Monday, December 4, 2017

I love you, Arizona

Hello Family!

I'm still frantically trying to find a way to cancel my flight and stay in Arizona forever.  I know I can't be John the Beloved or the Three Nephites, but I figure I'll just be the One Canadian--being the One American wouldn't make much sense because everyone else around me is American as well, so I figured I could claim my Canadian roots. :)  I think that would work great.

This week in and of itself was a tender mercy and a blessing because I wasn't originally supposed to have this week as a missionary.  If it weren't for that seven-week transfer that I had with Sister Johnson in Highland, I wouldn't be emailing today, but I am so grateful that I have had this extra week doing this amazing work.

We taught Laura and her kids again this week, and it was just so special to be in that lesson.  Brinley, a young woman that came on splits with us a lot in Queen Creek, came with us.  She's preparing for her mission (she was called to the North Carolina Charlotte Mission), and she wanted to come out with me one more time.  She is going to be a great missionary.  The lesson was amazing with her.  We talked about the Word of Wisdom, and Brinley led out when we shared the story of Daniel and his friends asking to eat differently from what the king was feeding them.  She did great!  Laura just loved the Word of Wisdom.  Aalyra had a question about specifics in the Word of Wisdom, so I told her that we weren't  here to give her a new Law of Moses and then talked about praying and asking God.  But Sister King was just on fire.  I never want to forget what she said.  She turned the situation into an opportunity to testify of the Savior's Atonement.  She talked about how God sacrificed His Only Begotten Son for us.  She testified of the importance of the Savior's sacrifice and then turned it to talk about how we sacrifice such small things in comparison.  It was beyond powerful and it taught me that any Gospel principle can always be tied back to the Atonement of Jesus Christ.

We also brought Elizabeth out with us this week, and I was so proud of her.  She just got her mission call this week, and she is going to the Brazil Recife Mission.  She has come out with us a few times and has absolutely loved it.  We were biking along and we saw a girl sitting alone at a table, and I felt like we needed to go talk to her.  We backtracked and talked to her for a while, and Elizabeth gave her a Book of Mormon all by herself!!! I was so happy for her.  She's going to be an incredible missionary.

This last Saturday was so much fun!  We had a ward Christmas party in one of our wards, and they kept it early in the month just so I could be there.  It made me so happy.  Later that morning, Sister King and I had an awkward amount of time before we were going to do a short exchange with the STLs, so I could have my "Last Exchange" with Sister Sorenson.  Because it was December 2, the theme for that day of Light the World was I was thirsty and ye gave me drink.  I had an extra 24 pack of water bottles that I knew I wouldn't be able to use before Tuesday, so we decided to hand them out during the time we had.  The night before, we had taken some time to tie a cute ribbon with a Light the World card around each water bottle, and then during our awkward amount of time, we biked around and gave people water!  It was so fun.  It taught me just how easy it is to spread a little Gospel message, and now every time we see the man that holds the sign letting people know that there are homes for sale in Whitewing, he waves to us because he was someone we gave water to.  We also handed out some water bottles just as runners were running past us and we were going the opposite direction on our bikes.  It was so much fun and I am so excited to keep participating in Light the World this year.

We did have to stop, though, so we could meet up with Sisters Sorenson and Donaldson.  The exchange was only for an hour, but it was so fun because Sister Lucas who was in my MTC district, finished her mission the other week, lives in our mission, and took us out to lunch!  It was so weird to see her again, and I half expected her to be wearing a skirt--she wasn't.  It was so fun to hear about her mission and to be able to spend some time with her and Sister Sorenson for just a little bit while I was still a missionary.

That night we went to the Mesa Temple to help with the temple lights.  Every time I'd see a missionary from the Scottsdale mission, I would have to ask them if they knew Elder Ririe from Alpine, UT because he is serving in that mission!  Well, Devin is about to get about 30 "hellos" from different people in his mission all from Sister Sabey.  It was also special to get to serve at the Mesa Temple lights one more time.  I got to use my Spanish, and someone told me that my Spanish is very good.  It was just so wonderful to get to go again.  But I was also very grateful when we made is safely back into the mission boundaries--being outside the mission is scary.  I just have to take an Arizona Gilbert Mission "bubble" with me.

Then there was yesterday.  It was a wonderful Sunday.  I just enjoyed seeing all the people that I've come to love in this area.  We had dinner that night with the Hixon family.  I love them so much, and Sister Hixon made meatball subs just because she knows I like them.  One thing the Hixons do on Sundays is something they call "Relevations".  It means they share something that they learned that is related to the gospel, but the name came from their youngest son having an experience kind of like when Hailey said "deveLOping" instead of "deVELoping".  It was fun because one person would talk and then someone else would think of something and piggyback off of that to add a new perspective, and it was just the coolest thing.  One of their kids--I think it was Chip--said something about how the temple is a holy place because of the things that happen there.  Bishop piggybacked off of that and talked about how that's true of any place that you have a sacred experience.  The place becomes hallowed because of what happened there (which is why the Sacred Grove is still such a special place).  They explained it a lot better than I did, but it made me realize something.  The reason why people love their missions so much and why there is such a change between being in the boundaries and not is because of that same reason.  Missions become a special place because of what happens there.  That's why everyone loves their missions so much.

There was something a member said to Sister King and I that has just stuck with us ever since.  She said, "You can't love others as the Savior did until you serve others as the Savior did."  Family,  I've done my very best these last nineteen months.  I haven't been perfect--I got reminded of that on a daily basis--but I have tried to serve these people as the Savior would.  And Family, I love Gilbert, Arizona.

I love you!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Ward Christmas Party

Sister Sorenson, Sister Lucas, and me

One more time at the Mesa Temple

The Hixons

Monday, November 27, 2017


Hi Family!

People keep telling me, "Oh! So you're about ready to go home!" to which I tell them, "No, I'm not ready. They are sending me against my will!" Because of that, I've made an executive decision. All offense intended I'm just going to stay in Gilbert and be a missionary forever. I hope y'all are alright with that. :)

This week has been so good! Between Thanksgiving and everything else, I've been able to spend a lot of time with so many wonderful members. We had two Thanksgiving dinners on Thursday: one with the Ellsworths and one with the Schows. They were both so fun. It was spread out throughout the day, so that was nice. I was able to enjoy them with two super wonderful families. We also had a Thanksgiving dinner the next day with the Deans. Bishop and Sister Flake also took Sister King and me out for frozen yogurt on Saturday. I just love this area.

Side story before I continue to tell y'all how amazing my mission is. This week a thing happened that caught me off guard. I woke up one morning this week and was going about doing my normal thing when Sister Ogawa comes and tells me, "Sister Sabey, you were sleep talking in Spanish last night." Family, I don't speak Spanish all that well! But Sister King also told me that I'd been sleep talking in Spanish.  And now I'm bummed that no one could tell me what I said.  When did this happen?

Back to my amazing, wonderful mission that I love. Thank you so much for the prayers on behalf of our friends. Charles hasn't been able to meet in a while, but he said that his brother also wants to be baptized. Laura was out of town this week, but she said they'd try to come to church this upcoming Sunday! We stopped by Felicia earlier this week so I could get a picture with her, and she just made me feel like a million dollars. She was so sweet and grateful for teaching and helping her. I felt like I had made a difference in her life. Linda is still doing great! She loves her calling. She's working with the scouts program. We had dinner with her this week and she is so sweet. Sister King and I agreed that if anyone learning about the Church needed someone to look up to, it should be Linda. She loves the Gospel and her conviction is contagious.

Even with all the miracles we've already seen, we are still finding even more people to teach and I am in utter disbelief. We got a call from some Elders in Queen Creek this week because a family that might be interested moved into our area. We hurried over and met them, and they are just the cutest family of three. Nolan, Daysia, and their daughter Cienna are such wonderful people and they also said they want to come to church on Sunday.

We also started teaching a man named Ray. He is the caretaker of an older member in our area, and she had asked us to invite him to take the lessons. She's already been telling him about the Church and the message we share. He agreed to listen, but trying to find someone to bring to the lesson was an absolute MESS! EVERYONE was out of town or busy. We asked our ward mission leader, Brother Schow, but he wasn't sure if he could make it. Eventually, we asked Sister Ogawa and Sattler if we could borrow a member from their young single adult ward to come with us (thankfully, they said yes), and asked our Bishop's son, Chip. He just got back from a mission in Chile. He was able to, so we were able to have the lesson. It was still a mess.  I don't know what was up--maybe Sister King and I carried some stress into the lesson--but we were having the hardest time teaching Ray. I just felt like I was stumbling over my words and it was hard to hear him and we had no idea what to do. I am so thankful that we brought Chip with us because he was able to jump right in and shared an awesome testimony. Then, Brother Schow came! Miracles!! And he added his testimony of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. It was so good. Lesson: members are SO important. We invited Ray to be baptized, but he said he wanted to learn more first. He said he would keep reading the Book of Mormon. :D

Also, if I haven't told you enough times that I love my area and that it is amazing, I LOVE MY AREA AND IT IS AMAZING! Sunday was so much fun! We got invited to help teach at church and I loved it. We got to go to mission prep and answer questions that some of the youth had. It was so much fun. I remember being in Young Women's and people would say, "You are the chosen generation," and I had no idea what they were talking about.  Well, I think I understand now because these youth that are now preparing to go on missions are AMAZING!  I've totally been kicked off the "chosen generation" bandwagon, I'm pretty sure because these kids are stellar.  I am so excited to see the missionaries they become.   We also got to teach about member missionary work in Gospel Doctrine with the adults and I just had a blast.  I love this and I never want to lose this missionary fire.

I love my mission so much!  I have so much fun every day!  Between amazing members, messes that turn into miracles, miracles that just stay miracles, funny moments, coming up with entertaining things to do when no one answers, district meetings, studies, and everything else in between, it is the best because I get to teach about the Gospel of Jesus Christ to people that I just love!  And I get to pop over to all my friends' houses anytime I feel like it!  This is the best and I LOVE Gilbert, Arizona.  I love you, Family!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

When you're supposed to expire the same day as your milk . . . 
good thing I'm staying on my mission forever. :)

Frozen Yogurt with the Flakes

SQUAD featuring: Zac, Sister King, Sister Sabey, Lauren, and Simon

Monday, November 20, 2017

Crazy Week, Short Email

Hi Family!

Last week, Dad told me what to say if people ask if I am trunky. He said to say, "I'm not trunky. I'm just a little carry-on. And that's what I intend to do--carry on."  Well, Pops, I have used it.  It's been fun because everyone has loved it so far.

Updates: Felicia has some crazy stuff going on with her family so we will have to postpone visits for a while.  She said she'll keep reading the Book of Mormon, though!  Charles will have to have his baptismal date moved back a little bit, but we are still working with him and now his brother wants to get baptized too!  Good stuff is definitely happening.

This week has been fun.  We got to go on splits this week with a young woman named Elizabeth.  She is waiting for her mission call, so she's been coming out with us a lot.  We had a cool experience that I'm really glad she was there for.  We were biking to go contact someone that had met missionaries before when on the way we saw a girl struggling with her bike chain.  It had fallen off.  We offered help, and another kid named Cameron came along and decided to help too.  We ended up having a pretty good discussion with them, and I was glad that Elizabeth got to be there for that unseen teaching opportunity.

We had another lesson with Laura and her kids, but the funny part was that we got there a few minutes early and didn't quite know what to do with our lives during the awkward amount of time that we had.  Well, Sister King LOVES cats and we saw some kittens, so we caught one.  Well, Laura came out during the middle of that and couldn't believe that we had caught that cat.  Apparently, she had nicknamed it the Evil Cat because it wasn't very friendly.  After the lesson, we found that cat and another one, and we got a picture of us holding "Diablo 1" and Diablo 2".  Laura said we were very brave.   I wouldn't have described it that way--I would have described it more as having no regard for my personal physical welfare.  Don't worry, Mom, the kitten I caught wasn't too mean.  Sister King got the really grumpy one.

I also got to perform my piano solo for the new member fireside this week.  It went well.  I felt like the Lord really helped me because I practiced as much as I could and then he helped it to go well when I played it.

Those were the things that stuck out for the week.  We have been running around a lot this week, but I am loving my mission.  I don't want it to end.  I love being a missionary.  I love you, Family!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

My "nephew" Elder Falls and his trainer, Elder Moyes.  I asked the day Elder Moyes got his training call if I could be his greenie's aunt.  He said yes, so here is the result.

Sister King and I with the cats

Matching Sweatshirt Service Squad

Monday, November 13, 2017

Week of Miracles

Hi Family!

Knowing me, even though I say this needs to be a fast email, it probably won't be--my poor companion is all done emailing and I hadn't started the main email because I had to take care of soon-to-depart missionary things.  It's super relaxing and fun . . . *sarcasm*

Well, last Monday, we got to do an activity with a young woman named Brooke.  I posted about it on Facebook, but I just wanted to inform you that it was a lot of fun, and especially after doing another painting activity this Monday, I think I've found a new hobby (that will take lots and lots more practice).

Charles is doing great!  He loved learning about the Word of Wisdom.  Emily, another young woman, came with us.  She was incredible!  She shared her testimony about the word of wisdom and it completely made the lesson.  Emily is also completely blind, so while we were driving, she explained what colors are like to a blind person.  She said that she associates colors with things that she knows.  I love her optimism about everything and that she's just so willing to share her personality with others.  We had another lesson later that week with Charles.  We started talking more about his scheduled baptism date, which is November 25.  He is beyond excited.

We also had a fun lesson with Laura, Anthonee, and Aalyra, and they are still doing great.

We made a new friend this week!  Her name is Felicia.  She is from Nigeria.  I met her one of my first few days in this area and we hadn't heard from her much since when out of the blue she called us because she needed help.  We arranged with the ward to help her, and then she requested a larger size copy of the Book of Mormon.  We went to go drop it off, and she invited us right in.  We had a wonderful discussion on the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and she just loves the Book of Mormon.  We also had a second discussion with her, and without us asking her to, she had read the Testimony of the Prophet Joseph Smith before we came.  She said that she wants to come to church before I leave.

We've still been doing a lot of finding, and this week, we had some amazing quality gospel discussion with people that we met.  One night, we were having a hard time finding anyone to talk to at all, so we decided to say a prayer.  Afterwards, we had a few really good conversations with people.  We even gave one person a Book of Mormon.  Another thing we've been able to do is to invite people to the Mesa Temple Christmas Lights.  That has been a lot of fun.  There are a surprising amount of people who had never even heard about the lights, but the miracle was getting to see people who were not happy to see us have their heart a little more softened as we simply invited them to come and see.

Speaking of Mesa Lights, Sister King had a HUGE miracle this week.  The Mesa mission, again, invited sisters from the surrounding missions to come and help.  Sister King really wanted to go because last year for Christmas, she was in the Ironwood Zone and didn't get to go.  It was too far away, so they had sisters that lived closer go, which is why I got to go last year.  Because we are in Temple View now, which is in the north half of the mission, I was just expecting to get an invitation.  Well, we didn't.  We were at Zone Conference when we found out, so I think I was too busy being wrapped up in everything going on around me that it didn't register what that meant.  Sister King, on the other hand, was devastated--especially when we found out that sisters from "southern" zones had been invited.  She started trying to bribe President, the Assistants, and anyone she could to try to get an invitation, and it was just turning into a wild goose chase.  Eventually, we got sent to President Lowder, one of President Wheeler's counselors.  We walked up to him, and Sister King proceeded to use her cookie bribery, but President Lowder said he needed to talk to us in a few minutes.  We were about to turn and leave to the training we were kind of running late for, but he stopped us and asked us to wait just a little longer.

When he was done talking to whoever he was talking to, he came over to us and said that he wasn't going to come to zone conference, but about 30 minutes prior, he had received the strongest impression that he needed to come.  He followed the prompting and as he walked in to the chapel, he saw Sister King and me, and the Spirit whispered, "They need to go to Mesa Lights".  Because of that, he managed to work out a way so we could also go.  I don't think I can express how big of a miracle this was.  I was excited because I was hoping to go once more before I came home, but it meant the WORLD to Sister King.  I'm really excited for any more chances I have to serve there (and hopefully I can keep my allergies under control this year), and I am even more excited that Sister King's fervent prayer was answered.

The rest of Zone Conference was amazing.  I felt blessed because I have been able to see my mission come full circle.  My first transfer was with President (now Elder) Nattress.  One of his main focuses that he tried to teach the missionaries was to find the one.  I especially heard that a lot when I was companions with Sister Kranc because it impacted her a lot.  It was one of those little things that always reminded me of my first few months as a missionary.  This Zone Conference, President gave a wonderful training, and it was all about fulfilling our purpose one-by-one.  I tried to highlight ever time I made a note that included the word "one".  I felt like it was something God really needed me to remember, not just only on my mission, but for the rest of my life.

At the end, we had our testimony meeting, and it felt really weird to be getting up for my "departing testimony".  Every time I go to the pulpit, I have to make some joke about being short because the pulpit is always lowered for me.  Well, I beat the system this time and I stood on the little step.  AND THE PULPIT WENT UP! And then it went back down because President was giving me a hard time, but THEN IT WENT UP! I made a comment that you could say I had grown a lot on my mission.  Anyways, I always expected my departing testimony to be super eloquent and what not, but it wasn't.  I lost my words a few times, but I felt happy with it.  I felt happy because I had been able to bear my testimony on the things I felt really impacted me on my mission: the Doctrine of Christ and learning humility.  It was also a teaching opportunity from God to me because it reminded me that, yes, in just a few short (way too short) weeks, I'll be a returned missionary, but that doesn't mean I'm completely eloquent and perfect in all I say.  My testimony will be powerful when I have the Spirit with me, not when I am able to "wow" the masses with my words.  I think that it is still an important lesson that Heavenly Father has wanted me to learn throughout my mission, and I am so grateful for all the time I have.  I love you!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Everyone likes to do these things called "Posterity Pictures" with all the people they've trained, and their trainees have trained and so on.  This is my posterity picture.  (Also, I'm really glad we had the Mesa Light Training because those are the only pictures I have.)

Original MTC Squad

Mesa Light Sisters--Arizona Gilbert Mission Edition

Monday, November 6, 2017

Expecto Patronum

Hi Family!

Let's see if I can focus long enough to write out this email.  It was a great week, and this P-Day has been all over the place!  We get to go over to a member's home a make a craft with them.  It's a vinyl cut out of the temple on a galaxy background, so I'm excited to make that.  Other than that, we've gone shopping and there was a really nice man, Brother Penrod, that paid for our groceries. 

But that's not what the email is for.  I'm supposed to be telling you about last week.  We had Halloween.  We spent the evening in the temple, and that was so nice.  If I have to miss the festivities of my favorite holiday, the temple is the place I'd want to be.  I love being so close to the temple. 

I also went on exchanges with Sister Jacobson.  She was trained by Sister Sorenson, and she acts a lot like Sister Sorenson too, which was fun.  Pictures below.

Sister King and I had the greatest time talking to someone on the street.  His name was Brayden.  He is a teenager, and I feel like talking to teenagers can either be really fun or really uncomfortable.  Good new, Brayden was fun to talk to.  We had just started talking to him when we hear someone yell from his phone, "Dude! Who are you talking to??" to which Brayden says, "Mormons! Like you!"

"No way! Turn the camera around!" says friend.

*we awkwardly wave until Brayden flips the camera back to selfie mode*

Then Brayden's friend yelled, "Bro! You should come to church!" Brayden said he doesn't like church, but it was so funny and absolutely hilarious!  Youth are so cool. 

This week was an awesome week with our friends!  We started teaching the commandments to Laura and her kids.  We had a really good lesson, but poor Anthonee was scarred for life (we taught the Law of Chastity this week).  Afterwards, the kids asked if they could show Sister King the hand signs for the Ten Commandments.  The eighth commandment is "thou shalt not kill".  We have the kids hold up four fingers on each hand (so everything except their thumb), and (this is how Anthonee explains it) talk about how, "Back in the day, if you stole, they'd cut your thumbs off".  Well, they got to that one, and by that point, I guess the sugar Aalyra had been eating before was starting to kick in because suddenly, she tells Anthonee, "I'm going to cut off your fingers!" to which Anthonee, absolutely horrified cries, "It's not back in the day yet!"  I died.  I love teaching their family.

We also taught Linda again this week!  She texted us out of the blue and asked, "If it's not too late, can we do another lesson?" and we were like, "Of course!"  We got to teach her to Gospel of Jesus Christ, which is my favorite lesson.  Linda didn't grow up with a Christian background, and I like to teach the Gospel of Jesus Christ using lots of Bible stories, so it was fun to teach her. And it felt so good to testify.  I love testifying of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.

Charles came to church!  We had a regional broadcast (I'm not sure if that reached all the way up to American Fork or not), and it was so good!  We got to hear from two members of the Seventy (including Elder J. Devn Cornish, which was fun because I've met him before), the General Young Women's President, and Elder D. Todd Christofferson.  It was a broadcast from Salt Lake, so we got to be like, "Charles, this is one of the Apostles".  He seemed to like it a lot.  The best part was seeing the members of the stake just bring him in and welcome him.  I seriously love this area.  The members are AMAZING.  Charles got to meet our Bishop, the Ward Mission Leader, a few other members of the ward, and then a member from a completely different ward invited him over for dinner.  It was so good.

I think my letters are getting less flow-y and just me jumping where I please, so now I'm going to tell you the spiritual thing I learned this week.  It was actually really good.  Earlier this week, we had a training on the difference between building other's faith and tearing down other's faith.  I, unfortunately, got to experience the difference between the two this week as I saw someone I love share post after post about "everything that is wrong with Mormonism".  Guys.  It really hurts my feelings to see things like that because this is truly the most important part of my life--it's the thing that makes me happiest.  It makes me sad to see it twisted into something it's not, and I am left feeling dark and lonely.  It really gets to me is what I'm trying to say. 

The next day for studies, I was just praying because I still felt sad to have seen that, and then, fortunately, I got to experience the difference faith being torn down and faith being built.  While I was studying, God helped me remember something that taught me exactly the principle I needed.  I remembered Harry Potter, particularly the dementors.  I thought about how after having them near you it feels as though you'll never be happy again.  I realized that is how I was feeling, so I started thinking about what could combat those feelings.  That's when I remembered the spell "Expecto Patronum".  It's the spell that means "I await a guardian", which guardian comes from the memories that make us happiest.  It is the memory of those things that make someone happy that protects a person from the effects of a dementor.  It requires the witch or wizard to recall the happy memory, but those ultimately defeat the dementor.  I realized that it takes an act of faith (or our testimonies) to call upon the protection that comes through the Atonement of Jesus Christ, and He is our guardian.  As I finished this train of thought, it reminded me of a scripture, "For my soul delighteth in plainness; for after this manner doth the Lord God work among the children of men. For the Lord God giveth light unto the understanding; for he speaketh unto men according to their language, unto their understanding."  That's what God did for me.

I am so grateful for the additional testimony of Jesus Christ that comes through the Book of Mormon.  I continued to think on this topic throughout the day and came upon a quote by Elder Hales.  He said, "We show forth His love, which is the only power that can subdue the adversary and answer our accusers without accusing them in return.  That is not weakness.  That is Christian courage."  I know Heavenly Father was aware of me in those moments.  He was there to remind me that even though my beliefs will continue to be "examined and attacked, denied and deconstructed, targeted and torn apart", that I get to continue to stand "shoulder to shoulder with the best life this world has ever known--the only pure and perfect missionary, [Jesus Christ]".  I get to know that I "have every reason to stand tall".  This is the restored Gospel of Jesus Christ.  It will bless each person who learns of it because it truly brings me closer to Jesus Christ.  I love you!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Exchanges with Sister Jacobson

House of Refuge Service

This is from when we carved pumpkins as a zone

Brother Penrod was so nice an bought all of our groceries

Monday, October 30, 2017


Hi Family!

I think I'll start off with telling you about last Monday, so we are still in the Ulziiduuren transfer and everything makes sense chronologically.  We finally got to carve pumpkins and make Pineapple Dole Whip.  It was so much fun!  Sister Ulziiduuren did not freak out at the pumpkin guts, as I was expecting.  She got right into it and loved it.  It was so fun!  Sister Ogawa discovered that she LOVES the sound of a spoon scraping on the inside of a pumpkin.  It makes her so happy.  Sister Ogawa made me laugh with her pumpkin.  She was bound and determined to make a "Japanese Jack", meaning she put very thin lines for the eyes.  We took pictures later, and she decided to hold it up in front of her face for a picture, but then asks, "Do I look Asian?"  I about died.  Sister Ogawa is funny.  It was a fun experience. 

Transfers came on Wednesday, and I know I already posted about this on Wednesday, but let me tell you again.  I got none other than the lovely Sister King, and oh my goodness, Family, this transfer is going to be crazy!  She is so much fun!  She is crazy bold and it is so awesome!  I'm learning a lot from her, and we have so much fun together because we have the same quirks.

One of our first days together, we met a lady named Loretta.  She was carrying in her groceries, and she actually accepted our offer to help!  This NEVER happens!  So we helped her carry in her groceries and we got to talk to her for a while.  She said we were the first missionaries she had let in her house, so that was pretty cool.  We talked to Loretta for a while and Sister King was always so quick to tie it into the message of the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ.  Loretta accepted a Book of Mormon because she wanted to make sure her "bases were covered".  She was a lot of fun.

We had a funny experience later in the week.  We stopped be a less active member that is trying to come back to church.  We knock on the door, and this is the conversation that happens before the door is even opened:

Our friend: "No one's home!"
Me: "I don't believe you!"
Friend: "Dang it!"
Friend: *opens the door and everything else goes on normally*

We've been working really hard to get to know the youth (and I may or may not have made my own little "squad").  We took an especially missionary minded young women out on splits with us.  Her name is Alex, and I want her to be friends with Sarah.  (There is also a girl named Kaitlyn that I want Sarah to be friends with, but that's a different tangent.)  She was so excited to be out with us.  We stopped by one member that is unable to come to church due to health reasons.  I don't even remember what we talked about, but Sister King shared a scripture and then started talking about something else like Dementia or local honey (honestly, I think that was what we were talking about), and the wonderful gentleman that we were talking with was so grateful because somehow in the mix of it all, we had helped him hear what he needed to hear.  After that, it was time to drop Alex off at home, and her mom and step-dad had some people over.  IT WAS SO COOL!  Alex's step-dad turns to his buddies and says, "Do you know who these girls are? Do you know what they do all day? They knock on doors," and proceeds to tell them all about missionaries.  It ended up turning into an awesome discussion about the Word of Wisdom, and it was just a prime example of how to do missionary work when you're not wearing the name tag.  It really showed me that it doesn't have to be awkward.

Seriously, Family, half of these miracles came because Sister King is just ready to kill it.  I prayed the morning of transfers that I would get a companion that was ready to work, and that's exactly what I got.  She is on fire!  Sometimes I am just like, "Wow, I'm just trying to keep up with her," but she also said something really nice to me during our companionship inventory.  She told me that when she found out that she was going to be killing me, she was a little worried about trunkiness because that's pretty normal among dying missionaries.  But then she went on to say that has not been the case with me and that she hopes that when she hits her last transfer that she will be as focused as I have been.  I am so excited for this transfer.

But going back to the working with the youth thing, we also got to go to a Bishop/Youth Discussion in one of our wards.  It was at Bishop Hixon's house (and Dad, don't be upset, but I got adopted as an Honorary Hixon, too), and we had a missionary panel.  Sister King and I, along with Bishop's son Chip and a few of his recently returned missionary friends, got to answer questions about missions that the youth asked.  It was so fun and I just love working in this area.  I am so lucky to be here.

I love my mission so much!  I am so lucky to be here and I don't want it to end.  I love you!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

Sister Ulziiduuren was all about that pumpkin life.

Carving Pumpkins!

We also carved pumpkins as a Zone today, and this is Sister King.

Temple View Zone!

Monday, October 23, 2017

The Week that I was a Professional Sign Holder

Hi Family!

Transfer News:  I will be finishing my mission here in the good old Temple View Zone.  Sister Ulziiduuren is getting transferred, though.  I'll miss her.  She's been a lot of fun, but I am so happy I get to stay in this area.  I love being here.

To start off my email, I was reading in the scriptures and I'm pretty sure my thought from it was an inspired question.  Okay, maybe not, but I still enjoyed it, and I'm going to share it in honor of Wednesday Addams Day (which a few years ago, I decreed was the Wednesday BEFORE Halloween each year, and that is coming up in two days-- y'all better celebrate).  Anyway, I was reading, and in the scriptures it said the phrase, "the human family of Adam".  Upon reading that, I immediately thought, "Does that mean we are all part of [the] Ad[d]am's Family? (Thank you, thank you.  I'll be here all week. Try the veal.)

Okay, after my pretty awful joke, I hope everyone is still reading because we had a really good week.  At church, I kept seeing one sister walk in and every time I see her, my brain thinks, "That looks like Sarah Judd".  (For those of you who are not familiar with Sarah Judd, she was a few years older than me, was always a great example, and her dad, who was in the Stake Presidency when I was in late-elementary, early-junior high, gave talks that I really enjoyed at Stake Conference.)  Well, this Sunday, the girl who looks like Sarah Judd spoke in Church.  She introduced herself and Sarah and then her last name, and gave a really good talk.  My wheels were already turning trying to figure out if it could actually be Sarah Judd, and then she told a story about her mission, in which she referred to herself as "Sister Judd".  So, Family, there is a reason that she looks like Sarah Judd. It's because she IS Sarah Judd!!  I get to go over to her house on Friday to have dinner with them.  I love small world moments.

I also became a professional sign holder.  We got to help at a service, which was actually a tailgate party that the Seminary by Campo Verde High School was putting on before a football game.  They wanted missionaries to come (in pants, I might add--joyous day) and talk to the people who showed up.  It was really fun.  Sister Ulziiduuren and I got to hold a sign and try to get passing by cars to come enjoy the free food.  Then I spent the last half hour of it as the official D.J. because someone asked me to.  But the good news was that all the music I could pick from was on  We also had a Trunk or Treat, and once again, we got to be the sign holders.  Except this time, Sister Ulziiduuren was to direct people to where they could park and I was in charge of keeping people from going to where they could not park (unless their car was going to be involved in the Trunk or Treat).  I feel like I have developed a new skill now that will really bless me for the rest of my life.

At the Tailgate Party Service, a member that was there said something really nice about me.  I was talking to someone and I got the typical "How long have you been out/How long do you have left?" question. Someone else told him that I had six weeks left (to which I had to correct him and say it was 6-1/2 because I still got lots of time).  The first person asked me if I was getting trunky, and before I could even respond, the second person said, "No, she is a solid missionary.  We had her over for dinner the other night and we tried to make her trunky, but she is just rock solid."  It made me feel really good and I'm so happy that others see me as a missionary who is focused on her purpose.

As fun as being a sign holder was, the lessons we had were better.  We did a church tour with Laura and her two kids. It was a lot of fun.  We showed Aalyra the Young Women's room since she will be going to Young Women's next year.  We told her that the room was for her and she had a pretty blown away facial expression. My favorite part of the tour was showing them the baptistry.  Whenever we plan for it, it never feels like it will be a notable part because it's like "here is the baptismal font--normally it has more water in it, but you can pretend" *crickets chirp in the background*.  At least that is how I always imagine it--but the Spirit always ends up being so strong. We were having an awesome moment showing them the baptistry . . .until, over the speaker from the chapel, someone decided it was a good idea to beatbox into the microphone . . . Aalyra and Anthonee were pretty amused to see Sister Ulziiduuren and I running to the volume panel to turn it off. (And it actually was pretty funny). 

After that, we were thankfully able to bring it back, and have an awesome conversation.  We had planned to talk about following the Prophet, and I wasn't sure why I felt inspired to do that until Aalyra opened up about some questions she had after her dad showed her anti-Mormon videos about Joseph Smith.  I was just amazed at how strong she is because it was visibly concerning to her, but she decided to ask her mom and us and try to find answers.  It led into a great discussion about how the Holy Ghost speaks to us.  I feel like the Lord really inspired us to teach that on that specific week so we could help Aalyra. We also got to take them on a tour around the temple grounds (it's a nice perk when your church building is in the temple parking lot), and show them the waiting room inside the temple.  They were pretty excited that "they got to go inside the temple", but the most special moment was seeing the three of them sitting there and imagining them being sealed as an eternal family.  It was a blessing for me to see that.

We also had a couple of lessons with Charles this week!  I'm really excited for him.  All he really needs to do is come to church, which he says that he will do as soon as he can buy a suit.  I was on exchanges with Sister Donaldson for one of his lessons.  He's been reading the Book of Mormon, but it hasn't been sticking with him, so Sister Donaldson, being on top of it, taught about paying attention to the feelings we have as we read and knowing when they come from the Holy Ghost.  We talked about the First Vision and showed him the 20-minute video called "The Restoration".  We talked about how knowing the Book of Mormon is true and that Joseph Smith was called as a prophet go hand in hand and invited him to pray about if Joseph Smith was a prophet.  He said he would, and we were able to set a new baptismal date for November 25.

A few days later, we had a return appointment with Charles.  We followed up on his prayer, and he had done it! And . . . then he got on the internet and had a few questions. (I mean, I would too if the Book of Mormon Musical had been a point of reference.)  He had questions about Race and the Priesthood and Women and the Priesthood.  I was pretty sure that this was the end of the rope and Charles would not want to meet with us anymore, but we trusted God and just tried to find out what He needed Charles to know.  We first told him that the Book of Mormon Musical was not doctrine, and he was quite relieved to hear that.  He made a comment that we were kind of in the same boat as him and asked why we are okay with not holding the Priesthood.  I had to stop and think about it, to be honest, because my first impulse is always to try to make a case out of it with research and statistics and a complete bibliography in MLA format (because that's the only format I know how to do).  I felt really blessed because in that moment, as I gave the Holy Ghost a chance to speak, what came out was very much not my complete case study with research and statistics and a complete bibliography in MLA format.  Instead, I got to bear my testimony about how God loves His children and that even though I don't know all the answers, I know that He wants what is best for me.  I know that the men He has called to serve us are good men that love and cherish their wives and that Jesus Christ truly is the Head of this Church.  We continued to have an awesome discussion.  Sister Ulziiduuren showed him "A Book of Mormon Story", and we got to show him the Gospel Topic Essay about Race and the Priesthood and The Family: A Proclamation to the World. 

At the end, Charles said that when he had been praying before we got there that we would be able to answer his questions and said that he really trusts our answers.  It is such a blessing to teach Charles, and I feel so lucky to be working with so many people who are ready to receive this message.  I am gaining a stronger testimony that this is the Lord's work and that He is leading it.  It's so special to have those opportunities to teach people that are ready.  There's nothing else quite like it.  I know those moments come because this is the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ again restored to the earth.  It's the best I could ask for, and I love it! I love you, Family!

Sister Emily

1001 N Burk Street
Gilbert, AZ

This is us holding a sign at the tailgate party.

This is us with our signs at the Trunk or Treat.

Y'all, it's another familiar face!