Haha we got a good laugh.

At the CF appointment, when Dr. Cernadas was looking over my PFT scores as I was going over with her my daily routine...
Dr. Cernadas:" Wow, it's like you're doing everything religiously!"
Me: "I know, right?!" 
Then she realized the truth of what she said. That's what I call a true connection between a doc and her patient. :)

On the way back from that CF appointment, I saw a spider on the window, and ended up frantically squirming like no other as I about had a heart attack as he weaved in and out of the air vent. As soon as he came back out and my reflexes caused me to smack him, the same breathy "God be with you, till we meet again." came on. 

Elder Wilhelmsen's famous line: "No worries."

When we were driving with the Elders, Sister Patterson saw a man outside of the car starting to shuffle his feet. She started to sing quietly, "Do a little dance," as he put his arms in the air and waved them around, right to the beat. Sister Patterson caused him to dance to what she was singing, and there's no way he could have heard her. 

Sister Patterson's, "I wish that in these times, when you're afraid to say something because they might get offended that Jesus could just come in and tell them, and they couldn't get offended...because He's Jesus!"

At this last Friday's District Meeting, Elder Paiva had his turn to tell Elder Wilhemsen how he felt about him, as he had a hard time talking through his tears, "Elder Wilhelmsen is the most selfish person I know!" Poor Elder Paiva is still working on his English. :)

Those are the best quotes I can remember. I may include more later if any come to mind.

There are many things that I am still working on personally, including taking on different tasks as change comes along. I am looking forward to 2014, as it will be immersed in more efforts to hasten the Lord's work of Salvation, along with personal progression and growth. There is a poem that Sister Patterson's sister wrote that fits well with striving to reach our full potential while continually striving to do better. We are all imperfect, but our Savior Jesus Christ is there to help make up for our shortcomings, since we cannot do it on our own.

Teachability Is Perfection

“Perfection seems to indicate a sort of end. A final mastery of something. But how boring would eternity be if there wasn’t room for growth? So perfection is about becoming one in purpose with God. Therefore, we should focus on that, which is attainable by everyone no matter their level of education or mastery of skills. Perfection is not an end. It is not beyond us. When Christ takes over and makes up for our weaknesses-we become perfect. So that relationship with Christ and our Heavenly Father is the most important step towards perfection. Perfection is allowing Christ to fill the gaps-we don’t have to do it all by ourselves”
-Jessie Kate Patterson

I hope you all have a wonderful New Year!! Let's make the most of 2014!!

Love you all very much!

-Sister Roy

New Year's message from a fortune cookie

Monday, December 23, 2013

It's Christmas Adam!! (2 more days)

Merry Christmas Adam! (Because Adam came before Eve.) Can you believe Christmas is in 2 days??!!! I justcannotexperesshowexcitedIam. #timetoskype #arehashtagsstillinthesedays? Ok...

Christmas Temple Trip

Last week started off on Tuesday with being able to go to the temple again. :) We woke up bright and early to attend a session, and although I was very tired, I loved being able to enjoy the experience. The feeling of absolute peace and stillness at the temple is incomparable. I loved every minute. :)

After the temple, we headed to the Burlington Mall because they have one of the only Chick-Fil-A's in all of New England. Isn't that nearly impossible to believe? But oh man...the temple than this? It couldn't get better. Oh did!

with Sister Packard

After lunch we headed to the chapel across from the temple for our Christmas Conference. It took a little while for everyone to set up, but we enjoyed an awesome musical fireside, as testimonies and numbers were focused around the descriptions we hear for our Savior, such as RedeemerDelivererKing,Teacher, and Lamb of God. The spirit flooded the chapel as the true spirit of Christmas was felt. We even heard our very own 

President Packard sing "Oh Night Divine" while we must have all been thinking, "Oh shoots! All the Packards are talented, and even our own mission president sings!

The rest of the night took a different turn. We all met in the gym of the church for dinner. We watched the zones' skits and musical numbers. President Packard showed us all how to "hand ball" as we all cheered. Some skits were a little weird but others were downright funny and creative. Sister Bringhurst, Sister Wagner, Sister Patterson, and I also sang our put-together-at-the-last-minute missionary version of "Sisters" (from White Christmas) as many missionaries wore blank stares since they didn't even know where the song came from ha.

At the end of the skits, we all enjoyed hot chocolate while watching a slide show of pics over the year.  The Zone Leaders brought out all the packages from our families.  It was a very nice surprise!

Speaking of surprises...New England loves to throw out a whomping foot of snow at a time. Once the party ended we went outside to discover it snowed another foot, so we all shoveled our cars out. Many missionaries from further areas had to stay with other missionaries in the area for the time being as it continued to snow hard. Luckily everyone was okay.

The rest of the week had some very good surprises!

Dad, one surprise was when I opened the package you sent that said, "Open immediately!" I was doing my treatment, so when I opened the presents that read "open immediately!" I may have let out some shrill, Chubaka-like squeals. ;) I'll tell you, having a camera stolen, especially on a mission when all the pictures were on the SD card, is not a fun experience. I was glad I could use Sister Patterson's for a few months, and it is such a relief to have one once again. Thank you so much!
camera to replace one lost

 Regarding to the work, we are still struggling to see a few of our investigators. Samuel, for instance, is still having a hard time recognizing the spirit/wanting to read the Book of Mormon. We decided to try "the Girlfriend theory" which is practically playing hard to get and waiting for them to make the move by adding some distance. (Josh, you can take note of that for your mission--sometimes it works well. :) ) Even though there are people we are teaching who are struggling to show true interest/keep commitments, I know that there are seeds being planted and some work here is only beginning. We both decided it would be nice to find more people who wanted to see us, instead of feeling pushed while pulling back.

Guess what? We got a new investigator family!! After visiting a couple of members on Saturday, we were driving down a street while I was texting someone. Sister Patterson brought up, "Do you think we should visit that family?" She had what she describes as the slightest feeling to stop by and share a Christmas message with a family who was on their porch. I remembered Sister Patterson's prompting to go tracting when we found the other family, so I agreed without hesitation. We parked and prepared a quick message, and once we knocked on the door and asked if we could share it, they invited us in! They are a very sweet family from Guatemala. We shared a few verses from Luke 2 and they shared what Christmas means to them, as they had humble traditions to focus on Christ. We then shared about true gifts we can give to Christ, and then offered our gift--the fullness of Christ's teachings since it has brought us joy. They agreed for us to come on Sunday and share more!

At Church on Sunday, another miracle happened! Sister Tardiff approached us, asking if we met the new investigator in Gospel Principles, which we hadn't since we were teaching the deacons in their Sunday School class. My first thought was that it was one of the Elders' investigators, but she wasn't. She is Catholic and came by herself, as she was looking for another church that resembles a community. We had ward members who jumped on the opportunity to help her feel included as soon as they saw her. Once they introduced us to her, we discovered how sweet she is, and she was actually excited to meet us! We planned her lesson to take place at the Tardiff's on Saturday! She felt so welcomed and is looking forward to the first lesson. :)

After church, Sister Patterson and I used the short time we had to study for the family we met on Saturday night, then we headed over to their home. We met up with a couple of members from our ward who are from Venezuela, went over our lesson plan, then headed inside. We thanked the family and asked what sparked their interest for us to come again, and they said they've been looking into different churches. We opened with a prayer, and began the first lesson. It flowed so well and the couple from our ward were able to create a connection with them. When it came time, we introduced Joseph Smith, and then started the Restoration DVD in Spanish. The spirit grew stronger as the movie played. Once the part came when Joseph Smith decided to ask himself which church was true, as he went into the Sacred Grove, I noticed the mom and daughter on the edge of the couch, with their eyes completely fixed on the screen to see what would happen next.

The spirit was incredibly strong at this point. While all this took place, I couldn't help but sit there in awe, trying to absorb all that was happening. I was overwhelmed with this opportunity to share the joy that comes from the restored gospel of Jesus Christ in its absolute fullness. With the lit Christmas tree in the corner, with Sister Patterson and the couple of members next to us, while all watching the family's reaction as they felt the assurance that what they were learning was true, I couldn't help but think, Now this, right here, is Christmas. What better way was there to spend this time of season, to be immersed in this moment?

The rest of the lesson went very well. The family felt the spirit, and wanted to learn more. They agreed to come to church, to read the Book of Mormon, and to pray if what we taught is true. They know that the Lord will answer their prayers, and are familiar from experience with how the spirit speaks through feelings, impressions, and confirmations. That lesson is one I will never forget. They want to come to church and want to learn more. I have no choice but to accept that this is real life. :)

Sister Patterson and I topped of Sunday by caroling with the Elders and a few members to less actives' homes. We had a great time spreading more Christmas cheer by singing loud for all to hear. :)

It has been such an awesome week, and the true feeling of Christmas has been felt. 

When President Packard spoke at the end of the Christmas fireside, he tied in what we can take at this time of year as missionaries. He shared with us how the wise men sought after their king, and provided gifts fit for a king. President gave ideas on what we can give Christ, as one of the greatest is a broken heart and contrite spirit, as we submit our will to His. He mentioned that we always hear of the gifts we can give to Christ that may be easier, including small acts of service. We shouldn't disregard serving at all, as it is most definitely something we should give. However, we can take it a step further and offer what may be challenging for us personally--something we may be struggling with, a way we can improve, a way that we can align our will with His, while working towards the fullest peace and joy that He has to offer. I thought it was a great invitation to think about at this Christmas season.

I cannot wait to talk to you on Christmas!!! It's going to be the best day ever!! :D

Love you all!

-Sister Roy

Monday, December 16, 2013

Boston Winter Wonderland

Oh my 'LANTA!!! Ahhh Josh is going to Atlanta, Georgia?! I'm so thrilled! Grandma was sure inspired! :) I know it's not a coincidence that he was assigned there, and that it's meant to be. He will see why he is supposed to be there as his mission progresses. I am overwhelmed with joy right now. :)

Not as much happened here this week, but here are a few things:
We have been trying to reach and set up appointments for our investigators and those we teach, but it's been difficult because everyone is busy getting ready for Christmas. Hence, Sister Patterson and I are striving to make the most of what we can do with the time we have. For instance, we had this awesome idea come to mind when we were trying to figure out what to do for one of the families we are struggling to see. We got together with a couple of kids from a less active family (they are strongly rooted in the gospel, but we are trying to get them to come to church more often) as well as one of the members from the ward. We were initially going to "heart attack" them, but then I remembered the idea that came a few years ago--to cut out Christmas lights shapes, write notes on them to go around their door, and with a large note "We just wanted to light up your day!" We covered their door with uplifting notes, and  nothing can beat the adrenaline rush that followed after ringing their doorbell.
This week, we also finished our English class. The amount of students dwindled as the semester progressed, but there were a few students that came the final day. The lesson was on "Christmas" terms, which was a treat. I loved how we could point to our tags when we were explaining how to say Jesus Christ. Although the class had to be secular during the semester, and we weren't allowed to tell about what we do or teach as missionaries, we made some close close friendships that we hope to grow. It's been a special experience to see them all learn and grow over time. Their English has greatly improved, and they showed their gratitude for us helping them. Although the class isn't continuing for another semester since it was at a prime proselyting time, and we couldn't recruit members to help, it's been a worthwhile experience.

If you're wondering about the weather, Boston got dumped with a foot of snow on Saturday/Sunday. Haha it was about time. We had our ward Christmas party and not as many people showed up since the storm was beginning, but it still turned out to be a success. It hasn't snowed since then, but we will see what happens. I just barely heard that we are supposed to get more tomorrow, as the temps will plummet.
There are a lot of virus's and colds going around (tis the season) but I am doing my absolute best to stay healthy. First, Elder Wilhelmsen came down with a bad cold, then Sister Patterson caught it. Both of them have been so sweet. When we were locked out one morning, the Elders picked us up to stay in a warm car. Elder Wilhelmsen then drove straight to CVS and came out wearing a mask. Sister Patterson then unfortunately caught the cold, and has been wearing a mask when we are at our apartment. I told them they didn't need to if it made them uncomfortable and there are sick people all around, but I thought it was very thoughtful of both of them. Sister Patterson and I stayed home yesterday for her to recover, but she seems to be doing a lot better. Hopefully all will be well this season.

For Skyping next week, we will be at the Tardiff's again and will Skype sometime in the morning. I'm not exactly sure yet what's going to happen for it, but make sure you are signed in to Skype and have it ready.

The Elders shared some insights of a Christmas element with Sister Patterson and I that I never thought about. We often hear of the wise men, and how we can learn from them to continually seek for the Savior in our lives. In addition, who knows how long their journey may have been. They must have been exhausted and worn out at times, but they continued on as they kept their destination in mind. We can learn from their example, whether it be relating to missionary work or our own personal matters--to never lose hope, to journey on when times become rough, and to know that everything will work out as we follow Jesus Christ. We should continually seek after Him, even when our journeys become rough.
I hope you all have a wonderful week! I cannot wait to talk to you on Christmas!!
Sister Roy
P.S. Here is the link to the Real Life Answers Christmas blog post:

Monday, December 9, 2013

'Tis the Season

We got our first snowfall today! The weather here has actually not been that bad. It gets cold, but luckily not too cold yet. I am not looking forward to the "icy winds" I keep hearing about; we'll see how it goes. It sure sounds like the weather in Utah is not good--hopefully it gets better. I remember how last winter was...

I have some crazier news...

Here's to the early am at the YMCA
For a while I had the impression to visit the YMCA 3 minutes away to see what signing up for a membership would be like. Sister Patterson and I finally checked it out. We thought and prayed about it, especially since they had a "Black Friday special" that lasted for a few days, and felt very good about it. We got a discount and it ended up not costing too much. Now we both go to the gym every morning for Monday through Friday and enjoy a good workout that's out of our dim living room.

Myung, the lady that dad taught English to when on mission in Korea

So, aside from that...the first day we went in we got to know the lady at the front desk, Myung, for a little bit. It turned out she knows who LDS missionaries are because she knew some back in South Korea a while back. Over the days as we got to know her, we found out she knew an "Elder Roy" around the mid-80's, which I tried to figure out in my head if it could be possible if she knew my dad. Today, she asked me, as we both finally figured it out, "Is your dad's name Douglas?" Oh man, I was freaking out inside. She is a member but is now less-active, but surely knew you when you were a missionary and remembers you. Isn't that incredible?!

At the end of P-Day last week, the Digital Missionaries called us, asking if I were there. From that point they said they chose a few missionaries to write a Christmas article for the website. I sent in my rough draft and it's been a quick process, but it should be on the Real Life Answers website this month.

Speaking of online posts, our district was on the Church News! I wasn't sure if you saw it, but here is the link: We all thought it was pretty cool!

You know those missionary stories that seem unlikely to happen? Sister Patterson and I had one last week. We've already met a few people here at the library since we come quite a bit to check the ward email, work on the Digital Mission posts, or whatever comes up. On Wednesday a man named Isaac approached us, asking who we were and what we do, since he often saw us "knocking on doors" (which we don't do a lot), going around town, or at the library. He had never heard of Mormons before, so our brief lesson on the Restoration turned into a longer lesson as we met in a study room, teaching more about the Book of Mormon. Before we knew it, he began to confess his sins, showing how he was desperate to depart from his serious sins--he didn't know where to start and was pleading. We taught more of Heavenly Father's true loving nature, the miracle of the Atonement, how prayer is not only to express gratitude but to talk with God. He was amazed with how baptism will cleanse his sins and how having the Holy Ghost will help him discern and help him have the desire to not do them again. As we taught, there were times where he was quietly listening while on the edge of his seat, eyes opened wide. We told him he just needs to place himself in better situations and run from harmful situations and temptations. He is a very nice, sincere man who we can tell is struggling. It's sad to say that there are some crazy people around here, mainly because of the effects from drugs or alcohol, but he wasn't that way.

He agreed to meet with us again the next day, so we brought a member with us, and then met again the following day. We answered questions he had, but he is having a very very difficult time wanting to read the Book of Mormon. At the end of the Restoration lesson, we bore witness again, read the story when the Savior came in 3 Nephi Chapter 11, pointed out the spirit that was felt, but still said there could only be the Bible, and that God wouldn't wait to have the Book of Mormon for our day. We'll see if he reads it and prays about it, and we're planning on meeting with him again this week.

For a while, the Elders, our ward mission leader, Sister Patterson and I have been planning to have a church meeting focused on missionary work--emphasizing how we are a team with the ward, and need their help. We didn't have as much time to prepare as we would have wished, but it ended up being superb! Sacrament meeting went longer as planned, as Elder Paiiva and the recent converts spoke/bore testimony on how much the gospel has blessed their lives. Near the end of sacrament meeting, there came 6'7"(ish) President Clayton Christensen--one of the world's smartest and most successful business men in the world--and his wife as they sat down a couple of rows in front of us. It was game time. All I could mutter was "Ohhh mercy!" as my heart leaped with excitement.

After sacrament meeting, we rushed to the gospel doctrine room, where we had the projector set up. I was in charge of the laptop for the 2 hour presentation (my voice still goes in and out), as Sister Patterson and Elder Wilhelmsen stood at the front of the class room to lead in discussions and questions based on the videos we watched from the Hastening the Lord's work website through Everyone but the primary kids packed inside. We helped them all understand the importance of members helping missionaries as a team and how we are here to help the members in their callings and everyday lives. We clarified our mission's priorities, all that we do as missionaries, and how much more investigators progress with members present at the lessons. We focused on how to share the gospel, including at work. President Christensen sat at the back as he gave his insights, including the experiences that taught him how to develop connections by answering their questions, instead of just sharing our doctrine, because that would be answering our questions. He shared stories that helped him know how to help others feel needed, and how to never be ashamed of the gospel in our everyday lives. He was very helpful and it was awesome that he was able to come to our ward for this special Sunday meeting.

The members seemed to be pondering while receiving ideas. Members gave helpful insights and experiences. By the end of the 3rd hour, we had them to take a moment and write what stood out to them, and what they will do, then closed it with the video I'll Go Where You Want Me To Go, during which I could hear 'sniffs' throughout the room as the spirit's strong presence was there. I am so glad it all turned out well, and we received many compliments. The work paid off and I hope this will take a new turn from now on for us and the members working together. :)

Did you all enjoy the Christmas Devotional last night? As soapy as it may sound, I love how the broadcasts are shown around the world, so we can all watch it together. I absolutely loved Elder Russell M. Nelson's closing remarks. It was different with all the videos, but it beautifully focused on why we celebrate Christmas, as the Savior's life was portrayed through his teachings and example as he ministered on the earth. His greatest gift made to us is truly a miracle. The Atonement's wonders and blessings are always available there to lift us up when we fall and to make up for our shortcomings. It gives us a reason to give our full devotion and consecrate our lives to live as He did--to seek those who are desperate for the good news in their lives, to comfort those in need of comfort, and to support one another. I know our Savior succors us--helps and runs to us--as He truly cares, mourns, and rejoices with us. This Christmas season is a time to rejoice for and remember what matters most in our lives, and to seek ways to remember and follow after our Redeemer, Jesus Christ.

I am looking forward to next week...on Tuesday we are going to a temple session and then have half the mission go to a huge Christmas party at the church across the street. I can't wait to see my "mom" Sister Gledhill, and possibly Sister Barney as well! Ahhh it's going to be sweet. I'll let you know more about it.

Well I better go, but I hope you all have a wonderful week.
Love you,

- Sister Roy

Monday, December 2, 2013

A Fulfilling Thanksgiving


Dearest Family,

There's so many changes happening at home but I am so excited for all of you! :)
As for this week, it was a little slow since everyone and their dog seemed to be gone for Thanksgiving. We attempted. We called. We texted. We stopped by. We even knocked on doors. We knocked on more doors, even offering small acts of service. Nada. And those at home were not interested. It felt like everyone was at a party and we were not invited. So, what did we do? We then offered to help cook Thanksgiving for any families that needed help. Mama Baer from our ward kept coming to mind, so we gave her a call. She invited us over to make pies with her, which ended up being a nice tender mercy for Sister Patterson since that was her family's tradition for the day before Thanksgiving. :)    She is one of the sweetest ladies to live. We had a great time together at the "Baer cave" and shared a message as we all enjoyed ice cream topped with a divine New England specialty--Stonewall caramel sea salt hot fudge.

Thanksgiving at the Tardiff's (I couldn't stand up straight because I was so full)

Sister Patterson and I also enjoyed Thanksgiving at the Tardiff's from our ward. We helped prepare for hours, and then enjoyed the feast of turkey and the large assortment of food. It was all divine and very fulfilling. We had a good time and look forward to going over for Christmas morning.

 This week has become a little challenging, since I began Tobi Podhaler again. I'm debating whether to go back the 30 minute version, since I've noticed how the Podhaler takes my voice away more, but it only takes 5 minutes and doesn't hurt my voice as much, even though it takes it away more, and it also has irritated my lungs a little more. It may not make sense to be a missionary with her voice gone for 1/3 of my mission, especially since the work requires talking to and teaching many people. Being on it every other couple of months requires more patience and I'm trying to seek the disguised blessings from it. It's rough at times, but hey, hard times make us stronger, right? I know there are lessons to learn from whatever circumstances we are in. 

The people here on the mission have been so helpful as well and have shown great love and concern. Sister Patterson has been a champ for helping out and leading in lessons or taking over when my voice goes out. We had an awesome lesson on Saturday with a new investigator named Isaac, where we finished the lesson on the Restoration with him. It was tough not being able to talk much, but with my voice hardly there, everyone was silent as the spirit bore strong witness through the words I could get out while teaching. Sometimes the Lord compensates in marvelous ways.

I remember one of my friends shared a chapter with me while on her mission in Peru, saying how I reminded her of Shiblon in Alma 38. I wasn't sure if that was true, but I remembered it was comforting, so I turned to it yesterday during my scripture study. In one verse, Alma tells him, "Thou didst bear all these things with patience because the Lord was with thee."  The verse was so simple, and the message is clear--the Lord is with us at all times, which gives reason to be patient, have trust, and continue diligently. Times become challenging in life but I know that our Heavenly Father is always there for us.
I hope you all had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I look forward to hearing more good news that will be coming along. :)
Love you,
-Sister Roy

Monday, November 25, 2013

Jose's Baptism

Jose and family at his baptism

Dear Family and Friends, 

Jose is baptized!! Ahhh Sister Patterson and I are so proud of him! It's been such a treat to teach him these past few months to see him grow spiritually, as he's gained a better understanding of the teachings, who he is and what his purpose is here, and how the gospel can once again bless his and his family's lives.

Preparing for any baptism can be stressful, but it turned out very well. Half of the room was full of his extended family, many who have been less active for a while. As Sister Patterson and I sang "I Stand All Amazed" before everyone joined in at the third verse, I could see Jose, his mom, sister, aunts, uncles, and cousins in tears as they remembered his grandma's influence in their lives. Everyone in the room could feel the spirit's powerful witness. When Jose was baptized, his family was still in tears. The Deacons welcomed him into the ward and presented him their surprise--a leather bound quad of scriptures with his name engraved. He still fought back tears, and once he sat down behind Sister Patterson and I, he whispered, "I'm still going to use the one you gave me," referring to the unbelievable duct tape scripture case she made him.

The remainder of the baptism was incredible and the spirit remained. His mom gave her first prayer out loud in English for the first time in a while. She and Jose's sister came to church the next day for the first time in a while. It's been difficult for his mom to come because of work, but they were glad to see him be confirmed and receive the Aaronic Priesthood. She told us that she wants to keep coming, that his grandpa also came to his ward for the first time in years, and how much of an influence Jose is making in his family's lives. Jose has been a powerful example of how one life can touch many.

With Thanksgiving coming up, Sister Patterson and I will eat at the Tardiff's in our ward. They are so awesome and invited us over for Christmas morning as well. Haha there was a rumor that they serve steak on Thanksgiving, so we'll see what happens. Christmas morning will be fun as well, as they said that they don't let their kids eat many sweets throughout the year, so on Christmas morning they not only prepare breakfast foods, but pile up every sweet that could be imagined--shakes, brownies, ice cream...haha oh mercy it will be a fun treat. :)

Since this week is meant to be focused around what we're grateful for, I could go on and on, but you would most likely get bored. Something I am thankful for is how well my health has been overall. My CF Dr.'s appointment on Friday at Boston Children's went very well. It started off with the Pulmonary Function Test. I was actually very proud of the numbers from this visit!  My FVC was a 98, FEV1 was a 99, putting me in the 100th percentile for my age group.  It's requires a lot of work to stay high up in the numbers, especially with what the mission requires. A physical therapist also came in to examine how I do treatments to make sure everything I do is at its best, including all the huff coughs every 5 minutes. She said it was a good chance to still check and make sure everything was right since many patients don't complete the full regimen, or even skip treatments/do only a couple a week! That thought to me is unbelievable that they wouldn't care how they take care of themselves when CF is a serious condition. Starting about each morning off with cardio exercise for 40-45 minutes every morning in the living room to the same 6 songs over and over, making sure I get adequate nutrition by eating well, and not skipping a single treatment or pill...the hard work pays off. :) However I know that there are still many patients that still work hard and keep fighting but struggle greatly. I don't know if I will ever be at that point, so I'm just thankful that everything is going well. It's truly a blessing.

Josh, I am sooo excited that your mission papers are finally submitted! It's about time! Also, just to let you know about the black car... when I drove it the speedometer was about 15 miles ahead of what it really went. I hope it's still not that way but be careful if it's the only option. It would be good to get it checked out! Driving on the free way was scary at first when it took me a while to realize what was happening.

Alicia, I am planning on writing you back today. Did you hear the results from last week? I look forward to hearing from you again.

Whaaaa...Brandon, you are already applying for colleges?! Oh man! Well what schools are you planning on trying for?

Mom, thanks again for Tyler Robinson's talk. It's neat that Carmen read it in sacrament meeting (and tell her congrats on her mission call). I still haven't forgotten of Tyler and Millie, as they have played an influence for the mission here.

Yes dad, I shook Elder Nielsen's hand three times and told him you said hello. :) It was a neat opportunity to hear from him, meet him, and talk with his wife afterwards.

Everything is still going well and I hope all is going well for all of you. I hope you all have a wonderful Thanksgiving.

I love you and thank you for being such a wonderful, supportive family, for all that you do and who you are.

Talk to you next week.
-Sister Roy