Monday, July 27, 2015

The Dream Team Reunited : STL round 2

Well I didn't go far! I am still in Brooklyn but am in Bensonhurst, a little south of Midwood kinda close to Coney Island in the same zone and everything. Let me tell ya, I don't think I should be allowed as much fun as we are having here. I got put back with my MTC companion Sister Emma Andersen!!! (She's from Walnut Creek, CA) It's round 2 except we are WAY better teachers than we were in the MTC, and I'm twice as obsessed with her as I was back then. She is so great at everything! I could go on all day about her but I guess you can just look at the pictures cause her personality is as cute as she is. Packing was crazy, I am always surprised I can still fit everything into my 2 suitcases. We had to be to transfer mtg a little early for a meeting and the trains were jammed and haha I got kinda aggravated cause I didn't want to be late. I feel like I'm turning into a New Yorker? AHHH. So I get to the office and president told us who we were with. Of course there was screaming and hugs and freaking out. We are both seriously so happy. I went to get my packages and guess what was there? A package from Sylvia with plastic bags full of manure, tractor grease, sagebrush, alfalfa, and weeds. I was seriously dying, it was the greatest thing ever and probably made me more homesick than skyping the fam on Christmas haha. Thanks for all the letters and support. It seriously makes me so happy to hear from ya'll. 

Transfer meeting was awesome, we always say the missionary purpose in like 10 different languages cause our mission is so diverse, I know it in 4 languages now! cultured this kid. After Transfer mtg we had MLC, it was super great we talked about how the best leaders are those who give of themselves completely and selflessly. That is something I hope to be able to work on in the coming weeks. Some elders with a car were nice enough to bring my bags back to Brooklyn (kind of a bummer, I took them to Queens on a train for 2 hours only to bring them all the way back haha) but it allowed us to have enough time to see a recent convert, I actually know some of her family from when I was in YSA so that was cool! We had a really powerful lesson with her about the atonement and sacrament. Satan always tries to tell people they aren't worthy to take the sacrament or to even repent. That is never true. 

On Wednesday we went to service at Prospect Park. It was weird to go and be with all my old district but I'm not there anymore haha. Sister Andersen and I are having so much fun together! When we got back together it was like being put back with Rebekah or Val or someone I was already close to. BEST FEELING EVER. When we were at service one of our investigators called and said that she was in the hospital (in labor!) and wanted us to come have a lesson to comfort her. Haha I was not down to see childbirth but we went and it turned out okay. It really reminded me how much mothers go through to get their kids into the world. Moms are the best. Then, (this is my FAVORITE) we went to Sister Dorsky's house for dinner. She is older and pretty much deaf so you have to yell. I tried to talk loudly but she didn't hear me, like, you have to SCREAM. So Sis Andersen says the prayer and she's like THANK YOU FOR THE FOOD it was seriously SO LOUD and SO FUNNY. I was trying not to laugh. Sister Dorsky fed us some berry herbal tea and it made me super sick so it just added to the hysterical experience. We were able to see two less-actives that night and have super powerful lessons with them. We were early to one of the appointments so we sat at a park for a few minutes talking about how to help her and Sis Andersen had a really powerful discussion with each other about the atonement. Sometimes I feel like I learn way more than I give out here. I benefit so much for each gospel experience. Ever since being here with Sis Andersen we have both felt the spirit so strong and it has been a really cool experience as we seek revelation for our area and the sisters we are called to help. Transfer planning was one of the most revelatory experiences I have had on my mission. We both felt so guided as we made decisions about where to put people and with who for exchanges. The spirit is so central to all we do in life. 

Thursday we spent a lot of time planning and we had an amazing lesson with an investigator who we set a baptismal date with! The pool was a little dry when we came in but the work is really picking up and we hope to have lots of people with dates very soon! The lesson with Jaema was soooo good. She came and had already read the restoration pamphlet so she was prepared with questions and we had an amazing discussion about the Book of Mormon and the restoration. The members who taught with us were so cool, they testified at all the perfect times. It was the perfect lesson. We had it on a hill at a park with the perfect view of the city. SO GREAT!! 

Friday we met with Sister Reynolds to plan out the sisters conference for all the sisters in the mission. I am in charge of a health and fitness presentation which is right up my alley so I'm super pumped about that! People think it's hard to eat healthy and exercise but if you don't make time for it you'll definitely take time to be UNhealthy! It's so cool to spend more time with Sister Reynolds, she is "sweet above all the is sweet" in my opinion. 

Saturday we had an amazing thing happen. We went to see a les-active who didn't seem to excited to meet with us and she wasn't there when we first knocked. So we called her and eventually she came walking up the sidewalk with her non-member friend. We ended up reading Alma 32 with them and taught her friend who talked the less-active into coming to church on Sunday! We walked about 4 blocks when she called us up and said she didn't have any money. I had $2.75 in my purse, the exact amount for metro fare, so we went back and gave it to her for church. It worked out perfectly! 

On Sunday we had some miracles. We fasted together as a companionship and we had some great plans but as we were walking out at 6 they all fell through! We decided to go see these twins who just turned 21. They weren't home but their parents were and invited us in. Turns out they were having quite the tiff and we knocked right when it was about to blow up. We settled them down with some scriptures and a prayer and they said we could come back to teach them!! What are the chances of us getting there at such a perfect time?! God knows what He's doing. We just got back from grocery shopping at BJ's and a cashier asked us if we would come teach her! So cool. This week has been amazing. I love this area and I love being with Sister Andersen, she is such a hard worker. 

This week I have really seen the importance of the spirit in all we do. It's a lot easier to mess up when making decisions if we don't have the spirit. When we do have the spirit we can be enlightened to not only make good decisions, but to have the spirit to help us have crazy good ideas. I was reading a talk this morning by Pres. Hinckley and he was talking about how we should not even mess with sin. 
He spoke of an Indian boy who climbed a high mountain. It was cold up there. At his feet was a snake, a rattlesnake. The snake was cold and pleaded with the young man to pick it up and take it down where it was warmer.
The Indian boy listened to the enticings of the serpent. He gave in. He gathered it up into his arms and covered it with his shirt. He carried it down the mountain to where it was warm. He gently put it on the grass. When the snake was warm it raised its head and struck the boy with its poisonous fangs.
The boy cursed at the snake for striking him as an answer to his kindness. The snake replied, “You knew what I was when you picked me up” (“Restoration of the Aaronic Priesthood,” Ensign, July 1989, 77). We should never even toy with sin, even if it seems harmless. God has given us commandments so that we can be protected. I know as we obey Him we can have the spirit to guide us. I love this church and am privileged to be doing this work. 
Thanks for your love! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Transfer Day!
2. We were meant to be together
3. Pretty much what this world is coming to haa
4. Her name is Sariah too!

Monday, July 20, 2015

Still alive and kickin...

July 20th, 2015


What better way to end my time in Midwood than having an extra crazy week with extra crazy people! I am being transferred which is crazy but I am so excited for wherever I get sent! We also had a lot of amazing spiritual highlights that you should get ready for. 

So a few crazy stories: on Thursday we decided to clean up the 178 referrals that have been sent to us in the last week. That's 178 people who requested bibles or Book of Mormon or pamphlets off of that need to be called and have an appointment set up with. Amidst this 3-hour ordeal we found some humorous things to keep us awake. One lady had an email address that was something like "" another lady's phone rang and rang and it finally went to voicemail "hi this is Shara, please leave a message" there was some shuffling and after a few seconds I hear "uhhhh? Oh." And then the phone clicked. I seriously could hardly leave a message I was laughing so hard. She like, didn't know how to turn it off. Those are just the surface too. So many good ones. I called one lady who agreed to meet with us and who wanted a Book of Mormon. If they want a BOM you know it's real cause everybody and their dog wants a bible but the people who are ready usually want a BOM. So we set up a lesson for the next day at 10 am. 

A little backtrack: Thursday night I had to go to the foot doctor again and get Wendy dug out and frozen off. He dug her out real good and froze the heck out of my foot. I seriously couldn't walk! Haha. So the next morning I get up to work out and I couldn't even stand on the dang thing, it was so swollen! But we had this appointment at 10 and the lady seemed to be ready to jump in the font so I was like "dang it, we're going!" So we go to this lady's house, it wasn't far from the church but as we walked through the neighborhood it was a bit uncomfortable. There were different groups of large black dudes who looked like they were doing drug deals. The building she lived in had most of the windows broken out of the panes and it was just super sketchy. But I guess I didn't think anything of it as we rang her doorbell. As soon as she opened the door there were red flags going up all over the place. Her eyes looked funny and the weed density in the apartment was like 97% I could barely breathe. So we started out our lesson and she quickly went into a bunch of sketchy stuff that was going on in her life with the police, her landlord, drug deals, and people breaking into her apartment. I was trying to give her the benefit of the doubt as I'm sitting here listening to her drama. My companion, mind you, has completely zoned out. She didn't say a word the whole time. I think the weed started to get to her. So I was trying to steer the lesson to a close but she wouldn't let me interject! It was so weird, as I sat there listening to her go off about her life I became more and more scared for my own life. She talked about how if certain people knew we were in her apartment at that moment they would come kidnap us. At the same time as I was like, glued to my chair and terrified I felt this calm, peaceful direction come over me. I knew exactly what I needed to say, but most of all I knew I needed to say it RIGHT THEN because I was starting I get dizzy. I cut this lady off mid sentence and told her we were going to say a prayer and then leave. It was super awkward because we were in the middle of the "lesson" but I said a prayer that the lady would be comforted in her trials and then we got the heck out of there. I was like "we will be in touch...!" Hah. Not. As we walked away I reflected on the guidance I had received and I was so grateful that I could feel the spirit even in a situation like that and I felt very protected regardless of all that was going on. Sometimes we need that opposition or "crazy" so we can come back to the essential things: the gospel is true and God protects us when we are doing His work. 

So I have been on a little funk lately, I have had a hard time talking to people on the bus. It's been weird because I've never had a problem until this last week. So I was sitting near the front of the bus and my companion was in the back and this guy gets on the bus. He sat down next to me and looked at me for a sec and then put his headphones in. You get used to people staring at you here, usually at the name tag, sometimes just your face cause they're creepy haha. He was listening to Florida Georgia Line so I pointed to his phone and asked if he was from the country. I figured God was giving me an extra boost of help to talk to people since I was strugglin with it. We struck up a good conversation and I was just leading into the gospel when I had to get off at my stop! I quickly handed him a card with our phone number and the church address on it. He just smiled and said "we should definitely hang out!" Haha OH NO that fearless went down the drain. He texted a few minutes later and was like "hey it's Allan, I met you on the bus (;" oh my heck I was dying laughing it was so awkward and sad! He def wasn't interested in learning more...about the church at least. 

A few other highlights were taking Valerie to the temple for the first time to do baptisms, a block party at our Ward Mission Leader's house, and having one of our really busy investigators take time out of her schedule to come to church on Sunday and surprise us! Valerie is ON FIRE. We taught our investigator and brought Valerie with us and she just hit the nail on the head when we talked about a living prophet. We started teaching Valerie the new member lessons. Usually the way I do it is I have THEM teach US about the restoration or whatever lesson we are doing so we can see what they know. Dude. I felt the spirit so strong from everything she said! She knew the whole thing and she knew it well! It was so beautiful to see the difference in her demeanor from when we started teaching her. The first time she walked into the church she was sooo hyper and antsy and in this lesson she sat there calmly and testified of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I was one proud mama. It is amazing to see the change in other's lives, and even more amazing to see it in your own life and in the lives of those you love. 

It seems like everyone has been talking about the Book of Mormon in the last few days. Reading it, knowing if it's true, getting an answer. As I was studying this morning I felt a very powerful spirit about those 3 things. When we read the Book of Mormon and pray to "know" we aren't always praying specifically about "knowing" that the book is true. At least for me, as I read and pray, I receive clear and undeniable guidance about directions to take in life, and knowing that, in turn, helps me to know the Book of Mormon is true because it answers the questions of MY soul. It doesn't matter what the question is. It doesn't matter what the answer is. But the fact that we do receive answers is what matters. I know that the heavens are open. I know we can be guided in our lives on how to best follow the strait and narrow path back to our Father. He gives us the path and all the things we need, it is up to us to figure out how to apply the teachings He has given to our current situations. I know the gospel is true. It is everlasting and infinite, just like Christ's atonement. I love my Savior and am grateful for what He has done for us. May we ever watch for ways to become more like Him. 

Thank you for your love and support! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Missionary desk...cause I know you all care. 
2. Block party!
3. The twins from Paris

4. Last district hurrah before Rogers and Shippen go home. 

Monday, July 13, 2015

Good Times in the Hood

July 13-15
Dear Family:
It's been a normal, crazy week again! Valerie was baptized so on Monday we started doing some family history with her so she can take some family names to the temple. The only thing she needed help with was setting up her account...from here she took off and now she has a TON of names to take with her! She is amazing, and bishop already called her to be the Gospel Principals teacher! The highlight of being out here is people like her, she will make a huge contribution to the church. 

On Tuesday we took Elder Shippen and Elder Resinelli (from Italy!!) to a lesson with us. We have been teaching a mother and her son, but we kinda got the impression that the son needs elders so he can focus more on the lessons haha he is in his 20s and single so obviously he can't resist our 300-pound mission bodies we got going. It was so funny and awkward during the lesson, I think the guy was confused as to why we brought elders with us, when we walked in they looked like our body guards but it ended good, he was interested in meeting with them further and we had a great Plan of Salvation lesson. 

Another exciting story: we have been teaching this cute little family for a while now, and the mom and son have baptismal dates but the daughter has been holding back. She comes to YW and they convinced her to go to girls camp! We just had to get mamas permission. It was awesome cause the mom probably would have said no to her daughter but we asked and she was like "okay!" And signed the permission slips right then and there. I think this will really build her daughter's testimony and we help her move towards baptism. I remember gaining a lot of my testimony from those few days at camp. I remember my 3rd-year hike when Sister Koenig taught us the 5 points of a testimony...I used them in a lesson the other day when we were teaching our investigator what a testimony is, it was super great! 

We exchanged with the STLs on Thursday, Sister Barnes came here with both of us so it was trio life!! We were standing at a bus stop and this random dude comes up and starts dancing up to us. We were like "what the...?" He asked if we knew the "bus stop" (apparently that is a dance or a song or something...?) we were like "uhhhh no sorry" so he danced away. Hah! So many weird people...

We saw two less-actives and had really great lessons, exchanges are fun!! On Friday we got a new investigator, it was weird cause she is 21 but she is at such a different place than I am. Scares me to think about who I'd be without the gospel. But she is excited to learn more and was super sweet!! We exchanged back and then went to pick up a recent convert to take her to the temple. That experience kinda scared me as far as being a mom. 15-year-olds are so dramatic and they walk really slow! Haha. It was a super great experience for her and her cousin came as well (we took him for the first time a few weeks back.) I love the temple.

Saturday haha. We had a meeting at 8am with the Assistants, it was really cool!! We basically had a council with each other as a district to figure out what is slowing the work in the area and how we can fix it. We came up with some pretty good ideas and I think the work will really pick up in the next few weeks! It is exciting to be here at this time. Then we had interviews with President Reynolds and while we were waiting our turn we got to talk with Sister Reynolds and learn more about her. I seriously love them so much, they are the cutest little couple I have ever seen. And they're like, so in love haha it's adorable. We went to some appointments and also to a finding activity on Flatbush (the main drag) and then like all this stuff happened and it was super hot but basically at the end of the night we went to teach a less-active and she ordered us each our own pizza and I was so stinking hungry I ate the whole pizza! Like, a large pizza guys. My bad haha. 

Oh my heck SUNDAY. I am gonna be laughing as I write this whole paragraph. It was SO CRAZY. We showed up to church and Valerie was getting confirmed and I was giving a talk and we had to figure out some stuff for a less-active so it was already crazy. Well we start sacrament meeting and first of all there was no one to lead the music so the guy at the organ just sits there looking at bishop. This is like the 4th time this has happened so I know the drill haha. I jumped up and went up there to lead it. Then it came time to confirm Valerie. The guy doing it was doing a fabulous job, until he almost closed it without confirming her a member haha. It was a close one. I was all smiles though, it is the most beautiful thing to see someone you helped teach have that experience and grow in the gospel. It is the happiest feeling I can imagine. So I go back and sit in the audience and Elder Hwang is sitting across the isle from me. All the sudden I hear "Sister Wadsworth!" I look over and he is pointing to this girl a few pews ahead of him and she is wiping her eyes and crying kinda loudly. I was like "what am I supposed to do about it?" And he was just like "uhhhh SOMETHING" so I have to explain this girl first. I've seen her 3 times at church in the 5 months I've been here. The first time she was wearing a wedding dress and bore her testimony about how she wanted to marry her brother or something. The second time she had some other weird outfit on and was completely wasted, and this time she smelled like throw up and weed. So I went and sat by her and patted her back and asked if she was okay. She cried louder. I asked if she wanted to go in the foyer and talk about it. She grabbed her stuff and barreled over me practically screaming as she sobbed. It was super awkward. When she got to the foyer the RS president was standing there so she took her outside and I was off the hook. Holy cow, it was dramatic! I went back in just in time for my talk which went ok, I was talking about the Parable of the Sower and used a lot of agricultural examples which the city folk enjoyed. I had a few come up and tell me I didn't look like a farmer. I think they expect overalls and a straw hanging out my mouth. Oh New Yorkers! So oblivious to where their food comes from, I think in their mind they see the word "organic" and automatically equate it to "sustainable" and "I'm a wise environmental steward." by buying this. So great. 

After church (there are a million other things that happened that I didn't even mention) we went to a members house to teach her how to do family history. We had Victoria with us (the one we did a Mormon message with, it comes out in a month or so) and it was THE COOLEST THING EVER to fill out some of her family names and set aside the work so she can do it herself. The spirit was so strong in the room as we talked about the gospel, I know the spirit of Elijah is a very real thing, and I hope y'all are doing family history work! It's so rewarding and it's fun!!  

So yeah, that was it!! Transfers are this next week so it'll be fun to see what happens! I love it here but I will go wherever I need to. I was reading a talk by Elder Holland, he talks about how the whole history of the church has been running from evil and establishing good (brother of Jared, Lehi, the early saints) but he says that: "In these last days, in this our dispensation, we would become mature enough to stop running. We would become mature enough to plant our feet and our families and our foundations in every nation, kindred, tongue, and people permanently. Zion would be everywhere--wherever the Church is. And with that change--one of the mighty changes of the last days--we no longer think of Zion as where we are going to live; we think of it as how we are going to live." I love that, because it is our responsibility to build up righteousness wherever we are, not just wherever we go. It's being what we believe. And honestly, that's the happiest way to live! Nothing else will bring us true joy and satisfaction in this life other than living the gospel. I know this is the true church and that it is Christ's church. I love my Savior and am grateful for all He does for us. 
Love ya all, have a great week!! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. MTA life, photo cred: the beautiful Morgan Myers
2. Exchanges!
3. The temple with Lor, the pic explains everything haha

4. Jesus is my boss....literally.

Monday, July 6, 2015

Baptism & Hard Work...Murica


Dear Family!!
What a crazy week, President & Sister Reynolds arrived, it was the 4th of July, and we had a baptism!! 

Monday was the best thing ever cause I got to see my trainer, Sister Myers (Morgan) and her mom!! They came back to visit and so we met them down in Belle Harbor for the best afternoon of my life!! It was so good to be back with her in the area and catch up! I feel like I owe everything good that has come from my mission to her. It's amazing how being around someone who is so positive can change the way you are and the outlook you have on your mission. I feel so blessed to have had the perfect trainer.

On Thursday we went to the Mission Office for a mission-wide conference to meet the Reynolds. Let me tell ya, they are something else!! So presh. It's funny to see the difference, President Calderwood was all business and obviously so loving and the greatest guy ever, and President Reynolds is a construction guy with a drawl and a happy little smile. He's like President Egbert, Grandpa, Pa, and every other amazing guy all rolled up into one! One thing that just kills me is how short him and his wife both are! They are the cutest couple EVER. When they were telling us about themselves they were SO NERVOUS. They are already adjusting so well though! They even came to our baptism yesterday! But I won't spoil that haha. 

So our Zone Leaders from last transfer met this lady who was unpacking a moving van so they helped her and have gone back subsequent times to assist in the unloading. The family is moving from NJ and their dad just passed away from cancer...they have 3 kids in their teens. Our whole district went to help them move on Friday and we got to teach the mom and her daughter and the grandmother and it was one of the most spiritual, powerful lessons I have been in! There were boxes all over, seriously not even a place to sit, but the room was full of the spirit as we talked about God's plan for us and how He knows our needs. You can imagine how special the restoration and the Plan of Salvation are to a family who has just lost their dad. I think sometimes we take all this a bit for granted because we are so used to being blessed with it. The gospel is truly amazing.

We met with Debbie on the 4th for breakfast. She is the lady who broke up with us but then still wants to meet with us, she took us to Juniors (finally got a picture!!) and had a great little talk...she still wants to be baptized!! Just not for a while so her family can settle down. She is seriously the sweetest lady ever. We also had a BBQ at our Ward Mission Leader's house and had some non-members there so it was awesome! And I got to cook a bit so I was happy. I am so grateful for religious freedom and for this great country, there were a lot of fireworks at Coney Island and in the city and we had a good view of them all! Haha I guess there is so much more that happened on that day but I am too excited to tell you about our Sunday!!!

Sunday is the highlight of the week. Each day we are trying our hardest to get people to commit to come to church on Sunday and it seems like ever since I got here it's been such a struggle! We usually have 2 or 3 investigators and some less actives, but considering how many people we are teaching we should have WAY more. I am a strong believer in fasting so I decided to fast that our people would come to church. We had 5 investigators, 2 less-active FAMILIES, and a few other people show up that we have been trying for MONTHS to get there!! It was such a miracle and a blessing. I guess the best part was that we took the parents down to nursery to drop their kids off and their kids started SCREAMING. 3 toddlers and 2 sister missionaries who can't hold kids is not a good combination. The poor nursery lady was so overwhelmed. We tried to stay to help but we had to make the program for the baptism. I also had to play the piano for primary because the lady who usually does it was gone. Seriously the craziest 3 hours of my life! Then we ran back to RS so I could play there and right after that we had to start the baptism. We had a huge turnout which was amazing, and we had a sister play a really beautiful number on her violin. After Valerie got baptized she bore her testimony. She has quite the sense of humor and has literally one to every church in existence. She also has a degree in theology so she has a lot to say. She bore one of the most powerful testimonies of the Book of Mormon I have EVER heard. It was seriously beautiful and so heartfelt. I felt like a proud mama. She talked about how each time she feels stressed from the pressures of the world she finds her hand reading for her Book of Mormon. She caries it with her everywhere and she sleeps with it on her nightstand. She is one of my favorites guys, seriously the coolest. 

Sunday night we taught some pretty cray lessons, all I can say is it is really obvious when someone has a sincere heart and real intent, and when they don't it sure makes it hard to try and teach because the spirit is difficult to have when there is doubt and misconception. I am glad I know of myself that this is true because no matter what people say it cannot shake the witness I have from the Spirit. 

Something I wanted to share that President Reynolds said in our meeting regarding "rules" (and I see "commandments" as a synonym here) is that "our contract is with the Lord". We can have parents or church leaders or supervisors telling us what to do, but in the end it all comes down to us and God. Do we feel comfortable with how we have acted and the choices we have made? I know that God is just and that we will have to face all that we have done, but I also know that He is merciful, more merciful than we know, and He loves us and wants us to become like Him. I feel so blessed to be an extension of the Prophet and Apostles and fulfill the divine mandate to preach the gospel to every nation, kindred, tongue, and people. The more we share it, the more our own testimony is strengthened. I love you all, thanks for your support, examples, and love!! 

Sister Wadsworth

1. Best friends doesn't describe it.
2. The moving crew! Love our district.
3. With Debbie at Juniors! 
4. President & Sister Reynolds