Monday, February 24, 2014

I Love Plymouth!!!

Hey all!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Here is one of my all time fav scriptures that stands out right now:
 "Yea, I know that I am nothing; as to my own strength I am weak; therefore, I will not boast of myself, but I will boast of my God, for in his strength I can do all things; yea, behold, many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land , for which we will praise his name forever." -Alma 26:12

Love love love you!!
-Sister Roy

Monday, February 17, 2014

First Week in Plymouth!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

-Sister Roy

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

Feeling loved on Valentines Day 

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

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

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

I'm Going To...!!!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Love you all so much!
-Sister Roy

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

Monday, February 3, 2014

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

Our store. Done and done.


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

After the lesson with the Pinsons

Sister Patterson's Cartoon Drawing of Me