Tuesday, April 29, 2014

Your Email Was The Perfect Length

January 28, 2014

Hey Family & Friends,

Your email was the perfect length :) Don't worry about BYU, I have enough keeping me busy than to worry about school, but if you see any grad programs regarding teaching degrees (I know, don't freak out) or literature or communications, please let me know. I do pray for all of you and I love you all so much. I try not to think that I still have a year and 3 months to go after all that has happened. I truly hope that with the Lord's help, I will be able to endure every hardship that Satan and my brain throws my way. If you all could pray that I will be able to adjust to these new transitions well, I would comfort me so much :)

I'm happy to hear that Cathy and Nani's house are getting finished! I can't wait to see it!

For Mother's Day we are only allowed 40 minutes to Skype/Google Hangout, so I'm going to talk to Sister Lovelace and see if we can use her computer :)

Let me just say that I have had better weeks in regards to illness/no appetite/fatigue spawned from massive stress, but as far as meeting with people goes, the Lord has been so merciful in helping us find and teach those who are ready to hear the gospel. Poor Sister Silcox. She freaked out when we went over to Lamar and Annie's because Barb and Annie have a lot of history dealing with mental issues and it made her feel really uncomfortable. I guess the way to find "kingdom-builders" is to search everywhere; even in the homes where we may not feel comfortable. Kay, I'm off my soap-box now.

I wasn't the only one with a crazy week, poor Elder Hubert and his new companion Elder Wise got their apartment busted into by a SWAT team late the first night of transfers: "Open the door or it will be broken in!" They still don't know why. They called us because they didn't know who else to call and they were scared. Sadly, I was asleep, so Sister Silcox didn't answer the phone. The poor guys :( Then Elder Wise got bitten by a dog.

It's so weird being the one who knows what's going on, while the Senior Companion is still trying to adjust to new life in a new place. I'm definitely not used to being the responsible one. Maybe that's where the stress is stemming from. Sister Anderson...always on the know and me...trailing behind her. Now it's flip-flopped. Hopefully, this transfer will be an easy one to settle into soon. Patience month by month is far more difficult than patience day by day, but with the promise that I will see the rewards of my labors--if not in this life, than the next--gives me hope.

I do not know hardship like the people I have seen here in Wisconsin face. It makes me that much more adamant to try and make a difference by bringing the joy (fullness) that only the knowledge of the gospel can bring into their lives.

Sadly, I won't be able to look up Vasovagal Syncope because we can't go on the Internet :( But if you send me some stuff about it, that would be great. Thanks Mom!

Okay, now to the happiness (sorry I'm so negative today...I just need to vent a bit): We went to a baptism of the little Tovias boy in our ward, who is adorable btw, and Brother Homer, who is a real FBI agent spoke (He works human trafficking cases, so he's pretty legit). He showed him all of his tools and equipment (minus his gun of course) and related how his radio is like the Holy Ghost and how when we need help, our Heavenly Father is always there. He cried a lot too, and the Tovias boy was rather surprised seeing a grown FBI Agent be so sensitive the Spirit.

Jorie came to church! And Elder Hubert confirmed Rosa! She was beaming! Sister Silcox has helped me take initiative with regards to utilizing the members of our ward to become better missionaries. I am so grateful for her initiative to help out the people of Waukesha serve (even if it is different from the way I've been doing it :)

It has been so nice meeting with Willy separate from Nikki and Sister Loutensock, because he is a lot more talkative when not so many people are talking and it is easier for us to focus on his own individual needs. Once he gets off of this Methodal (I think that's what it is) program in September, he will finally be able to afford rent/car and then be able to find a new job where he does not have to work on Sundays! I see a baptismal date in his future! We talked about the Anti-Nephi-Lehi's and covenant keeping and he really liked how they would have suffered death rather than sin. We committed him to bury one of the things that is keeping him from growing closer to God and he said that he would and he was grateful for the opportunity to learn more about covenants and baptism.

Nikki has been harder to convince on the side of doctrine, versus the social atmosphere and support that her other church gives. She agrees with the doctrine of our church, but needs more fellow shipping. I invited Sister Loutensock to listen to "The Missionary Next Door" CD and hopefully that can help her understand the importance of social conversion on her part and the doctrinal teaching on our part.

We were able to contact some old less actives in our area book like the French family and we also found success tracting yesterday when we met a young woman named Angela. She said she would be interested in meeting with us so we exchanged information and will contact her again later next week.

We finally met with Jorie again! We taught her about likening the scriptures to her own life and how the Book of Mormon is evidence of the restoration. Once she knows that the Book of Mormon is true, then she will know that Joseph Smith and the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ is true as well. We committed her to read the testimonies of the eight witnesses and Joseph Smith at the Introduction of the Book of Mormon and read 10 minutes a day, praying to know if it is the Word of God.

Lamar has a baptismal date, but I don't know how solid it will be for next month seeing as we still have to teach him the Word of Wisdom, and he still needs to commit to live the Law of Chastity.

I have noticed that I need to be a lot more loving when extending bold invitations. For only when we show people that we are doing this because we and the Lord love them, the Spirit can more fully bear witness to them of that love.

I love you all SO much and I can't wait to see you...Just so you know, I may cry when I do:')

-Sister Weaver-

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

Thank You For All The Packages!

April 21, 2014

Dearest Family & Friends,

I'm pretty sure that was the mission home address. We are technically "supposed" to send mail through there but it takes longer to get where we are. Thank you for my package!!!!! It was delightsome to open it and see (I'm thinking it was Allisina's) creative collage beaming out at me. I played that ball-popping game with Sister Zebley, one of our Sister Training Leaders who was my companion for a day during exchanges, and it got pretty intense to the point of one of our neighbors getting annoyed (ahem, whoops). But she never knew it was us, so...Thanks for the GPS! I still have to program it but it works here! Yay! Thank you for every other content you sent me including the basket and CD's and cool toothpick things :) Yesterday for Easter, Sister Anderson hid all of my eggs (she stole my idea dang it) and I still haven't found 3 of them :) I am so grateful for her. I hope that I can show her and my new companion my gratitude by following their examples of simple acts of service.

Yay Cathy!!! I am so happy for her and her willingness to share what she knows to be true! I am so thankful for the strong Spirits that make up our family and that through the Savior, we can all bring our fellow brothers and sisters back to the fold of God and be together in the eternities! Such a miraculous thing :) I'm reminded of a quote from Stake Conference: "Preach the gospel, and occasionally open your mouth." What we do speaks much louder than what we say. But it is what we do that encourages people to soften their hearts and ask questions that will grant us the opportunity to open our mouths.

Rosa got baptized!!! Cute Elder Schvaneveldt baptized her and, since he's leaving this transfer :'( Elder Hubert is going to confirm next week.

Stake conference yesterday was phenomenal! (It was 80 degrees btw) During the Saturday session, they asked all the missionaries in the congregation to stand and sing "Called to Serve" and then the rest of the congregation stood and sang the last verse with us :') That night, the Stake Prez asked selective youth to share missionary experiences with everyone. It is amazing to see the stamina and courageous strength of the youth in the church; at that age, there was no way that so many of our youth could stand and bear such prolific testimonies of missionary work. Children have to be taught younger and younger the standards and commandments of the gospel because Satan is targeting them younger and younger.

So...EVERYONE knew where they were going and who their companion was yesterday except me. I was excited to hear Elder Wise (my twin's companion) is replacing Elder Schvaneveldt, he is hilarious. Sister Anderson is getting transferred to Brookfield!!!! I will still get to see her every Monday at sports and Tuesday's during District Meeting!! Woohooo!!!! I just found out my new companion is Sister Silcox who I don't know, but I think she came out with Sister Anderson. At least I don't have to train! knock on wood. But it's going to be weird being the leading sister of Waukesha...still gotta learn where I'm going and who everyone is :)

This week's exchange was an inspired and blessed one! Sister Zebley helped me push myself to extend bold invitations without relying too much upon what my companion would say first. I am grateful for the opportunity I had to lead out discussions and found that the Spirit also encouraged me to bear testimony more strongly in precedence to these bold invitations. The Spirit was so strong when we committed Derek to be baptized. It was only our second meeting with him (Sister Zebley's first) and we read many scriptures out of the Book of Mormon that related to his views on things and just the fact that the scriptures confirmed what he already believed was further testimony to him of the truth of the restored gospel. He said that it makes a lot of sense to him and even feels like he can relate to Joseph Smith, trying to discern truth and know which church he should be baptized into. I was so happy when he accepted the commitment to work towards baptism and so far, Sister Zebley and Sister Hurst have met with him and are continuing to meet with him in hopes to acclimate him to the YSA Branch.

We met with Willy by himself at the library because Sister Loutensock and Nikki couldn't make it, but I found that teaching him separately allowed us to focus more on HIS needs rather than Nikki and his needs combined in one. Last time we met with all of them he was rather quiet, but one-on-one we found that he was more comfortable asking his own questions. He had never before inquired of the Lord for anything and we committed him to pray with real intent and we read more from the Book of Mormon with him on this matter.

Elaine is the cousin of Janice, a less-active, who lives in Chicago but was visiting and interested in the gospel when we were prompted to contact her on the street. She read with us from the Book of Mormon and we told her we would contact the missionaries in the Chicago area to come teach her.

Upon meeting with Dee, she sort of dropped us, because she didn't want to start the cycle of getting to know missionaries and then having them cycle out again. But, we were able to meet with her again and show her the "Because of Him" video and discussed some key aspects of the gospel that she and her friend Deb had regarding their perceptions of Mormons. It was a very successful visit and I hope that we will be able to continue building upon a gospel-related foundation with her instead of a purely friend-based one.

We committed Lamar to a baptismal date! He has gone to church once and loved the Priesthood Session, saying he felt a lot of peace (since he struggles with ADD and bi-polar disorder). We taught him and his live-in girlfriend Annie (who has some special needs herself) the GOJC and read with them from the Book of Mormon and cleared up some questions Annie had about Joseph Smith. I hope that Lamar is fully committed to keep learning and keeping appointments with us and that Annie will keep sitting in with appointments, too.

You all are MY light in a dark and dreary world. Stay positive and remember that the Lord qualifies who He calls: if we have a desire to serve Him, then we are ALL called to the Work.

-Sister Weaver-

Sister Gonsalves and Sister Weaver
Sister Anderson's new companion
and a awesome mish!

Sister Weaver & Sister Reed
Ashley Alvarez look-alike
who Sister Anderson
is replacing.

Elder Wisombe, Elder Kimzee,
Elder Hubert, Elder Schvaneveldt,
Sister Anderson and Sister Weaver

Just cheezin' it up.
Final district meeting.
We all cried during testimonies.

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Yay Thank You For Sending The GPS!

April 14, 2014

Getting ready for Sister Weaver to Drive
Dear Family & Friends,

Yay thank you SO much for sending the GPS! Transfers are coming up next Wednesday and I'm pretty sure that Sis. Anderson will be leaving me this time around :(. I hope and pray that I will be able to cope with whatever change comes my way and won't freak out like last time, even if I am still a baby in the field.

Anywho, that is so cool about the Priesthood session, I still have to watch that online! Oh, speaking of online...I talked to Elder Kimzey and he said that we could use Google Hangout/Facetime/etc!!!

This Saturday, I was blessed to go to the baptism of Brad, who I didn't know but Sister Reed (who reminds me of Ashley Alvarez) and Sister Gonzavez (who is shorter than me, but so sweet) taught him and they wanted Sister Anderson and I to do a musical number with them: Savior, Redeemer of My Soul (which I LOVE!) by Rob Gardner. I'm glad that I already knew it, since I can't read music and we were only given a week to learn it.... poor Sis. Anderson. It is a HARD piece to learn on the piano, even for her. But we got through it. Plus it didn't help that the Mission President, his wife, the AP's, the Sister Training Leaders, and two other sets of missionaries we knew were there...no pressure. But the AP's had to sing too, so it wasn't too bad :)

We went to the Lovelace's for dinner last night...their house had a theater room and ping-pong table, bar (with Italian Soda stuff :), and a giant beanbag chair. The Elders all bombarded them for dinner too, and we all watched part of the Gordon B. Hinckley story which quoted what you said about his dad's letter to him: "forget yourself, and get to work!" Sis. Lovelace made the mooching elders give the lesson...suckers! Just kidding, Elder Kimzey gave an amazing spur-of-the-moment lesson about Samuel the Lamanite and why the Lord chose him to be a prophet. Why did he have to come? There were quite a few other prophets...it was to show us that Christ would be born in Jerusalem. So that we would know the signs of the Savior's birth and death in the America's.

Rosa, the woman who was struggling with coffee that the Spanish Elders are teaching, is getting BAPTIZED this week!!!! I am so excited! She was having fears and anxiety about it, but after watching General Conference, the Spirit spoke peace to her soul, and she knows now more than ever that her decision to enter the waters of baptism is right...YAY!

The mission of the Holy Ghost is unknown to us without the Savior, as is Jesus Christ being our Savior unknown to us without the witness of the Holy Ghost. In John 5, Christ says:

 31 If I bear witness of myself, my witness is not true.
 32 ¶There is another that beareth awitness of me; and I know that the bwitness which he witnesseth of me is true.
 33 Ye sent unto aJohn, and he bare bwitness unto the truth.
 34 aBut I receive not testimony from man: but these things I say, that ye might be saved.
 35 He was a burning and a shining alight: and ye were willing for a season to rejoice in his blight.
 36 ¶aBut I have bgreater witness than that of John: for the cworks which the Father hath given me to finish, the same dworks that I do, bear witness of me, that the Father hath esent me.
 37 And the Father himself, which hath sent me, hath borne awitness of me. Ye have neither heard his voice at any time, nor bseen his shape.
 38 And ye have not his word abiding in you: for whom he hath sent, him ye abelieve not.
 39 ¶aSearch the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which btestify of me.
The scriptures record this testimony, but the Holy Ghost is the one who bears this testimony to us and as we read with a sincere heart, we can feel His witness. The Book of Mormon says that the words of Christ will TELL you all things that ye should do, but the Holy Ghost will be the One who SHOWS you all things that ye should do. The gospel is nothing without the witness and testimony of the Holy Ghost.

After meeting with Jorie last night, we taught her about Patriarchal Blessings and the significance they are in helping us understand personal revelation from Heavenly Father. She liked how each is different for every individual and the eternal significance they make in our lives. We testified of how important our own patriarchal blessings are in our own lives and she said she would be interested in receiving one once baptized. We told her once more of the importance and power of the priesthood and that through it we can receive guidance from our Heavenly Father. She agreed to keep praying about knowing whether or not the gospel/church is true and we told her that that same power from Heaven can help her come to know of the truth for herself. She wants to and is planning to go to Rosa's baptism on Saturday!

We haven't been making much progress with Nikki and Willie as far as baptism goes. Willie is still working on weening himself off of Methanol and Nikki has not kept her commitment to cut down on smoking. I'm not sure what more we can do to help her be motivated to change.

Sister Lovelace has been such a help with Amber. Amber wants to do right by her children, and therefore knows the importance of keeping commitments, yet she has trouble keeping them. But Sister Lovelace bonded with her and bore her testimony so strongly about how beneficial it is to read the scriptures with her children, Amber has once more committed to keep praying about whether or not the Book of Mormon is true. I hope and pray that she will keep this commitment.

Oh, I got an Easter Card from Aunt Sandi!! I love her so much.
If you get a chance, see "Because of Him" on the LDS website to prep for Easter! Don't worry, we are going to the Gardner's for Easter (the son is serving with Levi Mitchell family :)

God bless all of you!

-Sister Weaver-

Sister Bodily's kids... so cute!!!
I'm supposed to be bald
Little Emry's going to be a hair stylist
I'm supposed to be a rabbit
Now I'm supposed to be a cat
Sister Weaver & Anderson
We lost it the other night

Monday, April 7, 2014


April 7, 2014

Hello Family & Friends,

I LOVE GENERAL CONFERENCE!!!!!!!! Was it just me or did the first session go by FAR too fast! It enlightened me in so many ways pertaining to missionary work. First session we had correlation meeting beforehand, which we always have at the ward mission leader, Brother Tateoka's house (who is a chef and makes us delicious food!), so we just watched it there with the Elders. Second session we watched at the church with the Kettle-Moraine missionaries. One of them is from Sister Anderson's home stake! On Saturday, we watched Conference at the Black's house (who's son Zane just left last Monday for his mission to CA). They have a semi-annual ward-renowned breakfast that they make every General Conference and we were blessed to partake in the physical fatness they provided along with the spiritual :) Uchtdorf is right; endings are harder to comprehend than eternity. Spanish Elders joined us and so did our less-active Candy! I was so happy she came but sad that her boys didn't :( We are trying to get their teenage rears back in spiritual gear!!

Every talk in General Conference was so amazingly enlightening to me about Missionary Work and the Atonement. Temple work and the beautiful gift of the Savior's Atonement also lifted my Spirits toward how important it is to share the gospel with those around me. I am so thankful for the Atonement and I know that ALL children of our Heavenly Father have the opportunity to be affected and changed by it; ALL have the opportunity to be baptized and take upon themselves those saving ordinances and we must do our part as missionaries to help God fulfill this promise.

We committed our investigator Amber to be baptized, after she had received a witness of this Gospel's truthfulness. We have not yet received word of whether or not she watched General Conference, but we promised her that the answers that she was looking for would be answered through the Spirit as she listened to the words of men God has chosen to lead His Church.

On Friday, we met a young man named Brian, who had just that afternoon had contact with the English Elders, and he said he needs Jesus Christ in his life, so we exchanged contact information and planned a time when we could meet with him. I hope that his heart is opened to receiving the restored gospel.

We also met a woman named Angela at Spring's daughter's birthday party. We talked with her a little about the church but since she is from out of town, we can't teach her, but we encouraged her to check out the church near her and Spring was an awesome missionary and gave her some of that information. She has not opened her heart to church for a while, since her last church was racist against her being baptized because she was black, but hopefully she has seen the blessing the gospel has been in Spring's life and will take that chance to learn more.

Can I just say how cute your little icons are, Mom? Love 'em love 'em!!

Love You All with More Love Than I Can Express!!

-Sister Weaver-

Spanish restaurant with Spanish Elders
and Sis. Duran. I ordered the most
food and I'm STILL trying to finish
Don't worry, it's water...
Sister Weaver & Anderson
in front of the Temple
Sister Weaver & Anderson - Selfie
Sister Weaver & Sister Lovelace

Thursday, April 3, 2014

I've Been Feeling A Lot Better

April 3, 2014

To Family & Friends,

I've been feeling a lot better, thank you. We've been running outside every day since the weather is FINALLY starting to get warmer (maybe that's why everyone 's getting sick). Monday was 65 degrees!! Don't worry, it's raining here too...I feel so close to you all :) Guess what?????? At sports, I was talking to Elder Coombs, who was wearing the same BYUI shirt I was. If that wasn't twin-like enough, after I said I was old, he said he was too then asked how old I was. 23, I say. He asked when my birthday was, puzzled. I tell him. He asks the year, freaking out a bit. I tell him...Then realize...NO WAY!! He runs to get his license "September 3, 1990" a Washington license. We freak out together. He claims he's 8 hours older, but I think we may have been separated at birth. I wasn't born with a twin, right?

I LOVED the Women's Broadcast!! There was a dessert social beforehand so a lot of people showed up to watch it at the church. The opening prayer and choir impressed me especially. I love how the topics were revolved around how women of any age can uplift and serve one another.

So, transfers are coming up and since I still don't know where I am going/addresses are, I'm going to have to invest in my own GPS. Since we are using Sister Anderson's right now, and I have a feeling she'll be leaving me shortly, I will have to buy one or...maybe, possibly, perhaps, sorta...you could send me one of ours......? If not just let me know :) Also, if you are sending me stuff, could I get some vitamins (multi)?

Thanks for the article!! I haven't read it yet but I'm going to. Today we went to the temple with Sister Lovelace, and it was so spiritually edifying, I can't even describe it. Know that you all were on my mind the whole time. Luckily the old new video was playing. Sis. Anderson hadn't seen it yet but she loved it! I am so happy she got to go to the temple. She's been waiting for almost a year since all of her companions had gone already. While there we saw Elder Hernandez and Elder Chang from our mission and they left notes by our tags. So we left them a note :) I love missionary kindnesses!

Remember Donna, the sad storied woman I met my first day? We stopped by her house the other day and her husband (the one who said he didn't believe in God and wouldn't give us the time of day) answered the door and told us she wasn't home because she was going through medication withdrawals, disappearing for hours at a time. But he let us talk and even PRAY with him at his door. I hope with all my heart that she will be able to get the help that she needs and that we will be able to contact her soon.

On Sunday, a miracle happened: Lamar, a former investigator who has struggled with depression and drinking for years, came to church!!! We were able to coordinate a ride with a member and he stayed for all three hours! We have been trying to get our investigators to church for FOREVER, but we haven't even met with him officially and he still wanted to come, thanks to the blessed, never-ceasing, member-missionary work of one Sister Cummins in our ward. Later, when we visited his home (at an appointment where he didn't show--again), his foster-mom Barb expressed that he loved the Priesthood Session and felt more at peace than he had in a while, because of all the hardships that their family was going through. I sure hope that we will be able to keep working with him and that he will be able to bear whatever challenges are placed on his shoulders right now.

This week when we met with Bob and Mac, Sis. Lovelace participated in the teaching and we were edified by her sweet testimony of the Book of Mormon. Bob has not fully committed to a baptismal date yet but he is still interested in learning more about the gospel.

We were able to teach Jorie and Nikki and Willy about the Word of Wisdom. Jorie is already living it and has committed to continue to live it. She is not pressed for baptism anytime soon, mainly because she wants to learn and be edified at her own pace. Nikki is still struggling with smoking but during our lesson she answered a lot of questions relating the importance of keeping the commandment. She understands she needs to but struggles with the willpower and she knows it. Willy struggles with smoking and coffee and expressed his desire to quit. We committed them to do the activity at the end of the pamphlet to help them quit.

When we visited Dee yesterday, I was able to get more of an insight into WHY she is so reserved about accepting the gospel and joining the church. She loves the Lord and her relationship with Him has grown, but her issues with trusting authority figures stem from experiences throughout her lifetime. I sincerely pray that she will find the strength and determination to develop her faith in the Word of God so that the Lord can manifest the truth of the gospel to her in a way in which she cannot deny any part of it.

We were able to invite Bob, Mac, Nikki and Willy, Sis. Vandenberg's nonmember son Ken (who Sister Anderson started grilling to come to church while I sat idly by and bit my tongue. I can only be so aggressive, as you all well know. But he was nice about it...in the borderline sarcastic-yet-I-will-throw-you-out-of-my-house-if-you keeping-asking kind of way. I think it is so funny that he went to four years of seminary, but hasn't been baptized because he still wants to drink. But that's a referral contacted. Woohoo! :), and Jorie to watch General Conference.

Funny, yet creepy story: At the library we ran into a (somewhat interesting) man who Elder Kimzee and Elder Wiscombe are working with and we talked to him about why he's not reading the Book of Mormon, Sister Anderson more than me, because I was talking with another investigator. He took the Book of Mormon and said he'd try again. We were so happy we called up the Elders and they told us that he just called them...and told them that Sis. Anderson was his soulmate. "On the plus-side, he set his own baptismal date and is reading the Book of Mormon." She says. Now we each have a creepy admirer, but at least hers isn't a 50 year-old drinker who lives at the Spanish Elders' apt..."Are all the Sisters this attractive?" he asked Elder Schvaneveldt after talking to me. (Ew) It's okay though; he's still a child of God.

Please pray for my need of humility and non-judgmentalness.

I love you all so much and I am so grateful for all of your prayers/emails/letters/packages!


-Sister Weaver-