Thursday, April 17, 2014

Roller Coaster Week...

Hey family! You have no idea how happy I am to talk to you, and for it to be Monday.  This week was a very hard week, and it didn’t get any better by the end of it.

Monday - We went out to Red Rock Canyon like I said last week, and then our appointment with Heven got cancelled, so we didn’t have anything else to do that night, so we went over to Sister Irish’s, a wonderful family in the ward, and we watched the restoration dvd with her and talked to her for a little bit and then came home and went to bed.

Tuesday - Was a pretty normal day.  We finally got our swamp cooler on (which is the air conditioner here) which felt so nice since our house practically radiated heat from it...haha.  We had our lesson with the Tommy and Becca Water's, and went through the baptismal interview questions, and some things came out that we didn’t know before, so we left their house a little confused and lost, but we planned to go back on Thursday.  So we got in the car and called our mission president and told him what we heard and President Wilson told us that it was serious enough that his baptism has to be postponed for a year…H. Dodge and I both looked at each other and our jaws were on the ground in shock.  We were so close and we didn’t know what to do, and more we didn’t know how we were going to tell Tommy he cant get baptized right now.  Well we then headed to our dinner appointment, and Heven came to dinner and we watched Elder Bednar's talk from this past conference, and talked about it and how important church attendance is for her baptism.  So hopefully that'll help her come. 

Wednesday - We went and visited some referrals.  All of them weren’t interested, which was a bummer, but what can you do but try them in a couple months or so.  It is not their time to hear the gospel right now.  That is something that I am learning.  The Lord prepares people, and sometimes when we meet someone they aren’t ready yet to hear and accept this message.  We then had our English lesson with Cristina and we didn’t have time to eat with her, which was a relief because I feel so fat and full after we leave her house.  After that we ran home and grabbed something to eat at home, and then headed over to the church where the YW were doing a fundraiser to get money for girls camp.

They had a nacho bar and then they were doing an auction.  It was so fun!  The announcer guy would "vanna white" everything that was there to auction off.  We got this huge set of little Christmas ornaments for $5, which we have a wonderful idea to use them for.  And the Stake Pres. wife is in our ward and was told to get these two things for this couple that were gone, and she was so nervous to spend his money even though he said I don’t care how much you spend, so we volunteered to do it for her and we were going so high and laughing and trying to beat this other older guy in our ward.  It was hilarious!  Half the people thought it was us buying it, and heck no we weren’t!  Missionaries are poor! Haha

Thursday - We finished our weekly planning!  And it was sure weird planning for a week that I may or may not be here for…kind of sad at the same time.  But our week is really full let me tell you that!  We had another lesson with the Water's finishing going over their baptismal questions, and Becca is so ready and we are so excited for her.  We went into that lesson really nervous to tell Tommy that he will have to wait on his baptism, but telling him went well and we suggested to Becca that it would be really beneficial for her to still go through so that spirit can be in their home and have that link to the church, and she agreed and was on board.  So we are still happy!  Still sad for Tommy, but he said he will do whatever it takes to be sealed to his family.

Friday - We had coordination meeting and ate delicious waffles and then planned out Becca’s baptism for the next Saturday.  We then talked about how the ward can help more with our investigators, and then we ran to district meeting and we did role plays on how to contradict what people are saying with the Book of Mormon, which I am not very good at because I cant remember a whole lot of scriptures.  But as we were doing that it kind of turned into bashing and trying to get in the last word, and I just remembered what dad had told me - when you don’t feel the spirit anymore, it is safer to just leave because you are doing no good.  So half way through I stopped because I wasn’t feeling the spirit.  I understood the meaning behind the role-play, but it was just frustrating.  So then we came home and out of the blue Becca texts us and tells us that she wants to hold out on her baptism, and that her and tommy have some things to work out and that they don’t want to go through with their baptismal interviews either...this seriously was a punch to the gut.   We didn’t know why or what happened in the last 12 hours when we last saw her, and she wouldn’t respond to our text messages either, so the rest of Friday was just tough.  We had dinner with one of our favorite families and then Heven texts us and cancelled on us again, which was just another punch to the gut.  So we just headed home and cleaned a little and then headed to bed.

Saturday - It was hard getting out of bed and we didn’t feel like doing anything, but we did our studies and then sat their anxious waiting for our transfer calls.  I had prayed earlier for the Lord to help brighten our day, and then the phone rang and it was our district leader.  We answered the phone and he screamed "YOU ARE BOTH STAYING!!!!"  It made us so happy!  And the Lord definitely blessed us.  It made our day a bit brighter.  So we ran over to the Martz to tell them we were staying and then got ready for the day and headed out to contact and knock some doors.  Nobody was interested and one slammed the door in our face, so that didn’t help make our day brighter, but we kept going.  We then headed for our dinner appointment and had a nice time there and then headed home. 

Sunday - So I think I am getting allergies here and that is why I have been feeling sick for the last 2 weeks.  I have a sore throat, runny/stuffed nose, and pressure in my head.  NOT FUN.  It’s all the flowers, dust, and wind that are messing up my sinuses.  So hopefully I can find what makes them get better and then stick to that for the rest of my time here in Cali.  Church was really good besides the fact that we didn’t have any investigators there.  But next Sunday can be better!  We came home after church and I was just not getting any better so we decided to take a little nap, which lasted a little longer, but it kinda helped.  We did some more studies, and then headed to dinner and then came home. 

This past week was really hard, and we are not sure why people cancelled and don’t want to get baptized…but we are still pushing through and I know that things will get better.  We can’t give up.  The lord would never want that.

I love you all and I am so blessed to have you in my life.  Thank you for all the support you guys give me!  I can’t wait to write you next week!  Have a wonderful week and tell everyone HI for me :)

prayer list- Tommy and Becca, Heven, Promise, and Donna

Love you!

Love, Hermana Aase

Monday, April 7, 2014

Rice Pudding, Tears, and Cough Drops

Hello family :)

What an up and down week. But it ended on a wonderful note!

Monday - After emailing we went to Lancaster and went grocery shopping and then just sat at the church.  It was actually super boring.  I painted my nails! haha that was the most fun I had.  And I got letters from Becca and Mamo, which made me supper happy :)  We then had a lesson with Heven and Promise, which went really well.  We taught the Restoration and Promise had a lot of questions and seemed skeptical, but we invited her to read and pray about the BOM by the next week.  Heven is still doing wonderful.  We are just working on getting them to church…any suggestions?  We have called, texted, had members go pick them up, etc. etc. 

Tuesday - Normal day, the weather has been really cold, and really cold meaning 60's...people I'm turning into a WIMP!  I'm going to come home and not survive Minnesota or Idaho or Utah winters.  We had a lesson set up with a lady named Nancy, which has been really hard to contact.  We got a return appointment for today, but then she went home sick from work so she had to cancel, which is a bummer, so as of now we are dropping her and letting her come to us when she is ready.  Later we had a lesson with Tommy and Becca and they are wonderful!  We taught them about Family History, Temples, and Enduring to the End.  I shared how Farfar loves to do family history and then I take the names he has found and I complete the ordinances for him.  They are excited to go to the temple and do their own family names.  Their baptism is coming up so soon!  And next week we will be going over the baptismal questions and having their interviews.

Wednesday - So guess what!!  Hermana Dodge and I are officially apart of the Boron Easter Parade Committee!  haha and I'm not kidding!  We went to a meeting this morning and talked about what we can help with, and the jobs they want us to have.  They seemed so excited to have us there and that we are willing to help.  There was a pastor there from the bible church in Boron and he didn't seem very enthused we were there…haha oh well!  And of course we are going to use this has a finding and teaching opportunity.  We went and contacted a lady named Donna Fort and her grandchildren who live with her and she let us right in and we taught half the restoration and they are so nice and we are excited for them and are hoping to invite them to church next week and invite them to be baptized.  We then had our lesson with a Spanish lady teaching her English, and guess what she fed us for dessert--- (I’m sure you could guess by the title) RICE PUDDING, which in Spanish is called arroz con leche.  All those years of not liking it and eating it for Christmas Eve prepared me for this because I actually enjoyed it and didn't gag…haha.  Then at night we had a lesson with Heven and Promise, but Promise couldn't be there, but I guess she read 7 CHAPTERS in the BOM, which both Hermana Dodge and I's jaws were on the ground.  We were so surprised, but excited to hear that!  This lesson was kinda tough.  We just watched the Restoration DVD but Heven's son kept turning OFF the video!! UGH! It was so frustrating, but we got through it! 

(These are all from the Red Rock hike I did today.)

Thursday - I woke up with a super sore throat, which sucks, so I took some Claritin because I guess this dry heat and wind can irritate your sinus and throat and allergies (which I don’t have) but you can get here ugh, but my throat still hurts so I’ve just been sucking on a lot of cough drops.  We then had one appointment with a Spanish lady this morning that got cancelled, so we just stayed out in Boron because we had another appointment 2 hours later.  So as we were doing companion study in the car we were talking about listening to the spirit and asking inspired questions, and I began to cry.  I've been struggling hard with this because I'm listening to the spirit but I'm not listening enough, and I'm realizing that I don't trust the Lord as much as I should and it makes me sad because I want to and I need to, and the spirit sort of slapped me in the face and I know the things that I need to work on.  I've had down moments, but this one was more of an uplifting - "things Hermana Aase needs to do to become the missionary the Lord wants and needs her to be".  After that the day was good.  We started and finished weekly planning, and then made dinner for ourselves for the first time!  It felt nice…haha. 

Friday - We had a zone meeting that was really good.  It was centered on obedience, diligence and accountability and then loving our investigators.  When we love our investigators we will know how to help them come unto Christ, instead of just missionaries telling them what to do and when to do it by.  After we came back into town, we contacted some referrals.  No one answered, but that's okay!  We left cards and are planning to go back in the next week.

Saturday- CONFERENCE!!  It was so great!!  It was different being a missionary and watching conference than being just a regular girl watching conference.  And boy had 6 months gone by fast.  Only 6 months ago I was sitting in conference and had just gotten my call, and now I'm a missionary serving in my first area, and before we know it, it'll be October again and I’ll be half way done with my mission!  Both sessions were wonderful and I just took way too many notes.  One of my favorite talks was by Pres. Eyring, and he was talking directly toward our investigators (which unfortunately none came :(...), but I couldn't help but think about them the entire time.  I also loved Elder Holland’s talk about standing up and defending our beliefs.  As missionaries we do that all day everyday, but I think it will become more necessary in the world, and that sometimes "we may have to stand alone". 

Sunday- CONFERENCE round 2, which was still as amazing as Saturday's!!  One of my favorite talks was from Pres. Uchtdorf , and when he was talking about having a firm anchor in the gospel.  When we have an anchor in the Lord and his gospel and storms hit us, we will be less likely to capsize.  This is what we are teaching our investigators.  Being members of the church doesn't give you an advantage and power to avoid trials, but it does give you a safe guard that can always be there for you no matter what.  After conference we ran over to Donna Fort, but she had to run some places so we couldn't teach her, but we are not giving up!  And then we headed over to our dinner appointment with the Martz, which Brother Martz’s dad is in the temple Presidency for the LA temple.  And we had dinner with him and his wife too.  It was pretty sweet!!  And we got to talk to him and ask him some questions.

Monday- PDAY again, and we only have one more until we have transfers.  Transfer calls come on Saturday and Hermana Dodge and I are really, really hoping stay together!!  So by next Monday I’ll let you know what the verdict is!  Transfers are April 15.  Later today we are going to hike Red Rock, so I will be sending pictures after we get back. 

Thank you all for your support and love.  I can definitely feel it out here in the middle of the Mojave desert.  I love and miss you all!!  :) And I’ll hear from you next week!

Prayer list: Heven and Promise, Tommy and Becca, and Donna 

Love, Hermana Aase

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Exciting Events this Week

Hola Familia!

I am doing great!  This past week has been really good, plans got switched around a lot, but I'm flexible so that's okay!! But events of the week--

Monday- After emailing we headed out to Lancaster and Hermana Dodge and I got pampered and got our toes and fingernails done :) it was the first time I felt like a girl again...haha.  And I know that is weird to say because I'm wearing a skirt every minute of the day, but on the mission you don't think of yourself often and so it was weird but nice to have a little me time.  Afterwards we headed over to a members house with a couple other missionaries to pretty much go play on a miniature amusement park.  This guy had fooseball, air hockey, pin ball machine, barf twirl machine thing, a zip line, a trampoline (personally my favorite!), and a swing.  It was way fun and definitely a different p-day!  Never would I have thought I would go to an "amusement" park on my mission.  Our appointment with Heaven got cancelled, which was a bummer, so we headed home and cleaned and finished our laundry.

(Us at pday at the members house with the amusement park!)

Tuesday- We had our normal studies and then had an appointment with Leslie, but we sadly dropped her (dropping someone means not teaching them anymore).  We dropped her because she was not progressing, she wasn't reading in the Book of Mormon, and her dad won't let her come to church, and as missionaries we cant continue to teach someone if they don't read or come to church. It was sad because Leslie really wants to learn and tries to come to church but her dad forces them to go to a different what can you do?  After dinner we had a lesson with Tommy and Becca, and we taught them about tithing and they took it really well.  That's normally a lesson that's kind of scary to teach, but it was perfect and they were willing to do whatever to be ready for baptism and becoming members of the church.  They are really awesome and doing so well :) Hermana Dodge and I can't be more happy about them!

Wednesday-The day kind of started off key.  Hermana Dodge was sick and rested most of the morning while I made some of my pumpkin chocolate chip cookies!  And then we headed out to Lancaster to go get her checked out at the doctor and get some anti-antibiotics.  We had some lunch and then headed home.  The rest of the evening was pretty low key.

(Another sunset picture.  I seriously can't take my eyes off this sky!)

Thursday- The Sister Training Leaders came to our house and we had exchanges.  So Hermana Darby was with me here in North Edwards, and Hermana Dodge was with Hermana Scaife in Lancaster.  I was a little worried being here without my companion that knows everything about this area, but we had a full days planned, which helped a lot.  We first contacted some of our referrals from ward members, which both didn't want to hear anymore, guess it is not their time.  And then we headed out to Boron to go knock on doors!  I hadn't done this since the first day I was in the mission field, I was excited!  Surprising I like knocking on doors haha.  Call me crazy but I enjoy talking to people now haha.  We picked this random bunch of houses in the middle of nowhere and began knocking.  One lady we knocked into was really closed in the beginning, but then as we started to talk more she began to open up and we got a return appointment for this Thursday.  Hopefully it goes well!  

This older guy we knocked into -- he was scary.  His old dad lived in the house while he lived in a trailer outside.  We started talking to him and the first words our of his mouth were "I know Jesus real good now, but when I was younger I took A LOT of dope"... and let me just say a lot meaning A LOT.  But we gave him a pass along card and a restoration pamphlet, so we'll see.  We picked another part of town and knocked on a couple more doors, not having too much success but we got our names out there and who and what we do.  We had a lesson with a less active and talked about temples and family history which was awesome and he wants to go to the temple really bad, but he has some changes to do first, but that desire is there, which is a perfect place to start!  After we headed out to Lancaster for choir practice, and then stayed at the other sister's apartment.

Friday- We had Zone Conference!!  Zone conference happens every 4 months, so it was cool to have one while I'm in my first area.  We had our zone and then the zone next to us in it and President and Sister Wilson talked to us and taught about how we cannot waste time, for the Lord is hastening his work and there are so many people to be found and to be taught.  And then the assistant leaders taught about how testifying while teaching can be such a powerful tool to invite to spirit.  And guess who I saw-- Hermana Usher!!  It was so good to see her and talk to her and ask her how she is doing :)  We headed to dinner later that night and then had a super crazy all over the place lesson with Heaven.  We get there and her younger sister is there (which don't get me wrong it awesome!), but it was hard because we were teaching Heaven The Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is lesson 3, and her sister Promise hasn't heard anything, so we had to answer her questions that came up and kind of brief her on both the restoration and plan of salvation, but it ended up being a good lesson and Heaven committed to be baptized on May 3! :)  We are so happy for her and she knows that this is true! 

(Me and Hermana Usher at Zone Conference!)

Saturday- We had our normal studies and then headed over to the church building to help clean it and then we stayed after and chatted with someone with the ward.  Then we ran home and started our weekly planning because we didn't have time Wednesday, Thursday, or Friday to start it!  We did that until the Women's Broadcast, which I hope everyone got to watch!  It was so good!  I loved how they made it so clear that we ARE daughters of a loving Heavenly Father, and that as we make and keep covenants and strive to do what's right and serve others we will be happy and we will begin to develop the love of Christ.  Who wouldn't want to love like Christ does.  Isn't that our goal- To be like Jesus! :) It sure is, and we have so many leaders, the scriptures, the Holy Ghost telling us what we can do to become like our brother Jesus Christ.  The broadcast was just so wonderful, and it makes me so excited for General Conference!!!! 

Sunday- was a normal day, Heaven didn't make it to church, but that's okay!  Next time.  We are working hard on her.  We had some meeting after church and then we headed over to Tyler and Kayla Martz - they remind me of a combination of the Baldwins, the Christensens, and the Timothy's.  It makes my Weaver Lake Ward heart beat a little faster inside. 

Lots is happening in this small town, and we are busy.  The work is so good and I am learning a lot about myself, the gospel, Heavenly Fathers plan for me and how grateful I am to be involved in this hastening of the work. 

I love and miss you all so much!  Tell everyone hi for me and enjoy conference weekend!  It should be so wonderful :)

Prayer list- Tommy and Becca Waters, Heaven and Promise Slaughter, Eli Juaregi, and Nancy Pina.

Love you guys!

Love, Hermana Aase