Monday, November 14, 2016

"The Fierce Winds Are Blowing Us Closer To God" (Ether 6:5-9)

Monday, 14 November 2016

Dear family and friends,

Well, it's been a frustrating week. But guess what? Life is beautiful, and as Sister Foote (mission president's wife) said, "The fierce winds are blowing us closer to God". Sometimes we face disappointments. Frustrations. Anxiety. Anger. Depression. 
All of this blocks us from progressing if we dwell on it. But if we allow the Lord to take the lead, He will help to make "weak things become strong" (Ether 12:27) and He will bless us with comfort and joy! This morning I read in 1 Nephi 14 in the Book of Mormon, and the first verse really stood out to me. 

"And it shall come to pass, that if [you] shall hearken unto the Lamb of God... he shall manifest himself unto [you] in word, and also in power, in very deed, unto the taking away of [your] stumbling blocks." (1 Nephi 14:1)

If we hearken to the Lord and follow His will, then He will take away our stumbling blocks and free us from our burdens! It was a great reminder to me of the importance of following the Lord's will and trusting in Him. 

Sometimes we just want things to go OUR way. Sometimes we want our lives to be perfect and happy and amazing. But if we didn't experience struggles and pains, we wouldn't be able to experience the joy! :)

This past week was really hard for us. There was a LOT of opposition that we faced. No one was home, everything seemed to be going wrong, and we were frustrated. And then on Sunday, Glayce (who is preparing for baptism) didn't come to church, so she can't be baptized yet. It was so frustrating! We just wanted things to work out. We wanted things to go the way we wanted them to go. We didn't trust in the Lord's timing, and because of that, we felt like failures.

Finally, we turned to the Lord. After all the struggles and frustrations we faced, we turned to the One who would help us and give us the perfect advice. And He did. He carried us through it. As we turned to the Lord, He gave us comfort. He has said that he would never leave us comfortless (John 14:18). That is so true! The Lord cares about each of us as individuals. He knows our pains. He knows our weaknesses. He knows what we are facing each day and as we turn to Him, He will guide and comfort us! 

On Sunday, I felt a bigger change. I no longer felt discouraged. Even though we knocked on a bajillion doors where no one answered, I was happy. I went about with a cheerful countenance because I had the joy of the gospel! I realized that if I just turned outward and focused on others, I would be happy. If I followed the Lord's will, I would find joy. There is so much joy to be found as we lose ourselves in the service of the Lord. That is something I've been learning. Giving my ALL to the Lord--heart, might, mind, and strength--is where the joy will come. God gives us joy when we turn to Him and when we choose to focus on others. When we serve selflessly and happily. I testify that there is so much joy to be found in the service of the Lord! We are doing the right thing. We are on the right path. This is a great and marvelous work that we are participating in and I am so thankful to be a part of it!

My invitation to y'all this week is to attend the temple at least once a month. (Or if you aren't a member of the LDS church, choose a day to walk on LDS temple grounds). These visits to the Lord's house (the LDS temple) will bring you so much peace. I know that as you do this, you will feel God's love for you and you will have greater strength to withstand the fierce winds and follow the Lord! 

Y'all are amazing. Keep moving forward and remember life is beautiful! Keep smiling and have a blessed week! I love y'all!

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

Silly Pics

We discovered a new way of taking pictures! At the library! :D

​We has big eyeees.​

​Happy day! :D​

​*Insert Perry noise here*​

"Serendipitous Blessings"

Dear family and friends,

Monday, 7 November 2016

God is constantly blessing us with His tender mercies! I have seen His hand in my life this week as I've sought to follow His will and listen to His divine guidance. He is so incredible!
In Sacrament Meeting yesterday, Brother Cook got up and bore his testimony about how God blesses us with "Serendipitous blessings" each day. Sometimes they do come in the most unique ways! But they are given to us to help us remember God's love. He sends us daily reminders of His love! He is so merciful and I know that He is always watching over us as His children!


-We met Glayce, a sweet Brazilian woman, just a few days ago. She is so GOLDEN! She was a referral from the North mission. Since we contacted her, we have taught her three amazing lessons, she is on date for baptism on November 19th, and she came to church this Sunday with her husband! We are so excited to work with her and help her! She has progressed so much already! :)

-We have had so many amazing teamups this week! The members are getting more and more excited to do missionary work as we've been working with them! It was amazing to see Sister Adami, a normally shy woman, get up and share her testimony on Fast Sunday about member missionary work and how she's been blessed from it. :)

-We met Beverly, a humble older woman! She is amazing and seeking the truth! We are excited to continue working with her! :)

-Skyping with President Foote's brother, President Foote. ;) They are so funny! And they are so much alike, it's weird! 

Y'all, life is beautiful! Remember that!

My invitation to y'all is to pray for missionary opportunities. I testify that as you do so, you will be led to those who are in need of strengthening. They may be members, they may not be. But as you follow the Spirit's promptings to reach out to them, you will be able to touch their heart and help them!

I love y'all! Have a blessed week! Keep smiling!

Busy week!

Monday, 31 October 2016

​Dear family and friends,

I apologize for another copy-and-paste letter for y'all. But here it is!​

I have really come to appreciate the Atonement this week, especially yesterday. It was touching to be able to go from a hard, trying week, and attend Sacrament Meeting to reach out and touch the Savior. I had struggled a LOT this past week with frustrations and annoyances. I was feeling bored and struggling to find joy in missionary service. I was really frustrated with myself because of that. But as I went to church and prepared to take the sacrament, I felt a sense of peace fill me. The night before I had poured my heart out in sincere prayer, asking Father to help me. And as I took the sacrament, I was filled. I felt my burdens lift from off of my shoulders and I felt like Father had forgiven me. It was such an amazing experience and I testify that​ Christ's Atonement is for ALL! 

We have been applying what the AP's​ (assistants to the President)​ taught us in district meeting--to roleplay daily--and guess what? IT WORKS!! It really does! I used to hate roleplaying. I'd always struggled to enjoy it. It was constantly a frustration. But as we started to focus on the needs of our investigators and practice teach the lessons that we would teach that day, we have seen ​their​ promises fulfilled--more people have been home, and we have seen miracles from it! 

​Just a little more to add to my copy-and-paste, haha.


-The members have been more and more excited to work with us here! It's been amazing and we've seen so many miracles from them!

-We finally contacted Jasmin! (Our investigator that was progressing towards baptism... and then we lost contact with her...) She is excited to keep learning more! AND--she wants to share the gospel now! We gave her a copy of the Book of Mormon and she's writing her testimony in it and giving it to one of her friends soon! Also, we are now teaching her parents because of her good example! We are excited to see them progress towards baptism, too. :)

-The ward FALL FESTIVAL!! :D It was a blast! And we had a TON of nonmembers there! Jasmin's parents came and had an amazing time, too!

Y'all, the gospel is so true. It blesses and changes lives! 

My commitment to y'all (I know this is a random one) is to visit the website: . And then do a family home evening or something about it! Roleplay situations like what Samantha experienced. It helps a lot! We watched some videos from this on Sunday and it was amazing! Definitely opened my eyes. I know that it will help you as you seek to apply it in your life! 

Keep smiling! Y'all are amazing! I love y'all! :)

Have a blessed week!

In The Miracle Zone

Monday, 24 October 2016

Dear family and friends,

This is what President Foote (our mission president) has been emphasizing. We are in trying times, in the last days, on the Lord's errand. He is guiding us and leading us to those who are prepared to accept the gospel. We are in the miracle zone, working miracles daily! 

Sometimes, we close our eyes to the daily miracles. The Lord is constantly pouring out His tender mercies upon us. Each new day is a miracle! At Zone Training (a missionary conference), the Zone Leaders were talking about how we are in the Miracle Zone. They shared an experience about how they were with a young man who was preparing for a mission, and they were knocking doors with him. Each time someone would open the door just to slam it back in their faces, the elders would turn to the young man and say, "Miracles, ___! Someone opened the door!"

This helped the young man to have an excitement about missionary work, even when doors get slammed in their faces. It is so important to seek for the good and open our eyes to the miracles every day!

Speaking of miracles, last night we had an incredible experience. We went to visit some potential investigators, Betty and Chantay. Their dad very recently passed away, and so it was a humbling experience to enter their home and see their smiling faces despite the sad circumstances. The Spirit was so strong as we testified to them of the Plan of Salvation, and how Christ made it possible for us to be with our families again, forever. It was a beautiful, touching lesson, and I am so thankful for the Spirit's guidance as a constant companion for us!

Y'all, this gospel is true. I know that it truly blesses us each day. I know that God gives us miracles because He is our loving Father and He wants us to experience joy in this life! 

My challenge to y'all is to open your eyes to the everyday miracles around you. Take the time to thank God for the miracles that He has given you. Your family, your friends, seasons, this beautiful earth, His creations... There are so many miracles to be thankful for!
I know that you will find great joy in your life as you seek to open your eyes to miracles. You will have a new perspective on life and you will be happier than ever! :)

Keep smiling, keep trusting, keep moving forward with faith! Y'all are amazing and I love you!

PS Sorry, no pictures this time. I just got a new camera and I'm still learning how to use it, haha.


Monday, October 17, 2016

Dear family and friends,

Yep, life is beautiful! It seriously is an incredible gift from our loving Heavenly Father! I am so thankful for this time we have to be on this earth and have experiences in life that help us to grow! God truly is a loving Father!

Weird that transfers have already passed. Things are still the same here in Snellville! :D (By the way, Snellville is pronounced "Snellvull" here in the South. ;))

I seriously love Georgia. The weather is changing and autumn is finally appearing! It is absolutely gorgeous with all the leaves changing color! And the sunsets... WOW! Georgia skies... tre bien!

We had a ward missionary, Sister Greene, with us on a teamup to visit a new investigator, and it was amazing! Sometimes, it's important for us to allow the members to speak (even if it means that they take over the lesson), because miracles come from it! During the visit, we were doing how to begin teaching, and within just a few minutes of getting to know Susan (our investigator), Sister Greene had invited her over to her house for dinner, and she had her phone number to keep in touch! We found out after the appointment that Sister Greene is normally shy about sharing the gospel (especially with strangers), but this time the Spirit kept telling her that she needed to invite this complete stranger over for dinner! And she followed that prompting, which was even more amazing. I am so thankful for the Spirit's guidance in the work! Without Him, we would be lost!

​Well, gotta go. Life is beautiful, y'all. Remember that!

Commitment: Say y'all at least once this week. 

Just kidding, y'all can do that if you'd like. But here's a spiritual one!
Seek to be a member missionary! Just like the general authorities were saying, everyone can be a missionary!​ Reach out to your friends who are struggling. Seek to set a good example for all. Let your light shine!

Y'all are amazing! Keep smiling! I love y'all!

PS Sorry, no pics this time. My camera's broken. :(

Temple and Hiking pictures

Pictures from the temple with Mama Jones! 

She is amazing and I love her so much!

More pictures from the temple! :)


Sister's Pday! We went to Stone Mountain and had so much fun!! :D

Hiking on a mission makes me feel like I've never hiked in my life, haha... the air is different here and it makes hiking harder! (Also, we don't "hike" much because we're in our car or in lessons all the time... #carpotato)​

When we got to the top of Stone Mountain, we could see the whole skyline of Atlanta. It was spectacular! :D 

(Dad, you would love this hike. It would be super easy for you, haha, and you'd love the view!)

Pennies And Rainbows

Tuesday, 11 October 2016

Dear family and friends,

Pennies and rainbows? Why those two things?

These are our tender mercies! The Lord is always watching over us each day. Sister Benedetti LOVES rainbows. She says that they are God's reminder to her that He loves her. :)
I love pennies. They have a special meaning to me of God's love for me. So both together means incredible tender mercies!

Despite the storms (spiritual and physical--hurricanes?! We're safe, though), we made it through. Transfer news came on Saturday, and Sister Benedetti and I will be staying here in Snellville--AND we're staying STLs! :D We're super excited to serve the sisters that are in the zone. It has been amazing seeing their progression, and we love them!

Speaking of storms, on Friday, we got to attend the temple! What does this have to do with storms? We drove through the after-effects of a hurricane to get to the temple! But it was the most incredible, touching experience! So beautiful! 

Mama Jones, a less-active sister that I had been working with since the beginning of my mission (from my last area), attended the temple for her first time. It was BEAUTIFUL!

She was glowing and had a beaming smile on her face as we walked into the temple! There were so many angels that day that came to support and encourage her and cheer her one! It was powerful, and such a tender mercy for me because I really love her and it meant so much to me to be able to see her progression. :) She is so amazing and I love her so much!

Another tender mercy--the Lord blessed us with a whole, double rainbow directly over the temple! It was spectacular! I wish I had pictures, but my camera has been wigging out so I couldn't take any. But it is permanently imprinted in my head! :)

Such a powerful experience! And about the pennies--Everywhere I go lately, I've seen pennies. The Lord keeps reminding me of His love. He really does love His children. No matter how weak we are, no matter what trials we may face, He cares. He guides us through them. He is there for each of His children and He blesses us each with a new day! I am so thankful for a loving Father in heaven who cares and helps us along each day!

My commitment to y'all is to look for the Lord's tender mercies. Ask Him to tell you how He feels about you. And He will tell you! He answers prayers, because He loves you!

Keep smiling, keep moving forward, keep on keepin' on! Y'all are incredible and I love you!

District Meeting!

District photos! Haha we had a blast!​

From left to right:
Elder Avery
Elder Turner
Elder Cranney
Elder Esplin
Sister Benedetti
Me :)
Sister Hansen
Sister Gardiner

Pineapples, Geese, and Pick-up Lines!

This sign gave us a good laugh! "Best" pick-up line ever! Haha :D

We had Hibachi! It was tasteee!! :D Sister Rasor took us and we had fun eating sushi and watching our chef play with fire. ;)

PS This was the sushi bar. I got a video of the Hibachi, but it wouldn't let me send it... :(

I's a pretty princess! :D


We fed geese! Real live wild ones! And they walked right up to us! :D It was the best! Seriously made my morning. (Right before General Conference, too!)

This flock of geese visits the Richards (ward members) every morning and evening. It was so fun to see them wandering around and being funny geese! :)

I GOT A BABY PINEAPPLE! Sister Rasor gave it to us! :D SO HAPPY!!

PS Curly hair! Sister Benedetti did it for me. I think I like it! Haha :)

"Treading A Path Of Diamonds"

Monday, 3 October 2016

Dear family and friends,

Sometimes we feel like we aren't accomplishing anything. Sometimes we worry that our efforts to serve are going unnoticed. Sometimes they feel meaningless. But there is always Someone who is watching. Someone who cares. Who yearns for your happiness, for your joy. That Someone is our loving Heavenly Father.

Your efforts to serve do not go unnoticed. They, in fact, are well noticed and beloved! God is watching over you every day, and whether you know it or not, He is right there beside you. He sees the path that you are treading on as a path of diamonds. 

As we choose to walk the path that Christ has walked, we will find joy. We will see others through His eyes. We will learn to develop Christlike eyes, ears, and ultimately, Christlike hearts. We are here to learn. We are here to grow. We are here to become like He is! 

General Conference was amazing and I hope that it lifted your spirits as you listened to the inspiring words of our Prophet and other church leaders. :)

-We now have a less-active, Sister Turner, on date to attend the temple! She has never been before, and so it will be a joyous occasion for her! :)

-Sister M, another sister who has never been to the temple and is working towards it, gave us her vape stuff and committed to be completely vape-free! It was an incredible, exhilarating experience to have her hand it over and I could see the joy that came from it. She looked... free. :) Y'all, the Atonement frees! I testify of that! It does! For all! Because of Christ, we can be made free!

My commitment to y'all is to go through your General Conference notes and choose one thing that the Spirit taught you. Then apply it to your life! Setting goals helps us to improve and become more like our Savior. I testify that as you apply these things in your life, you will be filled with joy and you will develop a stronger relationship with your Savior.

Keep smiling! Y'all are amazing and I love you! :)