Monday, February 26, 2018

"I am very thankful before God this day that I am yet alive, and am permitted to speak" (November 23, 2017)

The title of this week is "A Series of Unfortunate Events as well as Many Mighty Miracles: The Hermanas Got Run Over by a Reindeer"

This might be a little long, but it's been a crazy week and a half. 

This past Saturday and Sunday we got to translate Stake Conference into Spanish for our members. The only words I can think of to adequately describe it are "baptism by fire."  You have to listen to and comprehend the talk in English, then figuring out how to say it in Spanish in about a half a second, and your brain goes into overdrive. And sometimes the speakers start quoting scriptures or a conference talk and you have to look it up faster than the speed of light, then try to to catch up with them saying it. It really gives you an adrenaline rush though, and it is so exciting. You're rushing to finish the talk up as the person closes, then literally throwing the headset and the person who is going to translate the next speaker. Definitely my new favorite sport. I am so grateful for the aid of the Spirit we had as well, looking back on how much Spanish I spoke 9 months ago, which was none at all, and now seeing how the gift of tongues has so greatly helped me and how Heavenly Father has given me the opportunity to learn this language. 

We have seen so many miracles this week, as we rely on the Spirit in our planning, then seeing God put us right where he needs us. Last week we were driving through a trailer park to see an investigator we had planned to see, and we saw a less-active member outside hanging up Christmas lights, so we immediately pulled over and got out to help her, and we were also able to teach a lesson. We also were able to stop by a potential another day, who is usually really hard to meet with, who immediately let us in, and told us that day was the only day she was home at that time because she usually has work, but had gotten sick the day before so wasn't in that day. 

Ok, then yesterday was the most insane day I have experienced on my mission, which is saying a lot, because there have been some crazy moments. 
Yesterday morning we were driving back from an appointment on the freeway, and a huge deer jumps right in front of us from out of no where and crashes into the side of our car. Yes, I will say the deer hit us, because it really did. We're ok. The car isn't, and the deer isn't, but we were just a little shaken up. Time kind of slowed down, and Hermana Hanson didn't slam on the brakes or swerve, but we just hit it, then were able to safely pull over to the side of the road. There was an emergency response vehicle just a few cars behind us who pulled over to help, and we got in contact with the mission office and we were able to safely get the car towed really quickly. Our car is in pretty bad shape, and the whole drivers door is dented in from where the deer hit us. We feel very blessed that we didn't sustain any injuries considering how bad it looks. And we met a lot of really nice people. The Lady at the bodyshop was so sweet, she saw we were so shaken up and offered to go get us coffee to help calm us down. We politely declined and told her we didn't need any coffee. 

There was a joint effort throughout our zone for the rest of the day getting us to everywhere we needed to be, as the other missionaries tag teamed getting us to the appointments we could still get to without ruining their schedules as well. We went to an appointment with a member, who has recently been struggling a lot, and told us yesterday she doesn't believe that our church is true anymore, and doesn't ever want to go back, because of doubts and the ways others of treated her. This was about 2 hours after the accident, and we were still visibly shaken, and I was praying with all of my might that we would be able to help her. We just listened to her, and Hermana Hanson and I listened to the Spirit, and we were lead us to the exact scriptures and stories and words we needed to share with her, things I never would have thought of on my own, that I know the spirit put there. She was so grateful we had come, and she told us she felt so much peace. One thing we talked about was in Matthew 11:28-30, how the gospel doesn't make our life easier because it takes away our trials, but it makes them easier to bear because we have the Savior. I learned something really important in that lesson. God uses his imperfect servants to bring about miracles. We may be a little bruised and broken, physically (in this specific case) or spiritually, but when we rely on Him, and have desires to serve, He can use us to bring about His divine purposes and work many mighty miracles. 

As we left that appointment, we were calling everyone, our members, the other missionaries, and no one was answering, so we felt like we should just start walking to our next appointment, about 6 miles away, and trust that God would get us there somehow. We had gone about ten minutes, and we were walking up towards an intersection, and see a car with a bike rack pull up. That is the universal sign of a  missionary car, and we see that it was the Apple Valley Sisters! We start waving our hands frantically and literally sprinting to their car, and they gladly let us in were able to get us a little closer to where we were going. We don't have a car now, and won't for at least a few days, but I know that we don't need worry, because I know that God will continue to provide for us. 

A few more funnies from the week:
We got mailed the wrong vehicle registration, so the mission office made us drive to St. Paul last week to deliver it to the correct missionaries. 
We were talking to one of the deacons from our branch about missionary work at dinner last week. He didn't know that missionaries couldn't fly home whenever they wanted to see their families, and he got very upset and told us he didn't want to go on a mission anymore...he's still got a few years to decide. 
We were visiting with one of our members who lives in a nursing home, and when we told her we wouldn't have sacrament meeting because of Stake Conference, without missing a beat she shouted, in Spanish, "The Devil! He's trying to get me!" No one appreciates sacrament meeting quite like Hna Leonor.

Hermana Hanson and I found this scripture during studies this morning and we thought it was very applicable:
"O king, I am very thankful before God this day that Iam yet alive, and am permitted to speak; and I will endeavor to speak with boldness" Mosiah 7:12

I am so very thankful for so many things. One of them definitely being that we survived the Deer Attack of 2017. I am also so thankful that I get to be a missionary, that I get to open my mouth and share the gospel with the world by the power of the Spirit. I am thankful for my family, I am thankful for my Savior, I am thankful for temples, I am thankful for the Book of Mormon and ice cream, and peanut butter, and snow, and wool socks, and classical music, and all of the little things that make life just oh so wonderful. 

Happy Thanksgiving!! 

Hermana Meredith 

1. Sad day :(

2. Translating!
3. The Lakeville Zone is really excited for the #LighttheWorld Campaign!!

4. Carlos is just the cutest little baby 

5. Service at the Bishop's Storehouse

"Because of the gift of his calling unto me" (November 13, 2017)

Dear Family and Friends,

This has been a GREAT week! There have been so many crazy, random things happening, and so many miracles, and so many laughs, I can't believe what a joy it has been. So sorry this email is going to be all over the place with the stories. Hope you enjoy!

So that awesome new referral app I told you about last week, on LDS tools, where you can refer your friends anywhere in the world, IT WORKS!! Last Monday, one of our members, Hna Osiris, called us and told us she had a friend in Mexico who wants to go to church, but doesn't know anyone, so Hna Osiris wanted to know how she could send her friends information to the missionaries. We told her about the app, then on Wednesday night, we saw her at the church, we were able to download LDS tools and get the referral sent, just with her friends phone number and the general area of where she lived. We still weren't sure exactly if the system was running yet or how the missionaries would get it. But on Thursday morning Osiris texted us and told us the missionaries had already contacted her friend, that they had an appointment for that night, and that her friend would be able to go to church with them on Sunday! It was so exciting! Technology is so amazing, and it's so cool that we all can be involved in missionary work all over the world. 

We were at the church on Wednesday for a family history class, that we're helping one of the members in our ward teach. This was only the second week, but a bunch more people came, and everyone was able to find a family name! A lot of members weren't doing family history because they just didn't know how to get started, but now they have and they are so excited. On Saturday we got to go to the temple and do a session with them, and take our own family names as well. On Wednesday night we were running around like crazy, trying to help everyone, and we needed to grab something from the chapel, so as we hastened, not ran, out the chapel doors, we nearly ran right into President Barney, our mission president. He was at the building for a meeting with our Stake President. We must have looked awfully disheveled in the rush we were in. So that's the story of how we literally ran into our mission president this week. 

This week we were out doing visits with our Branch President. We had stopped by a couple of families who weren't home. And as we were going to stop by this less active family, it was a little late, so we were afraid the kids might be asleep. We were able to get into the apartment building, and we decided we might as well give it a shot, but when we got to their door it was dark and when we knocked no one answered. On our way down as we were walking back to our car, a van pulls into the parking lot, and a little girl leans out the window and shouts "MISIONERAS!!!!" And they pulled over and she jumped out of the car to come give us a big hug. The family we had stopped by to see, was just getting home, and we were able to catch them at exactly the right time as they got home and share a message with them. God's timing is perfect.

This week we were visiting with a member, Hno Leo. We asked him if he had seen the movie Nacho Libre, and it turns out he loves that movie, and he was telling us about his favorite scene and he started CRYING he was laughing so hard. Usually we can barely get a chuckle out of him and it was so hilarious we were also crying, so that's the story of how we cried about Nacho Libre this week.

I've been in this branch for 5 months now, and for approximately 98% of those sundays, every week in relief society we sing the same two songs, Jesus es mi luz (The Lord is my Light) and Cuenta tus bendiciones (Count your Blessings) Every. Single. Week. I don't think they do it on purpose though, every Sunday we're there they ask "What hymn do we want to sing" And someone will say "Oh I really like The Lord is My Light" and everyone says "Oh I love that song!" And we end up singing those same two songs. And it's even more funny because no on in our branch sings in the same key. We'll all start in one key, then by the second measure we have split into two different keys, and it keeps getting more dissonant as the song goes on. But they love those songs, and these Hermanas love the church, and they love to sing, so it is beautiful. 

There is a newlywed couple in our branch who we eat with almost every week, just celebrated their 4 month anniversary, and when we were eating with them Hermana Hanson and I realized we have been companions almost as long as they have been married, only 22 days short. Haha, and we're still going strong #eternal 

George has been looking for a job the past few weeks, because he has been getting hired out for landscaping, but as the weather keeps getting colder, there will be less and less opportunities. We have been praying that he will be able to figure out his job situation, and have his life a little more settled so he can focus more on the gospel. On Tuesday morning we texted him to ask how he was doing, and he video called us back, in the car with one of the Hermanos in our ward! Hno Jose had met him at church a couple of times, and just felt like he needed to text George and see how he was doing, and George told him he was looking for a job, and Hno Jose was able to offer him a job at his work starting that day. It was the craziest miracle! God oftens answers our prayers through other people. 

Last night we were stopping by a less active to share a message with the relief society president. They both talk a lot. And I mean A LOT. So it was hard for us to get a message in. But we were able to share Mosiah 2:17 with her. We had felt inspired to share that scripture because we thought she needed a message about service, but she ended up getting something totally different out of it when we read it, but she said it was exactly what she needed right then to help her overcome some of the struggles in her life. Thanks Spirit for the inspired planning. 

Missionary work is so incredible. It's amazing what the Lord is able to accomplish with young adults as his messengers. Yesterday in our Sunday School class we had a class about missionary work. At the beginning our teacher asked everyone to raise their hands who was born in the church. Only Hermana Hanson and I raised our hands. Then she asked everyone to raise their hands who was a convert. Every single member raised their hands. And they were all brought here by missionaries. Missionaries who probably didn't know what an impact their service would have on this person's life. Families who have been brought into the gospel, and generations that have been affected now because someone was willing to open their mouth. Because a missionary knocked on their door, because a friend introduced them, because they came to a church activity. It was so amazing. Sometimes it's hard to see results, because we are here for such short time, and people's conversion processes take so much longer than the short time you spend in an area. But so many people are brought into the gospel. I feel so privileged to work with this amazing group of Saints, who found the truth and have stuck with it. There is no way this work is being done by 18 and 19 year olds alone. 
"And now I, Mormon, speak unto you, my beloved brethren; and it is by the grace of God the Father, and our Lord Jesus Christ, and his holy will, because of the gift of his calling unto me, that I am permitted to speak unto you at this time." Mormon 7:2. Truly, what a blessing it is to be here. I am officially over 9 months into this amazing journey, and I can't wait to see what the next 9 have in store. 

Have a fantastic week!

Hermana Meredith 

1. Happy 9 months!

2. Skyping with George and Hna Carlotta

3. Family History! Everyone holding up the names they found to take to the temple.
4. Temple trip!
5. Yes, we did sing the "apples and bananas" song in English class

6. The view from outside our chapel. Minnesota is beautiful. And go read the Book of Mormon!!

"Bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." (November 6, 2017)

This has been quite the week. 

First off, when I first got my call to Minnesota, everyone told me how cold it was gonna be, and I thought it was just a stereotype. But no friends, it's good. It's so cold. And it's not even winter yet. We're looking forward to bundling up and sharing the gospel the next few months! 

We had an amazing mission conference week, with Elder Michael T. Ringwood from the seventy. It was an incredible day of spiritual enlightenment. We were reading a lot in the scriptures, and talking about missionary work, and about how we accept what the Lord says he "shall command us" before we receive the commandment, and promising to be obedient for the sake of being obedient. Then later in the day we were talking about the Brother of Jared, and how missionaries plan, and he tied it all back in to that idea of obeying what the Lord shall command us to do this wonderful package of spiritual goodness and inspiration with a great big bow on top. I wish you all could have been there, because it was amazing. 

We had an amazing experience with George this week. We had a lesson scheduled with him, and when we got there the power was out. Our zone leaders were there with us too, and he told us he hasdn't read in the Book of Mormon at all this past week, and about all the distractions he has been feeling. We talked about how the Book of Mormon gives us the answer to how to overcome temptation and recognize the distractions that the devil tries to throw at us. He went to grab his Book of Mormon, and sat down with us again, and I kid you not, no sooner had he opened the Book of Mormon to start reading the power and the lights came on. If that is not a Book of light, I don't know what it is. There was also a powerful moment in the lesson when he told us, holding the Book of Mormon in his hands "I know it's true, I know this is the word of God. The way I feel when I read it, I can't deny that." All we can do is read it, and feel it, and know for ourselves that this is the truth. Those moments make everything worth it. All the praying, and planning, and teaching, and rejection facing, to hear someone say "I read it, and I know it's true." It's truly incredible. 

We're really focusing on sharing the Book of Mormon right now, we have specific goals as a zone and as companionships to better use the Book of Mormon in our teaching this month, and it has been so cool, and made tracting and contacting and finding new investigators so much more exciting because of this amazing message that we bring, and to try to share the Book of Mormon with everyone. 

One of the new people we met this week, Cristian, is a referral from her sister in Mexico, who is a member. Have you all seen the new referral app on LDS tools, because it is amazing. Go refer all your friends to the missionaries! I feel like we have gained a lot of insight this week about why people are so nervous about giving referrals and don't want to hurt friendships or risk offending anyone. If the least you can do is tell the missionaries where your friends live, that's a  start. Even if you don't want them to use you name, we have a fraction more of a chance of sharing a message, because they know someone, to have a friend who is LDS, because then when we knock on someone's door, they already have even the slightest connection to the church to begin with which can make a shockingly large difference. Even better if you let the missionaries use your name, or introduce your friends to the missionaries in person, but we all need to start somewhere and every little effort is what makes the difference. 

Quote of the week
Me: "Yeah, the Astros won the world series"
Sister Grover: "Honestly, don't know anything about football" 😂😂

I have been thinking a lot about two groups of people this week, the sons of Lehi, and the sons of Mosiah. With the former, Laman and Lemuel especially, because I just can't figure them out. Receiving sign after sign, witness after witness, and miracle after miracle that bring them to remembrance of the Lord, then 3 verses later they forget all over again. It is so frustrating. How can they not look back to just moments ago when they REMEMBERED. And I know this is a lot how the Lord feels about us sometimes, because it is so frightenly easy to forget. I had a moment like this this past week. We had been trying to see so many people, and diligently follow our plans and the spirit, and nothing was happening, and I was getting so frustrated, and angry that we were not being guided and felt completely and utterly forsaken. Reflecting on this moment, a scripture came to mind, which is where the sons of Mosiah come in. "27 Now when our hearts were depressed, and we were about to turn back, behold, the Lord comforted us, and said: Go amongst thy brethren, the Lamanites, and bear with patience thine afflictions, and I will give unto you success." Those moments, of completely and utter despair, as we bear them, are always followed by success. Always. Maybe not success as we may see it, or as the world may see it, but as we bear those trials and bear those moments, the Lord has promised that he will deliver us as he needs to. Thinking on the ministry and work of the sons of Mosiah, none of the trials I have gone through on my mission can begin to compare to them. That does not mean that things haven't been and won't continue to be difficult at times, but this promise goes for all the Lord's servants. I know the frustration I sometimes feel reading about Laman and Lemuel, is the same behavior I manifest at time, and I am so grateful that the Lord lives perfectly by the command "Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you" because I know as many times as I may have forgotten, he is infinitely patient in helping and waiting until we remember again. I'm not sure if that makes any sense, but that's what I have been thinking about this week.

Love you all! Have a great week! 

Happy Mission Conference! And mission president approved special visitor ❤❤

Hermana Meredith

Tuesday, October 31, 2017

"Messengers of Light" (October 30, 2017)

Ok, first off, that awkward moment when you're in a lesson and your investigator tells your member present that their favorite part about our church is how we don't pay tithing...we will be getting to that very soon.

We had a combined ward/branch Halloween party (trunk or treat) on Saturday morning. We invited a bunch of investigators, and were just praying we would have members there, because sometimes people don't come to activities in the morning. It turns out when you have free breakfast and free candy, you also have the kids on your side pushing their parents to come. We had a bunch of members and less active families show up, as well as a few investigators! We even had a member family bring a whole non-member family whom we didn't know about before. Everyone felt very welcomed and it was a nice environment to introduce people to the members in a casual way and help them to see how normal the church really is. We also had the best Halloween costumes (see pictures)

IT SNOWED!! My first Minnesota snow and first snow of the year. I can't believe how cold it is already here (it has the stereotype for a reason I guess), and we're bundling up. I've also been really sick with this cold that's been going around, so it really is starting to feel like winter is coming. It's been hard, not feeling very productive because there's not a whole lot you can do when you can't leave the house besides trying to contact by phone or messenger to set up appointments, but we have seen blessings, and been able to have video call appointments and still fulfill our purpose even if my physical health hasn't been up to par. 

So we have been having trouble meeting with our recent convert, Jesus, recently. We had an appointment with him for Friday, but I was really sick then too. So Hna Hanson went on splits with a returned sister from the English Ward who speaks Spanish, and I went to the Sister Training Leaders Apartment to have them as my companions and take a nap. We thought it was going to be lesson with Jesus to talk about the Aaronic Priesthood to prepare him to receive it. But plot twist, after we met up with them again, Hermana Hanson and the other sister were dying laughing, because in the lesson, the Elders Quorum president had come too, and apparently Jesus had already received the Aaronic Priesthood, and no one had told us about it. Then, plot twist again, yesterday we asked our Branch President about it, and it turns out, no, he actually doesn't have the Aaronic priesthood. Haha, we're going to work on having better communication with our branch priesthood leaders now. 

Yesterday in Sunday School, we had a lesson about family history work, so during personal study I was reading in D&C 138. I really loved verse 30
"But behold, from among the righteous, the organized his forces and appointed messengers, clothed with power and authority, and commissioned them to go forth and carry the light of the gospel to them that were in darkness, even to all the spirits of men and thus was the gospel preached to the dead." 
This section is talking about the work done in preaching the gospel in the spirit world, but I thought it was so cool how it applies to missionary work right now! We are messengers of LIGHT! Members and missionaries alike. Under the authority of the restored priesthood the power and authority of God on the earth, we take the message of light to those who feel their lives are being lived in darkness. Christ commissioned his disciples on earth to share the gospel just as he did in Heaven. I love the metaphor comparing the gospel to light, because that is truly what it is. Missionary work is so hard, but it is so worth it, because the gospel makes life better. Simple as that. It brings a light into our lives that can only be found through Christ. 

Have a good week! And a safe and happy Halloween!

Nature Walk

Hearts Up

"You can be glad!" (October 23, 2017)

Proud to serve 

Wow what a week. It has been really good and really busy. Full of miracles as well as disappointments. 

So it's been hard. One of our really solid investigators, who was coming to church, and progressing towards a baptismal date, told her pastor that she was going to get baptized in our church, and he led her some anti-information, and she has completely turned around and changed her mind. She still wants us to come visit, but wants solid answers, which we really don't have. It was really sad, and really hard. But it ended up being a good experience, because it helped me realize how much my testimony of the Book of Mormon and the Restoration have grown in my time serving as a missionary.

It has been really cool to see how much George has changed. He really seems like a different person now, and reading in the Book of Mormon and coming to church has made him so much happier and it's been amazing to see that the gospel really does change people's lives for the better. And amid everything else, that's why we're here. To spread joy. 

So cool story, we got mailed our new car registration this week, and we were staying in two members houses at once, long story, and amid moving and the craziness I managed to misplace the envelope. I was really freaked out, and we were looking everywhere. I was praying, and asking for help to find it, and immediately I had a thought come to my mind that it was in my Spanish book. I went upstairs, opened my book, and there it was. It was incredible, and the Holy Ghost can do all things. And it was a really little thing, but we knew it was an answer to our prayers. 

On Wednesday, it was a really, really long day. We had a bunch of appointments fall through, and we were out knocking at 8:15.3 people in a row got mad at us, saying it was much too late to be outside trying to talk to people, and I was so ready to give up, and I said "Ok Heavenly Father, one more door" So we did, it was a woman we had met a few weeks ago, and had told us she was too busy and to come back later. We knocked, and she came to the door, and we said hi, and started to talk to her, and she said "Come in!" And was really excited to see us and that we had come back, and we shared the restoration with her and she committed to read the Book of Mormon, and it was a great lesson. And I am very glad that we kept going, even when it was difficult. 

Fun fact, there is a ladybug problem happening in Minnesota. Well they look like ladybugs, but they're actually Japanese beetles or something. And they're everywhere. In our car. In everyone's houses. Everywhere. 

I am so so grateful for the opportunity to be a missionary here in the beautiful land of Minnesota. We went on a nature walk this morning and watched the sunrise across a lake, and I am so grateful for this beautiful world that we live in. Yesterday in Relief Society, we talked a lot about President Uchtdorf's talk from Women's conference, and I really liked something we read:

"There may be many things about life that are beyond your control. But in the end, you have the power to choose both your destination and many of your experiences along the way. It is not so much your abilities but your choices that make the difference in life. You cannot allow circumstances to make you sad. You cannot allow them to make you mad. You can rejoice that you are a daughter of God. You can find joy and happiness in the grace of God and in the love of Jesus Christ. You can be glad."

 There is so much in our life that we can't control, and I feel like especially as a missionary, it's really easy for me to fall into a trap that how I feel depends on the actions of those we are teaching and working with. But I have learned a lot about not letting disappointment get the best of you, and being happy when there is and when there isn't success. Through Christ and his gospel, we can choose joy and gladness. What a wonderful world we live in. 

Thank you for all the love and support! 
Have a lovely week:)

Minnesota penguins-preparing for the cold Minnesota winter

When you find out the dream team is gonna be together for one more transfer!

Raking those leaves before the snow comes this weekend. 

Zone service at Prince of Peace

THIS. Time lapse of the sunrise this morning over Crystal Lake. Minnesota is beautiful. 

Tuesday, October 17, 2017

"Read the Book of Mormon!" (October 16, 2017)

This has been the most INCREDIBLE week. I am so grateful to be a missionary. 
First off, amazing transfer news, HERMANA HANSON AND I ARE BOTH STAYING IN LAKEVILLE!!!!!! We are so excited, this will be our third transfer together, so we're going eternal. She is my first companion that I've had for more than one transfer, but we are having such a good time here in Lakeville we were freaking out when we got the news. Yesterday in Sacrament Meeting our branch president announced I was leaving, so I already said goodbye to everyone, haha. But I am so happy to be staying. I have really fallen in love with so many of the people here, and I was not ready to say goodbye yet. We are also seeing so many miracles and so much progression, we are so happy about all the things that going on. 

OH MY! FRIENDS. GUESS WHAT?! George came to church!! This has been twelve weeks in the making. I can't remember how much I've told you about all this, but George has come on a long path. So rewind, we have been having a hard time because no one is coming to church. We are teaching a lot of solid people right now, but everyone seems to have work on Sundays and can't make it. This week we felt inspired to start praying that we would find someone this week who wouldn't have work on Sunday who could come to church with us this week. George has not been keeping any commitments, and we haven't been visiting him very frequently to kind of give him a break and let him evaluate what he really wanted. On Friday we felt prompted to go visit him though. We sang "A Child's Prayer" for him, and read from the Book of Mormon. And he told us "There's something I need to tell you, I've been afraid to come to church" And he opened up to us about some of his concerns. It was so great, because we have been trying to figure out what has been stopping him from coming, and we were able to help him overcome some misconceptions, and help him understand why church is so important. On Saturday morning, we brought Hno Rey and Hno Rosalina with us, because they were going to give him a ride on Sunday. And we visited Geroge, and he told them "I've decided I'm going to church on Sunday" And he met the members. 

THEN YESTERDAY HE CAME TO CHURCH. And he stayed for all three hours. Plus a baptism we had afterwards, and the food we had. He got along well with all the members. We didn't even have to introduce him, all of our members were so friendly. His mom is a member who used to come to our branch, she can't come to church because of health problems, but he was so touched that everyone remembered her and loved her so much. He was crying through all of sacrament meeting. After everything when we asked him how he liked it and how he felt he said "I should have come a long time ago" And he can't wait to come back! The whole thing truly was a miracle from start to finish. 

Manuel got baptized yesterday! He turned 8 on wednesday, so it wasn't a convert baptism, but for some reason we planned everything for it. But it went really well. Manuel is the cutest, and when we visited them earlier in the week, he was so excited and just a little nervous to be getting baptized. He had asked his older brother, Diego, to give a talk. Diego just turned twelve, and he said no at first, but he realized how important it was to Manuel and that he was the example and priesthood holder in their family, and he gave a talk about baptism, and it was incredible. He bore his testimony about his baptism, and how he has come to understand it better over the past 4 years. There was a beautiful spirit there and they are an incredible family. 

We have just seen so many miracles. We were trying to visit a less-active and his wife we have been having such a hard time getting into see because their apartment is a lock-out and we don't have their phone number, and the call box isn't connected to their actual phone number. So it's basically impossible to get in. We felt really strongly that we should stop by, and we went and there was no one coming in or out, but we said a prayer sign for help to get in. And after 5 minutes, the wife herself came to the door because she was just getting home. It was crazy, and just another testament that God is always watching out for us. Wow, I love being a missionary and sharing the gospel so much. Yesterday we were talking to Manuel after his baptism, and he asked "Is it fun to go knock on doors? I think it sounds fun!" And I told him "It is SO fun, because you get to meet and talk to so many amazing people each and every day." And it's really true. Sometimes people can be rude, and often times aren't interested in our message, but it's still so amazing to just talk to people every day and that is our only job right now. 

This week I have gained a new appreciation for the Book of Mormon. I finished reading the New Testament this week, and I am so grateful for the knowledge and clarity that we gain through the Book of Mormon and revelation through modern-day prophets. There really are so many things we can't begin to understand about Christ and his gospel without those precious truths that have been restored. I invite all of you to take some time this week to read in it! 

Thank you for all the love and support!

Following prophetic counsel, READ THE BOOK OF MORMON

 So you know those turkeys I was talking about?
They're just roaming everywhere? We got pictures

Getting ready to go find the elect!

Manuel's baptism! Isn't he just the cutest??

We got to play at Mission President's Fireside last night!
Elder Holmes and Sister Benson sang and I accompanied them.
It's this mission-wide event we have every month
where converts share their testimonies and their conversion stories,
 and we invite investigators and less-actives and members, and it's really cool :)

"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind" (October 9, 2017)

The sweet Cambodian man we found,
with the picture of
Quorum of the Twelve in the background.
We had an INSANE miracle on exchanges this week. I got to stay and take over Spanish land with Sister Grover, so we had a party and half. We were tracting in a trailer park, and I was telling Sister Grover some of the things that a trailer or house might have that might mean a Hispanic family lived there, Christmas lights, frog statues, dish 500, lots of different things. She pointed to this trailer that had Christmas lights, so we went to go knock, and noticed as we got closer that there was an Asian type of statue on the front porch. We decided to go with our gut anyway and knocked. A sweet little Cambodian came to the door. We started talking to him, and he could barely understand our English. We asked if we could give him a Book of Mormon, and he said he couldn't read English. We have him our card, and he put his glasses on to read it. He excitedly pointed at the church logo on the card and said "This is my church!!" At first we thought he just saw the name Jesus Christ. He pointed at something on the wall inside of his house and told us to come look. We were expecting a picture of Jesus or something, but we were shocked and so surprised to see a picture of the QUORUM OF THE TWELVE APOSTLES HANGING ON HIS WALL. We started talking to him and he was running all over his house grabbing his church stuff, a Book of Mormon, all the pamphlets, a hymn book, "preparing to enter the holy temple" and he was so excited that the missionaries had come. We were barely able to communicate with him, but we were able to sing a song with him, and say a prayer, as well as get his contact information to put him in contact with the missionaries again. We think he used to attend church here when there were Cambodian missionaries, and after they closed, he got lost, and didn't know that there was a church still right by his house. It was INCREDIBLE how God let us to Him, and how he takes care of his lost sheep. 

On Thursday night we went to visit a member family, with another members, Hna Rosalina. At 8:40 we were getting back in our car to drive her back home because we has given her a ride, and we got about halfway down the street when the engine stopped working. A little backstory, our car is way to smart for us, and it has a remote control and we honestly have no idea how to use it. So the lights were coming on, and said the engine was running but it wasn't, and it wouldn't let us turn it off, and when we tried to move the break wouldn't work, and we had no idea what was going on. We called the vehicle coordinator, and he told us to call our Zone leaders to come get us and move our car to the side of the road until the morning when we could get it fixed. After we hung up with him, we decided "ok, we need to say a prayer" Hna Rosalina agreed, and we all said a sincere, maybe just a little frantic prayer, asking for help to get our car to start. We had a really busy day the next day, a lot of people we needed to visit all over the area, and we really needed our car to make it all happen. The zone leaders showed up after about 10 minutes, laughing their heads off at us, because it seemed like we actually broke the car. But we continued to fidget around for a minute, a combination of pressing the button to start the car and moving the break and using the remote control key got the engine going again. We think the problem just was the car stopped recognizing the key and had a meltdown or something. Even though it was simple it was really cool that our prayer was answered. BUT WAIT THERE'S MORE. The coolest part of this story is that yesterday in fast and testimony meeting, Hna Rosalina got up and told the branch how she was out doing visits with the missionaries, and for some reason the car stopped working. She shared how she thought we should say a prayer, and was so grateful that we immediately suggested we offer one to seek the help of the Lord, and bore beautiful testimony of how we should seek the Lord's help in all aspects of our lives, even when it's as something as material as a car. It reminded me of Elder D. Todd Christofferson's talk in conference, that we should make all things holy unto the Lord. And several members followed, bearing testimony about the incredible power of prayer. The Lord really does have a purpose in all things. 

Our Area Book, where we write all our information about our lessons and investigators is on our tablets. This week we got a completely new area book app, and we have no idea how to use it, so it's gonna take us a while. First they give us Facebook, then change our Area Book, so we basically have no idea how to use our tablets. 

UPDATE, we are now officially invited to that branch council we discovered existed only two weeks ago. We got to go yesterday, it was the first time in my mission I've gotten to go to one, and it was so nice. And it was really cool to see how smoothly the organization of the church flows. 

2 Timothy 1:7 "For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind." As we turn everything to our Heavenly Father, he can replace all of our fears and worries with peace and with love. 

Hermana Meredith

1,2. Diana's Birthday Party! We stopped by for dinner, and played a round of pin the nose on the clown. Needless to say, I completely failed.
3,4. Exchanges with the Crystal Lake Sisters!