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