Denver

Denver

Saturday, March 28, 2015

3-23-15 Whoa! Last letter!

What a week.  The days are getting shorter and shorter and the time is flying by!
Been a busy week this week.  Felt like we were chickens running around with our heads cut off.
- We had a sister's conference this week.  The last one we had was my fist transfer out.  It was nice to see everyone again!  Sister Bush and I just talked the whole time!  Nothing has changed :)  I got to see my Granddaughter!!  I actually have posterity in the mission now!  So cool! (this means Sister Migao, my trainee, aka daughter, is now training someone)  They are teaching a friend of a member in our ward.  So funny to see the different sides.
- Temple was awesome as always!!  I just love being there!  I even stayed awake the whole time!  For a 6:30 session!  Pretty awesome.  It was cool to be there on my exact 18 month mark!  - Zone Meeting was great.  We learned a new way to teach that helps us to focus more on what they need to be learning and cut all of the excess out.  It was so cool!  Received a lot of good insights.  We tried the new approach on our zone blitz and we taught the whole first lesson and got the lady to agree to reading/praying about the Book of Mormon, and to have the missionaries back.  It was incredible!  One of the most successful tracting moments I have had.  It was neat to feel the spirit actually leading us to that street and house!
- Showed up for our investigator lesson and his girlfriend wasn't home so we couldn't come in.  He tried calling her to see when she would be back.  While we waited, we talked with his dad.  Turns out he is a less active member and stoped visiting with the missionaries because they didn't know that he moved.  Got his address and number for them to visit him!  We weren't able to meet with them that night, but he set up 3 appointments for this coming week with us!  So awesome!
- Sunday was crazy.  We walk out of ward council super late (now I see that we went over for a reason) and see one of our ward members standing at the chapel doors (meaning she is attending the 9am session instead of our 1 o'clock session.)  When she sees us, she starts crying.  This is a strong women, she takes care of 11 kids (3 different marriages).  This is unusual for her.  We start walking with her around the church and she spills everything.  She left her husband that week.  Took her 6 kids with her.  Staying with friends and has no idea how she is going to make everything work.  Only a handful of people knew.  We got the chance to visit her later that day.  Felt so bad I couldn't do anything more to help her. It was a rewarding moment though to see her open up to us.  When I first got into the ward, she seemed very aloof.  One day Sister Bush wanted to go to choir practice and we sat next to her.  Ever since then, we have been really good friends.  But I had no idea she trusted us that much.  Many of the lessons given that Sunday had underlying tones of not judging in them.  As I looked back on those months, it was crazy to see how much she was struggling.  And there I was  wondering why she seemed so withdrawn.  If only we really knew what trials everyone around us was facing, we would have much greater love and patience with them.  We would see them in a whole new light. Closer to how God sees them.
Fun facts about next the upcoming week as I won't be writing:
- The only day we have to feed ourselves lunch is today.  We will have members feeding us every day this week trying to get one last visit in haha.
- Going home is the best excuse to get people to do things i.e feeding you, setting up appointments, coming to church, etc.  You best believe I milk it for all it is worth.
- 3 appointments with our investigator!!  Sorry, I know I already said that, but I am still mind blown!
- My departing interview is on Friday with President :O
- This is how my final moments go:  Sunday afternoon, all of us who are going home (4 sisters, 1 elder) will meet up at the church with the STLs and ZLs.  We will load up all the luggage and venture off to Westminster, where the mission home is (aka. President and Mrs. President's house).  We will have a big dinner, a testimony meeting, party all night (not really...we're missionaries) and hang out talking.  In the morning, the APs (assistants to the president) will pick us all up and drive us to the airport very early!  (The Kers are flying out that day too and will be there!!!!!!!!!!!)  At 8:45 I will board the flight going to SLC and arrive at 10:20.  At 11:35 I will board the flight going to Las Vegas and arrive at 12:02 where I will get to hug my beautiful family for the first time in forever!!!

I cannot adequately express the feelings I have for these past 18 months.  I have loved being a missionary.  I can say that because I am almost done with all those hard times haha.  But even those hard moments, I wouldn't trade them for anything in the world.  Serving the Lord for this time has brought me the greatest happiness.  I know that he was and is with me every step of the way.  As we sacrifice those things we believe are important to us, he will show us an even better path.  He will change our hearts to make what's important to him important to us.  I have felt so much love for his children that I have no doubt he knows and loves each and every one of us individually, personally, and beyond our understanding.  I have caught glimpses of his plan for me and others. He has so much more in store for us.  This life is so important, but it is not the most important thing.
I know our Savior lives.  I know he made it possible for us to become more than we believe we can be.  He is always there for us and can help us to overcome anything, even ourselves.  Even our biggest demons.  He has taken what I once thought was a terrible mistake and turned it into one of my greatest blessings.  I am so grateful for these past 18 months and wish I could share the wonderful feelings I have with all of you.  But I know those feelings come from trying to serve the Lord with all our heart, might, mind, and strength.  Not perfectly, but what we can do, and then seeking to have him help us make it better.  Thank you for all the support you have given me.  I love you all and will see you so soon! 
Love, Sister Grossman

Monday, March 16, 2015

3-16-15 Super Weird!

Oh man!  This is super weird to be writing my very last normal letter!!
What a roller coaster of a week this has been!  So many ups and so many downs, but it all turned out good in the end.
- We live in the basement.  Apparently that means mice problems.  We have mice.  We first thought there was only one.  His name was Roadkill.  So we put out traps....we caught more than one.  This week alone we have totaled 3.  I was alright putting the first trap down, but when I saw the mouse squirming and squealing trying to get out, I just couldn't pick up the trap.  I knew if I told our member, she would make me face my fears and get it.. So we called the district leader, told them where the traps were, gave them replacements, and waited outside.  They had to come back a few days later to get the other one.  Not ok....
- Had super fun helping members clean and organize places in their home as they are trying to move and are completely overwhelmed. Seriously, organizing = my favorite hobby lol.
- Thursday was interesting.  We had 4 appointments set. 3 cancelled and at the other one, our investigator dropped us.  He wasn't really progressing and we were considering dropping him, but still.  I just couldn't help but laugh.  It was so funny just how everything was working out.  It still was a bit of a bummer, but if that is all Satan has, then bring it on.  He ain't got nothing on us.
- We had a lot of good lessons this week with LAs.  There are many of them that are progressing.  I just found out this morning that one of them is in the process of going to the temple!  She is meeting with the stake president on Tuesday!!!!!!!!!!!  Wow, that made me so happy!!!!  Her daughter is the 12yr old that we are working with.  We sat with them at stake conference.  I just love them!
- Weird, this is my second stake conference in this ward.  That is a first for me.  You are usually never in an area long enough to see the next one. Unfortunately, my knees were bothering me from too much walking the day before so I had a really hard time concentrating.  I also got a lot of funny looks because I was sitting in one of the primary chairs. (they help to sit in when my knees are acting up because I can bend my leg more).
- Saturday we had a zone blitz in our area.  We picked a neighborhood, relatively smallish, but usually they split up the zone into 2 different areas so we figured we'd be ok.  And then, not everyone comes.  Well...the whole zone came to our area. 24 missionaries.  There is one member house in that neighborhood and we were standing outside talking to them when the whole fleet showed up.  Their jaw dropped and they said, "Sorry neighbors!  I promise we didn't do it!"  hahaha.  We tracted out the whole neighborhood and got 10+ potentials!  It was awesome!  Even though there were a few snags, I know we were supposed to be there for some of those people.
- I guess a few other random things: zone p-day in Strasburg, members being our get away drivers for ding dong ditching, driving/riding on automated wheelchairs around the church (Sister O's), lots of not very nice/uninterested/not progressing people who make me feel like I am hitting my head against a wall, and probably lots more I can't remember right now!  But all in all it has been a fun week.
Starting to panic.  It doesn't feel real, but at the same time it is far too real. Can't wrap my head around the fact that I have less than 14 days.....I feel slightly sick all the time hahaha.  But still loving being a missionary.   
I will talk to you all next week for the final time :O love and miss you!!
Sister Grossman

Monday, March 9, 2015

3-9-15 Another Week of Blessings

Hello!
Well it has been another good week!!
- Went out to Strasburg for our sisters p-day last week.  We went to a donkey shelter and got to play with them all!  Our shoes were pretty poopy afterwards, but we had a fun time!  We just had fun taking some pictures on this giant train bridge too.
- Been working with a LA's 12yr old daughter.  Seeing great progress with her :) she's awesome and I just love her.  She's been coming to church and Young women's pretty regularly, but is having a hard time blending in with the girls.  Spent some good time with her this week.
- Had a lot of good lessons again this week.  We even invited Toshi to be baptized (after he goes back to Japan and can finish the lessons).  He said he would pray about it.
- Went blitzing again this week.  We ran into a deaf pastor (I got so flustered I couldn't remember much of anything!) and a Jehovah Witness.  We did get into the JW's house, but that was only because I asked to use their bathroom.  Haha fun times.
- Had a great Relief Society party this week; 4 Less Actives Showed up.  They seemed to have a fun time and hopefully will come to church more!
- Had to give a talk in church this week.  He asked me to speak on the Atonement and to give it from the heart.  That's all I got.  I was panicking about it all week.  I feel so much better now that it is over.  Oh yeah, and I was going last.  I ended in perfect time :) it was awesome.  I was crazy nervous, but at least my voice wasn't super shaky.  I got a lot of compliments on it afterwards, so I guess it went ok, but I don't even remember what I said haha.  I felt it was really all over the place, but they said it made sense!  The Kers even came in and listened.  I talked a lot about using the Atonement to strengthen us.  The more we break, the weaker we become. (I used the moose figurine on the stereo that we always break the one antler off as an example haha).  I also spoke on how we don't need to earn it or achieve it, but to just be thankful for it and use it.  My theme I guess you could say was "We are merely content with being fixed, but God would have us be unbreakable."  I also spoke of how our trials accomplish this.  Our trials are simply practice, not punishment.  I forgot my notebook so maybe I can share more of my thoughts next week. 
Well I know that it isn't much, but that's the week!  Again, I am so glad I got to stay here to see the work pick up in this ward.  It truly is a blessing from God to see the blessings he has.  I love you all and hope that you can feel of His love constantly because He is always there.  I will report next week!
Love, Sister Grossman




Monday, March 2, 2015

3-2-15 Snow, snow, everywhere, and me without my boots!

Sorry for no big letter last week!  Not too much to share from last week except for the crazy snow storm we had!  I can't remember if it was 1 or 2 inches every 30 minutes. Crazy!!  So all cars were parked and we were to be out and about on foot.  Of course that means I can't go, but some nice members gave us rides.  All the cars on the road were slipping and sliding and getting stuck everywhere! Also, Daniel wasn't able to get confirmed that Sunday either.  There was no way his mom could have made it out in that and he refused to do it without his parents (rightfully so, I think they offered to him though)
Ok this week!!
- Had a less active ignore us at the door after knocking/ringing 4 times!  We could see and hear her in there.  I just wanted to open the door and say, "Excuse me!!  We know you're home! Stop being a pansy and tell it to our face." (she was trying to be quiet and not cross in front of the window, but she wasn't doing a good job.) But that would have been mean, not quite appropriate with a tag on.  Sometimes I think, "If only I wasn't a missionary!!" ...it's probably a good thing I am haha.
- Had some great lessons with 2 investigators who previously had not been progressing.  Both of them had their whole families join us!  One of them even admitted his real concern!  Both of them had amazing members who came.  I know it was their presence, testimony, and friendship that made these lessons go so well!
- Had some great lessons with Less Actives!  Good spiritual moments and progression!
- Toshi: We asked how his prayers were going and he said he had been doing them, but he still didn't feel like he was getting an answer.  My heart sank because I promised he would have one soon, as God wants to have a relationship with him.  So we asked him how he felt when he prayed and he couldn't find the right word.  First he said solemn, and then said that wasn't right.  He hunted around in his translator for a minute and then said, "Oh!  Peace."  My mouth fell.  I said, "TOSHI!! (probably scared the poor guy with how excited I was) You are feeling the spirit!!  That is how he talks to us!!!  You are receiving answers!!"  His eyes got really big and his mouth got all scrunched up as if he were saying "o" and he just sat there.  It was an amazing experience to see him realize for the first time that God was really there, was really listening, and really loved him!  So happy to be apart of that.  I'm not sure if I already said this.  We got his Japanese address to send him missionaries when he gets back home.  He said that when he returns, he wants to find our church.  He loves how kind everyone is to him and how we are all family.  Just goes to show how members have an incredible influence.  He wants to go back not entirely for what we are teaching (because we haven't gotten that far haha), but because he feels loved and important. Wow!
- We blitzed Colfax this week. 20 missionaries walking up and down one of the sketchiest streets haha. We had fun!  Met so many diverse people.  We do something nicknamed "zebra tracting" where a Spanish missionary and an English missionary go together.  That way, no matter who you meet you can talk to them!  But really we would need the whole rainbow as we met people from Congo, Ethiopia, etc.  So cool to see how readily some of these people accepted the gospel.  We found a lady who previously met with missionaries, but moved and they never knew.  But she still was interested!
- Daniel finally made it to church!!  There were so many complications, but man is the Lord watching out for us!  The base was shut down and they couldn't get off.  Even if they somehow managed, the Brother who was supposed to confirm him was also stuck on base!  But it opened up and they made it in perfect time!!  A good chunk of our ward was late to church because of it.  I was crying through his whole confirmation.  I got up and bore my testimony (because I thought this might be the last chance I get to do it) which made me cry more because every time I looked up I didn't see a congregation of people I knew, they were family and I love them so much.  Then his mom went up and bore her testimony which made me just bawl.  I was so overcome with love that day.  Love for them and for Heavenly Father and for his love for me and a love to be a part of this work.  Can't really explain any better what I was feeling.
- We had 2 LA families and 3 individual LA's at church!!  One of them (well 2 counting Sister Okelberry) bore their testimony!

Well not too much else to share!!  It was a great week this week.  Thankful I got to stay here and continue seeing the miracles happen.  I can't believe how few of these I have left to write.  I will be so sad to leave, but so happy to be home.  Bittersweet.  I love you all!  Hope you have a wonderful week.  Continue praying for missionary experiences.  Talk to you in a week!
Love, Sister Grossman 

Daniel and his family


Sunday, February 22, 2015

2-17-15 Stayed Put!

Hello Everyone!
This week was good and busy!
- Transfers: a surprise for everyone, I stayed in Coal Creek.  None of us saw this coming...at all.  But it will be good.  Hopefully I'll get to see a few more things happen while I am here.  The ward is very excited they get to "kill" me. (That means a missionary finishes with you and goes home.)  They haven't had the chance to "kill" one in a while and they are already having fun teasing me about it.
- My new companion is Sister Marshall.  She is from Utah and is 24.  She has been on her mission for 14 months.
- had some great lessons this week; saw some great progression!
- had zone meeting this week.  It was so spiritual!  Great trainings.
- Daniel's baptism went so good!!  Of course, I was crying.  I was so happy for that family. The confirmation didn't go quite as well haha.  They showed up late for church and so we have to do it next week...hope they come lol!

Sorry there isn't too much to report this week.  Yes, it was busy, but with lots of small things to get ready for transfers and the baptism.  haha Sorry, I know this is boring and doesn't sound like I am doing good, but I am!  I hope you have a great week!  Talk to you next week with hopefully more to say! Love you, Sister Grossman

Sunday, February 15, 2015

2-9-15 Miracles! Miracles are everywhere!

Sorry I have slacked on writing a big letter!  It's go time!  Lots to cover in a small amount of time!
-  Things are still on track for Daniel's baptism!  His interview is tomorrow.  Dad will be back in town the end of this week.  The schedule is set and hopefully all the kinks are worked through!  We are so excited!  We have really come to love this family so much!  I am so excited that he decided to get baptized before transfers so that I can be there for it.
-Toshi.  Toshi is from Japan and is here on a 3 month business trip.  He wants to learn English and knows that Americans go to church on Sunday.  So he looked at a bunch of different churches and likes ours the best.  He has been coming for 4 weeks now.  Toshi was raised Buddhist, but doesn't really know much of anything about God.  He wants to learn more about Jesus Christ.  So now he is our new investigator!! He asks the best question!!  Like, why do we need Jesus Christ to save us? and How did Jesus Christ always know which way was right? (as in choosing to be righteous).  There is a huge communication barrier but thankfully the church is a small world and we have two people who alternate coming to our lessons to translate (they both served their missions in Japan) and make sure he understands everything. Toshi is amazing!  He is so sweet and humble.  He doesn't understand that this is what we do, teach people about Jesus Christ. He is so thankful that we take the time with him.
- the Kers.  No not that Ker a different Ker.  We have been teaching their 7yr old daughter Natalie before her baptism. She just got baptized on Saturday and they asked Sister Bush and I to speak!!  It meant so much to us!  Toshi came to watch the baptism too!  Brother Ker even helped us detail our car for Zone Conference but we still didn't win :(
- Work has been going good.  Lots of people progressing and coming to church.  We've been reading the Book of Mormon with Julie Sargent and we left one day just finishing the 6th chapter and she texts us the day before our next appointment telling us she doesn't understand chapter 13 and we are going to need to go back and explain it to her!!  So great!!  Her daughter is even coming to church with her now and loves young womens!!  Brother Ker, the other Brother Ker, Mike in the Sable ward,  was joking around with us on Saturday telling us, "you know what this means right? You have people progressing, baptisms, the work is going great, the ward is improving.....you're getting transferred :)  We have a sinking feeling he might be right....
- Superbowl Sunday: we ate dinner with Jessie that night and she is a HUGE Patriots fan.  So we were voluntold that we are now Pats fans as well.  So my team one!!! hahaha but we were well informed by her cheering or moans of what was going on during the game lol.
- We had Zone Conference on Wednesday.  This was a big day as it was my last zone conference which means I had to give a departing testimony.  There are 3 zones in attendance; at the end of the meeting,everyone who will be going home in this transfer or the next gets up and bears a short testimony.  It's your last "make it count" to everyone.  So hard to do, but even harder to sit down afterwards because it was final, it was over.  I just sat there silently crying.  I talked about how I will miss being people's hope.  How in my darkest times, Christ was there.  He was the hand reaching out and not everyone can see that hand.  We get to be the one that shines the light, spotlights his hand I guess you could say.  We get to show people there is a better way.  And I will really miss that.  I also talked about how I realized how important the gospel was to me, that it isn't up there on the list, but it is the top.  It was a great opportunity, I just wish I could remember more of what I said haha.  I felt the spirit so strongly though.
- Health: still sick. still working.  We've been taking it easy for a few days and the rest has definitely helped.  Still have a nasty cough, although the antibiotics were gone on Friday.  Might go to a doctor tomorrow.  I talked to the mission doctor and he said he wants me to get a picture of my chest just to make sure it isn't walking pneumonia.  But honestly, it hasn't been too bad.  Some days are worse than others.  If I can stop talking maybe the coughing wouldn't be so bad, but we all know I am no good at that :)
- Cool spiritual thought I had:  after Toshi's question "how did Jesus Christ always know how to pick the right?"  We all went around the classroom trying to answer  (it was in gospel essentials that we had this conversation.)  As one man was talking, something he said really made me think.  He mentioned that Jesus Christ knew his purpose and he understood just how important it was.  He always chose right because it was essential to fulfilling his purpose.  Part of our purpose in being down here is to learn and make mistakes, but if we understood just how important OUR purpose was, I think we would choose wrong a whole lot less of the time.  We often forget who we are, how important we are, and how much of a difference we make.  Just a little tidbit of a thought.
Well I think I better wrap up.  I'm running low on time and I can't remember what else there is to tell.  So I love you all and may or may not see you on Monday of next week since it will be transfers.  Have a fabulous week! 
Love, Sister Grossman

Sunday, February 1, 2015

1-26-15 There is Sunshine in my Soul Today!

Hello all!!
What a great week this has been!  Long, but great!  So many miracles and so much happiness!
- Ok so my health wasn't that great this week.  We had to stay home quite a bit.  I am now a walking pharmacy as so many members of the ward were so nice and gave me lots of things to help.  But with all that, I still ended up going to the doctor and she gave me a few things as well.  She thinks it is just a virus that is taking a little longer since we are now going on week 3.  We will see if she is right.  But I am feeling much better!
- Had exchanges.  I got to go to two district meetings!!  One of them was the Spanish district so I got to stand with them and recite our purpose in Spanish!  All those language studies with Sister Rodriguez paid off!  Got to teach some great lessons.
- Interviews were great with President and Sister Mendenhall, although all of us were comparing things he said regarding transfers and big changes are coming we feel!  I think this will be my last transfer in Coal Creek.  If I have to guess, I think I am going to Brighton or Arapaho.  But we will see!
- At dinner with the 1st counselor and we mentioned we were going to a LA's house after that.  As this family is very flaky, he texted the husband to see if he remembered.  He wasn't going to be there because he forgot he promised his kid he would take him to a school function. but the wife would be there, something we were not thrilled about.  He is the main push in the family for the church.  The last couple lessons we had were just with her and the kids and she seemed very indifferent about the gospel and very cold towards us.  We went anyways, super nervous.  God decided to show us to have a little more in faith in him and his work.  She was so nice!  Laughing and talking with us.  She participated in the lesson, agreed to let us come and prepare her 7yr old for baptism and when asked what we could do for her family, she said, "Just keep coming back!"  Well sure we can do that!!  It was such a great night; we were so happy!
- If I haven't already mentioned it, we do a zone blitz every Saturday.  That is where all the missionaries in the whole zone come to one area and tract it all.  Found a couple good potentials for them!  Got to use Spanish quite a bit.  Although I'm in trouble when they start talking to me thinking I can speak Spanish when I finished my memorized spiel of who we are and what our purpose is.  Super awkward when I say no hablas espanol. They are pretty confused.  But it was enough to get other missionaries back so oh well! 
- Had a great lesson with Tom (not sure if you remember him from when I was back with Sister Bracey).  This is only the second time we have taught him; he is so busy.  But it was a great lesson and we set up a tentative time with him for this coming week.
-  Had FHE with the Owens again.  We read in I Ne 11 and it talked about Christ's sacrifice, the miracles he performed, and him getting baptized.  We discussed how out of everything they could have mentioned it was those 3 things.  It was a great discussion seeing as how three out of four of them are not baptized!  The Dad (LA) accepted 2 callings while we were there (the 1st counselor in the bishopric came with us) and one of them is a Sunday calling!  He said they would all be at church next week!
I feel like this is only a few of the good things that happened this week!  But I can't think of anymore specifics.  We just had a great week full of little and big miracles.  Lots of needed things happened, like our ward mission leader finally stepping up.  I am just so happy.  I sat in sacrament meeting looking around at everyone just realizing how much I love these people and love being a missionary.  I am so thankful for this opportunity to show me where my priorities are.  I have never been as happy as when serving God's children, which allows me to feel his love for them.  I love these verses in 1 Nephi 11:21 And the angel said unto me: Behold the Lamb of God, yea, even the Son of the Eternal Father! Knowest thou the meaning of the tree which thy father saw?
 22 And I answered him, saying: Yea, it is the love of God, which sheddeth itself abroad in the hearts of the children of men; wherefore, it is the most desirable above all things.
 23 And he spake unto me, saying: Yea, and the most joyous to the soul
God's love is the most desirable thing, no matter how much we try and trick ourselves into thinking otherwise.  And as it said in verse 23, it is the one thing that will make us the most happy.  When we feel lost, alone, and discouraged, we should turn to God.  His love will lighten our burdens and help us see that we are not alone.  Seek out that love and let it brighten your day.  I love you all.  Thank you for your support.  I am thankful for this time to be serving and to become who the Lord needs me to be.  Have a great week!
Love, Sister Grossman