Tuesday, April 29, 2014


Guess what? I've been transferred! Guess where? Yeah, dat's raight. Parker, Colorado. #holla

So transfers are probably the most stressful events ever on the mission. You find out you're leaving Saturday night. You tell everyone in the ward Sunday morning. Then you cry your eyes out for the rest of the Sunday saying goodbye to families and individuals who became good friends. Oh, man. I was so tired by the end of the day.

I'm sad to be leaving K and N, too, the two super solid progressing investigators. I'll miss seeing their early progression in the gospel before their baptism on May 24. I was only able to teach K one time this past week because the other time, I was on exchanges in the Crestmoor ward, the heart of Denver. Let's just say, the people there are very much humbled. It was almost odd witnessing people who were so willing to listen to the message that we have. We usually would get a polite "No, thanks" or a simple slam of the door. But, in Denver, they recognize God's hand in their lives. They attribute all of their successes in life to God, even if there were few.

I also said goodbye to M and B this morning. M's been investigating and B, her boyfriend, is less active in the church. But I'm going to her baptism. No matter how far into the future it is. I'M GOING.

So, I'm in Parker now in probably the smallest ward geographically in the mission. A 3 mile diameter. It is also the southern-most ward in the mission so the ward boundaries are the Denver North and Colorado Springs Mission boundaries. We actually go into the Springs mission for grocery shopping. Like, what?

But I am so excited to begin the work in this ward. Apparently the sister before me would not go out to work, so Sister Billings and I basically have to rebuild the work in this ward again. It's like being swept into a ward again! Apparently the members are very missionary-minded so I'm excited to get started! In like an hour!

Friday, April 25, 2014

So, basically, I'm gonna get fat.

(Sent April 21)

More missionaries wanted to go to Crossfit so they asked President for permission. Instead, President didn't want the missionaries going to a workout (even though mostly everyone there is a member of the church, so they all dress very modestly anyway) and, ultimately, disallowed all the missionaries from going to any early-morning workouts.

So, like I said, I'm going to get fat.

But it's alright. As long as I'm getting spiritually well-fed, my physical appearance won't matter. Right? RIGHT?

Nevermind. I've accepted it.

Anyway, in preparation for Easter, Sister Hoynacki and I volunteered at a community Easter Egg Hunt thing where we read stories to little children and made crafts and basically had the best time of our lives only because we could work with children! I painted some kids' faces. My favorite to paint was a pirate. Not sure how that related to Easter, but it happened.

But this past week we presented an Easter message to a lot of the families in our ward. It consisted of plastic Easter eggs with each one holding some really ghetto, missionary-budget objects representing something relating to Christ. Let's just say our crown of "thorns" was really just a bunch of twigs and our "nails" was a screw we found on the ground somewhere. Luckily, a family in our ward provided us with actual thorns and actual nails to help our message be a little more realistic. Just a little more.

You can all read/watch/learn even more about the story of Easter and what Christ ultimately did for us here.

Bunnies. Chocolate. Eggs. Easter

(Sent April 14)

Missions are always exciting and something new happens each week. Sometimes I think the time's flown by so fast and, at the same time, it's gone by so slow because of how much has happened in so little time.

This week:

1. I helped paint the inside of a house as service. It was the closest thing I could get to an adrenaline rush for being on a ladder so high up to paint the walls. So that was exciting.

2. We were totally blind-sided by a couple investigating the church. He said that there is no way he will read the Book of Mormon. Then he sort of interrogated us for the next two hours. He said he tried not to be lawyer-y because he's a contract lawyer. All I can say is, he did his very best! But he and his wife are one of the nicest people we know here (and Coloradoans are pretty nice!). They said that when they were first in America, he didn't know any English but the only people who befriended him were members of the church and he will never forget that.

So, members of the church! You have no idea how influential you are in missionary work by simply just being an example! In fact, that was talked about quite a bit in the General Conference. A true disciple of Christ is one who loves and is an example to others and, yet, defends what he or she knows is right.

Monday, April 7, 2014

4 Seasons in a Year?

Nope. It's actually 4 seasons in just one day. Colorado weather. Cray.

But, good week, good week! We put K and N on a baptismal date. K had already accepted the invitation to baptism but N hadn't. So when we asked her if she'd be willing to follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by the priesthood authority of God, she looked over to her mom and said, "Can we!?" Her mom said yes. N was SO happy! She's so cute. She takes notes on our lessons and writes down questions she has when she studies the Book of Mormon.

Half-way through the week, we got a call from K and she said that N was devastated because she thought her dad and brother wouldn't be able to attend their baptism because they're not members. But we were like, gurl, naw! Everyone is invited to baptisms! (Maybe not exactly like that, but you catch my drift, yeah?) But she was so relieved. I'm telling ya, she's a cutie!

We also met two little girls, 12 and 13. One of the girls' name has an apostrophe in it. So cool. But they opened the door and Sister H introduced ourselves and asked, "Do you have a belief in Jesus Christ?" One of the girls' eyes opened way wide and was like, "Yeah! Of course!" And we were like, whoa now that's he kind of response we've been praying for! So we said a prayer with them and just before we asked if we could come back to share a message, the other girl asked US to return to say another prayer! Two new investigators! #miracleshappen

Also, Sister H and I decided to adapt the lyrics to Myra's "Miracles Happen" song to the real world: Miracles happen ev-er-y day! When you have faaaaaaaaaaaiiiith!

Wednesday, April 2, 2014

Don't Let the Sun Go Down On Me. Really, though. Don't.

Email #10, sent March 31--new photos up on Facebook

Sister Hoynacki and I think that President Monson will make a huge announcement over the pulpit in General Conference this weekend. We think he'll allow all missionaries to drive convertibles. How ill would that be? (Sorry I used "ill". I'm just trying to stay hip with the trends among the youth today.)

I started this email off with that because this past week has been utterly exhausting. Sister H and I have worked our bee-hives off this week but our numbers don't show it. It's been our ultimate low since we've been in this area. We just caught everyone at bad times so we couldn't teach as many lessons as usual. But numbers aren't everything. It's just that everyone else (namely the ward council) may think we were slacking this week.

Let's start with K. Sister V invited us over for dinner one night with K, her neighbor. We taught K the first lesson and she invited us back this week. And we taught her the Plan of Salvation. She attended church twice these past two weeks and is, therefore, our only progressing investigator. Her 11-year old daughter wants to sit in on the lessons, too! She even attended the General Women's meeting last Saturday night!

(Quick aside from Eden: Illia told me to keep the anonymity of her investigators. She said, "I'm giving a lot of background on this girl so change her name to Sokdfiehrl or something." So for Sokdfiehrl, I did.)

Sokdfiehrl. Sokdfiehrl's 16. She doesn't like going to school so she goes every now and then, very sporadically, because she doesn't understand how to do any of the work she's assigned. Sokdfiehrl is on date for April 26 and she really wants to be baptized. She's been involved with several different things including pot, anti-depressants, drinking, and smoking but she's been 9 months sober from pot and drinking and almost a good 9 months sober from drinking but still working on smoking.

This week, we were walking towards her house when we heard someone behind us say, "Hey guys!" Lo, and behold, it was Sokdfiehrl riding her little sister's bike. We were wondering why she hadn't responded to any of our texts. Turns out, she went to South Dakota for the weekend and she got her phone back (apparently it was taken away from her...?) Anyway, the phone we'd been texting was her boyfriend's. Now ex. But that's another story.