Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Remembering Memorial Day!

May 21, 2014 Zone Conference

Sisters Weaver & Silcox
May 27, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

Sorry I couldn't write yesterday, seeing as how it was Memorial Day, so we were put to work :) It's okay though, because we were invited to two BBQ's and I ate so much watermelon, I'm surprised I didn't get the squirts.

I thought a lot of Grandpa too yesterday and all the work he is doing on the other side. Can you imagine how frustrating it must be for the missionaries on the other side of the veil? They are preaching and helping others become converted to Christ, but they have to just stop there and wait for us idle mortals to do the ordinances they need. And I was complaining about having to be patient! We have been striving to further teach the importance of family history work in the field and I can see why.

Ha ha Allison cracks me up! I am so happy that she is seizing missionary opps here and there...sometimes those are the most effective. Yeah actually we just had Zone Conference this week and I got to see Sis. A and Elder Schvanny and a whole bunch of missionaries I haven't seen in foreva! We were trained on the gathering of Israel and then the departing missionaries gave farewell talks :( They said that they did not want to leave and I don't blame them. A man named Anthony who was just recently converted came and bore his testimony, since one of the missionaries departing had taught him and it was so powerful I (almost) cried.

It has been HOOOT!! 90ish yesterday. Humid too, ugh. But we have an air-conditioned car, which I am eternally thankful for. We helped a less-active Sis. Figge weed her garden and I am so happy that she is so open to us now. Service softens hearts! We then went to ANOTHER BBQ at Bishop Sefcik's house (which is borderline Count of Monte Cristo). We planned a lesson but there were so many people, it didn't happen. We engaged in an epic ping-pong battle and I could not have stunk more, as usual. I would be worried if by some miracle I WAS good at extra curricular :P I then thought I would show off my skills in their basketball court, but then after accidentally pummeling a child in the face with a volleyball, I thought I had better stick with Catch Phrase.

Amidst such opposition comes such wonderful triumph! This week I was disappointed when we couldn't dedicate as much time to finding as we could have, due to me having the flu, but I know without a doubt that the people we did meet with were prepared by God to receive the message the Holy Ghost had to deliver!

Can I just say that our District is the best ever? Always serving. When I was stuck in bed with a fever, they graced me with pop-sickles and kept checking up till I got better. Then poor Elder Wise got sick, so we took care of him too. So don't worry mommy, there is a mission-family watching out for one another here, too :)

I was so happy to meet with Renee, a new investigator we found tracting after we tried to place a Book of Mormon after Zone Conference. Sister Hansen and I taught her the Restoration and when we asked how she felt about what we talked about, she said, "Excited! This just makes sense." She said she would continue reading from the Book of Mormon until our next visit.

On Friday, we learned that one of our less actives Gao, who has been living with her boyfriend Je'sus, had made up her mind that what she was doing was wrong and that she was planning to move out. But, as surprise would have it, he proposed to her! He said that he knows that her faith is very important to her, just as his faith in Jesus Christ is important to him, and he would never want to do anything that would stand in the way of her faith. And so, Gao challenged him to go to church with her for 6 months and on Sunday...they both came! It was the first time I had ever seen Gao go to all three meetings.

I think I got a taste of the joy that awaits us in the eternities when the Lord revealed His Spirit to our congregation on Sunday. During Sacrament meeting, we heard three powerful talks on the Priesthood, and I am so happy that Je'sus and Angela were both there to hear it; we had JUST taught Angela about receiving a testimony about the Restoration and that Joseph Smith was a prophet. In Gospel Principles, our ward mission leader Bro. Tateoka taught about baptism! He even opened the font and invited Je'sus and Angela to come and see it and ask questions. It was completely inspired! I could not stop my smile from spreading.

I truly do hope that Angela receives a testimony of the prophet and this gospel so that she too can make those covenants and experience the joy awaiting her and her family!

Thank you for all you do in furthering this work and for helping me to stay strong and positive! 

Love you!

-Sister Weaver-

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Happy One Week Since We Skyped!!

May 19, 2014

Re: Happy One Week Since We Skyped!!

Happy One Week Since We Skyped!! Was I on the big screen? I didn't notice till afterward haha.

You hang in their Mommy! One scripture that has helped me in numerous ways is found in D&C 84:

109 Therefore, let every man stand in his own office, and labor in his own calling; and let not the head say unto the feet it hath no need of the feet; for without the feet how shall the body be able to stand?
 110 Also the body hath need of every member, that all may be edified together, that the system may be kept perfect.
Also, cross-reference this with 1 Corinthians 12:11-31. It talks about all the members of the church being one body in Christ and that each of us, because we are all baptized by that same Spirit, will have abundant honor given us and gifts of the Spirit, if we seek them by serving Him. It's a pretty cool scripture.

This week we were able to visit with Angela again and a recent convert, Sue Pavolovich, sat in and gave phenomenal input regarding the Plan of Salvation. Angela also introduced us to her mother, who was a little iffy about meeting with us regarding all of the crazy rumors about those "Mormons." But after we talked with her for a little bit hopefully she saw that we were normal people and we prayed with her.

Thank you for that scripture, I really needed it today. Dee said she wanted to get baptized (for the first time ever!) and then took it back within the same few days :( She talked it over with her husband and said that she is going to spend about 6 months without hearing doctrine from anybody religious so she can read the scriptures and find out for herself...which is fine with us, seeing as how the word of God reveals all truth to those who truly seek it. I'm just not sure if we should stop by to say hello anymore, or just let things be, as they should. Yesterday, before we found out about this, we stopped over to teach her the first discussion, but then she told us this and she said that she doesn't like it when people pretend to care about others. Then she put me on the spot and said that she could tell that there was something I didn't like about her and then I burst into tears...I don't even know why :P I guess it has to do with how much I try and put my heart and soul into caring about others, bearing my testimony as I go, and then they turn and say I don't. I know I'm not perfect. And there are some things that people do that bug me. But it is not my place as a missionary to nit pick at all the little things that make no significance to why I am here and why God has called me here. I don't think I ever cried on my mission (except for my blessing and sympathetic crying) until yesterday and it wouldn't stop...I guess the reality of the mission is finally catching up with me. My annoying people-pleasing characteristic is for sure being tested, but I hope that my inadequacies can be made stronger as I continue to bear what I know to be true. I am sad to see Dee go, she is like a mother to me. But I feel like Moroni too, seeing all this turmoil around me and, for some, there is nothing I can do to change their choices to stay in the dark. All I can do is continue in what the Lord has entrusted to me to accomplish: to help prepare the hearts and minds of those around me to the knowledge of Jesus Christ as there Lord, Savior, and Redeemer.

Sometimes I really don't like agency! Bah!

Anywho, sorry I went off on that, I just really needed to vent. I hate having to try to keep that mask of keeping it together on my face ALL the time...back to the goodness of this week :D

While tracting we met a nice woman named Michelle who was actually interested in reading a copy of the Book of Mormon so we left her with one and set up a tentative time when we could come back...after she had read some of it. She also gave us her number so I hope that we will get in contact with her soon.

We went to dinner with the Calabro's who's son invited his girlfriend Reilly over. They are both so friendly and enthusiastically active in drama, which of course, knowing me, I ate up everything they said right on the spot. I love talking with drama geeks, they remind me of me :) We then gave a lesson on the Liahona and how the Book of Mormon is a spiritual guide for all of us. They all bore powerful testimony of the Book of Mormon and we left her with a copy to show her parents! We will continue working with the Calabro's in fellowshipping her to the gospel.

Sister Weaver bruise from a dog
I got bitten, (I guess clawed), by a dog yesterday. My first dog story!! Take a look at that bruise!! It's more yellowy purple today, but I couldn't get a good enough pic...sorry mom :( Don't worry...my skirt didn't tear and it didn't break the skin so I'm pretty sure I don't have rabies.

Blacker's Daughter's Wedding
(Pic...cuz I'm a creeper)
Oh yeah! On Saturday we were able to attend the Blacker's daughter's wedding reception! They are adorable and Sister Blacker is such a magnificent member missionary!

Candy, Sister Silcox, Mia,
Sister Weaver, and Spring
Also, we went to Mia's preschool graduation.  Candy and Spring and her girls are in the pic.

Love you all!!

-Sister Weaver-

Thursday, May 15, 2014

All Of You Looked Great On Skype! Happy Mother's Day

May 12, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

Thank you so much Mommy! All of you looked great too...and Mom, your hair!! Va Va Voom!!!! Hope you all had a great rest of your Mothers' Day!

Thank you also for the card...it warmed my heart :) I am so thankful that I have a loving family. I look at many of the families here, or the lack of, who do not even know the blessings the gospel can bring and that gratitude is more fully realized and appreciated. Here I am complaining about my own feeble struggles and I think of the missionaries who come from homes like that: disowned by their families, having to pay their own way...a mission is probably more of a heaven on earth for them than many of us hope to obtain in this life.

If I hope to gain anything from my mission, I seek the Lord's help in guiding me to mature in the confidence that I lack spiritually and emotionally. I hope that the wisdom and spiritual experience I gain while serving others will help me raise my future children to become the missionaries that the Lord wants them to become.

I also got the opportunity to chop wood yesterday! Or...try to at least. The English Elders as us were over at the Black's for dinner and the elders were going to town so we felt left out. If you want a picture of what I looked like trying to chop wood, just think of Rose on Titanic...yeah, I was worse. But no one got seriously injured. The Elders told us they tracted into a legit Count of Monte Cristo house!!...And got a return appointment!!!! A John Tanner in the making haha.

Sorry I didn't have time to teach you a lesson yesterday, I was just absorbed talking about myself I guess: P But here's one now: When you get the chance, read the story of Ammon and King Lamoni again in Alma 19. And pay special attention to Abish...the ultimate member-missionary and how she RAN to every house to tell her friends what she had witnessed and bore testimony to them. They trusted her. We set apart missionaries cannot teach someone the doctrine until someone they trust first opens the door.

I told you a little about this yesterday, but our new investigator, Angela is so willing to meet with us and we are grateful and amazed that she has been reading what we have invited her to read as well as keeping commitments to meet with us and even attend church! Sister Black sat in on the lesson about the Restoration of the gospel, and she has done such a beautiful job fellow-shipping her and offering to give her rides to church events. Angela and her 6 year old son Jesse went to all three hours of church and I was so excited that it was Mother's Day, since she is so interested in families and how they can be eternal. It is so devastating when people do not even try to progress, so when they do, the joy that I feel is magnified 10-fold!

I also forgot to tell you about the BBQ Brother Tateoka put together at Bathezda Park this last Friday for all investigators and less-actives. Sis. Black gave Angela a ride and it was a MIRACULOUS turnout! So many people that Latoya Scheunke (a recently coming back less active. She began coming back once her son was baptized :) invited from Milwaukee! I hope that we will be able to see them again and offer them more invites to attend church and church-related activities. Members truly are the glue that holds missionary work together.

Last night, after we Skyped y'all at the Phillips', we were able to talk to their friend and neighbor, Patty a little more. We showed her the Mother's Day video on lds.org (which you have to, no..GET to..see by the way) and the Because of Him video and she loved them! She loves the missionaries and their dedication and agrees with a lot of doctrine and has even read the Book of Mormon, but all of her liberal views seem to keep her at bay. She would be an amazing kingdom-builder but all that we can do is just keep loving and inviting her.

Love you all so very much and thank you for caring about me enough to give me this incredible opportunity to help the Lord keep His promises to His children!

-Sister Weaver-

Tuesday, May 6, 2014

Wednesday Was Hilarious (in a rather depressing and murmuring way)

May 5, 2014

Dear Family & Friends,

So, how awesome is it that you all were able to go to the Women's Conference this past week!! I love the pics and will treasure them always! And Cathy and Aunt Sandi, what's up with your faces :) jk I hope that I will be able to read or hear Garrett's mommy's talk/lesson some time. I'm sure it was phenomenal.

MOTHER'S DAY: We will be at Sister Darla Phillips' house for the call (Her son is on a mission too :) We can call with Skype. THANKS oodles! I totally can't wait!!!!!!!!!!

Wednesday was hilarious (in a rather depressing and murmuring way). EVERY single one of our appointments fell through...as did our backups so we were struggling trying to find people in the dead of the night. (Since we still had a couple of hours before curfew). We spent about an hour at the library watching Momonchannel.org videos since we had it with everyone and needed some humbling, so I was able to watch some of the new Bible video’s for the first time and let me just say that they WERE humbling... It's interesting to see all of the new movies coming out in theaters pertaining to God (aka. Son of God, Heaven is Real, God is Not Dead, etc.). Maybe people are starting to see what we are missing; I guess...Anyway so we left to try someone else and Sis. Silcox realized she lost her planner (which is a missionary's LIFELINE!) so we headed back to the library, couldn't find it, ended up asking the lady at the front desk, still couldn't find it. Defeated, we went to the bathroom and lo and behold, the lady from the front desk finds us in there and gives us Sis. Silcox's planner! How she knew we were in there I do not know, but Sis. Silcox later told me: "I realized I hadn't prayed! So I did and not a second afterward she came in..."

It's the tender mercies like these that make me remember how God makes our missions in life worth all of our efforts :) In order to recognize the good in our lives the way that God wants us to, we have to go through all of the sludge and drudgery of sorrow. Yay, Law of Opposition! :) It's funny how we preach these things to people, but until we experience it for ourselves, we never will really know the extent of what we are preaching.

It's interesting what we read can change our lives or our outlook on them in the bigger picture of things:

"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? As it is written, for thy sake we are killed all the daylong; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter. Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us" (Romans 8: 35-38).

It is interesting to think that we are killed all the day long for the cause of Christ, and through it all we are able to overcome through He whose cause we are fighting for. If He loved us and continues to love us as much as He did, how much more have need of we to let the world know of it a that through Him they can conquer all things. Shall we not go on in so great a cause? It is the only cause worth fighting for.

Luckily we devoted a lot of time to finding this week seeing as how almost none of our investigators are progressing. We found and taught one woman, Angela, who had a lot of interesting questions about what we believe. We read with her from the Book of Mormon when Christ comes to the Americas and she is very interested in learning more about the Atonement and family, since she has a young son and she is still willing to meet with us! We found another investigator tracting, Anthony, who we have, a return appointment with next week.

Willy came to church yesterday! The Loutensocks took him and we are hoping to talk with him more about his experience this week. Before that, we had a very powerful lesson about baptism. He is receiving everything we are teaching him really well, he reads from the Bible every day and we are reading the Book of Mormon with him. I hope that he continues to progress.

The R.S. Fireside on Friday was amazing! I was able to meet and talk with Sis. Gardner's friend who is a nonmember and interested in the gospel and after talking with her she said will hopefully (slowly but surely) be open to discussions. Spring and Candy also came and really enjoyed what the Temple President had to say!

Surprisingly enough, we stopped by Dee's and had a really good discussion with her about the Atonement and testimony. Hopefully she will be coming to the barbecue Bro. Tateoka arranged for our investigators/less actives we are teaching. She said she was open to it. Talking to people like her, who has issues with Joseph Smith and the Apocrypha based off of outside research she has done regarding it, reaffirms my own testimony. I know that the Book of Mormon is true. And because I know the Book of Mormon is true, I know that Joseph Smith was a true prophet, and because I know Joseph Smith was a true prophet, I know that God truly did restore the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fullness to the earth. No single mortal man could make up the words printed without divine inspiration; everything, the doctrine contained, corresponds far too perfectly with the gospel of Jesus Christ for a single, unlearned man to make up. Either it is, by some impossible happen-stance, the greatest lie ever told (one that the liar and his brother perished fighting for to the very end), or it is, in truth, the Word of God. You be the judge.

Guess what??? Sis. Black, whose son is on a mish right now, offered to give us a massage today!! Can I just say that that is the tenderest mercy of the week right there? Mom, you would be so proud of me and my especially heavy suitcase-bag I lug around with me EVERYWHERE. It makes me feel close to you :)

Love you all bunches and I absolutely can't wait to see everyone!!!!

This was on a member's door.
I thought you'd like it :D
-Sister Weaver-