Sunday, December 18, 2016

Til Kingdom Come

Well, my mission is over and I'm back home. I made it just in time for Thanksgiving. It's weird coming home from a mission, harder than I thought it would be. Probably because my heart is still in Vegas. But don't get me wrong, I am loving this time with my family!
This is part of my homecoming talk. I wish I could share everything that I learned and the experiences that changed my life but I know I can't, so here's just a bit of my homecoming talk and (minus the on the spot testimonies and stories). 

I think homecoming talks are funny because we expect returned missionaries to summarize the most eventful 18-24 months of their lives into a 10-15 minute sacrament meeting talk. Which, let me tell you is no easy task. But I think I’ve got it pretty well summarized into one sentence. “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas.” (Drop the mic).

It doesn't matter how many people I taught and baptized, or the area’s I served in, or my companions, or the weirdest food I ate. What matters is the degree of conversion that occurred within myself and within others. 

In Preach My Gospel page 104 it reads “The Book of Mormon, combined with the Spirit, is your most powerful resource conversion.” I can testify that this statement is true. In one of my area’s we had an investigator, named Steve...   Eventually through the trials he endured, he became truly converted and he was baptized...  I knew instantly it was because of Steve’s love for the Book of Mormon that he was able to become truly converted and understand the principles being taught. Every day Steve read the Book of Mormon and everyday his testimony grew stronger and everyday he progressed to true conversion...

Reading the Book of Mormon is one of the first things we invite people to do. Las Vegas is a 24hour city so people are on-the-go constantly! Which gives us missionaries extremely short amount of time to introduce ourselves and testify of doctrine before they go on their way. So we either (A.) learn how to talk really fast or (B.) learn how to provide a brief explanation and then expound upon it later when we come back to visit with them again. We usually chose plan (B.) because it doesn't take much for people to feel the spirit when missionaries talk about the restored gospel. Unless prompted to do otherwise, we generally invited these new investigators to start with the Introduction to the Book of Mormon. Because one of the first steps into gaining that steadfast testimony is understanding what’s inside.

The first paragraph of the introduction reads: “The Book of Mormon is a volume of holy scripture comparable to the Bible. It is a record of God’s dealings with ancient inhabitants of the Americas and contains the fulness of the everlasting gospel.”

Elder Russell M. Nelson said “Each book stands as evidence that God lives and speaks to His children by revelation to His prophets. Love for the Book of Mormon expands one’s love for the Bible and vice versa. Scriptures of the Restoration do not compete with the Bible; they compliment the Bible.”

To me, the Book of Mormon is proof that God loves all of His children. He wouldn't just speak to the people in the Holy Lands and ignore the rest of the world. But our Father in Heaven loves us so He guided the people of the Americas through prophets.

In the third paragraph in the Introduction it reads: The crowning event recorded in the Book of Mormon is the personal ministry of the Lord Jesus Christ among the Nephites soon after His resurrection. It puts forth the doctrines of the gospel, outlines the plan of salvation, and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.

Throughout the entire Book of Mormon we are taught about the Doctrine of Christ. Which is Faith, Repentance, Baptism, Receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost and Enduring to the end. There’s not a whole lot else that we need to know besides these fundamental principles. These teachings are simple enough for a child to understand, but yet complicated enough that we spend our whole lives, studying, pondering and perfecting these doctrines. 

I also love how in this paragraph it says that it “outlines the plan of salvation”. We know that the Plan of Salvation is God’s plan for us to be happy. Before this life we lived with God. 2/3 of Heavenly Father’s spirit children chose to follow His plan while the others chose to follow Satan’s plan. We know that we came to Earth but we passes through a veil so we wouldn't remember our pre-earth life and we would walk by faith and not by sight. After we die our spirits go to the spirit world either a state of peace and rest call Spirit Paradise or a opportunity of learning and a state of misery called Spirit Prison. We are then Resurrected and Judged and placed into one of three Degrees of Glory. The first being the Celestial Kingdom where God and Jesus Christ live and where those who chose to follow the gospel of Jesus Christ will live is perfect peace. The second being Terrestrial Kingdom where good, honorable people who chose not to follow the doctrine of Christ will live. The third the Telestial Kingdom where those who chose to live in their sins and not repent with be placed in this Kingdom of Glory. 

Similarly Lehi, a prophet in the Book of Mormon had 6 sons. 2/3 of them were good and faithful and followed the prophet, their father. While Lamen and Lemuel refused to be obedient. His family crossed the ocean, left behind their old life to go to the promised land. Much like how we came here to earth. Eventually his posterity divided into the Nephites who were righteous and lived in a state of peace and rest and the Lamenites who lived in a state of misery. Eventually Christ came to the America. We read in 4th Nephi that the first hundred years after Christ came the people lived in perfect peace, like we will in the Celestial Kingdom. The second hundred years, things became a little worse but the people were still happy, similar to the Terrestial Kingdom. By three hundred years after Christ had come both the Nephites and the Lamenites had waxed strong in iniquity. Just like the introduction states the Book of Mormon “outlines the plan of salvation and tells men what they must do to gain peace in this life and eternal salvation in the life to come.”

In the Sixth paragraph of the introduction it reads: “Concerning this record the Prophet Joseph Smith said: “I told the brethren that the Book of Mormon was the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts, than by any other book.”

I have a testimony of Joseph Smith...   He translated the Book of Mormon by the power of God. Johnny drew closer to God as he read the Book of Mormon and it saved his life...

Final two paragraph of the Book of Mormon reads: We invite all men everywhere to read the Book of Mormon, to ponder in their hearts the message it contains, and then to ask God, the Eternal Father, in the name of Christ if the book is true. Those who pursue this course and ask in faith will gain a testimony of its truth and divinity by the power of the Holy Ghost. (See Moroni 10:3–5.) Those who gain this divine witness from the Holy Spirit will also come to know by the same power that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world, that Joseph Smith is His revelator and prophet in these last days, and that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord’s kingdom once again established on the earth, preparatory to the Second Coming of the Messiah.

I’d like to end with this poem one of my companions shared with me. Its called "I’ll find you my friend."
I was thinking about our friendship, and these are my feelings:
In Heaven we were the best of friends.  
We did everything together.  
One day a grand council was called in Heaven.  
We knew it was an important event. 
Everyone was there.   
Father presented a plan,   
And we chose Christ to be our Savior.   
After the council, we ran in line to receive our life packages.  
In the bustle, we were separated.   
I received my package and ran to you.   
You were sitting under a tree,   
We opened our packages.  
Mine said I would be born at a time. 
When the gospel was restored to the earth,  
It said I would have good parents,  
And the fullness of the Gospel in my home.  
I jumped for joy and we hugged each other.   
You were so happy for me. 
Then you read yours.   
I saw tears in your eyes and I asked what was wrong?  
You said that you would also be born when the gospel was restored.  
But you would be born in a different place.  
And the gospel would not be in your home.  
You looked me straight in the eye and said:  
Friend, Find me! 
No matter what it takes of the trials you have to endure, 
Find Me and bring me the gospel of Jesus Christ. 

In the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.

I'm grateful for all of the prayers and support I received throughout my mission. I could feel blessings  constantly pour on me.

Tuesday, November 22, 2016


October 17-Nov 20th

Well sorry I haven't written anything in a while. Don't worry it's not because I'm trunky but we've been super busy and I spend more time iMessaging than emailing. This is a 5 week over view of this area and transfer. Maybe when I get home I'll add more details because I've been keeping a really good journal this transfer. Surprise surprise! 

I'm now serving in south Las Vegas. Our area boarders the airport and we have a great view of the Strip. We cover two wards and it's been interesting trying to remember the names of the members within 5 weeks. The members are wonderful and the work is progressing well. 

My companion has been out 6 weeks but by the end of the transfer she will have been out 12 weeks. She is from Alabama. And is at a level 100 about 100% of the time. She is excited about the work and has been a great companion. She is super random for example, in one of our lessons this week she was singing all of the songs from Joseph and the Technicolor Dream Coat. It was hilarious! I don't even know what lead her to start singing them but my only regret is not filming her. 

We have several outstanding investigators but I'll only mention a few for sake of time:
JORDAN was baptized the second week of the transfer. His mom recently joined and his dad is less active. He is still in primary so it was always interesting trying to teach to his understanding but still make it interesting enough that he would remember it. For example, when we teach the Ten Commandments we use our fingers to remember which commandment is what. For the second commandment (don't worship idols) we shape our fingers into what looks like a cow. So when ever we ask him to list some one the commandments we follow his go-to is "don't worship cows" followed with a mooing sound. 
When we were setting up his baptismal program we had it planned to be on a Saturday right after Madison's baptism. One night we got a call from our Ward Mission Leader telling us (not asking us) that he had called both families of those who were getting baptized, asking if the baptisms could be combined. We were fine with the change (even though we had already planned two services) but didn't understand why our ward mission leader didn't run it by us first. There are some communication skills that were lacking. Anyway, on the day of the baptism we were about ready to head out the door to set up when we got a call from Jordan's mom telling us that Jordan would not be getting baptized. What a curve ball. She explained that the rest of the family didn't feel like Jordan should be baptized, however she felt like he was ready. We knew Jordan was ready and wanted to be baptized but it's hard for a kid to be baptized when your dad tells you he isn't coming to your baptism. We rushed over there, said a prayer with them, and convinced them to at least come to Madison's baptism and if Jordan felt like he needed to be baptized then he could. We called Madison's family and our ward mission leader to ask them if the baptism could be pushed back 15-20 minutes so Jordans family could get ready and come. They both said 'yes'. Then we drove to the chapel and arrived there 5 minutes after the phone call. As we walked into the room the music was playing for the opening song. We turned to the ward mission leader and asked him why we were starting. He told us that people needed to get on with their day and there was no more time to waste. We were not happy! Jordan was going to miss his own baptism because our ward mission leader was afraid he was going to miss a football game! And we weren't able to get any pictures with Madison and her family because they were going to start without the missionaries. Who does that?! See what I mean when I said the communication skills are lacking. We went through nearly the whole baptismal service (because baptisms never really take very long) then Jordan and his mom showed up at the very end. We asked him if he wanted to be baptized and he said 'yes'. I turned around to our ward mission leader and told him we are going to have to hold another service because Jordan wants to be baptized. He was not pleased at the timing but made the announcement that Jordan would be getting baptized however if the members needed to leave they could. No one left. Everyone stayed for Jordan's baptism. We got a picture with him and his family. After he was baptized he ran up to us and asked "Am I glowing?!" For as crazy as the morning was it all worked out and they were both confirmed the next day. 

MADISON got baptized the same day as Jordan, during the second week of the transfer. Her family is awesome! Her dad got baptized about a month before I got into the area and her step mom Amber grew up a member but fell away for a little while and now is back stronger than ever! Amber works from home selling Lularue and I think sister Dyer has bought something from her every week this transfer. You'll be happy to know that as much as I would have loved to buy something I was disciplined. But mainly it's because I knew I would have no room in my suitcases. Whenever we need something they are always there to help out! And just really amazing people in general! One night I found a gecko climbing on their wall outside. Sister Dyer jokingly said "we should catch it and give it to them". She was surprised when I actually was able to catch it. And they seemed to like the new pet! 

LYRIC is in high school and was dating a member who just left for his mission to Korea. He had introduced her to the church before he left for the MTC. We have the lessons at his house with his family even though he's not there anymore. The Goon family is incredible and so missionary minded. They are patient with Lyric and her progression but very supportive. At the beginning of the transfer sister Dyer really pushed her to be baptized, maybe even a little too much... but she hadn't received her answer yet and wanted to make sure she was doing it for herself and not for her boyfriend. So anytime we mentioned the word baptism she would freeze up. We had to take a few steps back and give her some space. When we did she felt more comfortable about her choice. What was ironic was the day she decided that she wanted to be baptized (just didn't know when) was the day her dad told her she couldn't be baptized. This made her really upset which shows that she does actually want this for herself. And her dad told her that for the reason to see how devoted she actually was when there was no pressure to be baptized. (So he didn't really mean what he said, but it sure gave us a scare). So Lyric still hasn't chosen a date to be baptized. But she came to church even when the Goons weren't there. She came to Young Women's, and now she is staying for all three hours of church. She is super competitive so when we give her reading assignments we follow up and in a way grade her and give her stickers to reward her. We made a list of possible days that she would want to be baptized on and she even fasted to know what day. But she admitted that she hadn't been praying with real intent because she was afraid to get her answer, because she knows it's true but it would be a big life change for her. So we are giving her a break for a couple of weeks so figure out what she wants. But we will still text her and meet up for ice cream before I go home. 

DAVID married a member. We went to their wedding at the beginning of the transfer. It was super fun helping with the wedding. It was held in their gorgeous backyard with their closest friends and family. The bishop did a great service and of course the cake was really good. After the wedding Chloe, David's wife, said that he is going to be ready to take the lessons soon. The in-laws were a little apprehensive because they didn't want to scare him away but he's taken everything so well! They have their vision not only on baptism but also the temple so they can be an eternal family. David keeps his commitments to read, pray and come to church and is always wanting more information. In the second lesson we helped him download the gospel library app and showed him how to use it. Best part is he got his answer from God that he should get baptized in the beginning of January! 
Now real quick let me tell you about the BORLA's and the ZACH's. Sister Zach and Sister Borla are sisters and they both live in the same neighborhood. Sister Zach's daughter, Chloe, married our investigator, David. Sister Borla has two kids out on missions right and she is so quick to help us with anything. She even comes out to teach and talk to people. The two families get together every Sunday to have dinner. There has been quite a few weeks where we've come by to get sister Zach's amazing rolls or sister Borla's incredible dessert! They are our family away from family. We love going over there because we feel right at home! 

EDWARD is an incredible investigator! He's from Panama but grew up in NYC so his accent and stories are ones to hear! He works for PepsiCo so he always gives us snacks and juice. It's awesome. At the beginning of the transfer he wouldn't say prayers in our lessons and rarely read his scriptures. But he has come so far! We went on a temple tour with him and have been helping him grow his faith in prophets and the Book of Mormon. One night, after he had read Lehi's vision in 1 Nephi 8 he applied the symbolism perfectly to his life. He said that he is at the point where he is about to partake of the fruit but there are people in the great and spacious building mocking him. We jokingly said "yeah the Strip is right over there" and then he said "no, the great and spacious building is in my phone. It's my friends and family who don't want me to do this." It was so deep! But boy was he right. A few weeks later he had a friend ask him what church he had been attending. Edward told him and then when the friend found out he proceeded to send Edward 45 links to anti material. 45! And he read them all. He disregarded most of them except for blacks and the priesthood. It hurt us seeing him so distraught. We came back the next day to try and answer his questions. When we did the spirit took over and it was a huge testimony builder for him. He thought through it a lot but now he is stronger than ever and is getting baptized! When we had his baptismal interview, which he passed, he said the closing prayer and in the middle of it he had a loss of words because the spirit overcame him. He knew this was God's plan for him and everything that has happened in his life has prepared him for this decision. I'm so excited for Edward because he has been truly converted.

So obviously the people here are stellar but some other things that happened this transfer were: 

DEPARTING TESTIMONY AND DINNER. President Snow invited me to the departing missionary temple, testimony meeting and dinner the day of transfer. I didn't go to the temple because it was right in the middle of transfers and I didn't want to leave sister Dyer all alone, so I told him I would go to the temple later in the transfer. The testimony meeting was good. It was a smallish group of us. I mainly hung around the sisters that were going back to temple square because their missions weren't actually ending either. Where as everyone else was having a hard time coping with the end. The dinner was great. We missionaries are treated so well! After dinner we all sat around talking or looking at out missionary books. Mine wasn't made yet so I just sat there waiting for my companion to come pick me up and thanking Heavenly Father that my mission wasn't quiet over yet! 

ELDER DYCHES is a general authority who came to visit our mission. He had all the missionaries that were leaving this transfer share their brief testimonies (that meant me). And he gave a great training on how we can become better missionaries by focusing on the fundamentals. For lunch we got to sit with Elder and Sister Dyches and visit with them. It was really special and they had some great stories. 

HALLOWEEN PARTY. Every year the mission gets together for a Halloween party to eat candy and watch a movie. Previously that weekend, we went to both ward's Halloween parties. I cannot tell you how many people made the joke "oh, I see you dressed up as missionaries!" It was a lot. The members here love missionaries so they gave us a lot of candy, really good candy too! It made me wish I would have brought a bigger purse, but then I would have needed a bigger skirt. Okay, back to the missionary party. It was great seeing so many missionary friends and catching up with them. We rarely get to meet as a whole mission so this is always a treat we look forward to. This year we watched Shrek for the movie. There were a lot of parts that thankfully I didn't catch onto as a kid. It was fun watching it with a group of missionaries because we haven't seen any movies in years so any movie seems amazing. And most of the missionaries could quote almost all of the movie. All in all it was a fun holiday. 

EXCHANGES IN ANTHEM. I got to go back to my old area for a day. So many memories came back to me as I stepped into that apartment and walked around those neighborhoods. Ryan came out with us to help us find people to teach. Later we had dinner with the Whites. I couldn't have asked for a better family to have dinner with during my one day back in Anthem. We also saw the Mann's there so it was neat seeing old members. In the evening we called Axel to come teach with us last minute. When he answered I said "hey it's me, sister Gier!" He didn't believe me so he said "no way. Who's calling? This is a lame prank." I tried to convince him and said "no, it's really me! I'm on exchanges right now!" Then he freaked out because he realized it was actually me. But he was busy so he couldn't come out with us. The Rivas family are such solid converts! It's amazing! 

TEMPLE WITH SISTER KOYLE. She picked me up bright and early with Ruby and her boyfriend Kyle (who got baptized!). We met Adrianna, Axel, Sonia, Ryan and Axel's girl friend at Kneaders. It was so great to see everyone again. When we got in there Sister Koyle was like "I don't know what to get, I'm not familiar with their menu". So I gave her a look and said "what are you talking about?! We came here together before!" We had so many great memories together. After breakfast her and I went to the temple for a session. It felt like nothing had changed. Two friends ready to take on the world! She filled me in with all she's been doing back in Utah and I can't wait until I'm up there too with all my old friends making new memories. The temple was gorgeous and the spirit was so strong. It was weird thinking that was the last time I would go to the temple as a missionary. But it was a great last time! I know I'm missing a lot of details or funny things that happened but this is the gist of it! It's been a wonderful transfer and the work is going SOOO GREAT!

Wednesday, November 16, 2016

Worth It

Kaila is doing well and has been enjoying her last few weeks as a missionary.  She is continuing to have success in finding people to share the gospel with and has had a couple of baptisms.  Her latest companion is wonderful.
Kaila has been messaging me and not sending an email for the past few weeks.  She has plans to do one final post after she returns from Las Vegas which is on November 23, 2016 at 4:09 cst (pray for good weather and good transfers at the airports).

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Happy Ending

Oct 10-16th 

Monday, we played touch football as a district. It was super fun! I scored the 2 touch downs for my team. I'm just prepping for Cool Runnings! 

Last week Adam, our ward mission leader, told me he had been talking to Sister Sandoval a lot over Skype and stuff. So much so that he was going to fly to Alaska to visit her for a week! Then on Monday he showed me the ring because he was going to propose to her!! How crazy is that! I am so excited for them! I hope she sends me pictures and I hope she said yes because they would be great together! 

 Later we had a lesson with two girls who had majored in Biblical studies and philosophy. Ha. Talk about an interesting lesson. We were teaching them about the pre-earth life and how we lived with God. They had a hard time understanding the concept because that's not the teachings by which they were raised. I know we lived with God before this earthly life, as spirits. We knew of Gods prefect plan for us and we chose to follow it. To me this gives me so much comfort knowing that I chose to come here. I chose to follow Gods plan. I chose Christ to be my Savior. I know we are the only church who claims to this doctrine but I know it's true. 

Tuesday, we had district council and it was Sister Colon's last day because she has been really sick and she had to go home. So at 4am when the STLs picked up sister Colon to take her to the airport, Sister Aukema came strolling into our apartment and crashed on our couch. She is staying with us until transfers. 3 sisters using one bathroom is quite interesting. But sister Aukema is really funny so it's been great having her here. She's from Florida (knows where cape san blas is) and has a huge southern accent. She was going to BYU before her mission, living in Heritage, and was in the same ward as Lauren Pitts and Gretchen Christensen. Small world! We were talking about our families. She showed me pictures of her brother and was telling me all about how he: knows 4 languages, and writes his own music, and is really smart, and likes to travel, etc. Then she said "Just know, I don't usually show off my brother like this. I'm telling you all this because I think you're cool and he really needs to get married..." hahaha 
Oh random thought: Kayla is a popular name for a black girl. I have meet so many people here with that name! 

We ate dinner at home Tuesday night which worked out nicely because we smelt like smoke and I needed to shower. I didn't have enough time to try my hair before institute so on our way there I rolled down the windows and stuck my head outside while I was driving. It worked out nicely! And gave me plenty of volume! Haha

Wednesday, we met with Jamaree. He is progressing slowly. Most of the time when I think of analogies I think about what would make sense to the investigator, individually. But the anologies that I use for Jamaree are ones that make sense to me. It's cool because I just have to think about how I learned the principles and what makes sense to me. However, for every two steps forward he takes one step back. It's frustrating but I see a lot of potential in him but he just needs more time to prepare.
Wednesday's are some of my favorite days because Roberto's Tacos are a dollar and I can eat so many of them! 

Thursday, we had a member pick up Javier and a member meet us at the chapel for a church tour. It went so well! We first walked around the class rooms showing him where he would go on Sunday. At one point in the tour he saw a picture of the temple and we told him how he could someday go there. The spirit was strong and his face lit up. We finished by teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ and and sacrament in the  chapel. The members were perfect fellowship for him and the spirit was so strong it felt heavy. At the end we committed him to be baptized. 

Saturday, we were teaching Roberto about church. He asked if our pastor was going to be there. We told him that we don't call them "pastors" we call them "bishops". Turns out if you say "bishop" with a Hispanic accent it sounds like a bad word. Haha make sure you pronounce words clearly! 
Now for some other news that I was not expecting: transferred happened! And when I say transfers happened that means I am getting transferred. I'm super sad to be leaving this area. I thought for sure I would stay here until the end. But no, I have to lug around my stuff across the valley and get to know 2 wards of members. God must need me somewhere else! For as sad as I am that I'm going, I have never felt so calm about transfers. I'm going to be in the Warm Springs stake which is the stake that the mission office is in and one of the zones where I was an STL. My area borders the airport so I think president is just going to have me walk to the airport when I leave. Haha My companion has been out for 6 weeks so I will be finishing training her. I'm excited! She seems cool. It's going to help me stay super focused and not think about home. 
I did have a a little freak out moment Saturday night because I realized how fast time flies. Because I'm leaving on the 23rd and will be missing my departing testimony meeting and dinner, president asked me to come this Tuesday to the testimony meeting and dinner. It's going to be a crazy day because that's they day we transfer and I will barely get to see my companion for an hour! Thankfully I have everything for home figured out so I can stay super focused my last few weeks. So I apologize in advance if my emails get shorter or I don't iMessage as much on Pday. I just got to kick it in Gier!

People have told me that you either have a really great area and a bad companion, or a really great companion and a bad area- it's rare that you get blessed with both a good companion and a good area. 
Have I ever mentioned how much I LOVE this area? I could talk for days about how incredible it is! This area is amazing!!! There are people to talk to everywhere. We are constantly finding new people to teach. The members are really supportive. This is a great area! 

Sunday we had stake conference. Elder Cornish of the seventy spoke about keeping the sabbath day holy. He did a great job of seeming personable and having a good sense of humor along with it. 
After church the Spanish elders drop sister Aukema and a member off at our apartment so she could get to her car. However she called us right as we were going into an appointment telling us that she left her keys in our apartment. We rushed home right after the lesson, opened the door and on the desk there was nothing. We tore up the apartment looking for her keys but we had to leave because we were late for another lesson. We thought maybe she dropped the keys the night before as we were walking from her apartment to our apartment. We later got a text informing us that her keys to her car and apartment were left in the door of her apartment from the night before when we went over there to get her things. What a miracle they weren't stolen and someone didn't drive off with the car!! We don't live in the "Gaillardia" of Las Vegas, to say the least, and it was truly a blessing everything was safe and sound! 
Our last dinner in the area was with the Ramirez family. It's neat because they were the family that I had dinner with the second night in the field! They made some special soup that I love! It is a blessing I was not called Spanish speaking because I would be muy muy gorda if that was the case! Haha

Things are all good in the hood. 

Quote from sister Aukema: "It's stuck like a hair in a biscuit!" 

Wednesday, October 12, 2016


Oct 4-11th 

Monday we went bowling with the district. And I got super stressed about post mission life. Before my mission I planned out everything exactly how I wanted it to go so this wouldn't happen, but sometimes things don't go as planned. That been a lesson I've learned on my mission- I get reminded of it everyday. 

Tuesday we had district council and we were talking about how to find new investigators. One elder shared that he had heard from a member, when he was on his mission, that they would have one missionary knock on the door of an apartment and ask the person inside if they would be willing to listen to their message if they received a sign from heaven. While the other missionary would be on the floor above and that cue drop down a Book of Mormon into their companions hand. Haha I'm going to have to try it! 
Also one of the Spanish Elders was reading a scripture and pronounced "de-serious" instead of "desirous". Another elder said "its 'desirous'...'Deserious' is the name of one of our investigators down the street". We all busted up laughing because it's so true! Some people have the strangest names! 

Wednesday we went to John's going away party. He got stationed in Wichita, KS. John said that he doesn't know anyone yet and that when I get home I'll be his closest friend. Haha that's sad because Edmond is like 2 hours away and he considers that close! Oh and btw sister Lellis is still looking forward to having BBQ in Oklahoma. His mom made a ton of food for the party which reminded me of all the times we ate at their house last year. Good times.
Afterwards we had ward correlation at the church. We had planned to try some people in the area and felt inspired to walk instead of drive our car. The person we had planned for left just before we came. If we would have driven our car we would have caught her. But on our way back we saw a high school age girl walking. We began talking to her and walking with her home. She knew there was a God out there but wasn't very religious. We talked about Jesus Christ, His role and how God is our loving Heavenly Father. She then told us that she had been very depressed and felt lonely to the point that she decided and planned how she was going to take her life that Friday. But because God placed her in our path she was able to feel the spirit testifying to her of Gods love and she no longer felt like she should take her life. It was a surreal experience. Because we felt prompted to walk we missed the person we had planned for, but because we felt prompted to walk we meet the person that God had planned for. 

Thursday we had to get the oil changed in our car. It took up most of the day because we had to go all the way down to Henderson. When we got there the Zone leaders from Central/Sunrise were there for the same thing. We talked with them for the time being- they are really funny! 
My new favorite thing is Sam's club 99¢ frozen yogurt. Oh my, it hits the spot! And it is super filling! I was so close to finishing my mission without evolving into a hippo but these last two transfers have wrecked that! Haha 
Thursday evening we had a great lesson with a recent convert. You can tell when people are truly converted to the gospel. Every aspect of their life, doesn't necessarily change but, is focused on the eternal perspective and centered on Christ. When I came out of the lesson I couldn't stop smiling! The gospel brings me so much joy and comfort that it has to show through in any way that it can, even by something as simple as a smile! 

Friday morning I went to the temple with sister Lellis and Sister Maughan. The grounds were gorgeous! I think the best time to visit Las Vegas, and especially the temple in Las Vegas, is in October. I'll be real honest this week was super stressful trying to make the necessary decisions about school. I prayed and prayed and felt like I was getting no where. Not even that I was getting no where, but that I was getting more confused about everything that I had previously planned for concerning my life. And now I felt like God wanted me to change my plans but He wasn't telling me how. For someone like me who likes to have control on situations and have every detailed planned, it was frustrating. But that's not the case anymore. The temple was exactly what I needed. I was able to feel such a relief and comfort knowing that Gods plans are bigger and better than mine. I am so grateful that God has blessed us with personal revelation to be able to be individually guided and directed. What a blessing! 
It's going to be super weird going home and not wearing a name tag anymore because people LOVE missionaries! At the temple nearly everyone that passed by said "oh I just love sister missionaries!" or "seeing you sisters make me so happy!" I'll definitely miss that. 
Friday night we found three new YSA investigators in a row! We went to an apartment complex that we don't usually go to and one person right after another were YSA age and interested in the gospel! It was super cool.

Saturday was busy, we had appointments almost every hour and we helped a lady move. Doing service as missionaries is the best because we get to wear pants! 
One cool experience is when we visited an investigator, Michael, he was really shaken up and said that if wasn't a good time to meet with him. (That's not the cool part). He explained that the night before he had been out with his friends and he got a call at 1:30am telling him to come home. When he got home there were a ton of cop cars and ambulances because there was a shooting in the house next door. Thankfully his family was all okay but he wasn't able to get much sleep. (Also not the cool part). We said a prayer with him and invited him to read from the Book of Mormon because we promised it would give him comfort. His face lit up and said "that's exactly what I'm going to do!... I've been reading in the Book of Mormon..." At this point I thought he would have read the introduction which is what we left him to read, to my surprise he continued by saying "I've read about 300 pages already! But I still have a way to go..." My jaw dropped! There's only 531 pages in the Book of Mormon!! He's almost done and it's only been a week! (That's the cool part). 

Sunday was good like always. There was some member of a YSA ward from New Zealand who had come to the States for conference and then came to our sacrament meeting. Because it was fast Sunday we were able to hear their testimonies. It is so wonderful knowing that no matter where you are in the world the Gospel of Jesus Christ is the same. It was such a unifying meeting! 
We have been visiting Jamaree everyday for the past week to pray and read with him and help develop his faith further. When we met with him on Sunday he was having a hard time. He was frustrated that he couldn't see God and he didn't feel right believing in or praying to something that he didn't know was actually there. Throughout the week it seemed like his faith was growing little by little but it seemed like Sunday's lesson was a set back. However we were able to testify that we are representatives of Jesus Christ, that God is showing him His love by sending us to him. We testified of how we lived with God before this life and we know him. He couldn't understand why God would allow us to forget Him or why he would chose to come here to earth if it was going to be so hard. We explained how in this life we are meant to be tested but God provided Jesus Christ to be our Savior. Throughout the lesson he was understanding more and more. We were constantly helping him recognize the spirit and how his faith was growing. It was a normal lesson but I felt different. I felt like I had known Jamaree before this life. That when the Grand Council was called and we had to chose plans, Jamaree wasn't sure which plan to follow because we knew it was going to be hard. I envisioned us sitting down at some picnic table up in Heaven, helping him chose to follow God's plan. Just like how last night we were sitting down at some picnic table, helping him chose once again to follow God's plan. 

I wish I could remember everything that happened or at least had the time to write down every detail because even though I write less than when I first came out every little experience is huge to me. I love it. 

Wednesday, October 5, 2016


Sept 26-Oct 2 

This week we were really busy so I have less super cool stories about people we contacted but it's still a good email. 

On pday we went on a little excursion to the thrift shops just for fun. But then I wanted to go to a normal store because sometimes the thought of wearing other people's clothing is weird to me. I got a shirt on sale at Old Navy. I'm excited to wear it! It's always fun to shop. 
At sports we played kick ball, basketball, Chinese dodgeball, and scoops. Scoops is like handball or lacrosse but we cut milk gallons in half to use as scoops and a tennis ball to throw around. It was really fun. 
Immediately after we went on exchanges. I wasn't too happy about it because they told us a day in advance because of poor planning on their part. (Usually you're supposed to tell the missionaries at the start of the transfer when exchanges will be). 

Because of the unplanned exchange and the last minute baptism on Tuesday I was stressed and a little annoyed. Thankfully everything ended up working out. We exchanged back right before dinner. For dinner a member took us to a China Buffet. I took a picture with an octopus but there was no way I was eating that! Been there done that! Haha MJ was able to pick me up and take me to the baptism for the Halls on the other side of town in Anthem. Sister Grindstaff went to institute with a member. 

The baptism was amazing. So many people came to support the Hall family. It was nice seeing old members again. Derrick baptized Angel (his wife), Avery (11), and Sadie (9). Sister Koyle, Underly and I were in the side room next to the steps of the font hugging and crying like we had never been happier! I am amazed by Sadie's faith. She was the youngest in her family to be baptized but she was the first one in the family to pray and set herself with a baptismal date. Sure, it was 6 months away but she still made it to the day! That is incredible to me. 
I gave the talk on the Holy Ghost. And analogy that I used that I had heard from Brad Wilcox is that often we don't recognize the gift of the Holy Ghost with us because he is always there. It's like a fish swimming in a bowl saying 'where's the water? I don't see any water!'. You recognize the water most when you are out of it just like you recognize when the spirit is gone more that when it is always with you. 
At the end sister Koyle started crying because she told us this would be her last baptism as a missionary. What a great way to end! She goes home next week and it makes me really think about the time I have left on my mission. MJ told me that going home is just like another transfer. I'll be going to a place with people who need me at a specific time. I'm valuing my time here but I'm excited to see the people in my "home transfer". 
Oh and during the opening hymn sister Koyle leans over and says, "you went shopping didn't you! I know your wardrobe. That is new!" Haha I just had to go shopping! 

Wednesday we went to volunteer at the Food Bank. We put after school meals together for kids. We were making tacos and I was in charge of the tomatoes. I never want to see another tomato again! There were so many! But it was fun serving there with our district. 
At night we street contacted a guy who said he wasn't very religious but believed in Christ. We began to tell him our purpose as missionaries and teach about the restoration. We ended up talking to him outside for at least an hour! Turns out he Is studying to be a pastor and is very well versed in the Bible. Hmm funny! It sure did keep me on my toes! We explained to him the divine roles of Heavenly Father, Jesus Christ, and the Holy Ghost. He then explained his views and ideas. We concluded by inviting him to watch Conference and to pray to know that God still calls prophets. He agreed. I'm not sure if it was to try and prove us wrong, but he agreed. I really hope he did watch Conference because I know God still calls prophets and apostles to lead and guide His children. I know my Father in Heaven and I know Christ divine role as our Savior. It makes me so sad when I find others who are so close to coming to know the truth but to stubborn to open their eyes. The truth of the gospel has given me so much comfort in my life and that's why I'm here sharing it! 

Thursday we had Zone Conference combined with the Central/Sunrise Zone. I was asked to give a training. I felt super special because only one time a year at Zone Conferences do they ask missionaries besides the APs and MSTLs to give trainings and last year, when I was serving in this area, I was chosen to give a training then too. Although now I feel so much more prepared and I actually knew what I was doing. (Last year I gave a training and it was my first Zone conference ever!) I trained on iPad which is always a difficult topic because missionaries sometimes misuse their iPads and I basically have to chastise them, but it went really well. Several missionaries said they really enjoyed it. One elder, who is relatively new, came up to me at lunch and told me my training was "straight fire" and was wondering where the heck I came from because he thought I was super cool to give a bomb training. I told him how long I had been out and then he realized I had trained sister Kaufusi and Lellis who were two of the STLs from the two zones that were there. It's neat seeing how far I've come and the fruits of my labors. The Gier legacy lives on! 

That night we found a lot of new investigators. It was kinda funny (mom you might not think this was funny) but we were walking around an apartment complex trying to contact people when we started talking to these two guys who were 20 years old. They accepted a Book of Mormon and for us to come by again but then said, "you're probably older than us... and smarted than us...but I wouldn't be here if I were you..." Haha it was funny in the moment. Don't worry the spirit won't let us go into dangerous places. We continued to walk around those apartments and found two more investigators! God doesn't want us to have fear and He will protect us. 

Friday we had John come out with us. Remember him? He got baptized without telling his parents and then his sister got baptized also without telling her parents? Anyway, John has been coming to teach with us a lot because this Thursday he leaves for Wichita, KS because that's where he is stationed. Not too far from OKC! He said he might come down for my homecoming talk. That would be cool! 
We had dinner with his family. Like usual, they always make so much food and it is always really good! After dinner with the Nauvos family sister Grindstaff was texting a member while I went over to talk to a girl who was sitting on some stairs. (Don't worry we were still obeying mission rules). By the way it's super weird talking to people when you don't have a companion right next to you. I talked to her about the restoration and how we have prophets on earth today. I read part of Thomas S Monson's talk from April 2016 general conference. Then she asked me why some people feel really good after they are baptized and others only feel that good feeling for a second or not at all. I was then able to explain the priesthood authority. She said what I was telling to her gave her chills. I know this was the Holy Ghost testifying to her the truth. Sometimes I don't know what stills with people so this experience was neat because she flat out said that it touched her. 
At night I was driving over the freeway like normal and I was looking over to the city and I thought to myself "Man, I love this place". 

Saturday and Sunday general conference took up most of our day. Wasn't it amazing? I noticed a lot of it focused on the fundamentals and the doctrine of Christ. Many speakers talked about how we can persever through trials in our lives. (In Spanish endure translates to "perseverar" which is like persevere and I like thinking about persevering not just enduring). They also talked a lot about missionary work and how we need to be sharing it with our friends. I think it is so important, now more than ever, that our testimonies are strong and founded on Christ. Times are only going to get more difficult and we have to have our feet firmly planted. 

Saturday evening we went on splits. Yesica was my companion and we were able to talk to many people who were interested, just not YSA. We walked around a lot. To the point where my knee was bothering me Sunday morning so I wrapped it and made a pre-wrap brace for it. It's probably a good thing I'm back in YSA since we have a car. 

Sunday we had a lesson with an investigator who is having a hard time believing there is even a God. He's really nice and funny and says the most random things. We were reading Alma chapter 32 with him about how faith is like a seed and eventually it will grow into a tree of knowledge. It amazing seeing his faith grow even if it's just a little. I read verse 41 then he said "whoa!". I thought it was because he was feeling the spirit or something but then he said, "you read that perfectly! It's like you could be a rapper!". Did you hear that folks?! I found my new calling in life. I've been in the city long enough that I'm evolving into a rapper who reads scriptures. Brilliant! 

Sept 19-25 

Wow I can't believe that it is the end of September already! One more week and it's The beginning of October and that means General Conference. It also means I now have less than 2 months until my feet touch Oklahoma again. 

On pday we went to the library so I could transfer pictures from my iPad to my flash drives. I think it was the first time I have stepped foot into a public library since I was 8 when I smashed Natalie's fingers in the car door... does anyone else remember that? Side note: that was one of the first times I truly considered myself a "sinner". I remember I thought it was by far the worst thing I had done in my life thus far. Anyway, I also found it really strange trying to navigate a PC computer. Now I know what old people feel like when they are trying to figure out technology! I hope I can at least understand how to use a Mac when I get back. Hey that rhymed! 

We had district council on Tuesday which is always fun. We always go out to eat afterwards and I always eat at Five Guys. It is so good! I'm going to be a little fatty when I get home if I keep it up. Haha 
We had some really solid lessons that day and are inviting everyone that we can to be baptized. I remember there were a few times that I was either in a lesson or talking to people on the street and I was thinking "I am just so happy right now". Missionary work is truly the best. You can't be sad when your spreading the word of God with excitement and enthusiasm. 
We also went to institute at night. Yes, it's in the west mission. It is s huge No-No for missionaries to leave mission boundaries. But we are the only missionaries in this mission who have special permission to do so. It's a blessing because I love Institute. We go to the "Jesus Christ and the Everlasting Gospel" class. We talked about the pre-mortal world and our roles there as well as the Saviors foreordained role. One of the questions that was asked for us to ponder about was "how well did we know Christ to have enough faith in him to follow Gods plan before he fulfilled the Atonement?". Look at your patriarchal blessing and see if it talks about you being with Jesus before this life. I know mine does. 

For as great as Tuesday was, Wednesday was just the opposite. Everything my companion did annoyed the heck out of me! Her smacking her food as she chewed, her talking about random things that don't pertain to anything, her singing songs that she didn't know the lyrics to, her lack of deodorant... anything and everything made my skin crawl to the point where I got a huge headache. We had spent a lot of time in the car so I was super close to her and I needed space! But we don't get space as missionaries. I even woke up Thursday morning with a headache and grumpy. I tried so hard in my personal study to find peace.

I read the Conference talk "The Healing Ointment of Forgiveness" and it was a good self assessment. My favorite quotes were: 
"Even though we may be a victim once, we need not be a victim twice by carrying the burden of hate, bitterness, pain, resentment, or even revenge. We can forgive, and we can be free!" 
"One key to forgiving others is to try to see them as God sees them."
"Too often we look at the offender the way we would look at an iceberg--we see only the tip and not beneath the surface. We do not know all that is going on in a person’s life. We do not know their past; we do not know their struggles; we do not know the pains they carry...But we can gain greater understanding and peace when we see with a broader perspective."

And I read "The Mercy Obtain Mercy". 
"The people around us are not perfect. People do things that annoy, disappoint, and anger. In this mortal life it will always be that way. Nevertheless, we must let go of our grievances. Part of the purpose of mortality is to learn how to let go of such things. That is the Lord’s way."

Of course she had no idea she was irritating me- that's just the way she was! How could I expect her to be this ideal, picture-perfect companion that I had in my head when I had no expressed my thoughts nor am I that perfect companion. I just keep telling myself that at least I can chose my eternal companion. Even then I know there will be "growing experiences" and things to change about ourselves. 

Thursday we had a less active that I was working with last year come out with us. It was neat seeing how much changes in a year but how much is still the same. It was also special seeing the change she made in her life. She got her patriarchal blessing, which was something we had been working with her to do, and now she comes to church regularly. She is happier and you can see that it's source is the gospel. 
We also had a recent convert come out to teach with us, whom I had never met before. She was enthusiastic about the work and especially about talking with everyone! We had knocked on a door of a potential who I had tried several times last year but never spoke to anyone. Like the times before, we knocked on the door and there was no answer. We got back into the car and started it so we could visit the next person we had planned for. Then the member saw someone walking to get their mail and said "we should go talk to her." We turned off the car and walked over to this lady who was nice but clearly not interested. However as we were talking to her someone pulled into the drive way of the house we had just knocked on! We were then able to talk to the person we had been looking for. He told us that he had been taught by missionaries in the past and had gone to church as everything. We asked if he believed the message was true and he said that I knew it was true and it had given him a new perspective on life. He said he would come to church this week and we are meeting with him again next week. #Miracles! 

On Friday we were able to meet with the girl from the previous week, Shelia, who we had shared Helaman 5:12 with. She said that she had read some more from the Book of Mormon. She recognizes that her life is improving already. She told us how her boss at work had recently passed away and how it made her reflect more on her life and its value. We taught her about the Restoration of the Gospel and she believed it to be true and is preparing for her baptismal date. 

Saturday's highlight was watching the Women's General Session of Conference. It was amazing. The spirit was so strong especially when the young women sang "How Firm a Foundation". I'll admit, no tears fell from my eyes but they were a bit watery. But this email is getting long enough so I won't put in all of my insight on the talks given. They are worth reading and rereading. 

Sunday the guy that we met at the park a week before, Tony, came to church! We sat by him and just about everyone introduced themselves to him. He seemed to fit right in and even participated in class. At the end of church I asked him what he thought. He said that he found it was "rejuvenating" and that the church was "saturated with the spirit". What a powerful description of church! 
In relief society Dijana gave the lesson. It was such a neat experience to be taught by one of my recent converts. Not to mention it was an incredible lesson! It was one of those that when the time is up you feel like it went by too quickly. Instead of those Sundays where you feel like the last 15 minutes is God testing how well you can endure to the end. I really hope I stay in this ward for my last transfer. 

Spiritual thought: How are you preparing for conference? It's coming up this weekend! It's like the super bowl for missionaries! I always write down questions that I want answers to. Or review previous conference talks. Thomas S. Monsoon said "I encourage you to read the talks … and to ponder the messages contained therein. I have found in my own life that I gain even more from these inspired sermons when I study them in greater depth.” (Thomas S. Monson, "God Be with You Till We Meet Again," Ensign 2012).
I remember when I was in young women's a leader shared a story of how she was telling a non member friend about the upcoming conference. She explained how the church of Jesus Christ has prophets and apostles today who all speak at a world-wide conference twice a year. The friend found this interesting and genuinely asked "what did the prophet say in the last conference?". The young women's leader mind drew a blank. 
Can you remember what God's prophet and apostles said at the last conference? We are so fortunate to have living prophets who receive revelation from God and share this divine guidance with the world. There is something so special hearing Christ's apostles share testimonies that make it feel like they are talking directly toward us individually. We can't take this opportunity for granted. Prepare for General Conference! 

Oh and I forgot to mention, when I was washing my clothes I suddenly remembered that I forgot to take off my tag from the night before. I rush to the washer machine to see my clothes nice and clean and the lettering on my name tag perfectly white. It was an awful sight! I had spent 16 months making my name tag a nice off-white yellowish color; the color of people's teeth when they haven't brushed them for a week. But all of that work to show for was gone. I was devastated! Now my name tag looks like I just got into the field yesterday. How embarrassing! 

Sept 12-18 

Pday was good. We played kenacky and Chinese dodge ball. I'm bad at normal dodge ball and I'm really bad at Chinese dodgeball. So I just ran around and tried not to get pegged. 

When we came to the area the sisters before us were only teaching one investigator, Anthony, who got baptized on the 17th. Which meant that we had to work our tails off to find more people to teach. Thankfully God blessed us and we saw lots of miracles. 

On Tuesday we had a member with us and we were walking around apartment complexes trying to contact potential investigators and find people to teach. We had no luck and we ran out of doors to knock on. We decided to go to Craig Ranch park, which is my favorite place to talk to people because there are always people and they can't run away because they aren't doing anything in the first place... they are at a park! However normally families go to the park so we usually have to refer the people we meet to other missionaries. When we arrived we got out of the car and the very first person we talked to was a guy, Tony, that was YSA age and he wanted us to come by and learn more about our message. He told us that he wasn't very religious but his grandparents are LDS and he knew this would be something good. We were so excited! However as we were leaving sister Grindstaff looked up the address and come to find out it is just barely on the other side of our boundaries. I'm talking like on the other side of the street! I was so sad because we had to refer him to the West mission elders. But at least he will have the gospel in his life! 

We also found two guys who were in their garage but agreed to talk with us. We felt prompted to share the plan of salvation. They believed it was true and accepted a date to be baptized! Nothing makes me happier than inviting people to be baptized and them accepting. 

We had another neat experience where we knocked on a door looking for a guy but the girl inside, Shelia, told us that he didn't live there. We started talking to the girl who claimed to not be religious. We explained to her our purpose and missionaries and taught her about the Book of Mormon. We shared Helaman 5:12 with her and testified of the importance of having our testimonies firm on Christ. She then admitted that she was looking for more guidance in her life and committed to read the Book of Mormon. When we gave her a card with our phone number and a picture of Jesus she paused and told us that her mom had that same card and had also been looking into the church, although she lived on the other side of town. She then recognized that we were sent from God and knew this was something good. 

Funny story: one day when we were with a member, walking around an apartment complex these two kids who were probably about 4 or 5 who shouted from a balcony "y'all luk lyke ghaostezes!" 
We were all really confused, "like what?" 
They repeated "lyke ghaostezes!" 
"Ohh, you mean 'like ghosts'?" 
"Yuh! Y'all so white yer glow'n in the sun!" 
We laughed and then our member said with a straight face "that's because we are." 
Their eyes got HUGE! And they got real quiet. It was the funniest thing! Those poor kids. And my testimony is confirmed that the gift of tongues is real. Haha 

We went on exchanges this week. I was with Sister Lellis in her area. It was fun working with her again, she has grown a lot and is a great missionary. I'm glad we have become great friends. While we were on exchanges the members fed us steak for dinner. Real steak! I hadn't have steak for at least 16 months! It was heaven. I almost forgot how good it was! But I can't wait to eat steak from back home. 

We had a baptism on Saturday for Anthony. It went smoothly and the spirit was really strong. His friends dad baptized him. He doesn't have a lot of family support to be baptized which was a real trial for him. It was so touching when he share his simple, but powerful testimony and when he asked his friends mom, "does it feel like I'm your son today?". It's great that he has that family support even if it's not from his own family. 

This week we also visited some of my converts from last year. We met with Johnny and he told us a story of how when we first invited him to read from the Book of Mormon he was too tiered to go out with his "friends" but had just enough energy to read the scriptures. He stayed up all night reading until he got a phone call at 3am from a friend. The friend was surprised he answered the phone. He told Johnny that everyone in the "group" he was going to be with got shot- dead. No one lived. As heart broken as he was to lose his friends Johnny knew it was a miracle that he was saved. The scriptures truly keep you from danger. Johnny faced and still faces a lot of opposition. He had to give up his past life, which is something that his friends don't understand. He had one friend in particular tell him that he shouldn't go to church because they will trap him there. He responded, "if I can get out of gangs don't you think I can get out of church people? Are you seriously afraid of church people?!" His faith is amazing. It so wonderful seeing him truly converted to the gospel and trying to live for God and Christ in everything he does. 

That last story might have freaked you out a little but don't worry, I'm safe. And the weather is getting much better! The highs were in the high-80s low-90s. It was amazing! I wore a cardigan for most of the week. Then I realized it's not normal to wear sweaters when it's 80 degrees outside... I scared because I'm going to freeze in Provo! Is it too late to transfer me to Hawaii?! Just kidding. 

Spiritual thought: Romans 1:16 
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel of Christ: for it is the power of God unto salvation to every one that believeth..." 
This is such a powerful scripture. Have we ever been ashamed of the gospel or of standing out? In YSA we frequently have dinners at fast food restaurants with people always surrounding us. As a missionary everyone looks at you and watches your every move. Our first dinner in the area we finished and asked if we could share a spiritual thought (everyone always says yes). Before we began the member said "I think it's really neat that you still stare a thought even if you're in a public place". To me it was second nature. I served most of my mission in YSA so it was just what we did. I thought all missionaries did this! I guess the sisters before us hadn't in a while. Anyway, the world is becoming more and more wicked and is convincing people to keep religious views to themselves. However God wants us to do the opposite. We need to not be afraid of man but know that this gospel brings peace and true joy for everyone who is willing to take it in. So be bold! And share your testimony always in your words thoughts and deeds.