Monday, November 24, 2014

30 - Workin' On My Bucket List

Last rain of the year?
First off, the weather this week. 

It was cold for the first bit still, but hey! 

It totally got warm enough to rain yesterday! 

It was 40 degrees! Woo!
Thermometer on the Pole says 20 F.

And now it's 19 degrees again. With a wind gusting to thirty miles an hour, making it feel like 3 degrees. 

That warm spell didn't last long!

But, it's been good. 

We've been braving the cold still and we've seen results from it. We actually found two less actives this week, one because we were out in the cold knocking on doors. We had a good conversation with him out in the cold, 'cuz he didn't actually live at the house, he was just doing their yard work, shoveling snow and what-not. He told us that we might see him at church someday, that you never know.

Some of the Deaf Sisters (just because).
After that particular slew of tracting though, it was good to come back to the apartment and defrost. We were out in the cold for about two hours, and it was maybe 15-19 degrees outside plus a slight windchill. And knocking on doors doesn't get your blood flowing like say, building a snowman does, so you get pretty cold. 

When I was defrosting, when even something slightly warm was super hot, when my fingers were red from the blood rushing to them, when my face felt funny from having feeling return to it, it completely reminded me of returning home from astronomy at NAU on those cold nights when my roommate Katelynne and I stood out in the snow to look at stars and got so cold while we did so. We had to thaw out then too. 

Good times.

I love eating dinner with so many families. This particular family of mom and dad and two little boys just cracks me up. I told their mom that she needs to record their dinners and it would be a super funny show! haha. 

The one in the dark shirt, he's four I believe and is just a chatter box and so funny! And then the one in the red shirt, his name might as well be Echo because he just copies everything his older brother does and it's so funny! 


Now. Wednesday. That was an awesome day. Let me tell you, a mission allows you to cross things off your bucket list that you didn't even know were on it! I did three awesome things this particular day, that is:
1)Have a butterfly land on my face.

2)Eat swordfish

3)Dominate at dodgeball (sorry, no picture).

What a day, right! 

The worker person who was showing us volunteers the butterfly house, she scissor-grabbed a struggling butterfly and threw it in the air and it landed on my face and stayed there! hahaha. It was crazy! 

Then for dinner there is a very well off family in the ward who likes to treat the missionaries and they took us to Foley's, a very expensive restaurant with real quality food and wow... that swordfish is heavenly! It tasted like salmon, but not and it was just! AH! It was so good! 

And then we were waiting at the church in order for the other sisters to meet us to switch out the car and the young men and young women just got done with mutual and were playing dodgeball. So we joined. I've decided that I like playing dodgeball with a softer ball about the size of a grapefruit, because, I can't catch, but those smaller balls are easier to dodge, so I just dodged and threw when the ball was open and I dominated! I even flaunted my nametag. Haha it was pretty boss.
And this week I got around to taking pictures of bingo! We go and volunteer at the assisted living place here and call bingo. All the old people are just so funny and we have a great time. 

There's one old lady with a cute old southern accent named Eva who is 103! And still kickin'! She always picks fruitsnacks for her prize when she wins a round of bingo. She is so funny, sayin' "choo choooo!" when she's shuffling her little feet in her wheelchair to get around from place to place!

Also, it's official. Sister Burt is spending the last bit of her mission here. It has now entered into the next transfer and she is staying here for the last six weeks of her mission. I'm going to kill her off! How shall I do it??? haha. 

She doesn't want to go home. She's also in denial about how little time she has left. But she has no more planners to make. She even made a case for all her planners.
Speaking of planners, I made my next one, Christmas! woo!

And it's super sweet! 

I worked long and hard on writing those words... literally hours... hahaha. 

But it looks beautiful, so the practicing paid off! haha.

I also neglected to mention something about last week. Short story time!

So! This was on the day that was very snowy, the Saturday. We called our one native american less active that we are teaching to see if we could set up a time to come over and teach her and her grandchildren. She said that we could come over today, so we did. 

She lives in the elder's area, so a bit out of the way. But we had the car, so it was all good. We drove over there and then we got the text.... that she couldn't meet anymore.... Sigh... what were we going to do? 
We are low on miles this month. 
We couldn't afford to go back to our area and then all the way back here again for our dinner appointment.... 
I suggested we call someone else, a recent convert who we see on this side of town. She's always busy but, might as well try. 
Well, she was able to meet with us! 
Because it was an impromptu visit, she had her handy man friend over! And he listened to what we had to say and is totally open to the gospel! 
And he came to church with the recent convert the next day! 
He lives in the elders area, so the elders are teaching him now, but he's super solid and progressing well! 
The Lord really paved the way on this one. Heavenly Father orchestrated it so that we found him, because he is ready to listen! 
So yeah. That's my awesome story!
Marshall has spina bifida

And last but not least, videos!

So, many of you know my brother Marshall and how he has Spina Bifida. (What is spina bifida?). 

Well, this is a video about a guy in Africa with Spina Bifida and he MAKES wheelchairs! How awesome!
Then there's also this awesome music video that is sung beautifully and I was watching it and it moved me to tears because I thought of the words darn it and it's something that's just so good! So, might as well share.

And then this is my favorite Thanskgiving Message video thing in the spirit of Thanksgiving.

Happy Thanksgiving everyone!

Monday, November 17, 2014

29 - Preachin' in a Winter Wonderland

Monday, Before the Snow Came
So if any of you have watched the news this week, I was notified by my dear mother that apparently South Dakota was on the news because of how cold it has been here.

Winter came on fast! Which honestly, I prefer because now you just know you have to put on your coat. There's no debating whether or not you need it, as there would be if we eased into winter. 

So, it works out.

That Night...A 'cute' Dusting of Snow
Later last Monday afternoon it snowed a little bit. It was a cute little snowfall. It wasn't enough to cover the ground completely, but it was very windy. It was the strangest thing because the snow wasn't sticking to the ground at all. And it was so thin Monday afternoon that you could just occasionally see a gust of wind come by with a thin line of snow in it's grasp. It was so strange. 

The snow blew around, almost looking like sand as it was swept elsewhere by the wind. (Of course I would relate it to sand being from Arizona.) I don't recall having seen anything like this before, because the snow didn't blow around this drastically in flagstaff even though it was windy there too. It's probably because the snow here is very powdery and less wet. It's unfortunately not something I can capture in a picture. Nonetheless, it was a cute little snowfall.
Tuesday Morning - Bundled UP

The next morning we looked out and it was snowing, but windy, so there was even less snow on the ground than the day before. And we called the Sioux Falls Weather Service and with windchill... it was like, four degrees. But. We had to tract still. We are to stop tracting completely and stay inside only when it hits -30 degrees. 

So we were obedient missionaries and got suited up.

Wind and Snow Vs. Hat and Scarf!
That wind is a killer. See how my scarf is blowing in that picture? And it was snowing and sometimes the snow hits you in the eye and you're like "Dah! My eyeball" haha. 

We had some success while tracting this street though. We found a less active that isn't on the ward list! So that was exciting. She let us come in and made us hot chocolate.

Thank you to my cousin Rachel though! 

She made me this scarf, and psh, you don't need scarves in Arizona, but I was sure glad I had one this day! 

This is how you fight the cold!

Also, Tuesday was 11/11/11/11/11 day. So we made an 11/11 challenge. 

We didn't do all the things, but the other sisters did! haha. Sister Hawkes now hates water...(She drank 11 cups)

Wednesday we were fortunate enough to be able to stay indoors most of the day to plan for the week. And Thursday we were blessed because, though it was twelve degrees outside, there was basically no wind, even in Tea! (Tea is a smaller town just South West of Sioux Falls. Most of Tea is in our Proselyting area. We usually go out to Tea only once or twice a week because we missionaries are limited on miles, plus we only have the car on Thursday, Friday, and Saturday.)

That Thursday night we found someone who let us into their doorway and we were able to teach her about the restoration and she read Moroni 10:3-5 and felt that it was true! It was only her though. Her husband might not be as receptive. We pray that they both will have a spiritual confirmation that this is the correct course to pursue, to learn more about and accept the restored gospel of Jesus Christ into their lives.

My Reflection in the Car Window
A Closeup of the Frosty Car Window
Friday it was, guess what, still pretty cold haha. Cold enough to have cool ice flakey things form on the car window! It looks like Someone is just taking a picture of me in snow, but nope! That's the car window and me just in the reflection!

So cool.

There was no snow in Bismarck Friday, but there was snow up in Brookings, SD. 
How do I know? 
We went up to Brookings to watch Meet the Mormons!  

(A news article about Meet The Mormons, the movie.) 

Missionaries of the Brookings Zone.

Our Mission President, President Anderson, promised us that when it came out we would eventually get to see it, that he and Sister Anderson would go around the mission and show it to all the missionaries! 

My goodness, it was awesome! And now I really want to go to Costa Rica and Napal. haha. But the strong theme of service was so refreshing. A great great GREAT film! And, it should be available on Netflix before you know it!

While all the missionaries were gathered in one place, President took the time to interview us all individually, just to see how we are doing and how he can help us. We are all interviewed four times a year, usually during zone conferences. So, while President was doing interviews we started playing "never have I ever." Now, I was a bit skeptical of starting this game because if you have played this game before, you know it can be a very intrusive? should I say, game? Yeah, but! We played it 'according to the admonition of Paul.' (See the thirteenth article of faith.) So, you could only ask questions that would invoke things that are 'lovely, of good report, or praiseworthy.' Yeah! That's totally the way I'm going to explain how I wanna play it from now on! So awesome and so fun! I wish I had taken a picture. haha. Oh well.

Tracks in the the Gym? No!
And then Saturday. We woke up and 'whoa, snow.' And we actually just got permission by president to use the gym room that our apartment complex has upon the condition that there are no males in there when we use it and that there are no TVs on. So we went out in the snow and to the gym and there was a dude watching the TV using the tredmill... so we ran back to the room. It was like, eighteen degrees outside with the windchill, darn it.
We had the car this first snowy day, and actually it was quite warm, at least, for snow weather. It was 23 degrees thoughout the day and barely any wind! Just a constant light snowfall! Yay!

It was so beautiful! And so nice to be in compared to Tuesday! My goodness! 

Driving in snow is not fun though. And our little car is NOT built for snow. Not at all. We were parked uphill at one point and we were trying to go forward and were slipping and sliding and could not gain traction. I went out of the car and tried to push. It must have looked really silly. lol. We then decided it would be smart to go down the hill instead. haha. Problem solved!

Our Car Doors Froze Shut...INSIDE the garage!
Ah, I just love the snow. It's so beautiful! Especially when there's no wind! We decided it would be smart to park in the garage that night. 


Sunday morning, we opened the garage and it was still all frozen! haha We had to pull hard to get the doors open because they were frozen shut!

ZERO Degrees?!?!...INSIDE the Garage!

Also, it was pretty cold, not to windy, but we looked at the temperature that the car so kindly tells us (so nice!) and...

No wonder it felt pretty cold! haha

Look, Mom! No Hands! Take THAT, Cold!

So, it has been cold, but good, and we will stay as positive and 
productive as possible this winter!

P.S. Here's a tip. Do you like a nice peppermint hot chocolate but don't have a peppermint candy cane?  Can't seem to get that SINGLE DROP of peppermint extract and end up with your eyes watering from the minty aroma?  Haha...been there!

If you want to make good peppermint hot chocolate, just stick a peppermint altoid in there! I'm a geinus!

P.P.S. Sister Gray, my previous companion, reminded me that the P stands for Post and the S stands for Script. I've been doing multiple S's instead of multiple P's. I will amend my wrongs. lol

P.P.P.S. I Plan to become buff this winter.


(I've been adding one a day so far.)

P.P.P.P.S. Sister Burt goes home January 8th. So, we are going to sing through all the songs in the hymn book that we feel confident sight reading before she goes home. 

Monday, November 10, 2014

28 - Beautiful Creations

"Why do you where the name tag?"
"Because it bears my savior's name, my church's name, and my family name, but not my own name." 
-Elder Nash and Sister Whittwer

Yes, I'm still stuck on the Trizone Conference we had with Elder Nash. It was so good!
At the MTC in April, 2014

But this week, I was actually able to go on exchanges with Sister Hawkes! 

My goodness! It was so awesome to be companions with her again for a day, from twelve days together in the MTC with no experience doing 'missionary' work, to one day six months later out in the field! 

At the Butterfly House in Nov, 2014
So cool to see the improvement in teaching and know-how and everything like that!

And also on exchanges, we were able to go into the butterflyhouse! 

YES! I've wanted to serve there since day one! But... Sister Burt dispises butterflies... So we serve elsewhere. But ah! 

It was so beautiful!
It's just an awesome room filled with about 1000 butterflies! And one even landed on me! And I got a sweeeeeeet picture! So proud of that picture. So glad I was holding the camera, because those big butterflies don't stay for long! And it's my like, my favorite butterfly to see flying around, because when their wings are open, they are a bright blue, and Sister Hawkes even got one to land on her skirt with its wings open! Whoa!

And there were little adorable quail! And they were so cute! And a butterfly JUST emerging from its cocoon and so many butterflies! I had lots of fun. And there was one butterfly that was on Sister Hawkes for like, half an hour, just chillin'. 
Doing service, sitting in a room filled with butterflies and just making sure that people don't have any butterflies on them when they exit basically, is like, the most awesome thing in the world.
Sister Burt and I always serve in the marine cove portion though. 

Which is still fun.

I usually man the bins, with the starfish and sea urchins and sea cucumbers and triton snails that you can touch. 

Sister Burt usually mans the stingrays. It's a good job too I suppose.

So many pictures these last two weeks! 

Anyway, we had dinner with a lot of cute families this week. I love going over to dinner with crazy kids! It makes me laugh and it's a great stress reliever. People apologize for crazy kids all the time, but I love it. In moderation, crazy kids are refreshing. They are so funny and cute!

We had a good zone training meeting this Friday. We focused a lot on bold statements and letting our light shine in this dark winter. For an object lesson to demonstrate that we should be bold, the zone leaders did a role play, wearing plastic bags as protection, and they told the elders at the table to pelt them with water whenever they used weak phrases and words, like 'kinda' and 'we think' and whatnot. It was great fun.

Sister Burt threw me under the bus by saying, "Sister Sanderson was super bold! She called someone to repentance!" A recent convert of almost a year took us to lunch at Olive Garden (got super full on their awesome soup) and when we were placing our orders she ordered green tea. Our hearts were weighed down when she did so. She must not have understood that green tea was against the Word of Wisdom. So after the waitress was gone I asked this Sister, "Did you know that green tea is against the Word of Wisdom?" 
"Really? Oh, no I didn't." 
She thought it was just black tea. She said she would repent. She ordered camamile tea to drink instead. I know if I was this recent convert, I would have appreciated being told this. I was just doing what a good friend would do. That's how the gospel works. We call people to repentance because we love them. It was a good experience.

Also a good experience, Sister Burt and I basically interpreted the Sunday school class yesterday. It was very simplified, but a success nonetheless! It was for the two deaf people who were there, one a recent convert, one a not so recent convert. It was a success because we were able to teach them and they understood us and would help us because they can read lips and yeah, it was great. 
The lesson was about the spirit world.

Also, the changes in this ward have been kinda crazy. During stake conference here, they called a new stake presidency, and they called the bishop of this ward into the stake presidency! So we called him "prishop" for awhile. lol 
But now a new bishop has been called, and a new bishopric, with one man who has never really been in the bishopric before. And then the new bishop was out of town Sunday, so poor never-has-been-in-the-bishopric guy had to conduct. But he did great.

And last thing, I would just like to share with you my planner cover. We make covers for our planners, just taping them over the original planner covers and hole punching the little holes for the spiral thingy. Many missionaries, especially sisters, decorate their planners to make them less boring. And I just really like mine haha, and I wanted to share it.

There are so many times in the scriptures where it lists many attributes and you read them and they kind of go 'in one ear and out the other' sometimes. I saw an ensign talk that spoke about putting a name of a person to a certain attribute, and it did that in the talk for this scripture, D&C 4:6 (Remember faith, virtue, knowledge, temperancepatience,brotherly kindnessgodliness, charity, humilitydiligence.), but it didn't give a person for all of the attributes. 
SO, I finished it. 
And I love it.

faith, The Brother of Jared
knowledge, Abraham
temperanceJohn the Baptist
patienceJoseph Smith
brotherly kindnessNephi
godlinessJesus Christ
charity, Mormon
diligence, The Pioneers

Monday, November 3, 2014

27 - Tract or Treat!

Welcome to North Dakota!
Ok, spent a LOT of time sending pictures, now to talk about the busy week that I will not have time to talk about. Whoops.

Sister Nelsen
First off, we left shortly after emailing last Monday to drive up to Fargo for a big missionary conference that the mission holds only once a year. If I'm lucky I might get another one of these, but I might be gone before then. 

Sisters Summer and Andersen
Sister Christiansen
Sister Springer
This conference is special because this is a multiple zone conference, aka, the most missionaries gathered in one place that you'll probably ever see outside the MTC. There were over twenty Sister missionaries and way more than twice that many elders. It was three zones that were there, and I got to see a whole bunch of people that I served with in Bismarck!!

You don't realize how much you miss people sometimes until you see them again! That was definitely how I felt with Sister Springer!

Multi-Zone Zone Conference
And what makes this conference super special is that a member of the seventy comes and gives most of the training. Man, I want to go into more detail, but my time is short. Elder Nash was the member who came, and he is in the first presidency of the seventy, so right up there just under the apostles, the same guy who spoke in Sioux Falls' stake conference. What a privilege! Something that stood out to me was how he used the scriptures, particularly 3 Nephi 11 and put himself in the story to make it so much more real. He is such, such SUCH an inspired man.

Oh, and the drive to and from, and sleeping over at the Sister's apartment in Fargo, was all super fun. Got to know lots of Sisters and know better the network of Sisters in the mission. Piece together who came out with whom, who served together, where people served, all that good stuff.

Wednesday the wards had their trunk or treat. Sister Burt had never been to a trunk or treat before. 

She is a convert, joined the church when she was eighteen, and no elementary schools did trunk or treats in Oregon I suppose. 

There were so many great games and costumes, as per usual at church Halloween parties. 

It was a pretty cold night (winter is on it's way, all the trees have basically lost their leaves,) but it was very warm in the church! haha.

And, we had fun distracted times during weekly planning. Had to take pictures.

Now to talk about Halloween.

Sometimes for Halloween, the mission President will tell all the missionaries, send them a text, saying do be in by 6:00pm or something of the like. Sister Burt was really hoping some sort of text like that would come because tracting on Halloween.... eh.... probably not going to go over well. ...Well, a text did come, but it informed us that it would be a normal proselyting day. Well, it would just be an experience. But Sister Burt was still not enthused.

Halloween though turned out to be a day full of food. haha. We went to drop something off at a member's house, the one with the adorable german shepard, and they fed us soup for lunch on a whim and it was super good. I also taught brother whats his face about highfive turkeys and about how your reflection is upside down in one side of the spoon and rightside up on the other. So we were all looking at spoons for a few minutes. It was great fun, haha. Good memories.

And then we had an appointment fall through that a memeber came with us to and we unfortunately had no backups, so she took us out to DQ for icecream, how nice!
And then! For dinner, we were dropped off dinner actually and it was a total Halloween dinner, at least, in my opinion. It was this sweet potatoe chilli, chilli with sweet potatoes, which was super good, and a festive orange, and then really good cornbread. It was a treat!

Then, the dreaded tracting. It's true, when we went to tract at around 6:30 in a nieghborhood, people came to the door with the candy and their faces fell as soon as we said 'we're the missionaries' and they told us haistly they weren't interested. BUT! One of the people was very kind and had friends who were memebers and we gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon, because she wanted to be informed but assured us that she wouldn't convert. Time will tell.

And when full force trick or treating started, we went to some apartments. Nobody trick or treats at apartments. And guess what! We were let in! And they were a super nice young couple and they need to be baptized! Not that other's don't, but yeah! The restoration lesson went very well, and we just hope their 'consulting of their (lutheran) parents' won't deter them from continuing to see us.

And we got some candy too. Halloween was a success!

Then on Saturday we helped someone move. 
It was a long long day. 
Moving for 5 hours is exhausting.

Christmas! Wooo!