Friday, November 27, 2015

I'll be Home for Christmas

I remember my first day in New York...who wouldn't? You step off the plane and the humidity slaps you in the face and you realize you might be walking around in it all day for the next 18 months. When the new missionaries get here President tells us "this isn't a handcart mission, it's a bullet train mission....jump on the train and let's go" or in the words of Elder Holland "Start fast, run hard, and to the tape, you can rest later." This has been the most wonderful 18 months of my life. There was happiness and heartbreak, there were long days of walking the streets trying to find someone who would listen. But somehow it all went by so fast! Too fast. I am so grateful for this opportunity...we don't give the Lord anything when we serve Him because we are blessed to immensely for any small amount we do give. We cannot give Him a crust without Him giving a loaf in return. I only wish I could have done more. But it's okay because it isn't over for me, and it never will be. Still on the same team just playing a different position. A disciple of Christ never throws in the towel no matter what they've already given. There is always more to give.

I love my Savior. I know this is all true because if it wasn't I wouldn't be changed, and neither would any of the people I've taught. But they are! And I am! And each person stands as living, walking evidence that the atonement can heal what we cannot heal, can fix that which is beyond repair, and can mend our broken hearts and dry up our tears. "Wherefore, how great the importance to make these things known unto the inhabitants of the earth, that they may know that there is no flesh that can dwell in the presence of God, save it be through the merits, and mercy, and grace of the Holy Messiah, who layeth down his life according to the flesh, and taketh it again by the power of the Spirit, that he may bring to pass the resurrection of the dead, being the first that should rise." {2 Nephi 2:8}

I am forever changed from serving here, and even though there is trash all over the streets and it's loud and there are lots of bad attitudes NYC will always be special to me because this is where I came to "the knowledge of a Redeemer." And I do know that my Redeemer lives.

I love you all so much, see ya in the airport!

Sister Wadsworth

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Another week in the Big Apple


Oh my heck what is life? You'd think after being here for 18 months I'd have experienced it all....nope!! Everything has been super intense this week but I wouldn't trade a second of it!
We had a meeting with sweet Sister Reynolds and all the other Sister Training Leaders and used President Nelson's talk "A Plea to My Sisters" as a backdrop for our discussion. It's so important that both men AND women recognize that God has a great work for us to do! Mostly within our own homes. I am grateful to be a part of all this, full-time, now and forever. It's the best! The meeting went long and we missed our Zone Training Meeting ): but that's okay we had a great night of teaching anyways. 
On Thursday we finally had time to weekly plan! That almost never happens. Then we exchanged with the Chinese Sisters ha ha I was with Sister Johnson and we went to visit a Chinese family. I guess in their culture if they give you something you're expected to eat it...ALL OF IT. Well, they gave us this red bean paste over this plastic-y noodle stuff? I don't even know what it was, I just know that I choked on it for like 2 minutes straight and the old Chinese grandma was looking at me, laughing, and slapping my back so hard I wanted to cry!!
Friday we went to another Zone Training Meeting, this time we actually made it on time, probably because we had to give a workshop. Their zone was so dead! No participation ha ha good thing we know how to fix that...we got up and said "get together in your districts and whoever has the funniest picture on their iPad wins!" Well that woke em up haha they had some good pictures! And after that we had a great discussion about nightly planning. We also taught a new girl, Karen, who has been coming to church for a year! She already read the entire Doctrine & Covenants! We asked her if she knew who any prophets were and she was like "Joseph Smith...I mean, he's the main one right?" #yesss
I think the biggest miracle was teaching June, the lady who walked in last week wanting to be baptized. Actually the miracle isn't necessarily teaching her, but the person she is! She is so prepared! So on our first lesson Sister Lemmon asked if we could kneel for the prayer and she was kind of confused but agreed and we had an amazing lesson. Well on Saturday when we taught her again we knelt down and she said "can I tell you a secret?" "I haven't been able to bend my knee for 20 years...until last week when we knelt down to pray, and now my knee is fine!" This was an amazing fulfillment to a promise from our president that if we would kneel with our investigators on the first lesson they would progress. Not only is she getting baptized in 4 weeks but her knee is healed!
Something weird I saw this week: a lady on the bus curling her eyelashes with a spoon...? Haha don't ask me how cause I don't know lol. I also found a crisp $10 bill on the sidewalk, and this cool bracelet when we got on an empty's my lucky week I guess! Oh AND, I was on the subway and this lady kept looking at me and then writing stuff down in this journal..she was kinda creepin me out. Well when I was walking off the train I took a quick look at her journal and she had sketched me!! I was so flattered guys, I can't even tell you! I'm pretty much a model now I guess. Hah.
So this week was pretty drama-filled with our lil investigators and it's probably not needful to give all the details but I have learned very deeply that the gospel is the happiest way to live our lives, and that Satan will always attack those who choose to follow the gospel path, especially during and around important moments in their conversion. As I have been reading 2 Nephi 2 I am more and more grateful for the opposition in my life and especially on a mission that has strengthened my commitment to Christ. I love verse 2: "Nevertheless, Jacob, my firstborn in the wilderness, thou knowest the greatness of God; and He shall consecrate thine afflictions for thy gain." I might have lost a lot of things to come on a mission (weight not being one of them ha ha) but I know that what I gave from serving a mission has proven far more valuable than what I gave up. I love Elder Holland: "I want to give something back, but I never want it to be (in King David’s words) “that which doth cost me nothing.” I hope the service we give causes us to stretch ourselves and cling to the Lord in all we do. "All things have been done in the wisdom of Him who knoweth all things." I love being a missionary here and it'll probably break my heart in half to leave next week, it's been the greatest time of my life.
I love you all!!
Sister Wadsworth


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I'm not old...I'm ancient

The subject title is from Sister Dorsky, FYI. Finally got a good picture with her....see below :) she's like 90 and is still kickin. 
This week went by wayyy too fast!! Sister Lemmon turned 20 on Monday!! So obviously we had to party so much. I took her to a thrift store and we got some fun stuff for cheap. Also went to 5 guys and had a real burger for the first time in like a year ha ha. This week consisted of basically all of our plans falling through which was fine with me cause some incredible things happened instead!
So there is this girl, Karen, who's family moved from China so they could worship, even though they don't have a church. She lives right by our church so she started coming and has been coming (unbeknownst to the missionaries) for the last 3 months! Well it's Brooklyn Stake Temple week and she wanted to go but as it turns out, you actually have to be a member to go to the temple so now she wants to get baptized!! Holy cow what is life?! So we are working with her and hopefully she will get baptized soon. We have also been working with a 10-year-old boy whose grandma is a member and he is SO HARD to teach. Like the ultimate A.D.D. child here. But thank goodness for ios9 and the drawing feature on notes, we have him draw pictures of what we teach while we're teaching and it is the first time missionaries have been able to teach him all the lessons! You should see the poor kid's teaching record, every companionship was like "maybe when he's older" and stuff like that but DING DING DING we taught him everything so he is getting baptized next week! And of course Peyton got baptized yesterday so that was the coolest thing ever. She pretty much bears her testimony of the restoration non-stop through church it's so presh. I'll save that story for later.
We are also teaching this lady and it's been so cool to see her boyfriend's heart soften:
1st visit: we ask if he wants to join the lesson and he walks into the other room
2nd visit: sat there through a video about Jesus
3rd visit: waiting on the couch with the Plan of Salvation pamphlet in hand and was more responsive than his girlfriend.
Haha!! I love what the gospel does to people, they just can't help wanting to know more. Oh and a random funny story, we often walk past a waste management facility and Sister Lemmon is always like, suffocated, and I'm like, so happy cause it smells like a can take the girl out of the country but ya can't take the country out of the girl!
We had an amazing MLC mostly talking about patience and setting goals for next year but I will skip over that to tell you a story about poor Elder Paterson. He is from Cardy and knows all of Travis' family...pretty much a hysterical Canadian. Well we had a break and so everyone was walking back in but he tripped over the Assistant's MacBook cord and almost fell into his seat so we were all kinda joking about how he tripped and having fun. So we have a tradition where when Sister Reynolds walks into the room we all stand up out of respect. So Elder Paterson tries to stand up but something went wrong and he fell down and his chair folded up so he was flat on his bum on the ground and we were all just dying laughing. Seriously everyone in this mission feels like my close family now. It's like I have 120 little brothers and 80 sisters. And President and Sister Reynolds are like the parents, it is SO FUN to be a missionary in the NYNYS Mission.
So let me skip to Sunday cause it was cray. Reminded me of when I was in Belle Harbor there was so much happening! First of all, we had 10 INVESTIGATORS at church.All progressing, most have been coming consistently...what the heck? In NYC? Fuhgeddaboutit. Seriously couldn't even keep track of them all. We attended Young Women's because 4 of them are in there. After church Peyton got baptized! The RS room was overflowing and the spirit was amazing. Most of our investigators stayed for it! She was so happy and was crying and smiling and our hearts were so full! President and Sister Reynolds came as well and it was so fun to have hem there! They are THE CUTEST thing of my entire life. Right before the baptism a young lady from Malaysia walked in and said she was looking for a church to join. She knew a few things about our church so she said she would like to be baptized....I was like...uhhhhh...the font is full so uhhh....haha. We got her contact info and have an appointment. AFTER the baptism Heavenly Father sent us another new investigator. She is from Japan and she googled churches near her home and thought ours looked nice. She came and our members basically jumped on that and welcomed her in so nicely. We had a lesson that evening and she LOVES the restoration. She was in a crazy church that was making her vomit on command and all this really weird stuff we were like "yeah we just have green jello and that's about as weird as we get..." Ha ha. Met with her again last night and set a baptismal date. I don't know why we are being blessed so much!! I know it's not about us though, these people are ready whether we are or not, so we are trying to pull ourselves together and catch up to God's pace!! I seriously LOVE missionary work and being here in NYC and being with Sister Lemmon and working with all these amazing people! Life couldn't be more perfect. LOVE YOU ALL!!!
Sister Wadsworth from the dr's...I got mah flu shot
Some vintage clothes we got at this cool store....
And some guy with some nast dreads on the train he kept flipping his hair and it was touching my comp...sick.
And pics taken by Lemmdog

and President and Sister...the cutest things ever.

And the Laundrymat

Monday, November 2, 2015

New Tires

Well Howdy!
This week started out golden!! Last Sunday we stopped by Anna's house, we found her on the subway a few months ago and she said she'd never join cause she believes we can have more than one prophet. We stopped by anyway and she was walking out the door with trash so she invited us in and we small talked for a few minutes and she showed us her incredible shoe collection from Aldo.,,seriously like 55 pairs it was impressive. Anyway we started talking religion and she kinda broke down and said she didn't know if her efforts as a single mom were enough. We showed her the video "you never know" and she seriously bawled through the whole thing cause obviously the spirit was telling her she should join our church haha. She thanked us profusely as we walked out and asked us to come back the next week. She made it clear she did not want to attend our services. BUT she texted us the next day: "Hello. I asked God last night why did he allow our paths to cross. I'm trying to understand it.  Is your objective as a missionary for your church to bring people to your church?  Because if its not, and it's more about teaching people about Jesus, perhaps we can get together when you have time to talk about God and Jesus. I'm steadfast in my beliefs mainly because it is what I was taught, but also my personal relationship with God. The things he's revealed to me.  I've heard him literally speak to me.   With this being said you are always welcome in my home to teach my daughter and I the word of God. You can read from your bible. I can read from mine.  ;-). Please send me that video I watched yesterday. I may stop by your church one day, but I will never stray away from what I was taught and what I believe to be true. I do have many questions about the bible and God, so maybe we can share knowledge and ideas. I'm totally down for that." It was like music from heaven! This was one of the coolest things of my mission to see her heart slowly change and now she is willing to give it a shot! I KNOW she is going to accept our message, and it might be sooner than we thought!

We had an exchange Tuesday, I was with Sister Jenkins who is a total riot and we just get each other. It rained so much but we just had a good old time in it! She is an angel and let me borrow her rain boots. We went to a dinner appointment and the lady fed us (straight up) 3 HUGE hamburger patties with a bunch of rice haha I felt like a boy eating that much meet but it was good! Haha. We had interviews with President. We made him and the assistants some "special brownies" so that was fun, right afterwards we exchanged with the ASL sisters. I was here with Sister Barker and  we had such a good time! She is going home when I do so it was good to relate about feelings and stuff. I went to the foot doctor! Guess what??!! WENDY THE WART IS GONE FOR GOOD. There was a bit of a callous but the podiatrist shaved it off and my foot feels sooo good! It's like I went to Les Schwab and got new tires and am lovin walking again!! #blessings Sister Lemmon had a bit of a rough exchange haha. She was with 2 new missionaries so she had to drive and their car overheated so Sister Barker and I ended up going to the mission office to exchange back. They are know without a car but I have my Lemmdog back so all is well!

For Halloween we had to be in at 6 and we were cleaning our house but realized we couldn't go take out the trash cause obviously someone would murder us so we opened our window and I chucked the trash bag as hard as I could and it made it into the dumpster! So that became a bit of a game...we also made some yummy fajitas but I'm not sure why I'm telling you all this cause no one cares.

The highlight of this week was Sunday, we had 8 investigators come to church, and the elders had quite a few as well! The gospel principals class was super full, and Peyton's baptism is next week! Sister Lemmon is singing a song and I am playing so it will be great we are super excited for it! We are also getting people to the temple this week so the work is going AMAZING. This area is on fire. I love the gospel so much and I am grateful for these past few weeks, I have learned so much about the Lord's plan for us but more importantly how much He loves and cares about all of His children.

Love y'all!
Sister Wadsworth

Friday, October 30, 2015

A Nice Cup of Tea

Sorry I didn't write a ton last Monday, we were getting our hair done! We had a ton of meetings this week, 2 Zone Training Meetings and of course exchanges but there were a few really cool things that happened:
We went to teach this cute lady who we are trying to take to the temple. We decided we needed to just go in and ask her about herself. Well little did we know she had quite the story! She married someone from Iran and moved there with him when she was still pretty young. I guess in that country the men sit around all day and the women do all the work-basically second-class citizens. She put up with it for quite a few years before she moved back to the states by herself. She got her master's degree and had a good career teaching special ed till she retired. What a lady!! I felt ridiculous telling my story: I have a perfect family and haven't really had a hitch in my life. Her faith was amazing to see shine as she talked to us. 
I was on an exchange with Sister Park and we went to see one of our investigators who is getting baptized. The elders taught her and set a baptismal date and then gave her to us to teach. We talked about her baptism and she told us how she wasn't ready to be baptized and how she felt pressured by the baptismal date. Well Sister Park is a convert of about 2 years and she explained how she felt the same way. She invited our investigator to pray and set her own date. It was a miracle because she seemed like she didn't really want to be baptized but when we asked her to set her own date she got really excited about it!! It was so cool that of all the days we teach her on we taught her when Sister Park was here. Church is true. Oh and ya know the old lady who always feeds us on Tuesday?? The one who is deaf and you have to yell the prayer? (And everything else) Well she always makes us herbal tea after dinner and she was pouring some into my teacup and she spilled it alllll over my dress haha it burned my leg it was the funniest thing of my life she didn't even really notice cause she can't hear anything...sooooo funny.
On Thursday and Friday we had Zone Training Meeting for Zones 2 & 3, Sister Lemmon and I were supposed to give a workshop for the second one but we COMPLETELY forgot so we were livin a little up in front of everyone but it turned out great! We did 2 trio exchanges and I went with Sister Lewis and Jahnel, I absolutely adore both of them! Sister Jahnel is from Paraguay and made us the most amazing empanadas I have ever had. And Sister Lewis just gets me so it was a great time. 
We helped one of our less-actives clean her house on Saturday, it was quite lovely haha. She was asleep on her bed the whole time so we did our thing. NY homes can be so awk, people sleep in what would be the living room back west and everything is just super open so there's no secrets! ....most of the time that's a bad thing haha.
I feel like Sunday is always the week's highlight, or maybe I should say delight, we had 6 people come to church, they are all progressing, and most of them are well on their way to baptism! It's so fun to work with our lil investigators, I love them all so much!! We also found some new investigators this week and set them up with baptismal dates so it's a pretty exciting time to be in Bensonhurst! Peyton is going to be baptized on the 8th and the whole ward is super excited, she is basically already a member! Ok this is too random but I hate the smell of weed. Someone in our building smokes it so sometimes when we get home at night it's like suffocating is its SO disgusting. I heart the Word of Wisdom FOR REAL. 
A scripture I have been lovin this week is in Proverbs 3:5-6: "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." We all need direction wherever were at in life, and that direction comes as we obey the Lord and put Him first in our lives. I love the gospel so much! It brings life to life.
Thanks for everything, I love ya all!
Sister Wadsworth

New hur don't care
Life with Lemmon=HAPPINESS
Rudy. He for reals has a mullet. Cutest kid ever.
Our mission nurse Sister Peterson! So cute...and my compie <3
My girl Sister Van (:
This guy was legit dancing around the mall with a clock on his chest...
iPad probs...haha I love Sister Lemmon

All the girlies we exchanged with..and Elder Banta #whywedontaskelderstotakepictures 

Monday, October 19, 2015

When Life Gives You Lemmons...


Well, not Lemmons necessarily, but a Lemmon. SISTER Lemmon is my new companion and is probably the greatest thing of my life!! I kind of knew she was going to be my companion haha glad I was right! She is from St. Anthony, ID so we totally get each other. We know some of the same people, places, and uh, we're both just country so that's a dream come true. We had an amazing first week!

We went to do a lookup and I read the address wrong so we went to the building across from where we were supposed to go. The lady who opened the door was (obviously) the wrong person and because of a slight language barrier we thought she was put out by us so we started to leave. But she asked our names and we taught her a mini-restoration lesson and she wanted us to come back!! It's so funny the little things the Lord does for us throughout the day. An unexpected prepared person, a bus coming quickly when it's freezing cold, nice people opening doors when we knock instead of yelling at us, a companion with a sense of humor. The Lord really cares about each of us. 

We also taught a new investigator that our elders found! (Shout out to our elders, they have found half the people we are teaching!) she is so sweet, she came to church last week and we were able to have a member come with us last minute. This member, Amy, is the mother of 3 and oh my goodness her testimony is so powerful!! I was close to tears the whole lesson it was SO GOOD. And Sister Lemmon is such a powerful teacher, just being with her I have learned so much in the last week! 

She actually taught me some super cool, simple things about being happy. We can't always choose our situation, in fact, we rarely can! Because of this we sometimes think we can't choose to be happy because our situation predicts our happiness. Not true! Maybe we can't necessarily choose to be happy, but we can choose to create an environment in our lives where the spirit can dwell and as it says in Galatians 5:22: "But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith." So maybe we can't choose to be happy in the way we think we normally would, but we can choose to have the spirit, which, in turn, will make us happy!! 

We also taught some other lessons which, if I went into detail would take forever to explain, I gave a talk in church about seeing the beauty in others....haha it was great. Oh one last amazing thing: everyone thinks Sister Lemmon is a Jew because she's a brunette wearing tights. Walking to church yesterday a Jewish lady went out of her way to greet us which is amazing considering that they never respond when we greet them! Hysterical.

Oh and it was freezing cold last night so we went knocking. "Hi! We're missionaries and were out here freezing because we know our message is true!" Most people said no after that part but one lady said no and then told Sister Lemmon she has hot glasses #truth. After about 10 doors this one guy comes down his stairs...he was younger and he gave us the horizontal and we didn't know what to do so we asked him if he wanted to learn more and he was like "yes!" We were both like "uhhh what do we say we've never gotten this far." So we taught him a short restoration while he just stood there smiling. He was obviously interested, just not in our message. I FEEL SO AWKWARD JUST THINKING ABOUT IT. But it's okay. We found a family at the next door so #worthit. 

Well it's getting rather cold here but the people of New York are warming up to the gospel and it is so fun to see people's lives (including our own) change because of it! I love being a missionary here, it's the best thing ever :) 

Thanks so much for everything, I love you all!
Sister Wadsworth

Monday, October 12, 2015

Brooklyn for life...


....or at least until I come home! Wow wow wow. I get to stay here for my last 6 weeks!! I'm so excited, I LOVE this area and feel super blessed right now.

This week started off with a lil sleepover at the mission home! A new sister missionary from China came into our Stake so her trainer, us, and the Assistants all went to pick her up at the airport along with President and Sister Reynolds. It was such a beautiful experience! And brought back so many memories of coming in on my first day, it's crazy how different I now feel after 17 months of serving here in New York! We spent the night writing some guidelines for newly called Sister Training Leaders with Sister Reynolds, I seriously love her so much! Our mission has been so blessed to have 2 great presidents and their wives lead it. Tuesday didn't slow down, we took the sisters to their new apartment and dropped into our district meeting just in time, taught a lesson, and then brought back groceries for the new sisters, and had some fun lookups for the rest of the night. 

So one morning I was studying and I realized that I needed to be a bit better at consistently being what I want to become as Elder Oaks says. I thought my language could use a bit of improvement, not that it's bad just a little immature especially for a missionary. So I made a list of different words I could use instead of what I was currently saying....well it's pretty cool when you try to be better because the Lord blesses you pretty hardcore! We had a lesson scheduled for the evening and some people to see throughout the day but nothing looked very promising. We ended up having 3 less-active lessons, 4 other lessons, and 2 new investigators! In the middle of the day we got a bible referral and when we looked up the address the lady lived in the same building as our appointment that night! We set up an appointment and SHE WAS INCREDIBLE. So in tune. It's not very often that you feel the spirit when you walk into a non-members house. As we were walking home I was chuckling a bit cause the Asians here do this weird thing where they go through the trash on the sidewalk at night to try and find things to recycle for money. My initial thought when I see this in action is "get a real job." Like how sad is it that you have to go through someone else's garbage. It reminded me of that Mormon Ad poster entitled "take out the trash" of the boy taking the trash out of his mind. These people going through the trash are looking for something of value, maybe it's gonna pay for their next meal. I don't know. But they don't have a choice of what they're gonna find in there, maybe a dirty diaper ha ha, maybe worse. It's the same with the Internet or on our phones, maybe our intent is to find something of value but more often that not we end up finding things that harm rather than help us spiritually. My challenge is to not go through the trash. If you go on the Internet, please have a purpose! The instant we go on without a purpose is the instant Satan has room to take over. 

So I went on an exchange with my favorite Sister Peterson, she goes home tomorrow and has had such a big impact on my mission! We were talking about what the personal result of our mission might be and I realized that if there's one thing I would hope has changed about me it would be that I am more humble. Can you imagine coming back from a mission and still being prideful? Seems like that would defeat the whole purpose if you came back and weren't humbled by the experiences you had on your mission. When I think of humility I always think of Job, it's crazy that he still trusted and held onto God through it all....what an example! I haven't gone through nearly as hard of things as him but we can all trust God no matter what we go through.
Ok so also when I was with Sister Peterson we taught a deaf lady and she couldn't read so Sister Peterson was signing to her and trying to help her read from the Book of Mormon Stories. It's so cool that this little old lady can be just as faithful as we can (probably more) when she is so unable to learn about the gospel. I hope we take advantage of everything we have, all the resources, to learn all we can about our Savior and His life. Isn't that why we're here on earth? 

The transfer ended SO GOOD!! We had 5 investigators at church and had many miracles and progress happen for each of them DURING the meeting! This area had like 5 investigators in all 3 pools and now our pools combined have almost 40! And we have about 8 people preparing for baptism...its been so cool to see the work hasten in this area. We talked to a member last night (she was teaching with us) and she said there was one branch in NYC 50 years ago, and now we have 4 incredible is that?? I love being a part of the work in this area, it's the best thing of my life. 

Hope you all have a great week!
Sister Wadsworth 

1. Some T-Bell sauce from a previous comp <3
2. Mission home with the new missionaries! Aren't President and Sister Reynolds picture perfect?!
3. I realized that I only have 6 more weeks of this pizza so we have been livin a little
4. I will miss this little hottie :'(