Tuesday, November 19, 2013

Last Day as a Teenager

November 18, 2013
Howdy! I'm 20 tomorrow? Can you say mid-life mid-life crisis? Best mom in the entire world! Oh and I might have burst into tears when I saw the Dimples cupcakes....and THANK YOU SO MUCH SISTER WOODFIELD FOR THE CUPCAKE TOPPERS! Goodness Marie thank you so much to everyone!

Confession session: I love S. Dumont oh so much. Like we bought bff necklaces...but they're sister ones...that say "sisters forever." Funny thing, I cry like once a day now. Mother and Aubree, y'all did this to me. Mostly it's because S Dumont and I break down crying telling each other how much we love each other. Elder Tatafu gave us this amazing mix cd and told us that "When She Loved Me" from Toy Story 2 is our song. Stop and go listen to it now! Think of it in a sister missionary kind of way. We listen to it each night on the way home. Another confession: We love the church movie Together Forever. I cry every time I watch it...which is at least once a day basically. Funny story--we were going to teach someone about the Plan of Salvation and saw the movie in our shelf and thought we should watch it to see if it would work with our lesson...which lead to an hour of watching and bawling our eyes out. We really bonded though and talked about our families and experiences...oh and how much we love each other. She's truly my best friend.
Sureee I'll confess some more. Zone Training ride home--both bawled our eyes out. I had a role play with S. Shrader about why I came out on a mission and why I'm still here and she helped me realize that Satan has been getting into my head. Like I always think I'm a terrible teacher and I can't get through to anyone and Satan has been beating me up pretty darn bad. We did another role play and I broke down again. I've been feeling soooo inadequate. I later committed to S Shrader that I would look myself in the mirror and tell myself what I'm good at and then pray to Heavenly Father to feel the love that He has for me. I was really scared to do that because I didn't want to be disappointed if He didn't answer me. He still hasn't yet but I have the faith that He will in His own time. He hold the perfect timing for everything. I did receive in my prayer that as I love others more, I'll feel His love for me. I'm constantly praying during lessons to see other's potential and to love them. I'm working on it. S Dumont said I need to figure out how Heavenly Father speaks to ME. I got a blessing last night too. I know everything will be okay.
Oh so I'm living the state side mish lyfe and do nails with investigators. That was fun. Way better than walking through some jungles. Oh and (Hanson Blake, I'm all capsing for you) PRESIDENT WESTON GAVE S DUMONT AND I A S/O IN THE LEADERSHIP CONFERENCE CALL AND TOLD EVERYONE WE'RE DOING AMAZING. So I guess we're doing something right..
One of our investigators prayed like this, "Hey you, it's me, Melissa. Thanks for letting the sister missionaries come chill with me..." I was smiling the whole time.
We went to the Trail Center with GJet and her 2 kids. Between Together Forever and the family movie at the Trail Center, I've been thinking about y'all and how much I love my family! I love this gospel and the knowledge that we have that we can truly be together forever after this life. I'm so grateful that y'all, mother dearest and daddy, we're married in the temple and sealed. The mission has helped me see that family really is everything and I wouldn't give that up for the world.

Sister Case

Monday, November 18, 2013

Still Kickin'

November 11, 2013
Howdy fambam! OH MY HEART HOW WAS THE STATE MEET?! I was praying for you Mandomo! Today I am wearing purple BECAUSE IT IS S. DUMONT'S 1/2 BIRTHDAY SO NATURALLY I HAVE TO WEAR HER FAV COLOR. Oh and it's 30 degrees and currently feels like 15 so the fact that I'm alive right now is a big hollerz to me.
Yes I walk around like this, people judge, it's fine.  At least I have a sheep on my head.
 Elder Petty is home now?! Snaps to him! Mom, the lady who texted you is Kari Spicer and she is my bestie. She's 27, married to her lover, seved her mission in Boston, violin beast...basically perfect. and omh she found out my birthday is next week (eeeeekkkk!) and is having us over to celebrate! How tender is she? Lolz we went over yesterday for S. Dumont's almost 1/2 bday and 4 month mission bday and it was a ball. She's a sorority girl who loves owls and birthdays so naturally we're besties for the (s/o to bevan blake) resties.
Randoms of the week:
1. The new way to say you're tired is: "I'm feelin' jiggity!" Or at least that's what a 3 yr old told me
2. Once upon a time there was this thing called transfers and I was called to serve in Comubus with my oh so special companion S. Dumont. On transfer day, we switched cars with some elders and went on our merry way to cute Columbus. Well I had to write the license plate # down for something and GUESS. WHAT. IT. WAS. My car's license is THP. Like how in the world does that happen?! And we got this car when I got here! Out of alllll the letters those 3 just happened to be put together. AND THEY'RE IN GREEN. Initials and favorite color all in one...rage. Heavenly Father thinks he is soooooo funny....
3.Apparently everyone in Sioux City always asks, "Where's Sister Y'all?" Too tender or what?
3. I got a letter from one of the young women in Sioux City and it melted my heart! And Sister Gbogbo gave some of her special banana bread  to Sister Vogel  to give to me.  I LOVE MY SIOUX CITY PEEPS.
4. Some random person asked if S Dumont and I were best friends? um DUH. Glad people notice our love fest for each other.
4.The members we live with just got some serious bronchitis...so..um....help.
Okay don't freak out. (That's never a good way to start anything....) This past Friday was interesting...? Like I now feel like an official missionary because I had near death experience! Mom, calm down. We were going to an apt with our investigators--lets call them Jennifer and James--and we were supposed to have dinner and teach them the Plan of Salvation with our cute pirate stuff and we called and reminded them Thursday night. We get there and James answers the door..."Is Jennifer here?" "Ya she's upstairs." *hesitant for a moment* "Well come on in and sit down!" (James got super offended last time when we said we couldn't go in because Jen wasn't home and we felt like we shouldn't upset him..) We started talking to James and he's just not being  himself and we thought Jen was going to come down any second. They love us! They call us their kids. He goes "you never talk about your Ma or Pa." So we started pulling out books and telling stories...and then he tells us he's drunk. Alone with a drunk man...greattttt. Then we hear this knock at the door but no one is there. "Come on in Mary!" Oh ps--Mary is Jens dead sister....and later we heard a knock at the door again and James goes "By Mary!" So um drunk people talk to ghosts? Either way you can cue the twilight zone music. We needed to leave but the spirit was telling us to remain calm and not make any sudden movements. He shows us a slide picture of his little sister so we go up to the lamp and look at it. He starts telling us how his sister's husband was murdered a few weeks ago and he's super upset about it. On the way back to the couch I notice this HUGE pocket knife near my foot. like HUGE. James didn't do anything but he told us some stuff and then AGGRESSIVELY PICKS UP THE GUN ON THE COFFEE TABLE AND COCKS IT....SO NOW WE ARE WITH A DRUNK MAN WITH A KNIFE AND A LOADED GUN...and he throws it back on the table. Okay now I'm sweating and my heart is about to pound out of my chest! He keeps talking to us and takes S. Dumont's hand and is just rubbing it and they're just looking at each other and she's telling him that he's a child of God and stuff and I kid you not I had the thought come to me that I would take a bullet for S Dumont because well--that's how intense it was and it felt like he was going to pick up his gun at any moment. Somehow how I muster up the courage and say we have another appt we need to go to and then HE says the prayer and watches us walk to our car. He keeps saying "call your ma and pa and let them know you love them." We get in the car, drive off, and then pull to the side of the street and just bawl for a smidge. I have never said so many prayers than I did during that 40 minute scare fest. I couldn't stop shaking for a solid hour. BUT ALL IS WELL AND WE PROMISE TO NEVER GO THERE EVER AGAIN. Oh is Jen dead?...that thought came to both our of minds...but I was eyeing my pepper spray! EVERYONE SHOULD ALWAYS HAVE PEPPER SPRAY! Anywhooo I love y'all and love every day that I get to breathe and live. So yeehaw to that.

  On a funny note--we got hit on by a 70 yr old man. We're trying our hardest to talk to 10 people a day about the gospel and it's HARD. Yesterday we talked to 5 in an hour which we were super proud of. I always think back to when we had that stake mission prep conference,  when I got home and my advisor said "embrace the awkwardness!" So now I just try and think of that whenever I go up to someone. Anywho--we talk to Adolf this old man who's fishing and we ask if we can leave him a Mormon.org card with our number. He said the only way he would call us is if we wanted to have some fun after midnight...sadly our bedtime is at 10:30 so we had to decline...Sorry A!

I'm almost out of time but I'll tell you all about our investigators next week and they are true gems. Goodness I love em'!
But always been an example and share the gospel with everyone! When trying to talk to 10 people  this week--we met a man who gave us $5 to go buy some hot chocolate. He told us he had Mormon friends growing up that we're great people so he totally respects us missionaries and the work we're doing. He was interested but he respected us and sometimes that's all it takes. So be an example and maybe one day one of your friends might run into some missionaries and who knows! Keep planting seeds everywhere you go!
I loovvvveeeee being a missionary! I lovvveeee Nebraska. I lovvveee this gospel. and I lovvveeee y'all!
Eat a cupcake for me! xoxoxo
Love Always,
Sister Case

All is Well

November 4, 2013
Howdy ho family-o! How are y'all? I got the pictures and fatty letters so thank you so much! I love being updated on life. When does Elder Petty go home? Isn't it like any day now? I'm so happy you're taking care of them. AND OMH MOM I FREAKED WHEN YOU SAID YOU SAW TREVOR. TREVOR JOHNSON I LOVE YOU. AND I JAM TO COME COME YE SAINTS ON THE DAILY TO HEAR YOUR ANGELIC VOICE. Okay...I got it out of my system...Oh and it's NOVEMBER aka the best month of the year aka my birthday month and therefore I just love life.
Random facts (S/o to Bevan Blake) for the week:
-When there is a Husker game, THE WHOLE STATE OF NEBRASKA will be wearing something red or school related. NO joke. I LOVE it. Like stores are completely empty and everyone stops what they're doing. A few weeks ago we were supposed to help this lady move out--because the next day she would be in serious trouble if she wasn't--and she didn't care to do anything until the game was over! And you know how we will sometimes get little flowers on our nails? Ya. NO. People here get N's on their nails. Hahahaha I love love LOVE Nebraska!
-There 22,222 people in Columbus. Like am I meant to be here or am I meant to be here?
-When it's lightening, the whole sky lights up and it's incredible. I could watch it forever and always.
I also love S. Dumont. We're besties for the resties.  I'm 100% myself around her and she's helping me see how to be a better me overall. Like a better version of Carly when it's time to head home. I know I've only been out 2 months and that stuff seems silly to think about, but when I do unfortunately (love ya!) have to come home, I know I'll have a better understanding of how to be Carly and still be a missionary. That probably makes no sense..but hakuana matata I understand it in my noggin.
I'm SO thankful that for my 1st area, Sister V and I had to BOTH start fresh and work together to make relationships in the ward. WE were the 1st sisters in Sioux City 2nd either ever or in a verrrryyyyyyy long time so it was a blast getting to know everyone. It's super hard getting to know people when your companion already knows everyone and people are constantly saying "Where's Sister Gomez?" I don't know I would have handled it being brand new. But I'm slowly gaining realationships with our investigators and the ward and this week i'm  going to try my hardest to love the people and be besties with everyone.
We had zone conference this week! 7 hours of perfection. Something I've been struggling with is having meaningful prayers and President Weston's training was ALL about that. Goodness I just love him. AND OMH I SAW SISTER HARRIS AND WE BOTH BURST INTO TEARS AT OUR REUNION. Why has the Lord blessed me with best friend status companions? I'm SO lucky.

I learned that I need to be more bold! If Heavenly Father puts things into my head, then by golly I need to say them! Steppin up my A+ game this week. I need to #NIKE constantly. I need to trust in the faith that I have and my testimony and go with it. A mission is truly the best thing ever because you're learning and growing and becoming a better YOU!  Like, I AM LIVING MY DREAM RIGHT NOW. I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. This is sooo true--"the things I'm learning on my mission would have taken me a lifetime to learn on my own." In this new book we have--Adjusting to Missionary Life--it says, "You will develop the skills, gifts, and strengths, you need MORE QUICKLY. You will feel His help and grow in confidence in your ability to serve the Lord."
 Stake conference was the bomb and all about members and missionaries. It was out in Lincoln so roaddddtrippppp. We stayed at the sisters house and THE MEMBERS NAME IS BOB CATS. Like serious s/o to his parents. The whole house was covered in cats and I was dying. But just so you know...the mission has helped me see that all I want is 1 teacup kitty. Like this lady in Sioux City had over 30 cats and was taken out of the house because it wasn't safe or sanitary......so um ya. I guess I won't be toooo crazy of a catlady. Just one little kitty to stay in my frocket all the days of my life.
We set 3 people for baptism this week! Ahhhh I'm just so happy for them and the choices that they're making to return to our loving Heavenly Father.
I say love sooo much....but it's true. I love this gospel. I love being a missionary. I love y'all!
xoxoxo forever and always,
Sister Case

Thursday, November 14, 2013

I loovvveee tooooo seeee the temple!

October 28, 2013
Howdddyyy fambam! Mother Dearest, I got your Halloween package and you're the bee's knees. You are  da besssstttt. Oh and the handy dandy cookbook and pepper spray! You're saving my life really. Best mom award goes to you. Obvi. What's this week's scripture? HAPPY LATE BIRTHDAY ZACHARY SIEGRIST AND HAPPY EARLY BIRTHDAY DADDDDYYY!!!! LOVVVVEEE YOUUUU.

So I forgot to tell you this...but the week before transfers I FOUND A QDOBA. Did I cry? It's quite possible. Sister V ate her burrito with a knife and fork...I shall be Christlike and not judge her. BUT OMH MY STEAK QUESO BURRITO WAS PERFECTION. The best tender mercy from Heavenly Father.
This past week my testimony was a little shaky and being a missionary can be hard because you just see all these flaws that continually get slapped in your face and 18 months isn't even going to fix 1/2 of them...but baby steps, setting goals, and the Atonement all helps. I may or may not have had a "minor" breakdown in the car after a lesson. We were watching "Finding Faith in Christ" and I just felt so far away from my older Brother and that's something I'm really going to work on. I want a better relationship with Him. At the MTC one of my teachers told me that I know OF Christ, but I don't KNOW him. *slap* but I needed to hear that. Jesus Christ and I will be besties before I come home!
BEST MOMENT OF MY LYFE. S. Dumont and I couldn't figure out the quote to "Say it...OUTLOUD." And it was KILLING us. So last Monday night in my prayers I jokingly asked Heavenly Father to help me remember where it was from...next thing I know the name of the movie pops into my head! Like whatttttt? It showed me that He was really there listening to me and cares about me and will answer prayers. He is so busy controlling everything yet He still took the time to answer my silly question about a movie. I was in awe! I just blurted out HEAVENLY FATHER YOU'RE THE BEST! Because he truly is! It also made me start wondering about my prayers. He's listening, but is He listening to sincere prayers or random sleepy ones?
"You're not going to get a million dollar answer with a ten-cent prayer."
I want to give the Lord million dollar prayers because He deserves them and He wants to help me, but first I have to be sincere.
My 1st district meeting in Columbus was grand. 3 sets of sisters (one is brand new and one is S. Willis from the MTC) and 3 sets of elders (the 2 in my branch and our zone leaders).  Oh and I love cleaning and organizing now. (It might just be one of those missionary powers mom...don't get too excited) but I love helping and serving others! Plus it's inside service so even bettttteerrrr. I went to a play on Saturday...that was fun. And omh we had dinner with a family and the woman's roommate was from Texas and she hated her and was going crazy on me! It was hilarious...it felt like Uncle Gregory fun. Even her husband was like "I'VE NEVER SEEN THIS SIDE OF YOU BEFORE. TAKE IT EASY."  She's just jealous, that's all.  Oh and Sister. V called yesterday...and I broke down bawling hearing her voice and chatting with her. I guess I'm just in love with her.
We met with the Cerna fambam--members--and I just had to cry at their home. (sheeeesh. this week was emotional or was it emotional. just feelin' the spirit. don't mind me.) The spirit is SO strong there. They are very poor and SO humble and yet they fed us and waited until we were done--like they didn't eat with us--and they think missionaries are perfect and treat us like celebs and share everything even when it's all they have. The wife was so happy to talk to us and tell us her problems and find out we were her Visiting Teaching companion. We went to go teach them and instead they taught us. I want to be as humble and loving as the Cerna family. It was a beautiful experience.
I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. When we were teaching Val I kept praying that as long as I didn't plan out what to say that the Spirit would take the wheel and help guide me. At one point I said, "Even when we feel that our faith is struggling, as long as we continue to endure to the end, then our faith will be reaffirmed." So sometimes ENDURING TO THE END is like the trial of our faith and we will receive answers at the end of the rainbow. Do your best and Heavenly Father will do the rest! It was a great lesson for a bunch of things!
Friday we got to go to the temple!!!!!!! Crying tears of joy 5 times basically. Can I just get married in the Omaha temple? Oh and the Nauvoo one? Oh and Salt Lake? Oh and Manti? Oh and am I getting married?  Ya...forgot about that tiny detail. But it was SO good. (so good, so good.) Being in the celestial room FULL of missionaries is the coolest thing ever. Just a room full of 19-21 yr olds all trying their hardest to be like Christ. It was like a recharge for us to want to work harder so everyone can be where we were at that moment. Prez and Sister Weston talked to me and gave me loves and omh I just LOVE THEM. It made me think of my own Mama and Papa Case and going with y'all!  It was tender. I looked in the mirror for a split second and I immediately felt God's love for me and right then and there knew that I was BEAUTIFUL and I was reaffirmed that I am truly a daughter of God and that He loves me. I just love the temple!
It was a great week and Sister Dumont and I were THE TOP missionaries out of our whole zone! Rachel Berry gold star for us. Goodness I just love it here. Goooooo Huskersssss!
I love y'all sooooo muchhhhh! xoxoxo
Sister Case

I love leaves in Columbus.

Halloween with Sister Dumont.

We switched name tags so for Halloween I went as "Sister Dumont"

Those crazy Sisters at Trunk or Treat