Tuesday, December 31, 2013

12-30-13 Last letter for this year

I am still pretty sick.  It was a slow week because of that.  We had to go home a lot so I could sleep.  I would get wiped out quickly.  Thankfully, I am getting to the point where I can pretty much go the whole day now. On Christmas Eve, we ran plates of goodies around to a lot of Less Actives (two young girls in the ward made a LOT of cookies and the mom asked us to take a bunch of plates.  We were very happy about that because we are always needing things to give out to people.)  We asked the relief society to help out with a struggling kind of-investigator family.  They are really being hit financially hard.  It was the best part to tell her that we were bringing her presents for her two little girls.  She started crying and was so thankful.  Even though I wasn't home, I still got to participate in something like that :) it made me really happy.
Christmas morning, we had a family feed us a delightful tasting breakfast.  They showed us an array of different Christmas headgear and told us to pick one.  Most of my pictures (of me opening my presents) show me wearing the antler headband I picked haha.  We went to another lady's house afterwards and she wanted us to try on clothes to choose which ones we wanted to take.  None of them fit me, so I just sat on the bed and watched Sister Hunt try on clothes.  I ended up falling asleep on the bed, so Sister Hunt brought me home so I could sleep.  ...We opened presents instead :)  It was so much fun.  Our host family made us stockings and gave us a present :O  We were so shocked and grateful.  The stockings had a bunch of candy, cutie oranges, but most importantly, we each a $25 gift card to a local grocery store!!  I love food :) so it was a magnificent present haha.  They also gave us each a scarf.  After Christmas, I think I am way stocked on scarves.  ..haha just kidding, that is an oxymoron! (meaning don't be afraid to send more!)  But I am glad I have quite a few now.  I really need them out here and now I actually have options.   It was really nice of them though.  They all (parents, and 3 step daughters) sat and watched us open all our presents. Don't worry mom (and Grammy), I took lots of pictures.  I need to get another memory card for my camera so I can just send this one home to be emptied.  It is a pain to have to send 3 pictures at a time.  Thank you again for all the wonderful presents!
After presents...and pretty much the rest of the day excluding dinner and skyping,  I slept or just rested.  It didn't feel much like Christmas.  But in some ways it did.  Just different I guess.
Saturday was Katie's baptism which was awesome!!  I was so happy to be there and watch her make such a wonderful covenant with the Lord.  It was great to see other missionaries too!  Elder Osborne and Elder Larson were both there!  It just so happened my former sister training leaders and my one of my old zone leaders were there, so I got to see them too!  Quite a few people from the ward were there.  It was just a wonderful experience and I am so glad I got to go!
Other than that, no out of normal experiences.  Teaching, talking to people.  But like I said, a slow week because I was sick.  It was nice to rest though haha.  Well anyways, hope everyone had a Merry Christmas and will have a Happy New Year!!  Don't party too hard!!

Love, Sister Grossman

Photos from 12-23-13


Hi everyone!
I hope everyone is enjoying their break!!  It's really sad, it doesn't really feel like Christmas at all.  I mean I see all the lights and decorations, people's trees and presents, but I'm not doing anything that I normally do, so I have a hard time believing it's almost Christmas.  I woke and thought, "tomorrow is Christmas Eve!!"  and my mind was blown.  This week was good.  A little hard going into so many new situations blind, but it's been fun.  I have Sister Hunt with me, so I'm not worried.  I seriously love her so much!  She is just what I needed.  It's great to have someone as equally forward in lessons.  I think our biggest problem is going to be to stop having long conversations and laughing like crazy and go to work!  We just get along great!  I know President knows I needed to be with her.  There are a lot of things she can help me on and I am excited to learn from her!
I realized last time I forgot to mention the Biglen's sealing.  It was so amazing!!  I loved being in there and seeing that.  I got to go to Jacob and Heather's sealing before I left, but being out here on a mission and studying the gospel, I have a whole new understanding and appreciation for the plan.  It was so great to be there and see this family take in the ordinances that will allow them to be together forever!  To see the joy and love on their faces as they didn't have to be separated at death was the best.  When little Joseph walked in, he was just the cutest thing.  And he didn't squirm or move at all during the ceremony.  As I watched them, memories of our sealing came flooding back.  It is great to know our family has the same thing. I think it was hard for Elder Osborne knowing that his family wasn't at that point yet.  But he bore the sweetest testimony about it on Sunday.
Being the week after transfers, it was a little crazy and off.  I got to meet a family of investigators and they are so awesome! The dad is a less active member, Jen (mom), Shelby (14), Devin (11), and Grace (10) Wethor (only it's pronounced like waiter).  Jen and Grace are ready to get baptized, we're just waiting on Shelby and Devin.  Their real mom I think is a bad influence.  But they are so amazing!  Jen's dad just passed away and she's struggling to deal with her family on that side.  Both parents got a priesthood blessing which I think was really great for them.  Shelby was there during her dad's and I think she really felt the spirit.  I love them so much!
We also got to meet the Rout family.  All less actives and one investigator.  They are so awesome and super hilarious.  They love to mess around though so we are focusing on bringing a spirit of peace and reverence into their home.  It has made the last 2 lessons awesome!!  They are really progressing. The sad part is most of them don't know if God is there or listening.  They have had a lot of extreme experiences in the church.  But we are really working with them.
On Thursday we had our Christmas devotional!  Every zone did skits and they were so hilarious!!  I'm glad I wasn't still in the Denver North district because every single one of them got pies in the face during their skit!!  One of the Elders played "The good fairy"  from little bunny foo foo and I was dying at his performance.  Best good fairy voice I've ever heard.  He got that award my first transfer and I didn't understand...but I do now!!  Elder Handy from the 70's came and spoke to us. He was been all over Mesoamerica finding connections in the ancient artifacts about Christ's coming, the Book of Mormon, Nephi, etc. I learned some awesome things! Most mind blowing one: there is evidence of the 3 Nephites all over!!  (you know, the ones that asked to stay on the earth??)  Oh man it was so cool!  One of the man's names (don't ask for an explanation) is man-of-a-thousand-columns.  Elder Handy saw this house that the name was carved in and it literally had a thousand columns!  Then on the columns, there were 2,060 soldiers carved.  They were very young, but had their feet planted firmly in the gospel (they were standing on something representing the gospel) and a few other strangely similar things to the 2000 stripling warriors (plus their 60 reinforcements).  It was so cool!!  It was so great to see all of my old friends at the devotional!  I had such a great time.  We got the list of the movies we can watch.  We are going to watch the Chronicles of Narnia!  We're doing that today along with some Christmas shopping.
Well, I hope you guys have a very very spectacular Christmas!!  Know I will miss you, but also know I am happy to be here.  I love this gospel and the opportunity to share it with others.  Especially at this time of year. I know Heavenly Father is watching out for you.  I love you!

Sister Grossman

12-17-13 The boom falls

Hi everyone!
Wow what a whirlwind of a week.  I left my planner at home :( so I really can't remember specifics.
It was a pretty rough weeks appointments wise. We had so many fall through, cancel, or reschedule.  It wasn't too hard on us fortunately.  Our goal this week was to not get discouraged and just keep working.  We just had a list of all the less actives and I swear, we visited almost all of them.  So numbers wise, it looked really bad, but we stopped by so many people's house and that's all that matters. 
Thursday was Katie's baptismal interview. She passed!!  I am so excited for her.  We then prepared her program with her.  She wants Elder Osborne to sing and Elder Larson to play cello at it.  She wants Sister Lee and I to do the prayers.  She said she wanted us to be in the program somehow, so we offered to do the prayers: the easiest and less stressful thing haha! 
Friday we were weekly planning and I was having my every-six-weeks-panic because transfers were the next night. There were a lot of other things happening at the same time and it just didn't mix for a good night.  We learned that President Toombs was coming to the stake center to talk with another Elder.  We had a doctrine question anyway so we figured we wait around for him.  I got to talk with him and it was really helpful.  He is just so nice.  He did tell me that he wasn't entirely sure because he didn't have his paper on him, but he thought I would be staying in the area and he would be transferring Sister Lee.  I felt so much better knowing!  It was just nice to have something to wrap my head around besides the unknown.  As we were talking with a less actives wife that night, we get a phone call from the AP's (which is never good...especially on transfer week..) He asked for Sister Lee.  We knew what that meant..Sister Lee is training another new missionary!  She is not the least excited. Taking that into consideration with what president told me, we could only assume she was being swept into an area.
Come Saturday night, I was still freaking out, just not as much.  We get into transfer meeting (which starts twenty five minutes late!!) and they start giving out awards.  When Sister Lee got hers, it made reference to her staying in Webster Lake. We both look at each other wide-eyed, my panic doubling.  It takes them forever to get around to announcing transfers.  As they go down the list announcing the missionaries leaving, who is the last name they read off???  ...your very own.  That's right...I got transferred ten days before Christmas despite what President told me.
Of course, being my first transfer, I was terrified.  I didn't want to leave my ward family right before Christmas.  I had grown to love these people and to spend Christmas with strangers does not sound fun.  But if that's where the Lord needs me, then I'll go, and I'll make the best of it.  I told President that when I was talking to him, so I can't help but wonder if he was trying to see if I would hold true to that haha.  As we went home Saturday and I started packing, it suddenly dawned on Sister Lee exactly what ward that would be.  It is the ward the AP's are in....and President...  Then I couldn't help but wonder if he transferred me into that ward so he could keep an eye on me haha.  It is really nerve wracking to know they will be there.  
So Sunday we run around like crazy trying to say bye to people.  We get to dinner and it's not ready.  And then the first counselor in the stake presidency shows up and she says, "Oh we have to have our temple recommend interviews.  Sorry Sisters, this was the only time he could come.  Don't worry, it won't take long.  Forty-five minutes later and an hour after when we showed up, they are finished.  I was a little perturbed because here I have all these people I need to go see and we just wasted an hour.  At this point, it was 7:00 we were sitting down to eat.  The Carlson's were having a Christmas party that started at seven and we still had one more person to go see before then!  I was pretty irritated, but what can you do.  So we showed up super late to the party (like as it was finishing) because the family we had to go see before that, the mom refused to take a picture with me, so it took forever to convince her, and to get her to shut off skype so we could do it.  Anyways, we get there and at least get to see some people.  I got to talk with Katie for a while which was nice. I love her, she is so great.  As we talked, she told me how much of a help I had been for her.  I just sat there thinking, "but I didn't do anything!!"  
Monday came and we were frantically running around trying to get me packed and to the stake center by eleven.  We made it and got to hang out with missionaries for a bit.  I was so nervous the whole time. But my new companion, Sister Hunt, showed up and I met her.  She is 24, from UT, and this is her last transfer, meaning that I am "killing" her.  Which also means I will get a nice inheritance :)  She is super great and I am really excited to be with her.  She helped get rid of my nerves and the bit of hostility I had about changing.  She says the area is great.  I have already seen many reasons why I was put with her.  She will be a great friend and help. My district leader and zone leaders are very nice so that will be exciting.
I love it out here during Christmas time, so many people are enthusiastic about decorating!  You should see the crazy amounts of lights!  I love it!!!  I (again) forgot my camera cord.  Sorry!  I'll try to be better about that.  Anyways, time is short today, I love you all!

Sister Grossman

12-9-13 With the weather this cold, I should be making toys

Hello everyone!
I am doing well, inside and defrosted.  It is very cold here.  Some nights we are out and look at the car thermometer and it says one degree!!  But then we have members tell us it is even colder.  We try to stay away from tracting at this temperature.  We visit a lot of less actives and members.  If we do go out finding, we try to go during the day when it is at least slightly warmer.
This week was a hard week, but still very good.  We had quite a few appointments fall through and dropped three investigators.  Even some of our good investigators had to cancel appointments on us.  Or things came up with members or less actives that they had to cancel or we couldn't teach the lesson.  There was one less active who we are on good terms with and we went to her house to teach her a lesson, but she said she couldn't talk, child services were coming over.  Her little girl had fallen off the monkey bars at school and hit her head, but she couldn't remember how until later, so they thought she was trying to cover something up.  We were able to help her get her house ready though which was good.
Darrien and Sam's lesson went great.  They brought another friend, Amber.  They are all super interested and we spent two hours teaching them!!  But I love them so much.  I am so worried something is going to happen to keep them from discovering its truthfulness.  I pray for them constantly.
Katie called us Thursday in tears.  She just met with the bishop and decided that she needed to get baptized on her birthday, the 28 of December!  We are so excited for her.  Her interview is Thursday and then we will help her set up her program.  Elder Osbourne is going to sing and we know a few other things.  She loves how I curl my hair and wants me to do it for her on that day haha.   We'll have to see.
Friday evening was the Relief Society program.  It was really great, but I was so nervous to sing!  Because I was sick, I couldn't hear myself as well.  There was a high "d" (I think) that I was hitting before I got sick, but then had to drop down.  The music was prerecorded and we only had the opportunity to practice about 3 times.  The tempo was a little odd.  I was so nervous.  But we got lots of compliments, so I guess I didn't do too awful.
We had another "lesson" with Patty and brought a member pretty knowledgeable in the Godhead, but she was still too "stuck".  We're going to call president and see what his answer would be and then, if she's still not satisfied, we're just going to drop her.  She's not ready yet and I think is just having a good time arguing it and trying to disprove us.  Not that it outwardly appears that way, but maybe a little subconsciously.
Today is Zone P-day; we're going bowling.  This week is the last week in the transfer, we find out Saturday night where we are going. Anyways, I love you all. I was so excited for Monday again this week.  I think it's harder when it's cold and near the holidays.  I've been good and not opened any packages I wasn't supposed to despite Sister Lee prompting me to do so.  She thinks she is getting transferred and wants to know what they all are before she leaves.  Oh I almost forgot to mention.  A family in our ward is getting sealed on Saturday (they are converts of about a year) and invited us to go!!  We got special permission to attend.  We are so stickin' excited.  It is Sister Lee's first one.  The elders are coming too.  Anyways, I need to run!  Have a wonderful week!  Stay warm and send some this way.  Love you!

Sister Grossman

Sunday, December 29, 2013

12-2-13 You'd think I'm going to a trade school.

How is everyone doing today?  I can't believe it's already December!  I could swear you were just dropping me off at the MTC last week.  It has been a wonderful week full of many blessings and miracles.  Monday night we went over to a member's home.  They were scraping up three layers of linoleum and replacing it with hard wood floors. I was handed a shovel and went crazy!  I don't know why, but I have a blast doing all the manual labor!  I had so much fun I didn't notice how hard it was on my hands until I blew open a blister I didn't even know had formed!  The next day, I could barely move my hands they hurt so bad.  The Brother took a picture of us so that he could show the Elders and rub it in their face how we were showing them up.  They kept commenting on how good I was with a shovel!  I said I had a lot of practice growing up ;)
Wednesday we had exchanges!  Sister Mailau (she is a Tongan sister who has been out for I think about 16 months.  She is crazy awesome.)  came to our area. Because Sister Mailau doesn't have driving privileges, I got to drive!!!  It felt great.  But that also meant that I was temporarily senior companion, meaning I did all the scheduling.  Thankfully, we had a pretty full day already!  We had a great district meeting talking about faith, what are the anchors to our faith, how we can overcome those, and what we can do with our faith.  We went tracting for an hour after that.  Sister Mailau is hilarious!  She'll peer in the window and say really loudly "HELLO??"  but think of it in a Ms. Doubtfire voice!!  It's so funny.  But to hear the love and sincerity in her voice as she talks to these people is incredible.  She is so great at getting people to talk to her and keeping the conversation going even as they are saying they're not interested.  It was great to see.  We got to teach quite a few lessons that day!  One was a family so we got 3 new investigators out of that!  They know Tui Fa'amausili from when their son played football for him.  He came with us to the lesson and because he was there, the dad actually listened and we could tell their hearts were softened.  Had he not been there, I'm not sure how the message would have been received.  Members definitely need to be at the lessons!!  We talked all about mission life and it was very beneficial to see it from the perspective of someone almost done.  
We had a great Thanksgiving!  Our plan for the whole day was to visit members seeing as tracting would not go far.  We visited a few homes and in one, the mom was so busy preparing food.  They were attending a party for 30 people that she was making half the food for and was running very late.  We asked her what we could do to help and she asked if we would do her daughters' hair!  I was way excited.  There are 3 of them and did all of their hair.  For dinner, the relief society president had us and the elders over so it was fun to be with them too since out here, our zone, and more specifically our district, is our family.  I feel like in our family, we don't have a lot of the traditional foods (which I am perfectly fine with!  I like our spread :)  )  so it was weird eating something different!  I definitely missed the orange jello salad.  We stayed there for a while and then went to other homes.  We had a good time just visiting with the members and getting to know them better.  It really was a great day, but it didn't feel like Thanksgiving, just another work day!
Friday night we went over to the home of one potential investigator we found the other night.  She is 16 and her name is Darrien.  We tracted into her, gave her a Book of Mormon, and set a return appointment.  We showed up at her house, only to be told that she was on her way home from a trip to the airport. Her mom welcomed us inside to wait for her.  We started talking to her and found out she is a flight attendant!  They have tons of FA come stay with them all the time; there is always people coming in and out of their home.  Darrien was running with her brother to go pick some of them up.  We met a few others staying with them while we waited.  When she showed up, one of the FA came up and started talking with us.  He almost gave Sister Lee a hug, then stopped and said, "What am I doing?! I know the rules!"  Apparently he is a member as well and was so happy we were there.  As we was walking down the stairs, I'm pretty sure he mouthed to us, "they NEED you here!!"  Darrien's friend, Sam, sat in on the lesson and they both ate it up.  She told us how excited she was to get the Book of Mormon and how she really wants to read it.  She doesn't think the bible has all the answers and really thought everything we were teaching was awesome.  We then found out that her half-brother's dad was baptized into the church three years ago and has been talking to him about being baptized.  He's only been twice, but has been thinking about it.  Which would be great because she is super close to her brother so they could do it together!  It was amazing to see how she was being prepared.  and even if her time isn't now, I know it will be soon.
Saturday, we met with the relief society president again to discuss visiting teaching.  We only planned on one hour but it ended up taking two and a half hours.  But hopefully it well help some of the less actives.  They really just need friends and for members to reach out to them.  Sunday, we had another lesson with Patty.  Oh man, she is sure one tough nut.  We thought we were pretty prepared, but think again.  It was crazy.  In our mission, the standard of excellence for lessons taught throughout the week is 20.  Sister Lee and I were able to get 22 this week!  This is more than the first two weeks of this transfer combined!  Everyone was pretty shocked, including us.  I know that all of those are not a reward of our work, but the Lord trusting us.  I am so thankful for this opportunity to be given so many people to teach.  It was such a great week and next week is almost completely booked up except for Saturday and Sunday!  It is such a miracle.  Transfers are coming up in 2 weeks and Sister Lee thinks I am going to be training since there are 15 new sisters coming out...I hope she is wrong!  But she will probably be transferred since she has been in this area for 3 transfers.  So I'm doing my best to get the area down as well as I can before I don't have her anymore.  It's a bit nerve wracking!!  This week we are helping lay hard wood floor and painting a kitchen.  You'd think I was going to a trade school rather than a mission between moving, raking leaves, scraping linoleum, painting, doing hair, and all the others!!  But those are my favorite times; when I can serve the members and get to know them better and vise a versa.  For some reason, no one takes me seriously when I volunteer though.  I have to work to convince them I want to come.  Poor Sister Lee, getting dragged along to all these projects!  We're getting along very good.  Today I will probably be dying her hair and having a mini birthday party for her.  Anyways, I better get going, way over on time.  I hope everyone had a great Thanksgiving!  Love you all! 

Sister Grossman

Thursday, November 28, 2013

11-25-13 Happy Thanksgiving!

This week started with our lives being all sorts of mixed up.  We moved houses Monday night.  We went from having a whole basement to one small bedroom.  Not that we mind, it was just hard to fit everything in!  We are just grateful for a bed to sleep on.  The Wakens are so nice though!  We love being with them.  They actually fed us waffles Sunday morning!  In the mornings we have the house completely to ourselves because they all have already left for work.
We got to go to the temple on Wednesday morning!  Our ride is with a temple worker and she had to work the 6:00 session (normally we are 6:30) so we had to wake up even earlier.  She picked us up at 4:45, so Sister Lee set her alarm for 4. I told her she needed to learn to get ready faster, as I set my alarm for 4:30 haha! I have my priorities straight!  But even with all that, I managed to stay awake the whole time!  I just love the temple and the peace felt there :)  It is so remarkable and I feel so blessed to be able to attend every month, even though that still doesn't feel like enough!  It is such a blessing to have one so close.
The rest of the week consisted of a lot of little things.  Lots of cancelled appointments, but still some really good ones.  There was one with a lady named Linda.  She has cancelled about 4 lessons now, but we finally got to meet with her.  Even with all of the distractions going on, it was an incredible lesson where I felt the spirit so strongly!  By the end of it, she couldn't stop smiling, she seemed so happy and she said she felt peaceful.  We have another meeting with her tonight.  We'll see if she comes seeing as how yesterday she was sick and couldn't make it to church.  We had one appointment with this wonderful lady named Patty.  She loves the bible and studies it often.  She kept asking all these questions that we had such a hard time answering!  It was almost like she was bible bashing with us, but she sincerely wanted to know.  She's interested in learning, she just wants answers.  She made us lunch though and amazing!! cheesecake.  I hope we can find her answers.
Saturday, we had dinner with the Elders.  It was impromptu and we were lucky they were willing to change the day that family had planned on feeding us.  Afterwards during the lesson, she brought up how she had a hard time forgiving this one person.  She had loved them dearly, like family and they had betrayed them.  The Elders rambled on for a while (they were on exchanges and the visiting Elder talks a lot....)  Finally we were able to jump in and talk to her, relating the parable in Matt about the Master who loaned his servant money.  Then we related that to the Atonement.  I also told her about how not all trials benefit us.  It is for us to help others through the same thing.  I told her about mom's arthritis and how I had many lessons I needed to learn from that.  She immediately thought of her son who was going through something similar.  The next day she thanked us profusely and said we talked circles around the Elders.  She was so grateful for the help we had given her.  It had truly helped her to see it in a new light. 
The best lesson of all though was last night.  Our ward mission leader invited us over for dinner.  He also invited another women.  Her name is Katie and she just moved here at the beginning of the month.  She has been investigating the church since Sept.  She is 30 and just went through a divorce.  She keeps putting off a baptism date and wouldn't tell anyone all of the reasons why.  The Brother was sick, so it was just his wife, us, and Katie. We had a great dinner.  Sister Lee and I were a little worried for the lesson.  Seeing as how we had never taught her (she's the Elder's investigator) and she has been taught all the lessons, we weren't sure what we could teach her.  So we decided to just leave it up to the spirit.  What an incredible experience.  We started talking about her understanding of God, got on the subject of prayer, and some how she just started blurting out why she was so scared to get baptized.  She was afraid to make that commitment and then fail.  She was worried she would disappoint Heavenly Father.  I told  her a story of when I was in a similar situation (the one from just last week or 2 or 3) and the answers I received to it.  That he is so happy we have made right decisions to come to him.  He just wants us to try.  It's OK if we fall, that is what the Atonement is for.  He will never be disappointed in us about trying to come closer to him.  There was a lot of other things wrapped up in there:  how special she is to him and how proud he is of her (which she didn't know!!), how real fear is and that it is not from God, but Satan, and lots of other things.  she was just in tears the whole time.  Her only question when we finished talking was: "trying is enough?"  I felt so sorry for her that she had been thinking this whole time that she had to be perfect after baptism!!  I told her absolutely!  That is all God asks of us is to try, he doesn't expect anything more.  It is something we have to do with or without baptism.  Baptism just gives us that added help!!  I think she was so relieved to hear that!!  Sister Carlson made a great point.  In the 4 gospels (Matt, Mark, Luke, John)  out of all the people Christ met, no matter their sins, or their standing in life, he was never disappointed in them if they were listening to his words and trying to follow him.  Never!  Not once was he upset at someone.  What an incredible knowledge to have!  There was much more to the lesson but it would take far too long to write.  The spirit was so strong and we were all taught something that night.
I can't wait to go shopping today at that mall.  Hopefully we can find warm things!! Especially boots as it is currently snowing outside!  Yuck! I hope things are going well for everyone!  I love you all!  Have a wonderful Thanksgiving and remember to be grateful for the wonderful things the Lord has blessed all of us with because they truly are more numerous than we can count.

Love, Sister Grossman

Monday, November 18, 2013

11-18-13 Using those moving skills for ourselves!

Hi there!
I love when we email on Tuesdays!!  The week just goes by so much faster!  I can't believe it's already time to write again!  This week was full of surprises!  It's a good thing, keeps me from getting bored and restless.
Tuesday before email, we stopped by an investigator who moved in about 2 weeks ago, Katie. Technically, the Elders' have dibs on her because she is in their area and the Zone Leaders gave her to them.  However, the bishop wants us in there and she is a single women so it would make sense.  We stopped by to introduce ourselves and get to know her. We ended up staying for an hour and half. What a fantastic women!!  She is so awesome and has truly been prepared by the Lord. She asked us questions she didn't feel comfortable asking the Elders, like why do we have to wear skirts, etc.  On Thursday, Bishop went over there to meet with her and asked which companionship she liked best and she said us!  So, he should be switching that around soon and we'll be teaching her!
Wednesday, we met with Pearl again!  She FINALLY read her scriptures, at least a little bit.  baby steps!  She had the desire to have more faith and show it. She even brought up baptism.  The downside, she just got diagnosed with breast cancer and has surgery on the 4th of December.  You have to attend church 3 times before you can be baptized and she doesn't like us pressuring her into going, meaning I'm not sure if she'll ever come.  We'll have to see how that turns out.  Tuesday night we received a challenge from our zone leaders on behalf of our mission president: talk to 100 nonmembers this week!  Crazy!  You actually have to talk about the gospel though, not just chatting.  So Wednesday night we went out tracting. We talked to some very interesting people.  Most were not receptive...not in the slightest.  There were a few nice people who told us gently they were not interested. The best part was one couple who bible bashed with us.  They were really nice, don't get me wrong. But they told us we were being brainwashed by the Book of Mormon. Because we were reading out of another book rather than just the bible, we were going to hell.  And as missionaries we were leading people to hell!!  Wow, it was really interesting. It makes me sad that she thinks that.  She started crying for us!!  No joke, on her front porch in tears, she told us to go to Wal-Mart and to buy a bible, that way we could be saved!  It was a very interesting experience to say the least.
Thursday we traveled to Aurora for my first Zone Conference.  It was pretty interesting; I really enjoyed it.  I want to share one thought I had from the talk President Toombs gave us.  He likes to tell horse stories.  He had these two work horses and one would always get out through a weak spot in the fence.  He lived right by a road and was worried, but never got around to fixing the fences.  One day, the horse got out, got hit by a car, and they had to put him down because his two back legs were broken.  He was heartbroken.  As the owner, it was his job to keep the fences fixed and make it safe for the horses.  He compared the fences to commandments, but I thought of them as testimonies.  We have to keep our fences strong in order to stay safe.  When there are weak spots in them, we can break out, or things can break in and we can get hurt.  The fences are for our safety.  And going farther, we cannot welcome others into a pasture if they can't find safety there.  Meaning, we can't help people come to the gospel until our testimonies are strong enough to share with them.
For zone conference, we had to loan our car to a few elders and get a ride with a few sisters.  On the way back, apparently our car started acting up.  I guess smoke was coming out from under the hood when they pressed on the accelerator, it was shaking, etc.  We didn't see any of it.  But they were very paranoid.  The next day, the Elder in charge of cars asked us to take it in to Chevy.  We had to drive all the way up to Broomfield only to find out they couldn't look at it until Monday.  While we waited to hear back from the elder if he wanted us to leave our car or just return with it on Monday, we got to wait in the waiting room.  What a magical place. They had free donuts, cookies, popcorn, water, and even coloring books to entertain little kids!!  That was the greatest place!!  
Saturday morning we got to participate in a stake activity day girls thing.  We dealt with only 10 and 11 year olds.  They wanted sister missionaries to teach the classes to the girls.  Ours was on sharing the gospel.  We had such a blast teaching them.  Sunday, we went home about an hour early so that we could start packing. We're moving tonight!  I got told by someone at church that I was very smiley!  haha it made me happy!
This morning we got up and set out early to make our appointment at Chevy, only to get there and be told that since we haven't had problems with it since the initial issue, they don't even think it's work looking at meaning we wasted our time and miles!!  So upsetting, that would have been nice to know last time we were there!!  Anyways, that was it for our crazy week. We always had things popping up here and there.  But it was still good and I saw the hand of the Lord in helping us reach some of our goals, even when we weren't sure we could.  I love you guys!  Glad to hear things are going well!  

Sister Grossman

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

11-12-13 Some are silver and the other gold!

Hi there!
I thought about putting the whole song, but it seemed like a very long title so I decided on just the last part!  This is in honor of transfers!  I know you're wondering, so here it is:  I am staying!  Sister Lee is staying, pretty much everyone is staying.  Only two people got transferred out of our district, one being Elder Larson, one of the ones in my ward.  All in all though, it could have been much worse so I am pleased.  However, I am not in the clear.  We (Sister Lee and I) are moving.  We will be moving into another house at the end of this week.  We will just be living in a bedroom upstairs, so no more private basement, but we do have access to the full kitchen!  That will be exciting.  They leave super early in the morning, so we'll basically have the house to ourselves.
What another odd week.  I'm beginning to think that every week of the mission will be an "out of ordinary" week.
Tuesday we spent about two hours at Firestone getting our tire fixed.  We were continually losing air pressure in just one tire!  After two weeks the light went on and then again after one week.  They tried to tell me it was because it is getting colder.  I know physics, Mr. Vanderbosch taught me well.  It wouldn't have affected just one tire!  Finally they took it off and dunked it in water.  Yep, there was a nail.  So we had to get our tire changed out.
Wednesday was Zone meeting which was just fantastic!  I love my leaders, they have such awesome insights.  One of the Sister Training leaders came to our zone on an emergency transfer.  She was there for three weeks.  She told us how in her previous Zone they assigned you something to speak, but she was amazed to see how the promptings of the Lord all worked together.  Seriously, all of them went so perfectly together.  It was exactly what I needed. Sister Moore's (the temporary STL) training was about why we need to be obedient.  Satan attacks us the most, as missionaries, he works the hardest on us.  There is a law in Heaven saying you can only receive blessings through obedience.  Heavenly Father gives us, as missionaries, many rules so that as we follow them all, we may receive blessings!  What an amazing perspective.  I knew rules and commandments all had their own purpose, but I never stopped to think, maybe he's giving us this so it can bless our lives.  Even though I don't understand them all or agree with them all, I still need to follow them so that I can receive the blessings it takes to be a successful missionary.
Later that night, we had an open hour and a half because an appointment cancelled last minute on us.  We were driving around visiting less actives, but either no one was home or no one would listen to us.  It was a few minutes to nine and it was the last house of the night.  We knocked on the door and asked for the member, only to find out they moved.  We started talking to this guy only to find out that his previous wife was a member and due to complications, he couldn't be baptized.  One of his boys had even been given a baby blessing.  Now he has two sons, 12 and 9, neither of which is baptized, but the oldest has been asking to go to church!  They just moved here, and as soon as the Dad is done with training for his job (it requires him to be gone a lot for periods of time), he wants us to come over and teach them.
The Lord is preparing people everywhere!!  Do not doubt that!!  My favorite scripture that talks about this is Matthew 9:36-38.  This scripture is now one of my favorites.  You have to look at the footnote for fainted in order for it to make sense.  If Christ came today, not everyone who would believe in him would be of our faith.  It says they were like sheep with no Shepard.  We have to show them the Shepard, let them hear his voice and only then can they follow him.  The laborers are few.  There are over 100,000 missionaries out, and this isn't counting members!!  Imagine how many people there must be to compare to that number and say that 100,000 (+members) is few!!  This scripture always gives me hope that my work isn't in vain.  I always share it with members when we discuss member missionary work.
Friday, we finally got to participate in a service project that I had yet to do. We did landscaping at one of the rec centers!  It felt so great to poor my frustrations into physical work!  I had so much fun.  It was a crazy day and we didn't even get the opportunity to start weekly planning until 3:30!  Then some Elders showed up asking if we would watch the baptismal font for them.  They were filling it up, but had a dinner appointment.  Well neither of us had ever filled it up before, but didn't stop to think that we should ask how full it needed to be or where the controls were!  There were many frantic phone calls asking for help, but all in all, it turned out just fine.
Saturday was the Adult session of stake conference!  Our stake was getting split so we had a 70 and an area 70 come!  They were so awesome!  At one point, a bishop was speaking and asked his Elders and his ward mission leader to come up.  How glad I was that that was not my bishop!  Both of these Elders were big guys!  One was a Samoan and the other looked like his favorite past time was wrestling and weight lifting, but man did they look so scared!!  Elder Brown, the Samoan was handed the mic first and he immediately passed it off to the next Elder! hahaha we laughed so hard, they did this the whole time.  They did a great job though.  At one point the 70 got up and asked them several questions.  Elder Brown took the mic from his companion to answer, but before he did the 70 clarified his question.  Elder Brown paused and then handed the mic back to his companion.  It was hilarious!  At the end of the meeting, Elder Teh (the 70) said the meeting would not be complete unless we heard from a Sister Missionary!!  Thankfully, he called the Sister right next to me.  Man was I relieved.   Right after conference ended, we had transfer doctrine!  They started out with Zone awards!  There were some great ones!  Sister Lee's was the next Yellow Power Ranger haha.  Mine was Zone Gangster!  (One of the ZL's and I are teaching Sister Lee how to speak is so hilarious.  She thought 'G' stood for girl.  When I told her to call Elder Matheson that, she protested, "he's not a girl!!")  And then we found out where everyone was going.  Some of it wasn't a shocker, such as all of the Monte Vista Branch (the Spanish branch) was leaving because we knew they were going to be in the new stake.  It turned out really fun though.  We didn't get home until very late!
Sunday's stake conference was the normal bearing of the testimonies of all the new and old stake officers.  But it was still good.  Afterwards about eight missionaries hung out in the kitchen having lunch and got to talk about all the changes.
Sorry I didn't get on yesterday, the library was closed due to Veteran's Day.  If there is ever a gov. holiday, you know I won't be on until the next day.  But because it was transfer day, a ton of missionaries were at the Stake Center being swapped, so we got to go and hang out!  We had dinner that night with the people we were moving in with, so it was nice to see where we would be going.
Things are a little slow with the work.  Our investigators are struggling.  Even though we find ways to better help them, we still have to meet with them first!  It's ok though. The Lord truly works miracles as we dedicate everything we do to him.  As we pray with faith (this phrase has taken on a much deeper meaning to me) to have experiences to serve people and open their hearts to the gospel, we will be blessed with them!  I love this gospel and I love the opportunity I have to share it with those out here.  Thanks again for all the letters and pictures.  I'm sorry if I don't respond, it's a very long work in process, but I promise I will at one point!  I love you all and hope everything is going well.  Talk to you next week!

Love, Sister Grossman

Saturday, November 9, 2013

11-4-13 If all else fails, I have a very promising career in the moving industry.

Hey there!
This week was a good week..kind of haha.  I wasn't quite as focused as I should have been, and neither was Sister Lee, so it wasn't as productive.  But it was still a good week!
Tuesday we had interviews with President which was great!  He was so nice!  Our appointment with Autumn (the one I first committed to baptism) fell through.  She didn't show up at church for the past two weeks either.  I am worried for her, but I know it will happen in the Lord's timing, so I am not stressing over it.
Wednesday was our last district meeting of the transfer!  So sad!  I am going to have a hard time with the people who leave!  But afterwards, we all went out to lunch together which was a great time!  During the meeting we got a call saying that my medicine had finally arrived at the office and I had permission to come and pick it up!!  So we drove all the way up to the office and got it, along with some of the other missionaries’ packages.  As we drove back, we received a call from Debby, saying she needed to meet with us.  We went over to find that she had locked both sets of keys in her car!  Thankfully at that time, our ward mission leader, Brother Carlson and his wife drove by.  They gave Debby a ride over to her new place to get some tools to break into her car.  She talked with us afterwards and told us that she needed to put a hold on the baptismal date.  She got served a court order from the apt complex because she wasn't out in time, many times people had stolen things from her truck, and her health was not doing well due to moving by herself.  She wants to wait until after moving.  Let's hope she'll want to meet with us after that.  Later that day, we met with Jase, a 13 year old boy.  Sister Lee and her former companion taught him the first lesson a while back and he flaked on the return appointment.  We took a boy his age with us and taught him the second lesson and committed him to baptism!!  I hope he holds it though.  being 13, he doesn't quite have the drive to find his purpose in life  and eternal happiness doesn't mean much to him.  Let's hope he understands the importance of it!  He has also had a hard time coming to church in the past due to sports.  Cross my fingers!
Thursday was Halloween, so we had to be home by six.  We hung out with the Morrison's and watched some movie; I think it is called "The Legacy".  I think Niki, the bishop’s daughter, has fun having other girls around the house.  That night as we were getting ready to go downstairs, a member of our ward called Bishop, who handed off the phone to me.  She was calling to let us know a less active, Melanie Wilson, was moving tomorrow.  Melanie hurt her back and was still planning on moving all by herself.  It was just to another apt in the complex, but still.  It was so last minute that we could only get one person in the ward to come help.  We called our Zone leaders and they arranged to have our elders and the district leader and his companion excused from the normal service to help.  We thought it would only take a few wrong we were.  We were there six hours!!  It was so much fun though.  We had a small truck and a car so we had to make several trips!  Lots of heavy items. I got the opportunity to play first aide.  As the Elders were moving the couch, Elder McGrath slammed his thumb between the wall and the couch proceeding to pinch off some of his skin.  He happens to have a blood problem and issues with clotting.  We quickly obtained a first aid kit and I was able to bandage him up.  We ran to Target to get more supplies.  It was a good thing because he already bled through the bandage I had put on.  I had to rewrap again the next day! Of course, it was all fun for me, but some of the other people were very squeamish.  Haha pansies.
Saturday was all service!  That night we helped more people move!!  They had a giant moving truck with things stacked all the way up to the top.  I was the only one light enough, but strong enough to climb on top of other boxes and move those things down.  I also helped the men carry in a giant wardrobe.  I got called the Terminator haha...I’m still trying to decide if that is a good thing.
We had dinner last night at my favorite house!  Sister Chubbs (much to the contrary of her name, they are all very skinny) is an amazing cook!!  And her husband is amazing on the grill!  We had steaks and potatoes, these buttery/cheesy/garlic rolls and cheesecake for dessert!  It was all so delicious!!  Thank goodness it was fast Sunday and I wasn't still full from lunch.
I'm finally beginning to feel like I am adjusting.  Give it a week (transfers are next week) and I'll lose it all again.  Oh well, such is life!  Love you guys!
Sister Grossman

Please apologize for me to all those people who have written to me.  I run out of time to write and am trying to work on them, but it is a slow process.  But I am so appreciative of their letters!

Sunday, November 3, 2013

10-28-13 I'm an Elder!! But without the priesthood. Don't worry! I'm not preaching blasphemy.

Hi everyone!
What a crazy week!  We have seen so many miracles!  Tuesday, we started off the morning with service.  But then we got a call.  Zelma had introduced us to a friend of hers named Debby.  Debby was desperately trying to move out of the apartment.  A couple of missionaries helped her one day, but she needed more.  So we went and helped her for a while.  After lunch, all of our appointments ended up cancelling and we had nothing to do so we decided to go visit a former investigator.  She wasn't home either!  SO we tracted around her area and found two potential investigators and a few other friendly people who listened to us!  It was amazing!    Then dinner wasn't ready when we got there and Sister Mcleish (we eat with them every Tuesday.  Such awesome people!) wasn't home so we couldn't go inside.  We knocked a few doors and found another PI!  

Wednesday, again all of our plans fell through.  We ended up in an apartment complex where we knew a lot of people who are in our ward directory live.  We wrote them all down and went looking around.  We found the Sanchez family who moved in back in January, but never knew where church was so they never went.  We invited them to the Halloween party, church, and scheduled dinner with them for this Wednesday.  We were a little lost trying to find all of the buildings so we asked one of the workers and started talking to him about the gospel.  We were able to schedule an appointment!  Then we gave another guy a Book of Mormon!  Afterwards, we decided to visit Ben, one of the PI's we found yesterday.  We had an amazing lesson with him and gave him a Book of Mormon.  We're hoping to commit him to baptism next time we meet with him!  He's so great!  After dinner, we checked the ward directory to see who was in the area.  We ended up visiting a less active, Mike Pollock.  He let us in and we had a long conversation with him.  He believed he had never received answers to his prayers.  He is the type of guy who needs tangible evidence for everything, which is why I knew the Lord sent me to him; we are very similar in that matter. It was a major testimony building experience for me because at the beginning, I had no idea what to say.  I was completely lost.  But as I opened my mouth, and trusted the Lord, he blessed me with direction.  Then the spirit helped me bear boldly.  Nothing else got across to this guy.  I had to be much more bold than I am with other people and it was a little nerve wracking, but he didn't shy away from it or become offended.  I just really had to rely on the spirit in that lesson.

It really was a week of miracles.  We got to see the hand of the Lord guiding us and putting us in the exact places we needed to be.  I was so grateful for his blessings.  All of our lessons were impromptu and in different directions than what we intended, so I really had to listen to know what to say.

Thursday night, a Korean lady in our ward took us out for dinner.  I ate my whole meal (even the rice!) with chopsticks!!  Sister Lee was super impressed!  I was too haha.  We had Book of Mormon class after that.  The whole day I could feel the headache that had plagued me all week begin to escalate.  It got really bad, but I hoped that maybe after some sleep it would go away.  No such luck.  I woke up Friday morning with a full blown migraine.  Of course it would just so happen that we (the Elders and Sisters in our ward) would be fasting that day as part of the 40 day fast.  I thought about it and decided I really needed to fast even though it would mean I couldn't take any pills.  This would also manage to land on the day that we were doing a big service project...outside.  As I continued to think about this trial, I realized what I needed to learn from it.  I had to learn to rely on the Lord's strength and not my own.  During study, as I tried supporting myself, I got worse and worse.  But as I turned to the Lord for help, I was blessed with strength to be able to work.  Sister Lee and I, the district leader and his companion, and the zone leaders were all working on this project.  We went to two different senior citizens home's to help them do yard work, things they needed for the winter and any house work they needed done.  During lunch time, while the rest of the Elders sat on the edge of the bed of the truck and ate, I just curled up in a ball in the bed of the truck.  But of course my zone leader, bless him, is not a quiet soul.  I was about ready to chuck the box he kept rifling through out of the car.  We had a couple hours afterwards that we ran a few errands, but thankfully it was soon dinner time.  The Lady who was supposed to make us dinner got sick, so she gave us gift cards to Fazoli's instead.  It was great because we just got our food and went home.  We got to stay there all night because we also had to do weekly planning.  Best meal I've ever had!  Once again, I was able to see the blessing of the Lord.  As soon as I ate and drank, my headache started to go away, and by the time we were finished, it was gone.  I knew I was being blessed because I had done what the Lord asked me even though I was given a hard load.  I was so grateful for that blessing since that headache had been with me all week.  My poor district leader, Elder McGrath called later that night though and apparently had inherited my migraine!

Saturday was crazy!  We got to sing again, but don't worry this time I sat down and it went fine.  After lunch, we went to help Sister Mcleish.  She will be having her baby any day now and needed help cleaning her closet out before the baby got here.  We had to leave in the middle for a baptism in another ward.  We had an appointment with Zelma that day.  We talked with her previously in the week and she wanted to invite Debby to hear our message. (Just fine with us!)  It was an amazing lesson taught completely on the fly and by the spirit!  We committed her to baptism!! So excited!  We were even able to talk to Zelma again about baptism.  Thankfully the member who came along with us talked with her about that. Maybe another voice might make a difference!  It doesn't matter though.  I love her a ton!  That night was our ward Halloween party which was so much fun!  With dress code and all, we couldn't do much by way of costume, but you know me, I won't miss a chance to dress up!  SO we came up with the idea of dressing up as the Elders!  We borrowed ties from them and wore white button up shirts and blazers.  Sister Lee was supposed to be Elder Larson and I was going to be Elder Osborne, but because Hermana Trujillo jokingly stole Elder Osborne second tag (unbeknownst to him, he thought Elder McGrath lost it) he didn't have a name tag to give me.  Instead I borrowed one from Elder McGrath.  So I was two people at once!  Except I just looked like Hermoine (later years, when she had better hair)!  It was so much fun though!  The Sanchez family showed up.  A member also brought along an investigator who was deaf!!!  Elder Osborne and I talked to her!  It was awesome!  We even set up an appointment with her to teach her!  We got special permission from President to teach her together because once we're together, we fill in each other's holes.  And there are two members in our ward who know sign language!  I'm so excited to teach her this Sunday!  After the party, we got a call from Zelma saying she has another person who wants us to give her a lesson!  Even if Zelma won't get baptized, she's bringing others into the waters!!  Sunday came and as church started, we were bummed because no one had shown up!  As we were sitting in Relief Society (they do it backwards) our zone leaders opened the door and pulled us out into the hallway.  They said Debby had shown up and brought a friend!  You can imagine my excitement!  It was so great to have them in church!  Just another blessing from the Lord!  All of our appointments fell through again!  We took the list Bishop gave us of people he wanted us to stop by and we went to one. At first the women asked us why we were there, but as we talked to them, they opened up a lot and we even got them to fill our open night for dinner!  She is from Austria and has a thick accent.  The whole time I was there I just kept thinking the bishop thought of her for a reason!  I hope we can pull them back in!
This week we have interviews with president which should be interesting!  Also, with Halloween, we have to be in by four!  Hopefully all the letters and thank you cards I'm behind on, I can get caught up!  Anyways, not much left!  I hope everyone is having a great week!  I am learning so much out here and am truly learning how important it is that we stand strong in our testimonies.  Love you all! 
Sister Grossman

p.s. I forgot to say, totally won the scripture challenge again!  I think everyone else has stopped trying, no one else is participating :( sad day, I like competition to beat haha jk.  This week's question was what was the daughter of Jared famous for.  We all know the brother of Jared, but what about the daughter of Jared.  (just for the sake of Jared's dignity, it was a different Jared.  Apparently people back then didn't have very much imagination when it comes to names.  I wish we had that problem today!) 

Thursday, October 24, 2013

Sharing some photos. It's not even December yet!! Go away snow!

10-21-13 It's not even December yet!! Go away snow!

Hi everyone!
What an up and down week, but all around it was pretty good.  Well on Tuesday after email, we met with an investigator who had been cancelling for a few weeks.  We taught her the first lesson and even though her kids were running around screaming, the spirit was super strong! I invited her to be baptized (my first!) and she accepted!  I was stoked!  She was really touched by the First Vision.  We invited her to church on Sunday and she was going to come, but her daughter got lice and they had to stay home.  Sad day, oh well.  There's always next week!  We may have to push her date back a week or two though.  Afterwards we went to dinner with the Mcleish family.  They feed us every Tuesday night!  We made us ribs and grilled chicken with these awesome potatoes!  I was so stuffed.  I usually am every night at dinner though because members cook so well!  Then we went to an appointment we had with recent converts.  They were baptized a  year ago and just had their patriarchal blessings!  It was neat to talk to them.  Then Sister Biglen wanted to talk about the role of mothers.  The whole time we were teaching, the spirit was so strong!  It was a good day!
Wednesday was the temple!  Waking up was killer!  The night before, I showed Sister Lee a better way to do her hair and so she asked if I would do it like that for the trip.  So I had to help her get ready too!  Because the temple is so far away and we were running low on miles, we asked a member to take us.  Well he ended up taking us, our Elders, and the District leader and his companion. I might have fallen asleep for a little bit during the session...  I couldn't help it!  It was dark and I was so tired!  It was only for a few minutes though.  We didn't get to stay in the celestial room for too long though because Sister Lee had to go to the bathroom so bad.  The Denver temple is not nearly as pretty as the Las Vegas Temple!  Neither is the Provo one!  When we got outside, everyone was running around talking to old friends, which was slightly awkward because I didn't know anyone really.  Thankfully we left quickly though so we had time to go to Dessert Book.  I think the car ride to and from was my favorite part though haha.  We had a district meeting afterwards where we had the chance to role play everything we wish we could have ever said to investigators, but didn't.  It was so much fun!  I can't say that the spirit was always there, but it helped to get things off our chest.   It really was a lot of fun, but it also helped us in realizing sometimes we need to be a bit more bold.  It was a great lesson to learn because later we went to Pearl's house (she's the eighty something year old black women).  I can't even remember the lesson because it was completely directed by the spirit.  We invited her to church and really pushed the importance of it.  She said she will come soon!  and she wants to bring her son.  Hopefully that works out.
I can't even remember Thursday.  Days are already starting to blend together.  But Friday was pretty busy!  We were supposed to do service at this rec center, but because it snowed, it was cancelled.  SO we were assigned to do three hours of service at the thrift store.  Afterwards we started weekly planning but didn't have enough time to finish it before dinner with the Choques.  They are an older, but newly married couple with no kids.  They also had the Elders over.  Brother and Sister Choque are both like teenagers so we had a blast with them and the Elders.  We had tacos, and then for dessert, she bought chocolate taco shells and filled them with ice cream!  They are such a nice family.
Saturday was singing again.  I need to be careful when I do that though.  Standing up for that long while singing not only hurts my knees, but makes me super light headed.  I had to sit down and stop singing.  Oh well, I love going to those homes.  Later on we met with Zelma again.  We see her quite a bit.  She is the eternal investigator who believes she can't feel the spirit that strong again.  Every time we talk about baptism with her, she gets super upset, can't breathe, and says we have to stop the lesson.  Last time it was brought up, I knew she needed to understand the role priesthood plays in baptism, but she got too worked up.  So usually we steer clear of baptism, just trying to teach her doctrine in hopes it will help her change.  We often stop by her house though to see how she is doing, if she wants to go for a walk, needs anything, etc.  So she knows we do it out of love.  But in this lesson we planned to talk about the Plan of Salvation.  It was such a good lesson!  The spirit guided in just the direction it was suppose to go.  We ended up talking about priesthood. We told her to pray so that she can know for herself, but I'm not sure how open she is to receiving answers like that.  I love getting to see her though.  She is just the sweetest women and we have such fun talking with her.  Well maybe not Sister Lee, but I do!  Sister Lee isn't playful enough to talk with her.  Zelma likes people with attitude, so of course she and I get along famously!!  That night we had dinner with the Fa'amasli family!  Oh man, Samoans know how to eat!  We had these delicious chicken wings in some type of soy sauce, white rice, amazing spaghetti (don't worry mom, it doesn't beat yours!), the best potato salad I've ever had, corn, some type of Mango drink, and some other things I can't remember.  So when we sat down to eat, there was Sister Lee and I, the parents, and five of their children (they have six, one was at a game).  Do you remember the part on fast Sunday in Chickens in the Headlights when as soon as amen was said, for a solid three minutes there was passing of bowls, clanging of silverware, etc (I know it's not verbatim, but close enough).  Basically there was chaos as everyone reached and shoved for bowls. I lived it!!  Oh man, it was crazy!  It was like that, only the all grown up edition!  I am happy to say that I out ate most of his children though!  That's right, be proud :) I loved being in their home though.  We had so much fun!  And had tons of things in common.  As we sat talking with Tui (the dad's first name he goes by), his son was on the couch reading the House of Hades.  I about jumped out of my chair, ran over, snatched it out of his hands, and took off down the street.  However, seeing as how I was in a house full of Rugby and Football players, I thought better of it.  I told him he had to tell me how it was though.  I got talking with him.  He is a sophomore who wants to play for BYU football.  I told him he can come talk to me about that any day :)  Apparently, they know one of the people over the whole Athletic department.  I forget his official title.  But anyways, they have connections and told me when I start looking for a job, to let them know and maybe they can help.  I was way happy!  That night, we went tracting down a street, and got yelled at for stopping by a house again.  We were very confused.  It wasn't until many houses later we realized that it was the street we tracted after we talked with the Reimers.  The only difference was we started farther up the street!  Oddly enough, almost everyone who answered the door was someone different.  We even ended up placing a Book of Mormon and got a return appointment with him!
Church was really good on Sunday.  We were asked to come into Primary and talk to the kids about doing missionary work.  We had dinner with a family who made us the best taco salad!  Fresh tortillas! homemade cilantro-lime dressing!  For dessert we had homemade pumpkin chocolate chip ice cream sandwiches, and she sent us home with extras!  We had an appointment with the bishop afterwards to follow up on his family's day for the 40 day fast.  When we walked into the house, the tension was palpable.  So we went downstairs and planned a few minutes for a good lesson to teach that we thought they could really use.  A couple nights this week, we could hear yelling from upstairs.  We did not dare go upstairs!  Afterwards, bishop asked us to help them with something. Their 14 year old daughter Niki  was trying to write a summary of a conference talk, but she had no idea what it was saying.  They tried many times to explain it to her but she still couldn't understand.  He asked if we would help her.  We took her downstairs and let her vent and gave her some advice.  She reminds me a lot of myself.  We helped her understand it and told her she could always come and talk to us if she needed.  I think she felt a lot better afterwards.
I know your waiting in suspense, so you should know, we won the scripture challenge for the third week in a row!  We were waiting on the edge of our seats for the voice mail! We even called before we had the answer.  Sister Lee is NOT good at stalling!  The question was, where in the scriptures is the Liahona first mentioned by name.  I hope to sweep the transfer.
Well, it's been a crazy week as always here. Can't believe it's already been a month!  I hope everyone is doing good.  Not too much more to say.  Sister Lee and I are getting along well..most of the times.  Mornings are no different :)  kindly enough, she doesn't turn the light on anymore!  and it's even more cold here :(  I miss Vegas haha.  Love everyone!  Talk to you soon!
Sister Grossman

Saturday, October 19, 2013

10/16/13 I'll be a popsicle soon!

Dear Fam, 
IT"S SO COLD!!!  But really!  I'm freezing out here.  I got way too used to the summer heat and now I'm paying big time for it.  Anything and everything warm would be very appreciated!!
Sorry to worry everyone.  Yesterday was Columbus Day so the library that we usually use was closed.  I just want to say I had a lot of letters today (thank you so much!! I love y'alls letters!) and it took a while to get through them all so I'm going to type as fast as I can.  If I don't respond back to you today, I bought stamps and envelopes and I will write back.  I know you will say don't worry about writing, but that is honestly my favorite part of the week and I want to write you guys so much. So, yes, I will write.  Because I am also trying to save time, I won't be correcting everything.   Sorry about misspells and bad grammar!!
This week was definitely better than last.  Like I said, I am so cold out here!  At least the cold keeps away the bugs.  At first the mosquitoes were crazy!!  I used my oils though and ended up with only four bites.  The one on my left elbow swelled up really big for some reason. Poor Sister Lee had somewhere around 20.   But really, warm things would be appreciated :D  One of my mtc sisters told me to look for fleece lined tights!  Sounds magical, but I can't find them here.  The only place we can really shop without having to seek permission for is Target and they don't have any.  
This week was crazy full of meeting.  Tuesday we had Sister's conference.  They gathered all the sisters in the whole mission and talked to us.  So I got to see some of my friends from the MTC which was great!  But because they had already talked a lot about some of it in the mtc, half of it was repeat.  But some of it was good.  Wednesday we had a meeting as a zone, which was really awesome!  I loved it so much and was really edified.  Thursday I  had exchanges with the sister training leaders and that was great too!  I learned a lot and actually got to teach people who were interested in learning the lessons haha.  I really enjoyed it though.  Friday we had a training meeting where all the trainers and their trainees come, so I got to see everyone I came out with!  That was so much fun!!  Our mission is a guinea pig for a program the church is trying for missionaries.  It is called Just Serve.  We are supposed to complete ten hours of service a week.  I actually love it and I feel it's a huge blessing sometimes because (bad missionary here) it means we don't have to fill that time by tracting or other means.  But also I love service so it's cool.  Every Saturday we go to two nursing homes and sing hymns for them for an hour.  I love it! So as you can see our week was a little different then usual.  I still have yet to meet many of our investigators.  A lot of them aren't great with keeping appointments and I still only have met two.  I have seen a lot of less actives though and a few recent converts.  I finally got to meet the ward on Sunday.  They are small, young, and loud.  The building is very similar to the stake center with only the half chapel.  And we don't even fill it.  And there are two sets of missionaries assigned to it!  I think there is a lot of less actives.  A lot of very young families in the ward which means lots of babys crying.  Bishop asked me to come up and bear my testimony, but with doing that so many times at doors, it was a breeze.
Sister Lee and I are getting a long well.  We occasionally have a spat but recover quickly, which is totally normal.  But we have a good time together and are really adjusting to one another.  We help each other through things and are really learning to teach in unity.
  I really am doing better this week.  It was a bit easier once I adjusted my mindset.  Being around my district makes it easier too and I was with them a lot this week.  I LOVE my district!!  They are so great.  They all make me so happy.  My district leader gives us a scripture question every Sunday and for the past two weeks (you know, the whole time I've been here! But Friday is my one-month-from-being-gone- mark!) Sister Lee and I won one!  If you win, you get a candy bar of your choosing!  So I chose nerds rope and 4 Elders went all over looking for it yesterday until they found one!  One of them is from Missouri and has an accent, so when I'm around him a lot, I'll start slipping into one.  He's a theater person though, so he's super dramatic which is so funny!  One is a Disney fanatic and shares the news his moms sends him with me.  He also knows Italian and is teaching me.  Today's word of the day is (I don't know how to spell it), take the al off of alfredo and that's the word.  So maybe you just spell it fredo.  But when pronounced the e turns more into an a.  Anyway it means cold haha.  We were doing service and I was shaking, so he picked that word.  Another is a BYU football fan and it turns out we were in anatomy at the same time together, just different teachers.   One sister is Tongan and together, her and her companion are nuts, which is again, so funny!  So when I'm around everyone I get super happy because I love them all.  And you know me, I love being around people.
Well I don't think I can think of much more to write and I'm running out of time.  You will definitely get supplement letters because I don't have time to pick back through the letters.  Oh I do remember one thing on my card was we have a Costco here!!  Oh and I remember something else that wasn't on my card!  I get to go to the temple tomorrow!!  I'm so excited.  We actually get to go on the third Wednesday of every month!  How blessed are we??  I love it.  Except for the fact we have to wake up at five to be there for the 6:30 session.  Oh yeah, mornings.....not going well.  6:30 sucks.  And my companion likes to turn the lights on right away. no me gusta.  Anyways, love you guys!!  I think about you everyday.  Talk to you next week!

Love, Sister Jessie Grossman

First week in Denver 10/7/13

What a week this has been!  I can't even tell you all that I've been through emotionally this week.  It has definitely been hard.  We don't have many investigators so we're having to start fresh.  Tuesday we had a district meeting which was great to meet everyone!  It was really great to be uplifted by them.  One of the elders knows Becca Parshall!!  His friend was trained by her!  He showed me a picture he had of the two of them!  What a small world.  Afterwards, we went to teach one of the few investigators we have.  She is a very old woman named Zelma.  She was baptized baptist and felt the spirit so strongly when the water was sprinkled on her head.  She believes that she can never feel that again so she refuses to be baptized.  We're working with her though.  We had an incredible lesson with her and committed her to watching conference.  I hope that will really help her receive the answers she needs.  I had a lot of "firsts" this week.  I got my first experience tracting this week, and lots of it.  That's what we do most days.  We visit less actives in the area and then tract around their homes.  I had my first experience with someone believing we are a cult!  She was giving her grand-daughter a bath though so she couldn't talk.  We asked her if we could come back and she told us tonight when her husband is home.  So that should be interesting!  I hope it goes okay.  Most people were really nice though, even if they weren't interested.  We were talking to this family outside and got to know them a bit.  We did what's called the prayer approach where we just pray with them for their family and home and such.  Then we asked if there was anyone we could teach and they said maybe the guy who lived next door because he was going through some hard times.  He had been talking to them when we walked up, but went inside.  We went and knocked on his door and he just yelled, "NO! GO AWAY!"  I thought it was rather funny!  There have been a few people who said we could come back, or we gave a Book of Mormon too.  We haven't been able to follow up with any of them yet.  Hopefully soon!  Every Tuesday and Thursday we go over to a recent convert home, the Biglens, where we talk with them and study scriptures.  They are really great people who have a strong testimony of God.  His conversion story was pretty cool, but long and I don't have time, sorry!  I enjoy meeting with them though.  On Friday we stopped by a house of another old woman who said we could come back. The last companionship found her.  Her name is Pearl.  She is an old black lady, who smokes, but is really nice.  We left her with a Book of Mormon, a chapter to read, and a follow up appointment!  We have dinner with members almost every night.  Saturday and Sunday were full of conference.  It was so great!  I loved all the talks!  Saturday was packed with missionary member talks!  I think all the missionaries sitting there were really happy.  Our members aren't great about helping us.  It makes such a difference when they do!  So I hope they listen to the prophet and step it up!  I know there are a lot of gaps in the story.  All of that time is basically spent tracting and visiting less actives.
Things are going a little better with my companion.  We both get frustrated very easily, so some times we get into fights, but we quickly resolve them.  From talking with her, it doesn't seem like she is entirely sure in what she's doing.  She doesn't know the rules very well, she's very uncertain about many things, and usually when we're tracting, she doesn't speak up much.  I'm the one that usually bears testimony to the people.  I know part of that stems from her not wanting to stumble over her words.  She still speaks broken English.  Her sentences are often confusing and occasionally I have to explain to people what she means to say.  But we are growing close!  We have shared many experiences with each other and we often talk of our weaknesses so that we can help each other.  I think we need to gain confidence and faith in the Lord to fill our mouths.  
Because we have a specified number of miles everyday, we can't drive home for lunch everyday unless we are in the area.  Unfortunately that means she likes to go out to lunch everyday.  And I mean every single day.  We don't have a lot of choices in our area.  Chipotle, Chick-fil-a, Souper Salad (I'm excited for that one even though we have yet to go there!), Burger King, Wendy's (I think), Smashburger, and maybe a few others.  Oh and a Cold Stone!!  I was excited for that one!  That's another reason we tract a lot: is to save miles.
I am in Thornton, CO for everyone asking; however our boundaries cover a few other towns.  I know one of them is Northglenn.  My stake is Webster Lake in the Denver North stake.  It's really beautiful out here.  You can see mountains in the distance, but unfortunately, they are not as near as they are in NV and UT.  In my area, it's not quite as fast paced as it is in Vegas.  The buildings are nice.  Some of it is more city and some of it is farmland.  Our house is off a dirt road!  The houses are gorgeous!  Of course there are some parts of town more run down than others.  The weather is unpredictable.  Wednesday morning it snowed!!  Yes, I have pictures.  Some days it is very cold and windy, others it is hot or even nice.  I always keep cold gear in the car because you just never know!  A lot of people have told me that winter isn't as bad as UT because the sun actually comes up and melts the snow; it doesn't stay as long.
  But yesterday was again, such a bad day.  All of our appointments fell through, none of the less actives were home.  So we went back to our place and had dinner since no one had signed up.  Thankfully, Brother and Sister Morrison said they would feed us.  So we went downstairs and waited.  Sister Lee and I just talked about why things were going wrong and what we needed to learn from it.  We went to a member's house to give them a short lesson.  They were truly inspired by the Lord because they gave us advice that was exactly what we needed to hear.  It basically boiled down to change your attitude instead of praying for a change of circumstance.  He talked about what a blessing tracting actually was and how we should be bold.  That every person we come across needs to hear our testimony even if they don't think they want to.  It is sometimes after that, they will open up to you.  It was truly a blessing from the Lord.  I went out to the car and cried and offered a prayer of thanks.  We went tracting after that.  We handed out two BofMs, told one lady we would come back, the other was honest when she said she would call us, and then the lady who thinks we are a cult.  However, at almost every house, even if they said they weren't interested, I tried to bear my testimony.  Most people actually stayed and listened and seemed to really take it in.  Sister Lee was quiet a lot.  We talked afterwards and I think I helped.  I told her she had to be confident and trust that the Lord will help her.  I'm running out of time and I wish I could right more.  But I still have my letter to president and all of you to write individually!  I love you guys so much and I miss you!  Thanks for writing to me; I've been looking forward to this all week.  Your letters really did help me.  You guys are great!  I know I'm doing the right thing out here.  I know I have someone who needs me and that as I have faith in the Lord, He will help guide me to those who are ready. Love you, talk to you soon!!

Sister Grossman

Regarding mail and my address

Forgot to tell you what they said about mail.  They do request that you send it to the mission home instead of to the member's house.  Partially because of people moving around, and I think (I'm not sure if I was dreaming this part since I kept nodding off or if they did say this.  I think it may be made up) so you're not giving out people's address.  I think they'll just readdress it and send it on...maybe.  I'll work on clarifying that for you. :) And then if you send packages, they request that you send it through US postal, priority not regular.  That way they can just readdress it and send it on.  They try to get mail through as quickly as possible.  If not, they have to wait until someone is going out there.  I know that wasn't much help, but I'll get a better answer for you! Love you!

Mission Home Address:
Sister Jessie Grossman
Colorado Denver North Mission
1250 Main Street
Broomsfield, CO  80020-2932

Hello from Denver 10/1/13

Hey there!!
Because of everything happening yesterday, they said we could email today! That made me pretty happy. 
Here's the rest of the details of yesterday.  Everyone in my district or the other one coming with us had somewhere between 0-2 hours of sleep.  We were all so exhausted. It was so great to talk to you guys! It took everything I had to place that receiver back on the hook; I was so sad.  The plane ride was awful.  I sat just enough behind all of my friends that they could talk to each other, but I couldn't (that's not why it was awful). So I start talking to the people around me and it turns out that the guy sitting next to me was a member.  But as soon as the plane took off, I was too sick to talk.  The whole entire time I was trying not to throw up.  Thankfully, the plane ride was only an hour.  I asked the Elders to get my overhead bag and I got off of there!!  A girl had some Dramamine so I took one of those which started to help.  We stood around for a while until our mission president showed up.  We got in vans and they took us back to the mission home.  Definitely fell asleep on that car ride haha.  Orientation was so hard because the lack of sleep was hitting all of us!  No matter what was happening, all of us were falling asleep.  At one point we were waiting for someone to come, so we spread out on the chairs and went to sleep.  We just went over a lot of logistics and things.  I am in the Denver North Stake and in the Webster Lake Ward. Unfortunately, no one I already knew is anywhere near me.  I am in a car!!  That's great!  Turns out we were actually getting our trainers that day and then they would take us to our residence.
My trainer's name is Sister Lee.  She's from South Korea, but has spent the last 6 years in Utah.  Despite that though, her English still isn't super.  She has a strong accent that makes it hard to understand her.  And she isn't great at sentence structure.  Like, she says things really complicated and drops a lot of words like 'the'. I hope things turn out ok with her, she's never trained before so it's not super smooth. We live in the bishop's basement.  His wife talked to us today about the rules of the house; she's pretty strict.  And we don't have much of a kitchen at all.  A mini fridge, a microwave, and a toaster oven on a long table, that's it.  Thankfully she lets us use a shelf  in another fridge and freezer.  We get fed dinner most nights so I hear, so cooking dinner without a stove shouldn't be a problem.  Just breakfast and lunch.
The members sound like not always are they super great about helping out with missionary work.  It helps out so much when we can have referrals from them or when they'll come with us to other lessons.  Sister Lee seems to always say that their excuse is they're too busy.  The investigators all sound pretty stubborn and set in their ways.  I think Sister Lee is a bit discouraged about it.  At least that's what it sounded like as we talked.  And I'm really frustrated with everything she told me about them. But of course, things can't be as easy as they were in the MTC.
I'm already so overwhelmed.  Just since being here, I've already thought multiple times, "What did I get myself into? I don't know what I'm doing here.  I can't do this. I want to go home."  I know I'm just scared and uncomfortable and that the Lord will help me.  But I still feel that way.  I know it'll probably get better after I've been out a while and learn the ropes.  I just pray the time passes fast.
Hope you have a great week!
Love, Sister Grossman