October 7, 2013
The first part of Carly's letter talks about our church's semi-annual General Conference where the president of the church and other leaders speak to members worldwide via satellite broadcast. If you want to learn more about what Carly is talking about you can find more information here: lds.org
Howdy howdy howdy. Hola. Hi. Howdy!
OMH I feel like I'm on some EFY high right now or something. Conference was SO good. (so good. so good.) I LOVE President Thomas S. Monson and I know he's a prophet of God. I'm so thankful for the inspired words that were spoken and the time, dedication, and earnest prayers that went into each talk. One year ago yesterday my life was flipped around, my plans were changed, and I knew that it was my time to serve. The age change announcement has been such a blessing in my life. Sister Vogel and I were so happy to find out that we were a part of the 80,333 missionaries that have answered the call to serve for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints. I love being a missionary!
Each of us is a child of God and is so dear and special in the Lord's eyes. Talk to everyone! Let them know what you believe. Invite people to church activities and to Family Home Evening with the missionaries. Do your part to help build up the kingdom of God! I loved the talks for the youth. Why I'm obsessed with the youth program, I don't know, but it's something I found out this week that I deeply love and care for. Hold to the rod CONTINUALLY. I'm learning so much and day by day I'm growing closer to my Savior. I'm helping others learn, but I'm also learning so much for myself on how to be a good missionary and future wife and mother. Christ is my big brother and I'm striving to have Him as my best friend. I want to do my best on my mission and in this life so that He can be proud of me as a little sister. I KNOW this church is true. I know that the Book of Mormon is another testament of Jesus Christ. I know that Christ's church has been restored to the earth and that Thomas S. Monson is a true prophet of God. I know I say it constantly, but I'll keep saying it until I can't--I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. One of my favorite parts of the day is honestly just putting on my name tag and looking at myself in the mirror and smiling at the reminder that this is real. I keep feeling like I'm going to wake up from this amazing dream. I love being a missionary. We're striving to be examples and be like the perfect example--Christ. I love this gospel and the happiness it brings to everyone that will take the time to listen and learn.
We had interviews with President Weston this week and he really wants us to work with less actives and help them make friends in the ward. He has promised us that with every less active we bring back, we will get a baptism! And we already are seeing that promise being fulfilled. We have a baptism for a 9 yr old--Willy--because his family is active again and the dad talked to the Bishop and cleared things up so now his dad gets to baptize him! So exciting! We're still working with the Gbogbo family. Brother G doesn't feel ready to go to the temple still but baby steps will lead him to walking through the temple doors. We watched a session of conference with Michelle, a less active sister and now she wants to come back and wants a calling in the primary and it's all grand. The Mcardle fambam hasn't been to church in awhile and so we're working with them. The dad is baptized but wants nothing to do with the church and the mom wants to come back and have the family sealed in the Temple. Even her sister was at the lesson and wants to come back! One of my goals these next 3 months with president is to testify with sincerity. Sister Vogel says I need to dig deep to figure out what I truly love and care about, and bear testimony b/c sometimes I feel like I'm just talking and they're not getting anything from what I'm saying.
Emily is 15 and I'll be honest--was being a complete brat during the lesson. She was saying things under her breath about the church and how it's dumb and she doesn't care about it or Young Women's and that. was. it. I don't think she knew I could hear her either. I looked up at her and asked her straight up, "Why are you so negative towards growing closer to Heavenly Father? Why don't you care about the church?" She just crossed her arms, shrugged her shoulders, and gave me a death glare. I started bearing testimony about YW's and how I truly want her to care and love it as much as I do. The lessons taught and the values for that program are incredible and they helped mold me into who I am today. She's a daughter of God and is so special. She has so much potential. I am so thankful for YWs and the leaders I had growing up. I miss standing and saying the theme with my girlies every week! Ashley and Amanda soak it all in b/c the lessons learned in there will be so helpful later on. I still remember different lessons that flash in my my mind when I'm doing things to remind and help me. I LOVE THE YOUNG WOMEN PROGRAM. Anywho...she's like one of the only Mormons at her school and I totally know how that is. I was honest with her about things and at first she didn't like it but it's what she needed to hear and she started opening up to me. We're buds now and I can't wait to see her and her family at church one of these Sundays!
Thanks so much for the package mom! Sister Vogel and I bake cookies or something during weekly planning to give to people but this time we made bars..and mashed potatoes! (S/O to Courtney Nicole Howle. I think of you every week when we make Happy Friday treats! xoxo) We're learning how to cook...now I might actually get married. The decorations are bomb and makes it feel like home. S/O to Sister Gibbons for the best and cutest banner Sioux City has ever seen.
We met with Sister Crandell (my new grandma) and learned how to make homemade applesauce! At one point she said "like I say" and I almost died. It made me so happy! She calls me 'little one' and gives us so much food all the time. "Anything for my girls!" She just tickles my heart.
THE TORNADOES WERE CRAYCRAY. Sister Vogel was freaking out and I was like oh whatever...until our Ward Mission Leader called us to tell us that we needed to get inside immediately, 3 were in the area, and one already touched down....so then I actually started caring. 18 hit the ground! Crazy status! We were with an investigator when the first sirens were going off and Sister Vogel was on the verge of tears. Our Investigator picked up the Book of Mormon and said "Sister! Look what we have in our hands! Have faith!" best. moment. ever. Of course we went to the Gbogbo's for cover since we live in the upstairs of our duplex.. and we just love that fambam. "No tornado hit my house because of my missionaries." LOVE SISTER GBOGBO.
It was an amazing week and I love it here. Keep being examples to everyone around you and smile smile SMILE.