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 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 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!" 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

Monday, September 15, 2014


Hello hello!
     4 tornadoes swept in this week, they narrowly missed the area I was in at the time (we almost had to take shelter in a members basement...the sirens were blaring and she made us sit down and watch the weather report with her until it passed...haha it was adventurous!) Everything is fine though, except for in the aftermath the tornadoes brought in the cold weather. It has been so chilly, I feel like just yesterday was summer and suddenly I have had to don, Tights, boots, scarves and Sweaters! So crazy! I am not ready for it yet!

     I love serving in the Chardon Branch, we get to work really closely with the members which I love so much! In the Shaker Heights ward I felt really overwhelmed because there were so many members!!!  But here I have a goal to know everyone's name in the Branch!!! These next few months are going to be awesome! I love Sis. Nance so much! She is a breath of fresh air and is going to help me finish my mission out strong!!!! I love her! The Less Active we were bringing to theGladys Knight fireside canceled on us! We are so sad!!!!! We are praying that who ever needs to be there the most will be able to go though. We were able to give our tickets to some of the Chardon West Sisters investigators, Maybe there are the ones who really need to be there!
        We went to stake correlation last night (its a meeting with the 4 Zone Leaders and 4 Sister training leaders in the Kirtland Stake and our mission president and Stake President!)  It kinda felt like an auction when we started talking about tickets for the Fireside. President Vellinga and Bro. Packer were like "I need at least 10 for Saturday night, here are 6 for Friday....etc etc..." it was really funny! Tickets are so precious right now! The Saturday Night shows are completely sold out and we only have like 100 left for the Friday early show. The evening one is sold out too! and there are like 300 people in the Cleveland stake alone that are planning on going to wait in the Stand by line! Its so awesome! Everyone wants to come! Its going to be so packed! Sis. Nance and I did get asked to be 2 of the 12 assisting missionaries that get to help out at the Fireside though! SO that will be way fun! Basically we are going to be there all day Saturday and will hopefully get to see some of the show. They AP's said we will be getting home really probably after midnight. That is so weird as a missionary.
       President Haymond also got to preview the "Meet the Mormons" movie. He said "this is going to be just as big, if not bigger for this area then the SUV and Gladys Knight Fireside" So COOL! The work truly is hastening!
        We were able to take some really cool people on tour this last week, We are all sad because the business of summer is gone, only a few people trickle in at a time now. But I love it too because it means we get to spend more time with them. In the Summer tours are like an hour because there are so many people, But now if it feels right and they ask lots of questions we have had tours that last up to 3 hours! Its so much fun to be able to really get to know them. One man we took on tour was so touched, He was from Scotland and when we got to the School of the Prophets he said "I have a lot of siblings back home who would do anything to be here right now!" He then asked if he could offer a prayer of gratitude. It was the sweetest thing! He was so sincere. It was one of the most spiritual moments I have ever had in the School of the Prophets, hearing this humble man with a Scottish brogue plead with the Lord to bless us, bless his ward back home in Scotland, bless all those he knew that were struggling with ill health etc. I am so grateful for being on a mission. "Thank you little black name tag, for giving me license to have beautiful and intimate experiences with complete strangers" (Elder Christofferson's CES Fireside Last night)
       Yesterday was a busy busy Sunday. We had that Stake Meeting and then also were asked to stay and help with the Kirtland Missionary Academy. Its basically like a Mission Prep class for the youth of the stake. It was really neat, We just help them role play a lot and talked about missionary work. Then after that there was a fireside at the Visitors center. The Bishop of the Kirtland Ward spoke. He shared his conversion story and it was so powerful! Patar (my former investigator who got baptized recently) came and bore his testimony too! It was SO AWESOME!!!!!! And then the night just kept getting better and better! We went over to the Robins house and got to watch the CES Fireside with them and the other sisters in our branch and with the Pikes (another Senior Couple) while eating Ice cream! It was so cozy and homy! I loved it! And it was SUCH a good fireside!
        This morning I was reading in 2 Samuel, There was a lot of crazy warfare going on and it suddenly hit me, The root of all the problems and issues in the Bible and the World pretty much boils down to people being selfish. That is why Satan tries SO HARD to make it so that we are constantly focused on our wants and desires and greed and lusts. Its so sad! But God has a plan that perfectly counteracts that! Think about it! That is why Family is at the very foundation of God's plan for us. Because in families we learn how to sacrifice and serve and be Selfless, like Christ. I love the Gospel, I love this church and I love love love my family!!!   
           Well, I better be off. We won't get another pday until next wednesday so we have a lot to do! I hope and pray you all have a wonderful day! Don't forget to read your scriptures!
                          - Go to Heaven!

Monday, July 28, 2014

Coolest Summer Ever!

    Helloooo Utah....
           So, in case y'all haven't been very observant of the weather out here..I do believe it has been the coolest summer I have ever lived through. Weird. I was so expecting to be dripping with sweat all June/July/August but so far we have only had like 2 or 3 really hot days where I can even feel the humidity. Its been so nice! Most of July I have actually worn a cardigan everywhere. That's how cool it is. I have hopes that it will maybe get warmer in August but so far I am living the mildest summer of my life. I love it though. It has been raining a ton here, like cats and dogs folks, cats and dogs!!! Yesterday we had to pull over because it was raining SO hard and we got all sorts of flash flood warnings, Tornado warnings and the like. Sis. Mertlich and I keep hoping it will actually happen. I just really want to see a tornado before I leave here.  Not a really intense one, Just a baby one. We were sitting in the parking lot waiting for the rain to lighten up a bit and for a second we had ourselves convinced that the clouds were starting to swirl! Then Sis. Mertlich breaks out her vast meteorology knowledge(she took one class:) and begins to tell me how such and such is a sign of a tornado....haha We were hopeful for awhile there but it just wasn't meant to be.
        Have I told you how much I love Sis. Mertlich??? I am so grateful we get to be together for another transfer. I am learning so much from her. This week was awesome. We have had it rough for a few weeks. Just not much time in our area with Kirtland being so busy and all of our investigators are ignoring us and we felt like we haven't had a new investigator for a few weeks!!! But yesterday, Satan tried to do all he could get us to give up (we just were both having a bad day) but we kept going and ended up on a street where we made two stop bys we have been meaning to get to for weeks and it was such a miracle! One we have an appointment with for this week and the other one is now our new investigator!!! Her name is Nana and she is 81 years old and the funniest black lady ever! She adopted us already as her children so we are pretty much tight already. She is going to read the Book of Mormon this week. Such a miracle. I love those days when you know you really can't do it. You don't even have the motivation or desire to get out of the car... so you just give it all over to God and He makes it the best day EVER!!!!
           We also finally got a hold of our investigator D. We are seeing her tonight and are so excited. She is golden if she would just stop being so flaky with appointments. But its going to happen I have the faith!!!!
       One of the best moments this week was when Sis. Wagner (a less active/recent convert family we are working with) came into Relief Society. She said her mother (who they live with temporarily...its a really bad situation) kept telling her "why would you go to church you are already so late...there is no point now". But she said "I just had to come. Even if we were late. I need this, my kids need this!" She then excitedly told us how she has been reading the Book of Mormon and praying everyday this week, She said she put scriptures up all over her walls and she showed us her notebook where she has been taking notes on what she learns as she is reading and she kept going on and on about how clear her mind has been this week and she said "I feel like I haven't been making the best decisions recently but this week as I have been reading I have had the strength to make those good choices!" She was so excited about how much it has helped her. She is one of my favorite people in the world. There family is going through a really rough time and we are doing all we can to help them and yet often I don't feel like we can even make a dent in really helping them. But seeing her be able to apply it to her life. To claim those blessings of the gospel for herself and her family has been so amazing! They are so awesome! Her son Earnest really wants to go on a mission so we have been trying to help him prepare for that. They are such a special family. It suddenly hit me yesterday that I now only have like 5 weeks to work with them in this area. It is almost for sure that I am getting transferred next transfer and that makes me so sad!!! Its still a while away but time just goes so fast and it is the hardest thing to move on a trust that there will be just as much joy and fulfillment in serving the next ward I am assigned to. Mission's are the best thing ever! I can't believe how much I am learning and changing and growing and becoming better. God is SO good. I don't know how He got me here but I am eternally grateful that He did.
       This week I had to say good bye to my mama in the mission field ( trainer), Sis. Jones. She actually trained Sis. Mertlich as well so it was a double wammy for us. Plus all of the other sisters that left with her we were pretty close to so it just was really hard to see them go! We love them so much! The new sisters are awesome but things are just so different around here all of the sudden! But, as Elder Sorenson would say "we just keep moving onward and upward" sigh....Sometimes I love change and sometimes I really hate it.
        I keep forgetting that this week I hit my year mark...can you believe it has been that long??????! Crazy.
        I hope you all are having a good week! Congratulations Katie and Jake on having your baby girl!!!! I am an Auntie again!!!!!! Friday was the best day of my life when I got Lizzy's letter about the birth! So excited to meet her!!! Don't let her grow any while I am gone!
               Love you all!!!!
                         Go to Heaven! 
                                    Sis. Hannah Newren


 pictures are with two of the wagner kids. Shantiniece and Jordan:) Aren't they so adorable!