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

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