Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Helping less-actives & Pushing forward

This week was kind of slow. We have been trying to work more with members. So we are going to teach a couple families the discussions to help them be more missionary minded and to get ideas of how they can share the gospel better. We had 4 sisters come out with us this week! It was awesome. We were able to visit more less actives that way. We also had dinner with our bishop and we were able to talk about how to help more of the less actives in the ward. We also had dinner with the Bodines who are an awesome couple whose son is on his mission. Remember how you sent me that cookie butter stuff from trader Joe's? Well they had just discovered it too and they made ice cream sundaes and put it on and it was so good! Other than that nothing too exciting happened this week. Last Monday we went to Target and just walked around because Sister Okanoue and I were like "I miss shopping just for fun." We tried on some high heels and stuff. Super simple but we thought it was fun. (its the little things when you are a missionary) My comp has started to get a little trunky. Her motivation isn't as high but she is still trying her best. My motivation this week wasn't as good either. When you are working hard and not having too much success it can be hard to keep your motivation up. But I feel really good about this week. We are going to keep pushing on and doing our best so that the Lord can bless us. 
Love you all! Have a good memorial day!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, May 19, 2014

We are the Architects of our own Happiness

Hello Everyone!!
This week was ridiculously hot! Sister Okanoue and I were not looking forward to being out in the heat, but we aren't supposed to use our car during the day unless we have a set appointment. And we really wanted to be exactly obedient. So we biked in 105 degrees for a least 2 days this week. Luckily it was a little cooler (as in 98) the rest of the days. Finally, on Saturday, it cooled down a lot and this week it should be cooler. It was the worst but at the same time I know that God sees our efforts and we were able to talk to more people since we were out on our bikes. 
This week was kinda rough. We have been working really hard and had a few return appointments but they fell through. Then a less active we have been working with decided she didn't want us to come by anymore (i think she got offended but someone in the ward) And a few other less active lessons fell through. And we are back to the bare minimum of finding so that's been kinda hard cause I kinda feel like I'm whitewashing all over again.
But on a good note we had 2 really good less actives lessons. One was with a single mom who comes to church off and on. We taught her part of the first lesson and was able to hear her story about how when she had cancer a while back she really had to trust God. We also talked about prophets and gave her a conference talk to read. After the visit she texted us and thanked us for the lesson because it was really what she needed. 
Then last night we went by a recent convert and he wasn't home but he less active mom was. We ended up talked to her for a while and teaching about how God is always watching over us and willing to bless us even when our circumstances seem hard. I also bore testimony about attending church. She told us that she really wants to come back especially to support her son. We hadn't realized but her sister who is also less active was listening from the other room. After our prayer at the end she came in to talk to us and said she is thinking about coming to church again too. It was awesome!! I just hope we can really get them to commit because in the past they have had the desire/good intentions but when the time comes they don't always show up. 
There is a Japanese couple in our ward who takes us out for Japanese food sometimes. Now that Sister Okanoue is in the ward they really wanted to take us out to this sushi place. On Saturday we went with Brother Matsuo and his son and grandson. It was so fun. It was a lot more authentic then some other sushi I have had but it was really good. It was a "revolving sushi bar" . So you sit down around this bar table and there is a conveyor belt going around with lot of different kinds of sushi and clams and sashimi and a bunch of other good stuff. So when it comes by you you just pick up whatever you want and then you pay at the end by the plate. I tried some of the raw fish which wasn't bad but it was kind of too vinegar-y for me. It was really cool to eat there and of course Sister Okanoue loved it.
This week I was reading this talk that I really love (We are the architects of our own happiness by Elder Gerald Causse) and part of it talks about trusting in the Lord's promises. I have really been trying to do that especially lately since we have been working hard but haven't really seen the result we hope and pray for. One night this week we had a return appointment with a potential. Our district had been trying to really support each other with finding and so we asked the district to pray that we would be able to pick up this lady we were hoping to teach as a new investigator. She ended up not being home. For the rest of that night we worked really hard to find a new investigator but we didn't. (in fact we ran into another basher, man those guys are annoying, the trinity doesn't even make sense, but anyways . .) So I was thinking about how faith is being obedient over time. It means trying to do what the Lord asks and being diligent even when we can't see the blessings or the immediate results. The Lord promises us that he will bless us if we do his will, but He also asks us to trust in His timing. I know that there are people in our area that are being prepared. I know that we will find people we just have to be patient (patience is hard but I feel like that is something that my mission has required of me a lot). 
I know that this is God's work. That His priesthood and authority are on the earth. That God is the source of all truth and that he will teach us and guide us if we but ask. That faith is action and it requires consistent effort to follow God and to show that we love Him by obeying Him. God knows us and He knows what we need most to grow and reach our potential. His love is infinite and unconditional and He is always mindful of us.
I love you all! Thanks for your prayers!!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, May 12, 2014

New Companion is Awesome!

Hello Everyone!!
This week was transfers. Sister Okanoue is awesome! We have been having a good time together so far. We have just been doing a lot of contacting lately because we dropped all of our investigators. So we are going to find some prepared people to teach!!! Well I don't know what else to say since I just skyped you guys the other day. (Sam got to skype us on Mother's Day)We had a couple sisters come out with us this week which is always awesome! We had a ward activity which was a fundraiser for the youth. It was fun to get to talk to all of the ward members and a couple non-members showed up which was great. Other than that there wasn't anything too interesting that happened. I have just been helping Sister Okanoue to get to know the ward. I fell like this is going to be a really good transfer! 

love you all!!
-Sister Washburn

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

New Pictures!

Best district leader ever! Elder Dean

 me and Elder Elder (yes that is his name). We shared the ward here in Cypress.

Purple flowered trees are in bloom again!

With Sister Perry- my new Sister Training Leader

The Zone in Cypress

With Sister Curtner in Fountain Valley

The Bishop and his wife in Fountain Valley

Monday, May 5, 2014

It's HOT!

This week was SO HOT!!! Like holy cow. The Santa Ana winds were blowing our way (see how that made me sound like a local) and so it was windy, dusty, and over 95 degrees everyday. Sister Shipman and I were biking one morning and the wind was blowing so strong and when we got to our appointment there was a thin layer of dirt on my face and dirt stuck to the mascara on my eye lashes. It was gross. But we survived and it is already a cooler again this week. We were able to see a lot of our recent converts this week that we haven't seen in a while so that was good. We are teaching the after baptism lessons to Anthony (a 14 year old boy) and he is awesome. His dad is a non-member and his mom is less active but he has been really good about trying to come to church. We were telling him how awesome it is to see him pass the sacrament. I think that meant a lot to him because he said how last Sunday he didn't feel like coming to church but he prayed and felt like it was the right thing to do so he called up his YM leader to give him a ride. I think that that is so great! It is hard to do things like that when your family isn't super supportive. 
We also found a new investigator this week. His name is Renaldo and we contacted him a few weeks ago and then were able to teach him for the first time this week. He kind of had a hard time understanding what we taught (he's from the Philippines so English isn't his first language) but we asked questions to see what confused him and so by the end he understood pretty well. Our mission is focusing a lot on teaching simply lately so that was definitely good for Renaldo for us to teach simply. He's not super committed because he is catholic but he said he would read and pray so we will see. We had a really good district meeting this week about finding the elect. I have been thinking about that a lot. Now that I know how to find a lot better I want to get better at finding the people that God has prepared, those who are ready to progress.
Also I have been realizing that I am starting to get old in the mission because:
a) I had to throw away 3 pairs of shoes this week because they had holes and were just getting way old. Also i think I'm going to buy a new side bag.
b) Some more of my friends just went home
c) There are purple trees everywhere again and they were in bloom almost a year ago when I first got here.
We got to go to the departure fireside on Sunday which was awesome. At the end of each transfer there is a departure fireside for the missionaries that are leaving where there are musical numbers and they all bear their testimonies. I love these firesides! It is so cool to hear from these missionaries who have just devoted 2 or 1 1/2 to serving God and loving the people in the Long Beach mission. They just have this light in their eyes and such strong testimonies of things they have come to know, ways they have changed, and how much they loved their missions. 
Also this week is transfers! And I am staying here in Cypress. (which I am glad about because I really like it here) My new companion is Sister Okanoue and she is from Japan. She has been out longer than I have and she seems really awesome so I am excited! I'm sad that Sister Shipman is leaving. We had some bumps in our companionship but she is a great person and I learned a lot from being her companion. But I think that Sister Okanoue will be really good for me cause we are going to do work! We have been having a lot more women come out with us and now that I've been here for a while I feel like I am starting to get to really know the ward. I am really excited for this next transfer, it is going to be great!! 
Lately I have just been thinking about how much I love our church. I love that we can receive personal revelation from God to know of truth that leads to our conversion. I love the way that the church is organized, the same way that Christ established it when he was on the earth. I love how even when life is hard our faith gives us something to lean on and that we have a ward family to support us. I love that we want others to be a part of this true church so much that we are able to devote part of our lives to preaching the gospel so that others will be able to receive mercy at the day of judgement. I hope I never take for granted being a part of this church and having the blessings that come from being part of His covenant people. We belong to the best church ever!!
Hope you all have a good week!

Sister Washburn