Monday, August 25, 2014

Don't Let the Bed Bugs Bite

Matching shirt day!
You know that phrase, "Good night, sleep tight, don't let the bedbugs bite?" It's now our companionship motto. Yikes! Remember that experience about the "fleas" that I was telling you about? Well, they weren't fleas. By the time both Sister Scott was wearing bug spray to bed and I started to get bites, we finally had a bug inspector come to our apartment. He looked around, and lifted up our mattresses. Nothing. Then he lifted up my box spring...surely enough A BED BUG WAS THERE!!! So gross!!! I never thought I'd see this happen, nevertheless, I've never known what they look like. We are in the works of getting this worked out between the missionary over all the apartments and our landlord (who is being pretty stubborn about taking care of this sooner than later.) So, Sister Scott and I are becoming champs at wearing bug spray to bed. Such is the life!

Well...other than that, it's been a pretty good week! We had a mind-blowing experience happen--it was definitely a mission highlight! We continued to have more teaching appointments, which is always a good thing.

The rest of the week went pretty well. We had another lesson with our investigator Kyle, as we reviewed the Restoration. His family is working on some personal matters, but it's wonderful to see them grow closer through the work they are putting in as they are centering their lives on the gospel more. We provided a chart for chores to help around the home and a chart for spiritual matters, including family home evening, scripture study, and prayer. Our deal for them is that once they complete it for a month, we're going to provide an ice cream sundae party for the family. We also taught Kunal again. He's taking the lessons a little bit slower now since he's very busy as he works at MIT, so we're not sure about his baptism date being at the end of September, but at least he still wants to learn and we're still teaching him.

Remember that miracle I mentioned? Here it goes! Sister Scott and I originally planned to head to our dinner appointment a little early once weekly planning would be done to do a stop by at a less active's on the way.  However, since it was a little far away we decided to continue planning instead. Later on the way to the members' home (the Swans) we hopped from station to station, switching lines for the train. On the last train while standing, a lady noticed our tags and asked where our church was located. When we told her, she was so excited! She has wanted so badly to go to a church again since she has been craving spiritual strength as she travels a lot as a flight attendant. When we got of the same T stop as we continued to talk, we saw how truly grateful she was. This was a missionary's dream moment! Sister Scott and I walked along both sides of her, wanting to pinch ourselves to see if this was actually happening! We found out the lady's name was Krystal. She kept throwing her hands up in relief, exclaiming how we were an answer to her prayer that day to send a church her way!

As Sister Scott and I tried to maintain our giddiness, we told her where the church was as we gave her our card. Krystal promised she would come this Sunday if she didn't get called in for a flight for work. We asked if she'd be alright if the members nearby (the Swans) gave her a ride, which she accepted! Sister Scott geniously then mentioned how we were actually headed to a dinner at their place and asked if she'd like to come, which she agreed to! She had a quick errand to do beforehand, so as we waited, we decided to change our dinner lesson plan to the Restoration. We called the Swans, asking if Krystal could come to dinner--yes again! It was a solid plan!

The three of us had dinner with the Swans as Krystal told more about her life. The best comparison I can give for Krystal is Princess Tiana from the Disney Movie "Princess and the Frog." She is very bubbly and dramatic in a sweet, fun way. She has an open heart and moves forward with her ambitions and what she knows is right. She shared about her family, her life as a flight attendant, and her wedding plans for next year to a man she knew back from middle school. We could see Krystal's faith and courage as she is willing to do whatever the Lord would have her do.

When the time came when Brother Swan mentioned we usually do a lesson after dinner, we asked Krystal if we could teach her the basis of what we teach for our church. She openly agreed to be taught it. The lesson flowed so smoothly as we used the pamphlet, opened the scriptures, asked her questions and bore testimony. Krystal listened carefully to everything as the feeling in the Swans' apartment was unbelievable. She's had her foundation built by going to her church and studying the Bible, but she's intrigued with it all. She gratefully accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon at the end. She described how God gives her answers and how she acts on them which led to us reading Moroni 10: 3-5. She wanted to pray to know if what we taught is true and if the Book of Mormon is true. She wanted to attend church, and the Swans offered to drive her, but unfortunately she did get called in for work at the last minute. The good news, however, is that we heard from her again and are planning on teaching her again this week. :) I am stunned--absolutely bewildered with this experience. There was absolutely no coincidence how it all worked out. The Lord led every step required to meet her right there and then on that part of the train. I sure wonder where this is all going to lead but it's definitely been one of the neatest experiences here in the mission.

I want you to know that the Lord continues to pour out his tender mercies every week. Some are more evident than others, but there are simple ones that can be shown as well. The tender mercies and simple pleasures carry us each day. Over here, it's been the cooler summer weather this time of season, when passerby's actually smile back when you smile and say hello (even better when they accept a pass-along card). It's in the feeling after a good workout in the mornings, having the spirit direct and carry words while teaching, and seeing less actives come to church more frequently.

Another tender mercy was having the sweet experience of laughing to tears with a member in the lesson in Relief Society from some things that happened in the lesson (we received weird looks from everyone else who just didn't understand the good time we were having). That's when I realized how much I a good laugh for a while. I encourage you to continue to look for the Lord's tender mercies in your lives.

I love you all so much as I pray for you daily. I still cannot believe how quickly the mission is passing by (I don't even recognize many of the missionaries here--Sister Scott and I are getting old!)

With love,

Sister Roy

Fun Fact:  There are flower carts at about every T Stop.  Sometimes we'll see a young man on the train carrying flowers for someone. :)

Friday, August 22, 2014

Relying on the Lord

This week was still great but wasn't quite as busy as last week, and we had some plans fall through. To be honest, I've had to greatly rely on the Lord to help me overcome personal barriers. He has most definitely answered prayers while strengthening and enabling Sister Scott and I to do what we cannot do on our own. He has helped us see others for who they really are and who they can become through His mercy and grace. All in all, I've just been thinking more lately about the importance of relying on Him, having Him fill in the gaps, making up for shortcomings and helping with what cannot be done on our own. 

Unfortunately Kunal cancelled our appointment for this week and wasn't able to make it to church as he's become busy with work. We also were planning on "heart-attacking" Al this week but it's been a little tricky trying to figure out where he's at since he's planning on going back to rehab from the hospital soon. 

With our new investigator Mark on his Birthday with his new present :)
Although those were a couple of bummers, we had a great and powerful lesson with our investigator, Mark. I don't know if I ever told you about him. It's been a little difficult to relate to him since it's been hard to figure out his needs as he learns differently and has his mind set on some philosophies. However, the more we've met with him, the Lord has helped me see how awesome he is. I'll have to say, when he came in for our lesson with him on Saturday, with his 10 pages for each of us as his homework answers, wearing his large cross chains over his shirt, I just could help but think how awesome he is! He has great potential as he has a yearning desire to learn more of what we teach. The lesson flowed so smoothly, as it was focused only on prayer. The most powerful part of the lesson was when we used President Clayton M. Christensen's advice from his book “The Power of Everyday Missionaries”--we demonstrated how to pray, as we had him pay attention to the similarities and differences to the examples of a group prayer and a personal prayer. First, Sister Moore offered the group prayer. Afterwards, I knelt down and offered up a few concerns, desires, and informed Heavenly Father what I was thankful for. The spirit was so strong by that point and remained that way for the rest of the lesson.

Our investigators are facing their own personal trials, some which we are not sure if they are preventing them from being more receptive to the spirit that is felt. It's been difficult at times to be patient and understanding. There was one morning this week where I opened my Book of Mormon, hoping it would turn to a scripture I needed or could use. That's when I turned open to Moroni 3:9-12.

In this story, Moroni is struggling with the Nephites. They boasted in themselves, wanted avenge, and became wicked as they found success in their battles. Although there is a definite line here, as the people we are teaching are at no means wicked, I've found myself at times feeling more like Moroni in the description he gave, as he "did utterly refuse from (that) time forth to be a commander and leader of (the) people." (vs. 11) Then I read on to verse 12..."Behold, I had led them, notwithstanding their wickedness I had led them many times to battle, and had loved them, according to the Love of God which was in me, with all my heart; and my soul had been poured out unto my God all the day long for them..."

This hit me--although Moroni wanted to give up--perhaps because they didn't grasp what he tried to teach, because they were prideful, or many other reasons--he still chose to lead them. He depended on the love of God which he knew was deep down inside himself, with all his heart. And, he continued to pray--to pour out his soul--on their behalf, all day long. What a great lesson this exemplified to me--to do these things even when it's not easy, to grow in charity and gain understanding.

There is oftentimes a great need to "pray unto the Father with all the energy of heart, that (we) may be filled with this love." All I can say is that as we do so, we see marvelous blessings with added capacity from on high to do and become what we desires us to. There is just no way we can do these things without relying on the merits and mercy's of our Savior's Atoning sacrifice, as we leave it all in His hands.

With love,
Sister Roy

Monday, August 11, 2014

Miracles Happen

How do I best say this?...Here it goes...


Ladies and gents, miracles are happening here, and I'm just hoping and praying they continue. The Lord is being so good to us, as he is pouring out blessings. Ever since we've been working with the Moore's when they arrived the night before I did, we've been receiving more member referrals and having more members come out with us. In fact, we had 10 this last week, as well as 3 new investigators, as well as a baptismal date!

On Friday, Sister Scott and I headed over to Boston Children's for a clinic check-up appointment. First of all, I got a 100 % PFT again!! I also fasted for the glucose tolerance test they require every year, and knew they were going to do other yearly tests...and I soon found out they weren't kidding. It wasn't that great with all the blood work, but luckily enough, my good friend Brandon was able to work on my labs. While he was there with us, Sister Scott and I couldn't stop laughing. Since he did my labs, he kept going on, as he did before, about how tough my veins are and when any phlebotomist sees patients with veins like mine, they run the opposite direction. Since we had a tough time with my veins once again, Brandon jokingly said, "He would punch my nose" since my veins were refusing to give anything, but since I'm a Sister he wouldn't. He also offered to take Sister Scott's blood and label it mine. What else did he do? He played a prank during the blood draw. He said that my insurance only covered 25 minutes of heat in the room, since I was cold from drinking a lot of water, trying to stay hydrated. He turned up the heat and said it would come out of his own funds. He admitted much later on he was only joking! Ha...ha. We also transitioned the jokes and prank into another awesome discussion with him, this time about tithing. There came the point where the spirit was so strong in that hospital room. He is drawn to this church and agrees with everything it teaches, so we will see where it goes.

with Brandon at CF Cliinic
I am not getting my hopes up that it will be crazy busy every day, but I am grateful for how our schedules are becoming more packed. We're having to figure out who--the Moore's or us--go to which appointments, and are on the verge of having to do splits with the members soon. On Saturday, we once again visited Al. He seemed on the verge of falling asleep at times since his health is wavering, but we could tell our visit with him brought him and his wife peace and comfort. His wife has been coming to church more often, and as we've been doing so, we see her countenance changing as she carries a new light about her.

We also began to teach a lady named Megan (pronounced Meegan) who a member began talking to at a park when she saw her reading some scriptures (which we found out later was one of the books for the Christian Science religion.)  Sister Raymond offered to have her come over for dinner and said that we could be there, so she set up the appointment. Megan had a sweet, peaceful presence about her. We all got to know her and began the first lesson. She already has a deep faith and knowledge of God's love, and was intrigued with Joseph Smith's experience and the first vision. When we read Mosiah 18:8-10 and extended baptism, she said she's been thinking about being baptized by being fully immersed. She looks forward to reading the Book of Mormon and meeting with us. We're a little nervous because she has been so devoted to the church she's a part of, and wants to ask them if she can meet with us, but she wants to go to church and learn more so we are hoping for the best.

We also had our first lesson with Kunal, and it was incredible. He loves this church (he's come before and was taught the first lesson by the missionaries a while back.) He has felt the confirmation through the peace he feels and how it all makes sense that the church is true. He flooded us with very good questions, since he has little Christian background as he's from India. He loved the scriptures we read in the Book of Mormon as we began the Plan of Salvation. He is enthusiastic to learn and is very positive. When we extended for him to be baptized, he gladly accepted. We chose September 27--the day before his Birthday--so he could receive the greatest gift on his Birthday--the gift of the Holy Ghost. The Moore's and the member that came were a tremendous help for the lesson. We are excited to teach Kunal!

During church yesterday, the sacrament meeting talks were centered on the topic: joy. Sister Moore was one of the speakers, and she shared a simple, yet profound acronym that I loved and will never forget. She thought about what our joy can be in: J for Jesus Christ, O for Others, and Y for yourself. As we first find joy through the relief and blessings that come from the Atonement by remembering all that He's done for us, then we learn what true joy is. As we rejoice in others and help each other out, then we continue to feel a greater fulfillment in our lives. And last but not least, we can remember who we are and walk with confidence that we are children of our Eternal Father in Heaven. As we appreciate the gifts He's given us, and accept who we are with all the strengths and weaknesses we have, then we can continue to find joy in this life and in the world to come.

I am so thankful for the Lord's tender mercies and all that He gives. Although hard times and trials come along in our lives, they allow us to greatly appreciate the many good times and miracles that are provided.

I love you all and have a great week.


Sister Roy

Random pictures from this week:

Cupcakes...why not?

a neat building at MIT

Monday, August 4, 2014

Keep Moving Forward

Hey everyone!

Sorry this will be a little bit of a shorter letter since we have to get off soon. I still am shocked with all of the changes happening back at home but I know everything will work out according to the Lord's will.

I'm adjusting to all of the new changes of being here in Cambridge. I'm growing to love this ward! At first it was a culture shock to see all of the young couples and many kids around, but yesterday it hit how much of a party it is. :) For instance, there will be kids left and right trying to free themselves from their parents as they try to run up the aisles before their parents grasp hold of them. It may seem irreverent, but I honestly couldn't help but enjoy it. There were several parents who brought up their son or daughter to the pulpit when they bore their testimony. There was even one boy who kept putting his hand up to his eye. He was looking through it to all of us, when he called out, "I see you mommy!" We couldn't help but laugh :) It's a great joy to be here and the people here are very loving. As there are many wise people here, with various degrees, professions, and skills, it's been wonderful to already learn from them and we feel loved into the ward.

What has also been wonderful to see is that there have been many less actives coming back to church. One, for instance, stopped coming for a long while, but came back. Many members approached her, telling her how much they missed her and were glad to see her. She loved all that was said at church and felt spiritually strengthened; she committed herself to keep coming from now on. :)

As for a couple shindigs that took place this week:

-Our zone had a mini party for lunch before the transfer took place when a few were transferred. We had crepes, and surprised the Moore's with a huge card that Sister Scott and I created for everyone to sign for their anniversary.

Our Zone (except for Elder Orgill)

-There has been a Haitian Baptist priest that has continually been calling us, since Sister Scott and Sister Miller (the Sister who was with her previously) promised him they would come to his church if he came to ours. It turns out we can't because his church takes place during my treatment time every Sunday morning, so we've been telling him why we can't go (even with the simple explanation "She's sick!" referring to myself as the best way we could tell him to help him understand) but he still doesn't seem to get it. Anyways, during one of his calls this week while we were at the church as a zone, he blurted out to Sister Scott, with the Haitian speaking Elders right there in front of us, "But I love you!" Our jaws dropped and we were speechless. Good gravy...the things that happen here near Boston!!

To top the week off, we had another sweet visit with Al on Saturday at the rehab center where he is at. We were going to do a Restoration review, but before we headed over there I felt we should begin by reading 3 Ne 11:3-7 when Christ appeared to the Nephites. The plan with that was to focus in on how the Lord speaks to us, and how Heavenly Father introduced Christ with the same words when He was baptized. When we discussed this with Al, the spirit felt as peaceful and breathtaking as before. Sister Scott did a beautiful job describing how Heavenly Father was proud of Christ, even when He was baptized, as He would continually be proud of Al for his decision to do the same and follow Him. We extended September 14th as a date if his health improves, since it hasn't been the best lately. Al wanted so badly to listen to us more, but his meds that caused him to be drowsy given by the nurses were kicking in. He has a pure heart and wants to be baptized, as he said, "We cannot move backward, only forward." He also cannot wait to come to church when he is well enough to attend. I know somehow it will work out for him--to move forward to his heart's yearning desires. I could feel while we were with Al how understanding the Lord is of his desires and condition. This strengthened my testimony of how understanding our Heavenly Father and Savior are for all that we face, with all of the hardships, pleadings and yearnings in our hearts, all the situations that we encounter, and the hopes that we wish to be fulfilled.

Always know how much I love you all and have a wonderful week. :)


Sister Roy