Monday, September 30, 2013


My birthday was awesome and I definitely felt the love and support from the missionaries and ward members. At District meeting, which ended up having to be on Saturday this week, they decorated the room where we hold the meeting. It's also our District's tradition to hold a "pot luck" the week before transfers, so this week we had crepes. It was perfect, but maybe I ate too many. Whoops.

21st Birthday / all the ice cream from our freezer


Yesterday Sister Gledhill surprised me by decorating our apartment with party decor. Before church, she put the stack of letters, the package, and her own gift on my desk while doing treatment. I opened the package sent to find a cake pan, cake mix, frosting, scrap booking supplies, LDS stickers and post-its, many letters, and more. I loved it all. :)

 At church, after I bore my testimony, Brother Wilson got up and mentioned it was my Birthday before he bore his testimony. I had no choice but to look down and walk quickly down the aisle. A little after church, we headed to a member's home, where the house was accompanied with another family as well. We broke our fast with a divine feast of homemade pizzas, and afterwards the White family pulled out a cake, lit a candle, and sang “Happy Birthday.”   

We enjoyed the cake along with homemade apple crisp. Sister Gledhill and I left the two families with a spiritual message. They gave us the left over ingredients to make our own pizzas (Who would've known Trader Joe's pizza dough that's only about $1 and their sauce make some of the best?) Fact number one: I love food. Fact number two: fact number one caused me to eat too much. I guess it's fine. :-)

Our neighbor Kevin also invited us over for dinner last night. We had Sister Baer come along, since a woman would have to come. We were excited to finally teach Kevin, but unfortunately the conversations never got around to it as he continually asked about our lives, families, and more. We could all tell he is very lonely and wants company. We're not so sure what we teach is what drew his interest, and he's not creepy in any way, but a friendly person who may feel alone. We're going to be cautious and not go over alone just to be safe, but hopefully he will have a desire at some point to learn about the gospel.
So yes it was overall a very great Birthday. I also am so touched by the love from the Willow Creek 9th Ward. Now that I'm 21, I am determined to not become a boring adult. Nope. As part of a soapy message, I am thankful for this life. I came in fighting to stay alive and at times it's been tough to get to this point, but I will keep making the most of each day.
Earlier last week we were finally able to teach Brother Jack. He called us one night, telling us he wanted us to teach him more about faith and hope. The lesson went very well and he connected himself with the Book of Mormon, which was incredible because during our last meeting he did not want to read from it. It was touching to see him silently go over the same verse again and again, replacing certain words with personal pronouns. He went on reading from that verse and asked, "What is this, the King James version?" Haha we responded by saying it was the Book of Mormon. We ran out of time after he went on a tangent, but assigned him to read all of Ether 12 and 2 Nephi 31. He was excited to receive his own copy and asked if it contained "his verse." We are planning on intertwining a lesson on making covenants with the lesson on the Restoration the next time we meet with him, which he said would be "When God tells him to call us, like God told him to that night."
Our English class is also going along well. Our students are becoming more engaged; I love seeing them progress and come out of their comfort zones. This last class was so awkward for everyone it was pretty funny. We taught about how to talk about our families and relationships. As we teach each student, we say a phrase in English that they have to say back. So, for instance, we'd have to say, "Are you married?" and they would have to respond, "Yes, I am married." or "No, I am not married." Then there were times they didn't understand how to say phrases, so we'd have to have them mimic, "I have two children." or "My husband's name is..." It really threw off some students and it was weird to say to have them say back. They'd have to ask questions too. One caught onto the pattern of how we were asking questions, and he asked, "You have a boyfriend." and I said "No, I do not have a boyfriend." His response, as his eyes bulged out, taken aback "Oh, you don't have boyfriend?" Mmm okay, okay. So yes, some of the questions or answers we had to state were so awkward it was funny.
To tie in the loose ends, I enjoyed the Relief Society Broadcast on Saturday night. I found it interesting how a great emphasis was about making and keeping sacred covenants and following the gospel of Jesus Christ. To me, it showed how a lot of missionary work is being done around the world. I am sure many individuals are considering being baptized, or new converts along with many other members are wondering how they can keep their covenants.
Although the work seems to often be slow here in Massachusetts, it's incredible to see how the Work of Salvation is being brought forth at an increasing rate. And yes, the work definitely becomes tough at times--we received "a Howler" this week or we'll receive a phone call about how "horrible" we are as a church.  Appointments fall through time and time again, along with a juhzillion other things I could list, but at the same time, it's rewarding to see a person's joy as they are delivered a message on how much their Heavenly Father loves them, how to press forward, or even the good news that comes from the gospel.I also loved the analogy in the broadcast that Sister Linda S. Reeves, Second Counselor in the General Relief Society Presidency gave. As the Provo Tabernacle burned in the 2010 fire, many people wondered why the Lord would allow a such a beautiful building to burn to the ground.  
 However, today it is being built into a strong and even more beautiful temple where ordinance work can be done and covenants can be made. The people didn't know why it was happening, but the Lord knew. I loved how this can be a metaphor for us--we don't always know why our Heavenly Father allows such hardships to happen that can make us feel as if we are being burnt to the ground, when he knows what He is doing as He is actually molding us and building us into stronger and bright temples.   

Transfer texts are coming Saturday night, and next week will be transfer week (so P-Day will be on Wednesday.) I hope Sister Gledhill doesn't leave yet, but we both know her time is coming close to leave Waltham and go to somewhere else. 
Josh, I am so proud of you! Your Court of Honor must have been a cool experience. You sure looked happy in the pictures mom sent. I am also so happy to hear your mission papers are ready to be turned in! Ahhh! I can't wait to hear where you're assigned to. :)

Have an excellent week.

With much love,
-Sister Roy

Monday, September 23, 2013

Shovelin’ and a Mulchin’, English Class, and First Baptism

Hello everyone :)

This past week was excellent in many ways.

Our Playground build day was exhausting but still fun. Sister Gledhill and I arrived around 8:30 am and were placed in the group to cover plastic on the building site, then shoveled and carried mulch. I have never mulched before and don't think I will ever mulch that much again in my life. What laid before our eyes before we began was barren ground and a massive pile of wood chips that stood at least 8 feet high, but as the day grew on, the pile went down as many people all shoveled and carried huge piles in large sheets of tarp. When we were getting closer to the bottom of the pile, a "little" group came to crash our party--camera crews, more people of Waltham, and finally the buses, where the Patriots and Revolution Soccer team came out. They split up and helped out with the whole playground. Although we did most of the work before they arrived, it was still awesome to work with them. It was a long day and good gravy I don't remember my whole body being that sore in a long time, but it was fine. Many people asked us missionaries who we were or more about what we did as missionaries, so it was neat being able to give a brief explanation of why we were there and what we do.

At the end of the day on Wednesday, Sister Gledhill and I headed to the Public internet center in the heart of Waltham to begin the English classes with the Elders. We all hoped up to 30 would show up, expecting about 10, but when we arrived, we noticed it was packed. At least 50 people showed up! It was a little stressful at first because we only had space for 30, but we sorted through who knew no English and who had experience so they could be in the right class. We had our first official class on Friday, which went very well. There were people from Egypt, Brazil, Guatemala, Honduras, Haiti, and more. We taught them how to introduce themselves as we taught step by step to help them know how to say "My name is____, I am from _____, I live in ____, it's nice to meet you!" It was fun to see how thrilled a few of them were to learn the basics.

Sister Gledhill and I have been preparing for Pam's baptism for the past month, and her big day came up faster than we expected. Somehow everything ran smoothly and was ready on time. Pam is adorable and could not stop beaming the whole time. After her baptism and the closing remarks, Pam bore her testimony, but could hardly speak as tears flowed out as she expressed her joy and gratitude for everyone helping her out. I've never seen her cry before and we were all in tears. Although Pam is only 13, her strong, faithful spirit and determination to endure to the end has touched my life. I know the Lord loves her so much and is proud of Sister Gledhill and I along with many others helping her reach this point. She was confirmed in Sacrament meeting yesterday, which was also neat to watch.
Darling Pam: Our first baptism

The Beehives and Pam's close friend at her baptism
In closing for this letter, I loved the message that President Packard with us this morning. As part of the letter, he shared the scripture “For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known” (1 Corinthians 13:12) The following verse talks about charity. I've never noticed these verses before. President Packard explained how the glass in this verse is not a window, but a mirror. Paul is saying that understanding charity (or Christ) is like looking into a mirror that does not reflect well. We may not be able to fully understand Charity or everything about Christ, and we may not always clearly see who we are because we don't look like what we will become. However, as we follow Christ, we will take on His countenance.
President Packard also shared how Moroni explained it in this way: “Wherefore, my beloved brethren, pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that ye may be filled with this love, which he hath bestowed upon all who are true followers of his Son, Jesus Christ; that ye may become the sons of God; that when he shall appear we shall be like him, for we shall see him as he is; that we may have this hope; that we may be purified even as he is pure” (Moroni 7:48). As we strive to become like him, we will see Him as He is, and how He sees us. Someday we will see who we've become as we stand face to face before Jesus Christ. Our reflection in the mirror will stand clear. As a missionary I feel I am often continually reminded of my weaknesses and am trying to measure up, but I know that as I strive to become like our Savior, I can trust that He sees me and every individual with abounding love. He is our advocate and anchor, our light that we can look up to. I hope this paragraph makes sense but I thought they were a few beautiful verses to think about.

Pam's baptism: success!!

Congrats Josh for your Eagle Court of Honor! Have an excellent week!

XXOOxoOxo (Hug hug. Kees kees. Little hug. Little kiss. Big kees. Little hug. Little kees.) 
Name that movie and you'll get a gold star. Maybe one word is off but oh well.

Love you so much,

-Sister Roy

Monday, September 16, 2013

Poem: The Race

Poem: The Race by D. H. Groberg

boy running in race

“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” they shout at me and plead,
“There’s just too much against you now, this time you can’t succeed.”
And as I started to hang my head in front of failure’s face,
My downward fall is broken by the memory of a race.
And hope refills my weakened will as I recall that scene.
For just the thought of that short race rejuvenates my being.
A children’s race, young boys, young men; now I remember well.
Excitement, sure, but also fear; it wasn’t hard to tell.
They all lined up so full of hope. Each thought to win the race
Or tie for first, if not that, at least take second place.
And fathers watched from off the side, each cheering for his son,
And each boy hoped to show his dad that he would be the one.
The whistle blew and off they sped, as if they were on fire
To win, to be the hero there, was each boy’s desire.
And one boy in particular, his dad was in the crowd,
Was running near the lead and thought, “My dad will be so proud.”
But as he speeded down the field, across the shallow dip,
The little boy who thought to win lost his step and slipped.
Trying hard to catch himself, his arm flew out to brace,
And ‘mid the laughter of the crowd, he fell flat on his face.
So, down he fell, and with him, hope. He couldn’t win it now.
Embarrassed, sad, he only wished he’d disappear somehow.
But, as he fell, his dad stood up and showed his anxious face,
Which to the boy so clearly said, “Get up and win the race!”
He quickly rose, no damage done, behind a bit, that’s all.
And ran with all his mind and might to make up for the fall.
So anxious to restore himself, to catch up and to win,
His mind went faster than his legs. He slipped and fell again.
He wished he had quit before with only one disgrace.
“I’m hopeless as a runner now, I shouldn’t try to race.”
But, in the laughing crowd he searched and found his father’s face.
That steady look that said again, “Get up and win the race!”
So, he jumped up to try again, ten yards behind the last;
“If I’m to gain those yards,” he thought, “I’ve got to run real fast!”
Exceeding everything he had, he regained eight or ten,
But trying so hard to catch the lead, he slipped and fell again.
Defeat! He lay there silently, a tear dropped from his eye.
“There’s no sense running more. Three strikes, I’m out…why try?”
The will to rise had disappeared, all hope had fled away.
So far behind, so error-prone, a loser all the way.
“I’ve lost, so what’s the use?” he thought, “I’ll live with my disgrace.”
But, then he thought about his dad, who soon he’d have to face.
“Get up,” an echo sounded low, “Get up and take your place.
You weren’t meant for failure here; get up and win the race.”
With borrowed will, “Get up,” it said, “You haven’t lost at all,
For winning is no more than this–to rise each time you fall.”
So up he rose to win once more. And with a new commit,
He resolved that win or lose, at least he wouldn’t quit.
So far behind the others now, the most he’d ever been.
Still, he gave it all he had, and ran as though to win.
Three times he fallen, stumbling, three times he rose again.
Too far behind to hope to win, he still ran to the end.
They cheered the winning runner, as he crossed the line, first place,
Head high and proud and happy; no falling, no disgrace.
But, when the fallen crossed the finish line, last place,
The crowd gave him the greater cheer for finishing the race.
And even though he came in last, with head bowed low, unproud,
You would have thought he won the race, to listen to the crowd.
And to his dad, he sadly said, “I didn’t do so well.”
“To me you won,” his father said, “You rose each time you fell.”
And now when things seem dark and hard and difficult to face,
The memory of that little boy helps me in my race.
For all of life is like that race, with ups and downs and all.
And all you have to do to win is rise each time you fall.
“Quit!” “Give up, you’re beaten!” They still shout in my face,
But another voice within me says, “Get up and win the race!”

The Race

Hey It's Sonic :) (holding a hedgehog for the first time.) photo IMG_08581_zps0dda6d78.jpg
Hey it's Sonic the Hedghog :) (holding a hedghog for the first time.)

Dearest family and friends,

Sometimes reading all the updates from people makes me feel old haha, but I am beyond excited that my cousin Carissa is having a girl and someday we will find out if I'll be having a niece or nephew. I love receiving good news and I hope everyone is doing well.

Well, Once upon a time (last week)...I felt well again on P-Day and was glad my health was about back to normal. Then, the next night, I couldn't sleep due to odd pains in my esophagus and intestines, followed by chills and body aches. The next morning, Sister Gledhill and I decided to stay home and I slept all day. It wasn't fun but it only took a few days to heal.
Then, on Friday the 13th, Sister Gledhill caught the same virus. Then she recovered after a day. The end.
So, as you can see, it was an interesting week haha. We were wondering when in the world the illnesses viruses would end so we could continue the work, but we are feeling much better now and hope this won't happen often.
However, while all this took place, I was reminded of how awesome some of the members are here. At the end of a day of exchanges with the other Sister Missionaries so I could recover at home, one of the members, Sister Wilson was willing to help us out. She drove us out to Maynard to drop Sister Gledhill off at a member's to teach our Investigator Pam, then took me to Walgreen's to pick up a medication before buying us Subway sandwiches, then headed to the apartment so I could do treatment. Her younger brother in Utah actually has CF, so she has seen some of his regimen while growing up, and was excited to see the shaking vest. This was just one example of the acts of service people offered as I could feel her sincerity and care. We had a neighbor bring Sister Gledhill a bunch of Powerade when she wasn't feeling well and our neighbor Kevin once again offered to give us bottles of juice, along with some Ben & Jerry's. Sister Gledhill and I were both watched out for and I am so thankful for the acts of serve that were offered.
So there's not as much that happened last week since much of it consisted of staying at home, but on Saturday we helped with preparations for the playground build day in Waltham, which is tomorrow. There are supposed to be at least 250 volunteers coming, including thePatriotsandtheNewEnglandRevolutionSoccerTeamAmIExcitedOhbabyYesIAmAhhhh. That's kind of how I feel about it, but it will definitely be cool to build a playground. That's what we'll be there for, right? Yes. 
Painting cabinets (?) for the new playground

Anywho...Wednesday we will also start our English class, so we will see how many will come. We are teaching the very basics of English through the church program, the Daily Dose. Dad, what were your experiences with teaching English when you were on your mission in Korea?

We are planning on teaching Kevin the first lesson this Thursday. He wanted us to come over for dinner and a lesson, and we will find a member to come with us as a Chaperone, but I will let you know how that goes. :)

We are also busy planning for Pam's baptism this upcoming Saturday. She and others we are teaching always blow me away by their sincerity, diligence, and example. She is thrilled and all the beehives in the ward are also helping her feel included and involved.
Sometimes the work is slow, since lessons with those we are teaching get cancelled at the last minute, but I still know the Lord is preparing his work in ways we are unaware. 

There are challenging times that come, but I've seen how the Lord is always on the sidelines helping us along. Mom, that poem you sent called "the Race" was perfect. There are times where I feel unqualified, especially with all the illness incidents, and there are always ways in which I could improve. I love the encouragement the father gave his son in the poem, "You haven't lost at all, for winning is more than this--to rise each time you fall." There's so much truth to that. We may have rough areas or ways in which we know we can improve, and we may keep falling while we feel others may be running ahead, but our our Lord and Redeemer is there, hoping we rise each time we fall as he rose for all mankind.

Hope you have a great week! I love hearing from you and keep me updated with your lives. 

-Sister Roy

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Lord is Hastening His Work

Haha well not much happened this week, but I know there will be more upcoming appointments and opportunities this week to teach.

The past couple of weeks became rougher health-wise, so it affected how much Sister Gledhill and I were able to do, but now I am feeling much better. Since Hypertonic Saline did not come in on time, I was coughing up thicker, larger amounts and it was physically draining. People started asking if I was sick or what was wrong, and explaining CF in a short time without scaring people can be challenging at times. I don't remember my lungs being that junky in a long time--I believe the last time they were like that was when I was in middle school. I was also probably fighting a virus because I was having moments of nausea and I was constantly exhausted.

There's no need to worry about that now because things are much better. :) HyperSal finally arrived on Friday after my insurance approved it/ Walgreens received it after it was on back order. My mission president was concerned and instructed Sister Gledhill and I to stay at home for most of the weekend. It also took me some time to realize that so many appointments were falling through, possibly to allow me to stop and rest. I was able to visit with Dr. Cernadas this morning for her to evaluate, and my PFT score slightly dropped, but I'm doing pretty well. I'm still taking the antibiotic she prescribed on Thursday as well as Hyper Sal. Ay ay ay I hope it's not too much info but I'm just glad things are improving! It was a very close call for a 10 day clean-out but ain't nobody got time for that. :)

This is also a bit random...when at the clinic today, we were able to talk with Brandon again. He's really awesome, and he was just in fact picked to be the employee of the Month. He told about Sister Gledhill and I to his family and says that everything we've taught him (even though it hasn't been much) has made sense. He's been confused for so long because all the different pastors he's seen have taught him different things that don't make sense. He committed to read the Book of Mormon and hopes to meet with us again before the next visit.

During all of this week's struggles, I was able to recognize tender mercies as the Lord showed he cared through people doing acts of service. I didn't mean to draw in attention but many expressed their concerns. One night when my appetite was gone, I didn't mention I only wanted fluids, but our neighbor Kevin said he'd drop off "a couple" of drinks on his porch. We went outside, and there were bottles of water, juices, ginger ale, chocolates, and more. 

There was also a night when I about hit my limit with how rigorous my treatments were becoming. I then saw that an older Elder that works at the mission office sent me an envelope. I opened it to find a recent article from Discovery Magazine all about the advancements for CF over the years, and how the pill that takes away the CF symptoms should be out by the end of next year. The Elder didn't know how I was at the time, but it was a hopeful reminder to keep going, and that all this won't last forever. :) It was an awesome moment and I know it was not a coincidence that I received the article right before I started my treatment.

Other than the health stuff that happened, we have been preparing to teach our English class here in the town starting in a couple of weeks. It's been a work in progress but it is almost here! All the missionaries here are also going to help build a playground in a low-income project area. It's a big deal for the community right now and there will be many volunteers--even the Patriots team is helping out. :) I won't overdo it, but I am looking forward to helping out and I love the service opportunities that come. :)

I'm having to take everything one step at a time each day, whether it be patience with my health or weaknesses, patience with appointments, or even the lessons. I still love being a missionary and although there are tough experiences along the way I know they are there to help strengthen and grow. The Lord is still opening up opportunities and providing experiences to help this great Work of Salvation as He always knows what's in store.

I love you all and take care.

-Sister Roy

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

The Refiner of Silver

How is everyone doing? Sorry I wasn't able to write until today because the library was closed yesterday for Labor Day, and last week was Transfer week so P-Day was switched to Wednesday. Next week it will be back to normal. :)
This past week we got our new missionary in our District, Elder Peiva from Brazil. Our new District is pretty large--there are 6 missionaries in the other ward we work with and they are all awesome. 
Our newly formed District all in the party bus
Sister Gledhill and I were able to meet with Brother Jack and a few others. We are still teaching one of our sweet investigators who has a baptism date set for September 21st. She is in Young Women's and has a very strong spirit and testimony; it's been a privilege teaching her. I love seeing how each individual progresses and comes closer to the Lord, as well as how much power and influence the gospel plays in each life.

Also, the Lord has a sense of humor. If you ask to see and experience funny things you just may...
Life for instance...a couple of days ago Sister Gledhill and I were planning and making more phone calls in the car to meet with people while we were in Waltham. All of the sudden, we had a (yes, another Disney reference) "Simba & the Wildebeests" moment--about 15 shirtless young men came running towards our car--yes, they only wore skimpy shortish shorts--and then the herd came so close before they broke off in different directions on both sides of our car. We didn't know what to do but got a kick out of it--it felt pretty awkward and out of the ordinary so we couldn't help but laugh. :)

In all honesty I've been uneasy about my health's state lately. Yes, my voice is pretty much gone from Tobi, but I also ran out of Hypertonic Saline, and even Dr. Cernadas is frustrated because my insurance is very stubborn about approving to cover it. My lungs have been okay at times but I don't remember them being this filled for a while and I've been coughing a lot more. It's been requiring a lot more energy and it's been more of a challenge at times to just breathe. I have high hopes for Hypertonic Saline as soon as I get it and I'm just going to take it from that point. I've been praying hard for the Lord's help through this and I'm having to submit to his will for whichever option is best to keep me as healthy as possible.

All of this reminds me of a story that Elder Rushforth from our District shared to us a few weeks ago, so I got a copy of it. It talks about how our Heavenly Father was described in Malachi as a "Purifier of Silver."

Long story short, a woman read the verse that gave the description "And He shall sit as a refiner and purifier of silver." She wanted to know more about what this meant and thought it was meant to show how Christ sanctifies us. She visited a Silversmith to find out more about the subject.
She went to the silversmith without telling her objective, and begged to know how silver was refined, which he described to her. She then said, "But Sir, do you sit while the work of refining is going on?"
"Oh, yes madam, I must sit with my eye steadily fixed on the furnace, for if the time necessary for refining is exceeded in the slightest degree, the silver will be injured."

The lady saw the beauty in the scripture, as the Lord considers it necessary to put his children in a furnace of trials. His eye is focused on the work of purifying, with his wisdom and love there during the best manner for them.

As the lady left the shop, the silversmith called her back, and said he also wanted to mention that the only way he knows when the purifying is complete is when he sees his own image reflected in the silver.

The story shows how our Heavenly Father places us in circumstances and trials that will make us become more like him. I know I always have a lot of work to do, but it's comforting to know how He never leaves as he watches intently, as any exceeded bit of the refining process can be harmful. And more than that, He knows we are purified when he sees Himself through us.

Hope you have a great week! Keep working hard and look for some ways to have fun. :)

With love,

Sister Roy

Holding the hottest peppers in the world!!

One of the awesome families in our ward