Thursday, August 20, 2015

I'm Still Here

August 10-16th Monday I bought some scissors to thin and cut my hair.  I did not take much off the length but there was a cat sized ball of hair when I was done!  It is too hot for may thick hair!  Sister Fingerless asked me to cut her hair.  I told her I had never cut hair before but he trusted me.  It is a good thing it turned out nice because we still have a week together!
Wednesday we taught Johnny about the Restoration.  We are trying to make sure we teach simply and make sure he understands everything.  Later we stopped by Miguel's house.  He has no religious background and does not believe in God.  When I asked him what happens to our bodies when they die he said they just decompose.  That reminded me of the time grandpa said that our bodies dry up like beef jerky (that grandpa) but at least grandpa also knew that our souls go to Heaven.  
Thursday, we had mid 12 training.  It is fun to see missionaries from different areas.  North Star YSA is the promised land!  We got caught out in a bad storm later that day.  We had a door slammed in our face when a lady who we were talking to go startled by a big loud clap of thunder and she excitedly shut the door but then opened it and apoligized!
Friday we did a service project at the Food Bank and had lunch with all the missionaries.  Then we meet with Johnny.  We always read a page from the Book of Mormon with him and then teach him a lesson.  When he said the closing prayer, the said, "thank you for sending me these two wonderful young ladies to my life at this time because I know you sent them to me when I needed them the most."
Saturday we received our transfer notices.  I am happy to say that I am staying in the North star YSA and will be training again.  
I am really going to miss some of the missionaries in our district who are leaving especially Sister Fingerle.  

Lifted Up

Week 11   August 3-9

Monday, I received the package from you and I loved it!  Bubbles, very nice touch!  I had the BEST kill at P-day sports.  One of those overpasses that are just waiting to be smacked....ahh it felt so good!  I know I always talk about P-day sports but its is not the only thing I focus on all week, I promise.
Tuesday we had exchanges again.  This time with Sister Robinson in my area.  She was the sister that I went on my very first exchange with when I came on my mission.  Hi is super awesome but very, very cautious.  We walked into an investigators house and the investigator went into the back room to get her Book of Mormon, when sister Robinson's eyes got really big and she froze!  She then whispered to me and said with her eyes locked on the coffee table, "is that a real GUN!"  I tried not to burst out laughing then said, no, it is the Wii remote!  Haha!!
Wednesday, I was dead tired.  It was such a long day.  But we were able to to meet with Martin again and he said thank you for not giving up on him.  SO background story on Martin.  He has had a tough life.  I am pretty sure he has been to jail because there is no one in LV who has not been to jail.  He has meet with at least 3 other sets of missionaries before us.  Through fasting on the hottest day of summer we were able to find him.  He dropped us the first week and I thought I had failed completely.  Somehow I convinced him to come to institute on Wednesday and then we talked him into taking another lesson from us.  He heard a lesson from the Oct 2014 General Conference on Joseph Smith and his heart was changed.  He continued to progress more and more in the gospel.  The best part about being a missionary is the ability to see the Atonement applied in peoples lives.  Martin texted us that he wanted to be baptized and the 15th is the date!
Thursday, we had lunch at IHOP with sister Fingerle's family friends.  They were so nice! After that things went downhill fast. One of the ladies in our ward committed suicide.  It is horrible to think that Satan could have such a hold on her and gave her such false hope that she felt she could not continue in this life any longer.  It is one of the saddest things and the biggest lies - that there is no hope.
To make things even worse, Martin who had just committed to be baptized told us he did not want to be baptized because he did not understand how why thing like suicide happened and blamed the church for it.  So Satan may have taken one body and two souls.
Friday was better, we had zone training.  We have the best zone and everyone is like family.
Saturday we taught some less actives and some new investigators.
Sunday, after dinner we went to a candle light service for the girl who passed away.
  D&C 42:45  "Thou shalt live together in love, insomuch that thou shalt weep for the off of them that die, and more especially for those that have not hope of a glorious resurrection."
I am so grateful to have the knowledge that we will live again through Christ and my heart aches for people who are in pain for the loss of loved ones and who do not have this knowledge.  I guess that is why I am out here - to share this good news - the gospel of Jesus Christ, our Savior and Redeemer.

The Church is true.  I miss you!

Monday, August 3, 2015

T-shirt Weather

July 27th - Aug 2nd

Monday was Christmas in July!  Elder Jones (my district leader) and I received iPads today.  Excited is an understatement.  We played Christmas music in the background (specifically "where are you Christmas") (Gabby would have been proud) while we set them us.  It was so cool, because Elder Jones is kinda a nerd like me so we took about an hour organizing our apps.  I still have the plastic wrap on my because I want it to be perfect when I put on the screen protector.

The carpets were getting cleaned in the stake center where we normally play on Pday, so I suggested that we to the the Craig ranch park.  It was to hot but is was the best p-day ever!  Some member gave elder Jones BBQ and rolls so we had a little picnic.  Then we played sand volleyball.  It was kinda lame because the san was so hot.  But the nets were super cool, they have sprinklers come out to the top of the nets to wet down the sand.  It was the closet thing to swimming while on our mission.
Then we play kenacky (not sure how you spell it).  I was killing it!  I would make my mamma proud!  The elders in my zone seem to think I am cool because I am athletic and I can catch and throw a football.  They also think that my "sense of humor" is funny but in reality it's just me saying stuff very straight forward and them thinking I am joking.  Kinda like Grandpa!  I am still very awkward so I guess not everything can change while you are on your mission. was to hot I felt like I was going to throw up.  So we went to the water park thing and ran through the water shoots up and splashed each other to cool off.  This zone is the best!  Hope I don't get transferred soon.

Tuesday we tried walking fore instead of using miles on the car.  It was nice.  I can proudly say that I am not fat! (yet).  Later the sisters in our zone help an investigator go though stuff to move and clean.  We had to organize everything outside and I got a little sunburned.  But when I went inside I had the worst allergy attack ever because the lady had a cat.  My eyes ere so red and swollen and I started togged hives.  I was miserable!

Thursday we had our first Zone Conference.  It is where two zones come together and have training given by President Snow,  his wife, a few others and yes ME!  Sister F and I were asked the week before to give a 30 minute training lesson not realizing that the other people who were asked had been out on their missions for at least a year.  It went well though!  In part of my lesson I boldly read D&C 88:124 "cease to be idle; cease to be unclean; cease to find fault with another; cease to sleep longer than is needful; retire to thy bed early, that ye may not be weary; arise early, that your bodies and your minds may be invigorated".  A couple of the elders burst out laughing because I was so direct with it.  Haha.  I don't understand why God trusts me with all the responsibilities he had given me.  Honestly, it's is overwhelming to think about where I am now and the potential I have. (letters of encouragement are accepted)
Thursday we had a really neat experience with a lady named Karmen.  We were kinda lost but God put someone inner path.  Karen was walking her dog and wanted to talk to us.  Immediately, she recognized the spirt and she was ashamed that she was drinking in front of us.  We found a bench to sit a while.  For an our she poured out her soul to us.  While we were sitting there, the picture by Greg Olsen of the young man with a backpack who is sitting on a bench with Christ came to my mind.  At that moment, I truly felt like a representative of Christ and even though I had just met her my heart ached for her and I could feel how much God loved her and how important she is in our Heavenly Father's eyes.  No words can express how much our Heavenly Father loves us and the indescribable sacrifice Christ made so that we all can return to our home above.  As we left her my eyes filled with tears.

Perfect Situation

July 20-26th

This week was something else!  We met with Greg (the investigator who is gay) on Tuesday.  We tried teaching him the law of chastity and you can imagine how that went!  We had an older member from Henderson, NV who is also gay, and holds a temple recommend come out to teach Greg.  Things went well for a while but then they were yelling at each other and Greg used the "F" word 1000 times and stormed out of the church and threw his Book of Mormon on the ground.  It was the worst lesson ever!   We went to Greg's house the next day to drop off a note and surprisingly things are on good terms with him.

We had exchanges on Thursday.  You know you like your companion when you both don't want to go on exchanges.  My exchange companion was sister Martin, from Mexico and 24 and has already graduated from college.  Its cool how on missions it does not matter your age, or how long you have been on your mission but what matters is your spirit and your faith in the Lord.  Think heaven will kinda be like this.  No one will care about ages, but it will be a measurement on your age of your spirituality and how well you know Christ.

Pioneer Days were this weekend.  I thought is was just a Utah thing, but you know Mormons find anyway they can to have a "party".  It was actually really fun and a great activity to brin investigators to.  They say that the north stake pioneer day are the best in the vally so I am happy that I am in this area!  Friday night we cut up a bunch of watermelons and served food to the members.  The food was pretty food.  They used KC bbq sauce which is a bummer.  At least elder Riley knows what Head country tastes like!  And at eh end of the night they had all the kids throw colored chalk stuff, like in color runs, up in the air.  I totally would have jumped in but I did not want to ruin my clothes.
Saturday night was even better because there were different booths set up with food and treats.  I had street tacos from the Spanish ward, cotton candy, root beer floats, some fried thing and a bucket load of watermelon!  (Amanda wold be proud)  The missionaries in our zone had a photo booth sue up with pioneer props and clothes people could take fun pictures.  And the best part of the night was that we had permission to stay our later so we could watch the fireworks.  I LOVE FIREWORKS!  Seriously, I don't know how Igot so lucky to have eh best mission in the world and then the best zone in the mission and the best ward in the zone.  God loves me so much. It just makes me nervous to know where i will be sent next cause nothing can compare to Number 1 North!!!

Now for the best part of the week, Jairo's baptism.  It was awesome!  Jairo was in prison when someone slid him a Book of Mormon, Doctrine & Covenants, and Pearl of Great Price under his jail cell door.  He told us that he was so bored he decided to read it and wanted to meet the missionaries when he got out of jail.  The Spanish speaking elders had been teaching him since February and he had been waiting since March to get his baptism approved by the first presidency of the church.  The first day I arrived in the mission, the Spanish elders (Sims and Thorne) passed him off to Sister Sandoval and me so that he could come to the young single adult ward.  I remembered the love that the elders had for Jairo.  I have never seen someone want to be baptized so badly. I am still sot amazed that he never lost faith during those months and I am so grateful I was able to be a part of his conversion to the gospel of Jesus Christ.  When he came up out of the baptismal water you could tele was a new person.  He truly changed because of Christ.  After the baptism, elder Chambers said , "sister Gier, you've got to look in the mirror!  I have never seen you smile so much."  It was such a neat experience.