Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Happy 4th Of July!!!

June 29, 2015

Dear Family & Friends,

Good to hear you all are so pumped for missionary work! That's cool about the Remington's! For sure I will! I have covenanted to be an EPIC member-missionary (not to mention give rides to the poor car-less missionaries... yay empathy)!  For it is the members that are the GLUE of missionary work and the role-play sounds great! To be honest, Mother, after 18 months I STILL I have no idea how to approach people without getting tongue-tied and awkward. But we missionaries are weird anyway; people EXPECT you to talk to them..., which makes it all the more daunting.

We are pretty booked for Saturday, there is a ward breakfast and then a baptism for one of the Spanish Elder's investigators, where we want to bring Lun Cheng to...even though it will be in Spanish--awkward--but at least he can see the ordinance being done. And we are meeting with a recent convert, so I think all will be pretty filled and we won't be yelled at for disturbing anybody's 4th. One of my companions had someone yell at her as they tracted last year on the 4th and said "GO HOME TO YOUR FAMILY!!" And she's like "I CAN'T!" Sad day.

I was just telling Uncle Brad that the day dawn is fast approaching and the work still needs to press forward :) I never want to leave this harvest of souls, but alas there is a time and a season and the sun is soon setting upon the time allotted to me. "Yea, for this cause I have sent you hither, and have selected my servant [Ashley Weaver], and have appointed unto [her] [her] mission in this land...Behold [her] mission is given unto [her], and it shall not be given again" (D&C 58: 14,16). I read this today, and don't mean to change the scriptures, but the Spirit did for me :)

Yes. Tim our eternigator brought the gay marriage thing to our attention on Saturday. He has a daughter who struggles with same-sex attraction, but I can tell that he agrees with the church's status. He is very wise and mature when it comes to faith in our sustained leaders...which makes it all the more frustrating he won't get in the water! Anywho :) There are, I don't doubt, many in our ward, or the church for that matter who disagree with the stance, but we as Mormons just have such a problem with looking at the eternal perspective. I'm sorry, but it's true :) We discussed this with Lun Cheng when he brought up his concerns: God's purpose is to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of man. He wants to give us all He has. Our role in helping Him accomplish this is by providing bodies for His children and the way that happens is through a man and a woman. Not only that, but marriage in the world is SOOO different from marriage to God. It is a relationship that extends far greater than a physical attraction...it is a bond with GOD that enables us with the power to bring to pass HIS eternal purposes...not our own. Sadly the world has lost sight of that or cannot comprehend it for that matter, thus confusion arises.

I truly feel for those who do struggle with same-sex attraction. It is their trial in life. No doubt it is a struggle for those who do have that attraction--who KNOW and ACCEPT the gospel--to see their role in God's plan. Like some do who can't have children, or those infants who die without having kids. God blesses them for their faithfulness on earth, which tries their best to live as God has commanded, until further light and knowledge is added unto them. As Alma said: "Behold these mysteries are not fully made known unto me, therefore I shall forbear."

So we must walk by the faith we have with the knowledge given unto us, until all that we have done in righteousness' name will be compensated unto us in the eternities because of the matchless gift of our Savior, Jesus Christ.

"Behold, the laws which ye have received from my hand are the laws of the church, and in this light ye shall hold them forth. Behold, here is wisdom" (D&C 58:23). (There just was a lot of good stuff in D&C 58 today!)

But I digress...Lun Cheng came to all three hours! The Delorey's were so great in helping to answer his questions in our lesson afterward. We discussed baptism and he said he couldn’t be baptized until he understands the reasoning behind all the commandments...Word of Wisdom and marriage between a man and a woman specifically. The core doctrine that is helping his testimony to grow the most is our Father's eternal purposes for his children...His goal for HIM individually. The Delorey's invited him over to their home for our next lesson :) He likes them a lot.

Debra, a recent convert likes us again! (After chewing us out a week a go because our phone got shut off via text: "I'm being done with you young high-school kids who are immature and don't know how to teach" or something like that. Now, as you know I am not one to have attitude when it comes to business, but I replied with a "We are sorry Deb, know that we still love you and want to meet...P.S. and we are out of college, not high school...) I think she probably may be bipolar? But face-to-face she wanted to set up a meeting with US this time. I hope she knows that we do love her and want to help her succeed. She came for all three hours with Jaden and Jada and participated in the lessons. The Delorey's have been so great in fellowshipping her as well.

Exchanges went great and we finally found an investigator! YAY! Her name is Gigi who graciously accepted a Book of Mormon and wants us to come back next week to learn more.

Julia is back in town briefly, but will be meeting with her tomorrow to re-set her baptismal date. We are continuing to encourage Tim and Nicole (Coley) to do missionary work for their families to help their hearts soften to their joining the church. Tim is studying PMG more and we are hoping to get Coley excited about her own testimony and be true to it, putting her own fears to rest about baptism.

Love you all and continue in the faith, my dear family, for all will be well eventually...Through the ups and the downs and the stress and the ridiculousness there is Christ...we just have to trust He is there and reach out for Him.

Giving you a hug across time and space (or just the country)!

-Sister Weaver-

P.S. Did you discuss in ward council the new set-up for sacrament meeting? Cool, huh?

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

How Was I Ever Blessed With Such Goodly Parents?

June 22, 2015
Fare thee well, Sister Scholosser!
I apologize for all the stress I've caused you through my stress about all my many stresses that I have no need stressing about :) My problem always has been stressing about stressing. Frankly, it's exhausting and I really don't have time for it anymore. In the words of William Pit from my favorite movie "Amazing Grace": "No excuses now...finish them off." No more excuses, finish it off. Finish it off strong. I had a conversation with the Savior about all that has happened and that I continue to face my personal mission. He told me to quit worrying about it, because He overcame it. And He will continue to overcome it...for His sacrifice is an infinite sacrifice. It is sad that I burden Him so much with everything the adversary throws my way, but I remember what a church leader spoke about during a BYU-Idaho devotional once: "We lift the burden off the Savior each time we lift each other's burdens. I have had so many opportunities to lift others' burdens this week, it truly dims out the struggles I've been facing to hear the battles raging in the hearts of more of God's children, with their own personal demons. One could argue that it would stress me out more, but in reality, as mentioned in my blessing, the more I talk to people and seek to help them, I find my energy and positivity increase. And I feel my Savior's love emanate through me. It is a marvelous feeling :)

I like what it says in one of the 2009 Ensigns: Trusting in the Assurances of the Lord, by Mindy Anne Leavitt.

I think every missionary needs to hear that quote from Gordon B. Hinckley's dad at one point or another in their missions. Now is the time when I need to hear it. Sure, I've thought about it from time to time, but never truly needed it until my last time amidst the harvest of souls. I am thankful for it.

Luckily, I've been able to eat much more this week--YAY! And bulk up on protein. Luckily I am adjusting to this transfer better than I thought I would :) I don't know how, but it's happening and it has been helping my anxiety lessen. I think I've reached the point where the busier I am, the less I stress...which has been true my ENTIRE mission! You just don't have time to think about things you shouldn't be thinking about, which is great! Much more incentive to work harder! Plus the members have been so gracious offering us rides. We got stranded at the South Transfer Point (the SKETCHIEST of all transfer-points) on our way to a dinner appointment so we called her and said we would try to get there, but then the bus broke down and she, in her cute little Asian voice said, "It's okay! I come save you!" Asking for help would be the LAST thing Sister Schlosser would do, but I frankly have no shame in that department :)

Welcome Sister Woods!
My new companion.
I am truly grateful for my companion, Sister Woods. After talking to president about all my hoopla via email, he responded with the encouragement to encourage my companion with her own struggle with anxiety. But despite it, she really cares about the people here and wants to help them progress. We both have been working on overcoming our fear of talking to people on buses and although this week has not yielded any investigators, we have found a few promising potentials we will be following up with this week. We have been trying the Book of Mormon App cards, but for some reason they have been trouble downloading. We will work harder to invite people to download the Gospel Principles app this week.

Nichole Kazda, our investigator of a couple years, is having many missionary experiences with her family and a close friend. She is defending the church and this has been a prime opportunity to point out to her that she does indeed have a testimony! Although she struggles with some parts of her testimony of the gospel, we are encouraging her to be true to the faith she DOES have.

Lun Cheng is having trouble coming to sacrament meeting. He loves coming to Gospel Principles, but feels that Sacrament Meeting doesn't speak to him in the same way. We plan to re-emphasize the importance of Sacrament Meeting this week and Brother and Sister Delorey volunteered to come to his lesson this Wednesday to help out. He admires Brother Delorey as a teacher very much.

Sarah Panzenhagen came to church! We had a miraculous lesson with her gearing towards picking a date for her to be baptized. She expressed her concern and fear when the sisters tried to set dates with her in the past, but the Spirit prompted us to invite her to take initiative and pray for a date. We will be praying for one as well. Baptism is obviously something she wants and her mom is finally starting to see how the gospel is blessing her life.

Shay came to church and met with the bishop finally! We encouraged her to do so after she expressed her fear of breaking up with her fiancé and finding a new place to live. She has seen what living the gospel, coming to church, and reading the Book of Mormon are doing to help give her the guidance of the Spirit in her life and we will help her continue to see the good that God is doing for her.
Sister West from our ward had her baby
 right before our dinner appointment
 was supposed to happen. She was like...
"I'm in labor, but I feel so bad for having to cancel...
what should I do?" We were like "Uhh...CANCEL
 and have your baby!" We gave her baby this as a gift.
And yes...it has been VERY gross outside. Today was very stormy and humid, but the last couple of days have been beeeutiful!

Hakuna Matata!

-Sister Weaver-

Thursday, June 18, 2015

That Is AMAZING Our Ward Is So Missionary Minded!

June 16, 1015

Haha, I HOPE you love me more than all those nasty things combined!

That is AMAZING our ward is so missionary-minded. I can't wait to get involved once home again and help in any way I can to join in the effort to find people for the missionaries to teach. Hope you have a very HAPPY BIRTHDAY come Wednesday...How perfect for transfers!

Me with Sister Osmond
and her trainee
(yes this Sister Osmond is
Donny Osmond's niece)
Yeah this week was somewhat better...until the transfer text came...It turns out that Sister Schlosser is leaving and I'm having a new companion my last transfer. It would be all right, except I have lost a lot of weight due to appetite-lost-edness from stressing about stressing to the point of not eating (go figure), and I truly hope and pray that the Lord will help me get my stress in check enough to fulfill the work that He needs me to this my last time in the field of the harvest. With another wonderful missionary whom He has appointed. I am hoping I don't have to call the nurse again like last time, but if I don't have enough nourishment...I don't know what else can be done. Thank you for your prayers, they help

Thank you also for the quote from President Worthen! Covenants are
ESPECIALLY conditional on our part!

Me pretending to be
one of the moms-to-be in our ward
Nothing too exciting going on in the ward, except for EVERYONE is having babies, it's insane! They are all so cute though and loud. Oh yeah, in Relief Society yesterday, there was an almost-cat-fight over the topic of sustaining modern-day prophets. I just had to laugh; I love our ward :) SO different haha.

This week after our meeting with Lun Cheng, and finding out that he already has a testimony of Christ ("Without Jesus, everything would not make sense...") we went out to the buses and as luck would have it, we ran into a former-atheist, now-baptized LDS student from China in the YSA Ward named Xi Lu (who we have been trying to contact FOREVER!) I have a feeling he will be VERY instrumental in helping fellowship Lun Cheng.

We also met with Julia and had to drop her date for now because she will be out of town with her family for the next two weeks, but really wants to re-set it! It was a very powerful lesson about "The Family: A Proclamation to the World" (it being one of the revelations she has trouble accepting regarding "women's roles"), but after explaining it more fully and relating it to her role as a daughter of God, she felt better about it.

One of our less-actives, Linda, invited us to her wedding!!! She and Paul, a non-member, had been living together but were both finally married by the bishop in the church. Afterward, we met a lot of Paul's family, who were interested in learning more, he asked us when we were coming over again! Yay! I truly hope that we can help this family prepare to make covenants that will eventually lead them through the temple.

Sorry this is ridiculously short :( There is so much we need to do today to get prepped for Wednesday...You remain forever in my prayers! Bah! Only 6 emails left!!!

Love you more than I love eating with an appetite!

-Sister Weaver-

Tuesday, June 9, 2015

Put It All In The Lord's Hands

June 8, 2015

Thank you Dear Momasita, Family and Friends!

My advice to you dear Mother, is to put it all in the Lord's hands and know that no matter whom He chooses He will qualify for His work. The Lord calls ordinary men and women and shapes and refines them...I was no way near a good missionary before the mission (and STILL not where I want to be), but someone once told me that alone we cannot do it. We can't. It is physically, spiritually, emotionally impossible. Only through the Lord's help can we make it through anything..., Which explains why I am still out here. He may call someone who you may not have imagined could fill the shoes of your beloved counselor, but she may, with the Lord's help, extend far beyond what you or she thought possible...her capabilities, as well as yours, are only known unto the Lord. I hope that my rant helped a bit.
Me being me

Stress is piling up, but that's just a given with the end of another transfer (yay IBS!). ONLY ONE MORE, BAH! I may be losing more weight than I ever wanted, but I hope to be able to retain as much as I can to perform the work the Lord calls me to. My testimony of prayer has sure strengthened this week. Bless my companion for her patience with me :)

Haha our Ward Mission Leader is being called as a counselor to President Cutler...Saw that coming from a mile away. The rest of the ward has been so gracious, Sister Schlosser and I had a talk about what I can do to help the ward when/if she leaves and she said to just be honest with them. They love it. Me? Honest? No acting? In the words of Drew Barrymore in the movie we all know and love: "I shall try" (with her weird accent)

Our snazzy district
This week was a rough one, but hopefully all of our cancellations will be able to meet this week. We are finally breaking some ground with Lun Cheng. He's still trying to figure out if he has a relationship with God...or if there even is a God for that matter...He refers to himself as 30% Christian, but has hope that he may find the truth. Sister Thurston, a return missionary, is a great fellowshipper for him, but we hope to get someone from the YSA in with him soon. He did go to the YSA Ping Pong Tournament on Saturday and met a lot of people and Brother Cocke from the ward invited him over for dinner last night before his lesson. Fellowship is there, hopefully his conversion to the doctrine will come soon :) This situation reminds me quite a bit of JT's conversion: do you have any advice on how to help an atheist gain a testimony of the existence of God?

Tim's lesson went really well, too. He asked about how he can more fully Endure to the End, and we blatantly told him that it is the Gift of the Holy Ghost that will help him endure, or love, to the end. And he knows he will receive that at baptism. He knows he will be baptized, he told us, “It is all a matter of WHEN.”

Melree (self-referral's) lesson went great! We hope to invite her to a baptism next time since she wasn't too clear on the doctrine of baptism, but she wants to invite her friend to the next lesson!

No worries on my g's, I can hold out till I come home. Thank you for the letters in the package, too, they are helping a lot :)

Cool dragon fly we
found doing service
for the Bush's

Thanks for all of your prayers on my and those I serve with's behalf. We truly do need all the prayers we can get. It's amazing the things that pop up that you never thought were physically possible to endure (both good and bad) as a missionary. But I know that Christ is with me. He knows the depth of my feelings and stress when it comes, and He above all else understands and can offer the remedy of the healing of the soul. Stay strong in the faith of Christ my dear family, there is work to do yet! (As Wisconsonians say after the end of each sentence haha)

Love you more than I love tracting in the heat WOOHOO!!!!

-Sister Weaver-

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

I Love L. Tom Perry And Am Sad To See Him Go

June 1, 2015

Thank you for your message! I love L.Tom Perry and am sad to see him go, but grateful for the service he rendered in the work of salvation and exaltation. Salvation truly is an individual matter, but exaltation is a family matter. And exaltation is what we strive for. Families are what we are focusing on finding and teaching here, along with individuals searching for the truth.

Life truly is interesting. I think the hardest part of my mission has been dealing with myself and my own insecurities pertaining to carry on the sometimes daunting task of preparing the hearts and minds of God's children to receive their Savior and Redeemer...But in essence, this small time given us is SO rewarding, because it truly is the only time that we can thrust in with our sickle the hardest and have the authority granted us to do so. It is truth like this that makes me never want to leave, even though it is quite inevitable. I am grateful for my struggles. The Lord is merciful to have granted them to me, for without them, what kind of missionary would I be?

My comp is doing better, she just stresses out really easily (like me, GO figure :P) It is just very easy to get frustrated with a lot of the choices people are making in this ward. There are a few who are not so easily deposed to the missionaries, but we love them anyway. It is not enough to say we must ENDURE to the end...it sounds like such drudgery...we must LOVE to the end. But for the most part, this ward needs help, and to see that comfort and strength that the word of the Lord can give them makes all the frustration worth it :)

This week sadly Lun Cheng did not come to sacrament meeting but he came to Gospel Principles and learned more about the prophets. When we met with him he said he still had issues developing his faith vs. having proof, but he is still willing to read and learn and continue acting upon that seed of faith he already has planted.

We met a nice woman named Codie, who was on her way to a job interview and was interested for her and her family to learn more, so we will be contacting her later this week. We will also be meeting with Melree, a woman who referred HERSELF to learn more!

We are continuing to teach our LA Robin the lessons, and our other LA Deb finally came to church! It was a great meeting about depression and anxiety...just what she needed. We will be setting aside every Wednesday night to meet with her and her daughter. Emily also came to church and her faith is still growing! We also met with a former investigator who took us out to lunch--at a BUFFET!!!--it was the most beautiful thing I ever did see :' )

Thank you so very much for my package! I will be sending some of the bottoms back, though SORRY!!! They are just very small. I love you all very much and hope that everything is peaches and cream in Oregeno!! And sorry for some reason my pics are not uploading :( So...next week!!

Forgive me for making this so short this week! But for some reason I got an explosion of emails! Love you two-infinity and beyond!!!

-Sister Weaver-

P.S. Also you can find pictures of me on the mission blog: http://wisconsinmilwaukeemission.blogspot.com/

The Book Of Mormon Musical In Milwaukee

The Book of Mormon Musical in Milwaukee

For the past 2 weeks, missionaries in the Milwaukee zones have been contacting theater-goers attending The Book of Mormon musical, offering them the real Book of Mormon. They were able to give out a total of 1,861 copies!  The following article about our missionaries was published in the Milwaukee Journal Sentinel on May 28th .

Theater-goers headed into the Marcus Center for the Performing Arts this week don't quite know what to make of the Mormons doling out copies of the Book of Mormon outside "The Book of Mormon."
Some eagerly accept. Others look away and laugh. Some offer a curt "no thank you," and keep on moving.
"A lot of people think we're part of the cast," said Elder Ryan Haueter, 20, of Utah, whose soft, boyish face defies the honorific bestowed on missionaries in the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints.
They are not, in fact, part of the cast. Haueter and his white-shirted friends are Mormon missionaries who see the uproariously blasphemous Tony Award-winning musical as an opportunity to spark discussions about their faith.
"I think the play is great," said 21-year-old Zac Hadlock of New Mexico, as he handed out books, and cards with the LDS mobile apps, outside the Marcus Center on Wednesday night. "Whether it's accurate or inaccurate, people have questions. And it's a great chance for us to tell them what they want to know about the church and about us."
The touring production of "Book of Mormon," by the folks who brought us "South Park" and "Avenue Q," winds up a two-week engagement at the Marcus Center this weekend.
The missionaries have given out so many books — 1,300 in the first week alone, Hadlock said — that they were offering mostly app cards by Wednesday.
None of the young men owned up to seeing the show. They live a Spartan existence as missionaries — no movies, no concerts, no news media — during what is usually a two-year stint.
Except for the few hours set aside for prayer, study and meals, they are out until 9 most nights, knocking on doors in a quest for converts to Joseph Smith's uniquely American faith.
But they know enough about the show from snippets they've seen or heard, and the questions on the minds of theater-goers — "So, what's up with those 'magic' underwear and 'eternal marriage?'" — to know it's an outrageous, often vulgar sendup of Mormon theology and the angst and struggles of earnest young believers like them.
They don't appear to take offense. Though some theater-goers clearly do on their behalf.
"We hear it every day, so it's nothing new to us," said Haueter. "It's American to make parodies of things. And it's from the creators of 'South Park.' So, what do you expect?"