Monday, April 27, 2015


I can't believe it's already been 6 weeks since coming to Midwood!! It used to blow my mind that people could meet and marry their spouse in like a month, but I kinda see where they're coming from now! You can fall in love with people so fast! I love the people in this Ward and the investigators we are teaching SO MUCH. It's been a crazy last week of the transfer but I think we were able to do everything we needed to.  
We spent our P-day in Williamsburg, AKA hipsterville. We went to Brooklyn Charm and I got like 50 million stickers for my collection haha *nerd alert.* we did a lookup that night but she wasn't there and it took an hour to get there and an hour to get back so that's that! Tuesday we had back-to-back lessons from 10 till 9:30 and skipped lunch and dinner. Not a good idea. Wednesday we had more lessons, District Meeting, and we took a member to the temple. Whenever we take a member to the temple the stress level goes up by like a thousand. The session was at 6:15 and it was 5:45. The member texted us and said she was just leaving her house which is like an hour away....awk. So we called President and he said we could go to the later session which would get us home at like 11 so we waited and waited for the member. She finally got there and everything went good, it was a very good time and so special to see her face, she really love it. It is always worth the stress to get to the temple because of the peace we can feel there. 

Thursday we did some online training for our iPads which included watching the district again and some other boring videos. Then we got an email stating that the software is corrupted and all the missionaries in test missions would have to redo the online trainings we had previously done. Haha! That night we had correlation at our Ward mission leader's house. He is Filippeano and probably my favorite person here. He is the essence of hysterical. Anyways there is us and 2 sets of elders so he made us this big pot of rice soup stuff that was scorching hot. After we ate it me and my comp started to feel sick. Just another day for us haha when have we not been sick this transfer? We had the bag of 3 leftover containers of soup and I was trying to tie it shut but one of the containers fell out and splattered all over their super nice kitchen. We went into panic mode. We motioned for one of the elders to distract the member, and his daughter helped us wipe up the mushy rice, mop and dry the floor. The member still doesn't know haha. 

We got on one bus and it took us halfway home but when we got off to transfer the second bus never came so we started walking....we ended up walking the whole way home! Just as we walked into our apartment the bus that was supposed to come passed by. Oh side note: everyday you have a wake up call that you're in New York, but some days they are more jolting than others. As we were walking home we heard "elders!" So we turned around to see a nice lady and she started talking to the 6 of us. She explained how she grew up in Utah and was no longer a member of the church. Elder Choi gave her a card with the address of the church on it just as another woman who looked like her daughter walked out of the convenience store we were standing in front of. "Hi honey." Was the first thing the lady said. It must be her daughter right? As the second woman approached the one we were talking to introduced her as her wife. By now we are all pretty good at hiding our shock when stuff like this happens, but there was def a pause in the air. We graciously said goodbye and were on our way *quickly* haha.
Friday was a bit rough because of the whole food poisoning thing so we didn't get to work as much as we had hoped to. Saturday we were feeling absolutely terrible and decided that this had to be the flu, probably given to us by one of the families we visited or at the hospital. We finally got up the strength to go out around 2 'o clock and as soon as we got to our appointment we decided we had better go back before Sister Christensen threw up all over New York. On the bright side I read lots of good conference talks! I've had enough of hospitals and sickness and staying in the pad but I've kind of come to terms that this is the germ-iest city and I need to deal with it haha.

Ok can we just take a few moments and appreciate how weird New York is? I cannot even handle how many crazy things I see in one day. I don't even notice half of them anymore. People-watching on trains and busses is the truth when all is said and done. Even just listening to people's conversations is the funniest thing alive. My favorite is listening to some ghetto sophomores on the bus talk about their high school drama. Except it's not just drama, it usually sounds like WWIII is about to go down in East New York. Like people here get in major fights all the time! I love watching cat fights I think it's hysterical. One girl pulls of the other girls wig and then all hell breaks loose. Anyways I want to just video it but you really have to come visit to get the full effect. Sometimes I don't even feel like this is America. We walk down the street and no one is speaking English and people are wearing turbans or whatever the heck those things are and we are the only white people in sight. Murica. I love it. Oh and fast Sunday here is the worst thing ever because the whole city smells like food and everywhere you go there's food. Food food food. That's probably why we always get so many blessings on Fast Sunday is because there's so much temptation. 

Sunday was so great. We had a regional broadcast from SLC and Elder Hales and Anderson spoke to us. They spoke a lot about the atonement and about living what we believe and sharing it. It was such a spiritual meeting. A girl from Oxford, England was visiting and I had a nice talk with her. Afterwards we had a baptism for Marcel. It was probs the most awkward baptism I've been to in a while, just because the guy who was conducting didn't have anything to do while they were changing out of their baptismal clothes so he called on me and my comp to teach everyone about the restoration. We took about 1 minute cause obvi you don't want to go into depth in that situation, and then we just stood there awkwardly so I was like "let's sing some songs!" So we sang like 4 hymns and then they finally finished changing. It was great haha. We were still sick and afterwards they had hatian food and some lady pretty much forced us to eat the fried bananas so we were dying and went home and threw up some more before our appointments that night. By the end of the night we felt a lot better and today we are doing pretty good. As long as no one makes us eat for a few days we should be fine.

Something I have been studying this week is Enduring to the End and the Plan of Salvation. I see people who are about to finish their missions and they are so strong and stalwart in the gospel! I admire them and look up to them. How are we motivated to be our best? On a mission, at work, within our families, in our wards? I think one way is staying in the moment. We can't live for all the things we want to happen. We must be where we are and work from there. I was randomly thinking about the bell curve (at least I remember something from college). I had the thought that In the gospel of Jesus Christ there should be no bell curves. We should never have a "highest point" only to regress to where we started. Because of the atonement we can always move upward. There shouldn't be any swan dives into Babylon. I love the scripture "Use boldness, but not overbearance; and also see that ye bridle all your passions, that ye may be filled with love; see that ye refrain from idleness." Sometimes it is hard to hold ourselves back from the things we want. I have learned that the best way to bridle passions is to let someone else take the reins. I think of Carrie singing "Jesus Take the Wheel" but I think this is a little deeper than that. We don't just quit and let him handle all our problems. We look to His gospel as a way to overcome the things we struggle with. "Refrain from idleness" is a pretty good motto to live by. Anyways I sound like a preacher by now but I do want to say I am so grateful for the restored gospel and especially for the atonement which allows us to be so much more than we could ever be on our own. I love being a member of this church and I love being a missionary even more. Thank you all for your support and love, I am grateful to have such an amazing family! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Some classy graffiti
2 & 3. The temple! This humidity though...the lions mane is real. 
4. Met some cute sisters at the temple(: 
5. Love this family!

Monday, April 20, 2015

Rainbows after Rain

Haha it's raining soooo much right now. This has probably been the most up and down week ever. I guess a lot of stuff similar has happened since I've been here but I try not to write about the "hard" things, but I guess I feel the need to talk about discouragement because it isn't all fun and games all the time. Like it is most of the time, but not all of the time, just sayin. 

So Monday was basically Murica to the max. We went to Wall Street and took the Staten Island ferry past the Statue of Liberty, that was fun and we got lots of good pics. I fearlessed this 90-year-old man who gave me a physics lesson and talked to me about history for pretty much the whole ride...he wasn't about that gospel life though. Afterwards we went to the Brooklyn Bridge Park and played rugby. The highlight of that was probably me making mad yards only to get tackled by my comp and we both went sliding and were sore for days. It was def a bonding moment. The elders seemed to think it was pretty limping off the field. Haha jk but that park is sooo pretty. We got tons of great pictures. I also have a new hobby! People put random stickers over the back of all the signs and me and some of the elders have a competition to see who can get the coolest stickers. So we spend the whole trip getting some rad stickers and having a good time. That night we watched Meet the Mormons with some investigators and less-actives so it was a pretty fun day and they all liked the movie. 

Tuesday we spent some time cleaning up the 111 referrals from church Headquarters that have built up in the area over the past year. So yeah that was our Tuesday. If you've served a mission ha know what I'm talking about. That night we exchanged and I went to Coney Island with Sister Snow...I love her! We totes had a miracle, we went to see a lady they had been trying to see for like 6 weeks, she let us in and we taught the Restoration and she agreed to get baptized!! We also did service at Prospect Park and some other lookups so Wednesday was a full day. Thursday I went to the temple for my year-mark temple trip. It was such a good experience and I appreciate the temple so much more now that I can't go whenever I want (speaking of which, we are going 3 times this week to take less-active returning members so uh....haha). Yeah it was great. I hope ya'll go to the temple as much as you can. 

Friday we met an investigator for breakfast at Juniors Cheesecake, the most famous New York cheesecake place! We had eggs and bacon but my stomach couldn't handle it haha. I have had oatmeal for breakfast every single morning since I came out. We went from there to Zone Training Meeting (ZTM) I gave a workshop about fearlessing and I have pretty much concluded that we cannot share the gospel unless we feel the power of the atonement in our own lives. After that happens sharing the gospel is an instinctive part of who we are. We also had a great lesson with our LA family. We are trying to baptize them all so they can get sealed haha. We taught the 7 kids the Plan of Salvation and it is SO HARD to get them to sit still. I was so grateful for the visuals you made Ma, they helped soooo much. They were into it and answered questions! And we sent a baptismal date with the 10-year-old!! I love families so much.

Okay Saturday was like a millennium it was soooo long. We got up and started off by going to see a member who had surgery. We talked to her and her husband fed us some weird food. We headed to the church to have correlation over FaceTime but when we got there my com threw up all the weird stuff he had fed us and then correlation got cancelled and we kinda wanted to go home since she was practically dying. But we decided not to and went to see a 98-year-old woman in the hospital. We waited in the heat for like an hour and the bus finally came. Totes worth it cause we found some money on the ground haha. So we got there and saw her and then I started to get dizzy cause we all know how I am about hospitals. Anyways, so the lady who got baptized 2 weeks ago was supposed to get confirmed but she hadn't been texting us back #badnews. So we went to drop a note by her house but on the way there we seriously had 4 run-ins with drunk men on the street. Every time we would cross they would come over to the side we were on and say something. Like it wasn't the same group of men, it was 4 different incidents! You know it's bad when they're like "I don't mean to start any trouble but it's my birthday and I like white girls....." Hah go jump in a lake bro. I know the Lord protected us, we just looked ahead and didn't say anything. After the second time I pulled both things of pepper spray out and we walked armed and ready. Seriously you don't wanna tick us off cause we were ready to spray anyone who even looked at us by that point. So we took her the letter and did a few more lookups and actually found someone! Miracle. I appreciate Jewish neighborhoods so much now. Jewish men won't look at you, let alone talk to you, so we were in the clear. It was a beautiful spring evening and we had a great time walking home. 

We got home and our recently-baptized friend called and said she doesn't want to be confirmed. Like, pause. Here we are, listening to her tell us reasons why she doesn't need to be confirmed and she kinda doesn't need an organized religion. As a missionary, you feel like a complete failure because they are going back on everything you thought you taught them! We were both bawling our eyes out by the time she hung up. The elders came and gave us blessings and we bawled some more, sorry I'm not hot when I cry like on the movies. I was sobbing like a little girl and probs looked scary. Our elders are seriously always there for us. Well, we decided to fast and then we went to bed cause we were both sooooo done. We woke up the next morning comforted, confident, and trusting that the right thing would happen. She didn't come to church and I was trying not to tear up the whole time. The chorister didn't come so they started playing the opening hymn and I hurried and ran up there to lead haha. By the end of church we both felt better and decided we were going to revamp our pool. The Lord seriously showered more blessings on us than water when it rained today! We were able to meet with a lady who we have been trying to contact all transfer, we taught her the restoration and set a baptismal date! She is so happy. We met a family and they said they'd come to church next week, and we taught a less-active who has never let us a teach her a lesson before!! We were overwhelmed with everything and by the time we got home were completely depleted from not eating all day and from all the spiritual experience we had! I was reading in Genesis this past week about Noah and I couldn't help but think that after every storm there is a rainbow. 

Whew! It was cray cray. So for studies this week I have noticed a lot of I guess "temporal" things about Christ's character. He never wasted anything. He didn't waste the loaves or fishes, he didn't waste His time, and he never used more of God's power than He needed. He "always did those things which pleased His Father." When he raised Lazarus from the dead he could have swooped the tomb door open and made the burial clothes come off but those things can be done by regular men, so he asked them to be done by regular men. He only used His power for what was needed. It made me think of our iPads and technology in general, if we use it unwisely, we lose power over the adversary, but when we are in control of our tools we can use them to further God's work. I love being in this mission because I feel that it is preparing me to meet the challenges of life after I return home. I am grateful for the Holy Ghost. Half the reason I was bawling when we were on the phone with our person is because I know how much the Holy Ghost has blessed my life and I couldn't understand why she would say "no" to it! God is in control, and He has a purpose and plan behind everything that happens to us. 
I love you all, thanks for your support and love!
Sister Wadsworth

1. Uh my new hobby...goin for the stickers. PS being tall here is good for 3 things: sticker hunting, running from creepers, and catching busses. 
2. In front of the city with the favs!
3. Temple Trip.

4. The tree behind us was blossoming but I guess you can't really tell in the pic. 

Monday, April 13, 2015

The Classy Side of Brooklyn

First off, I'm super proud of our boy Berny in Africa! Yet another testament that we are all called to the mission that is best for our growth. I would have been headed home after the first day. It's cool to think about him, Kate and Melissa, and Travis and how different all our missions are, but how we are all learning the things we need to to become who the Lord needs to build His kingdom. So grateful to be in families who love the gospel and who support our work out here.

So many good things happened this week! Probs not gonna go day-by-day like I usually do since Tuesday-Saturday was spent in bed sick haha but it's all good now I am better and it feels  so good to be back at work! It was kinda great cause the Laryngitis I originally had came back along with some other things but for some reason I was scheduled to sing in both the Saturday and Sunday sessions of the Brooklyn Stake Conference. It was pretty much a miracle that I felt good just in time to do both numbers. Stake conference here is amazing, I love it so much. The Saturday session was in Park Slope aka hipster heaven and instead of a regular meeting they did a panel of about 4 people and we talked about counseling in the church within councils. As we were talking about counseling I thought about how we counsel with God (Alma 37:37) and how our communication and relationship with him are so important. The discussion definitely didn't apply only to those who serve on a ward council. I sang "Come Thou Fount", it was supposed to be with some other missionaries but they bailed half an hour before so...solo? Haha it went good especially considering my state haha. I learned so much from the speakers and reflected on how I had seen Ward councils in past areas bring people back because of the unity they had. This is all about bringing people back to our Father.

The Sunday session of conference was unlike any other stake conference I'd been to, that's for sure. It was in a super fancy Marriott, right next to the Brooklyn Bridge. Needless to say I felt pretty high class. There were fancy chandeliers and the whole set up was just really uh...expensive. We sang "Let Us All Press On" with a few of the RS sisters and that went well. The talks were so good! One woman got up and talked about facing adversity. Last year she was pregnant with twins and they came at 24 weeks weighing about a pound. Only the second one lived. I was bawling through her whole talk, it was so sad and so hopeful. This gospel has an incredible power to change trials into powerful learning experiences that help us grow closer to God. 

Sunday night we had one of the best lessons of my mission. We had a recent convert and her sister (who is investigating) come to a member's house for dinner. Our last lesson with the investigator had kind of been a brick wall...she knows she wants to get baptized but wasn't willing to set a date. We weren't sure where to go with her and had been praying for 2 weeks on what we could say to help her get her answer about what date she should get baptized on. We had a lovely dinner and then the father who was baptized at 16, pulled out his scriptures and asked if we could read the first vision. We had planned something but felt that he could help her so we read through JS-H and likened her to Joseph Smith's experience. She was still hung up on not choosing a date. So we pulled out Mosiah 18 (what have ye against being baptized?) and it was sooo quiet after we read that. The father asked her if she would pray to know if the priesthood is real because we kinda figured out that that was her real roadblock. But when she said "yes" you could just tell that she already knew. I can't wait till we meet with her again. The family whose house we went to is so amazing. Both parents are RMs and the spirit in their home was so strong. You could tell they both served missions cause there were visions, goals, and plans all over the place about missionary work, finance, and fitness...classic. I love seeing others raise their families in the gospel and teach their kids how to know the truth. This gospel is truly ideal for families, and even if we aren't in a family or a mother or a father we can still practice those qualities with all those we see. I try to practice being a mother and let's be honest the more I practice the more I see the need to improve, but I was thinking about Ether 12:27: "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." Ever since I have come on a mission (or come unto Christ) I have felt more inadequate and weak than I ever have in my life. Because we come unto Christ He shows us our weaknesses. I have realized that He gives us these to help us become what He wants us to be by being humble. So I hope that if anyone is going through a hard time they won't wonder what they're doing's what you're doing right! He's showing you your weaknesses because you're following Him! The true test is if we will use the atonement to turn those things into strengths. We have to recommit and follow Him a second time, and then comes the beautiful promise that all the things we struggle with will become the things we can master, through our Savior. I'm so grateful to be here and to have this gospel, I am more amazed every day how much it can do for each one of us because of our Redeemer. Thanks for all your love and support! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Waiting for the train!
2. With the Spanish Sisters and Gerie
3. Unique to our mission: the double selfie

4. Outside the Marriott

Monday, April 6, 2015

Conference, Baptism, and SPRING!!

Wasn't conference SO GOOD??? Like why do I need to write anything else about this week? It was pretty normal (because normal now means crazy), and it was so great cause Roneld got baptized!!! This whole letter is probably gonna be about yesterday haha. 

Roneld's baptism was sooo special. The culture here is a lot different during meetings. It's really loud. There were a lot of non-members there and every time someone said something good everyone would be like "amen" or "hallelujah" and they would clap after the talks. Sorry but I was dying. It was so funny. It was very good, her family was there to support her even though they aren't members, and they were all crying as she bore her testimony after she was baptized. Her daughter is like 2 and seriously lost it when she went under the water. She was screaming and crying cause she didn't know what was happening to her mommy. That was kinda funny. There were 80 people there and it was seriously ridiculous. We had a potluck after and that was pretty different too. No one brings salads or vegetables just stuff like ox tail and rice and beans and tea (awk haha). As we were watching conference I was seriously staring cause there were so many white people in the conference center. That's something I really love about this Ward in particular. It is so diverse. There are many different ethnicities and personalities (haha but seriously) and it is good practice in trying to understand where people are coming from, figuratively and literally. 

So this past week...I feel like every day of my mission I have has at least one clarifying moment in which a situation I am in testifies to me of the truthfulness of the gospel. Sometimes the situations are very funny. We were on the bus on the way to a lesson and we're trying to share #becausehelives with everyone we possibly could. I shared it with a lady who told me she is a pastor for her church. She seemed more concerned with reciting her resume to me than watching the video. That's okay, we are here to listen to people. She told me of her degrees, her accomplishments, and her qualifications. She casually mentioned that she holds the Melchezedick priesthood. I was like "hold WHAT??" She was like "yeah, I have the priesthood!" I was like "oh really, and who gave it to you?" She proceeded swiftly around the question by telling me about another degree she was getting in humanities. I didn't want to bash, but I really was curious where she got her so-called priesthood from so I asked again. She gave me an awkwardly blank stare and said "this is my stop". That was one of those such moments where I knew that our church is truly God's true church on the earth because we have the priesthood and the power and authority to act in God's name, and although I don't hold that priesthood I am so grateful I benefit from every single blessings it offers. This moment was also a time in which I pondered how people can be so misled when looking for truth. Satan will distract and deceive all he can to lead them away from the truth. If we honestly seek for truth I know we will always find it. 

Let's see, some more highlights were helping our Ward Mission Leader fix his deck and making dinner for their family, service at prospect park again, and sharing the Easter video with everyone we could. We did especially well with it one day. We shared it 10 times on the way to a lesson! That afternoon we went to an elliptical designed to share the video some more. It started off really well, before we even got on the train I shared it with a family of 4!! After that I'm not sure what happened, but we attempted to share it with almost 50 people and every single one of them rejected us. I was so confused, IT'S EASTER!! Why don't people want to see a video about Jesus Christ?? As we went home that night I realized that maybe I was supposed to feel a very small part of what Christ felt as He suffered for us. I have no idea what it was like for Him, but I do know that I am so grateful I can experience a small part of rejection or hardship...we can learn so much from our trials. I am so grateful for the hard things that have happened on this mission, I used to think people were so weird when they prayed for trials, but I understand now why they do so and I have found myself doing the same thing.  

One thing I especially loved from conference was one of the talks from Saturday, the speaker talked about how we must become the masters of our bodies, not the servants. It really reminded me the training we had on our iPads and I had the thought that maybe we were given technology to practice having control over something, and if we can gain control over our use of it we can better gain control over our bodies. I have this weird thing where I like to study words because it helps me understand how they relate to each other. Two I got really interested this week were "disciple" and "discipline." I think it's safe to say that we can't be a true disciple unless we are disciplined in keeping the commandments and following Christ. I feel that the best type of discipline stems from a deep love for our Father and His son, our Savior. Missions are such a blessing in the way that they are the practice round for obeying, committing, and bringing forth the works of true discipleship. Sometimes I wish I could be out here longer because I need more than 18 months of structured practice! But something I've learned is that we should not measure ourselves by how close we are to being perfect. We should measure ourselves by how much we have improved. I love what President Uchtdorf said: "Salvation cannot be bought with the currency of obedience." Our progress depends on how much we rely on the Savior. I'm so grateful we have a living prophet and that we can receive personal revelation today. I love this gospel!!
Thank you for your love and support, I couldn't do this without you.
Sister Wadsworth