This has been the most fun, exciting, crazy weeks of my entire mission!
After district meeting on Tuesday we went on exchanges with the River
stake sisters! I got to go back to my old area and work again for 24
hours. It was such a blast! I was with Sister Fameitau from Auckland,
New Zealand. I am so happy with all the work she's continued to do
there. People that I taught months ago are progressing, people that
were baptized last summer are active in the church, people who weren't
interested before and interested now, I am so grateful that Heavenly
Father put her and Sister Rice in that area and for the love they have
for the people who live there!
At the end of exchanges I had to run to Sandy for a meeting I didn't
know about (once again because I never read the announcements on
Mondays...oops) and when I got back to SoJo we got a call from one of
the assistants to the president informing us that we were inheriting a
new companion AND her stake that Friday. So we packed up our room so
we could move everything quickly on the 24th since our landlords and
us have to be out the 25th, and packed clothes and food for the rest
of the week because Friday morning we moved to West Jordan.
Sister Meyers and I didn't mind though because we were SUPER excited.
Sister Meyers was excited because our third companion is her MTC
companion and they were together in Sandy during the summer. I was
excited because our second stake is the MOUNTAIN VIEW STAKE!!! It's my
favorite area of my entire mission and I was so heartbroken when I was
transferred out. I also get to live with Brother and Sister Curtis,
who have been my favorite landlords, so that's a huge bonus. I've been
able to see how the work has gone since I've left and been able to
meet a few new people the sisters have been teaching. It's so great!!
We're only here till Wednesday (transfers) though. Also,usually Sister
Mayall finds splits so we're mostly in the Highland stake working and
then we meet up again when she can't find a split. We've all been
teaching like CRAZY since Friday too! Which is a really good thing. No
Tomorrow we move our stuff to the Newman family's house.They're so
great! Bishop Newman is one of the bishops in the stake and he's
really funny. We're excited to move in with them! We are going to get
call about transfers on Tuesday, too. We think Sister Meyers is
getting the boot and I'll probably get a new sister to train on how to
be a sister training leader. OR they're going to make the Country
Crossing stake the stl area again and call two new ones for SoJo.
Lately people have been getting transferred their last six weeks
though, so who knows. Maybe I'll get the boot and go to Bluffdale or
Draper or something. I think it would be fun to keep Sister Meyers as
my last companion though.
Nothing else new except we had a lesson at temple square Saturday
night and it went GREAT!
Love you! Be happy!
Sister Meyers and I worked our tails off this week! It was great!
One of my favorite people that we're teaching, his name is Tom and he's investigating the church! He was a big giant miracle, because apparently the 9th ward hasn't been doing well with missionary work for a while and they've been praying for missionary opportunities. Then one day we were walking past the bishop of that ward and he told us that they had moved in and we began teaching him that night! I probably already emailed about him, but he is 100% prepared by the Lord and that family is one of our favorites in the stake. Him and his soon-to-be wife knew each other as kids in New York and after lots of years they found each other again and fell in love and now they live in Utah and are getting married on Easter weekend!! They are super funny, and they even invited us to their wedding! We probably won't get permission to go because it's out of our mission boundaries, but we'll still ask and see.
We also found 3 new investigators this past week!! One of them is a man named Bruce Lee. Yes, that is correct. I am teaching a man named Bruce Lee on my mission. If you hadn't heard already, my life is AWESOME. We also started teaching a man and his daughter. They are SO friendly! It's amazing to see how the Lord leads us to people who are ready to hear the message we have to share! We taught them the message of the Restoration and they believe it's true!!! They haven't been to and LDS service before, they haven't read the Book of Mormon before, but they felt the Spirit tell them in their hearts that it's true and it reminded me how Heavenly Father really is a God of miracles! That this is something we all already knew before we came to this earth, and our job as missionaries is to help them remember. They are willing to study the Book of Mormon and come to church, and to pray about what we're teaching them to gain a stronger witness that it's all true, that God and Jesus Christ really did appear to Joseph Smith and restored the Savior's church to the earth again.
Something I've learned a lot more about recently (and you'd think I'd already know it well by now but we're always gaining insight on things I guess) is how to teach the pattern of dispensations and apostasies in the scriptures. I've always had such a hard time trying to teach people about it, but there's a neat chart thing on the ipad that makes it 9845023470128437102458710294875102987 times easier to teach.
-God chooses a prophet
-The prophet teaches the gospel and leads the people
-God blesses the people
-The people gradually disregard or disobey the teachings of the prophet. They eventually reject the prophet and his teachings and fall into apostasy (forsaking or abandoning the gospel of Jesus Christ).
-Because of apostasy, people lose knowledge of the gospel. Priesthood authority is taken from among them.
-When the time is right and people are ready to follow Him again, God chooses another prophet, restores the priesthood and the Church, and directs the prophet to teach the gospel.
That's what? 8 sentences? Oh MAN I've been making that WAY more complicated than I needed to.
I think that's why people have such a hard time sharing the gospel with those around them. We feel like we have to make it more complicated than it really is. In Preach My Gospel there's a whole section on "Teach for Understanding" and it quotes President John Taylor saying "It is true intelligence for a man to take a subject that is mysterious and great in itself, and to unfold and simplify it so that a child can understand it." In the same section there are some great scriptures on why plainness is important. It doesn't matter how well versed we are, or if we know big words or not. What matters is our conviction and testimony of what we're sharing. The most simple and straightforward we are, the easier it is for the Spirit to testify to the hearts of those who are listening. Sincerity and simpleness are what counts.
Anyways, there's Sister Hinkle's missionary moment for the week.
In other news, we went on exchanges again this week! We went with the River Ridge stake Sisters! I stayed in the area and had Sister Malufau as my companion. That girl is one of the funniest people I've ever met. She's Hawaiian and beautiful and I'm not afraid of anything with her, because she knows exactly what to say in all situations. I think my favorite thing about being a sister training leader is how I get to see all of these wonderful examples that the sisters in our zone are to me. I get to learn great things from each of them and see what I can improve on and how I can better do God's work. We really have some of the most hard working and dedicated missionaries in SoJo right now. We love the Lord and we love doing His work!!!
Hmmmm...I can't think of anything else. Oh! Except yesterday a man that's been less active most of his life walked to church with us yesterday!! He said he'll only go with his wife (who's out of town for somewhere around a month), so naturally we stopped by to invite him to come with us! He was outside watering his lawn and after talking about fishing for a few minutes he agreed to have us meeting him Sunday morning and walk down with him! The whole way to the building yesterday he kept saying "I don't know HOW you got me to do this" "I have no clue WHAT you said to change my mind" and we kept reminding him that it was the Spirit that helped him make that decision, not us. Turns out one of the talks was all about boats and fishing. One thing my mission has taught me is that there are no coincidences.
Well, I love you! This is week six of this transfer. Next Wednesday is transfer day and we'll find out who my last companion and where my last area is. HEARTBREAKING.
We think that since I have this streak of changing companions almost every transfer I'll get someone new in the area and Sister Meyers will leave after being here for around 6 months.
Crazy. Time goes too fast.
Firstly, sorry about not letting you know our preparation days were switched. I didn't find out until after I was done emailing last week...mostly because I never read the announcements when I get them and just wait for someone to tell me later in the week...I should probably stop doing that. But we get to go to the temple today! Woohoo!
ANYWAY! Last week was an entire week of iPads iPads iPads. And now we have them! Tuesday was a giant meeting where two members of the 70 came and talked to us, Wednesday we had to read two handbooks on using them, Thursday we had our zone training meeting and went over the mission training plan with our zone, and Friday we got them!!! Unfortunately, I was so excited that when we were setting them up I accidentally typed in "elizabeth.hinkle@myldsmail.COM" instead of "elizabeth.hinkle@myldsmail.NET"....
The poor zone leaders spent a good 40 minutes trying to fix it for me. In the end we're not actually sure what worked,but after a lot of searching through settings and clicking random buttons we got the right email and password and everything set where they need to be. We have the coolest interactive pamphlets on these things! We've been teaching like crazy the past couple of days and they're a great tool to help in our lessons. :)
This past weekend was weird. Actually this past week was weird. Monday our district went bowling and there was a TON of elderly people there competing. But that's not the weird part, the weird part is THAT I WON THE FIRST GAME. OH, YEAH! ME. THAT'S RIGHT! How it happened? I have no idea. Will it ever happen again? Probably not. But for one glorious game, I was the champion.
After our giant mission-wide meeting on Tuesday morning we walked outside of the mission office to find a ton of snow that just showed up. It turned out to be a massive snowball fight in the mission office parking lot. It didn't last very long because firstly,we had to get back to our areas and save souls, and secondly because snow ball fights are actually really cold and not fun, just in case you didn't know that already.
Our landlords decided to put their house up for sale this past week just to see what would happen. Thursday during out ztm we kept getting texts about different showings going on at our house. It sold that day, which, by the way, was the very first day it went up for sale.They decided to accept the offer and now we're HOMELESS. Well, not really, the high councilman over missionary work and stake president are looking at different places where we can stay and we still have about 2 weeks till we're officially kicked out anyway.
Friday was my dumb thing where I broke my iPad for a while
Then our weekend happened. During it, we
-met someone that is in the band "The Lower Lights" (they play folk church music) and got free CDs
-did a bunch of service
- got invited to ride with the Redford family to get ice cream in their limo
-jumped on a trampoline
-found out that one of my favorite families from the River stake (Miesenbachers) and friends with our ward mission leader's family (Watkos) and got to see them
-wrote a song titled "My Creepy Elk Head" to the tune of "My Little Pony" about an elk head that we saw in a family's living room
-got into lots of doors
-ate pizza 4 times
-accidentally broke our microwave
-found out we have a mutual love for cob houses
I can't think of anything else, but that's a good amount.
The work is still amazing over here! Miracles happen every day. I love this stake, and I love these people. I know that God and Jesus Christ are aware of us and our needs and He knows how to help us. I get to see His hands in people's lives every single day.
A big huge giant miracle that happened recently was when a cute sister texted us asking us to come teach her husband about the Plan of Salvation. We've been trying to get a hold of them for weeks and haven't had any response or answers at the door. On Sunday we fasted for help to find someone that's ready to be baptized in March, and BOOM we walk outside of someone's house and see her text. Our lesson is tonight!!! We are so excited to help him gain a testimony that life really does go on after we leave this earth!
Being able to serve a mission for the Lord is such a huge blessing. I can't imagine what my life would be like had I never come here and met all of these wonderful people. I can't imagine what kind of person I would be without having the restored gospel in my life. I know that Jesus Christ lives and that He is our Savior and I know His church is on the earth today.
I love you! Choose happiness!