Monday, August 25, 2014


This week we had more miracles! We were able to start teaching a family! There is a phillipino family (the Dorotheos) in our ward that plays basketball at the church on staurday morning with some of their friends. Last week we showed up and met some of them and one of the families invited us over. So on Monday night we went and had dinner with them and taught the first lesson. They had lots of questions especially since they have known the Dorotheos for so long. The teenage son said that he has a friend a school that joined the church and so he knows about the book of mormon and doctrine and covenants and everything. The lesson was really good and the parents have a crazy work schedule but we will hopefully see them again soon. Then on Tuesday we stopped by the house of this teenage girl we had met and talked to. We ended up teaching her too and picking her up as an investigator. Her family practices this interesting hispanic "spiritual" religion, but she seems really interested. We are going to try to get her out to mutual soon. We taught Anothony again and his family said they would all come to church and they didn't again. So that is a bummer but I think that if we can get the ward more involved they might be more comfortable coming to church. Also we had our mission president's wife Sister Tew come out with us and study with us on Friday. That was a lot of fun to have her with us and to practice teach with her in our studies. Then we found out that Sister Eves got her clearance to be re-baptized! She has been waiting for 5 months so she was so happy. So we get to start planning another baptism. Also the Elders passed off one of their investigators to us named Gloria. She is dating someone in our ward and wants to be baptized but she can't until November. She has grown up super catholic her whole life and her parents are against the church but she believes it is true. Anyways she teaches catechism and has some other obligations with her catholic church that prevent her from being baptized until November. But it was really cool to teach her because she really loves the teaching of the church and even shares the gospel with people at work and stuff. So now that we have so many people to teach things have been really busy. We were doing our weekly planning on Thursday and I looked up at our white board where we write down who we are teaching and stuff and I was like "Sister Culala, we have 10 investigators right now!" Given we will have to pass off a few soon but man, Heavenly Father has been blessing us so much! We have been working hard and I am just really glad that Sister Culala has been able to have so many opportunities to teach and work with investigators and everything. I know that this work is so important. That this is the only way that people can recieve salvation and be able to return to our father in heaven. On the days where we are super busy and I have a million things to remember and plan for I am just grateful that the Lord is always helping us. There is no way that we would be able to do everything we have to without him. I am grateful that the Lord just asks us to do our best and that he will make up for the rest. He is helping us and hears our prayers.
Have a good week!

-Sister Washburn

Monday, August 18, 2014

Receiving Revelation as we Study the Scriptures

This week was so busy but it was really good. On Monday we visited an older couple in the ward who it turns out lived in El Paso a while back. Then we did some contacting and met this guy named Robert who said we could stop back by. Then on Tuesday we had a new missionaries meeting which was good. Its always good to get trained on some of the basics because they are so important. Then that night we went out and worked and I had a feeling that we should go stop by Robert's house. We did and he was there and we ended up teaching him part of the first lesson and picking him up as an investigator. Then on Thursday we got to teach our investigator David. He is really interested in learning and has been reading the Book of Mormon but I think he sees our visits as more of a nice bible study. We have taught him about preisthood authority a bunch of times and I still think that he doesn't quite get it. If he doesn't come to church soon we will probably have to drop him. Also that day we had a super awesome lesson. So last week we got a media referral for a man that requested a copy of the Book of Mormon. We stopped by and dropped it off and talked to him for a while. As it turns out he is a catholic preist who wants to learn more about our church. So we set up and appointment with him (his name is Rex) but i wasn't sure what exactly to expect (like if it was just going to turn into a bash). We met him at the church and we had a really great member with us. He told us that he was raised Buddhist (he's Japanese) but his mom would have him read scriptures from the bible to teach him how to read. So he got interested in Christianity. Then when he was a teenager, one of his good friends that was mormon would invite him to church so he soon started taking the lessons. He really wanted to get baptized but his father was against it so he didn't. Anyways he ended up becoming pentecostal but didn't feel that was right so then he joined the catholic church. He has been studying as a pastor there for seven years and has also studied theology and philosphy for many years. And he said that the other day he saw a program about mormonism on tv and felt prompted to learn more about the church again. So needless to say it was a interesting lesson becuase I have never taught anyone befoe who has so much religious knowledge. But the lesson was so good!! He has a lot of respect for mormons and was genuinly interested in learning what we believe. He has studied our religion before in a class so he knows a lot about our church but he wanted to learn from the source. So we taught him the first lesson and he got along great with our member. Her husband is a convert and used to be catholic so we are going to bring him to our next lesson. Also it was cool because when we taught about apostasy, he asked why would God take the prophets and athourity away when the people were wicked and needed it most. I had read in Ether a couple days before and there are a few chapters where about four times the Lord sends prophets trying to get the people to repent but they just keep rejecting them. I was able to explain that God tries to help us and bring people back to him but he can only try so many times and have the prophets rejected before they are just too wicked and unwilling to change. It was cool because a blessing I got a while ago said that I would be able to recieve revelation for those I taught as I studied the scriptures. Anyways you can just tell that Rex has been looking for the truth his whole life and I know he felt the spirit in our lesson. At the end we committed him to pray and ask God if our church is true. He said that he would and that he feels like God has guided him to learn from us for a reason. He asked for us to pray for him that he could recognize his answer. So that was pretty cool. He believes that the catholic church also has true preisthood authority and being a priest in his church is his job so it would be a big change for him to join our church but if he is really sincere I'm hoping that he will realize that this is God's true church on the earth. Then on Friday we had exchanges. Sister Oler is a brand new STL and so it was fun to go on exchanges with her. We did some service for some members, taught our investigator Sister Eves who is doing well (just waiting for her clearance to get re-baptized), a member took us out to eat at Denny's, and we visited this less active lady who takes care of her mom who has alzheimers. It is really a lot of work and hard for her because her mom tries to run away and yells at her a lot. So I'm really glad that we got to visit her and uplift her. Then on Saturday we had a ward car wash. It was free and while people were getting their car washed we gave them tours of our church building. It was a lot of fun!! We were able to get 2 new investigators out of it. One of them is a Phillipino guy who used to live close to a mormon church in the Phillipines. Another was a lady who lives next door to the church and wanted to see what it was like inside. She loved that our church focuses on families because she wants her grand-daughter that she takes care of to have a good religious upbringing. So it was a really great activity. Afterwards we went and taught Anthony the plan of salvation. We have little cut outs that go with each part of the plan of salvation and he loved getting to put them in order and then showing us how to put it together. He cousins were there too so a couple of them joined in on the lesson. Sadly they didn't come to church like they said they would so idk what we will do about that. He can't get baptized unless they start coming. We are going to try to have a family home evening with their whole family this week.  On Sunday I got a cold (the sister I went on exchanges with gave it to me I guess) so we went in early that night so I could get some sleep. Still not feeling 100% but I will be fine. This upcoming week is going to be just as busy but I am glad that we have people to teach and things to do every day. The Lord is really blessing us in our area as we work hard and put our faith in him. I really tried to be a lot more positive this week even though I was still feeling kind of overwhelmed. Heavenly Father really helped us to be able to accomplish everything that we needed to and to lead us to find more people who are willing to hear our message. I know that God is always guiding us and is mindful of us always. Love,

Sister Washburn

With Sister Culala

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

God Really Knows YOU

This week we got to teach Anthony again which was really fun. We made him a chart that he can put a sticker on for each day that he remembers to pray at night. We finished teaching him the restoration lesson and he understood it really well. I'm hoping that his family will come to church this week because they need to be more active before he will be able to get baptized. We also did a lot of finding. We haven't gotten any new investigators for a while so hopefully we will soon. We talked to a lot of people and Sister Culala contacted a few people in Tagalog. Gotta love having a foreign companion! One day this week we were walking to our car and we saw these 2 guys sitting on the curb. We went over to talk to them and as it turns out they were youth pastors. They run this program that helps teenagers with drug addictions to turn their lives around through learning about Jesus Christ. It just really hit me that the message we share is so important. What these guys were doing is good but the fullness of the gospel really can help people turn their life around and give them hope. A happiness and peace that comes from having the faith that God will help you through whatever happens. Sister Culala is doing really good. She is starting to get a lot more comfortable with teaching and talking to people. It definitely takes time to get used to missionary work and being in another country on top of it so she is doing a good job.
So God really knows me. It's crazy sometimes. He knows me because last transfer during a really hard day we were driving to our dinner appointment. I turned to Sister George and said "Honestly all I want to do right now is eat pizza." We walked into the house for dinner and they were making pizza. Coincidence? I think not. He knows me because he's given me experiences and companions and areas to help me grow. Sometimes it is only in looking back that I realize why things had to be the way they were. And I'm grateful He guided me through it and helped me become better because of it, even if I wouldn't have chosen it myself. He knows me because we will have a training that was just what I needed to hear or was about something that had been on my mind. He knows me because he's given me friends and leaders that I can talk to. This week has been hard. The weather was really hot, I still don't know my area or the ward that well, I have a brand new companion who I have to teach everything to and be a good example. And I'm tired and I have so much to do. For one of the first times on my mission I was thinking, "Man my departure date can't come any sooner." I just felt like I want to finish strong these last 4 months but I just don't have very much left to give. I was reading in John one morning and I found this scripture "Say not ye, There are four more months and then cometh the harvest; behold, Lift up your eyes and look on the fields; for they are white already to harvest." So basically Heavenly Father was saying "Don't say "I just need to get through these last 4 months and then I'll be home." Look around you, there is work to do and souls to save!" I just felt like Heavenly Father was speaking right to me through this random scripture. I didn't come this far to just give a half-hearted effort at the end of my mission. This all happened earlier this week and since then things have gotten a lot better. I have seen a lot of His tender mercies and got a priesthood blessing that really helped. I just know with all of my heart that God knows each of us so personally. He sees our potential and He is eager to help and bless us. He helps us in large and small ways every day and every week. As we recognize His hand in our life we will be able to always feel that He is near. All he asks of us is to try. Even if our effort is small but it is all we can give some days, God is proud that at least we tried. In the blessing I got part of it said "God wants you to give your best effort, but He doesn't expect it." At first I was like "what?" He doesn't expect me to really try hard? But really its that he doesn't hold me to some high expectation. He doesn't look at what I did at the end of the week and say "well, Sister Washburn just didn't quite do it again this week." He just sees that I tried my best. I know that this is His work and that He will help me and my companion to accomplish the things that we need to in our area. I know that this situation is just what I need to be able to become more of who He sees me as. I know that God's love is constant and perfect and that as we trust in Him, he will guide us always. 
love you all!

-Sister Washburn 
With Sister Culala at a recent dinner appointment

Thursday, August 7, 2014

New Comp, Investigators & Service

So a lot happened this week. On Tuesday Sister George and I woke up really early to go take Sister Okanoue (one of my old companions) to the airport. It was so weird because President and all of the other missionaries that were going home were there. There was also my trainer Sister Reinsch, one of my old zone leaders, and a few other sisters I knew. It was crazy that in just a few hours they would be back at home sitting in their parent's houses as normal people. And it was crazy because I realized that that will be me in 4 months!! Then later that same day I went to go pick up my greenie. My new companion is Sister Culala. She's from the Phillipines. This is her first time in the U.S. Its funny because America is a lot different from where she lives. She hasn't ever really driven in a car, they don't have washing machines where she lives so she thinks they are really cool. Also the other morning she pointed to the toaster and says "Sister Washburn, do you just put bread in here and it cooks it?" It reminds me of when I trained Sister Le.
This week was really busy with training meetings and stuff and it has been super humid which is gross. But we have been working hard. We have a new investigator which is the 9 yr old son of a less active family in our ward. Gotta love 9 yr old investigators. It is actually really fun to teach him because we get good practice teaching simply and he is really excited to learn and answer questions. We also had some good contacts. We contacted this British guy who was atheist but we actually had a long conversaion about the church, making good choices, the atonement. He wasn't too interested at the end, but you never know maybe some day. We also contacted this guy smoking outside his house who the gospel could totally bless his life. He said he had lots of questions about religion and we said we had lots of answers. He wouldn't commit to a specific return appointment but we'll stop by again and see if he's interested.
We did some service for this family in our ward this week. They were redoing the siding in their house and so we helped Sister Spencer to take nails out of all of the old boards so that they could throw them away. It was good to do some real service that we haven't been able to do in a long time.
There are about 5 Phillipino families in our ward so they were pretty excited to meet Sister Culala. One of the families invited us over and gave us some food (which was pretty good). Also they gave us some referrals for thier Phillipino friends. So we are excited about that.
Also Robert Ruiz (our recent convert) got the preisthood last week. It was so cool we got to sit in on the ordination. I realized that it was the first time I saw someone be ordained to the preisthood so it was cool that it was my recent convert!!
I have been studying about faith and hope lately. They are mentioned a lot together in the scripture along with charity. These really are the bascis of missionary work. To love those we serve, to hope and trust in God's promises, and to have the faith to try our hardest and be diligent so that God can guide and bless us. I know that God tries our faith and help us learn to put our faith in Him, the one thing that will never fail us. We can find hope through His atonement and through His promise of helping us to overcome all to return to Him. I love our Savior and am so grateful for the hope He gives us.
Love you all!!

-Sister Washburn

Training Again!!

from 7/28

I'M TRAINING AGAIN!!!! I'm kind of excited if you couldn't tell. I just really like training so it is going to be great. There are only 2 sisters coming so it will either be a sister from the Philipines or a sister from Utah who is a double amputee. So either way it will be an adventure. Sister George is leaving me and I feel like I still don't know the area/ward that well but at least I pretty much know how to be a missionary at this point so I should be fine. This week was pretty good. We found a new investigator. We contacted him watering his front lawn and since then we have had 2 lessons and he seems pretty interested. We will see if he keeps progressing. I have found that it is pretty easy to find new investigators in this area but it is hard to find quality ones that will progress. If we keep working hard the Lord will lead us to those who are ready. 
It kinda hit me this week that I am getting towards the end of my mission. A lot of my friends had their departure fireside on Sunday and it was weird that they are leaving. I remember in the MTC our teacher told us that at the end of your mission your body just gets worn down. At the time I was just like "okay, whatever." But man I am starting to feel it. I'm just not the young missionary I once was. But I think training will help me to keep being motivated and working hard. Besides being a missionary is a lot easier now that I have a lot of experience behind me. 
We had a really good lesson this week with a sister who is trying to become active again. Her and her husband are working towards going to the temple. It was a really powerful lesson because you can tell she believes in God and has faith but she needs a stronger testimony that this is God's church. (she got baptized a couple years ago so she still needs a better gospel foundation)  It just really hit me that a simple, heartfelt question to God can be answered through His spirit. That is all we have to do to know of truth. It is sad how many people miss out on understanding God's plan or gaining a deeper testimony because they won't do that one simple thing. I just love that as we are obedient we can trust that God will continue to give us guidance. Keepin it short today, I don't have a ton of time to write because we have a lot to do before transfers. Love you all!!

-Sister Washburn

Mini Missionaries

from 7/21
me, Sister Lavea, and Sister George

This week was crazy because so much happened. We got to go to the Newport temple. We found 2 new investigators. We had our mini missionary. Having Sister Lavea was a lot of fun!! It reminded me of when I was training. We got to go on more splits since we had her and teach her the basics of missionary work. We dropped her off this morning and it was sad. She was crying and was like "You girls changed my life, you are like my big sisters." And Sister George and I were just like "Thanks we didn't think we did all that much." We really did love having her. Doing missionary work totally brings the spirit so we are glad that we could help her strengthen her testimony whether she ends up serving  mission or not. 
I went and had an interview with my mission president this week. I was so glad I did because I haven't had an interview with him in like 6 months. I just wanted some advice from him about how i can better become the missionary I envision myself to be. In a lot of my other areas I have had certain barriers to overcome with the work or my comps. Now that I am in a good area with a capable companion I realized that the only barrier left from letting me reach my potential is myself. I just hold back sometimes or doubt my abilities in some ways. President gave me some good advice and he always has a quotable quote that you go away remembering. He told me "Remember, today is part of eternity too." He talked about how God's name is eternal and so eternal happiness and eternal life is God's happiness and God's life. Our whole time on earth is to learn to have the same happiness God has and to learn to live life the way He would. So that quote meant that we don't have to wait to have happiness or to become who God intends of us. Each day we can work at making small steps in the right direction. It will take time but if we have a willing heart God will help us to change. We can change our very nature to become who we want to be.
This week we also had our zone conference and it was so good. One of the best zone conferences on my mission. The leaders did some really great trainings and talked about how each day we aren't just setting the culture of our mission but we are setting the foundation for the rest of our lives. If we are going to try to be obedient, work hard, and keep trying even when we fall short. Our mission President gave a really great training about change. How we can decide now to change and become the person God sees us as. About how each day we can change for the better or worse. It was just really good because I have been going through some changes lately for the better. Just realizing some of the weaknesses I have and realizing that I can change them and that the Lord wants to help me do that. He talked about how when we build that desire to become more than we are that we need to let it propel us to actively do the things that will help us become better. It was just really good. 
This area has just been really good for me and has allowed me to learn a lot. We got to visit our awesome 93 year old investigator who just got out of the hospital this week. She was as spunky and funny as ever and so It was great to see her. We also visited this really nice Samoan couple. The husband is less active because he has seizures a lot and can't always come to church. But he made it to church on sunday. Also the wife works for a make-up company so she gave us a ton of free stuff. It was really nice of her. Also we had a really good lesson with a recent convert who has been coming to church a lot recently. She doesn't have a super solid grasp on the gospel so we have been reteaching her the lessons. Also I had one of the best lessons of my mission this week! Sister George and Sister Lavea went to another appointment and I went with Sister Mitchell (a sister in our ward) and taught Ellie and Jesse. Ellie is a less active who is trying to become reactivated and Jesse her boyfriend is our investigator. They both told me the stories of how they came to know God. They have both had a rough past so it was cool to see how far they have come. Then I taught about personal revelation and how God wants to continue to guide them in their lives. They both started to realize how God has lead them this far and what they have to do to have Him keep leading them. The spirit was totally there and at the end I told them how they should look at how far they have come and what they can become. That there is great potential in each of them they just have to keep making right decisions and making God a priority in their lives. And I told Jesse how I could see him being a strong member and doing a lot of good he just has to trust God enough to act on an inspired answer that this is His true church. (Jesse thinks too logically and so he has a hard time deciding to get baptized). Anyways it was just so good. And I felt like I could feel a little tiny bit of how Heavenly Father feels about us. He sees our potential and the greatness within us. But he can't force us to make right choices or to choose to change. We have to do that on our own. And if we can do His will and use His strength to help us change, great things can happen.
So all in all it was a great week. This week is the last week of the transfer so we will see what happens!! Have fun in Cali (its weird you all are so close by, and yet so far haha)
Love you all!!
-Sister Washburn