Monday, March 31, 2014

"Life is the time to discover who we really are"- My Birthday- & Earthquake!

So last week I was really sick. I got a sinus infection which had me out for a couple of days and then for the next 3 days we would go out and work for a while and then I would come home and sleep and then we would go out for a while and then I would come home and sleep. It was the WORST. I hate not being able to go out and work. Also that is the longest I have been sick on my mission so it was weird for me. But I am better now! 
I was sick on my birthday but I still got your packages and everything so that cheered me up. We had district meeting that day so everyone sang to me. I also had to go to the mission office to see the nurse and so they sang to me like three times when I was there. There is a super awesome member that I love and she made me some cupcakes. Then that night at dinner the family we ate with made root beer floats. There are a ton of people at that house so it felt like we were in cheaper by the dozen and they all sang 5 birthday songs cause it is a family tradition. So overall it was a good day even though I didn't feel 100%. On Saturday my companion and I went out to eat with a few other sisters as a birthday lunch so that was fun. We went to this place were they have cake shakes which were really good.
Also I felt my first earthquake!!! It was so cool. We were planning Friday night for the next day and suddenly there was this huge rumbling sound. At first I was like "what the . ." And a few things started falling off the shelves. It was crazy! It wasn't too huge only around a 5.2 or something but it was cool to finally feel an earthquake. There have been a bunch of smaller ones since then but I have only felt a few of them. 
We taught Connie this week and she has been super busy but really opened up to us about her family and how she wants to make God a priority in her life. She is still wary of changing religions though, she wants to learn and to have God in her life more but she isn't sure that she wants to join our church. So we are going to pray and think of a lesson that will really target her needs and hopefully she will come around. We haven't seen Abraham in a while since he has been sick. In all honesty I think he likes learning and feels the spirit when we are with him but I think that he is planning on staying Catholic. We are having a dtr with him our next lesson though to see how he feels about baptism and our purpose as missionaries and everything. We have been getting a lot of referrals lately so hopefully they turn into something. We had high hopes for this week but then when I got sick we didn't get as much done as we had hoped. 
This week is transfers. Sister Shipman and I are staying together in Cypress which is what I expected. Cypress has been so good for me to be able to learn how to be a better missionary so I really like it here.
The Women's Conference was really cool. I kinda wished the talks were a little longer because I think they shortened things to make it more visual. But it was really fun to have all of the younger girls there. I sat next to this lady whose daughter is one a mission, so that was good especially because she was missing her and didn't have anyone to do the cheesy mother daughter smile that they wanted you to do with. So don't worry mom she got you covered. At the end of the conference our stake had an ice cream social. 
We visited our less actives Corina who is a single mom with a little 2 year old. She loves our visits cause we read the book of mormon with her and she says it really helps her throughout the week. She has been going to church in another ward so that is good. We have also been teaching Rhonda the lessons. She has 2 really cute grand kids. I think she really does have a testimony she just doesn't come to church for some reason (maybe because her husband isn't a member. Also Sister Griswald came to church again! Her nephew called us and told us that if we can help her get temple worthy he will fly her up to Utah to go through the temple. That would be so great!! Her health isn't the best so hopefully that won't get in the way. 
This week I have been thinking a lot about how God just totally understands us. He has known me for a long time! Way before I came to earth He knew who I was and what I can become. I love that! I love that He just gets us. He knows our weaknesses and the things that we are trying to overcome. He knows our talents and the ways we can help others. When we feel like no one really knows the real us, He does. And He knows how to help us and what experiences we need to become our best selves. I heard a quote I can't remember who it is by that says that "life is the time to discover who we really are." I can't remember if I mentioned this in another letter but I got a blessing a while back and the Elder said that I have the traits of being nurturing and loving and these are characteristics I will have for all of eternity. I was like "wow". I love how God know the things about ourselves that are traits that we are developing now here in earth and things that are a part of our eternal selves. Well maybe I'm getting kind of deep but anyways Heavenly Father knows you, don't ever forget that!! 
Have a good week! Love You All!! Thanks for the birthday stuff!!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, March 24, 2014

Happy Birthday Sister Washburn

Samantha's birthday is this Thursday, March 27.  Drop her a card if you can :)

One Crazy Week

This week was crazy! On Monday our zone had a badminton tournament for our zone activity. Considering that I have never played badminton in my life I think that Sister Shipman and I did pretty well. Then that night we got a new investigator! Her name is Connie and she's baptist but I can totally see how the gospel could bless her life. She loved learning about prophets and the restoration. She also read Enos in the Book of Mormon and loved it because prayer is something that has meant a lot to her in her life. She says she's not looking to convert but when we invited her pray to know if what we had taught her was true, she agreed. I think that if she is really sincere about it all she could have a change of heart. Then we have just been trying to street contact more and talk to more people. I got a little sick on Wednesday but then I was feeling fine. Then on Friday we were in a trio because Sister Perry had to go be companions with the comp of a sister who had surgery. So we had Sister King with us. We stopped by a member that night that we hadn't met before and they gave us 2 referrals! It was awesome. Sadly though this family believes in playing sports on Sunday so they aren't at church all that much. Don't do sports on sunday its not worth it!
Then that night we went to take Sister King back. There was some drama going on at the members house that they live with because the dad lost his job and relatives were in town. So then Sister Perry and Sister King spent the night at our house. We just have a room at the back of the house so we had our bunk beds and then a king size blow up mattress that took up most of the floor space. Sister Perry and I probably stayed up too late talking but ya it is rare that you get to have a sleep over with other missionaries. Then Sister Perry was feeling sick that morning so we got out of the house late. We went to a meeting and then my comp was having a hard day so we went and got ice cream just before lunch. Then we went back to the house and waited for the other sister to get there so we could get them something to eat. Then 2 other sisters came over. One of them had been struggling and is trying to decide if she should go home so we ended up have like a group therapy session. Then after dinner I took Sister Shipman and King back out to work. The days were your normal schedule get thrown off are always so weird. And to end the week off I am sick again and so that is no fun. So this week was interesting but good things happened too. I am probably going to go home and sleep now so I can try to get better. Love you all!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, March 17, 2014

An Investigator! New Converts & Re-activating

This week was great! We have still just been trying to talk to as many people as we can. We also got a new investigator! His name is Abraham and he is 14. He loved the Joseph Smith story since he is the same age and he really likes the Book of Mormon. The only setback I forsee is that his family is Catholic and they actually go and he is supposed to get his confirmation soon. So far his parents haven't minded that he is taking the lessons. In the next lesson, we are going to commit him to be baptized so, we will see what happens. We have also been trying to get better at teaching every night so, we were able to visit a lot more of the less actives and recent converts in our area. We had a really powerful lesson with one of our recent converts. She has such a strong testimony and is so willing to do whatever the Lord asks of her. After the lesson she said she wanted to invite her friend to the next lesson. She was like "This is the only church where I have really felt the spirit and I know that it is true. I just want to knock on everyone's door and tell them how great it is!" I love recent converts!!  We also started teaching a less active Sister Griswald the lessons because she wants to be active again and become temple worthy. It is great to see her testimony and how she has been through a lot in her life but it has taught her to trust in the Lord. We ran into another basher when we were out walking. My comp tried to stand up for what we believed but the guy was just saying all this stuff about the book of mormon so I just made us leave because he wasn't even worth it. We also talked to a jehovah's witness. Usually they are pretty nice probably because they do missionary work too so they kind of know how it is. And we talked to a lot of people in between so hopefully some of them will commit to the lessons. I know that there are people in our area that the Lord has prepared and we are going to do our best to find them! Our district leader has been helping us a lot too with getting better at finding. He is going home soon so he knows a ton and it has been so helpful! Also random fact: Knotts Berry farm is in our zone and so we drive past it to go to Walmart on Mondays. Anyways have a good week! Love you all!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, March 10, 2014

exchanges, "finding", gospel brings peace

This week we did a lot of finding. We are trying to talk to as many people as we can. A lot of our appointments fell through but I feel like we are doing a lot better at finding so I know that we will be able to find people to teach soon. We gave talks in church and I wasn't even that nervous about it so I think it went pretty well. I went on exchanges in Whittier with Sister Oler who grew up in Hawaii and New Zealand. She lives in Utah now and she is a tall samoaan volleyball player. On our exchanges we found them a new investigator! It was this high school girl named Sierra and we taught her the plan of salvation and she wanted to learn more. I could feel the spirit was there in the lesson and when she prayed at the end it was so great! We also talked to this guy who wanted to bash with us and kept telling us that he has studied Mormonism and he is pretty sure that he knows more about our religion that we do and that we worship the wrong Jesus. Basically he tried to be all theologial on us and some of his points didn't even make sense and he said that we really need to look into our religion more so that we don't go to hell. And we were just like "Well we've prayed to God to know if this church is true and we recieved a witness from Him that it is so we are going to stick with our religion." It was just ridiculous the guy wouldn't even let us talk really so ya some people's hearts are just too hardened. We also went on splits with 2 sisters in our ward. The girl I went with is a single lady named Stacy. She look like she is hispanic but she is really Dutch and grew up in Holland. She kind of has an accent because she lived in England for a long time too. She told me her conversion story that was really cool. Her dad was abusive when she was young and so her mom divorced him. Her mom was searching for a church for a long time and finally one day 2 sister missionaries knocked on her door. At first she was really sceptical about the book of mormon and everything but she prayed and knew it was true so she joined the church. Then Stacy was living in Canada at the time but she started taking the lessons too. She felt like after all of the crazy things that have happened to her in her life she finally felt peace.  It was really great to go out and work with her. Other than that we are just trying to work as hard as we can and be obedient so that the Lord can bless us with people to teach.
love you all!!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, March 3, 2014

1/2 Way

Oh. my. goodness. I am officially halfway done with my mission! When did this happen?!? Everyone says once you pass the halfway point it flies by. (its already been going by faster and faster each transfer) This week we were able to get know a lot more of the members which is good. Last sunday I felt like I got introduced to tons of people but i didn't remember any names or anything. We have been doing a lot more finding and everything since we don't have any investigators right now. It is a lot easier to talk to people here and a lot of people have been really nice. It's just been kind of hard to get people to commit to taking the lessons or to set a solid appointment with us. Our zone leaders and our district leader have been helping us out a lot which has been really nice. One thursday our zone leaders had a mini training for us on white washing which was really helpful and at the end they asked us to pray and ask heavenly father if we are supposed to be here in Cypress right now as companion in this exact ward. I got a feeling that I was, but I will admit I kind of just brushed it off like "Well ya Heavenly Father always puts us where we need to be." The next day we stopped by a potential investigator. She was really nice and said now wasn't a good time but we were welcome to come back and teach her. She was also telling us about her wayward son and how she just wished that he could feel gods love. Before we left I asked here if we could say a prayer with her. In the prayer I asked heavenly father to help her son to feel God's love and to know that his family loves him. At the end of the prayer the lady's eyes were all watery and she said that were were angles because she really needed that today. To me it was just a testimony that me and Sister Shipman really are here to help people to come closer to Christ and to feel His love. On Thursday we went on splits with 2 awesome ladies from our ward. I went with the new RS president and she is awesome. It has taken a while but I think that the sisters in the ward are starting to be more interested in coming out with us and stuff. Then on Saturday I went on exchanges with Sister Andelin in our area. She has pretty much been my STL my whole mission and she is the best! I really look up to her as a missionary. We were out biking all over and talking to tons of people. On our way to one of our less actives houses it suddenly started down pouring, then hailing, and then it stopped all within like 2 minutes. We showed up to her house soaked and if we had been out of the rain for just those 2 minute,s we would have been fine. There are always adventures on exchanges I feel like. Then we went and saw some potentials and taught the plan of salvation. They totally loved it and agreed with everything we said. Then at the end we said we would like to come back and teach about the the restoration and the book of mormon. The minute we said book of mormon the wife started saying how she would never believe in anything but the bible and how we wouldn't convert her. So that was interesting, but they were really nice and told us to stop by anytime. So things have been good so far. It has been kind of hard balancing meeting members, teaching the less actives and recent converts, and trying to do a ton of finding while still learning where everything is and gaining the members trust and learning how to teach and work together as companions. But so far its been good  and we are trying out best and working really hard. This week we had a training about how church is a revelatory experience. As we take the sacrament we should believe that our sins have been forgiven and that we can start a fresh week and remember Jesus Christ in all that we do. We should believe that Heavenly Father can give us answers to our questions through church. I got so much out of church yesterday, when I took the time to really think about that and to ponder some of the questions I had. I feel like the things I learned really were answers to prayers. 
Love you all!!!

-Sister Washburn