Thursday, October 24, 2013
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!
Saturday, October 19, 2013
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
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!!
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
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
It's finally p-day!! I've been looking forward to this day for a while so I could email you!!
This is what I've been sending everyone else. It's just easier to put this instead of writing it all again.
It's my first and last day P-day at the MTC! I got here Wednesday and with my schedule, P-days are on Thursdays. They figured since we just arrived, we didn't need one. This week has been crazy! Full of tears and smiles, good and bad feelings, but I know that is just the Lord making me stronger. But overall, I am very happy. I am learning so much and it has truly helped bring me closer to Christ. I got to go to the temple today! That was great, waking up at 5:45 to be there by 6:30, not so much. But it was worth it. We have to wake up about 6:00 everyday because breakfast is at 6:30. I love my teachers and I love my district/zone!! Everybody is so great and we hang out all the time together. I love constantly feeling of the spirit and the Savior's love for me. I got my travel itinerary...I leave at the MTC at 3:30 IN THE MORNING on Monday!! I'm am NOT looking forward to that. The next time I write will be from Denver! So nervous for that. Ten people from our zone are going to Denver and another ten we've never met so at least we'll have good times at the airport!