Monday, February 23, 2015

The Reset

This week has been pretty groundbreaking in the mission. We are so very blessed to have the iPads as a tool to hasten the work! We had an "emergency" meeting on Saturday and our Zone Leaders informed us about some exciting new changes in the mission. Exciting because it is an opportunity for us to be more obedient and effective missionaries!!! Two of the general authorities gave a training for about 20 mission presidents whose missions have or are getting iPads. They said we don't have iPads to hasten the Lord's work, we have them so that the missionaries can learn how to effectively use technology and make it our servants, not make ourselves servants to it. I was really grateful to hear this because I have often wondered how to raise my kids in this crazy world with something new coming out every second of every day. You don't want to "shelter" kids from technology but if you don't know how to use them how can you teach your kids? We are lucky to be trained on our missions how to use these tools so we can go home and help others (especially our families) use them for good. One thing that I love is that we always have our companions next to us so that they can see our screens. It's not very realistic to do this with your kids, but I think if you make your social interactions know to each other (maybe passwords, not just knowing their's but them knowing yours) you and your kids can be open about your technology and there can be more trust. 

Our mission was one of the test missions for iPads, we were in the first 10 missions to have them. When they first gave us the iPads no one knew how to use them, and you can just see in your mind's eye 18-year-old missionaries downloading apps like fruit ninja or whatever it is kids play these days and wasting their missions away. Well they've come up with some restrictions since then, but there was never any solid guidelines on how to use Facebook or any of the other things effectively. For me, even if I was on it doing what I was supposed to it was easy to waste time and get caught up in things that didn't fulfill our missionary purpose. Well that's  the exciting news! Now that we are buying our iPads it's like a fresh start. They are giving us handbooks on how to use them and our mission is having a "Facebook Breakup" for 2 months so that we can get on the right page and get trained on how to use everything correctly. It is cool because we did pretty well considering what we had to go off of as far as instructions, but now we are receiving more light as to how to use them in the best way we can! So starting next Wednesday we will have new iPads and no Facebook which I'm pretty excited for! Some people from the missionary department are coming to train us on how to use them properly. Sorry if you can't tell, I'm really excited. Mostly because the easiest way to disobey in our mission is on your iPad, so I am grateful for the opportunity to become better and more obedient so that we can help others come to the ordinances that have brought us so much happiness. It's kind of like a way to change and start over with everything and have more help in doing it, which is what this gospel is all about! 

All this kind of ties into some other thoughts I had been having earlier this week about the spirit and revelation. I have been thinking about how important it is that we don't offend the spirit. It is so easy to do something that drives Him away-maybe a joke or a word that isn't quite on point and suddenly we are relying on our own strength because God will draw away until we come seeking Him again. Something I have been able to understand and enjoy a lot since coming on a mission is the ability to recognize when the spirit is there and when He isn't. I think in "real life" a lot of it has to do with how we use technology. How often do we stop and ponder? How often do we open our scriptures? Or pray? And compare those to the number of times we click on Instagram, Snapchat, or Facebook. I know for me, I was nowhere in the same ballpark with those numbers, but gratefully on my mission I have been able to control those things more and am closer to the spirit because of it. Ok I love music so much. It was always on in the car, the house, the headphones. But even music, if we listen to it too much, can take over the atmosphere of our spirit and can distract us from praying. I dunno about you, but I can't pray if Luke Bryan is blastin. Bless his heart. I hope we can all stop and think about how we spend our time. I love this quote "one of the greatest uses of Facebook and Twitter will be to prove in the last days that lack of prayer was not from lack of time." We all have time to do things that are important, but are we spending it on important things? Anyway going back to revelation, I think we can hear God talking to us a lot clearer when we aren't distracted by things of no value. 

I'm sorry if none of this makes makes sense in my female sister mish brain haha

The rest of the week was pretty slick, literally and figuratively, it was super cold and we helped crazy Dave clean out his house 2 of the days. It was purty crazy let me tell you. But Dave is awesome, he got started on hipsters and gave us a half hour lecture about how they are ruining our society. I was pretty entertained. We gave talks in church, I spoke about the Spirit of Revelation (my favorite topic of all time), and it was super good! Not saying the talk was that good, but it was a good experience for me haha. I love the YSA and am not looking forward to being transferred anytime soon. 

Speaking of which, President has been making a lot of changes in our mission so that we can be more obedient, and transfer calls are now the day before instead of a few days! It'll be crazy but I know as we follow the white handbook and what the prophets and apostles have outlined we will be a better mission and better missionaries. I am so grateful to be here, we are called to our specific missions for divine reasons, I know that. I love this gospel with all my heart. 

Thank you for everything you do for me, I love you all!
Sister Wadsworth

That awkward moment when all the pictures from this week are of us eating as a district.. (We went to the same pizza place 2 days in a row after doing service for Dave, plus district lunch)

But I threw in a little tbt action from the MTC for your enjoyment (:

Monday, February 16, 2015

Happy Valentine's Day!

I've gotten more roses as a missionary than I have in my whole life put together...

Dear Family,
Have I ever said how much I love being a missionary?! This week has been incredible!!! It started off with lots of meetings: Sisters Conference, District Meeting, Zone Training Meeting, and then taking our car into the auto body place since I totaled it. Jk it's fine there was a scratch on the fender from before I got here I PROMISE it was nothing I did. 

Okay Sister's Conference was the BEST THING EVER. They had several different workshops based on the talk "Approaching the Throne of God with Confidence," one of my favorites from this last conference. The first one I went to was about taking care of our bodies, given by the mission nurse. I have noticed for a while now that she ALWAYS has a bottle of coke with her...EVERYWHERE SHE GOES. Disgusting. During her workshop she talked about how she was gonna eat healthier and work out more, so right after her workshop I grabbed her coke and dumped it in the drinking fountain and filled the bottle with water. I brought it back to her and told her I was gonna call her in a week to make sure she hadn't drank anymore. She was basically crying with gratitude haha it was hysterical. There were 6 workshops so I'll just give highlights: 
"Trials are like presents. They are actually blessings, you just have to unwrap them first! Next time you get a "present" don't ask "why???" Ask "what?""
Sister Calderwood gave a workshop about affliction and how we can get over our feelings. First she said to feel your feelings. We are human, and we are gonna get hurt, jealous, sad, depressed, etc. don't pretend like you're not. Whatever you're feeling, feel it! But then comes the hard part, you have to act appropriately despite your feelings. Second she said to compare your negativity to your blessings. Say someone offends you at church and you are miffed and don't want to go back. Feel it! But then act appropriately and do the right thing. You can ask: "who is this person in comparison to my blessings? My family, my friends, a roof over my head, clothes, etc?" It makes the offense seem pretty small in comparison to eternal life, doesn't it? I loved what she said, she is an incredible woman. President gave an amazing workshop but I might have to save that for a week when nothing else happened, because it will take like 10 paragraphs to explain it. 

Thursday was Zone Training Meeting, I got to make the refreshments for it! Yessss. I made chocolate eclair dessert and crepes. Sorry I didn't get any pics they ate it too fast haha. It was a great meeting as well, we did some cool role plays and I was able to receive some direction on where to go with one of our more difficult investigators. Friday we took the car all the way to Lynbrook (took us 2 hours to drive there) for a 5 minute inspection to get an estimate on the fender. Then we had an AMAZING lesson with our new Mongolian investigator and set a baptismal date! She was so excited to hear about the restoration and where the Book of Mormon came from, she has been reading it for a few months now with no background, but she was talking about Nephi like they've been homies since the pre-existence! It was soooo incredible to be in that room, the spirit was so strong! After that we taught our investigator who claims to be atheist, but you can tell by his prayers he knows he's talking to God. We talked about applying what we know. Seriously, you could know all the doctrine there is to learn, but if you don't live it you'll never benefit.

Saturday morning we met with Kiki, and before we started the lesson she told us that her family thinks we are brainwashing her and she can't meet with us anymore. Well I'm sorry but the Plan of Salvation is the greatest thing ever, so I told her since she was already here she should let us tell her about it. I had the visuals you made mom, and she was on the edge of her seat the whole time! She loved it, and even took a picture of the diagram! I know it will work out for her to join someday, just not now with everything that's going on with her family. We had dinner with the STLs and the sisters in our district...I made macaroni and cheese and we were all so full! And sorry but if I have the stuff for crepes I'm gonna make I did. Anyway we were all bursting at the seams but it's fine. We had a lesson with a guy who the other sisters found. He is from India so we brought Neil and they hit it off! When we first got him at the door he was talking about basketball and stuff, he had just seen Kevin Durrant that day so I was dying but it's fine. Anyway we get into the lesson and apparently he thought he had come to talk basketball, not Jesus! But he was cool and the lesson turn a quick spiritual turn and he is going to read and pray about the Book of Mormon, as well as play basketball on Wednesdays with the elders haha. He seems pretty prepared so we are excited!

Sunday was just incredible as always with branch council and church. Our ward is so focused on missionary work in all the meetings, and it makes things so great for us! We set a goal for the first quarter and we still have a month but we have already hit all our goals! It's cause the members are so incredible at helping with the work. Sunday evening we had a dinner appointment that the elders had set up for us with someone in the family ward. Turns out they are from Elko and they know allll about our family. Well they tried to set me up with their son in Elko and I was kinda like thanks but no thanks, I got me a cowboy...but they wanted to see the family picture and they found Rebekah so the are like dead set that she marries their son and they've never even met her. I forgot what families are like haha they reminded me so much of Ma and Pa, just joking up a storm. Anyway it was good cause they actually have 2 kids who are supposed to be in YSA and we talked to them both and they're gonna start coming!

I have been thinking a lot about "virtue" this week and have been studying it quite a bit. I know there was a movie that came out this last weekend that is pretty inappropriate and I think a lot of people went and saw it. I just think it's so sad that people fall into Satan's trap that there is no right or wrong, and if there is it doesn't matter. It is such a blessing to see the world through the lens of the gospel and be able to know right from wrong. I know there are some things out there that aren't worth our integrity, no matter how many people (including members) are doing. I love the parable of the 10 virgins...yes they were all virgins, but they weren't all disciples. I think standing in holy places means more than being at church or the temple often, it means making wherever YOU stand a holy place. I am grateful for the gospel guidelines that keep us happy and safe. 

Thank you for everything you do for me!
Love ya,
Sister Wadsworth

1. Makin crepes #wifeystatus
2. My dear sisters after we stuffed ourselves..
3. Neil brought us roses on Valentine's Day!

4. Love these girls in the branch! RM and future missionary :)

Monday, February 9, 2015

Miracles Are On Point This Week!

Yesss. This was such a great week! Basically,
Monday:drove people's stuff around
Tuesday: drove people's stuff around
Wednesday: drove people's stuff around
Thursday: meetings
Friday: lessons
Saturday: service 
Sunday: church

Monday was awesome though. Sis Cox and Seely came to Rego and we hung out all day and did our grocery shopping together with the sisters in our district and the STLs. I love the sisters we serve with, they are all so great. Probably the most epic moment was when we were at H&M and my comp grabs this ultra mini skirt to buy. I was Iike dude, probs not mish appropro. She held it up and it went past her knees...I am not gonna lie I was pretty much speechless. That thing wouldn't have covered my caboose if I'd have put it on, but it fits her! Haha. Tuesday was transfers! Which for us means the endless day of driving and hauling around other people's luggage haha. I wouldn't wanna carry 4 huge bags on a subway either so I don't blame them for asking and I can't say no. 6 of 8 elders left our zone so there were a lot of adjustments. Our new district is so cool! It's gonna be an awesome transfer cause everyone is super pumped and President put some missionaries back who already know the people and the area, so they can help us be more effective. So yeah, Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday: solid road trip days. Oh and one of our (whom we thought) super cool investigators turns out to be brainwashed and thinks we're demons so that's fun. The weird thing is he still texts us "goodnight Hun" every night which is slightly disturbing so we might be a droppin him before long. Most of the miracles have been happening with our recent converts and less-actives. 

The Asian girl who was baptized a few weeks ago found her roommate reading the Book of Mormon a few days ago so she started taking to her about it and she invited her to church! Her roommate said she has been reading the book for a while now, and had been praying that God would send someone to take her to church because she was scared to go alone. Who knew that person would be living with her! Jackpot #2, she is Mongolian! Convenient since my comp is a fanatic about anyone from her motherland, so this is a straight up miracle! She came to church Sunday and loved it.

Thursday we had a lesson in the library with John, we had HIM teach US the plan of salvation, and he did awesome! I love new members, they are seriously incredible. I think the way to keep that fire is to always be seeking more knowledge. We can never study the gospel too much.

Saturday was an epic fail, but it was hysterical! I haven't laughed that hard in a while. The morning was fine, we took JeongAh out to breakfast (at McDonalds...we are pretty high rollers over here) and then we took some pictures. That was good. Well we went home and did our other 3 hours of studies and then did some lookups, none of which were home. We picked up the other sisters and made dinner for them. Cockroaches:1. Sis Wads:0. We decided instead of doing lookups for the rest of that night that we would go "heart attack" some doors. Train wreck! So we go to the first house, we parked a ways away and tiptoed up to the door. Right as we got there it started to open! So we slid over the ice and hid behind a car. Their neighbor was outside and seriously giving us the weirdest looks. So the members left and we went to do the deed. The neighbor comes up all confrontational like and asked what we were doing. We assured him we weren't a threat. Fail #1 was over. Oh except I fell on the ice on the way back to the it's over. Fail #2, we go to a ritzier part of town and couldn't find a place to park so we sent the other sisters in. They didn't get far because the doorman wouldn't let them in without being "buzzed in" and obviously you can't ring their bell cause then it wouldn't be a surprise! Well last try (fail #3) we go to the bishop's house. They live in an apartment building and the outside door was locked. Well usually no one ever answers so I rang all the bells but their's. Someone buzzed us in and we walked into the building. Like 4 people were standing outside their doors to greet us, because we had rung their bells. So awk. No wait, that's not the fail yet. Hold your horses. So we go up to the third floor and tried to guess which one they lived in cause there were 3 doors. Well as we're standing there the bishop and his kids start coming up the stairs! We booked it up the remainder of the stairs, but we were at the top floor and only one flight up from their door...we are seriously rolling with laughter cause it's so awkward, and here comes bishop in his PJs with his laundry. He sees us and just gives us the strangest look cause we are at the top of the stairs laughing. So we tell him what we were (trying) to do and he said we could do it to their front door (turns out 2 of the 4 doors led into their house) so we go over and are trying to be quick but one of his kids opens the door so we scattered and he walks down the hall and around the corner so he can see our faces and is all: "I caught you!" We were seriously dying. We finally finished, knocked, and ran down the stairs. We sounded like Grandpa White's horses running out of the barn after they've been unsaddled. Sooo loud. Probs the last time we'll do that for a while, this "heart attack" business is too much trouble with doorman, parking, and little kids.

Sunday was great, as always! I seriously never wanna be transferred. We went and saw some members and they gave us balute (not sure of the spelling) they are from the Philippians and it's basically the fertilized & fermented duck egg. Sooo nasty. Big Dude I hope you're proud. Then Al (the brother) showed us some videos from his mission in Utah and they were hysterical!! The things elders come up with when they're supposed to be weekly planning. 

I just realized that my letters are like my lessons, a whole lot of nothing that ends with a spiritual thought. Great. Haha okay not really but on a more spiritual note, I was studying the Fall of Adam and Eve and I think it's interesting how we think that was such a huge deal for them to partake of the fruit and be cast out of the garden, but how often do we make a bad decision that takes us farther from Gods presence and not think twice about it? As President Monson would say, decisions determine destiny. That illiteration though. Then this girl got up in Relief Society and did the mathematical equation for infinity and after she went through that whole thing she was like: "that's a long time...right? I guess we better make good decisions while we're here!" She's so right. This life is too short to waste it on instant gratification only to find out that we lost the REAL prize, eternal life with a loving Heavenly Father. Something I'm gonna work on is making better smaller, more everyday decisions, because I know that "out of small things proceedeth that which is great." Hope y'all will think about doing that too!

Love you tons!
Sister Wadsworth 

1. Wow don't I just make taking pictures in ice look fun? Kill me.
2. Me and my comp! (Notice she is standing on her toes lol)
3. Made dinner and crepes for the other sisters...besties!

4. Ah I love these ladies! #YSAforLife 

Monday, February 2, 2015

Back in the Filthy Far Rock

Monday we woke up to beautiful snow falling! It was beautiful for about 2 hours and then I was over it. Mondays are always a spiritual hangover because our Sundays are always so incredible. I love church. We spent our p-day with Sister Lugo and Sister Pablo eating chicken noodle soup and backing up the 7,000 pictures I have taken since coming to New York. The weather got really bad that night, so we stayed in and made phone calls to random people in our phone who we don't know...that's always a party haha. Tuesday we shoveled snow for about 4 hours (ok it was probably like 2, but 4 sounds right for the way my back feels right now) and then had district meeting. Our District Leader is going home Tuesday and he is the most rigid missionary I have ever met. But we had just come in from shoveling and we're all in normal clothes and were run to the ground. So we sat on the floor in a circle and just had a good old talk about the area, our investigators, and then he gave an amazing workshop. It was one of the best district meetings I have been to. We brought Sister Hawkins and Larsen home and made them chicken noodle soup cause they were sick, and then took them home and went to our lesson with JeongAh. We were supposed to take her to the temple Saturday but it's closed for maintenance! It opens on the 4th, which is the day she leaves for Korea so we aren't sure if that'll work out. We talked about the temple and eternal marriage and she is so solid! I hope I get to see her again one day. I don't think I ever mentioned this, but we teach most of our lessons in the church. Well it was FREEZING in there, so we went in the mother's lounge to teach her and it was like a sauna! And there were rocking chairs so...ideal.  

Wednesday we did this thing with the other missionaries where you have to do certain things in a certain amount of time, like give out a Book of Mormon, 5 cards, 5 English class cards, get some contact info, and do an act of service. So me and my comp walk out of the church (ok we were running cause I'm competitive) and this guy is de-icing the sidewalk. I walked right up to him and gave him one of everything and got his contact info. We even had a shot restoration lesson! We walked around the corner and gave out the rest of the stuff, and for the act of service I told this lady to quit smoking and she did. Haha. We did it within 10 minutes! We went back to the church and wrote our name on the board and then went and got 2 more people's contact info cause for every one you get after you finish takes 5 min off your time. The winner gets dinner made by the Zone Leaders (don't know how excited I am for that haha). That night we went to a turbo kick class with some of the members who "never have time to meet with us." It was super fun and I felt like we were able to "bond" with them as we all just about died from the intensity of it. The lady who teaches it is the wife of one of our councillors in the branch presidency and she is doing it as a missionary tool which is awesome! We can all use our skills to bring others into the church. 

Thursday we exchanged and I went to the Rock with Hermana Welch. Home sweet home! We taught a lesson in Spanish (*she taught the lesson, I sat there nodding my head) and then we taught English class that night! She really impressed me, she's been out a month and she can handle the area and the language and everything perfectly! The Lord helps us so much in this work to be what we need to be. It was a super fun exchange and when we got back we went and sang on the train! The one guy tried to hand me $20 after our song and I was just like "oh awk what do I do.." And then he told me I was enchanting when I sang so I was super uncomfortable haha. Luckily his stop was right then so he got off and I kinda just stood there not sure if I should be flattered or super creeped out. It was good though, we talked to lots of people! We will be sad when Elder Turley is home and he can't play the guitar when we sing...I dunno how A Capella would sound. That night we taught some awesome lessons and then went to FHE. I seriously love the people in the branch so much! Never wanna leave. 

Saturday we went with a member to help her run some errands. It's so funny here, if people don't have time to meet they just ask you to come along with them wherever they're going! After that it was look ups for the rest of the day. It is soooo cold! And of course Sunday was great, Sunday's are my favorite. Some of the girls in the branch have taken it upon themselves to "teach me how to wear lipstick" so one of them brought some bright red MAC lipstick to church and put it on me. Dude makeup is just not my thing...I felt like a clown. Haha! As soon as she left I went to the bathroom and washed it all off. Anyways testimony meetng. The spirit is ALWAYS present in fast and testimony meeting, and we had 5 of our recent converts get up and bear powerful testimonies! It was so beautiful. We also had a few awkward testimonies because you know if you're in YSA that there's gonna be some dating drama so people get up and talk about how no one will date them. I think it's hysterical. I love living life not having to worry about dating and watching other people worry about makes me laugh. 

As I was studying about the Plan of Salvation this past week I was thinking a lot about the war in Heaven and how it continues on earth today. Something I have looked over in the past is that the war in heaven wasn't among was among our bothers and sisters. It's so important to keep our eye on the prophet who will never lead us astray. Even those close to us can be deceived or convince us that small discrepancies are okay, but if we always follow the words of the prophets we can be sure of eternal life with God. With that, it is so important to live what we know. Satan was one of the greatest people in the pre-earth life. He probably knew a lot. But what we know does us no good if we don't live it. If we willfully rebel against the instruction God gives us we are no better than Satan. Anyway that sounded really dark, but when we understand all of this it brings us so much happiness and joy to be followers of Christ and cleansed from sin. I am especially grateful for the atonement and for its healing and enabling power that allows us to be much better than we could ever be on our own. I love this gospel so much. 

Love y'all! 
Sister Wadsworth

1. Snow crew!
2. Our zone mama is being transferred ): 
3. View of the city from Rockaway..the blessed A train graced my picture with its presence. 
4. On top of the roof at the sister's pad. 

5. "Welcome to filthy Far Rock" with Sister Welch