Monday, September 26, 2016

"My legs feel like they're on fire!" -September 26th, 2016

Hey everyone! What a week! 

Just like I told y'all, we started off the week strong with the temple. What an amazing experience and massive blessing! I'm so excited to attend the temple all throughout my life and draw close to Christ through that attendance. There's so much to learn and I know I'm barely even touching the tip of the iceberg. I urge everyone, if you can, to attend the temple as frequently as possible! And if you can't, make whatever changes needed to be able to enter the Lord's holy house. 

The rest of our week was great as well. We were able to spend time with the Wetumpka district and they're all such spectacular missionaries. Our zone has got to be the most solid in the mission!

Funny story from the week; So this coincides with the subject of the email! We were doing some service this week by fixing up a member's yard and I developed a new knowledge of one of God's creations... fire ants! I now know why they're called fire ants... because my legs actually felt like they were on fire haha! It was pretty crazy and I came away with quite a few beautiful red spots on my legs. Battle scars! It okay though, the ants might have won the first battle but we had our revenge with a bag of ant poison. It's absolutely amazing how hard those tiny little things can bite though! And for my worrying warrior back home (momma), I'm completely fine:) I'll attach a picture of some of the bites (ignore my forest of leg hair haha)

Sunday was a great day as well. This ward is so amazing. So many supportive and loving people, it's crazy! 

Then today we had our Zone Activity! It was kind of hard to put together so I was a little worried it wouldn't work out too well but it was actually a blast! Our whole zone had a great time and everything went smoothly. So we first had a potluck then played "flour bomb capture the flag"! It's kind of a hard game to explain but needless to say everyone got covered in flour and had a great time. I'll include a picture of the results. 

Conference is this weekend so I hope y'all enjoy that as much as I know I'm going to! 

Anyways, I didn't have a ton of time today so I'm sorry if I couldn't reply to your email but I read all of them and really appreciate the constant love and support! 

I love you guys! Till next Monday!

Monday, September 19, 2016

"It takes a village to raise a child" -September 19th, 2016

Hello again!

This past week was another good week. Throughout the months I've realized that I say that in pretty much every weekly email! I honestly think that your attitude on everything makes the biggest difference in determining if you have a good day or not. Because of past companions and leaders that I had, I was able to learn to be happy and have fun no matter what happens throughout the course of the day. I've had companions were we could have every door slammed in our face but we would still be having a blast and laughing together. I think that all of that hinges on our attitude, like I said earlier. I'm in Alabama doing the Lord's work, I have so many things to be happy about! So I'm very grateful for all the people throughout my life that taught me to be happy and be emotionally resilient. 

Our investigators here are doing really well! Specifically we're teaching a man who's wife is a member, his name is TJ. We've been struggling trying to help him believe in Jesus Christ and understand that the "higher power" he believes in is actually God. But last night Elder Opare made a pretty big break through with him. They're both very factual people and logical thinkers so Elder Opare was able to go pretty deep with a lot of things and help TJ actually understand the logical aspect behind all the things we believe. It was fantastic and the spirit was very strong. We're very excited for the things to come with TJ. 

This transfer we decided to make our culture the focus. None of you probably know this but right now 55% of our missionaries are being trained and in their first twelve weeks. So culture has been something that has been really focused on lately especially with the coming of the Sainsbury's. This whole transfer I've been thinking a lot about the saying "It takes a village to raise a child.". I realized that It's not just the trainer's responsibility to raise the new missionary with a hardworking, obedient, and loving mindset. It's the whole missions! So by first making sure that we, ourselves, are on par we can then increase our unity and culture and be a better support for the younger missionaries. Also helping them to learn how to become disciples of Jesus Christ and LOVE their missions. 
So there's a little inside into what's going on in the ABM currently! 

Nothing else really to report on except for the fact that the zone will be going to the temple this Thursday together, so we're all really looking forward to that. 

I hope y'all have a great week and tonight I'll send you a picture at dinner:) 

Monday, September 12, 2016

Back in the Pratt Pack! -September 12th, 2016

Hey everyone! 

This past week was a little hectic packing and moving everything again but I've had a great first week in Prattville and I'm very excited for this transfer (hopefully more than one) here. 

Prattville is a great area. Its a ward that has a ton of really nice families. It's also a military ward so a majority are here because of assignment. Prattville is also home to a paper mill... so about 80% of the time it smells horrible everywhere haha but i guess that doesn't stop people from living here because it's a good sized city! Quite a few stores with a pretty cool downtown area too! 

It's been great being back with Elder Opare too! More specifically, for those who are wondering, he was born and raised in the capitol of Ghana. While we've been around each other he's told me some pretty crazy stories about Africa. I don't have quite the urge to visit there anymore haha! We work very well together though and have a ton of fun while doing it. This is going to be a very fun and successful transfer. 

I wanted to share a video with y'all that I love and has really provided strength for me whenever I'm struggling with anything. It's called "Shower of Heavenly Blessings". It talks about how Heavenly Father is constantly showering us with blessings, it all just depends on if we allow ourselves to receive them through righteous living and trusting in Him. 

I hope y'all enjoy it as much as I do. 

I know that our Father in Heaven loves us unconditionally! It's always been a keystone to my testimony. He is not a lightning bolt God nor a God of hell fire and damnation but one of compassion and kindness and LOVE. I challenge all of you to let that love change you and by doing so it will change the lives of everyone around you. 

I love all of you and as always, hope y'all have a great week! 

Tuesday, September 6, 2016

Again? Yup... -September 6th, 2016

Good morning Everyone! 

I thought I'd write my weekly first this morning so that mom doesn't have to stress and wait until the afternoon to find out about transfers haha:)

But first, this week has been really good! Lots of driving and lots of meetings but it was still a great week. Missionary Leadership Council went really well and it was great to see President and Sister Sainsbury and all the other missionaries again! Our Zone Training was then two days later so the day we had in between was packed with planning and preparing everything, but we got it all done and the Training went really well. The spirit was very strong and we were all able to grow together closer to our Father in Heaven. This zone is fantastic and I'm very grateful to be able to serve them! I'll attach a pic from after Zone Training. 

Something that President Sainsbury talked about in Missionary Leadership Council was the Alabama Birmingham Mission Ship. He compared our mission to a huge, powerful ship. He talked about how it's very easy for ships to obtain barnacles. You would think that barnacles aren't a big deal on such a big powerful ship but anything that adds resistance to the water and the bottom of the ships ends up slowing it down. So something that we're focusing on right now in this mission is scraping off all of those hindering barnacles. It's basically the little things, mainly rules, that we can become relaxed on at times. I know that exact obedience brings miracles so I know that by scraping off these little mission pests, we'll be able to take the ABM to new heights and we will see amazing things. 

I was thinking though and I thought that this concept can relate to all of our lives pretty well. Sometimes in life, it's very easy for us to obtain "barnacles" that slow us down from progressing toward our Father in Heaven. Little things that we may not even notice nor think that they're actually slowing us down. This could be a number of things and it's probably different for all of us but I would challenge all of you to take a look at your lives and try to discover the barnacles that are slowing us down and causing spiritual resistance. 

Anyways, switching to a different topic... Transfers! We received our call on Saturday and received the news that I will be leaving Russellville and Elder Diede will be staying. You might be asking yourself, "again?" yup... again! This is my third area in a row that I only stayed for a transfer.... BUT I WILL GO WERE HE WANTS ME TO GO! And right now, he wants me to leave Russellville and go back down to Prattville! Prattville is right next to Montgomery and is in the same district as my previous area, Clanton. While I was in Clanton I spent a bit of time there on exchanges so I actually know the area pretty well already and even quite a few of the members! I'll be serving with Elder Opare who was my Zone Leader while I was in Clanton and still hasn't left. We got pretty close so this is going to be a really fun transfer! He's also from Africa so he'll be my first foreign companion! 

My New Address will be: 100 Mcqueen Smith Rd South Apt A-6
                                              Prattville, AL 36066

Also for any of you that are keeping track, this will be my tenth companion and my sixth area... haha and just so you know, those are the types of numbers people normally have by the end of their mission. 

Well anyways, that's pretty much all I have to report for this week! I love y'all very much and hope you all have a great day and week!