"You can't plan a baptism in one day" SAID NO ONE EVER.

Monday, March 31, 2014


Surprised that I haven't excitedly talked about this in previous emails yet? Yeah, me too. Haha.

So our wonderful ward is doing the 40 Day Fast for missionary work. Sis Wright, an elderly lady in our ward, fasted on Wednesday and had us over for dinner. We get to her house and she tells us that she invited the Pyatt's over too. I just made a "rawr" face and thanked her for doing that. She said "those girls need to be fellowshipped, so I thought it would be good to have them over". Gah, I just love her for doing that.

So we've had a few lessons with Anita and she just didn't seem too interested in coming to our church. Her mom, Zen (she's from Brazil :D !), said their father's mother was giving them anti-mormon stuff. They also had a lot more "fun" attending their grandma's church. And every time we would teach her one of the lessons, Anita would say, "the Elders already taught me this...". Oh awks. 

ANYWAY, so at Sister Wright's house we did our Alma 50 lesson about the things we can do to defend ourselves from Satan. For our little visuals, when you flip over all of Moroni's "defense system" the other side show Christ-like attributes we need to develop, ordinances we have to make, meetings we have to attend, etc etc. So we ask the girls which of those things they can work on. Anita says, "siiiiigh, but this is all so much work". And of course I say, "yeah but do you know why? Because Heavenly Father wants you to learn". So we brought up baptism and she gave me a "ok-convince-me-why" kinda look. Ahaha oh 9 year olds. So we talked about the Holy Ghost and all the things the Holy Ghost does as our best friend. We extend the baptism invite again and she exclaims "YES!" We were like, SAY WHAT? Ahahaha. We tell her we'll discuss a date when we go to their house on Friday and she says, "I want to be baptized on Sunday". So I'm trying to convince her so hard that we still need to go over some things but she was super persistent about Sunday, so I told her to pray about it and let us know on Friday.

We go over Friday and we talk about the Gospel of Jesus Christ and emphasize the importance of the covenants we make at baptism. Anita is a hoot. She comes up with REALLY good analogies and we go off of them. But then her analogy will go off on a random tangent and we're just staring at her like, "what? where'd that come from?!". Anyway, we go over the baptism interview questions with her and she totally scores it. So we tell her that we should at least move it to next Sunday because our district leader still has to interview her, and she'll need more time to invite friends, and we'll still have to make a program and get people to speak at it......and she says, "I WANT IT ON SUNDAY. I DONT WANT TO INVITE ANY FRIENDS. CALL YOUR DISTRICT LEADER RIGHT NOW AND ASK HIM IF HE CAN INTERVIEW ME TOMORROW". 


Cutting to the chase, Elder Weight interviewed her, she totally passed, we got speakers and a program together in a few hours, and voila: BAPTISM ON SUNDAY! Those were probably the craziest few hours of my life. Not to mention we had an investigator come to Women's Conference while we were mentally planning all of this ahaha. The mission is definitely helping me out with multi-mind-tasking :P 

Seriously, the thing that made the chaos of planning it all worth it was hearing how excited Anita was every time she called us about her baptism. Do you know how amazing it is to see a child go from "" to "I want to be baptized!"?'s awesome. 

And I LOVE THE FARMINGTON WARD. Seriously, for last minute, TONS of people stayed after church to support. Everyone has pretty much become family, whether we've spent a whole lot of time with them or not. Oh I just love them all! I love our Bishop too. The first time we get to Farmington, i look at Bishop Blum sitting on the stand and I whisper to Sister Rouse, "he reminds me of my daddy". We haven't met with him too much, and he's a little quiet. But on Sunday he bore testimony about the youth; he stood up to tell us we should fight for rights and start a petition (i'm not going to get into that one...); and then at the baptism he pulled a cheesy joke before he started welcoming Anita. It all just totally melted my heart and just made me have that much more respect for him. When we got home I told Sis Rouse, gahhh Bishop Blum reminds me more and more of my dad!

President Morgan even called us Sunday night because of this amazing miracle. 
And apparently we're now one of the "miracle" areas. Not quite sure what that means, but I'm guessing its good haha. Two of my areas have already been chosen as the "highlight area" that our Zone Leaders share during Mission Leaders Conference--once when i was serving in Paris, and then Farmington/Fredericktown last transfer. It's definitely a tender mercy to hear stuff like that, especially when you white-wash an area. So I guess we're doing A-OK! :D 

So, who's excited for conference this week?!?!?! CUZ I AM!
Before I end this I just want to share two things with you.

1. Concerning covenants: "Your greatest hope should be to enjoy the sanctification that comes from this divine guidance; your greatest fear should be to forfeit these blessings". The sanctification happens when we are actively keeping our covenants. It's awesome how that works. Every-day covenant-keeping can be doing something as simple as posting a general conference quote on social media (aha refer to the New Era issue that talks about every-day covenant-keeping). Or just actively seeking for someone to help out. It's so simple. Yet, we are sanctified through these tiny little efforts. By small and simple things, y"all! ;)

2. You think you got trials? Things are a little hard? Just remember this:
"Like stones in the river we are tossed and turned when the current moves so strong. Stones in living waters over time are shaped until the edges are gone. Polished and smooth, that's what we will be if we put our selves in God's hands. Each day of our lives is a gift from the Giver to smooth all the edges like stones in the river". He's just helping you to become like Him, that's all ;) The thing is, you just gotta let him :) Keep pressing forward! Keeping working hard! And just watch the music video cuz the song is great ;)

Sister Limas

Sis Lynch, Sis Minyard, me, and Sis Rouse at Buffalo Wild Wings.

Khloe Bassett stole my glasses :3

Anita's Baptism!

A Work of Art

Monday, March 24, 2014


Ezra Taft Benson's "Family-to-Family Book of Mormon Program" is something that I've tried to implement in every one of my areas. It is working wonders out here in Farmington. I've never given out this many Book of Mormons before! But I don't have enough testimonies to put in them. Soooo send me your testimonies to put inside! Just a simple and sincere testimony :) And spread the word! The more I can get, the better. I've got 8 months worth of Book of Mormons to give out ;) (Plus, it's always a treat to hear the testimony of others, sooooo I may be a little selfish in that way :p ahaa)

ANYWHOOZERS. Before I tell you about the fantabulous week, I just want to make reference to my email last week about what I came to realize after reading my patriarchal blessing. So I just LOVE how whenever I have a thought like that, something always happens afterwards to confirm that it was a spiritual impression and wasn't just my thoughts. Which is AWESOME cuz Heavenly Father just gives me that reassurance that I'm not in it on my own. After sending that email, I read a talk by Robert D. Hales called Gifts of the Spirit. In it he says,

"Isn't it interesting that President Romney was sent to interview 25 or 30 men to choose one stake president rather than being told directly who it should be before his arrival? This is what the Lord means when He tells us to study it out in our own minds. Too often we want to be given answers to questions and problems that, if they were given in the manner we ask them, would take away our agency and the blessings that come from reaching out to the Lord for answers and direction. Some think it would be nice to have 'spiritual fortune cookies' we could open to find the answers to life's challenges. Wouldn't it be nice to have a labeled jar we could reach into for our answers? But that is not the way it is meant to be." 

Im sitting there reading it and I'm like "MMNYEEEEEUS. It's not just me. Thank youuu!" God is good.

So this week has been so great! It has been one of my goals to study on spiritual gifts (hence Elder Hales' talk)--mainly because I really really want to develop some new ones. Elder Hales' talk was the first one I've read this past week to pump start it. I wish I could show you my journal cuz my notes look pretty amazing ahaha. As I was reading this talk I was listing down what I thought my spiritual gifts were, and what spiritual gifts I would like to develop. Elder Hales' says, "when we EXERCISE and MAGNIFY these gifts, we will be able to accomplish the calling and responsibilities that will come into our lives". So I listed what I thought my gifts were again and questioned "how do i fully more exercise, magnify, and utilize them in missionary work?" Cuz I figured, 'hey, why would Heavenly Father entrust me with more spiritual gifts if I'm not continuously putting the ones I already have into practice and magnifying them?' So the one I focused on this week was the . I know I've got that one. And my patriarchal blessing addresses it too. But as you've read in my past emails, I tend to argue with the spirit first before I actually make a move. SO, this week I promised that the moment the Spirit tells me to do something, I'll do it right away with no questions asked. 

Here are some experiences :)

* We decided to work Farmington in the morning, and Park Hills in the afternoon. I looked through out member list and right away felt prompted to visit a less active sister named Dennita Chadwell. We typed her address onto the GPS, but it didn't exist. Normally we would just type in someone else's address to move on. But this time I just told my companion that we'll go to an existing number on that street and hopefully we'll find it. So we did, and after some driving and searching, we found it! It was an apartment complex. So we go up to her apartment, knock, and no answer. So we left a note for her. We get back to the car and I'm standing there ready to back-out Sister Rouse, when something was telling me to go knock on her neighbours door. So I'm like sigh ok. So I tell Sis Rouse to stop backing and come up to her window and say, "we need to knock on the neighbour's door." She's like, "ok, if you feel like you need to..." I walk back yelling to her, "the Spirit didn't tell us to come here for nothing!". So we knock on the neighbour's door...and VOILA! Someone opened! His name is Jake. He said that Dennita's apartment has been empty for months. Out of no where I'm starting to talk about the Book of Mormon and inviting him to general conference. We had a really good discussion at the door!! Wheww. And it just happened again, and again, and again all throughout the day! 

* We were in Park Hills finding former investigators and the GPS was going all whack on us. The GPS didn't take us to the right house when we were looking for Michelle. But as we were driving off to look for other people, something was telling me to go back and check further up the street. So we did. And we found her! And had a good discussion with her at the door as well. She set up an appointment with us and told us her daughter was into religion and would probably be interested in talking to us too. Mmmyeuuus! 

* AND AND AND, we found two new investigators! One is a former investigator named, Leon, and the other is his girlfriend, Latasha. I felt prompted to do the pepper/salt/soap lesson on the Atonement. Later on, we were talking to Leon about prayer and he told us about Elder Kimball, and how he felt things during that prayer that he hadn't felt in a long time. He proceeds to tell us that he doesn't normally let missionaries in, but he had a feeling to let Elder Kimball in. I started to tell him about the Holy Ghost and how that was God's way of showing him His love--by sending someone who who be a blessing to him at that time to remind Him God still cares. He looks away and then looks back at me and he's like "that was so weird. That was word-for-word EXACTLY what Elder Kimball told me". Sis Rouse and I look at each other and laugh and I'm like "well I can tell you we didn't pre-plan that. See, it was the Holy Ghost". AND IT SERIOUSLY WAS! Seriously, if I learned anything this day, it was to never never never postpone a prompting or ever argue with the Spirit ever again. 

*We finally had our second lesson with David and Shirley. Our first meeting with them was super tiring because David just talks and talks and talks, and I'm pretty sure he's stuck in between being super prideful about being in church politics before and wanting to become that spiritual again. Anyway, we start out with teaching the Plan of Salvation, but when it got to the point of "what is your purpose in life?", he starts telling us, once again about how he has seen the Godhead and Satan. He was just being super stubborn about looking for answers and saying that God is going to reveal himself again. So let me first just say that I can start to feel super contentious real easy, but I never say anything cuz I hate contention (ahaha Daddy-O knows. He's witnessed me blow up after people leave on numerous occasions). Anyway, I was just getting super frustrated, and almost bored because no matter how much we tried to tell him something, he would interrupt. I just about gave up on him and had half a mind of storming out. But then I remembered that the piece of paper I put on fire during district meeting said, "no more holding back". So I didn't. I was a little surprised with what came out of my mouth. And of course, I was crying. Dang it. I told him straight up, . Yeah something along the lines of that. I don't remember word for word cuz it was definitely the Spirit. Like I said, I shocked myself. And even though I was crying, my voice was no where near timid and was just super bold and direct. Yeah i know, SHOCKER! Afterwards in the car, I tell Sis Rouse, "wow that surprised me". She says, "surprised you? That surprised ME! I was like 'is that my companion?!' Yessss!" Then I say, "you know, as frustrated as I was...I wouldn't have opened my mouth if I didn't care. Cuz really, if I didn't care, then I would have left him in the dark". That experience was a huge testimony builder for me. In that lesson with David, I have never felt the Spirit testify to me so strongly that I knew without a doubt the answers and the peace we gain from the Book of Mormon and from living the gospel of Jesus Christ were true. If saying all that to David still didn't make it clear to him, it was sure made clear to me of what was true. 

* We had an on-the-spot lesson with Latasha. We did a little bit of the POS and then went on to the Restoration. By the time we finished the prayer, she was crying. Next after that we went to find a referral, but had to tract her street in order to get to her. We talked to this guy named, John, and he let us in. He knows the end is near. So we talked about that and prophets and the Book of Mormon...

Seriously, D&C 11:21 has never been so real to me! "Seek not to declare my word, but first seek to obtain my word, and then shall your tongue be loosed; then, if you desire, you shall have my Spirit and my word, yea, the power of God unto the convincing of men". This week I've come to realize that when we put ourselves in the position for the Spirit to guide us, it really will guide us. When we show we're willing, we WILL be lead. When we go tracting (which is not very often), sometimes I get nervous about teaching them a lesson on the spot because I wont know what to say. So in the past I may have held back. But this week, I have gained such a huge testimony of just DOING it. My testimony of the Book of Mormon has definitely been strengthened over the past few months, and now there's no holding back of telling people about it. There's no more holding back in asking inspired questions. Why should I get nervous if they let us in? Heck, that's a GOOD thing ahaha. And I think with showing Heavenly Father that I was willing and I wanted to get this work done, and trusting that He would put the words in my mouth, it made Him more apt to trust me to do it, therefore He DID put the words in my mouth. Like, going to talk to people, I didn't care if I didn't know what to say. I just said whatever the Spirit told me at the moment because I trusted that it would come. I really do have to "take no thought beforehand of what [I] should say". It just comes. And so saying, "can we come in and share a message" or just starting to talk about the gospel whether or not they look interested, just came so easy. And I know it's because I showed Heavenly Father I was putting myself up for the vulnerability. I put myself in the position where I could be vulnerable enough to be molded. That means there's possibility of rejection, but that's just part of the molding process. But that's what shapes the potter's clay, no?

Anywhoozerz. There was a whole lot more stuff, but I've already babbled on about these experiences hahaha, so I won't burden you with more ;)

Some quotes I'd like to share with you from my studies this week:

* We have "eternal possibilities". Read your patriarchal blessing. What can you work on?

* We are "sent to this life at this time because this is the time we'll learn the most and do the most good through our talents and personality". I, nor any other child, should ever feel like we don't play a significant role on this earth life. We are sent here for a reson and there is another life we were sent here to impact. Neglect not the gift that is in thee! 

* "Because of the veil it is impossible to fully know, and hence appreciate, oneself. We enjoyed a timeless span of experiences before this life which we cannot now remember". ('Between Faith and Charity'. Ensign 1981)

* "When we are afraid, we are protecting our weaknesses, real or imagined. we may hurt others to keep us from being hurt ourselves. When we fear humiliation or pain or the criticism of others, we are forgetting who we are an dwhat we can become. Moreover, under these conditions we are not capable of charity toward others: 'there is no fear in love; but perfect love casteth out fear: because fear hath torment' (1 John 4:18). Only by hope founded in faith in Jesus Christ can we develop the capacity to love" ('Between Faith and Charity'. Ensign 1981)

* "Endure to the end. Endure means there will be pain; but End means it doesn't last forever" (Sis Rouse)

* In order to develop more gifts and talents, we need to "increase ability to study, learn, and develop intelligence". There are many gifts and talents we don't know about yet. But we need to earnestly SEEK for them. i don't want to leave this life not knowing or trying to bring out what I'm really capable of. (Every Good Gift - Rober D. Hales)

* The Law of the Harvest can be applied to our creative spirits (see "Every Good Gift" by Robert D Hales to get the whole awesome shi-bam!). "The greatest masterpieces yet to be created will come about through hard work and through inspiration from God" (Robert D Hales) 

^This includes ourselves! We are God's creation! We too can be molded into great masterpieces! We already are! :) The best part is that we have potential to become even greater. But it will only come through hard work and an attitude to do God's will. Neglect not the gift that is in thee, guys! There is so much just waiting to sprout from each and every one of you!

I love you alllllll.
Stay amazing. Keep working hard. 
Who's excited for conference?! I AMMMMMM! So so so dang excited!
Now I gotta read all your emails about Elder Bednar. Shoot, there are like 6 of them haha. Thanks for that! :D I'm excited.

Sister Limas :)

Swing Break


Look what I made :D

Come Unto Christ

Monday, March 17, 2014

HARROOO! this week has been a total blur and I can't remember much of any of it. But let me share a quick thought I had this week, and then I'll tell you my highlights :)

So I was studying the Ensign when I felt prompted to read my Patriarchal blessing. As I was reading the part about accepting callings willingly and magnifying every calling I receive, I had an epiphany. Here are my recorded thoughts:

"I realized WHY there was no direct line about me serving a mission. It wasn't revealed to me if I would serve because the decision had to be faith-based. Starting from age 14 up until now at 22, it has always been a test of faith for me. If I was told I was going to serve a mission, then it wouldn't have been a test. And if I didn't have that test I wouldn't have learned how to pray, or how to gain personal revelation, or how to recognize the prompting of the Spirit, or learn how to find answers, or know how to develop my relationship with God, or know how to rely on my Saviour. If I was told directly that I was going to serve a mission, I wouldn't have learned any of that the way I did, or have the distinct testimony I have about them. And those are all the things I needed to know before coming out here."

I've been contemplating similar things for a while. We all have our crosses to bear. We all learn things differently. We pretty much learn things and gain a testimony of things the way the Lord knows we'll learn it. You and I both can have a testimony of the Saviour, but the way we gain that testimony comes from a specific trial the Lord has tailored for us individually. And so I know that even though I'm on a mission learning a bunch of things, I know you are all learning the exact same things, but in different ways. Does that make sense? Apparently the Lords sees it fit that I need to serve a mission to get these things learnt through my thick, stubborn head hahaha. 

Short, right? WHAT A SHOCKER. But watch this video because it's amazing.


He’s the One who healed the leper,

And who brought the dead to life.
He’s the One who fed the hungry,
And who gave the blind their sight.
He’s the One who walked on water,
Then He brought them safe to shore,
And whenever you may need Him,
He’s the one you’re looking for.

So let Him in,

And He will take away your pain.
When you feel His love you’ll never be the same.
Come unto Christ
Come unto Him,
And by His grace be made holy again.
He’s calling your name
He’s waiting for you with arms open wide
Come unto Christ

He’s the One who taught forgiveness,

And who showed a better way.
He’s the one who helped the hopeless
And those who’ve gone astray
He’s the Savior and Redeemer
The Bread of Life, the Prince of Peace
If you’re hungry, lost, or captive
He’s the One who’ll set you free

So let Him in,

And you’ll remember who you are
He will mold your life and change your willing heart
Come unto Christ
Come unto Him,
And by His grace be made holy again.
He’s calling your name
He’s waiting for you with arms open wide
Come unto Christ
And you will find eternal life

Come unto Christ

Come unto Him,
And by His grace be made holy again.
He’s calling your name
He’s waiting for you with arms open wide
Come unto Christ

I testify of that simply, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen :)

ANYWHOOZERS. Ready for my highlights and tender mercies?

* So I wasn't originally supposed to make it to this transfer meeting, because neither Sis Rouse or I got transferred. But Sis Sudweeks was, and we had to drop her off and pick up our Malibu, sooooo we got to go to transfer meeting. Huge huge blessing because....

a) Michelle Donald was there!!!! Michelle is a recent convert of the Edwardsville Sisters. When I was serving in Glen Carbon, she, Sister Sabee, and Sister Trop got me through some super tough times. I wasn't able to say good-bye to her though. So seeing her at transfer meeting MADE MY DAY!

b) I got to see Elder Texeira for the last time! Holy crum. The first time I met him was at Zone Pday back in August. When I asked him how long he has been out he said "I go home in April". I remember thinking, meh that's so far from now. But when I saw him at transfer meeting the following conversation happens:

E. Texeira: this is my last transfer

Me: NO IT ISN'T. Say what? April is not next month.
E. Texeria: Uh, yeah it is.

THE POOP. Wow times goes by so fast.

c) First person that comes up to greet me is Elder Smith! Yeyeeeuh. He is my little smidge of home, so talking with him is always good. 

d) I got to greet the Sister Gali, the new filipino in our mission!!! She's so cute. When she got up, she totally looked nervous. So after transfer meeting I made sure I went up to her and gave her a huge hug so she knows she has an Ate in the mission ;) She's great and I already love her. She asks, "do you think President will let us serve together?" Ahahah, I told her hopefully ahaha. 

e) The other Elder Smith (the one who used to be my zone leader) comes up to me and tell me about how they've been rapping throughout the transfer and how he thought of me. BAHAHA. Oh man, I guess I'm kinda flattered? Maybe? I promise you though, my rapping has gotten better out here cuz I do it so much bahaha.

* My new district is SO BOMB. I love Elder Weight! Hahaha seriously him and Elder Davidson together are such a hoot. And he actually calls us every night to check up on us. My past 3 district leaders didn't do that. For our first meeting we made up new, cool district goals and we lit pieces of paper of fire of what things we wanted to let go. Start with a bam!

* on Thursday there was 40 minutes before curfew and Sis Rouse and I were trying to figure out what we could squeeze in before coming home. We decide to check up on our ex-communicated/less-active/investigator family. They haven't been responding to us, so we thought we'd drop in and set a return appointment. BUT, we ended up having 2 lessons! Ahaha it was so great. Afterwards Sis Rouse says to me, "I hope you know Ron's face lit up when he saw you." And I'm like "I hope YOU know that when you bore simple testimony of the Saviour, the Spirit filled the room". It wasn't a big deal, but it was to us. 

* Shirley got baptized on Sunday!!!! She was an investigator that Sis Linton and I started teaching. No one believed that she would be solid and only thought she was using us for service...but NOPE! She did it. I am so stinking proud of her! I wasn't able to attend the baptism, but Sis Scott was there and took a picture for me :)

* I love the Hafner family. They are such a hoot. They were the family that introduced us to Jordan Elders (one of our solid investigators). Their daughter Katelyn is like my new best friend. She's 20 and has a 4 month old son. SO STINKING CUTE. Saturday was the first time Bro Hafner was able to join us for dinner. Oh my goodness, we just had a good time. He reminds me a lot of dad. Katelyn always says the word "weird" and her dad kept telling her to stop it. So I showed her how to say "weird" in ASL. Bahaha Bro Hafner is like, that's it, you are no longer my favourite missionary. But now whenever we see each other, I just make my triple chin face and say "hi bro hafner" and sign "weird" in ASL. Bahaha, oh i just love them.

Anyway, have an awesome week!

I love you all!

PS, so unfair that I'm missing out on Elder Bednar!! You guys are so dang lucky!
Do I get points for teaching his son? Ahaha. His son is in the stake presidency in the Champaigne Stake, and he visited the Paris Branch and attended the youth class Sis Fernandez and I were teaching at :p

...I guess not. Dang it. Just send me notes from his firesides and stuff! You lucky people.


Sister Limas :)

Soooo Elder Weight and Elder Davidson think it's funny to hang tortillas on our doorbell.
They called it "taco bell". Bahahaha. Oh elders...

Me and Elder Smith! Ahaha awkward missionary poses...

Me, Michelle Donald, and Sis Sabey. Love them!

Me and my BC buddy, Elder Texeria!!

The Promises I Keep

Monday, March 10, 2014

Hey all!

So once again I'm sitting at the computer without a clue of what I'm going to tell you. Haha. Oh dear. So hopefully the Spirit guides this one again. But while the Spirit's trying to process things in my head....let me tell you about two quick miracles!!

But first a little background. We had our Zone Leader Training this Wednesday and our theme for this upcoming transfer is MIRACLE MADNESS!!! We're pretty much sending out voicemails to each other about all the miracles that are happening. Also on Wednesday, our ward started the 40 Day Fast. This was something Bro Bassett (our ward mission leader) came up with. We fast together as a ward, but families take turns fasting for the 40 days. It's supposed to create unity in the ward and help out the missionary work in this area.

And let me tellllllllllllll you...the miracles that we've been seeing....that fast is definitely working.
Both miracles happened while working the Fredericktown area. The first is with Melissa Lewis (a former investigator). Sis Sudweeks has been searching for her for a month now. When she was on exchanges with Sis Johnson they knew they had to find her. When we started working Fredericktown with her we would go around asking people in the area where she lived. We went up to the house people described a couple times, but no one would answer. This past Friday, we went into a shop and asked people again. They lead us right back to the house that was previously described. So we went back to the house and knocked on the door.....AND MELISSA ANSWERED IT! Sis Sudweeks says to her "Melissa, do you know what we've done to try and find you?! Do you know who we are?" And she says, "yes! I've been searching for the missionaries for so long! The last ones that taught me were like my best friends and helped me through a lot of tough times. I've written them, but haven't gotten an answer back. I want to keep taking lessons. I just need to stop smoking so I can get baptized." MOUTH DROPPED IN SHOCK. Oh, Heavenly Father just loves His children!

The second one was with Carrie Chitwood. A couple of weeks ago we were at a gas station asking for directions. We ended up staying there for 30 mins cuz we realized we had to fill up the tank and then pay again inside. Sis Rouse and I were talking to someone and Sis Sudweeks is just standing there going "I just want to teach someone about Jesus!" Bahaha, oh I love her. Then she turns to a lady standing in line and Carrie says to Sis Sudweeks, "you can come see me". So later that day we saw her and taught her the Restoration and she accepted a Book of Mormon. We tried to see her last week but she said she was in the middle of something and to come back next week. So THIS week, we call her up and some random girl answers the phone, says some idiotic things, and then hangs up. Carrie lives way out there and so we were like "should we still go?" We did. And I'm glad we did. Carrie talked to us on her lawn and told us about how he soon-to-be-ex-husband put her in the nut house for flipping out on him when his girlfriend came to pick up the kids from her house. Shoot dang. He had the nerve to do that after being married to her for 20 yrs and they aren't even officially divorced yet. Ohhhhh THE NERVE. Anyway, when she got put in the hospital they told her she couldn't take anything with her. She told them that she wanted her Book of Mormon and that they couldn't take her religion away from her. I asked Carrie if I could give her a hug and the moment she came into my arms she started bawling. Oh my goodness. We asked her if she knew if the book was true and she said yes! She said that before she was just reading it, but the moment she got to her lowest point, she was starting to get more out of it. She started describing Nephi's experience and how she felt like God was telling her she was going to be the one that needed to fight for her children. The moment we were standing there I had NO clue what story she was making reference to, but later that night I recorded in my journal that I knew she got personal revelation from the scriptures. I have such a huge testimony of the Book of Mormon. That is where we receive answers. It's not something said because it's clice or the "right" thing to say---the Book of Mormon DOES answer any question of your soul. That's how God speaks to us. That's how you get personal revelation. And so even though I didnt' know what story she was talking about, I knew God had spoken to her and that she now had a testimony. She said that the Book of Mormon saved her life and it was the only thing that got her through the 12 days in the nut house. Seriously? We met her at a gas station. Heavenly Father loves His children so much!

Well, that was my week :)

Tender Mercies:

* Sis Rouse and I beat our transfer goal! We said we wanted 15 investigators by the end of the transfer.....we hit 16 :D Yeeeeus!

* Sis Rouse and I get to stay with each other in Farmington! Sis Sudweeks is getting transfered and is going to be companions with my grand-baby, Sister Chatterton (from Calgary, Alberta!). I can't even begin to explain the blessing that Sis Sudweeks has been. Like I said, being in a tri can be rough at times. And even though we've only been together for 3 weeks, I seriously can't imagine my mission life without her. 

* This week we had FHE with an ex-communicated member. While Sis Rouse and Sis Sudweeks were talking to her, I kinda had an off-to-the-side lesson with her boyfriend, Ron. Man, he is solid! He wants to get baptized! When I asked him if it was the living situation was the only thing holding him back, he nodded. Oh my gosh, it just broke my heart! The look on his face...he was just so devastated. He's like in his 50's I think, but I felt such a connection with him and I'm like super determined right now to help him get to where he needs to be. And he was so sincere when he responded to my commitment to him to pray about the Book of Mormon. He loves reading the BOM and is obsessed with Ensigns. But he knows he needs to pray about the BOM in order for him to go from "yeah i like the church" to "i KNOW the church is true". At this home, the ex-communicated member has two less-active children. Man, I don't know what it was about this family but I felt so attached to them. While my companions were talking with the mom, I was trying to share and help her boyfriend and kids as much as I could. Gah, I just love them so much already.

* Elder Spencer is no longer my district leader....but ELDER WEIGHT NOW IS! Bahahaha. I laughed so hard. I am so so SO stoked for this transfer. Elder Weight and Elder Davidson together? We are going to have a HOOOOOT! Sis Minyard is whitewashing into Fredericktown. She was a sister training leader, but now she'll be training a new missionary. Hurray!

* On Sunday we went to Fredericktown branch first so Sis Sudweeks could say goodbye. When we got to Farmington, an overwhelming feeling came over me. We were in the hall way talking to some of the members, and all that went through my head was "it feels like home". I told Sis Rouse later on in the car and she said she felt the same way. I don't even know all the Farmington ward members that well, but I have come to love them so much this past transfer. And it hit me hard on Sunday. 
Now for my spiritual though (its still in the process in my head right now lol).

I was reading in Alma 34 for personal study. I've read this chapter multiple times and marked it up to the max that I was kinda like "yawn. here we go again". But I got to the last few verses and noticed all I did was highlight it and wrote "in a nutshell, this is what we are supposed to be doing". I went over the verses again and listed them out in my journal....and then modernized it. So, does it go over your head when leaders tell you that the scriptures tell us what we need to do? Well, IT DOES. The only difference between a key-note speaker at YSA conference and what the scriptures say is that the speaker modernizes it to get it through our thick, young, stubborn heads. But we're told the same principles. So here's my little modernized speal of Alma 34:37-41 (I say read these verses first before reading my version of it :P):

> You need to WORK at your salvation. Is salvation supposed to be easy? No. It takes work.   

> Don't neglect the fact that Christ is coming. Cuz He is.

> Dont contend with the Holy Ghost. Just follow the Spirit, dudes. Simple as that. But in order to do that, you  need to stay worthy of it.

> Take upon yourself the name of Christ. Do what He would do!

> Humble yo'selfffff. Pride is a stinker!

> Worship God-- all day, err'day!

>"Be in places in spirit and truth". You got to stand in holy places! Don't be anywhere where the Spirit can't reside.

> Always have an attitude of gratitude!

> Always keep a prayer in your heart so that the temptations of the devil don't lead you away. Conquer satan, yaaaa! You CAN trample him!

> Be patient. Look forward for the things to come...with a cheerful heart, please!

> Bear all manner of affliction -- SUCK IT UP, PRINCESS. It'll all end soon. (do ya get my girls camp reference here? ;))

So we're required to do a bunch of things, right? Straight up--YES! Much is required of us. Sis Julie B Beck says, "living the Lord's plan with precision, intention, and determination is a conscious, faith-filled choice in today's world". 

Ooooook. So basically, living the Gospel is a lot of hard work. We need to be aware of what we are currently doing and how that is going to help us become closer to our Heavenly Father. It's a hefty task! But then I came to realize: NO WONDER MORMONS ARE SO HAPPY. Seriously, we are asked to do so much. And it can either drive you insane, or you can just bask in the Spirit of it. Wanting to live with Heavenly Father again is a quest, not a chore. I mean if you really don't want to, I guess you can take that path. If it's too much for you to handle, then by all means go the other way. But I can promise you Christ is begging you to choose eternal happiness. Like Brad Wilcox says, when we're standing at the gates of heaven, it's not going to be Christ saying, "oh shoot Sis Limas, you missed it by two points" and me begging Him to let me do something so I can enter the gates. Right now, we're learning heaven. And heaven won't be heaven for those who aren't trying to be heavenly. And so when we're in an uncomfortable situation, what do we do? We avoid it. We turn away. When we're at those gates and we realize we don't feel comfortable there, and want to leave, it'll be Christ saying "please choose to say". What we choose is actually determined by how well we prepare in this life. Am I keeping my covenants? Am I doing everything I can?

Yo, I never understood it when we got made fun of or were teased for being "molly mormons". Like, what the cheese does a molly mormon even mean? She's being a goodie-two-shoes? 'Well, thank you for making fun of me for trying my hardest to be good even though it's hard. Thanks'. Like, what the poop? Haha. I don't think people living the gospel get enough recognition for all the work they put into being who they are to become like their Father. For all those who do, thank you for your example. I hope you feel your Father's love for you and your faithfulness. Don't ever feel regret for doing what's right. Let me share with you the lyrics to Cherie Call's song "Promises I Keep":

If we share this road for a portion of our way
There's something I should tell you in the light of day
Before this goes too far, before I fall too deep
You need to understand about the promises I keep
Because there's strength I want and there's peace I need
In the words I say, in the things I read
From the clothes I wear to the place I choose to sleep
Every thing goes back to these promises I keep
It's not that I don't care for you and wanna hold you near
When the hour gets late and say I have to go
Closer to the truth is that I'm honouring the one
Who loves us both more than we know

So you may think I'm wise or you may thing I'm strange
But my mind's made up and my heart won't change
And when the world falls down you can trust in me
Because I trust in him and there are promises I keep

Whatever covenant you have made, KEEP THEM. Whether you've made promises at baptism, during your endowments, or when you got sealed--KEEP THEM. There is strength and peace that comes when we do. That is our power against satan. Remember that. Don't be ashamed for choosing Christ.
Last but not least, here is one of my favourite quotes from Henry B. Eyring:

I am part of the fellowship of the unashamed.
The dye has been cast!
I have stepped over the line.
The decision has been made; I am a disciple of Jesus Christ.
I wont look back, let up, slow down, or be still.
My past is redeemed, my present makes sense, and my future is secure.
I’m finished and done with low living, small planning, smooth knees, colorless dreams,
tainted visions, worldly talking, cheap giving, and dwarfed goals.
I no longer need pre-eminence, positions, promotions, plaudits or popularity.
I now live by faith, lean on his presence, walk with patience,
am uplifted by prayer, and labor with power.
My face is set. my gait is fast, and my goal is heaven.
My road is narrow, my way is rough, my companions are few,
my guide is reliable, my mission is clear!
I cannot be bought, compromised, detoured, lured away, divided or delayed.
I will not flinch in the face of sacrifice, hesitate in the presence of the adversary,
negotiate at the table of the enemy, ponder at the pool of popularity,
or meander in the maze of mediocrity.
I won’t give up, shut up, or let up, until i have stayed up stored up,
and paid up of the cause of Christ.
I must go till He comes, give till I drop, preach till I know,
and work till He stops me.
And when He returns for His own,
He will have no problem recognizing me.
My banner will be Clear.

Now I ask you-- will you be a part of the fellowship of the unashamed?
I testify that my Saviour lives. He's rooting for each and every one of you. Heavenly Father's rooting for each and every one of you. He calls His children to come home. He sent His Son to live so we know how to get back to Him. Then He let His Son die so we know how we can be like Him. Living the Gospel isn't supposed to be hard. A trying and hefty task--yes. But how worth it is it to live with your Father again? I'd say it's worth it all. Take joy in the promise of good things to come :)
Anywhoozers...I don't know where all of that came from, but I hope you enjoyed it!

Have a fantabulous week! 
Sister Limas

My district :)

Goodbyes to Elder Duke

Strength, Preparedness, and Priesthood

Monday, March 3, 2014

Hey y'all!

So this week has had its ups and downs. I don't even know where the weeks are going anymore and it's freaking me out. I can't even handle looking up at our calendars. Time is just whizzing. It's all slipping through my fingers and it puts me in a panic. I can't even imagine what it's like for Sis Sudweeks. She freaks out about it more than I do cuz she's got 5 months left. Sis Rouse is just hitting her 6 month so she isn't freaking like we are aha.

Anyway, I don't really have too much to say, but I want to share a really cool experience we had on Saturday.

So the Hafner family invited us over for dinner. Via text. So I have no clue who this family is. We get to their home and the first oldest lady I see, I go up to and say, "And are you Sis Hafner?" The lady says, "no. I work with her in the office. I'm _____ Elders" (forgive me, I forget her first name). Katelyn Hafner, who I met once before and thought was in a different ward, was talking to Mrs. Elders daughter, Jordan. My heart is slightly starting to beat fast because I'm thinking like, waaaaait, we need to teach them something! Haha, you 'd think being out for almost 10 months, I wouldn't freak out as much with last minute situations. But I still do a little bit. Jordan is 15 (but looks 20), and totally reminds me a lot of the young-ins back home. So I clicked with her off the bat. Over dinner, she was asking what Mormons believed in. So we took that opportunity to discuss the restoration. It was super relaxed cuz it was over dinner. And the Hafner's did a great job bearing their testimony at the perfect times.

Then Sis Hafner says, "you know what's weird? We haven't had missionaries over for dinner in two years. And we haven't had Jordan over for seven years." We were like, are you serious?!?!?! I turned to Jordan and I'm like, "no way this is a coincidence. We were supposed to meet you. What are the changes that you wanted to know more about Mormons, and then we happened to be coming?"

Yeah, I thought that was cool? It gets better.

We showed her the Abide With Me Mormon message video. Afterwards there was the awkward dinner silence because Sis Hafner was trying to clear things up. Then the Spirit was like, "ask her if she's prayed before". And me being me--I argued. Seriously, you'd think I'd know by now to just do it haha. Anyway, so I'm thinking, "what? Are you sure? That's too simple of a question. And of COURSE she's prayed before. We just said a dinner prayer". Heavenly Father is shaking His head, I'm sure. And of course He says, "are you serious? TRY ME. Just do it". So I'm like fineee.

I turn to Jordan and ask, "Jordan, have you ever prayed?"

She says, "yeah..." Dead silence.

I could tell my companions were waiting for me to say something else, but I tried really hard not to let that freak me out. I soaked up the silence.

Then Jordan starts talking again and says, "I've prayed to God before when I went through some hard things. I don't pray to Him as much though when everything is going well."

Silence again.

Then I ask, "so how did you feel after praying?"
Part of me is begging and pleading that these questions weren't just fillers.

But what happens next?! She starts telling us about all the bad stuff she has experienced and how praying helped her forget all those bad feelings.

I'm sitting there smiling, and she's looking at me like "what?"

I thanked her for sharing that and told her how beautiful I thought it was. She looked surprised and asks, "what? Why?"  Now THAT caught me off guard.

I started bearing testimony of the Savior. And I'm crying my face off as I testify of His strength to help us overcome hard things. I tried to clear the tears that were blocking my view, and when I did, I saw Jordan's face and SHE was crying too. I look over to Sis Sudweeks and she's tearing up. I'm like woah, what just happened?

Jordan opened up even more about her past. And it was a lot similar to one of my companions. So that companion was able to relate and share her experience and bear testimony of the gospel in that way. OH MAN, there were tears everywhereeeee. The Spirit was so strong! So the four of us are sitting there in this intense conversation and bearing testimony of overcoming hard things through the Saviour and how the gospel blesses our lives. Man, it was so spiritually renewing!

Afterwards Jordan says, "You know, when you girls walked in you looked really familiar to me. But I didn't want to say anything cuz it sounded weird". I told her that everything Sis Hafner said about the pre-mortal life was true; that we probably were really good friends in the pre-mortal life and probably promised her we'd find her when we got to earth."

Gah, it was AWESOME! I seriously love that girl to death.

Anyway, that experience was a huge testimony builder. Why?

A) I teach better when there's silence and when the Spirit is bouncing back between me and the investigator. It's been something I've worked so hard on since my first listen with love, to not be afraid of silence, and to speak as the Spirit directs. And whenever I think I've finally got a hold of it, I always get thrown into a situation to remind me to keep working at it. For example: being in a tri and seeing the way other people teach. It really does humble you though, cuz its a reminder that I can't be relaxed with it. These words kept going through my head as I was asking Jordan those questions, "fight your fight, fight your fight. You know how to teach powerfully. You're not going to teach with the same power Sis Sudweeks does if you do it her way. You're not going to teach with the same power Sis Rouse does if you do it her way either. You teach powerfully the way YOU know how to". The way I know how to do it is to feed off the silence and really waiting for the Spirit to speak (either to me or the investigator). Silence freaks people out, okay! It really does. It took a lot of work for me to not word-vomit when I didn't know what to say next and just let the Spirit take over. So to see Jordan open up after asking such simple questions as the spirit directed was a huge testimony to me that YES, I can still teach the way I know how to. I don't need to put myself down and try to be like the others.

B) The Lord really does send us to people that need to hear our specific testimonies. Sometimes we don't realize it, but with Jordan it was very apparent. Everything that she had shared with us was stuff my companions and I had shared with each other over the past couple of weeks. And then to be placed in the path of someone who was experiencing something similar and was searching? Shoot dang. The Lord KNOWS what He's doing. It IS His work! And then the one companion whose life was similar to Jordan's...she said that when the other companion and I were teaching and bearing testimony it was just so powerful and she felt like we were teaching her too. Man, I can't even explain all the tears that were flowing. It was so crazy!

Well, that was my miracle for this week! When we left the Hafner's home, we said a kneeling prayer right behind our car to thank the Lord.

I testify again, in the strength of the Lord we CAN do all things. I don't even know how to tell you how many times I've felt so far from capable of doing things. Incapable to teach, incapable to open my mouth, incapable to meet the standards, incapable to go one more step, incapable to let things go, incapable to overcome weakness, incapable to overcome challenges....but through the Lord we can be lifted. His grace isn't there just for when we do all we can, and He makes up the difference. NO! He pulls you through it the whole way. He sticks right by your side through everything. He isn't the light at the end of the tunnel, but the light that brings you through it. You guys, things are hard! Life is never going to stop throwing hurdles at you. And they come in so many shapes and forms. But I can PROMISE you that when you trust the Lord and do everything you can to stay faithful to Him, you WILL be lifted. You WILL have the strength to overcome. We don't need to fight the battle alone. I bear witness of that, in the name of Jesus Christ, amen.

Also! So every Friday we're all pretty much like, "ROADTRIIIIIP!" Friday andSaturday is when we work Sis Sudweeks area. Man, her area is HUGE. To get from one side to the other takes two hours or more! But it's been way fun. We stayed at the Academy on Friday night. The only way to describe it to you is "Madeline". Like, that's what the academy looks like. (If you've seen Madeline, then you'll have an idea). But it also has a bed and breakfast, and used to have a hospital, an antique shop, a general store, its got an auditorium. It's just super ancient. But I can't even tell you the overwhelming feeling I got in there as Sis Sudweeks was showing us around. Going back to being prepared.....I want to tell you to evaluate yourselves and ask that question. How prepared are you? I was super overwhelmed because going through the academy...I realized there are things I have yet to learn to prepare for this battle. Sis Sudweeks said that we need to use this time on the mission to prepare spiritually. We work on our prayers, our meditation, our spirituality, our relationship with the Godhead. And then when we get back home, we continue practicing it and start preparing physically and intellectually for all the other stuff to come. Gah, I don't want to write details cuz you're either going to freak out OR think I'm super crazy. But let me just say...there are over 90 000 missionaries right now. Why? Because the battle is raging. The closer the second coming is, the thinner the veil gets. That brings both good and evil spirits. (have you seen the last Harry Potter movie? Yeah, picture that.) "Even the elect will fall." Don't be one of those elect. Prepare now. No one ever said living the gospel was going to be easy. But we need to do it oh so desperately everyday!! As Elder Holland says, "SALVATION IS NOT A CHEAP EXPERIENCE. Salvation was NEVER easy. This is the church, this is the truth. Why would we ever think that it would be easy for us if it was Never easy for Him." Don't give up. Don't falter. Keep pressing forward.

Oh yeah! One more thing. So earlier this week we totally had our faces ANTI-ED! The poop! We were looking for less actives and we met a family who left the church. Man, they were super nice but once we started getting into doctrine, she whipped her bible out. And they were super strong members until they started reading the bible more and starting going apostate because the church doesn't fit all the "requirements" and all this other stuff that was just SUPER RIDICULOUS. Man, her husband even pulled out a slideshow to show us how "by their fruits ye shall know them" is false, and what it really means. The poop? Man, I whipped my bible out when she said, "nowhere in the scriptures does it say the Spirit speaks to you with good feelings". OH THE NERVE. I was about to go off. NOBODY BE DISSING THE SPIRIT, YO. But the minute I whipped my scriptures out to tell her off, the subject changed. Afterwards the sisters said good thing, cuz maybe it wasn't meant to be. I pretty much didn't say anything, and most of what they said went in one ear and out the other. I've had this experience before in Paris. And the Spirit testified to me then what they were saying WASNT true. And the same goes for these people as well. So...I was sitting there pretty bored. Anyway, we left and I wasn't really fazed. But Sis Rouse starts crying in the car, and then Sis Sudweeks starts crying and I'm like O____O what is happening?! They kept talking about how they felt and I'm like is it bad that I'm not crying about this?! We called up the Elders to get a blessing. By the time we met up and finished chatting, Sis Sudweeks says, "I'm good now. talking helped!" So Sis Rouse went in for a blessing first. Afterwards Sis Sudweeks says, "ok, it doesn't hurt to get a blessing". Oh man, the Spirit was so strong. There were words that were said that I KNEW Sis Sudweeks needed to hear. And then it was my turn. I didn't feel like I really needed it, but I'm like it doesn't hurt to get one. Oh man. I'm glad I did. There were two things that really stood out to me in the blessing.

1) Heavenly Father is THANKFUL. It was so weird for me to hear that. As Elder Spencer was giving me this blessing, he kept saying how Heavenly Father was thankful for me doing this thing and that thing. I was super surprised and taken aback that Heavenly Father needed to let me know that. I'm doing this for Him. No needed thanks back, yet it was still given.

2) "Choosing to serve was the right choice." OH SHOOT. I started crying when that was said. I wasn't even looking for that! In my last area when I was struggling, I had told President Morgan that I was trying super hard to push Satan out of my head in telling me that if I didn't serve, then none of this stuff would be happening to me. I knew that was wrong, but I had to really push those thoughts from staying in my head. And since then, there have been multiple blessed experiences that have showed me that being on a mission is where I needed to be. But to have it directly said to me from Heavenly Father in a blessing? Oh my goodness, I couldn't even handle it. It's like getting an answer to something you didn't know you were searching an answer for. Does that make sense? So that pretty much filled a hole I didn't know was there.

The Priesthood is real. As Elder Spencer commented, "the Spirit is so thick you can slice it". That tiny room was filled. Those words did not come from Elder Spencer or Elder Davidson. They have NO clue what is going on in my life, in Sis Sudweeks life, or in Sis Rouse's. NO clue whatsoever. No one knows or can even comprehend the things I'm going through or feeling. NO ONE. No one but the Lord. And so I testify that I know those words came directly from my Father in Heaven. You guys, this gospel just makes so much sense! The Priesthood Is so real. Heavenly Father wouldn't abandon us with no way for us to receive His blessings. I don't even know Elder Spencer and Elder Davidson that well, but I know they are worthy of being the Lord's instruments so the Lord could use them to help us. That's WHY we have the Priesthood. Who ever heard of someone giving themselves their own priesthood blessing? It's not possible. And its because the Priesthood is used to serve others. Divine responsibilities for men? Fulfilling Priesthood responsibilities is all centered around service. Being able to heal and work miracles like the Savior? It was always for someone else. God loves us too much for His power not to be here.

ANYWAY...sorry, I know I said I didn't have a lot to say, but the Spirit just kept popping these experiences into my head. And I'm like sitting here at the computer crying as I typed it. Maybe someone needs to hear it? I don't know. But yeah, that was my week!

Be good. Be obedient. Have fun. Work hard. Prepare yourselves. LOVE LOVE LOVE.
Sister Limas
(I hit 10 months in 5 days. GAH. The tears are flowing.)

Mis Compineras

So I seriously have this obsession with mustaches. And they tease me about it all the time :P 

In the middle of no where. Redneck!

my lovely chaos © . QUINN CREATIVES DESIGN .