Monday, January 26, 2015

9' Python ... I Hate Snakes

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was a week of miracles and really hard trials too. It was one of those weeks you feel like you are fighting Satan in hand to hand combat all by yourself; the result, you feel really drained and down. But thankfully we have been given the wonderful gift of Pray to be able to turn to our Father in Heaven and ask for help in getting over the trials and things Satan tries to tell you are true. I am also very grateful for music and Organs in the Chapel that I get to go play, to help me feel uplifted. 

I got asked to speak in Church which was really cool! Earlier in the week I was able to eat lunch with my cousins who live a town over and they asked me if I had to state the one best thing from my mission what would I say. I thought about it and ended coming up with, being asked to speak on Sunday and told I could pick my own topic. So I did the Roll of the Book of Mormon in conversion. I am grateful for how much easier it is for me to give talks after being out for a year. 

Related to the Book of Mormon talk we had a really cool experience with Ben this week. We ended up having a really inspired conversation with him on Wednesday about why he needed to gain a testimony of the Book of Mormon. He remembers things that he hears better then he reads, so he decided to listen to the Book while he was at work. He picked up where he was at in Alma 11 and listened to over 24 hours of the Book of Mormon audio finishing it Friday! It was crazy cool to see how finishing the Book of Mormon helped him grow and gain a new perspective. It was cool how much he retained too. He has been loving being able to cite stories from the Book of Mormon and have discussions with us. He decided he wanted to know the book even better so he started it over again today and will be done listening to it all by Sunday. The Book of Mormon is "So Sick"! ( I don't understand this slang term, from her Mom!) So get yours out and study it today, and everyday! Conversion doesn't happen in one moment, we all have to be converted little bit my little bit every day! 

Love Ya'll!
Sister Blood :)

Lunch with Maria, Blair Loving and Boys

 Me and Arterial, Sister Thompson's 9 ft Bemires Python

Sisters Blood and Deppe with Potato and Tomato
Ben's Bull Pythons
For those who don't know, I am terrified of snakes, the fact I was able to hold pythons is proof you can accomplish just about anything if you put your mind to it. 

Monday, January 19, 2015

Week 53 One Year!

Dear Family and Friends,

Despite my own doubts I have now been a missionary for a year as of Thursday! I can't believe it's actually be a whole year, it feels like an eternity, but at the same time the longer I am out the less time it actually feels like has passed since I was at home. 

This week was awesome! We didn't have a lot of success other then the 11 Less Actives that came to church. We seem to be in a drought of investigators since we now have 1 solid and 1 not so solid investigator. We kept on going with faith and I know that God will bless us as we keep going forward with great faith that Heavenly Father will provide as we are obedient and steadfast! 

I've been reading Jesus the Christ this week. Wow that book is super addictive! Sadly we don't have as much time as I would like to spend reading everyday, but what time I do get builds my faith and knowledge of Christ so much! I know that he is my savior and that he really lived and walked this earth!

Sister Blood!

Elder Shaffer with the hole he carved in his pie. 

Sister Blood and Sister Deppe out Tracting

The perks of your cousin serving in the Mission office, you get notes of encouragement on the back of your packages that have a "lay over" in the mission office.

Monday, January 12, 2015

Lake Shawnee = New Beginnings

Dear Family and Friends,

This week was AWESOME! It was also really long since it felt like two weeks in one with transfers happening. I can't believe it's only been a week since I emailed last. So much happened this week in a very good way! There is so much I am not sure where to start.

Leaving JC was really hard since I love so many of the members there, but it was good. Going down to Wichita was kind of an adventure since we almost lost my bike off the bike rack because of how much the wind was blowing on the way down, plus the added wind pull as the semi passed us going the opposite direction on the little highways almost proved to be to much for my bike. It was CRAZY how cold the wind was while we were out getting the bike re-attached for the last little bit to Wichita, I can't even explain how cold and painful it felt. With the windchill it would have been at least -10 below! On the way back up to Topeka we had to stop twice to fix my bike, then the Spanish Elders were nice and stuck it on their rack which worked much better. It was a really long day of driving, but it was cool to finally get to TopC (Topeka City). 
Lake Shawnee Ward is the 
East and South part of the city. It includes another ghetto which I am excited to see, and an Air Force, Air Field (Forbes Field). Both having super ghetto parts and a military area, in my area are common themes, of all my areas so far. 
Super cool miracle was meeting some recent converts and the investigator who lives with them. Sister Deppe was kind of nervous because they don't usually like new people and they are easy to offend. As we were sitting talking to them I got a really strong impression to share a Jewish Parable a friend who just got back from their mission to Ohio shared with me that Monday. The spirit was crazy strong and it was exactly what they needed to hear because of the trials they are going through. After I finish and testified to them of how important it is to put God first in all things they looked at each other and one said. "Wow I really like her." "Yes, I think we are going to learn a lot from her!" We were totally amazed at how the spirit worked! I love inspiration! I love when people feel inspired to share things with me in emails and then that week I share it with someone and it is exactly what then needed to hear! It's awesome! 
Another crazy moment was going with the Ward Missionary Ben (who is a recent convert of 6 months) to see an investigator Shelbi. A member who lives in the same house as them and is also her Ex-boyfriend was sitting in and was a super "dark cloud" and little devil. I couldn't focus and the spirit was gone because of the contentious spirit he was bringing in. I felt so strongly he needed to leave the room, so we could talk with Shelbi alone. So filled with the spirit I turned and asked him to please leave the room so we could have a lesson with just her. He was pretty offended but he left the room. We said another opening prayer and the spirit returned to the room. Ben had his Jaw on the floor and told me I was a "Bad-A" missionary, and that I had more guts then any other missionary he knows. It was a surreal moment feeling so strongly the need for the guy to leave and feeling the spirit fill me as I told him to leave and he did. The lesson was amazing with Shelbi and really helped her and us to know what she needs and wants as she comes closer to Christ. 
The next day when we saw the Member I asked to leave the room, he told us how he had been offended and upset, but how as he was pondering on it and thinking about it he had personal revelation about how he needed to change and be better. He wasn't upset anymore! It was crazy! Lesson learned this week, NEVER BE AFRAID TO FOLLOW THE SPIRIT, even when your head tells you it's a crazy thing to do!

Love you all! 
Sister Blood
Lake Shawnee Sister! Ya-ya 

Gas Prices below $2

Silly Picture of Sister Blood & Sister Palmer

Sister Deppe & Sister Blood

Monday, January 5, 2015

Endings and New Beginnings

Dear Family and Friends,

I am in shock and kind of sad. I really was hoping I was going to get to stay in Junction City another Transfer but apparently Heavenly Father has other and I am sure better plans for me. I will be moving to Lake Shawnee in the Topeka area with Sister Deppe. I love Junction City SO much, but I just have to have faith that this is what is the best plan. As sister Medina told me earlier, "if you don't move you don't have the opportunity to grow. " I think one of the weirdest parts about moving is that I won't have a military instillation or military ward as part of my area like I have had for the last year, that will be really weird. 

 I feel like I am seeing things completely differently, for the first time in a really long while I am excited to be a missionary and really want to testify to everyone that I can! It's an awesome feeling! I think a lot is due to the fact it is really hitting me how much time I actually have left and I really want to work as hard as I can so I come home with no regrets and feel I worked my hardest and was changed forever! 

So this is the unforgettable hot wheels story that happened last night. I doubt I will ever forget it but I have a really hard time telling it so I stole this part from Sister Palmer's weekly email because I don't think I could actually write it myself...
"Okay, so funny story!! I still bust up laughing when I think about this experience that Sister Blood and I had last night. Okay, so we were at a member's house for dinner and they have this 6 year old that is REALLY friendly and outgoing and a flirt. So this kid had been really flirty and touchy feel-y and their parents were SO embarrassed about it. Then we were just sitting there eating dessert and I look over and all I see is this little boy grab the front of Sister Blood's shirt and drop a toy hot wheels car down her shirt! hahaha. The funny thing was that sister blood had no idea what happened so we were all just laughing (while the parents were also mortified that the kid had done that) and sister blood sat there with the car down her shirt, and then the dad goes "well, I think he lost a car" and that is when sister blood caught on and realized that she was sitting there with a toy car down her shirt. She was so embarrassed (but don't worry, I got her permission to tell this story because it just TOO funny! haha) and then I was just cracking up. I could NOT stop laughing. And I am sure that didn't help matters with this little boy. But still, it was hilarious."
The shirt I was wearing was a draped collar/front so thankfully I was wearing two shirts underneath for modesty and warmth that came all the way up to by neck, but it was still a total invasion of my bubble. I think this may take the cake of my most embarrassing moment. The kid was trying to get me to play hot-wheels with him and he drove the car up my arm down my side the up my arm again and right as I was feeling that my bubble was being popped I hear his parent say "HAZARD NO!" I though they were telling him he was to close, I had no idea what had happened. I looked down and couldn't see the car but it wasn't until the Dad said "I think he lost his car" I looked down again and realized there was something hanging in the big draped front of my shirt. I thought it ended up there because he let go when they said his name. I had no idea he had purposely dropped it there. I guess this is Karma for us telling people us Kansas Missionaries don't have any crazy stories because it's Kansas and not somewhere crazy like Japan or Chicago. 

Something changed, really changed in my heart during the week of Christmas. My Faith which was a seed sprouted and started to really feel the effects of photo synthesis or something to that effect! This is the second time I have really felt the atonement cleans and lift me on my mission. This time I was being cleansed for my own sin and mistakes, the last time was also some of my own mistakes, but it also was a feeling of being able to forgive and move forward from things that had happened to me. The Atonement is for real! And I just want to share it with EVERYONE! We were talking to someone who is moving to Kansas City and we told him to go to the temple and see what it looked like. When he found out I had been inside he said "I bet that was awesome! You probably felt like trowing open a door and saying see all those dirty people who can't come in but I can!" I told him "Actually that is why I do what I do as a missionary, because I want everyone to feel what it is like inside the temple because it is the most amazing thing there is! It really is a bit of Heaven on Earth!" He seemed a bit surprised by my answer but I think it gave him something to ponder on! I want to go to the temple again so bad, but who knows. If not again in Kansas sometime in the way to close future in Utah. Well at least in Topeka I am only an hour or so from the temple instead of 2+! I'm slowly moving closer! 

On a really cool note, Taylor shared with us how she was reading from Alma 32 on faith and how all the verses on faith kept popping out to her like God was telling her "Have a little more Faith in this". It was the answer she was looking for. "And to think this experience happened in my living room, and ordinary day, and extraordinary experience!" Her baptism is a go for this Saturday, sadly I will miss it, but Lake Shawnee is calling! I will never look at our church organs again the same way. I never would have guessed a love of music and the fact we believe strongly in using traditional organs in our worship service would help lead someone to find the truth!

Love you ALL!

Sister Blood :)

 We  found a frozen pond. :) 

We finally found Utah Road WAY out in the boonies 40 miles from JC.