Monday, October 28, 2013

"Hey kid, get in the van, we've got candy!"

 Hey everyone!
Okay, as for this week, Sister Patterson and I went on exchanges for a day with the Sister training leaders, Sisters Wagner and Sister Bringhurst. When I was with Sister Wagner, I expressed my concerns on how we weren't using our time wisely. I felt that Sister Patterson and I were running around, mainly in Waltham in the daytime, dropping by the same members' and less-actives' homes that we had a hard time getting hold of (because for some reason everyone works and goes to school all day...what's with that? ;) ) We would have a few appointments here and there, but some would fall through and they still were not nearly enough to fill the hours we had. So, the first step we took was to visit the Visiting Teaching Supervisors to see how we can help them with their callings to discuss which companionship's we could strengthen, which teaches may need to have extra care, and any less-actives who we could help. So when Sister Wagner and I were together for a day, we started the morning off with our scheduled meeting with one of the Visiting Teaching Supervisors in the ward. We received prime information, then went with it. We began making phone calls and setting appointments. At the end of exchanges, we shared with Sister Patterson all the information we collected. From then on, we made phone calls and set up appointments with the people we knew we should visit. It's still in the works but we've had some good, meaningful visits. Using our time at its best, not procrastinating in planning appointments, and setting priorities is still in the works but it's getting there. We're also having to work our schedules carefully because we are running out of given miles for the month. 

 On Saturday we had our tri-ward Trunk or Treat. Sister Packard brought the party bus along with lights and decor for us to decorate it with. It was a big hit! It was fun to say, "Hey kid, you want some candy? Get in the van!" All these kids would clamber inside as Christmas music was playing at full blast, since Christmas music sounds cheerful and Christlike. Natalie Packard greeted everyone with her large grin and Elder Thompson, one of the AP's (and he's from Sandy/went to Cottonwood HS) hid in the corner behind a pumpkin poster to scare a few kids. We actually ran out of candy but we had plenty of pass-along cards. :)

 A few more happenings:
We are definitely feeling more of the late-fall weather. Luckily it hasn't snowed yet. We'll see how it turns out, but it is a little more chilly here. I'm still keeping up with all my responsibilities to stay well.

Jose's baptism date got postponed for a bit since he didn't come to church; he has to come a few times before and continue to progress. This Sunday, though, he finally came! Ahh he is so awesome and said he will come again next week. We're still teaching him and he seems to be progressing and doing well. We're hoping to have his whole family more involved in the lessons though and hope for them to come back soon (it's mainly been work schedules that conflict).
While reflecting about some things yesterday, Sister Patterson said, "I know of a solution: everyone should just stop working and going to school so everyone would be home." For some reason this made me wonder, Will the work ever stop, even in paradise? Then I answered my own question on how much work would need to be done to prepare for the Savior's coming--a lot. And then, an idea that is not doctrine, but just my own idea--what if paradise has its name because everyone will be working in unity and harmony, which could be considered a paradise? I know that we will no longer face hardships or sufferings that we face on Earth, but we will all be encompassed in the Lord's glory. I never thought of Paradise possibly being this way before--a place where everyone works using their own unique talents, strengths, and abilities,knowing why and who they are serving in preparation for the Savior's return. It was just a thought, but it blew me away. We will never know until we arrive at the other side but it was a neat thought.

This work is tiring and draining in many ways, but it is a privilege to take part in it. I have to keep reminding myself to look at the grand scheme and remember what matters most. There's a lot of challenges that come and bridges to cross, but it's so rewarding to help build the kingdom of God here on the earth.

I love you all very much.

-Sister Roy

P.S. Go Red Sox!!

Monday, October 21, 2013

Updates and Daffodils


The worm we named Elder :)


Hey Family,

First of all, Happy Birthday Mom!!!!!!! Don't worry I did not forget. I hope you got the card I sent in the mail! Do you have any fun plans? I hope you have a great Birthday today!!!
This week whizzed by and I am trying to remember what happened. We had one lesson with Jose, as all other appointments with investigators fell through, so Sister Patterson and I were able to exceed our goal for member visits. We've been using tactics she discovered in her past area as well as talks from this past General Conference to motivate them to be engaged in the work, including starting from their own desires in life. We've also been busy visiting less actives and finding ways to serve in the community.

On Saturday we planted Daffodil bulbs in Ashland, right along the Marathon route. There will be more flowers planted all along the route over the next few weeks and they will bloom yellow in honor of the incident that happened during the last marathon, right in time for next year's marathon. It was fun to help out with the other missionaries and there were a few photographers--we might just be in the Deseret news at some point soon so you can keep an eye out for it.
Sister Patterson and I are getting along well. I'm still learning by her example as she seeks to understand the needs each person we visit. We've had some great planning sessions and have been able to fulfill most of our goals. I've also been teaching her some basic recipes and we even made a superb pizza with ingredients a member family gave us for left overs. I'm glad she's also been asking questions when they come because I want to make sure we communicate clearly with everything, including about CF. It's starting to get colder here and some illness is starting to go around, so we briefly discussed what we would do in case exchanges would come in need.

I am striving to be patient with my weaknesses again and again, but I know that through prayer, our Heavenly Father can help out. I'm still learning new ways and approaches to try to be able to address each individual's needs to help them progress at the right pace. The mission has its stressful and overwhelming moments, especially since I feel the large responsibility to help each person, but the Lord is continuing to help ease the load. There are several times in the scriptures where we learn about how our Heavenly Father created a new perspective and mindset, providing the encouragement and strength needed. For instance, Enoch did not feel qualified for his calling and responsibilities, so then the Lord told him how he would strengthen him, and then instructed him to walk with him. He then helped open Enoch's eyes as he saw with a new perspective, which gave him the strength to continue on. I love this story and I feel like it's something we could all use as we feel incompatible, insufficient, or discouraged. We can all pray for help and walk with the Lord, which can allow him to strengthen us and help us see with a new perspective.

There are sweet moments here on the mission where the Lord has opened my eyes as there have been some  unexpected, but sweet experiences--whether it be applying a few things I learned in my articulation and phonological disorders class while teaching English, remembering the drama with the Health Insurance prior to the mission (which assures I am here in this mission for a reason), feeling the Spirit bear witness that what we teach is the absolute truth and seeing others come closer to our Savior...the list is endless.
I wish you all the best week.
Love you,
Sister Roy

Tuesday, October 15, 2013

"When You Say Goodbye, I Say Hello"

Goodbye hug

I have a new companion!  Meet Sister Patterson.
"When you say goodbye, I say hello."
Sister Patterson is actually from California, north of LA, but has moved many times from California to Utah (sounds a little familiar.) I came to quickly realize that we are very different in what seems to be all aspects, but she is awesome and we are learning more each day as a companionship. She has a cute country accent and must be one of the sweetest girls to live. I still miss Sister Gledhill, but I am continuing to learn from Sister Patterson. I've also been able to help her with cooking healthily and helping with work outs in the mornings. She seems to have a desire to learn more healthy habits and I'm not forcing her into anything, but I've noticed how is slowly following after the ways I shop at the grocery store, cook, and work out in the mornings.

Before Sister Gledhill left, I was nervous that I wouldn't be able to carry on all the appointments and responsibilities and be able to help out Sister Patterson. I'll admit that it was overwhelming. However, through planning and praying, I've felt an increased, burning desire to carry on the work and help out each individual. I wish I could explain the feeling, but I've felt our Savior lift the load as I've done my part and strive to work with Sister Patterson. I just hope that we can continue working hard and not lose hope.
As for other shenanigans and happenings...

Oh man. I wish I could express how incredible our Mission President is. #celebritystatus I'm sure I've mentioned it before, but he's given experiences during these past few days that were unbelievable--trials and hardships, what he's learned, and how his testimony has grown from diligent scripture study. I won't share much, but he's had experiences that you would not believe. It was such a treat to hear from him at Transfer meeting and Stake Conference, and at both meetings, people were in tears and the Spirit was incredibly strong. During Stake Conference, President Packard told the story of the Prodigal Son--how the son was lost, but once he came back, his father ran to him, tenderly kissed him, and embraced him. It's a beautiful imagery for how our Heavenly Father feels about each of us. I've been able to feel his love for those we are teaching--it's one of the best parts of this work. The two greatest commandments have stood out to me this past week, while striving for unity between Sister Patterson and I, to care for those we visit, to constantly be focusing on their needs and how to help them progress. There's a lot of responsibility that comes with being a missionary, but it all comes to the simplicity of loving our Heavenly Father with all our heart, might, mind, and strength, and giving our time, care, and attention to those around us.

 Sister Patterson and I were also able to finally go to the temple yesterday! One thing I've missed is being able to attend the temple more regularly--don't take it for granted! Half of our mission goes every other Monday holiday, and then the other half goes for the following Monday holiday.  We were able to watch the new film for the first time as well and it was so special to be able to attend for the first time in months. It was much needed and I encourage anyone who can go to the temple to go.

The autumn weather here is still beautiful and we've heard it's the best that's been here in years. The leaves are staying on longer than usual. We haven't had many rainstorms and it isn't too cold yet. Hopefully it won't be a long winter like last year's.
Well I better go. There's not too much to talk about since it was a shorter week. I wish you all the best week.
With much love,
 Sister Roy

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Ch ch ch changes and Conference Time

Ch ch ch changes, face the strange.
Oh man, Sister Gledhill is leaving.
A lot of changes are going to happen.
I'm staying where I am, but I'm getting a new companion? I'll soon be the one driving? (Whoever even came up with the idea for these roads to be constructed after the shape of pretzels and have them cross over each other with streets extending off of them was off their rocker.) I'm actually pretty nervous for what may happen but am having to lean on faith. Luckily President Packard devotes a lot of time to pray about what to do for each transfer--if each missionary should stay or go and where they will be assigned to, who their new companion will be, if they're training, new positions...all that jazz.
My new companion will be Sister Patterson from Springfield, Utah. I've seen her before since she came out here at the same time, but have never met her. Since President Packard tells the assigned missionaries what to send out in the transfer texts, I don't even know if Sister Patterson knows what Cystic Fibrosis is. I'm willing to work with her to help everything work well but there are the responsibilities I have to keep up with to stay healthy. I also hope I can keep everything rolling with everyone we've been meeting with--all Investigators, less actives, the members...the whole crew. It might take some time to adjust but I'm hoping for a smooth transition.
I'm going to miss Sister Gledhill. However, she will be in a great area that we've heard some good things about. She's influenced my life in many ways as I was constantly learning more about devotion, dedication, and much more.
One thing is for sure: missionary life is a crazy shindig.
Now I'm going to put that aside for now.

General Conference this last weekend? Ya? Can you say it was rock-awesome?
Watching it as a missionary with our district was a whole other deal. The spirit was strongly felt during each talk and I was amazed how every question I had was answered directly. Since I'm a quote-geek, here are a few that stood out to me:
"Look ahead and remember faith is always pointing to the future; look ahead and believe."- Edward Dube
"Be equally yoked in the Work of Salvation."- Edward Dube
"A grateful person is rich in the spirit of contentment."- Elder David A. Bednar
"God is perfect and His doctrine is pure, but he works through us, imperfect people; condemn not the things of God."- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf.

"God will not allow His church to drift from its divine course or destiny."- President Dieter F. Uchtdorf
"Since we are all on the Lord's team, do we each have our own game plan?!"- S. Gifford Nielson! :)       (P.s. He's going to speak at our next Zone Conference. We're ready for some great pep-talk.)
Too many from Elder Jeffrey R. Holland's. It's not worth writing them down.
"Heavenly Father has made each of us unique, but he's made 1 plan of happiness--to follow all the commandments of God."- President Henry B. Eyring
"There is joy guaranteed for the faithful."- President Henry B. Eyring

"The first two great commandments remind us of our priorities...."- Elder Dallin H. Oaks

"Being in good physical condition comes at a price--dedication, perseverance, and self-discipline. The same goes for good spiritual condition." - Richard J. Maynes
"You must become the rock the river cannot wash away." - Richard J. Maynes
"This is what the gospel gives us: not an immunity to death, but a victory over it through the hope of the Atonement." - Richard J. Maynes
"Let us run with patience the race that is set before us." - Richard J. Maynes
"Shall I falter? Or shall I finish?; Those who remain of good cheer and face challenges head on keep the Gospel of Jesus Christ the center of their lives." - President Thomas S. Monson
"Don't neglect to look up." - Adrian Ochoa
"The Savior loves us so much He wants us to align our will his His." - Terrance M. Vinson
"It is personal, enticing, and inviting that we walk with the Savior's arm around us." - Terrance M. Vinson

"With your body being such a vital part in God's Eternal Plan, it is a temple. See it as a temple and your decisions for how you take care of it will affect your eternal destiny. How so? Your body is a temple as it houses your spirit"

"You were chosen in this precise time for bravery, courage, integrity of heart. Some of these attributes you may have developed in the pre-mortal life and some we can still develop." - Elder Russel M. Nelson

Anywho those were only a few but that way you can remember some of its awesomeness.

The work is picking up here, as Jose finally has a baptismal date for the beginning of November. We will also begin teaching a couple of kids of a less-active family. It's ironic how it seems to be the younger generation that is moving along quicker, but we'll see how everything plays out. I know their actions will affect their future families and generations. I'm so glad we'll be teaching more people while bringing them closer to our Savior.
I hope you all have a great week.
With love,
 Sister Roy