Monday, September 30, 2013

Heavenly Father Knows Us Individually

This week was a lot better. Our investigator cam to church!!! We have been trying to get her there for like a month so it was great. Sitting next to her and her boys in the chapel was the best thing ever. We also taught the plan of salvation lesson with her and it went really well. She has been really stressed out for the past couple of days. She is putting her boys back in school because she doesn't have time to do homeschooling, she is in school right now, and since she is a single mom and doesn't have a job things have just been piling up for her. She doesn't have very many friends and so we are one of her main sources of support. I think that faith has really hit home for her this week because she has just had to trust that things will work out. She has been praying and she got a blessing from the Elders which really helped her a lot. She is progressing slowly but I can totally see how the gospel has helped her so much already. This week I got a blessing from one of the Elders just because this transfer has worn me out since I have had to deal with some extra stuff companion wise. The Elder gave me one of the most beautiful blessings, everything he said was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a testimony to me that Heavenly Father knows me and exactly what I am going through and what I need because there is no way that that Elder could have know to say those things. This week things have been falling into place, and through prayer and trusting that the Lord is there to help me, I feel like things just always work out. We have some church tours scheduled next week with part member families. We have also been telling people we meet and less actives about conference. The RS broadcast was awesome. I loved what they said about how keeping our covenants is a reflection of our love for Christ. You should have seen the gym for the dinner after mom. It was really cute and they had cakes at all of the tables for people to try. This is the last week of the transfer so we will know soon if things are changing.

Love you all!!!

-Sister Washburn


Monday, September 23, 2013

"Walk like an Egyptian"

This was a really good week. (minus me being sick for 2 days, but I'm better now!) Last Monday we went down to PCH and I got to see the ocean! It was so pretty and the weather was really nice. Then we went to main street in Huntington beach which has a lot of souvenir shops, restaurants, and surf shops. (huntington beach is called surf city) We have randomly contacted a lot of Egyptian people lately. Two of the them came to church but we realized they live in a different ward boundaries so we had to pass them off. Another Egyptian family that we met lives in our apartment complex. We went over and talked to them about our church. They are muslim and I never knew that we had so many similarities with them! They don't drink, smoke, gambol, they pay a form of tithing, they pray and read their scriptures, they believe that we are God's children, they believe in prophets, they believe families are important. The main difference is that they believe that Jesus was just a prophet. It was a great discussion but they weren't really interested in converting, just curious about what we believe.It made me think though just how important it is to believe in Christ and have faith in the atonement and how much they are missing since they don't believe that. Also we are still working with Viv. Sadly she didn't come to church on sunday and her reason was that she was going to an exclusive red carpet event at the Emmys. (welcome to orange county) But we had a great experience with her this week. She has been having trouble keeping commitments especially since she started her nursing class. A few nights ago we were over at her house and I asked her how she was doing with saying her prayers every night. She told us that she was trying and that she had had an experience this week. She was listening to music and when she started to listen to the lyrics she suddenly thought about God and how much he loved her. (coming from someone who has been atheist her whole life this was awesome!!) It was a Rhianna song (which doesn't have anything to do with God but the lyrics said something about "where have you been all my life") As she was telling us she broke down into tears and told us that she just never felt this way before and never felt so much love. We told her that what she was feeling was the spirit and that, however random it may seem, God knew her and he knew how to talk to her even if it was through a song. It was just a great moment because I can see her faith growing in just knowing that God is there and He wants her to be happy. I made a comment  to her that all of these little moments are bringing her closer to the truth. She agreed but she said that this wasn't a small moment. She said that it felt like lightning struck and things just clicked. This was a good reminder for me. Sometimes it can be frustrating when investigators won't even do something as simple as praying. But for her realizing that God was there was a huge moment for her, since she has never known he was there. It was great. This week we also had a finding training where we were taught about how to be better finders and what we can do to try to get more people to teach. We are trying to still find right now which can be hard in our area but hopefully we will keep getting better at it. We are getting excited for conference because it is ten times more awesome when you are a missionary. Also our mission president told us this week that there are 80,000 missionaries out right now which is crazy!! The work really is moving forth!

love you all!!

-Sister washburn

Monday, September 16, 2013

Games at Zone Conference

Ya I got the package mom, thanks!!! My companion loved the bookmark. We have a car but we are only allowed to use it in the evenings after dinner and on Mondays and Sundays. All other times we have to walk or bike.(We asked if she could take an investigator to the BYU/Long Beach State women's soccer game next Saturday) I wish that we could go to a game but I'm pretty sure that its not allowed. Also we aren't allowed to go out of our area and Long beach is too far from where I am. This week we gave our investigator Viv a church tour and committed her to baptism! (oct 12) she seemed a little unsure because she has been atheist her whole life so this will be a big change but she said that if she gets a testimony she will get baptized! So we are going to keep teaching and working with her. We also had a guy we talked to on the street show up to church!! Hopefully he lives in our area because we still don't have his address. Last monday we had a zone activity instead of basketball because our zone leaders wanted to do something to get everyone involved. So my comp and I were in charge and so we played signs and do you love your neighbor. It was so much fun!!! We are out eldered in our zone (4 sisters 14 elders) so it was fun to have an activity to get to know everyone better which wasn't basketball. Also we visited a recent convert that sister white baptized 6 months ago. He was homeless and really discouraged about life and everything when they found him. They taught the lessons and he came to church and ever since he has been a member his life has completely turned around.  He has a job and is a really strong member. Its always great to hear stories of how the gospel changes lives. Other than that there isn't a ton of new things happening, just trying to find people to teach and to visit less actives. 

Love you!!

-sister Washburn

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

New Church Videos- "Mormon Missionaries"

What do Mormon Missionaries do?  Check out this video.  For more information on The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, go to and click on the 'Introduction to Mormons' videos.

A little kindness for a missionary

*Samantha's current companion is Sister Robson.  She is a convert, doesn't have any family support and never gets anything from home.  Sam asked that if the next time I send a package,  I put in something for Sister Robson.  I thought I'd let you all know incase you plan to send anything in the next few weeks while they are companions.  Thanks :)

Monday, September 9, 2013

Sidewalk Chalk in the Park

Fountain Valley is good, I think I am finally getting used to it here. My companion and I get along pretty well so that is good. She has been out for 13 months so it is nice to be companions with someone who is more experienced. This week we went on exchanges with our sister training leaders. So I went to Huntington beach with Sister Fulgham. We had a really good time, it is pretty close to the ocean so there was a nice breeze and you can smell the ocean early in the morning. We walked all day though so by the end of the day I was exhausted. I felt like I was on pioneer trek again. It was good to have a change of scene and to get to learn from Sister Fulgham and see how she does things. We don't teach the after gospel lessons or gospel principles- the ward mission leader does. He always has really good lessons. Last week the lesson was about conversion and the role the spirit plays in becoming converted. The lady that the missionaries saved her life is still an investigator. Her name is Viv and she has 2 boys (11 & 8). We had an fhe with her and a family in the ward. It was kind of chaotic with the kids though so we didn't get to teach very much. She was supposed to come to church on sunday but she got sick and couldn't come. So we are going to try for next week and hopefully teach her more this week. We went over and did service for her the other day and she told us that she has never had people help her out like this before (she has a rough past). She is always amazed by how nice we are and we tell her that as members of the church we help everyone and we try to do what jesus would. Hopefully this week we can teach her more and see some progress. The lady in our ward with the cute house, her daughter is serving in Jacksonville, Florida. We haven't been over to her house in a while (she lives in the elders area) but when we do I get a picture to send to you. We visited a less active this week who grew up with Brother Usevitch. His name is Bruce Johnston and it was crazy that he knows their whole family. Also this week we did a really fun finding activity. We went to the park along with two other sisters (sis wadsen and sis perry) and we drew out the plan of salvation in sidewalk chalk. It was so fun! It was a great way to talk to people and it was cool because we got to literally walk them through the plan of salvation. We have been going by Marie and Theresa (the recent converts) and reading the book of mormon with them. They are so excited about learning and are soaking in everything like a sponge. It is great to see their enthusiasim for the gospel. It has been really really hot and humid this week and so it has really been tiring me out being in the sun all day. It's weird here becuase it is super hot in the mornings and then it gets cooler in the afternoons because of the ocean breeze but then it is still hot at night. September is the hottest month here but hopefully it should be cooling down soon. 

Love You!!

-Sister Washburn

Friday, September 6, 2013

Welcome to Fountain Valley!

Hello from Fountain Valley!

So this area is a lot different than my last area. It is closer to the beach and is at the southern edge of our mission right by Huntington beach. The ward is similar to our home ward with a lot of families and a good amount of youth. Our ward mission leader is awesome. His name is Brother Monson (no direct relation to the prophet that I know of) and he has been a bishop, in the stake presidency, and a mission president. Also our ward has 9 ward missionaries!!! Its crazy. The area is wealthier so it is kind of hard to find people who are willing to listen. Also it is harder to contact people there aren't has many people out and about here like there were in my last area. It has been super hot here the past week. We walked all day on wednesday and I got sunburned pretty bad (even though I put on sunscreen!) It should be cooler this week though because since we are closer to the ocean it doesn't usually get as hot as it would in my last area. My new companion's name is Sister Robson. She is from Wyoming and she has been on her mission for a year now. 

I kind of came into the ward during in the middle of a bunch of things. First off there was a baptism this week!! I don't know if I can fully call it my baptism because I just met them a couple of times and then showed up to the service, but my new companion and I are the ones that baptized them I guess. It was a mother and a daughter. The mother (marie) is 70 years old and the daughter (theresa) is 35. They are the nicest ladies and were so excited to get baptized. Baptisms are 10x more awesome when you are a missionary. You realize just how much this step will help them in their lives and you get to feel the joy from their choice to follow Christ and to join his church. So that was great. Also one of our investigators has a crazy story. She was a referral from a member of the church who met and talked to her her when he came over to spray for bugs. Then a few days later the sisters came over to meet her. After they left they gave her their number and reminded her that if she ever need anything that she could call them. Then a few days later she got super sick. She called everyone she could think of to try to find someone to drive her to the hospital but nothing was working out. Finally she called the sisters who were able to find a family that took her to the hospital and that watched her two boys while she was gone. So a few days later when I came to fountain valley we came to visit her and try to help her out since she was at home just trying to heal and get better. As it turns out the family that took her to the hospital has a lot of random connections with her. Also she has been atheist for most of her life due to having bad experiences with different churches. She tells us that she has never felt so loved and not judged by anyone in her life than by us missionaries and the members she has met. The elders came over and gave her a blessing a few days ago. After the blessing she told us about how she feels like there is light around us and that she could feel that light when the elders gave her the blessing. So that was a perfect opportunity to talk about the holy ghost! Anyways she has been through a lot and it will take some time to help her regain her trust in God but we feel like she has totally been led to find the members and to have the missionaries in her life like she has. The missionaries basically saved her life because at the hospital they found out she was bleeding internally and if she hadn't been taken to the hospital right then she probably would have died. So ya, kind of dramatic but the Lord has a way of putting people where they need to be when they need to be there. We are teaching her at the Kennedys (the members that took her to the hospital) tonight for fhe and so hopefully her heart is ready and open to our message. 

I'll send some pictures next week, we have limited time since today is a holiday and the library is closed we have to fight 35 other missionaries for the computers at the family history library.


Sister Washburn