Wednesday, July 4, 2018

"And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." (July 4, 2018)

Happy 4th of July!! This has been a crazy week. 

Sorry this is gonna a long one. 

Basically my whole missionary world got turned upside down this week. I arrived on Thursday in my new area, Richfield, with my new companion, Hermana Powell! She is great. She is from St. George Utah, and she also plays the violin! She is doing an incredible job and basically came pretrained so I am feeling really blessed. We are already getting along so well, and having a blast having absolutely no idea what is going on together as we rely on the spirit. I was a little overwhelmed with training in a new area, but it felt manageable. Then the church updated the app we use to keep all our records on, and all the organization from the previous hermanas went out the window, and we can't tell who they were teaching anymore. Then the church released a new version of Preach my Gospel that changed a lot of stuff. THEN I got to the trainers meeting on Thursday morning, and we all realized that in the new preach my gospel, they changed the program that we use to train new missionaries during their first 12 weeks. The very last thing I thought I knew I was doing got thrown out the window. So basically my motto of "I have no idea what I'm doing, but that's ok" really got put to the test. I am learning so much. I think the Lord knew he still had a lot to teach me in my last six weeks, and wanted to give me every single moment he could so I could learn to rely on him to the very end. Because if I were comfortable in my area or with training, I would definitely try to do it on my own, but we are turning to the Lord for everything. 

I forgot how absolutely amazing and absolutely exhausting training  is, haha. I am so tired, because we have been going 100 miles an hour this last week. In church on Sunday I was translating sacrament meeting, and I actually fell asleep while I was talking into the microphone, so it's good to know I can still understand and speak Spanish when I'm in the first REM cycle. But it's been so worth the exhaustion! It's been really cool to see how the Lord has been preparing this time though, and we have seen so many little miracles. 6 weeks ago, when Hermana Davis went home, for those few days before the next transfer I was in a trio with the previous hermanas in Richfield. So I had already met a lot of their investigators, and had a little bit of a general idea of their area. And I am so grateful that even though it was just a little information the Lord had helped me be a little more prepared to come here. 

We have an awesome person we're teaching here, Pedro! The hermanas before us had challenged him to baptism and he had accepted, but they weren't sure how legit it was. So we went to our first lesson with him and his wife who is a member on Saturday, and he sat down with us and said "So sisters, did you know I'm getting baptized this month?" And we were like "Oh wow, that's awesome! We would love to help you prepare for baptism" and he goes "Yes! Tell me all the things I need to do to get ready for my baptism, let's set a day and make a plan" So we set a date and made a plan, and he is so excited to be baptized on July 22, and they already have a goal to go to the temple together after he gets baptized. He came to church on Sunday and shared an experience in Sunday school about how the Holy Ghost has guided him in his life, then the other Hermanos and Elders told us that in priesthood he told everyone that we should all try to go to the temple more because there is one so close to us, and told everyone that he is getting baptized on July 22nd and invited them all, and told them how he used to take the lessons from the missionaries in Mexico years ago, but he didn't feel like it was his time, but now he knows it's his time! Wow, he is a miracle, and we are so excited to get to work with him, and his desire to be baptized and make changes in his life to come closer to Christ. 

Also we have met SO many awesome people this week who are so excited about the gospel!! We got a referral from the English elders for a family, and we called them, and they set up an appointment with us for Monday night, and it was INCREDIBLE!! They are so ready, we got to teach him and his wife. They have three teenage kids, so we talked a lot about how families are important, and how living prophets help guide our families. And taught them the restoration and the Book of Mormon and they want to come to church, and want their kids to be involved in the activities, and want us to come back this week. The Spirit was so strong as we were testifying of the Book of Mormon and promised them they would come to know it was true as we read it. Hna Powell and I were jumping up and down after the lesson and she said "Wow! I feel like I'm back in the MTC teaching the fake investigators again!" 
Another husband and wife we knocked into yesterday who invited us in and agreed to read in the Book of Mormon and were intrigued about living prophets, and are excited for us to come back to teach them about what we believe about what happens after this life. 
We have also miraculously got in touch with a lot of less-actives just with the help of the spirit. One family we're going to go over there once a week now to have a lesson and tutor their daughter in math, 

Hermana Powell is teaching me a lot about how to be brave, even though we don't always know what we're going to say, but just doing what we can to share the gospel and trusting that God will have our backs. She has no fear in walking up to everyone she sees to start talking in Spanish, and it's so cool to see that even though it's not perfect, they can see that her heart is in it, and they can understand. I am learning so much about how the Spirit works watching someone learn a language from this end of my time. God really will make it ok, just open your mouth and speak!

We were at the store the night we got here buying milk and eggs because we had no food in our fridge right before we went home for the night. And I saw this girl, about our age, and she looked SOOO familiar, but for the life of my I could not remember who it was. But I really felt like I needed to go talk to her, and trusted that God would help me figure it out. So we said hi, and she recognized me, and I remember she is the daughter of a less-active family we stopped by the last time I was here in the trio in Richfield who we have been trying to get in contact with. 

And there are so many other miracles I would love to tell you all about, but have to wait for another day. Basically my motto this week has been "And I was led by the Spirit, not knowing beforehand the things which I should do." 1 Nephi 4:6. I, and Hermana Powell, will testify to you that we have absolutely no idea what we're doing, but we are trusting in the Spirit to lead us and learning how to have great faith. 

I love being a missionary!! I don't know if you could tell from how excited I sound and how much I blabber on about the little miracles we see, but this is truly the best work! Every day is such a joy and full of so many miracles, I cannot believe how blessed I have been to be a part of it, that even though I'm imperfect, I get to go outside and spend all day, every day, talking to the people from the culture I have grown to love about how amazing the gospel and how it will change their lives. Because it will! It has changed mine, I have seen many lives changes, and I just want it so badly for those I meet and everyone I see to know and feel it in their hearts too. It breaks my heart to think that it will ever come to an end, so I avoid thinking about it completely. But thanks to all those who have stuck with me this long, we are looking forward to these last weeks, because I know the best is yet to come. 

Have a great week!!

Hermana Meredith 

Tuesday, July 3, 2018

"If ye are prepared, ye shall not fear" (June 25, 2018)

Hey there amigos! It's been a crazy week!

Sophie got baptized yesterday after church and it was amazing!! Ahhh, the ward helped us so much and offered so much support it was incredible. Her whole family was there, even her grandma who is visiting from Mexico who isn't a member. After the baptism I asked her Grandma how she liked it and she smiled and said "I'm going to be the next one who gets baptized!" ahh, what?? It was awesome. Sophie was a little nervous, but she did a great job. I love their family and I am so grateful for the miracles that have led us to work with them this transfer. 

Things have been going so well with Aide! She isn't a member but her esposo is. There are a lot of complicated situations that are keeping her from being baptized right now, but we working really hard to continue to strengthen their family in the gospel. Last Monday night we were over there having the first lesson we've had in a while. We talked with Aide about prayer and receiving revelation. Her husband got home, then we were all having a discussion about prayer, and invited them to work really hard to say a family prayer every night this week. Hno was like "Oh, it's too hard, we're too busy and we never have time to do it all together" then Aide said "No, that's what Satan tries to tell us, praying is so easy, he tries so hard to tell us we can't do it." Then Aide asked if we could stop by every night right before we go home to say a prayer with them because they live really close to us. So we have gone over there every night this week for a few minutes to pray with them, and it has been AMAZING!! We are so excited for them. It has been so cool how the spirit has become suddenly so present in their home. And it has been an incredible week for their family. On Thursday night we were over there and Aide's non-member mom was there and she said "Mom, these are the missionaries, they're coming over every night to pray with us because we know that family prayer is really important and will bring blessings to and strengthen our family" Aide is so strong and I love her so much!!

We just got transfer calls and I am going to be going to be moving to Richfield to whitewash and train for my last transfer! I'm really nervous, but also excited for this adventure. These next 6 weeks are going to be awesome. 

We have had an amazing miracle filled week and I am so excited about all the great things that are happening here, This week in a talk by President Monson I ran across a scripture that has brought me a lot of comfort this week. "I tell you these things because of your prayers; wherefore, treasure up wisdom in your bosoms, lest the wickedness of men reveal these things unto you by their wickedness, in a manner which shall speak in your ears with a voice louder than that which shall shake the earth; but if ye are prepared ye shall not fear." I LOVE that, as hard and crazy as life gets, if we are prepared, we don't need to worry! That has been one of the biggest lessons I have learned on my mission, we don't really need to stress, somehow, someway, everything is going to work out. "Fear not though the enemy deride, courage for the Lord is on thy side."

I love missionary work!!! thanks for all the love and support! Stay cool out there. 

Hermana Meredith

1. (before article) & 2. Sophie's Baptism!
3. Approved Sleepover with the Richfield Hermanas
4. Generations
5. District Breakfast with Brother and Sister Beach this morning
6. Breakfast with the Sister we live with before Sister Anderson goes home in a few days!! 

"A good book that will last through time and into eternity for the angels to look upon." (June 18, 2018)

What a week!! It has been absolutely insane, but I have loved every single moment of it. Where to begin. 

Last week I got to go on exchanges with my nieta, Hna Sully! She is the best, we had so much fun and saw so many miracles. On Monday night I was feeling a little stressed and a little sick from some food we had eaten that earlier that day. We went to this dinner and this Hno gave us both these huge plates of salad with chicken, and I did my best and ate the whole thing and felt like I was about to die and could not take another bite. Then turns out, I had misjudged and the salad was only the first course, and he brought out another big plate of chicken with sauce and tortillas and beans for us to make tacos, and I was just looking at it like "nope, no way on heaven or earth can I take another bite without dying" He went back over to the kitchen to do something, and Hna Sully had already sensed my plight, and told me to just put some of it on a tortilla, so I did then she took it and ate it, and we proceeded like that for my entire plate, and so she is the best ever for eating all of my dinner for me. #truecompunity

We also met this amazing lady on exchanges!! Her name is Yolanda, she's from El Salvador, and she was a referral from the English Elders who tracted into her. She was the last stop of the night, and we hadn't seen a lot of success and had been facing a lot of rejection, but that was just the Lord preparing us for a miracle. She recognized us as missionaries and kindly said they were active in another church. But we asked her about her beliefs in Jesus Christ, then we had this amazing discussion on her doorstep about who Christ is to us, and the spirit was opening her heart. She even accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon. We asked if we could say a prayer, then she invited us in. We prayed, then I was thinking "I wish we could show her how the Book of Mormon can answer her questions about God" And right at that moment, out of nowhere, she said, "What does your religion believe about heaven and hell?" My jaw dropped right to the floor, and we opened up the Book of Mormon we had just given her to Alma 40 and read with her, and started teaching the Plan of Salvation, and it was amazing. The Book of Mormon answers questions to the soul! By the end of our visit she committed to reading in the Book of Mormon and accepted a return appointment. And her little daughters were so cute. They gave us each 3 candles from their moms work before we left, and asked when we were coming back and if we could live with them. It was an incredible and so amazing to see the spirit open her heart and see the power of prayer and the Book of Mormon in action. 

One day this week I woke up in a cold sweat that I was back at college and in my math class on the first day and we were taking a test on the unit circle and I couldn't remember it and I was so upset, and I woke up and practiced writing the unit circle, so as if I wasn't already worried enough about my mission coming to an end, now my stress levels increased by like 200%. 

On Saturday evening we were in an apartment building waiting for the english elders to have a pass-off lesson with one of their investigators. We were in that little waiting area, and when we got there another woman was standing there too. We said hello, and she looked at our tags and said "what church are you from?" We said "The church of Jesus Christ of Latter-days Saints" And she goes "Do you have a Book of Mormon?" And we were like "Yeah of course!" and she said "Can I have it? I've been looking for a Book of Mormon" Those aren't the usual questions we get, so we were really excited. It turns out she was baptized when she was 9 in Wisconsin, and her family was really active all growing up. But when she moved here she stopped going because she didn't know where the church was. And recently she has really felt like she needs to go back to church, and has been wanting to read in the Book of Mormon and didn't have her copy anymore. The elders then arrived and told her all the details about church and she said she wanted to go the next day! 

This week we had an awesome member dinner with this new couple that just moved in. They are both returned missionaries, and are so excited to talk about missionary work. Our member message has been sharing the ward mission goals with the families we visit, then having a discussion about what members expect from missionaries, what they want us to do differently, what missionaries have done in the past they have liked or disliked, and it has been insanely successful. Our new motto is 'try EVERYTHING' If they suggest it we try it the next day or over the next week then let them know. And it has been so cool to see the members grow to trust us more and give us referrals because they see that we are working hard and working for their ward. Anyways, these members talked to us about their testimonies of being open in extending the invitation to be baptized to everyone, and shared some miracles they saw. We left feeling so excited about missionary work, determined to try it and report back to them on Sunday. We had a lesson with a part-member family we have been trying to visit forever, but they would cancel the lessons at the last minute or not be home. But we went, and they were home. They recently had a family situation change, so they have been coming to church every week. Their daughter Sophie is going to be turning 10 soon, and is so sweet. So we decided to just ask her about baptism because their family is trying to involve the church more in their lives. She excitedly told us she has wanted to be baptized for a really long time, and that she is so grateful that they are going to church every week now. And she set her own date right there! It was awesome! And she is preparing to be baptized next Sunday!!!! We had an amazing lesson with their whole family, the dad, and the four kids yesterday evening about the Plan of Salvation. As we explained the resurrection and kingdoms of glory, the 13 year old son said "Wait a second, if everyone is just going to be resurrected and be able to live with their families, why is everyone so afraid of dying?" It was so cool to see it click for him, we were like "Exactly! That's why the gospel is so amazing, and that's why we're missionaries to help people understand that." It was so cool to sit with this great family and their precious kids and talk about the sacred and simple truths of the gospel and see how excited they were to apply it. 

We are so crazy busy right now, but I am loving every single moment of it with all my heart. This week we got to help teach activity day girls about the importance of journal writing. They asked us to come and bring our journals and read a few entries and share about why journal writing is a blessing. I have tried to be really good about keeping journals on my mission and written about every single day, but I have never really taken time to go back and read any of it yet. So as we were preparing for this, I went back and read the very first thing I wrote right after I got set-apart, and the blessing I received full of promises and counsel from my stake president. I hadn't read it in probably over a year, but I was amazed to see how I have already directly seen everything in that blessing come to pass. Most of it was in ways I never would have expected, but looking back I have seen all those promises of the Lord been fulfilled. It was a very tender moment to realize how much the Lord has been guiding me these past however many months to be exactly in the places he needs me to be. I am so grateful for the guidance from the Lord and his prophets to keep a personal journal. It is something everyone should do. President Kimball taught.

We hope you will begin as of this date. If you have not already commenced this important duty in your lives, get a good notebook, a good book that will last through time and into eternity for the angels to look upon. Begin today and write in it your goings and your comings, your deeper thoughts, your achievements, and your failures, your associations and your triumphs, your impressions and your testimonies. We hope you will do this, our brothers and sisters, for this is what the Lord has commanded, and those who keep a personal journal are more likely to keep the Lord in remembrance in their daily lives. 

I would add my invitation to that of the prophet, please start today! I promise it will bless your life. Everyone in the world can be benefited from writing in a journal, member of the church or no. I am so grateful for my ancestors and those who came before me who took time to write in their journals and the things I've learned from them, and I'm grateful for the journals I have kept and the way they have helped me learn how to live and how to think and how to believe. I know it will help you wherever you are and wherever you may be. Today is the day to begin!!

I love you all, and I love being a missionary! I don't think I can ever say that enough, because every day is such a blessing. 

Have a wonderful week!

Hermana Meredith 

1. Making journals with the girls in our ward (before post).

2. Exchanges with Hna Sully featuring Yolanda's Candles
3. Only in Minnesota do you have flash floods, tornados, and heat warnings all in one day
4. Luna!
5. North Minneapolis 

"How great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth" (June 11, 2018)

Hola amigos!! This has been a great week!

And the award for the most creative contact with your ward mission leader goes to... 
We were driving out of Minneapolis on the way to an appointment, to look behind us and see Hno Matus, our ward mission leader, in the car behind us. We started waving like crazy and got his attention to say hi. Then a couple of stoplights down he came up on the side of us in the other lane and rolled down his window and asked us what appointments we had and who we had seen that day. We gave him a brief update, asked for some help for later in the week, and both continued on our merry ways. 

Last p-day was hilarious. The zone leaders planned this big trip for us all to go up to Anoka, a city about 45 minutes north out of Minneapolis, to go to this bowling alley that is only $1 for games because they had done it a few months ago. They got permission, we all loaded up in the mission van to go, and once we arrived we discovered that the bowling alley had just gotten new summer hours and was now closed on Mondays. But it still ended up being a great pday! We got to hang out around Anoka, and get ice cream, and go down by the river, so even though things don't always work out the way we played, there is always a something to be happy about.  

This week we got to play "If you could hie to kolob" at the funeral of that Hermano in our ward who passed away. It was un dia muy triste. Most his extended family members are not members. Many of his cousins spoke and it was so sad because they were saying things like " I don't know where he is, he could be in heaven, he could have been reincarnated, he might not even exist anymore. I won't ever see him again or get a chance to say what I wish I had said when he was here." And it broke my heart. I wanted to run up on the stand and tell everyone that because of Christ, because of the Atonement, because of the Resurrection, this good-bye is not forever. That we can have hope! I was so grateful the bishop got up and shared a few scriptures in the Book of Mormon to talk about the wonderful truths that we have been given. "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth." (2 Nephi 2:8) Moments like that remind me how badly EVERYONE needs this. 

I was reminded by an analogy one of my MTC teachers shared with us, which I likened unto myself, and use ice cream, but you can liken it unto whatever your favorite food may be. So imagine that in whatever city you may be in, you find the most delicious ice cream you have ever had in your entire life. It comes in any flavor you could possibly imagine. Then you find out the ice cream is free, and that it will never run out. How could you NOT want to share that with every single person you ever met. Any of my companions will tell you, that when I talk about ice cream I love that much, I am nearly brought to tears. Yesterday, the temple President of the St. Paul Temple spoke in our ward, and he shared a scripture in Ezekiel 47:10. He told about how Ezekiel had a vision of the temple, and the water that flowed out from the temple, which gives life to the dead sea. 
"And by the river upon the bank thereof, on this side and on that side, shall grow all tress for meat, whose leaf shall not fade, neither shall the fruit thereof be consumed; it shall bring forth new fruit according to this months, beause their waters they issued out of the sanctuary."

So 2 things, everything the temple touches is brought to life, and it will never run out. The water will never faint, the fruit will never be consumed, it is there for everyone who wants it. And it's a price that Christ already paid. All he asks is that look to him and come alive through he gospel. So I realized yesterday, that that ice cream shop of paradise is what the temple is. It's the most amazing gift in the whole world. And it will never run out. If the temples get too full, then they'll build more temples. We only gain by sharing it with other people, because it has brought us joy and we have the desire to share it. We got to go to the temple this past Saturday, and I am so grateful for the spirit that is there. In church yesterday, we were singing "Las familias pueden ser eternas" and as we all stood for the intermediate hymn and I looked around at the congregation, I was so overwhelmed by the spirit testifying to me that that is true. That is why the temples, and the gospel are so important. Our work is family in temples. That is what missionary work is all about, that is what ministering is about. Families coming together in the house of the Lord and making those covenants to fill our lives with light!

We have seen SO many miracles this week, I can't begin to count, I love being a missionary, and that my only worry in the world right now is to talk to as many people as I can about the gospel. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Hermana Meredith

1. Picnic on the riverside with the Zempoaltecatl family
2. Yogurtlab has the best ice cream selections of all of Minneapolis
3. Dinner with the Vegas and Arguetas
4. Adventures in Anoka part 1
5. Minneapolis

"Today could be a special day!" (June 4, 2018)

Hola mis amigos!!!! It's been a great week!

We had an amazing lesson with Pablo, who we just started teaching again, with two members there. We talked about the Book of Mormon and repentance and he told us he knows he needs to make changes, and we talked about how we help people make changes in their lives to come closer to Christ, one of those being baptism, and he accepted that challenge. We've been able to call him every day since then to read a little bit in the Book of Mormon with him, and he is understanding hat we are reading, and talks about how he can use it in his life. He calls us his angels, "mis angelitos," and it's so cool to see how ready he is to accept the message of the gospel and let it change his life.

Another miracle, it was the end of the month and we were WAY over on using our monthly mileage allotment, my fellow missionaries will understand the struggle. On Wednesday we couldn't use our car at all, and did the whole day on bikes. But Heavenly Father sent us the perfect weather. Every other day this week was sunny in the 90s with high humidity, but on Wednesday it was cloudy and rainy and in the 70s and we had such a blast biking 16 miles all over Minneapolis in some perfect weather.

We had mission conference this week with Elder Timothy J. Dyches of the Seventy. It was a crazy day and we learned a lot. I got a lot of good ideas about things I am going to apply and try harder than ever to involve members in missionary work. As well as continue to apply the Book of Mormon as a primary tool in conversion in inviting others to come to know the Savior. A promise I have been given by multiple general authorities throughout my mission is that if you in the Book of Mormon every day, you cannot fall away from the church. If you want to stay faithful, or if you want to gain a testimony for the first time, make the commitment right now that you will read in the Book of Mormon every day for the rest of your life. Let today be the day that changes the rest of your life.

This week we received from really sad news. We have been teaching one of our investigators for a little while. He is 12, his mom is a less-active member, but he comes to church every week with another member family in our ward. We've always been teaching him when his mom and older brother were home and they were in the lessons with us. On Wednesday night we got a call that his older brother had passed away in some sort of unexpected accident. He was only 24, and it is so sad, for the family, for the ward. We are trying harder than ever to be there to support that family, so they have that testimony to rely on, so that they know that they can trust in Christ without a doubt that they can see him again.
There is a talk by President Monson from October 2013 called "In Search of Treasure" that is absolutely amazing that I would highly recommend you all read. One part in particular I liked was this,

"Sometimes we let our thoughts of tomorrow take up too much of today. Daydreaming of the past and longing for the future may provide comfort but will not take the place of living in the present. This is the day of our opportunity, and we must grasp it.
Professor Harold Hill, in Meredith Willson’s The Music Man, cautioned: “You pile up enough tomorrows, and you’ll find you’ve collected a lot of empty yesterdays.”
There is no tomorrow to remember if we don’t do something today, and to live most fully today, we must do that which is of greatest importance. Let us not procrastinate those things which matter most. I recently read the account of a man who, just after the passing of his wife, opened her dresser drawer and found there an item of clothing she had purchased when they visited the eastern part of the United States nine years earlier. She had not worn it but was saving it for a special occasion. Now, of course, that occasion would never come. In relating the experience to a friend, the husband said, “Don’t save something only for a special occasion. Every day in your life is a special occasion.”
That friend later said those words changed her life. They helped her to cease putting off the things most important to her. Said she: “Now I spend more time with my family. I use crystal glasses every day. I’ll wear new clothes to go to the supermarket if I feel like it. The words ‘someday’ and ‘one day’ are fading from my vocabulary. Now I take the time to call my relatives and closest friends. I’ve called old friends to make peace over past quarrels. I tell my family members how much I love them. I try not to delay or postpone anything that could bring laughter and joy into our lives. And each morning, I say to myself that this could be a special day. Each day, each hour, each minute, is special.”

For the past week I have been trying, and I hope to for the rest of my life wake up to say "Today could be a special day!" Every moment we have is so precious, something we can never fully appreciate until we come to the end of a chapter. So I hope you all can join me this week in remembering that today is a special today, that tomorrow is a special day, that today is the day we will be better than we were yesterday, and it is never too late to start.
Love you all!! Have a wonderful week!

Quote of the week "I'm agreeing with you and you're yelling at me! You're going to have the hardest marriage ever"

Hermana Meredith

1. Mission Conference feat. the Minneapolis Zone

2. Karen's birthday party 
3. It is ancient hot outside!
4,5.This is how we do baby showers in Minneapolis, never complete without a jello baby cake. 

Monday, July 2, 2018

"This is my joy!" (May 28, 2018)

Buenos dias!!

Hold onto to your hats amigos because this has been one cRaZy miracle-filled week!!

We discovered that there is this amazing little nature preserve literally in the backyard of our apartment so our morning runs are 500 times better now through a little bit of nature. 

One of the Hermanas in our district is from Haiti, so she is fluent in French, so last week she helped me brush up on some of my lost high school french skills, with a few expressions including "I'm a missionary". Then on Tuesday morning at service, we help teach English classes, and turned out the woman I was helping was from a country in Africa where they speak French. So I happily told her "I'm a missionary!" and some of my relearned phrases and she was so excited to hear someone speak her native language. 

There was this amazing less-active family we were teaching last time I was here. They started coming to church basically all by themselves and we started having weekly family home evenings with them. But a little while after I left, they whitewashed this area, which means they put in two new sisters into an area instead of one leaving and one staying. And after that they never got in to meet with them again and they haven't come to church since. They had tried texting and stopping by and never had any luck. So we stopped by on Tuesday and the mom remembered me and told us we could come back the next day, so we had an awesome family night with them on Wednesday, and they know they should come. We think they are experiencing a little bit of pressure from extended family to not be involved in the church. But their little girls are so passionate about learning and want to come, so we are so excited to begin working with them again. 

Then holy cow there is this amazing part-member family we were working with, and their 14 year old son was getting ready to get baptized last time I was here. Then after I left at the beginning of January, the family told the missionaries they were too busy with school and stuff for the lessons. Then, again with the whitewash, the new sisters, they never really knew about them or that he was interested. So, we decided to stop by on Wednesday afternoon. The son and his mom were home and were super excited to see us. Turns out that his last day of school was that day and they had just gotten home so we had gone at the exact right time. And he told us he still wants to get baptized and wants us to start coming over every week to teach him again!!

This other investigator who had dropped us right before I left last time because he felt he didn't have enough time and some other personal problems he was dealing with at the time, we called him and he told us we could come over next week. AND he came to church yesterday!! 

We got a referral from a part-member family in the English ward in the area when we cover, they just told us they had some Hispanic neighbors. So we stopped by one time, and met one woman, who told us we could come back a different night. So we stopped by again, and a different family member let us in, and we sat down and got to have a lesson with their whole family. The grandma, the parents, and their 4 kids. Turns out the husband is a less-active member, he got baptized in Mexico when he was little, and has only come to church a couple of times here. And we had never heard of him or their family so we are super excited that we found them! And the rest of the family is open to have us come over every week to share more of our message as well. 

Then remember how last week I got to give a talk in sacrament meeting and at the last minute changed it to be about missionary work. Well we went to dinner with a member this week and while we were helping her in the kitchen, she told me"Hermana, I've been thinking a lot about the talk you gave and the ways that we can do missionary work. I really want to be able to share the gospel with some of my friends but I don't know how to start." So it opened up to an amazing discussion about member missionary work, and it was really cool to see that someone was listening and that it has touched at least one person. 

Oh and we had two baptisms in the ward yesterday!! Our investigator, Yeimy, got baptized, and another investigator from the other area and it was amazing! It's cool to see the whole ward come together to support our newest members. 

This has been such a fun, rewarding week of missionary work. It's getting pretty hot, but we are having a blast biking all around Minneapolis and Brooklyn Center. We have found nine new people to teach this and they are all so ready to receive the message of the restored gospel. It has been so much fun to be outside in the sun, and talking to everyone, and sharing the gospel and seeing miracles. I feel so much joy to be on the errand of angels, on the side of Christ. "This is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy." Alma 29:9

Quotes of the week 

"The spider bit me so I ate it. I'm at the top of the food chain" Elders Dyerly

"Do you want to see my book from God?" A little girl whose family we are teaching and she proceeded to go to her room and get a copy of the Book of Mormon. 

Hermana Meredith

1. El Bautismo de Yeimy
2. Paposas with the Matus family!! Best day ever
3. We saw Hno Leo from Lakeville at Mission President's Fireside

"And they straightway left their nets, and followed him" (May 21, 2018)

Dear Friends and Family, 

Greetings from Minneapolis!! It has been a crazy week, but full of some really great adventures. Last Monday was crazy, I already knew I was leaving, so I was mostly packed, then Hna Davis and I left for the mission home on Monday night. It was pretty bittersweet leaving Rochester and saying goodbye to Hna Davis and everyone at church. Because we had been there for 4 months together, and it's weird to see it all end so quickly. Then transfers weren't until Thursday, so I got to be in a trio with the Richfield Hermanas, Hna Hanson and Hudman for a couple of days, and we had a blast . 

Then finally on Thursday I got to my new area, North Minneapolis with my new companion, Hna Nissinen. She is amazing! She just got out of training, and is so excited about missionary work. She is from Portland, Oregon, and she was studying Piano Performance in college , so we've already got a lot of fun duets planned, and it is so fun to be back in a Spanish ward. Yesterday, an hour before church started, we got a call from the first councilor in the bishopric that someone had cancelled and they needed me to speak in Sacrament Meeting. So I got a baptism by fire welcome back into the ward, but it went really well. I had a talk prewritten about the Plan of Salvation that I was planning on just using. We had coordination right before church with our ward mission leader, Hno Matus. And he is always so excited about missionary work, and he went off on a tangent about how the ward needs to ask us to give talks in sacrament meeting about how to do missionary work. So quickly rewrote the last half of my talk to be an inspirational message about doing missionary work, so it was a pretty crazy Sunday!!

Yesterday one of our investigators, Yeimy, had her baptismal interview and she passed, so she will be getting baptized next Sunday! She is 9, and is very excited. And it has been fun to be back in the area, and have people I didn't talk to that much remember me and be excited that I'm back. There are also quite a few people who the hermanas have fallen out of contact that we've been able to see agian, so we are getting ready for a transfer full of miracles. 

And MILAGROS! I found out last night, that one of our investigators who we were teaching in Rochester, Maria, who we found through the miracle of the broken windshield wipers. accepted the invitation to be baptized last week! 

This week I started my last 12 weeks of my mission, so I set a few goals, one being I decided to start reading the Book of Mormon in Spanish and finish before I go home, and I have been studying it for ways that the prophets receive and act on promptings of the spirit. I have truly gained a testimony the last few months that of what President Nelson taught in conference "nothing opens the heavens quite like the combination of increased purity, exat obedience, earnest seeking, daily feasting on teh words of Christ in the Book of Mormon, and regular time committed to the temple and family history work" When we can live with purity, and be open to the promptings of the Spirit, that is when we can become instruments in the hands of God to work miracles. Last night we got to attend an event where recent converts share their conversion stories, and it has got me more motivated than ever to give it all I have. In Matthew 4:19-20 we read "And he saith unto them, Follow me, and I will make you fishers of men. And they straightway left their nets, and followed him" Now we're not all fishermen, but likening the scriptures, our nets are those things that are holding us back our wants, our desires, our distractions, our fears, and leave it all behind. When the Savior calls, immediately dropping our nets, and following him with the faith that he will make up the difference. I hope all of you can think of something you can give up this week, one of the nets you can drop that will allow you to more fully follow the example of the Savior. 

Have a wonderful week!! 

Hermana Meredith 

1. Wheeler family! It was Alexis' birthday on Tuesday and her wish was that we came over for dinner before we got transferred. 
2. Farewell to the Rochester Trio
3. Hna Lopez
4. Sister Fletcher!!
5. North Minneapolis once again