Monday, March 24, 2014
So good to hear from everyone! It has been a wonderful week, but very exhausting. This type of a white weekend is the only one I am ok with, as the other is very freezing!!
Monday we spent mostly in the other zone because of transfers. It was so fun to see everyone. I got to see a sister who I hadn't seen since my first day out here when we arrived together. It was so great to talk to her! One of our ward missionaries took us out to Menchies to celebrate both of us staying!
Tuesday night was so hectic. Haleigh, the 17yr old Less Active that we are working with, cancelled her 8 o'clock appointment. So we had to drop everything we were doing to get over to her house then (5 o'clock). But it was worth it because it was a great lesson. The gospel isn't a super big priority in her life, but she told her grandma it might someday be. Which is fine, at least she isn't closing herself off to the gospel. So we taught her about the prodigal son; that even though she wasn't super interested right now, God will always love her and will always welcome her back into the fold. The spirit was so strong as we bore our testimony of God's love for her, as well as our love for her. She said she really enjoyed it. Her aunt (Sister Chin) was crying the whole time. After that, we left to go see Joyce. When we got there, the door was propped open which is unusual. We knocked and called her name and she hollered for us to come in. We walked in and there was a tipped over chair and she was sitting on the floor. She told us she fell and had opened the door for when the paramedics got there (she pressed her life alert button). We helped her up, got her over to the couch, and gave her some water. We checked to make sure she wasn't hurt, but then the paramedics got there. She told them that thanks to her angels she was just fine. Order me a halo! It was super funny though, because she kept trying to set us up with the paramedics. We were trying so hard not to laugh! We had to call our 7 o'clock appointment and push them back until 8. By the time we left there, we had about 35 minutes for dinner. A member had given us money, so we just ran and inhaled some food and then rushed to our appointment. The investigator wasn't there, but her member mom was, who is recent to the church as of a few years. We had a great lesson with her. By the time we got home, we were so exhausted. But, as luck would have it, as soon as we tried to go to bed, we were wide awake. Needless to say, we were up very late!
The worst part? Wednesday was temple day! So we had to get up at 5 o'clock :( Temple was great. (only fell asleep a little bit!) Then we had appointment after appointment until the end of the night. I am thankful we had such a packed day, but it sure made for a long one. We were at the Routs for our last appointment and we were close to just being zombies. They were having a good time laughing at us at least. Funny quote for the day: we were teaching Joyce about the Law of Chastity and she said, "Procreation is what it is all about!!" That has to be one of her favorite words: procreation. Apparently we also had pretty jewelry on and she kept saying we were all "kadoodlebugged up"; it was super hilarious!!
Thursday we had a lesson with a new investigator: Scott. Unfortunately it got cut short because he had to pick up his niece and then he couldn't meet with us for another 2 weeks because his son is coming this weekend. That's alright though, he seemed excited to talk to us. After our district meeting, it was Joyce's Baptismal interview!! We got a brand spanking new, fresh off the calling list, district leader this transfer. His name is Elder Farr. It's cool to have a brand new one because they are so excited and pumped up. So Joyce was his first baptismal interview hahahah. Got to break them in somehow!!
We are working with a less active, Sister Otting, who has 4 kids and she is divorced, so a single mom. Her youngest are 2 twin girls. They just turned 8! So Saturday morning we got permission to go to their baptism even though it is out of the mission. It wasn't that far; it was actually at our mission office and we are the closest people to that. We got there a little late, so at first they didn't see us. It wasn't until their confirmation that they saw us. As soon as it was over, they ran up and gave us hugs! It was so nice to know that we are making a difference in their life. I think that is one of my favorite things about being a missionary: being able to feel such immense love for people. One of our potential investigators (a 16yr old girl named Calli) was there and she was listening the whole time, even crying. She said that she felt really good. Unfortunately, this is spring break for her, so we won't be able to meet with her soon. After that we ran to a meeting, had some lunch and crashed for ten minutes. Then had to run to an appointment with a Less Active. The spirit was so strong as we bore testimony of the power of Christ's love and atoning grace. It strengthened my testimony of it. Then we ran to the church to start setting up for Joyce's baptism. It was actually a double baptism because the Elders had an investigator getting baptized too. She is much younger though; Katie is only 24. We had to help Joyce get all changed and ready. (Thankfully she didn't wear her wig or crazy smeared lipstick.) She was just adorable. When they baptized her, there were two of them in the water to help her and because she is scared of water. But her leg just flew up as she went under. So they had to do it again and her leg came up again!! Luckily, they said she was under all the way first before it popped up. Katie went after her and as she was coming up the stairs, Joyce says to her so excitedly, "WE'RE BAPTIZED KID!!!!" We were laughing so hard! She was so cute after her baptism, she told me, "I'm one of you now!" I just was laughing all night. I am just super happy for her. A member took us out to dinner afterwards and then we had a lesson with sister Otting's 12yr old who just got the priesthood, but is too scared to pass the sacrament. We had the deacon adviser and president come with us and walk him through it. After that we had a great FHE lesson with the Routs on the armor of God. It was really great and again, the spirit was so strong.
Sunday was kind of a sad and slow day. We had quite a few people bail on church and then our two appointments for the day bailed as well. We did get to visit a less active family who is moving soon and they said we could come help them pack. This is the one with the adorable little boy. He was so hilarious last night. All of us were cracking up.
All in all, we are exhausted, but pleasantly so. I am grateful for how busy the Lord is keeping us. He is blessing us so much. I love being a missionary. I love getting to represent hope and God's love in people's lives. It is the best feeling ever. I can't believe I am already one third of the way done! I heard it goes by so fast from here. I am so thankful though for the time I have served so far. It has truly changed me.
Unfortunately, the weather decided I needed a white week as well as a weekend. It is still cold and sort of snowy here.
Well, I love you all so much!! I hope you are warmer than I am! Have a wonderful week! I love you!!
Sunday, March 23, 2014
Wow what a crazy week it has been! Unfortunately, I left my planner at home so I can't remember anything that has happened. As you can see from my title though, I survived another transfer!! I get to stay here!!!!!!!! I am so happy. I am still with Sister Rodriguez as well. I am pleased with that as well. Apparently we were one out of maybe four companionships who didn't get split up in the whole mission! So crazy! Shane Rout was ready to talk to President Toombs if I got transferred.
Well I don't have a whole lot of time today. I will share with you the letter I wrote to President, as it contains many of the things I wanted to share with you.
I am so happy to be staying in Savory Ponds!! I am excited to continue working with Sister Rodriguez as well. We saw quite a few miracles this week. We had a district blitz in our area on Saturday. I think the Lord was trying to teach us something from this. We both hate tracting, but we had the most success out of all 4 companionships. We found a less active family not on our records, we found a good potential who we gave a Book of Mormon to, and we found a new investigator. That was an incredible experience. We hadn't been talking two minutes when she was crying and telling us about how she lost her husband and daughter a year and a half ago. She didn't believe in God anymore; or at least that he cared about her. We were able to bear strong testimony that God loves her and about the Plan of Salvation. The whole time we were talking she had tears running down her face, but she was really listening. Almost like she had just been waiting for someone to tell her. We have an appointment with her this Sunday. She has several other kids. Even if she ends up dropping us or not working out, I know we touched her heart and I know she felt the spirit testify to her that she is a daughter of God, who he loves. As long as I was able to give her that, I am so grateful.
I have been so grateful this week that the Lord allows me to be apart of his work. All of the success we are seeing has nothing to do with us. This lady I just told you about, Judy, there were 3 other companionships in the area that day who could have knocked on her door. But the Lord allowed me to witness that miracle. Shane Rout, the man I introduced you to on Sunday who is getting the priesthood soon, he didn't believe me every time I testified. He told me so. But it was God who answered his prayers and changed his heart. Same with his son, Zach, who was completely closed off to the gospel. He wouldn't listen to us no matter how hard we loved or how much we tried. But it was God who softened his heart and prompted him to reach out to us. (He had his first day of seminary today!!) In all of these times, I had nothing to do with these people coming into the gospel, but the Lord has allowed me to be apart of it and experience the joy that comes from peoples hearts being changed. I am so grateful for that. I love being apart of his work and helping people experience the gospel.
We had a great lesson with Zach about learning from trials, relying on the Atonement, and trying to forgive. The spirit just witnessed to me how important the Atonement was and how much I truly need to rely on it. Life is so much harder without it. The price has already been paid, the gift given; why mock the Savior's sacrifice in refusing to use it?
I am grateful for how much I have learned this week. It has been a week where I can see the hand of the Lord in many things. We have a baptism coming up this week that I am very excited for. We are slowly gaining the bishop's trust and it feels great. It just makes me want to work harder.
Another neat experience I had this week was after Transfer Doctrine. Sister Rodriguez and I ended up having kind of a heart to heart. She was crying, saying she wasn't sure why she couldn't be strong like she was in transfers past. She felt so weak. Something we have been working on lately is thinking positively. She said she has been so negative and weak this transfer and she doesn't understand. It shocked me that she called me strong. I don't see myself as that. I told her I wish she could see herself as I see her, and more importantly the Lord. We don't define her by her imperfections. That is not how God sees us and that is not who we are. I don't see myself as a strong person. Often times I feel weak. But I have learned to be ok with that. It keeps me humble. I know the Lord will make my actions and my efforts strong and that is all I care about. I think it really helped her. She focused a lot on failing. That when she messed up, she was a failure. We talked about how it didn't really matter, just try again. We are working on that this transfer.
My heart has just been full of gratitude this week. Thank you for letting us come by the mission home last night as well. That meant a lot to Sister Rodriguez and I. I can't believe I hit my six month mark tomorrow!! In a year, I will be in those missionaries spots. The sad part is, it won't be with you and Sister Toombs. When she told me last night you only have 2 more transfers left, I almost started crying (she yelled at me to stop it hahaha). I can't believe it has passed so quickly. I love your family so much. Thank you for everything!! Have a wonderful week!
It truly has been a week full of blessings. The Lord doesn't need us in this work, but he allows us to be a part of it. A blessing which I am so grateful for. I saw a cool sign on another church. It said, "Will anyone be in heaven because of you?" A cool thought. There are always people around us to share the gospel with, we just have to be willing to open our mouths.
I love you guys so much. Miss you lots! Talk to you next week! (I can't believe it has already been 6 months!! So crazy!!!)
Love, Sister Grossman
Tuesday, March 11, 2014
Good news! This week we were fairly healthy. Me more so than my companion, she was a little ill on some days. But for the most part, we were up and at it. This week was pretty good; we saw a lot of frustrations and a lot of miracles.
Monday, we went to see a Less Active who called us, asking to come visit her. She has 4 kids. She wants to start coming back to church. We had a great lesson with her, and when we texted her on Saturday reminding her of church, she said they were all set and ready. However, come Sunday, we didn't see her there. We will be meeting with her tonight.
Tuesday we had a great lesson with Joyce (the 80 something year old lady). She seemed to comprehend really well (which for her can sometimes be a surprise), but she is still on date to be baptized, so we are excited for that! We still need to see if we can actually get her baptized; some people think she is there enough, and others don't. Guess we will see. But if we teach her good enough to get her baptized, that is good enough for me. She will just be prepped for the spirit world.
Wednesday, we had dinner with a Hispanic family in the ward. A set of the Spanish missionaries were there also. At one point after the APs left, everyone was carrying on in Spanish and I had no idea what was going on. I just looked down all glum and said, "I feel so white." haha. However, they all helped me with my Spanish more. I was able to pick up a few of the words that I had been taught. One of the Spanish Elders was talking to me about sign language. He said one of the members has a neighbor they want to teach, but they are deaf. I was able to give him the name of a lady in my first ward who knew sign language fluently. And then I also proceeded to beg him to ask President if I could come too haha. It would be so cool to be there! Elder Osborne even gave me the Book of Mormon in sign language. It is a big case of CDs. I watched some of it once and it took forever just to do the title page!! The Spanish Missionary said he once had the Book of Mormon stories in sign language, but he left them in Commerce City, but he would try to get them back for me! I was pretty happy. We had a good lesson with the Routs about the atonement.
Thursday, we took a sister with us to see Joyce again. As the Sister was trying to teach, it was evident that Joyce was feeling pretty chatty that day, because she kept interrupting. I felt bad for Sister Welch because she was getting so flustered, but it was so hilarious. Sister Rodriguez and I were both trying so hard to not laugh. Afterwards, Sister Welch and her husband took us out for lunch. They took us to Olive Garden!! It was so good :)
The member we live with volunteers at this place called House Rabbits. It is basically an adoption shelter just for bunnies. So during lunch on Friday, we went out and saw all the bunnies and got to pet them. We weren't allowed to hold them :( but she has two at home that we hold all the time! That night we spent an hour trying to track down an investigator. Joyce had a friend of hers sleeping on her couch. His name is Mike and he is about 36. He came to church with her a couple weeks ago and was very interested. When we were on exchanges, the sisters taught him, but ever since then, we haven't been able to get in touch with him. He is in the middle of sorting out a mess of renting an apartment. It is in the same complex as Joyce; she knows the building number and the floor (if those are even right), but not the apartment number. She also keeps forgetting to ask for his new phone number. So we decided to go knocking all the doors on that floor to see if we could find him. ...we didn't find him. However, we found two potentials, one of which excepted a Book of Mormon. He was an Indian guy and I'm not sure he really understood what we were saying though. As we were talking to him, we happened to see Augustine, the man who came to church a few weeks ago. He was walking up to his apartment. We have been trying to get in contact with him the past couple weeks, but I guess he works 2 jobs and is super busy. Needless to say, he ran inside his apartment very quickly. We ended the night with still no Mike though.
Saturday was by far my favorite day. The Routs told us last week they were redoing their bathroom and we volunteered to help them. We had no idea it would be demolition work!! We had so much fun. We got to take a giant sledge hammer to the walls, the tile, the cabinets! Best thing ever. We also scraped up all the rotted floor. When we first came over, they were doing it by hammers. I finally got fed up and went and got a shovel. Went way faster! When I was attacking the wall with the sledgehammer, Jen told me, "You are slightly terrifying." Sister Rodriguez and I both weren't sure whether it was a good or bad thing that it wasn't the first time either of us had heard that on our missions. They were pretty shocked at the change they saw in us just by changing into jeans haha (their words). Afterwards, we invited their home teacher over and had a great lesson with them. It was actually just Shane and Zach, but it was still great. We talked all about the priesthood. It was wonderful to see their righteous desires and all they were doing to move towards God. We got out of there pretty late and hadn't been able to meet the Clarines and the Elders at Dairy Queen for dessert. So the Clarines called us and said to go to DQ, order whatever we want, and just tell them we are with the Clarines. Apparently they are on good terms with them there since their son worked there before his mission. I guess the Elders and their investigator got there before the Clarines and the workers said, "It looks like Josh's family is coming!" Haha! Yes! I love that they recognize the missionaries! That happened the other day when Sister Rodriguez and I went out for lunch, we heard the wait staff talking and they were referring to us as the sister missionaries.
Church was good. Poor Sister Rodriguez woke up so sick, but she put on a face, got dressed and off to church we went. Good news: Joyce came!! Bad news: Mike was not with her. So sad. Good news: the 4 Routs came again!! I guess the night before, Shane prayed to have a talk on prayer/fasting and there was one!! He was super stoked his prayer was answered. Me too! He met with the bishop that day about what he needs to do to receive the priesthood! We are just so excited for this family. Riley threw a fit about going to primary. So Sister Rout and us took him. As we were walking him down, we talked with a Brother and he was asking what class he would be in. He said, "My son Dallin is in the CTR 5, and he is the funnest kid that I know!" I about died laughing the way he said it. We all sat in the back row and eventually got some smiles out of him. We let the 2 of them go to class together. Afterwards, he saw us in the hall, got so excited and ran up and gave us a big hug. Apparently he had a super fun time! Score! He told his mom that she had to come once more with him and then he would be willing to go by himself. That night, we had dinner with the bishop and afterwards, he asked to talk to us. We ended up talking for about an hour! It was so great; I think he is finally beginning to trust us! When we got out, we saw that we had 2 missed calls from Joyce. Turns out they were from Mike!! YAY! He apologized for missing church and said he has had a hard time with this new apartment lately but that he wants to meet with us this week. It is just down to phone tag now.
Well my dinosaur is making excellent progress! I will send you a picture soon! I love the people we live with. They are really like family! Things are going good with Sister Rodriguez and I. We get along well and have a fun time. We are hoping to stay together for next transfer. Those are coming up this week and I am absolutely freaking out!! Remember, emails might be delayed by hours, a day, or not at all. Sad, I am over time and must get going. I love you guys!! I'm loving being a missionary and serving the Lord. I love you guys; thanks for all you do. I hope you have a fantastically awesome week!! Don't forget to smile and enjoy the little blessings God has given. Talk to you next week!
Love, Sister Grossman
Tuesday, March 4, 2014
Como estas? Mi companera y yo estan muy bien. Te querio mucho.
Ok so just kidding, I had my companion write that. She is called Spanish speaking. BUT!!! I have the first vision almost completely memorized in Spanish!! She has language study everyday and hates it. So in order to make it more bearable, I do it with her and now almost have that memorized!! Woot!!
Sorry to be on so late today. We had some other errands we had to run this morning and email had to be pushed back. This week, I am feeling much better. I still have a pretty wicked cough, but it gets a little better every day. We've been able to get up and work more which is nice. However, ever since we got the stomach flu, Sister Rodriguez's stomach has been super sensitive. She is lactose intolerant and so now even the slightest amount of dairy will throw her off. I feel bad for her because there is nothing I can do to help.Tuesday we had exchanges. I went into another area and had a good time working and talking with the STL. It was hard because it was my first full day in almost two weeks! I was still super sick and way exhausted, but it all worked out.
Wednesday unfortunately I was coughing so much, I had a migraine. I was able to make it a good part of the day, but after a while Sister Rodriguez made me go home because apparently I looked like death had rolled over me.
Thursday night we were at dinner at a home that had 3 young boys. One of them was trying to play his recorder for us ("Amazing Grace"), but the youngest one kept knocking his music off the stool and trying to play on it. As the mom was getting up to put him in time out, she said, "If you don't shape up, I am going to send you home with the sisters!" He got the biggest look of horror on his face (eyebrows all drawn up, mouth open/frowning) and yelled, "NOOOOOOOO!!" hahaha I died laughing. Who knew we were that bad. She tried to see if he would like the Elders better but he still had a look of horror on his face.
The Routs came to church on Sunday!!! YAY!! We were missing Britany and Dalton because they woke up late, and the middle son didn't want to go. But we had Jen (mom), Shane (dad), Zack (16), and Riley (6). Unfortunately Jen got a migraine in the middle of sacrament so they had to go home. Zack stayed the whole time though, which was awesome!! He said it was definitely different then he remembered, but it was more of a good different than a bad different and he wants to keep coming. SCORE! Brother Chin is his Sunday School Teacher which is so helpful when it comes to making him feel very comfortable.
Sunday we met with Saundra and Mathew. Good news, Saundra is pregnant! Bad news, they can't meet with us for a while because she gets crazy sick. He is working crazy over time hours and they want to have the time to devote to fulfilling the invitations we give them. SO they want to put off for 2 months. Really, it is only like them cancelling on 4 appointments, but still a bummer because they need that contact. However, there is more good news!! Mathew said he was in traffic and got really mad and frustrated, so he tried kind of praying to be calm. He said it worked and "he kind of, sort of, felt something"!! There it is (sorry, mission saying). It was awesome that he had that positive experience praying.
So because we have had to stay at home a lot lately (and during language study, night time, and even sometimes during lunch) I have had time to work on my dinosaur!! His head is done and I am part way through his body!! Be impressed mom :) I can do more than go in a straight line.
Love you all lots! I love this work and have really had my testimony strengthened lately. I will share cool scriptures I found with you next time! Love you!! Have a great week!