Monday, October 27, 2014

Recognizing the Spirit

This was a pretty slow week. We were sick for a few days after getting our flu shots. Then we had lot of meetings and a few other appointments. But this week should be a lot better. The upside of having to stay in for a good part of the week is that me and my comp had some bonding time. I really like SIster Moesinger, we get along really well and we both like being really open about things and want to help each other so it works out great. A lot of people have trouble opening up about things but that just makes companionships harder. 
We had our ward trunk or treat on Saturday. We had a less active family come so that was good. Also Robert usually works at night but he was able to come too. And Anthony and his family came. So it was good to have so many of our recent converts and less actives there. 
Other than that the week wasn't too exciting. We had a lot of appointments fall through but such is life. I know that we will have a better week this week. 
I was reading Uncle Gordon's talk that he gave a while back at a BYU devotional during studies the other day. It is about recognizing and following promptings. Something that stood out to me is that often our answers don't come in one big moment but piece by piece. Before when I had thought about this I had thought well ya not all of us are going to see angels and hear the voice of God, often our answer comes with a strong feeling or thought. But I think that even those strong moments we have had, where we felt a strong warmth from the spirit or had it put clearly in our mind what to do, are also big answers sometimes. Before I came on my mission I prayed again to know if the Book of Mormon was true. After I prayed I had a warm feeling come over me and I knew that it was the spirit telling me that the book of Mormon is true. But other times when I pray and ask questions that same experience doesn't happen. Sometimes I will just have a conversation with someone that leads me to think about things in a different light. Or I will read in the scriptures something that could be a piece in leading me to my answer. Or after trying certain things and learning from mistakes I realize what the answer is. Often times it really is line upon line, precept upon precept. Each day as we ponder and search we are given pieces to our answer until over time we come to know. If you think about Joseph Smith he didn't just one day think "which church is right?" and then that night pray and ask and immediately get an answer. He thought about it and thought about it. He talked to people, he read the scriptures, and he thought about where and how he would pray. Then finally he got the answer he was searching for. I just think that a lot of times there are a lot of simple ways that God is reaching out to us that we take for granted. Then we get frustrated that he isn't answering or doesn't care or that we can't understand how he is speaking to us. But as we continue to search He will reveal things to us. I think that coming to recognize these little answers takes a lot of effort and is something we learn over our lifetime through practice and trying to understand how God is leading us. 
Hope you all have a good Halloween!!

Sister Washburn

Monday, October 20, 2014


This week was good. Sister Moesinger and I get along really well and it is nice to have an experienced companion (she goes home the transfer after me). She's from Springville, UT. She's been a member her whole life but has only been active the last 2 years. She's a good missionary so I am excited for this transfer, I think it will be really good. We did a lot of service this week. One of our members lives in a trailer park and they were having a big fall festival this weekend so we got to help out. At the end of the festival the manager got on the loud speaker and was like "We'd like to thank all of the young men and women from the Jehovah witness church who came to help us out." Forever being mistaken for JWs, its kinda ridiculous. 
Anthony finally came to church! The young men president finally got over to visit their family and Anthony's older brother Nathan came to mutual and wanted to come to church. So Nathan, Sister Hernandez and Anthony all came. It was so good! And it was the primary program. Gotta love a ton of little kids singing. One of them had a super loud monotone voice. Another little girl when they were "I stand all amazed" would stomp her foot and yell the "OH, it is wonderful" through the whole song. It was pretty funny. 
A member took us out to eat at the chicken dinner restaurant at Knotts Berry Farm. Apparently people would come from miles to buy boysenberries so they started feeding people chicken dinners and they have had that restaurant open ever since. It was really good. Another member took us to Farrells and Sister Moesinger and I unintentionally ordered a huge brownie chocolate ice cream sundae. Basically with the way this ward is feeding us I am just going to hope and pray I don't gain a bunch of weight before I come home. 
We weren't able to see Rex this week and we probably won't see him this week either because he has a lot of loose ends to tie up at his seminary before he can move back here. Word has gotten around the ward and lots of members have been like "I'd love to come to a lesson with him sometime." Sheesh, I wish people would have the same enthusiasm to help us with our other investigators. 
Maria is doing well. She is pretty involved in another Christian church so we will see how the lessons go. We had a good lesson with David. We are trying to help him gain a testimony of the book of mormon. Gaining a testimony definitely takes effort but if he will pray on his own and read, we know he will get an answer. I think that the biggest part of gaining a testimony is having spiritual experiences on your own that allow you to gain a witness from the spirit that a certain principle is true. Then no matter what may happen, you can always fall back on that confirming feeling you felt that was from God, telling your spirit that these things are true. For a lot of our investigators it comes down to that. If they are able to put in the effort to come to know of truth they will progress because they will know that this church is right and that this path will lead them to a better life. I think that is the biggest thing with Rex. Even though he does a lot of research and tries to logically understand and prove things, it was a personal experience he had where the spirit confirmed these things to him that led to his conversion and desire to be baptized. In a recent training we had our mission president read in Peter where the apostle talks about how he has seen the risen Christ. But then he continues on to say that there is a stronger witness than seeing that allows us to know and believe. That is the witness we receive through God's spirit. I know that as we search to feel this spirit in our lives and allow it to give us answers to our questions, we will gain a testimony that is stronger than seeing with our eyes. That is where true conversion comes from. The conviction we have from knowing because we have searched out these things with an open heart and real intent. God will lead us to truth if we diligently seek to know. He will allow us to gain a conviction that can withstand the philosophies of men or what our natural man tells us. He will teach us things and give us guidance and strength beyond our own ability. 
I was talking with my companion this week about testimony because she has struggled with her testimony on her mission. I told her that you have to get to a point that you are in this church not because of the people or the social aspect or because you were raised in it or because it seems like a good organization. You are in the church because this is where the fullness of the gospel and Christ's power are. Even if you were the only member of the church in this country, you would stay a member because you know the doctrine is true and because you have a personal witness that it is right. I think that my mission has really allowed my testimony to stink deep. There were a lot of things that I believed were true before my mission but I have now come to know they are true. I am grateful that God is so willing to answer our prayers and to help us gain a better knowledge of his gospel and of his plan for us. 
Have a good week!
Sister Washburn
With my two "daughters" who are now companions

with the McCays- she is one of the best member missionaries ever!

Zone Sistas

Monday, October 13, 2014

"Meet the Mormons"

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Check out this new movie "Meet the Mormons" in theaters now.
go to to watch the movie trailer and listen to the awesome theme song.

Have more questions about the church?  go to  or

Buena Park All the Way and Basic Doctrine

So we got transfer calls and . . . I'm going to die in Buena Park! I'm kinda glad. I was praying that Heavenly Father would put me where people needed me most, so it looks like I still have things to do in BP. Also Sister Culala is going to Lakewood to be companions with Sister Le. So my daughters are going to be companions!! I'm excited, I think it will be good for them. 
This week we worked hard and had a good end to the transfer. We found a new investigator. Her name is Maria. A sister in our ward brought her to the Women's General Conference and she really liked it so now we are teaching her. We also got a lot of referrals this week which was awesome. We did some more service for a member in our ward. We also taught Rex. He was getting into some deep doctrine questions so luckily we had a knowledgeable member with us cause I don't really know how to answer some of those things. It really made me appreciate the simple doctrines of the gospel. It is always interesting to hear Rex talk about what he has read and studied about the church and how it has added to his testimony. But then when we teach our lesson, going over some basic principles, that is when the spirit can be felt the most. There is just a lot of power in really understanding and believing the simple aspects of the gospel. We also committed him to be baptized. He was like "Of course I will, I would be stupid not to." So we are super excited. as soon as he moves back here and starts coming to church we can set a baptismal date. After our lesson we were talking to Rex in the parking lot. I really like something he said. "Well one day we'll be in heaven and we'll finally realize all of the many, many people we helped in this life that we didn't even know about." I think that his is so true sometimes you get to help a catholic priest get baptized and sometimes you just talk to people on the street all day with no results but the hope that they were able to feel some of Heavenly Father's love for them.
We also had our zone conference this week. Sister Bauer told me at the beginning "I heard we are going to watch Meet the Mormons." I was like, no I don't think so, we are missionaries and missionaries just don't watch movies whenever they come out. But it turns out we did get to watch it!! All of the mission presidents got sent the movie and we were allowed to watch it so we could encourage people to see it. It was really good. I like how it showed the diversity in the church and how our church puts a lot of focus on helping others. The last part about the missionary mom almost made me cry. I remember my first day I came out in the field so well and now I am almost going home. Speaking of which, my new companion is Sister Moesinger. She goes home the transfer after me and so it is going to be fun to have her as a comp but also hard to keep us both motivated and make sure we don't get trunky. I think it will be good though. Also there are two other sisters in my zone that I came out with so we will get to serve around each other for our last transfer. Well, hope you all have a good week.
7 more weeks!

-Sister Washburn

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

Week Whacker Skills, Teaching and Conference

This week we had a lot of meetings and training which I didn't mind cause I like trainings but we didn't have much proselyting time. On Wednesday we had a specialized sisters training. All of the stls gave training on stuff like trusting in God, being positive, being bold, how our missions are preparing us for life,ect. So it was pretty good. It is weird because the mission is really different now. I just feel like I don't know half of the sisters here cause their all new (well new as in like 3 or 4 transfers old) Also after the meeting I ran into one of my old district leaders at the office and as I was talking to him I realized that him and my current district leader are the only district leaders from my mission who are still out here. 
Then on Thursday we did some service for Sister Mitchell. She has needed some yard work done in her backyard for a good while now and she is always so willing to come to lessons with us and so I got some elders to come help us with her yard. The day before sis culala and I went over to see what needed to be done. I checked her weed whacker to see if there was enough string in it too. Anyways the next day when we showed up to help the Elders were already there. We were racking some branches and leaves and Sister Mitchell came over. She said "Um, Sister Washburn I think you might need to go help the Elders with the weed whacker." I was thinking "what they don't know how to work it?" Anyways it turns out they didn't. And so I got the glorious opportunity to one up the Elders by doing the weed whacking for them. It was a great moment. Having to mow and edge the lawn all those years paid off. 
On Thursday we had our "practice lesson" with a part member couple. It turned out to be one of the best lessons Sister Culala and I taught. She taught really well and we did a good job of switching off. The spirit was definitely there in the lesson due in large part because Brother and Sister Wagstaff have such a good relationship. Even though Brother Wagstaff isn't a member, they get along really well and really love and support each other. So they had good heart felt comments. Also the Joseph Smith account of the first vision just brings the spirit every time. This time especially as I receited it I could just feel the spirit so strong and Sister Wagstaff started crying. It was a really cool lesson. Brother Wagstaff isnt magically converted and they are going on a cruise for the next 2 weeks, but I think that he definitely felt the spirit so that was good. He has seemed more and more open to the church every time we see them and I think that he will join one day. He told us he just needs to take his time and not be pushed into it (some elders a while back were really pushy about baptism and he refuses to let the elders visit him now). Also after the lesson we were asking Sister Wagstaff about her mission years ago. She said somethings I liked. She said, "I honestly don't know if I accomplished everything I could have on my mission. But if I didn't help anyone else I helped myself because my mission changed my life." I just thought that this is so true. I have been blessed a lot lately in my missionary work, but even if I hadn't ever had a baptism at least my mission has helped me. 
Conference was so good. Somehow eight hours of talks flies by and I feel like its over before I know it. I really liked Elder Christensen's, Elder Klebingat's, and Elder Bednar's. Oh and Elder Oaks. Well there were a lot of really good ones but those are the ones I can remember most. Also if the Sunday session didn't have a pretty clear theme then I don't know how much more emphasis the Lord could give to say that we need to sustain the church leaders and do what the prophet says! Cause he is saying what God says and he's not just making it up. Also I think it was kind geared to possible anti or other people who might be influenced by worldly ideas (Also loved Elder Andersen's talk about Joseph Smith) If you read the Book of Mormon  you can see what happens to the people that reject the prophets or dissent from the church, just sayin. But it was cool to hear in Elder Nelson's talk a little more about how the 12 apostles and first presidency definitely don't always agree but they seek revelation to become unanimous in doing God's will. This church truly is led by Him and not by man. 
We got a call from Rex in the middle of the priesthood session Saturday night saying he was currently watching President Uchtdorf speak. I'm sure he loved conference. It is so cool to get to teach an investigator who is so enthusiastic about the gospel and you don't have to try to convince him to do things because wants to take in as much as he can. We are going to see him on Saturday and I'm sure we will get to hear all about what he thought.
Things are getting real because this week I got my TRUNKY PAPERS!!!! Its weird because it makes it seem like it really is coming yet at the same time it kinda feels like I'm just looking at someone else's papers cause I'm just going to stay a missionary . . forever. December 2 is less than two months away. This is the last week of the transfer so we are going to work hard so we can end well. Also I have no idea what is going to happen to me at transfers because for some reason I feel like there is a good chance I could get moved or stay here. We shall see. Love you All!!

-Sister Washburn
with a Filipino family who fed us dinner

The "Weed Whacker"

Sister Training Meeting