The Missionaries from the North region and Leadership of the Oregon Eugene Mission for Elder Nash's Visit.
Dear friends and family, horses and chickens, and the lovely mountains of Utah,
Happy Thanksgiving!!!!! Here in Oregon a popular berry to eat is the Marionberry. It is a cross between a raspberry and a blackberry. Seems like Oregon just has to get the best of both worlds eh? (Elder Opper in our district is from Canada, I'm picking up things from him all the time!) Anyways, they are super duper good berries. Sweet and sour and just delish- especially in pies!
We had a great Thanksgiving! The ward had a luncheon at the church building, and later we went to a family's house and ate there. Poor Sis Sands got sick this past week on Saturday. So she slept (with Pres. permission of course) and I read in the Book Of Mormon. It was so awesome to just read and soak it all in. It really grew my testimony of the truthfulness of the Book of Mormon.
Later that night we had an awesome lesson with Carmella. The Spirit was so strong and she is so amazing. She just soaks up the spirit. :) The elders gave her to us to teach. She is ON DATE!!! Her baptism is this week on the 5th! 😃 Oh, it's so exciting! I love her so much! She made us pumpkin bread. :)
We taught Sheena on Sunday. She lives up in Toledo, and we have been meeting with her for about three weeks. She was a former investigator, and it was really pure chance that she let us back into her life. (Not really, she was just more prepared for us to teach her. Because all we do is invite. Heavenly Father prepares, the Holy Ghost testifies, we invite. Super awesome). Anyways, I was just praying that I could say what she needed to hear. And the words just came. The Spirit used my experiences and trials of the past, but spoke through me. It was great. I invited her to come to church after I bore the most powerful testimony on God's love. And as I spoke, I felt such a great love for all the people of the earth. It was just for a moment, but I saw my purpose in such a greater light. (Mormon 3:12)
Hope all is going well! I love the letters! (Wink wink!)
This is going to be a quick, short letter. We went to the aquarium today and had a great time. We also learned about Free Willy.
He was a whale that had a lot of money raised for him, and was actually here in Newport. There was so much publicity for him and he was greatly loved. The aquarium never had such an outpouring of money and support towards the whale. He was released back into the wild near Iceland.
He got sick and died four years later.
Anyways, everyone talks about how awesome the bridge is or how cool the grey whales are, but we hadn't even known about Free Willy until last night when a member told us that story. So see cool.
The rain is coming down really hard. Winter here is odd, we actually got hail during a lesson, it was pretty funny to see the shocked looks on the families faces. Hahaha...
Everything is going wonderful! I am learning so much, and I feel the support of your prayers everywhere I go. I love seeing your letters and the emails I get! As I am serving, I may be tired or cold, but there is a fire inside that I just have to share. And what better way than by teaching? I don't say much during lessons, but I am trying to listen to the Spirit so hard and then speak when prompted. I'm so grateful for my companion, for she picks up all my slack. :)
All the people we are teaching are so full of light, and they desire more. I am so grateful to be on the Lord's errand and to be the missionary He needs out here in rainy Oregon.
This week has flown by. I can't believe that it is Pday again. ( again? Freaking again? - Sis Sands quote hahaha….)
Last Pday we went to Devil's Punch Bowl. I took pictures on my camera, so I don't really have a way to send them to you....so sorry. But we almost got stranded out at sea. So that happened.
The highlight of the week was our zone conference meeting with Elder Nash from the Seventy. We drove up to Corvallis the day before and spent the night with the Sister Training Leaders. They are super awesome. :) I got to go around campus with Sister Allen and talk to students. We also taught a lesson to a young adult named Abraham. He is super awesome. He has lots of questions, but that's why we are here.
The conference was amazing. Our zone of sisters got to sing (oh dear). We sang a variation of I Know That My Redeemer Lives. It was so much fun.
Elder Nash spoke with so much power and authority. He really stressed the importance of recognizing who we are in order to have the spirit with us. For, if we know who we are we can "be bold- with kindness, clarity, honesty, and with charity, knowing that we can bring others unto Christ."
We learned the importance of listening and how if we listen, we can know how to truly help others.
He followed the spirit so well and all my questions were answered. The spirit was so strong and all of us feel so inspired. Indeed, the spirit is willing but the flesh is weak. We all felt like we could stay there with him for days. It was an amazing experience.
The next day we were back in Newport and had a district meeting. I am going through training right now and have to pass off things. Normally I would do it to the zone leaders, but they are far away. So I do it to Elder Whyte our district leader. There's a rumor going around in all the mission that he is going to be the next AP. He has a way of bringing the spirit. But after I did a role play with him and my companion he said " Don't be afraid of revelation. It will come. You are entitled to it because you have that name tag. "
I am so glad to be here. The spirit has been so strong. And I have been struggling. I won't lie about that. But because of the faith I have in Jesus Christ and Heavenly Father, I know why I am here and where I am going. I know I am a daughter of God and that my prayers are heard and answered.
I am a representative of Jesus Christ and have been called by Him to declare this message: His true church is once again on the earth and that we can be saved and return to live with Him once more.
The weather here is very odd. It was raining buckets two days before Halloween and on Halloween. Today, bright blue sky's and yellow sun. It's pretty awesome. Especially as you tract in the rain and become soaked. But its also funny because people look at you like your crazy when we walk out in the rain.
On Halloween we went to Almine's. Her daughter is interested in going to YWs, we are going to bring her with us this week. But Almine is a white witch, so we have to be a bit cautious. But they are truly amazing people. Almine loves everything Medieval. Her 2nd home is decorated to be like the inside of a castle. She even has authentic glass windows from church buildings in Germany. She gave us a simple dinner of quiche, salad and cookies. We then came back to our apartment and studied while we ate candy, popcorn, pretzels and quesadillas. It was awesome. :)
There's a restaurant here called Mo's . They have the best clam chowder in all of Newport. I've eaten so much fish. I really like salmon, but shrimp is not my favorite.
This past week, I was having a hard time. We had been out in the rain tracting for two days. No one really opened their doors, and I prayed that we would have a miracle. The elders found us a woman named Danielle. We went to her home and she was so friendly. We helped set up her TV, and even though we didn't teach a lesson, her kindness and warmth towards us helped uplift my spirits. If anything, we planted a seed.
Oregon is so lovely. So much wildlife. Today for Pday we went to Devil's Punch Bowl and saw grey whales. My district is pretty awesome. The ward is warm and friendly, and people are generally kind. There is lots of work to do. But I'm excited to see how the Lord will work through me to help others.
Oregon is beautiful! The flight here was short and uneventful. When we arrived the clouds were very thick and it was misty on the ground. Our mission pres and wife are the most amazing people to ever walk the earth. Pres. really likes the color yellow, and smiles a lot. Sis Russell likes taking pictures and loves to give hugs( to the sisters of course). We stayed at their house Wednesday night. Thursday we went through some training and that is when we met our trainer and learned where we would serve.
Drum roll please:
....I am pleased to announce that I am serving in Newport Oregon with Sis Sands!!!! Newport is right next to the ocean. Our apartment is about two mins away from the beach. It's so beautiful, and windy by the coast. On Friday we had to drive back to Eugene to have a special conference in preparation for an area seventy who's coming the first week of November. Oh, did I mention it's a two hour drive?
So we didn't do much the first two days out here in the field because we were going back and forth. Also, we are the first sisters in the area since last year-we have no calendar, no investigators, and no dishwashing soap. Believe me, I've never wanted soap so badly in my life!
We want tracting on Friday and Saturday and got yelled at by a homeless guy saying we are prideful and don't use the spirit. But we gave a woman a Book of Mormon, so that's good. Also we went to a yellow house as prompted by the spirit....and the woman let us inside!!!! Her house is decorated like old English, I was surprised that a tiger didn't come waltzing down the corridor. She used to be a member- even the Relief Society President but fell away. She now does....magic..? But her adoptive daughter lives the same principles as we do- as in no drinking and being chaste but has few friends. So we are bringing her to YWs this week! I love the spirit! It will never lead you astray!
Salamanders just chill out around the church building. I want to pick one up- but they can be poisonous. So, I don't want to risk it...but they are awesome!
The ward is so supportive of us! It covers an area of three towns- Newport, Toledo (toe-lee-do) and Depot Bay. It's like Herriman to American Fork. Anyways, the ward just loves us. It feels like home here. :)
I'm so glad that I was able to go to Relief Society with you. I taught the lesson on Sunday. Everyone here says "Just make it to Sunday!" It was very renewing! I gained a new insight of the sacrament, and I learned a lot in teaching.
I'm so glad that you are doing Personal Progress together! What a blessing! I love the YW Values and the way they helped me to grow when I was a teen.
On Sunday there are devtionals and movies that we watch. The devotional speaker was Whitney L Clayton, President of the Seventy. He talked about how fast the Church has grown and how it will continue to grow until the great Jehovah says the work is done. The video we watched is of Elder Bednar speaking of the character of Christ and how whenever the natural man would look inward and be selfish, the Savior looked outward and served others. He talked about the Brother of Jared and how our faith grows over time and we can eventually see the finger of the Lord in touching others. Read those verses and really pay attention to the punctuation and you will understand. I only have an hour to write back to you. I do laundry while I write. ;)