Monday: we played basketball, no surprise there! ;) It was really good! We met with Maria today, she is so excited for baptism on the 12 of September! She asked us "so am I being baptized on Sunday or Saturday?" We told her on Saturday and she was really excited and said "I want to be baptized at 10!!" We are really excited for her! She is the one who is planning this baptism and knows who she wants to speak! Its so exciting to see the path she has taken and the love that she has for the gospel! It has truly changed her!
Tuesday: We had exchanges, I stayed in the area and well, don't really know the area that well, but before I explain why. The roads here in North Carolia are insane! They cut off random roads and you have no way of finding your way around without driving 10 miles. So, we got lost for 45 minutes driving around and watching the miles climb. Worst part was that we had a GPS! But the GPS didn't know any of the roads were cut off! That night we saw M____ and had a powerful lesson about the Word of Wisdom and the atonement. M____ said that he felt guilty and never felt the spirit so strong. I never knew that I could speak like that and have that kind of words come out of my mouth. It was truly amazing!
Wednesday: We smashed pennies on the train track!! It was so much fun!!! We also met a lady Mrs. Ashley! She is the cutest lady! She has a lisp and invited us to have fig with her and fried pies! Well, I think that old people don't have taste buds because this didn't have any flavor or taste. It was completely blan!! The rest of our appointments fell through at night so we did lots of finding, but no success.
Thursday: We had Zone Conference! It was really good! We learned about how to work with the Bible and tie it into the Book of Mormon. It was a really great meeting!! We love our new Mission President! He is going to continue to do great things!! We met with Mattie and Her daughter again this week! They were really excited to come to church this week! They have been reading the book of Mormon and told us about everything they were reading. :) SOLID!!!
Friday: We went and saw our less active member R____ She has been struggling a lot lately and has felt like the world is caving in on her. She is so great and knows that she needs to come to church in order to help her feel of Gods love and spirit in her life. She is great! We also went and taught R____ He is great!!! He hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon but he defended us when people were talking bad on us. WE taught him the Restoration and as he was praying in the end he was crying! His emotions were too much and couldn't hold back the fact that he felt the spirit! BEST LESSON!!
Saturday: We did service for a lady in our ward. It will be a work in progess but it was so fun to get out and serve people. We finally got in contact with the MAJORS!!!!! they have been ignoring us for the past 3 weeks!! We had a powerful lesson with them and read the Book of Mormon with them. They felt t he spirit and want to come to church.
Sunday: It was a great Sunday!!! I spoke on prayer and the power of prayer and we trust in God when we go through our trials. By Coming unto Him. The set of Elders spoke as well! WE had the room in tears by the end of the meeting! I love church!! Cassie, Maria, Myyanna, Veronica and Mattie came!! It was amazing! Most awkward part of church was when a member of the bisopbric stood up and started to talk about missionary work and said "everyone stand up and say hello to the person standing behind you." So everyone did and....IT GOT SOOO LOUD!!! The spirt was gone, when everyone sat down, the Elder next to me nudged me and said "now you need to bring the spirit back!!" Well, we brought it back and everyone said it was the best sacrament meeting yet!!"
Yes, I am excited that my Lulabelle is coming home on Thursday, but like Lonnie, I have a pit in my stomach whenever I think of her mission coming to an end. She has had some incredible experiences! I owe so much to President Kai Hintze and Sister Diane Hintze. They took such good care of my daughter. I never worried. And when Chuck died, they helped her through so she was able to stay on her mission. I couldn't have asked for a better mission president for my girl!
Here is her last post:
I have been thinking a lot this past week about this moment. It's still too hard to believe that it's actually here. .....I don't even know what to say. But as I was studying on Saturday morning, I read one of my favoritest chapters ever in the Book of Mormon--Alma 26. It's become even more meaningful now that I have served these past 18 1/2 months here in El Salvador and Belize.
To start off, I must say as Ammon said, "I cannot say the smallest part which I feel." "My joy is full, yea, my heart is brim with joy, and I will rejoice in my God." This mission has truly brought me the greatest joy I could have possibly imagined. Every night I went to bed thinking, "It's been the best day ever. How can it get any better?" And the next night I found myself saying the same thing. Well....maybe not every night I went to bed like that, but those nights that weren't I could probably count on one hand.
Like Ammon said, "many mighty miracles we have wrought in this land, for which we will praise His name forever." My mission has been a mission of daily miracles--in the lives of others, but also in mine.
I don't have too much time today, and I would have loved to have said so much more, but many times (like it says in verse 27), the Lord told me "Go amongst thy brethren, los Salvadoreños (or the Belizeans :) ), and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." And I saw that time and time again. The Lord has lifted me up in the most difficult times. I have seen His hand in everything.
I have gone, traveling from cement house to houses of lamina, relying...not upon the mercies of the world alone, but upon the mercies of God. We have taught God's children EVERYWHERE--in their streets, upon their hills, next to rivers, on the ground, sitting upon walls, outside of churches (or bars), and even in the graveyard. We have been rejected, cast out, mocked, and spit upon. I have not yet been stoned or bound with strong cords and cast into prison, buuuuut I suppose there are a few days left for that to occur.... haha Just kidding! (NOT in my plans for the last moments!) We have suffered all manner of afflictions, and all this, that perhaps we might be the means of saving some soul. And oh how rewarding it has been!
A friend of mine told me before the mission to always remember what it said in my call letter--"Greater happiness and blessings than you have ever experienced await you as you prayerfully serve in this labor of love among His children." I did not understand that until now. I have learned that God loves His children as I have felt that love for those whom I have served. "God is mindful of every people. Whatsover land they may be in, yea, he numbereth his people, and his bowels are over all the earth." (v. 37)
This mission has been (and will forever be) my life and my light, my joy and my salvation, and my redemption from everlasting wo. I feel so blessed to have been privileged to serve amongst these humble and loving Christ-like people of the blessed countries of Belize and El Salvador. I will miss them dearly, but my heart will forever remain in this part of the world. Know that you're in my prayers daily and always remember that because of Him, everything is possible.
My mission will always be with me. "This is my joy, and my great thanksgivingñ yea, and I will give thanks unto my God forever." It has and will forever shape the rest of my life! And I will forever thank my Father in Heaven for giving me the chance to serve here and to keep serving in my next area of the mission.....
I love this gospel. I love the Restored truth we have on the earth today. I love our Prophet, Thomas S. Monson who guides us all on the earth today. I love my Savior and the chance I've had to be a representative of Him for this past year and a half. I know He lives and He loves us. As we turn to Him, miracles happen. In our lives and the lives of others. Don't ever let a day go by without finding out how God wants you to serve His children. Joshua 24:15--to truly feel God's love, you need to serve daily.
I love and pray for you all. Remember who you are and what you stand for! :)
Charlie had a much better week than last. She was definitely more bubbly today than last week. She sounded like her typical self. She told me that she has learned some important things from her trials and that she is grateful for that very rough week. What a great example she is to me! I need to take a page out of her book and spend more time being grateful for some of my not so wonderful experiences.
Here's Charlie's post for the week:
Well Hey Y'all,
Well this week has been very interesting!! So of course we had a lot of rain!! Wasn't that bad but I had to chance my shoes yesterday because they got really muddy!!
Well just to say this week went by super fast/slow!! We bumped into a lot of people this week!!
So the pretty cool thing is one of our investigators wanted reading material after we taught the first lesson! So we gave him a book of mormon. The next week we came back and he told us that he had been reading it! Then told us that the book of mormon does go hand and hand with the bible.
Right there I was shocked. Never has any of my investigators has told me that they know that it goes hand and hand with the bible. It was pretty cool!!
Well Book of Mormon class was just wonderful!! I had just a wonderful time!! We are in Mosiah!! I just love King Benjamin and how he can help us out!! We have a pretty good class that comes!!
Well the week went on and we went by the elders apartment to see one of our investigators. Wow. We came at the wrong time. There was yelling and screaming by the pool. So our investigator was told by her boss if anything happens( load noises) I want you to call the law!! So she did. 5 poilce cars came and it was so horrible. We left to get something for Julie and then came back So the good thing is that we missed the whole police action!!
But the Elders do live in not a good area!!
Well one day we where walking around and this lady was outside weeding her garden. So we walked over there and I offered to help her. She looked at us and said no your in a skirt. I told her that I have done it in the past. But she still told us no and then asked who we were. We had a great talk. She said when ever we are in the area to come back and talk with her.
But I was really sad that i couldn't help weed. ( you know me I jus love getting my hands dirty!!!)
Sunday we had a linger longer afterwords. It was so good. I made a jello to bring. Everyone loved it!! But that night we had decided as a district. SO the North Augusta Area!! That we where going to sing at Zone Conference!! AWWWW!! I can't wait!! It is going to be super amazing!!
Preach My Gospel was super amazing! I taught it!! Using your time wisely!! Then after words we had plans to see this couple that we always see on Sundays!!! And we left 3 minutes before the elders. And we are almost there and guess who is right behind us when we get to the house. THE ELDERS!! Well I believe we just had great minds to see them. They loved that both of us had the same idea to come and see them.
Well this week has been super amazing!! Well I hope you have a great week!!!
I really miss Kallie and her quirky sense of humor. She always had us laughing at home. Her emails sound like her. She has had some amazing experiences. I am so grateful for these sister missionary daughters of mine. They have greatly blessed my life!
This week was a great week! Full of miracles and excitement!
Monday: we played basketball at the church today. I feel like we are going to be fit missionaries here in central charlotte. The rest of the day was just finding and trying to teach people. It was pretty laid back.
Tuesday: The best part about today was Dinner, not because we had food but because of who we ate with, we ate dinner with a Baptist! Our lesson afterword's was intense! we taught about the Plan of Salvation. As we were teaching about the spirit world she hushed me and said that that wasn't true and she didn't believe it. I didn't like being hushed and said "we are here telling you about Christ's true church, you don't have to accept what we say but we do want you to listen." She listened and w started having a conversation. She started to slowly accept it and we said "well, if your not baptized here you can be baptized in the spirit world and then she laughed in discussed as if we were dumb. But, in all seriousness we exclaimed that God loves us and wants to give us a second chance, and a third and so on. In the end she said "If I am not baptized into your church before I die, you can come baptize me in the spirit world!"
Wednesday: It poured rain today!! We got drenched!! We had a miracle moment and got to Meet this adorable old lady named Maddie. She is 88 with dementia. She doesn't remember much, and when we showed her the picture of Jesus she asked us who the person was and when we said "Jesus" she pulled the picture close and started to cry! It was precious and adorable! She told us over and over again to "come by" when we have the chance. she may not be baptized here in this life but will be in Heaven! We love her so much! She said a couple of funny things she said "If I had a million dollars I would give you some (pointing to Sister Buckner) and then you (pointing to me) we both said "oh that's sweet of you" Then she flat out said "oh you know I am just kidding, I wouldn't really give you any money, because I don't have money" It was sooo cute! As we were coming home it started to rain, we were on our bikes and we got soaked again, it was a really warm rain. We danced in the rain when we got back to our aparte ad then had to quickly go change because our ride for dinner was coming. After dinner we went to go see Cassie and it was pouring rain so hard and then there was a REALLY loud thunder! It was SOOO loud it shook everything in the house, it was the BEST thing ever!!! on our way home S. Buckner was impressed to stop by a man named Jose, he said he wanted to meet with us next Monday because he was interested!! yay!
Thursday: Such a good day with great lessons happening! Tisha Raina's sister and she wanted to join today for Raina's lesson, she wants to change her life and follow Christ more. We taught the doctrine of Christ, once we started talking about baptism, Tisha had questions about if everyone goes to heaven, so I was able to teach the last part of the plan of salvation. We explained that baptism by proper authority is necessary to enter the celestial kingdom, Raina shared her experience with baptism. Tisha said she would be baptized, but asked how she could know the right authority is on the earth. We then briefly explained the restoration, and how she could know herself through prayer and reading the BoM, which she has already started reading! Raina shared how she knew the church was true, and Tisha wants to be baptized and said she would have to meet with us a few more times!!! :)
Friday:Maria accepted a baptismal date! This lesson was a miracle lesson! we have been trying really hard with her to accept a date and be baptized. She opened up to us and told us that she wanted to waited until the end of December. We helped her see the importance of why we are baptized and need to be baptized as soon as we can and feel ready. She told us that she will pray about the date we set! We are excited for her and know that she will progress and feel the love of God in her life as she turns to him for answers!
Saturday: I loved today! We have a lot of trains in our area, and I have wanted to smash pennies on the train track, so as we were coming home we stopped by the track and put Pennies on train track! We put it on the track and has 1 minute till the train came, as it brushed over the penny it flew in the air about 10 feet in front of me. It was exciting!!! :D
Sunday: Maria came to church!!!! met Veronica (maddies daughter) she invited us into her home and was so very grateful that we come and see her Mom, she said that she doesn't remember anything but she could remember us and she didn't know why! She was amazed and over joyed! As we were leaving Maddie got up and hugged us, her daughter saw and cried when we hugged her mom. She was so chocked up and overwhelmed with the spirit. She told us that they want to come to church with us. Veronica wants to start going to church and find a church where she feels she belongs. They both can't wait till church on Sunday!
Quote of the Week:
"The way to feel better about your own situation is to improve someone else’s circumstances."
—Ezra Taft Benson
Scripture of the Week: Mosiah 23:21-22! have faith in God through all of your circumstances! :D
I sure love you all and hope you have a great week!
Charlie has always been our little Miss Merry Sunshine. She just rolls with the punches. From her multiple emails and letters that were sent to me this week, I think she had a rough week. I know she's really missing Sister Richardson. Several of the ward members from the North Augusta ward email on a regular basis with pictures and updates so I know she's being taken care of.
Well Hey Y'all,
Well this week was very interesting!!! So of course we had Transfers!! My companion is from Brigham City!! She has been out for 4 months!! So they put the ones who haven't been out that long together!!!
Well Transfers meetings where super Amazing!!!
Well we had John S. ( one of the piano Guys) at our transfer meeting!! His daughter was done with her mission!! It was so cool!!! Well this means I have met 2/? of the Piano guys!!! Super amazing!!
Well so we drove home with the members!!! I totally thought that the car was going to start!! So they left, after we came back out of the church we tried the Car. Nothing!!! WE did it again!! Nothing!!
So I called a member telling them our car won't start!! So she comes over and uses the battery starter! Nothing happened. This wasn't cool!! So we waited again!! And the Van with the elders comes by and asks what is wrong. So we tell them. Finally they jumped the car and it worked!! Super great!! Well of course I had to let the Mission know!! So we where at a part member family's house and the mission calls telling us that the car needs to be looked at. So they told us to keep it at the members house!! So we left it and got a ride back to our house!!
Well that meant we where out of a car!!
So this week we had to share the car with the Elders!! The worst thing was that it rained so much this week!! It was on and off that either one of us would be walking in the rain!!!
Well the good thing that happen on Saturday is that we found out that our car was fixed!! Yeahy !!! I was so happy!!
I never knew how much cars are so great to have in a big area!! until you lose it!!
Well the members where so nice to help us out this week with rides!! They are just amazing!!
Well to good thing this morning is we have our car!! Runs good!! our battery was the problem so they switched it out!!
Well quote for the week!!
Behold, I have graven thee upon the palms of my hands; thy walls are continually before me
I just love how we are his hands!! And that we can just help everyone around us!!
I can't begin to imagine how hard these next few days are going to be for Lonnie. I know she is dreading coming home. If she had her way, she'd stay on a mission forever. Fortunately for her mother, THAT is not an option. I have missed her more than I could ever say. She has always been one of my best friends. One week from Thursday, my precious Lulabelle will walk off the plane in Salt Lake City...mission accomplished. I am so proud of her and I know her daddy is too.
So....not a lot of time again this week! The time......is just passing too quickly. I honestly sometimes have no idea what to do with myself. Thanks for everyone's love and prayers. I never could have made it here where I am today without my family and friends (a.k.a. my other extended family) back home. You inspire me each and every day to aspire even higher!
So here goes the copy-and-paste to President:
"We ended another great week with a very happy domingo! We woke up suuuuuuuuuuper early to help our investigators get to church because we ran out of saldo last week on our celular..... #ProbsdelaMish jaja :) But it was great because we were able to--with the help of recent convert Santos--bring two investigators (one who will be baptized this weekend) and three MARC to church, plus the other investigators who came by themselves after we passed by for them. I want to spend the rest of my life doing this, President. ....Waking up early on domingos just to pass by the less-actives or friends that I know who are getting to know the church. At the beginning of the mission, I hated it. I like my sleep. I still do. But as I've continued on in the mission, I've woken up earlier and earlier and earlier. And I still love my sleep and hate waking up early, but I LOVE helping people feel the Spirit in the restored church of Jesus Christ. I love bringing them to true happiness. If it means I go to bed earlier on Saturday nights for the rest of my life, I'll do it. I can't imagine going back to the old wake-up-at-8:45-change-quickly-and-run-down-the-street-to-get-to-church-at-8:55 routine. There is no gratification or happiness that comes from serving others in that and I know that it's not what God wants me to do!
So...this week has been full of a lot of servicio. We cleaned a river #NastyButFun--also, my hands are NOT made for tiny, cheap Salvadoreñan gloves.... I really hope that I don't get some nasty skin disease from picking up garbage and keeping my hand in that disgusting water. jaja
Saturday, we were animating an investigator (who is preparing to be baptized this weekend) to come to church. At first she told us that she wasn't going to come because she had to build an extra cuarto for her daughter-in-law who is expecting her baby any day now. So.....we told her to come to church and that we would come after to help her. So....we brought a pair of clothes to change into and after three hours, we had completed the cuarto. It's a house on the rio, sooo.....the materials weren't the best because they're very poor, but it's the best looking lamina covered cuarto I have ever seen (and probably the sturdiest), if I don't say so myself! :) But I was SOOOOOOO happy while we did it. It was probably the funnest servicio that I have done in the entire mission.
Well....I know the time is short, but I just wanted to let you know, President, that my happiness continues to aumentar every day. I go to bed thinking that I just had the best day of my entire life and then I wake up the next day and go to bed thinking the exact same thing! Life couldn't get any better than this....
But just to end the email this week, I wanted to share one of my A-ha moments this week. On Wednesday, I hit my 18-month mark. I'm not sharing this to be baggy.....I just....I was on interchanges in Nahuilingo and we taught a lesson to one of the newer investigators that the sisters have over there. We were teaching the Restoration annnnd....as I shared Joseph Smith's experience, he interrupted me and asked if I have ever prayed to know if the light he saw was a UFO. Talk about the best way to ruin the Spirit, right? :) Well, I ended up sharing my testimony and it.....the words flowed from my mouth so freely and naturally. It was probably the most sincere and powerful testimony I have ever borne--piercing my own soul as the Spirit testified to me the truthfulness of those words. :) And as I wrote in my journal that night, reflecting in the moment, I realized how that testimony has been strengthened in the time here. I LOVE testifying of the Restoration because it has changed my life and I want it to change everyone else's. I don't know how it happened, but I am no longer that timid sister who was afraid of rejection on the street. I love my Savior. I love my mission. I love my Belizeans and my Salvadoreños and I have learned that perfect love truly does cast out all fear."
Overcome that fear. Show your perfect love. Share this message with everyone. Find true happiness. :)
Well this week was super crazy. Well said good bye to a lot of people. Well the sad thing on Monday we where in our area trying to see our investigators. After a while we went to our car. ( okay so it is 9:00 pm) And sister Richardson starts the car and it doesn't start. Well we tried 5 minutes later. Nothing!! so we called members, The Elders and then we called one more member and the good thing was she was in our area!!
Well just to say our car started!!! Super good thing!! Well also we had our milkshakes like our normal Monday!!! Well Tuesday I had my 6 Months!!! Super cool!!!
Well Guess where i went for dinner Beamie's!! It was super good!!! I found a sign that had Foster's on it!! So I took a picture!!!
Well then we went and had dessert!!! We ate at Bollweevil!! Their desserts are so good!! They are the best!!! I had Death by Chocolate Cheese cake!!!
Well we had food truck and it was amazing!!! just love helping out with that!!!
Well on Thursday we had Zone Training!! Super fun after words we went out to eat and Sister Richardson bought everyone milkshakes. Wow it was super cool!!! The people where super surprised how many shakes she was getting. We got 20!! Crazy!!!
Well after words we went and did some more missionary work.
Well then the time came on Saturday!! Waiting to see what was going to happen!! knowing that Sister Richardson was leaving to go home. So I waited my name was not called to Pack!! YES!!!!!! I am staying. I will be getting my new companion Tuesday( sotomorrow) . The good thing was she has been out for more than 12 weeks!! So this means..... I am the Senior Companion!!! Wow didn't think that was going to happen so soon!!!
Sunday!! Wow that was such a hard day!! Saying good bye to a companion you have just loved was not the best!!
The worst thing is they had the closing song in sacrament meeting as God be with you till we meet again. Wow that was not my best closing song voice. Knowing I was in mixed emotions and that my companion was going home. Well I went to a new area for 2 days. So I can have a companion. But knowing that it wasn't going to be the same.
Well quote for the week!! Wherefore, ye must press forward with a steadfastness in Christ, having a perfect brightness of hope, and a clove of God and of all men. Wherefore, if ye shall press forward, feasting upon the word of Christ, and endure to the end, behold, thus saith the Father: Ye shall have eternal life.