Monday, January 27, 2014

Christmas tree

                                    thanks to all who sent Sister Washburn ornaments for her tree!

Member Missionaries

This week was a lot better. We were able to work a lot more and I am feeling way better. We have been focusing a lot lately on working with the members. Most of the investigators that get baptized in our stake come from member referrals. It can be kind if hard though because all of the members are at different levels. Some have literally no friends that aren't members. Some are really shy and even doing small things takes them out of their comfort zones. Some have people in mind and they are doing things to friendship them but it takes time before they invite them to church. But the important thing is that everyone tries to do something even if it is small. And missionary work doesn't have to be handing out Books of Mormon or getting everyone to come to church right away. It can be little conversations where you mention what you believe or even just telling someone you are a member or inviting a friend to mutual. So yep working with the members is great. A little hard because its not like knocking or contacting where you go out and do it, instead you just have to hope that they act and take advantage of missionary opportunities. But we are trying to change the culture of missionary work to really involve members a lot more. I just have to remember that we are the first generation of missionaries where member missionary work has been strongly stressed so it is going to take a while for everyone to become more missionary minded. So ya nothing to crazy happened this week we just got to know some more of the members and stopped by some of the ones that we have already challenged to do things. We are also trying to bring more members out with us during the week. We have some young women coming out with us soon so that will be fun. We gave a short missionary spiritual thought in YWs and I told them about Eric and how just inviting someone to seminary or an activity can make a big difference.
Love you all!

-Sister Washburn 
                                                          Our Zone at the temple
                                             Sister Le eating her first ever taco
                                    My two favorite zone leaders Elder George and Elder Gallagher
                                   our neighbor got jealous of our toyota corolla so they bought one too!

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

the Good and the Bad

This week was kinda up and down, some good things happened and some not so good things happened.
First the bad things: 
I ended up getting even more sick. I think it was because I kept pushing through being sick and still trying to work that finally my body was worn out and I think I caught something else on top of it. Basically I laid in bed all day but it helped a lot. I also had the elders give me a blessing and so that helped too. We weren't able to get as much done as a result but at least I am feeling better! Then on Sunday a few hours before church the Blakes called and told us that they don't want to take the lessons anymore. Worst phone call ever, we were so sad. They just feel overwhelmed with a lot of things going on in their life and I guess they thought the lessons were going to fast. So ya they said they would still come to church sometimes and they are not closing the door they just need some time. I think that they will eventually join the church but now's just not the time. So that is too bad but oh well, I know that the Lord will lead to those who are prepared.

The good things that happened this week:
I got to go on exchanges with my sister training leader and I got to leave my area and go to hers which is in huntington beach. It was really nice to get out of my area for a change. Also its crazy how our areas are like 5 miles apart but their area has a totally different feel. Its a lot more beachy and people are a lot less conservative than in our area and a lot more people will talk to you cause a lot of them are chill, go with the flow surfer type people. So we had a good exchange and even found them a new investigator! The Saturday session of conference was all about missionary work and so all of the missionaries in our stake sang Called to Serve and the end. It was really fun and I think a lot of people liked getting to see all of the missionaries sing. Then we also got to go to the temple today. It was so good. I just love how the temple gives you such a strong feeling of peace, more than anywhere else, and how you feel a lot closer to heavenly father there. 

We have been trying to do a lot of finding in our area. Now that we don't have any investigators we are really trying to find new people to teach so hopefully we will soon. Our zone has been focusing a lot lately on prayer and listening to the spirit. We have been praying multiple times a day that the Lord will lead us and that we will be in the right places at the right time so that we can meet the people he has prepared. We are also going to try to focus on really working with the members. In our area a lot of investigators come from less actives or member referrals so we really want them to help us find people to teach as well. It has been cool to see how members are really trying to switch their mindset to being more missionary minded. We just had dinner with a family who was telling them that they try to bring the church up in conversations more like not just saying they are christian but saying they are mormon. Or when people compliment them on how good their children are they say "that 's what I love about my church" how it gives them good morals. Stake conference on sunday was broadcast from Salt Lake and President Eyring, ELder Anderson, and a few other leaders spoke and it was really good. 
Thanks for all of the encouragement and your prayers. I know that this is the Lord's work and that is He is always with us and wants us to succeed. Our AP used to say that every small act of good that we do sends forth a ripple effect in the pools of eternity. I know that the Lord sees our efforts and that every small act of good that we do makes a difference.
Love you all!!!!!

Sister Washburn

Monday, January 13, 2014

Sometimes you take two steps forward, one step back

Hello everyone!! 
This morning we drove to the beach so that we could just look at it for a while (from an appropriate distance) and it still blows my mind that we live 5 miles away from the ocean! The weather is so nice today and there were a lot of surfers out.

This week we had an awesome lesson with our investigators on the Word of wisdom. The parents smoke and drink coffee but they have been telling us that they want to quit. So we brought the most perfect member for the situation: Sister Anderson. She has been a members for 18 years but before that she was an alcoholic and did drugs and other crazy stuff. Well she completely turned her life around and now she is an amazing member. She knew exactly what the Blakes are going through and was able to relate to their situation and connect addiction recovery to the gospel. She even cleared up some of their other concerns like reading the BofM everyday and church being kind of over whelming at first. The spirit was so strong and the lesson went way better than if Sister Le and I had been teaching on our own. By the end of the lesson the Blakes were excited to keep reading the Book of Mormon and to set goals to start living the word of wisdom.

This week we had our district meeting and the vision for our zone this transfer is "not one step back." We want to keep doing all of the good things that we have learned about missionary work and just keep getting better. The mission has really been focusing on finding lately. Our mission president wants us to find new investigators every week. I'm not going to lie this is kind of a tall order especially in the area I'm in right now. We are lucky if we get one new investigator each week but our zone wants us to get 2. But something that I have realized lately is that I'm not just doing missionary work I'm doing the Lord's work. He wants us to succeed and He wants us to find new investigators every week. I just need to be willing to ask, act on promptings, and seek His will to know where to go and what to do. It's kind of funny that it took me this long to realize that I need to be involving the Lord a lot more and relying on Him for help. If I do it on my own I'm going to keep going to the same places and find no one or just plan our day to fill our time. But with His help we can see opportunities all around us and we will be filling our time with the things He wants us to do. It definitely takes a lot more faith, effort, and sincere prayers to do this though. We have been working on asking for specific things in our prayers so that we can get specific answers from Heavenly Father. It works people!!! On Wednesday we were praying all day that we would find a new investigator. We knocked and went by some potentials and asked for referrals but we weren't getting anything. (we actually got to teach, testify and pray with one man we met when we were knocking- that is a big deal because usually everyone just says no thanks and closes the door- sadly though he wouldn't commit to taking lessons) Anyways it was evening and we decided to try to visit a former investigator. We caught her just as she was leaving the house and after talking to her for a while she committed to a return appointment! So hopefully she will become a new investigator. Our prayers weren't answered in the way that we had exactly thought but the Lord was watching over us and as we keep working hard He will help us to have success.

Then the later part of the week was kind of rough. I have been kind of sick the past couple of days and being sick and having to be motivated and do missionary work is really hard. I have had to learn patience a lot lately. I was just tired of our area because I have been here for a while. Tired of people rejecting us. Tired of my companion (I really do love her but having a foreign comp is hard sometimes because they don't really understand things a lot- like I told her I needed a pep talk and she didn't know what that was, also this is the first time I have been with the same comp for 2 transfers) And I was just tired of feeling like I'm never doing enough. The other night I was just praying to Heavenly Father to please help me to know what to do. I felt like I'm trying my hardest to the best of my abilities with what little I know. I was pleading for Him to give me the patience to be able to deal with everything. Then these words came into my mind "Sister Washburn you are a good missionary. It's okay. You can do this." That probably sounds really simple and dumb but it was really what I needed. I just needed to know that I am doing a good job and I don't need to feel inadequate or focus on my weaknesses but I need to focus on what I am doing well and keep trying. Also I love the Book of Mormon so much you have no idea. I love getting to read the scriptures every morning because it helps me to charge up for the day on spiritual goodness. The other morning I was reading and studying about patience (no surprise there) and I read the scripture in Alma that says "Now when our hearts were depressed and we were about to turn back, behold the Lord comforted us and said: Go amongst thy bretheren and bear with patience thine afflictions and I will give you success." I was just like Yes!! Thank you Heavenly Father. Sometimes we have rough patches on our missions but we just need to keep trying and push through the hard times and the Lord will bless us. Also I was reminded of something Sister Anderson said during the lesson. She told the Blakes that while they are trying to meet their goals they might take 2 steps forward and 1 step back, 3 steps forward and 2 steps back, 1 step forward and no steps back. I feel like this is the same for me. There are times when I feel like I'm achieving a lot and days were I feel like I keep falling short. Just like we won't be mad at the Blakes if they didn't perfectly achieve their goal every single day, all we want them to do is try their hardest. Heavenly Father feels the same way about us. He just wants us to try the best we can. He knows we won't have the perfect contact every time or remember to ask for referrals from everyone.As we do our best He will Make up for the rest.

So this week is going to be a lot better and there are going to be miracles!!! I know that Heavenly Father is watching over us. I know that He can lead us to those He has prepared. I know that He wants us to find those people who will listen to our message. I know that as we pray to him and ask in faith, believing that we will receive, He will bless us with the things we seek for. I am so grateful to be in this ward and in this area with Sister Le because honestly I have learned more in Fountain Valley and really in the last few months than I have my whole mission. Being in hard situations and going through trials has the benefit of letting us learn way more than we would other wise (which is the point of being here on earth) and helping us to come closer to Christ. Having more knowledge and experience and having a stronger relationship which Christ is worth the hard times I think. But anyways, life is good, missions are worth it, the church is true, and God will never leave us alone and his love for us is infinite and unconditional.
Love you all!!!
-Sister Washburn

Hoek's House

Wednesday, January 8, 2014

Movin' on Up and the Power of Prayer

This week was crazy but great! So neither of us got transferred but we did end up moving into the Hoke's house. This house is so awesome!!
1. The Hokes said we can eat with them anytime we don't have a dinner appointment. They also have chickens so we don't have to buy eggs.
2. We have a washer and dryer IN OUR HOUSE!!!! Its the most beautiful thing ever. We live in the "mother-in-law" quarters so we have a bedroom, bathroom, kitchen, and laundry area. 
3. Did I mention that it was nice? basically we are spoiled living here and we are so grateful!!
Our investigators came to church this week!!! All three of the Blakes came and it was so great. They were all dressed up and looked like members and even brought their books of mormon and everything (a couple people asked if they had just moved into the ward and we were like "no their investigators, who apparently already look like members.") Testimony meeting was really good and Michael loved primary and I think they all had a good experience. We have a lesson with them this week to get them started on quitting smoking so hopefully it goes well.
Also Sister White came back here to visit!! I loved getting to see her. It was just like old times and Sister Le got to meet her mission grandmother. 
We also went out with Kaitlin again this week (she lives in a different ward but comes with us since there aren't sisters in her ward, so I don't think I'm in the usevitch's grandma's ward) and she bore a really good testimony in a lesson we had with Sister Curtner. We also talked to the awesome young womens president in our ward about helping the young women do missionary work so we are going to talk to them in yws or mutual soon. Young women are the best so I'm excited.
New Years Eve and New Years day were just normal days for us. The work was kinda slow again due to the holidays but were were able to visit more less actives then we thought and we got to know a few more members we haven't met. 
This week I have been really seeing the power of prayer and praying for specific things. I have a lot of goals of things that I want to get better at this transfer but sometimes I think I overwhelm myself with wanting to all of a sudden be good at everything. Sometimes I don't know what to do or how to figure things out. Everytime I pray though I feel like everything is going to work out and I get ideas of things I can do to start working on whatever it is I'm trying to do. When I pray for specific things it helps me to focus and when I take time to listen, Heavenly father always helps me to think of what I can do. It has really been a testimony builder that Heavenly Father is always listening and wants to help us in anyway he can. For most of my life I've never really taken that much time to listen and to wait for what Heavenly Father wants to tell me. It really makes a difference when I don't just do all of the talking but when I also listen because that is when inspiration comes. I am excited for this transfer and for all that Sister Le and I are going to try to accomplish!! Thanks for your prayers!!

Sister Washburn