Thursday, March 30, 2017

Certified Stalkers

Monday, 27 March 2017

Dear family and friends,

We had quite the week! Lots of crazy things happened! (I'm tellin' ya... it's going to be a really random email...)

We met an amazing woman on Tuesday! We were in her neighborhood following up with someone else we had met earlier that week, and she was outside enjoying the sun. So we went to talk to her and ended up having a great lesson with her about the Restoration and prophets! She was really interested in the Book of Mormon and told us that she would definitely read it and make her son read it, too! :)

We volunteer regularly at an assisted living home, and this week we played games with them. One of them is Lucille, and she's my new best friend! She is so sweet! As we played Uno, we were all talking about St. Patrick's Day and things that they did for it, and Lucille told us that when she was younger, she kissed the Blarney Stone! So, I've officially met someone who's kissed the Blarney Stone! :) I love volunteering there. We meet so many amazing people! :)

Something I got reminded of this week is the importance of slowing down and enjoying God's creations. Sometimes I get caught up in my never-ending to-do list and how crazy missionary life gets, and I forget to take a breather. So, after a crazy few days, I was just drained and feeling anxious and frustrated. Sister Foote, our mission president's wife, has told us before to take breaks occasionally and just walk around a pond or do something that is a stress-reliever. So we took her advice and went for a walk around our neighborhood lake. It felt so good to just walk in silence, just listening to God's creations and enjoying the light breeze and sunshine. God is so good and He has given us His creations to help us find peace!

Funny moment: We met a woman who kept telling us that Jesus had an afro and a big moon dimple on his cheek. ;) She had a lot of stories to tell, and she was VERY animated! (This is just a taste of some good ol' Southern life. She had huge earrings, wore a turban, and had very bright nails!)

We also decided that we are certified stalkers. At least, that's sometimes what missionary life feels like. 
(Us sitting in our car)
"Do you think they're home?"
"I dunno"
"Well their car isn't in the driveway..."
"Let's go try anyway! Maybe if we knock loud enough someone will answer..."

And the stories go on... ;)

Another ray of sunshine:
-A few weeks ago, we received a referral (from two different people!) for a family that might be interested in hearing more or at least receiving a prayer. We met the dad, B, last week, just as the member who told us about him pulled into his driveway, so we didn't get to talk to him much. But then, this week we stopped by and he was just getting out of his truck to head in! (PERFECT timing!) So we were blessed with an opportunity to talk to him and HE invited us back! He asked us to come back on Monday! So tonight we get to go see him and his family. We are so excited!!

Y'all, life is beautiful. God is good. And so are you. Remember that you are surrounded by GREAT people! (If y'all haven't watched or listened to the General Women's session for General Conference, that is my invitation to y'all. Go to and watch it! I especially loved President Eyring's talk.)

Remember to take the time to enjoy God's creations, too! He is so good in providing us with ways to be filled with peace in this crazy world.

Keep smiling and have a blessed week!

The pollen is here, and everything is turning yellow!

I love Sister Dean's triumphant pose! She crossed the creepy improvised bridge with all the yukkie pollen in the water... and made it to the other side! (I wasn't as brave...)​​

Pictures at the lake! It is so peaceful there. :)

And EW. We got a BLACK WASP stuck inside our apartment!! It flew in while we left the door open to enjoy the weather. We had to call the elders and ask for advice on how to kill it... We were freaking out!

Ew. Ew ew ew... We squished it in the window with our area book... Ew.

Wednesday, March 29, 2017

Our Trip To Harry Potter World... #Trunkyrebels

Monday, 20 March 2017

Dear family and friends,

Well, we've been keeping ourselves busy! I probably say this all the time, but I literally have to go back and look at my planner to see what even happened. Life is good. So is God! He. Is. Amazing!!

Since we live only 30 minutes away from mission headquarters, we get to visit there very frequently! We have a lot of closer interaction with many senior missionaries and President and Sister Foote. (I think that President must think I'm trunky so he's making sure he has close supervision on us... haha I'm just kidding! ;) )

We spend a majority of our week in Peachtree City... swapping out our old 2013 car... and getting a brand-new, shiny silver 2017! It's really weird driving such fancy cars, haha. But it's been really fun to get to know the Collins, which are the mission fleet and housing coordinators. I love their examples. They are so optimistic and fun. They help us to see that there is true joy to be found even in the craziest of circumstances. ('Cause that's what the gospel does--it brings joy!)

Anyway... Guess what? We got to go to Harry Potter World! We were such rebels. It only took us a few short hours to drive there in our Tiwi-less* cars... And we spent most of the day having a blast! I got sorted... #Gryffindor

*(Tiwi is the driving system that the mission has in the cars. It keeps track of our driving and makes sure we're not speeding or being dangerous drivers.)

...Okay, so that didn't really happen. The Peachtree City sisters helped us to make up an imaginary situation and we decided together what would happen if we "got lost" in our 2013 cars. 

But anyway... On to the miracles!

-Sweet Isabella, a young convert, just turned 12! We talked to her about the temple and she wants to go! We are so excited for her! :)

-God answered so many prayers this week. We have had a hard time with keeping our teaching pool full of people who are actually interested. On Saturday, we started praying more specifically to find investigators that are serious about what we have to share and want to make changes in their lives, and recognize that they need the gospel in their lives. (We call them, "honest seekers of truth".)
On Sunday, we went to a neighborhood to follow up with a potential (someone who was potentially interested), and saw someone outside their house, enjoying the sun. So we went out to talk to her. And it turned into a powerful lesson! She is amazing! We introduced the Book of Mormon to her and she was so thrilled to start reading it. She also told us that she would make her 14 yo son read it, too. :)

Y'all, life is beautiful. There is so much joy to be found in this gospel. I know that to be true! I know that as we keep working, keep moving forward, and keep trusting in the Lord, things will work out!

My invitation to y'all is to write your testimony in a copy of the Book of Mormon, and then prayerfully decide who you will give it to. Then, give it to that person! Share your testimony with them and your favorite verse. I know that as you share these things with others, it will touch lives. The Book of Mormon is for everyone--active, less-active, and non members. It will bring joy into your hearts and the hearts of those you share it with!

Keep smiling and have a blessed week! :)

PS Selfie with Isabella! Sorry it's blurry...

Real haircut picture...proof that I really did cut it!

Our zone temple trip 2 weeks ago! So amazing!

These are for Moo, since she's the selfie queen! ;)
​(I couldn't decide which one to send, so I sent them all haha)

Puzzle time! 1000 piece finally finished. Took us like 2 weeks!

Short Short, Oh-So-Short...

Monday, 13 March 2017

Dear family and friends,

Well, time keeps a-flyin'! I may have to make this email short...

One of our investigators that has been taught for a while now (before I came) has officially moved in with her boyfriend... I flipped the table when I found out ("flip the table" is a common missionary term to indicate that we are very upset)!

But besides that news... life is good! We had the amazing opportunity to attend the temple again this week! It was fantastic! Probably the best experience I've had. So touching and beautiful! :)

Copy-and-paste for y'all! (Sorry)

This week was jam-packed with appointments and things to do. I love keeping busy! And when we have the desire to follow the Spirit and trust in the Lord, He provides us with ways to fill our blank days. Our numbers may have been low, but our spirits were high as we trusted in Him! I am so thankful for this time to serve!

​We've been working hard and things are going well!

As a quick follow-up: How has it been for you to focus more on the Savior this past week? What are your experiences from applying the Savior's Atonement in your life?

My invitation to y'all this week is to STOP WORRYING! Give your worries to God. Remember that it's all in His hands. He will help you and He will guide you! Put your wholehearted trust in HPeachtreeim and remember that things will work out!​

Y'all are amazing. Keep smiling and remember that life is beautiful! I love y'all! :)

Pictures with my sweet sisters!  City and Sharpsburg :) We had an amazing time at the temple! :)


Monday, 6 March 2017

Hello my dear family and friends,

...Okay, fine. I'll tell you! 


My hair has been chopped off. It's gone. About 12 inches of it. Now it's SHORT!
...Evidence to come.

And that wasn't even the beginning of what I was going to tell you! 

Guess what else?

We are teaching HIPPIES! Real, live, hippies! Ohhh yeahhh! :D
I'll tell you the miracle of how that came to be. ;)

​Yesterday, we had three back to back appointments​, and we had an awesome teamup with us! ​We were so excited for them! But all three fell through.​ But instead of getting discouraged and giving up, we kept going! We knew that there were a few potentials in the area, so we decided to go knock on their doors. Shortly ​there​after, we concluded a​ good​ lesson with​ our two new investigators (who happen to be the hippies I talked about earlier)​! They are so awesome and ​one of them, A​, has read parts of the Book of Mormon before and HE ASKED ​US ​for a copy! We hadn't even offered one yet! It was so awesome!!​ We are going to teach them this ​Wednesday, so please pray for them. They are amazing and have so much potential! We are so excited to teach them and help them come closer to Christ!

(Can you tell I'm in a good mood? ;))

Into a more spiritual note...

I've been thinking a lot about the Savior's hands lately. (Shout-out to Sister Leyba for that one!) He did so much for us. His hands were what lifted the weary, healed the blind, healed the ear that was cut off, broke the bread, and ultimately, were nailed to a cross. One of my favorite verses in the Book of Mormon says, "He doeth not anything save it be for the benefit of the world, for he loveth the world, even that he layeth down his own life that he may draw all men to him." (2 Nephi 26:24)

Our Savior did everything FOR US. His hands did not injure. They did not abuse. They lifted. They carried. They healed. What our Savior did FOR US was out of a beautiful expression of His love. His sacrifice and the life that He lived was FOR US. He loves us. He wants us to turn to Him and apply His Atonement in our lives. 

Elder Bednar once said,

“Most of us clearly understand that the Atonement is for sinners. I am not so sure, however, that we know and understand that the Atonement is also for saints
… The Atonement provides help for us to overcome and avoid bad and to do and become good.
It is … through the grace of the Lord that individuals … receive strength and assistance to do good works that they otherwise would not be able to [do]. … This grace is an enabling power …or heavenly help each of us desperately needs to qualify for ​[God's] ​kingdom.”

​This week, as you seek to become more like the Savior and be a better person, think about the Savior. That is my invitation to you. Apply His Atonement, His divine sacrifice, in your life. Repent. Stop rationalizing your behavior and turn to Him. He will bring you into His embrace and He will give you the comfort that you need. He will help you to overcome your weaknesses, your imperfections, and your frustrations. He will give you the strength you need to become like Him and ultimately return to our loving Father in heaven!

Keep smiling and remember that you are loved

Have a blessed week,​

Exchanges! With the Sharpsburg sisters!

​Oh hey, now you can know what my new companion looks like, haha! (sorry, the computer hasn't been letting me put pictures on it yet so I have to use Sister Dean's camera)

From left to right:

Me :)
Sister Dean (my new companion!)
Sister​ Maughan (from England!)
Sister Nelson (cute greenie!)

The sign outside our library! I absolutely love the South! :D
Check out this EPIC graffiti! We were out knocking and found it! SO COOL! The art is amazing! And there is more like it at the town square. We have a historic town square that is full of old buildings and alleys and it is so cool! I love it here!

You Can Be An Answer To Someone's Prayer!

Monday, 27 February 2017

Dear family and friends,

I completely procrastinated this letter today... Not because I don't like telling y'all about life as a "brownie" in the Georgia Atlanta mission, but because... LIFE IS CRAZY! haha :)

Anyways, we had a MIRACLE WEEK! I might have said that last week, but this week was even better! Every day is really busy and we do our best to talk with everyone, so it's hard to get trunky haha. ;)

​Here's a copy and paste for y'all. Just so y'all can catch a glimpse at our crazy, miracle-filled week!​ 

The Lord has been guiding us to those who need us. We have had several days this week where we have met people who needed prayers at that exact moment. All of them were struggling in some way or another with trials that recently occurred in their lives. I love how the Lord guides us to the right places at the right time! As long as we have been doing our best to follow the Spirit, we have found those who need us. :)

We went on exchanges with the Sharpsburg sisters on Friday,
​ and it was fantastic! T​
hey h
 been struggling a bit with finding new investigators, so we centered our focus on finding. And because of our faith, the Lord again led us to those who needed us! (And we were able to have a fun time, too :))
Because I'm so new to the area, we almost got lost, but we stopped and prayed for guidance, and then the Spirit led us to a place we needed to go finding. We were blessed with two new investigators from it! :)

We followed up later in the week with them and one of them wants to be baptized! And when we finished the lesson with her, we were walking back to the car when we saw another woman outside painting and stopped to ask if she needed a prayer. She immediately said yes and opened up to us about how she was having a hard time with her family and really needed us at that moment! It was another powerful lesson and she was touched and wants us to come back!

​So y'all, as I've said before, life is beautiful. And we have the power to change lives. All we have to do it take the time to listen to the Spirit, and trust in the Lord's will. As we do so, the Lord guides us to those who need us.

My invitation to you this week is to be aware of those around you. Take the time while you're out and about to look up and appreciate God's children! Compliment someone, share a smile, and be happy. ​I promise that you will make someone's day and you might even answer someone's prayer!

Keep smiling, and have a blessed week. I love y'all!


Tuesday, 21 February 2017

Dear family and friends,

Well, I didn't really know what to title my email this time. My brain has basically exploded with new information to remember and new people to talk to and two different areas and a new companion and and and... Well, the list could go on haha. So my brain isn't working well enough to be creative right now...

Transfers came and went really quickly. I am now serving in TWO areas! Newnan and Summer Grove (we call it "double-covering" when we are over two areas). My new companion is Sister Dean. She's a twin, has red hair, and is really sweet! I am excited to serve here with her!

Guess what? MIRACLE! Sister Dean and I were talking about how we've seen a lot of tender mercies lately on our missions, but no miracles for a while. But then, Friday came along and the Lord decided to send us a MIRACLE! :)

​To explain, we ​
went to visit a referral which didn't end up working out. We were about to leave the apartment complex to try somewhere else, when we felt like we should stay. I kept denying the prompting (ugh the natural man in me really frustrates me sometimes...), but finally decided to say something. So we went knocking! :)After a few attempts, it was starting to get dark and we were again about to head back. But the Spirit told us to keep going. So this time we obeyed immediately. And within a few moments we met the most amazing family!!

A and L had both had an extremely hard day when we showed up. L had just been diagnosed with a seizure disorder that very morning, and her dad had been battling stage four cancer. They were both really stressed and needed the prayer. They welcomed us in and as we started talking, and shared Alma 7:11-12 with them. As we talked about the Book of Mormon, L commented that she had a copy of the Book of Mormon and that she had been meeting with missionaries in the past! The more we talked with them, the more excited they became and I could feel the Spirit leading the lesson. It was a powerful lesson and we are so excited to meet with them again! They are so golde​n​! A and L needed us at that very moment. And because we followed the Spirit's prompting, we were lead to them. I know that the Lord leads us to those who stand in need of it, and who are ready to receive the truth. :)

​Y'all, life is beautiful. God is good. ​:)

My invitation to y'all is to find joy in the journey. Start embracing life to the fullest and give God all you've got! I promise that as you do so, you will see life from a happier perspective. And most importantly, remember that "the greater our sorrow, the greater our capacity to feel joy" (Mormon Message, "The Refiner's Fire").

Keep smiling and have a blessed week!

I'm Such A Pile...

Monday, 13 February 2017

Dear family and friends,

This week was crazy! We had so many service opportunities, and then on top of it, we had a two-day visit to Peachtree City (two hours away from Snellville, center of the mission)! I am proud to say that my hands are blistered and my knees are bruised! ;)

Missionary slang! ;) Well, one of the words that we use to describe a missionary who is being lazy is a "Pile". Haha! We raked a yard that was loaded with leaves (in our beautiful 60+ degree weather haha), and decided it would be fun to be "piles". You'll see in the picture, haha. :D

This week we had a visit from Elder Maynes of the seventy! We had the amazing opportunity to attend two conferences that he spoke at! (Hence the two visits to Peachtree City.) All of the things he shared basically answered all the questions I have had lately, and they also helped me to see things from a different perspective. One of the biggest things I learned is to "filter". 

As missionaries, finding is one of the hardest things to do. Our mission president even said that finding is the work in missionary work. It can be extremely hard. And some missionaries spend most of their missions just finding! But the more we are out, working hard and seeking to find those who are prepared by the Lord to receive the gospel, the more we are helping the Lord to hasten His work. And the deeper our conversion becomes.

Filtering goes along with finding. Every day as we are out finding, we do our very best to find those who are prepared. When we find people who allow us into their home, we get excited and do our very best to keep them in our teaching pool for as long as we can, so that we don't have to go out and find nearly as much. (This is a general thing that happens to a lot of missionaries.) But the problem is, very frequently we end up wasting a lot of time doing this. Those who are prepared to accept the gospel will show it by keeping their commitments (such as attending church and reading the Book of Mormon). 

Filtering helps us to make sure we are keeping the honest seekers of truth in our teaching pool and "filtering out" those who aren't. (Hope that makes sense.)

We've found a lot more success as we've done this! Though it is hard to be finding constantly, it is so effective. And it doesn't mean that we just have to be out knocking doors all day. Sometimes it means just talking with everyone we see that day. :) The more we work, the more the Lord blesses us with mercies! :)

-Cynthia was definitely a tender mercy for us, because we had been struggling to find investigators that were actually seeking the truth. She opened the door and immediately welcomed us in! And as we taught her the Restoration (on first contact!! :D), she had many questions and even told us that she had a copy of the Book of Mormon! She told us that she would read her book, and she was also excited to look up President Monson! It was an amazing lesson and we could feel that the Lord had prepared her for us. :)

Y'all, the gospel is true. Hard work brings miracles. 

My challenge for y'all is to do something for the Lord this week. Be hardworking and do your very best to achieve it. I promise that as you do so, you will feel closer to Him and you will see miracles in your life!

Keep smiling. Keep moving forward. Keep on keepin' on! Have a blessed week full of miracles! Y'all are amazing. :)

Beautiful Norris Lake :) We enjoyed a peaceful moment there, just sitting in silence and enjoying God's creations :)


Spring is already here

Leyba's groundhog piles... ;)

Leyba Babe-a :D

Random fun stuffs :)

Bag of shame...

Pile selfie