Tuesday, January 6, 2015

Happy New Year!

Good Morning!!!
  Its finally snowing here and it came too late for a white Christmas so now everyone is just grumpy about it! haha...its really funny. Its still really pretty but it is starting to get really cold so it makes it hard to want to do anything outside. Typical Ohio though...crazy weather:)
    Well by far the best part about this week was Ryan's baptism!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was AWESOME! Seriously so good. So many people from the Wadsworth ward and our branch were there to support him. Sis. Smith and I had to wake up at 5:30 in the morning to get to the church and fill the font up before 9am. It was a little crazy but fun. We just were hanging out in the church. Doing our hair, baking cookies for the baptism etc..:) haha, such a good day. It really was a beautiful service. The talks were all excellent. The musical number was incredible and then Ryan had his friend Harry baptize him and it was so great!! Its the friend the first invited him to come to church, Harry himself is a returning Less Active member so it has been really special for them both to be able to strengthen each other. When they were doing the baptism I was panicking inside for a half a second...Ryan hadn't gotten there early enough to do a practice run with them and I was so worried Harry didn't know how to place Ryan's hands, would he say his full name? etc...well It was so funny, Harry gets in that font, grabs Ryan's shoulders, positions him right where he wants him, slaps Ryan's hands down on his arms right where he wants them, raises hand, says the prayer and dunks him....it was so fast!!!  I was trying so hard not to laugh, He just knew exactly what he was doing and it was perfect!! Then Ryan comes up looking totally confused and Harry just gives him a big bear hug. Oh it was so good. They were adorable. Best baptism ever!  Then he got confirmed the next day in church. It was so wonderful! Then exactly an hour after he had officially become a member of the church the Branch President pulls him out of class and interviews him to receive the Aaronic priesthood! Whew..wasting no time there! After we went to church at the Chardon branch we got to go with Ryan to the Singles Branch in Cleveland. Then after we went to dinner with him over to the Branch President's house. It was the perfect day! He is going to be such a strong member! I am just so happy for him!!!
     We had the best lesson ever with the Drabek's this week. New Year's eve was Sis. Drabek's Birthday. We didn't want to intrude on their family time but it was the only day we could meet with them so we texted them and they were like "even if we did already had plans you would be more then welcome because you are family!!' It was so sweet. So we ended up meeting up with them at Bro. Drabek's office, He is Massage therapist and has the coolest office EVER. It was soooooo relaxing! Meditation music was on, a diffuser was in the corner diffusing essential oils into the air. It was so pretty and It took a lot of will power not to just plop down on one of the massage beds and take a nap!!! I was in heaven! So they had Pizza waiting for us and we had a grand ol' time talking with them about essential oils and health and all my favorite things! It was such a good little new years eve party. Then we had a lesson on the priesthood, Bro. Drabek will be ordained with the Aaronic Priesthood this coming Sunday. So cool, they are moving right along and loving it! The told us that their little girl Lorelei was watching a movie with them and hear them say the name "Joseph" and she says "JOSEPH SMITH?!! are they talking about Joseph Smith mom?!"  haha so cute. She loves church so much! She can't wait to get baptized in July when she turns 8!

      New Years day we got to go to Mission Leadership Council.  I can't think of a cooler way to start off the New year then that. It was awesome. We talked all about this new year and how to help the mission do better this year than last. It was such an inspiring meeting. It broke my heart to leave though, That was my last Mission Leadership council. I am so so SO grateful I have been privileged to be a part of so many MLC's and have learned so much through being able to serve as a Sister Training Leader.     

      Yesterday we then had Zone Training Meeting. It went really well. I love being able to meet together with our whole zone. Sis. Smith and I did a discussion on Exact Obedience and played a little jeopardy game with them. It was so fun and such a good reminder that exact obedience is doable and that God blesses us so abundantly when we try so hard to obey the rules and commandments and our covenants with exactness.
      After some of us went out Burgerfi, its the yummiest burger joint around. I got the most ginormous onion rings and a key lime concrete. They basically stick a piece of Key lime pie in a cup with Vanilla Custard. Its the most delicious thing ever!
    So they were late getting us transfer info again. We were so anxious Sunday night waiting to hear who was getting transferred. They never called...oh the suspense!!! Finally after Zone Training Meeting ended the Zone Leaders said "hey we have a missed call from the Assistants to the President......(they pause to listen to the voicemail)...Sister Finlinson and Sister Newren you are both getting transferred. Outzoned...." Sigh...I pretty much was expecting it but its still so sad.  Its hard to be leaving Chardon!!! This really is such a special area and I have so enjoyed being a Sister Training Leader and being able to help in some small way the sisters here.  I have made so many close friends and grown to really love the people here. I know my mission president is inspired though and I trust that God is putting me where he needs me for my last transfer. I think this change will really help me to work hard and keep pushing myself up until the very end.
     So, today I get to spend the day packing...yippee!....not. It will be good though. Wish me luck, the adventures never end! Talk to you next week!
            BYE LOVE YOU!!!!

Monday, November 24, 2014

Happy Thanksgiving!

           So, Transfers happened! Sis. Nance is now safely home and my new companion is Sis. Kylie Smith from Holliday, Utah! She is so great! I really love her! She is the funniest person ever ever ever and we are having so much fun! We actually go home at the same time which means I will be probably be getting transferred to one more area for my last transfer. So, that means I only have this transfer with her! Kind of sad, and I am crushed to think that I have to leave Chardon in just 7 short weeks!! I really thought I was going to finish out my mission here but "I'll go where you want me to go, dear Lord!" It will all be for the best I just know it!
                    So, We finally got to teach the Drabek's this past week! The lesson went so well! We taught them at their member friends home (The Arnolds remember:) and the spirit was there and it was just awesome! Okay so the lesson was actually a little crazy....The member just likes to tell soooo many stories!!! haha, the highlight was by far when we whipped out Joel 1:4 (go look it up!!!!!) It was so funny! Sis. Smith and I were dying!!!!!! But, like I said the spirit was still really strong! They came to church on Sunday! And then we were trying to figure out when we could meet next and we thought we had something set but then this morning he called us and said "hey, so my schedule is really crazy this week and things just aren't matching up with the Arnolds schedule too and with the holidays we are thinking it would be best to just plan on meeting next week, we will see you at church though!!"   well so we were really sad we weren't going to see them this week  BUT, like 30 minutes later he calls us and says...."hey so I was thinking, I loved meeting at the Arnolds but we don't HAVE to meet at their house right? Would it be sacrilegious to meet at a coffee shop right by my workplace???" Haha...we laughed and arranged something and were SO excited to see how eager he was to meet with us and learn more about the Gospel! He is so awesome!!!!!
               Ryan our investigator with a Baptismal date for Dec. 3rd, he is doing SO GOOD! He came to our branch harvest dinner and then to Kirtland, he ended up only being able to watch the Kirtland movie...he had to cut things short because he wanted to go to the YSA activity.....So awesome! haha...he couldn't have had a better reason!! I am so excited for this area! Things are going so well! And I know it is because of an increased desire and effort to be exactly obedient and to follow the Spirit! I love missionary work so much! 
              This week really was so awesome! We got to see and work with so many people! We did a lot of service for different members of the ward. And our Thanksgiving day is all falling into place! It was looking a little iffy for a while because no body had actually invited us over for Thanksgiving! AND! Things are 10x's more complicated now because our car w
on't be fixed until Friday!!!! Thank goodness for the Robbins!!! They have been our Chauffer's everywhere this week. I love them SO MUCH!!!!!! So, now we actually have like 4 invitations for Thanksgiving dinner. So we will see if we actually get around to them all before we pass out from eating so much food. I don't know what I am going to do! Its going to be the best/worst day ever! Last year we were in so much pain because we had eaten so much food! and now we have 4 dinners!!!!! AHHH! Its going to be so fun though! I am so excited!
           Oh we had Messiah practice again yesterday. The performance is coming up and I still don't know half of the songs!! oops! I sat next to this really good lady this time. She sang SO LOUD! So naturally I had to put my opera voice on and match her! haha. We had such a good time. But by the end of it I literally could not sing another note, my voice was so tired.
            Well. that was my week! Super awesome and this whole next transfer is just going to be a whirlwind!!! And, HAPPY BIRTHDAY EMILY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! (hey guess what. My companions birthday is actually the same day as yours! so we are going to be celebrating big time! I will think of you!!!!) LOVE YOU!
                    Have a wonderful week everyone! Be Grateful! Doctrine and Covenents 78:19....

Monday, November 10, 2014



      You know what the hardest part about writing an email home is.....the subject title. I can never think of a good one!!! So, hence the smiley face.
        This week we had two exchanges. Sis. Pugh came to serve with me in Chardon on Wednesday. It was awesome! She actually wasn't feeling very well all day but I was so impressed with her determination to just keep going. She was an excellent missionary and was so selfless, I would be like "how are you doing really" and she would just brush it aside "I am OK, lets keep going" even though I know she really wasn't. It was awesome. She is so wonderful!
       Then, I served with Sis. Hardy in the Perry area. I love Sis. Hardy. I feel like I didn't know her super well before that day but now she is one of my very favorite people ever!!! She was so happy and dilligent all day. I was in awe. She is so wonderful, At the end of the day I was able to talk with her for a long time. She is going through a really rough time actually. I felt so bad but just followed the Spirit and was hopefully able to help her. It was one of those moments that I think I was called to be a Sister Training Leader for. To be able to help that Sister in her moment of need. It was such a good feeling. I love her so much! The day I served with her has probably been one of my most favorite days on the mission! It was just so full of the Spirit, hard work, and friendship.

         Our investigator Ryan is still doing really well! It is so refreshing to work with somebody who has such a sincere desire to find out the truth! Now it makes me want to work harder at finding more people like that!
           The biggest miracle of the week was a member family in our area bringing a family to church!!!! They don't know them super well but the dad's have some connection and the Non-member emailed Bro. Arnold one day and said "hey I have a Book of Mormon on my shelf and I finally picked it up and read it...I have some questions" So they invited them over one Sunday for dinner and answered their questions and then brought them to church the next Sunday. So we got to meet them and hopeful will be able to start teaching them soon! Miracles happen!!!!  Oh I am so excited!!!!!!!!
            Well, serving at Kirtland this week has been awesome. On Saturday we had three big bus tours of youth from New Jersey come through. We took 4 tours!!!! That is a lot! This time of year you are lucky if you get 1 tour a day! I felt like it was summer time again, with the visitor's center so busy!
             On one of the tours I was feeling the Spirit especially strong, When we got to the school of the Prophets I felt prompted to hand the Testimony of John Murdock (Testimony of him seeing the Father and the Son in that room)  to one of the cool kids ( he looked and acted like one of the punks of the group). So we told them the story of how the Word of Wisdom came about and how they then were promised they would see Heavenly Visions if they humbled themselves. Well I had the all close their eyes and then the kid read the testimony. It was so cool, the spirit was so strong. After I asked him what his favorite part of the tour was and he said "The School of the Prophets and reading that Testimony. I just felt something..." I then talked with him about going on a mission for the rest of the time while we walked back from the tour. It was so cool to just be able to testify to him how absolutely amazing a mission is and how he can't miss it for the world!!! It was one of those moments that I could just tell God had allowed me to be an instrument in his hands and help inspire and uplift somebody else. It was awesome! I love youth tours the best because I just talk to them about how awesome missions are the whole time!!!!!!
            On Sunday we actually got to stay for all of church which was so nice!! Because we serve at the Visitor's Center on Sunday we often have to only go to Sacrament meeting and then leave. But this time we got to stay!!! I was so happy! I have been especially fond of Relief Society recently because I am reading the "Daughters in My Kingdom" book. It is SO GOOD! And it felt so wonderful to be able to sit there with all of my fellow sisters and worship and learn and inspire together! I think that is also why I love serving with all the other Sisters at the Visitor's Center so much. To just be around so many faithful and valiant Sisters, who are being so selfless and sacrificing so much and learn and grow from watching them and being with them is so incredible. Women are so strong!!! 
          We also went to another "Messiah" practice. It went well, still really over all of our heads, as we can only go to the practice every other week. Oh well, We've got God on our side so we will be fine:)
          Then we went to our stake corrilation meeting. President Vellinga couldn't come this time so it was just all of us Sister training Leaders and zone leaders for the two Kirtland zones, with our Stake President and President Everett (Pres. Vellinga's first councilor) It was such an inspiring meeting! We talked about the youth and how we are the ones who are closest in age to them and can influence them the most and get them on missions! We also talked about asking thought provoking questions more as we teach. It was just so cool to sit with our Stake leader and discuss with him what the Stake needs and what we as missionaries can do to help! I love being a missionary so much!!!!!
     This Gospel and this church really does demand the best of us. And sometimes that is SO HARD TO GIVE!!! But, I have been studying service recently and LOVED this quote by Elder Eyring.......... "Whenever am invited to be giver, remember and believe thelyrics “Sweet is the work, my God, my King.”2

        This work is truly the "sweetest" work we can be engaged in. I know it brings blessings unimaginable. I am so grateful to be here. Thank you for all of you who made it possible and continue to support and encourage me. It is making the most amazing and humbling difference in my life.   
               I love you all SO MUCH! I hope you have a fabulous week!
                      Go to Heaven!

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Fall!

Hey Everyone!!!

        Wow, time sure is flying! It is so crazy! I feel like just yesterday it was the beginning of the summer! And now winter is nearly here!
         Did I tell you the Robbins took us out to Bahama Breeze last preparation day??? It was such a fun day! Sis. Nance and I went shopping so that she could find a really good going home outfit and then we went out with the Robbins to celebrate Sis. Nance leaving! It was so great! It is by far one of my very favorite restaurants and I am so crushed that they don't exist in UTAH!!! ah. its awful! but we will go there when we all come back to visit k! I got the most delicious Salmon Salad. It was divine! You would have LOVED it Mom:) 
      After that we drove all the way out to one of the farthest away Less Actives whom we havn't been able to see in forever! We kinda warned her we were coming but she didn't respond. It was a risky drive as it was the end of the month and we were almost past our # of miles allotted for that month. But we felt like we needed to just go. So on complete faith we did and SHE WAS HOME!!!!!!!! It was a miracle! We got to have a great visit with her AND she is letting us go back tonight too!!!! yay!
    The next day we had Mission Leadership Council again. Doesn't it feel like I just went to that??!!!!! It comes around SO FAST! I loved loved loved it! We were planning for Zone Conference and it was awesome! It is going to be such an inspirational meeting! You will have to wait until after the 11th to hear about it though!!!!!!!                 

           We were able to see our investigator Ryan this week! It was so cool, we couldn't find anyone to come teach him with us and our appointment was the next day. Suddenly we remembered this member couple we have been working with and though "we should just try them" It was such a miracle!!! they said they would love to come and even wanted to feed us dinner before. They said " we were keeping our Friday open because we meant to call you and invite you over for dinner but just hadn't gotten around to it!" it was so awesome that they were available and it was perfect because we got to practice the lesson with them before hand and then when we met with Ryan it was perfect!! He is so ready! He agreed to be baptized and we are shooting for a date in January (he is praying about it) We are so excited for him!!!!!!
            This past week I also went on exchanges with Sis. Bailey Smith in Solon South. It was so wonderful! I love her so much and have always wanted to be her companion so to be able to go on exchanges with her was such a tender mercy! I learned so much from her. She is such a diligent missionary and we were able to really lift each other up and encourage each other to be even better. It was awesome!!!
       Oh the Sorenson's also had us over for an ice cream social on Halloween. We can't really celebrate Halloween so they called it a celebration for his "moms birthday" haha too funny! It was great!
         On Saturday we went to the Community of Christ Pancake breakfast (when we come back to visit we should try to make it on the first Saturday of the month so we can go to the pancake breakfast!!) It was the last one Sis.Nance will ever go to!!! crazy! She leaves so soon! like 2 weeks!!!!!
       Since it is November now they have officially begun setting up the NATIVITIES!!!!!!!!!!! yay yay yay yay yay!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am SO EXCITED!!!!!!!!!!!!!! IT is my absolutely favorite time of the year!!!!!!! Oh yeah, and Sis. Best (she is the one in charge, I know her from the Perry ward) pulled me aside and asked if I would be in charge of putting together a concert with the sisters to be performed on various nights during the nativity season. So that will be fun! I will try to just keep it simple. Mosly hymns but also hopefully some cool christmas songs!!!! If you have any good ideas that would be appropriate for Sister Missionaries let me know!!!
     Last night we got to go watch the CES Devotional with Elder Hallstrom (who is the one who came to our mission with Elder Holland) at the Robbins house!!! It was SO Fun!!! I love them so much! They spoil us like none other and we just soak it all up!!!!

      Well, life is good!!!I love my mission and am so happy here!!! I hope you all have a fabulous week and I will talk to you again in 7 days!!!!!
                        Go to Heaven!!
                            ~ SisN

  ps...we have been raking lots of leaves. SO MANY LEAVES!!!
          The first pic is me with the Hartman's Less active/part member family
           second is me and Sis. Smith on exchanges!

Monday, October 27, 2014

Miracles :)

 Hey hey hey!
          This has just been the best week ever ever ever! Okay maybe a slight exaggeration there, but not really! 
      Lets see...where to begin?!?!?!? 
      Monday was pretty normal. Tuesday, normal. (and by normal I mean of course a completely awesome day in the life of a missionary!!)Wednesday is when things started to get exciting! We first off had to have district meeting at 8 am in the morning. Which has been done before, but its always a struggle. 8 am is just too early to have to talk to Elders! haha. But it was a good meeting:) So then we went back home to do personal and companionship study. Then the Robbins came and picked us up to go to COSTCO!!! Sis. Nance needed a flu shot so the Robbins were kind enough to take us there. It was way weird. The last time I was in Costco was in Utah so it felt like I apparated back home for an hour and then apparated back! It was great though, the Robbins took us out to Chipotle after) Then after that we made some Pumpkin Chocolate Cookies to take around to less actives while we were waiting for our interview with President Vellinga. So every 3 months or so President Vellinga travels around and interviews every missionary in our mission (some 250 people in just 2 or 3 weeks...busy busy!) I love interviews but this time round has probably been my favorite one! We just had so much fun! I laughed and laughed, he was being so funny. And yet he took the time to seriously answer my questions and more importantly find my own answers to them! He was so encouraging and uplifting. There just isn't anything better than to hear from your mission president that he is proud of you and that you are doing an excellent job. I love my mission President! He is and always will be one of my role models for a consecrated life!
    Well after that the day was almost over! Our appointment in our area canceled and since our area is a 35 minute drive away, we sometimes have to evaluate whether its worth the miles (we only have a certain amount allotted to us each month) to go all the way out there for such a short amount of time. So in the end by the time we were done eating dinner we decided to just go and brush up on some Family History (its something our mission president has been pushing us to do so we can use it more effectively as a proselyting tool) It was amazing! I FOUND SOMEONE! It can be hard to get started when you are just staring at your family tree and don't know where to begin, but I just prayed, picked a place and started researching the records to find more information about my Great great great Grandfather. Well I was initially trying to find out who his parents were but my search led me to discover one of their children who was missing from my tree! I was so excited! Now he can be baptized and confirmed and receive ordinances in the temple!!!! It was the most thrilling thing! I love Family History work! I am so excited to be able to get more into it when I am home! Its going to be my next mission I decided:) 
     So that was WednesdayThursday was really fun, we just did service all day!  We raked SO MANY LEAVES for Sis. Hartman!  Just piles and piles and piles and piles! Then we jumped in them of course! Don (her non-member husband) was like "how old are you??? 5???" haha...yup! We just HAD to. You can't rake up that many leaves and not jump in them! 

     After we finished she wanted to show us her creek, so we took a lovely little stroll down through the woods and across some pastures to see her creek, it was so beautiful! And the leaves were beautiful and the water and the rock and the grassy fields close by and all the trees and the sky and the CLOUDS! Oh the clouds were GORGEOUS!  And it all was so breathtaking and It was one of those moments were I was immensely grateful to live on this beautiful earth. To be human and to be able to experience all the sights, sounds and smells of life. And I was grateful to be on a mission and to be able to share that intimate experience with a women I have only know for a matter of weeks! 
        Next we went to the Juhasz' for Dinner and service. She had us help her scrapbook and it was a blast! I think all of my crafty and artistic talents (if I ever had any) are now gone, gone, gone. But we slapped those pictures on the page and cut and pasted to our hearts content and it was so lovely! 

    Friday I went on Exchanges with Sis. Jenson. She came with me to our area and we had a perfect day! Usually on exchanges crazy things happen! Appointments cancel and Satan does everything he can to discourage you. And its all so that miracles can take place, the biggest miracles always happen on exchanges!! But this time our miracle was that our day just went so perfectly. Up until the last minute before planning I was stressing about what we would do the last hour of the day (its gets harder to be productive when its so dark outside. People in Ohio think that as soon as its dark you shouldn't be out knocking on their door, or bothering them in any way) But then it just all clicked. We had an appointment for every hour and the whole day nothing canceled! We just were able to teach really well together and had some really spiritual lessons with those we saw! The best one was by far our meeting with Ryan. He is the new investigator we are teaching (I told you about him last week) and he is AWESOME! The whole time as we taught the Restoration he was nodding his head and saying "that makes since" . Aw. it was so great! He is the most promising individual I have yet taught on my mission. He has such a sincere desire to find the truth and he recognizes that there is something special about this church! I felt really prompted to invite him to a baptism that was taking place the next day and at first he was just like "yeah, I will have to check my schedule". But then the next day we text him the address in the morning and asked if he was going to be able to make it and he said YES!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! EEEEKKK!!!!!!!!!! I screamed and ran downstairs screaming "SISTER NAAAAAANNNCEE! HE'S COMING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" I think I gave Sis. Jensen and Heckert a heart attack but I was just too excited! This is the first time on my mission that an investigator has come to see a baptism!! 
    So, Saturday pretty much ended up being the best day of my life! Ryan came to the Baptism and loved it and it was so special and so real and so simple and I know he felt the spirit. We were texting him later to set up our appointment for the next week and he text us back and said "Sister Nance and Sister Newren, you guys have been a real blessing. I was actually thanking God for your hospitality and the warmth of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints."
       I about died! That was the sweetest text I have ever received! What a privilege it is to be able to teach this humble young man the Gospel and to help him know the truth that is going to change his life!!!!
      After the baptism we were serving at sites and had just come back from a tour, starving, so we head into the kitchen and there, frozen mid-bite is our Stake President! haha, it was so funny, we were like "uhh...Hi President Haymond!" haha it just was so unexpected to see him in our kitchen! Well apparently he was there with the visiting area 70, Elder Dunnigan (not actually sure how to spell his name ps) . So of course they tell us to just come in and make our lunch. So we sat down with them and ate lunch together and told them all about all of the miracles that happened that week and it was so cool! Elder Dunnigan leans over to us, just as they were getting up to leave and says "Thank you Sisters, for being who you are, for coming on a mission. These are the last days! This is the final battle! (getting really emotional now, he continued) And you are on the front lines! Who do you think God would send to the front lines of this the most important battle?!?!? The. very. best. Thank you Thank you  Thank you." 

         That night we had the adult session of our Stake Conference. It was so inspiring and amazing and wonderful and spiritual. They talked about Tithing and Fast offerings, our Stake President said "I promise you blessings beyond what you can understand temporally if you pay a generous fast offering"
     They talked about building a sure foundation on solid ground. They talked about Faith and Family history etc etc!
      The Sunday session was even better! Some of the best parts were....
                "When we are baptized we covenant to come out of the world and "cease sustaining the kingdom of the Devil". We forsake the world and bind ourselves to Christ!"

                "Let your Covenants define your daily priorities" 
                "Families are how we prepare for eternal life"
                "God is our coach. He knows the game and all the best strategies, He made UP the game!!! Trust him. You may not understand why he is having you play a certain position, but he does." 
               "Anything associated with God will help us feel light"
               "NEVER EVER EVER EVER let a day go by without reading something from the Book of Mormon, we can't afford it, no excuse is good enough to not read the Book of Mormon"

                    It was a wonderful week! Thank you so much for being who you are and for being such good examples to me! I love you all! And remember just because I only have a few months left doesn't mean you can stop writing me letters!!! :) Have a fabulous day! Smile, be happy! God is good!


Monday, October 20, 2014

It's gettin' chilly!

  It is starting to get REALLY chilly here! This week it has been the PEAK as far as fall colors go. Its been beautiful but now all the leaves are starting to fall and winter is feeling like an all to familiar reality! Ugh. I hope I can make it one more winter here! I love Ohio and would totally move back one day if I didn't have to endure such harsh winters! Okay I will stop complaining now:)
        So its been an awesome week! WE GOT A NEW INVESTIGATOR!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I am so pumped! His name is Ryan and he was a referral from the Wadsworth Elders. They called and said Ryan had shown up to church with his friend and loved it! We had our first lesson with him last friday and it went so well! We had a member with us and everything and he is so prepared! So, good things to come with Ryan!!
        Other then that we have been working a lot with members and are seeing some great miracles! One time in particular, we were practicing with an older couple in our ward who are preparing to go on a mission. We have asked them if we could just go through all the lessons with them like we were teaching a real investigator and they said sure. So we taught them an awesome Restoration lesson (which we planned and practiced really well for!) and after it was amazing to see how their level of trust went up and they start telling us about all these people they want to share the gospel with and this one friend they want to have us meet! It was amazing! I love working with members!
         Sis. Nance and I prayed we would receive some referrals from the Gladys Knight fireside and we didn't get any. BUT, its amazing to see how many referrals we have received from other sources since then! God had referrals for us, just not from Gladys Knight! It has been so cool to see that prayer answered though!
          Another miracle that happened was with Sis. Davis! She recently moved and really needed help to find a certain box that had some papers from 2008 in it. Well we searched all through her house...no luck...went out to the storage unity and looked everywhere! Nothing...she was so distraught! So we decided we would all go home, pray about it and we promised her we would come back to help again in a few days. Well. The day came, We went out to the storage unit. Sis. Nance and I decided to switch sides to have a fresh pair of eyes looking on each side. Well....MIRACLE!!!! The 3rd box I picked up said "'08" on it! I gasped....I carefully peaked inside to see if it had papers inside...it did!!! I was then like " Hey Sis. Daaaavvvviiiisssss! I think I found it!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" Oh I have never seen that women happier! We all were on cloud nine! It seems like such a simple thing but it was such a miracle to us!
           God is so good! His hand truly is seen in every moment of our lives when we are working hard to be righteous and build the kingdom! 
        I LOVE my mission! Thank you thank you to EVERYONE of you who has worked so hard to help get me here and to support me this whole time. You are amazing. God loves you! Keep being righteous so we can go to heaven!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

oh ps...Sis. Mertlich, one of my former companions went home yesterday. It was one of the saddest moments of my life saying bye to her! She is so dear to me. But her mission was up and her family needs her! So grateful to have served with her! Saying goodbye to former companions is the WORST. First it was Sis. Jones, then Sis. Johnson, now Sis. Mertlich and in just ONE MONTH Sis. Nance goes home! So sad! Good thing everyone comes back to Utah so I will get to see them again!!!!!!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Fall Greetings

          Missions are the best!!! Sometimes I have to pinch myself. I am just some random girl from Mapleton Utah who somehow winded up here in beautiful Ohio in the middle of a glorious fall season and traipsing around Kirltland where the Savior and Heavenly Father have appeared and where the Prophet Joseph Smith and Emma and Newel and Anne Whitney and Brigham young and Orson Hyde and Father Tanner and all sorts of the most incredible people have walked! I get to tell people all about that and show them and walk with the and say "this is it! This is the very place where He stood" Its a truly incredible thing! And THEN, on area days, I get to drive 35 minutes through the most beautiful countryside to a town where the 4th largest Amish Settlement is! Our Branch is small and needy and full of really old people and I wouldn't have it any other way! So I get to go around visiting a bunch of Assisted Living centers and little old Grandma's and Grandpa's who can't make it to church anymore and I LOVE it. It is just perfect for me! Missions are indeed the best. Where else could I be having all these wonderful experiences?!!!

      SO that is basically my life. I know it sounds pretty cushy...TRUST ME, we have plenty of rough days. Its still really hard work. But, oh so rewarding.

       This week was really good. We saw a lot of the members in our area which was awesome, We have some that love having us over every week but we were able to see and get to know some that haven't had the missionaries in their home for awhile now so that was a success! We don't have many investigators to work with so we feel strongly that we need to follow the counsel we've been given and try and effectively work with the members! Its been going great! We have one member referral that seems promising so we aren't giving up on him (although he is very busy).
       We had such a fun lesson with Bro. Pitts this week (he is the 26 year old who overdosed and now lives in an assisted living type place) At one point in the lesson he just gets this big grin on his face and blurts out "God's the best!" haha....best quote ever...yes, yes God is the best! He also left us a voice mail later that night and said, "Hi Sister Nance and Sister Newren, I just wanted to call and say thanks for being so cool and valiant soldiers...and um...I don't know! K BYE!" haha... it was the sweetest thing EVER! I love that kid!
      Yesterday we officially started rehearsals for the Messiah Concert we are participating in. Some members in our branch are really involved with this community choir that does a Messiah Concert every year to raise money for the poor in the county. Well apparently "the sisters are in it every year!" So, we got permission to go to every other practice and be in it! The other 3 sisters in the Branch weren't too thrilled because they don't sing that often and its really hard music! But, I am actually WAY excited for it! It was so fun, The Shepherds (member couple who are making us be in it) had us over for lunch after church, we had THE most delicious fresh tomato soup (from the tomatoes we helped her can the other day!) Honeydew melon and gourmet chicken and grilled cheese sandwiches with Amish Whole Wheat Bread and Havarti Cheese. I am still drooling just thinking about it, It was SO good (maybe I am just getting sick of my own cooking..yep...that too)! Anyways.  Then we headed to this catholic church for the practice, It was a huge place, apparently its actually like a retirement home for the nuns when they get really old. So cool, So I sat next to some nuns and learned to sing Handel's Messiah. It was AWESOME!

        Well, I am doing great and LOVING my mission! Although, I often feel inadequate, I know there are a billion things more I could be doing. But I am trying to just take it one day at a time and recognize that I am a successful missionary when I am doing my best. And moving ahead with that Trust in God has taken me further than I ever could have imagined!
    I read this really good quote this morning! Ready..." The Virtue of your own life will be a light to those who sit in darkness, because you are a living witness of the fullness of the gospel.  Wherever you have been planted on this beautiful but often troubled earth of ours, you can be the one to 'succor the weak, lift up the hands which hang down , and strengthen the feeble knees'" - Elder Uchtodorf. Isn't that great!!!! We just have to be the best we can be!!!!! When we are righteous we ARE living witnesses to the fullness of the Gospel and the joy and peace it brings. I am so grateful for that!  There is so much good to be done in the world. And who better then us to go out and do it!
         I love you all dearly! Thanks a billion for all your love and support!
Ps...this week in transfer meeting President gave us his "vision" for the mission. They are so good so here you go...
    1) LOVE your mission (or your life)
    2) BELIEVE in Miracles
    3) ANCHOR yourself in the Word of God
    4) GO to Heaven 
               So simple. I love it!

This is Hannah's district