Sunday, October 29, 2017

Spiders (Week 72)

“This week was one of those weeks where so much happens and then you get to Monday and you wonder if any of it actually happened because it felt like the week was only 1 hour long. And yet, so much happened. It's an interesting feeling.

Well, Halloween is coming up and our apartment sure knows it. I don't know how many spiders I've seen in there lately, but it's been a lot. I guess with the torrential downpours that have been going on, they're looking for a dry warm place to stay. Don't worry, we've been trying to just catch and release them instead of killing them.

To start off, zone conference was amazing this week. I went in with some questions about faith and came out with a lot of answers. I was wondering if there are levels of faith and what that means. My favorite part of the whole conference was when President Schofield said: "we are nothing. except we aren't, because he sent his son to extend his grace." Grace is like kinda a confusing topic to me because I've met so many evangelical people on my mission who like to argue about grace and works and how Mormons believe that we can earn our way to heaven or something and why do we need to get baptized and do certain things, it's okay as long as we have faith, we are saved. I don't know. Talking to them is so confusing. BUT I've been studying it a lot recently and I just know so much that the Book of Mormon is true. Like HOLY COW it's true. I love it. I saw a quote this week that said: Choose your love and love your choice. I've chosen this gospel. I've chosen to be on a mission. It's blessing me so much, why would I not express love to heavenly father in return by doing certain things like getting baptized and going to church and enduring to the end? It makes sense to me. James E. Talmage said: "Passive belief on the part of a would-be recipient of blessing is insufficient; only when it is vitalized into active faith is it a power; so also of one who ministers in the authority given of God, mental and spiritual energy must be operative if the service is to be effective." I think I've shared that quote again, but I'll share it again, because it's something that I don't think a lot of people understand. Heavenly Father is bound when we do what he says! Wouldn't we want to insure blessings for ourselves by being obedient? Otherwise, the blessings that will come will be sporadic and hard to recognize. Through faith and our actions, we can see miracles and appreciate God more, thus being more happy.

We have had miracle after miracle here in Bothell. It's hard to contain all of them within ourselves with there just being 2 of us. It's been really good. We've been working hard and seeing results, and it's so awesome. I think Sister Piddubna is really enjoying herself as well, and I think we've been able to really help each other with English and Russian. I was worried that I would plateau this transfer, but I feel like I'm past the plateau of my mission and just learning more than ever! It's awesome.

After zone conference, we were really concerned about following the promptings of the spirit. We didn't have a lot of time to go out to work. We went to the place that we had planned to go earlier, and it just didn't feel right. Sister Piddubna felt that we needed to call a woman that we've been working with. Her phone was dead, and so we felt uneasy because her husband is dying of cancer, and we were worried that something had happened. Typically, we go there during the day and we always call first. Well, it was 7pm, but she really felt that we needed to go check on this woman. In this moment, we prayed to confirm, and I never really felt any strong confirmation. However, I decided to trust Sister P's instincts, and we headed out. We got there, and knocked. She opened the door and just cried. She had been having a rough day, her husband hadn't been eating, he hadn't been drinking, and she was scared that he's getting near the end. Just through the small whispering of the spirit, we were able to hug, pray with, and read the word of God to his beautiful daughter who needed our help that night. I learned a lot about trusting my companion as well. It takes humility to follow your companion's prompting, even when you don't feel the same way. However, I think that's how it is a lot of the time. And we wonder why our companion got the prompting and we didn't. Feelings of resentment can arise and take away the unity of the companionship. And then, you see a miracle and you are humbled. I was lucky enough that night to decide before we saw the miracle that Sister Piddubna was indeed feeling the spirit and that we needed to act on that, regardless of my own feelings. It was a cool experience.

We had a Dan Jones! (where you meet someone that week and teach them, then they come to church that week and you get a return appointment with them). It's really hard to do. I've had one other one on my whole mission! It's a miracle, and I'm so excited to see where it goes with that investigator.

We went to the library for an appointment, but then our investigator asked if we cuold reschedule for a later time. BUT THEN it was really cool.. we found out why we needed to be there. This man just walked right up to us and started telling us how much he loves Mormons. AND THEN he started speaking Russian. Man, it was cool. He's Muslim and not interested in learning, but he was a real boost of our morale. A small act of kindness and word of encouragement or gratitude can go a long way, truly.

Actually, there was so much more that happened including me driving for an hour and a half literally hydroplaning the whole time. It's been raining like crazy here! It was so dark I could only see the lights in front of me between the windshield wipers, the darkness, and all of the water pouring down. It really made me realize that the lights of the other cars are so important. If they didn't have lights, we would have been dead. I'll let you figure out the gospel analogy from this story by yourself....

I love and miss all of you and wish you a wonderful week!”

the Realm of the Miraculous (Week 71)

“This week, we were listening to something called the "Prophet PepTalk" a few times, and I just heard a phrase that stuck out to me. It was "move into the realm of the miraculous." I can't find where it's from on, so I'm guess it's not from conference. However, I do love a talk by Hartman Rector Jr called "Following Christ to Victory." He said: "When the Lord said, “Lengthen your stride, quicken your pace, heighten your reach, widen your vision, and stretch your capacity,” he was in reality saying “expect a miracle,” for these are the stuff from which miracles are made. The prophet says, “DO IT,” and he indicates the time is NOW. And expect the miracle."

It's hard sometimes to knock on a door and immediately recognize whoever opens the door as a potential baptism. As someone who might be willing to change their life to the point where they could actually step into the baptismal font. It's so dang hard because time after time, we have that door closed and walk away knowing that that person wasn't ready to make any changes in their life. But, we have to MOVE into the realm of the miraculous. The miracles are out there. I kbnow it because every single time, I start feeling down in the dumps or discouraged, I have an awesome companion to pull me out or something awesome happens and we see miracles.

We can actually CHOOSE to live and see miracles or we can choose to not. It's not easy when hopes get dashed or situations take a turn for the worse, but, holy cow, I'm so grateful to have Sister Piddubna as a companion right now! She is the most pure sister. She is just an angel, and she expects miracles every single day. She listens to the spirit, and while she might not be very self-confident, she is confident in the Lord and His plan. She is humble and teachable and always seeking to learn more about the gospel. We are doing so well!

This week was great, but my favorite day was probably Sunday. We came to church, and once again, our investigators didn't make it. Turns out one was sick and the other is going to start going to the YSA ward! He knows a girl from the ward, and she invited him. It's a little sad but really exciting for him, and the YSA sisters! We had the primary program at church, which means that all of the PMFs come and a lot of other non-members. We weren't able to talk to all of them because of the large number, but we did talk to some, and we had one non-member ask for us to come over to dinner and another member ask us to come over to teach their non-member son-in-law this coming week!

We put in the work and then a lot of the times, the miracles just come from the most random and unexpected sources. It's truly a blessing. We weren't 100% sure that our investigator was going to come to the fireside, but he did! I remember, we were both like...well, we're going to go in faith and pray that he will make it. He was a little late, and we had to stand on the street so that he could find it, and we didn't have translation for him. However, he really enjoyed and was intrigued by it. The whole time, I was praying that he would be able to understand the English, and he was able to! It was so awesome. Prayers are answered!

I've been working to keep my testimony alive and vital by reading the Book of Mormon more intently this past week, and I feel more on fire than ever! If you're not reading the Book of Mormon daily, or if you've never read it...please take a look. Try it. Come and see if it has anythign to offer. In this world of commotion, I promise that there is peace in Jesus Christ. One of the wayd we find out about Jesus Christ is by reading His words from Holy scriptures like the Bible and the Book of Mormon.

I love being a missionary, and I love you all!
Sister Jenne”

Freezing Rain! (week 70)

“So, I've been wondering where the Seattle rain is. We've been told that winter starts on September 15th, and I remember last year when it started raining in September. But, up to this point, it's been really beautiful and warm. Well...this week, the one time we go knocking far away from home with no jackets or tights, it poured down freezing rain for 30 minutes and then we had a long lesson in a freezing cold house. Sister Piddubna got sick after that and had a fever that night...Winter is here. It was a lesson learned; we'll always keep jackets in the car now.

The coolest miracle happened this week though! We got a text on our phone saying to call this guy asap because he wants to meet with us (English speaking, not Russian). So we went over and taught the Restoration and committed him to all the normal commitments. So we were discouraged at his not coming to church yesterday and not texting us back. BUT then, we got a text last night :) Turns out, his phone broke or something. So all is well and there is a church tour set up this week.

I remember, after church yesterday, we were both just feeling tired, because we had to wake up early for ward council and then go to 5 hours of church instead of 3. We went home for comp study and unexpectedly were able to set up a lesson with a Ukrainian man. He's so dang funny...he spent the first 15 minutes telling us about an Artesian well where you can get free spring water and then he gave us some of it with organic honey in it. Super yummy. He also tried to show us some Ukrainian comedy show about getting married. I told him we couldn't watch that right now hahah. I wrote it down though...I also told him about enduring to the end and he was isn't to be endured! It's to be enjoyed! I thought that was cool. He would make an awesome Mormon. So our Sunday really became better after getting that text and having that lesson. The other cool part was that we were having a really hard time trying to find someone who  could come to the lesson with us. We needed a third female there so that we could go inside. No one was answering. We were about to give up and I just decided to scroll through the phone and call the first person who stuck out. Of course, the first person that popped up was the obvious choice. She speaks Russian and doesn't live far away...We just totally forgot about her due to the fact that she's not in our ward. It's funny because I think a lot of the time, the choice is obvious, and God is wondering why we aren't seeing it.  So he has to get us to that point through other promptings, such as: scrolling through phone contacts.

We said goodbye to Sister Christensen this weekend. It was bittersweet, but I know it was for the best (Sis Chris, if you're reading this: ya tebya lublu ii ya tak hochu shtobui tui vernulac zdyes no fsyo normana).

We got permission to go and be part of a studio audience on a tv show in Seattle with a member from our ward. It was the coolest p-day ever today!

I've been thinking a lot about what President Eyring said in conference. He said that he read the Book of Mormon every day for 50 years. Um. Think about that, actually...So you're telling me that this incredibly busy man never had a day where he was just traveling or speaking or working all day long so much that he never had a second to open the book? That's amazing! It's easy as a missionary, because we have a scheduled time every single morning, and it's our responsibility. But even then, sometimes I find myself reading other things. But, I want to discover the Book of Mormon's message for me. I invite all of you to do the same. I'm going to read it cover to cover one more time before the end of my mission, and I can't wait to share with all of you some of the new things that I will learn.

So much more happened, but the time is so far gone.

I love you all!”

Why should the U.S. ban pre-shredded cheese? (Week 69)


This week in English class, we read jokes! No one understood them, except the native English speakers, so it was a bit of a fail. Now, I know some new jokes though. Someday I hope to have an arsenal of jokes and riddles to pull out in boring moments. I never thought a mission is where I would hear so many jokes.

Once upon a time, we were in our apartment, talking to our district leader on the phone, and it started smelling like gas. Of course, we tell him and then he shows up at 10:30pm (we're supposed to be asleep by then) to check it out. by 11:00pm, we still couldn't find the source, but we weren't about to just go to sleep. And so, we walked around the office, trying to find the apartment complex's emergency number. Basically, we couldn't find any numbers to contact and we just had to pack our bags, leave, and go sleep at some other sisters' apartment. The floor was dang hard. I might have gotten 2 hours of sleep on Saturday night. The funniest part was that there were Elders in our apartment, and that never happens.

It's good to be back in Bothell. I miss Duvall and Sister Anderson, but I love Sister Christensen & Piddubna (yes, I'm in a trio again, but Sister C will be going home this next week, so it will just be Sister P and I)

We are covering the Bothell ward and both Russian areas. It's a lot to cover, and we have 4 area books (only people who have served a mission will know what that means, probably...) For the rest of means we have to spread ourselves a little thin to make sure that nothing gets too neglected! I'm exhausted and working hard. That's okay though because HARD IS GOOD!

I'll say a bit about what I loved from General Conference this past weekend!

I have to say that I always, always love Elder Holland's talks the most out of everyone's. I try to find others that measure up, but it's always his that hit me the most. I have always wondered about Christ's admonition to us to "be ye perfect." I have always thought, "well, that's literally impossible, I'll just have to wait for a billion years." I guess what Elder Holland is saying is that it's true, it's not going to happen for a really really long time. Like, it's an eternal process. Do you know how long eternity is?? Jesus uses an unfathomable measurement (perfection) because we cannot fathom the things that he has done for us. Refinement will one day be complete, but for now, I want to strive (however clumsily) for perfect moments in the name of perfection himself. Like Elder Holland said. Anyone who knows me knows that I can be a perfectionist and stress out about the small insignificant things that will hold me back from seeing the bigger picture, luckily, the mission has helped me realize that I can heal and change.

I would say more, but I have to go! Stay tuned for next week's letter :)

Sister Jenne”

Transfers... (Week 68)

“Sooo I am getting transferred back to Bothell. There are a lot of mixed feelings.

Mostly, I am just really grateful that we are not white-washing. Duvall needs Sister Anderson. The investigators that we have are a little fragile, but they are getting stronger and stronger as time goes on. More and more involved in the gospel and in tune to the spirit. It's amazing to see how much the people that we have found are searching for truth. Most people are just quite confused, honestly.

"God is not the author of confusion, but is the author of peace." -Quentin L. Cook

I've really been exposed to how much Satan is intricately working within people (myself included) to desensitize us to truth. He doesn't desensitize us to good things. He knows that we have morals inside of us. No, I think he uses good things to keep us from the truth. He would rather have us focused on the good thing rather than the best thing. Eventually, this might lead to bad things, but I think more often, it just leads to confusion.

"Because of what Adam heard and what he saw, he qualified to be called the first prophet on earth, a personal witness of revelation given to man. His major responsibility now was to preserve the truth of the gospel as well as to teach it as it was given to him. Satan, on the other hand, representing the opposition, was going to do and teach anything to deny, to reject, or to ignore the gospel received by revelation, thus inducing the people who had accepted it into apostasy, a state of confusion, division, abandonment, or renunciation of their previous faith!"

A principle that I have been thinking a lot about is trials. Sister Anderson was telling me about an analogy where you are on the far left, God is on the far right, and a fiery match is in the middle. In order to get to exaltation, you absolutely have to go through the fire. There is no way around it. The thing is, some people's situations are things that they can't get out of. Like, a family member dies. Actually, I guess most trials are things that we can't disappear. But, the way that we overcome them is pretty different. Think of an iceberg and how it sticks a little bit out of the surface of the water. It's what we see when we are looking out across the ocean. Since we are educated people, we know that there is a giant glob of ice under the water, as well. It's much much bigger than what we see sticking out.

Since we know this, how often do we skim the top of the water, just hitting the small piece occasionally because we are too fearful of hitting the large part underneath? Probably pretty often. It happens when we skirt around an issue in a companionship because we want to stay neutral, if not happy. It happens when we see weaknesses in ourselves, but aren't willing to do the work to overcome them. It happens when we give up on people because we aren't willing to help them resolve their real issues with the gospel, life, family, or whatever it may be.

However, how much of the water do we miss? How many millions and billions of gallons of water are we missing because we won't allow ourselves to go underwater? We're all really good at avoiding conflict and problems. I'm not saying that we should be contentious. But, the funny part about it is that we create drama because we are bored. We don't focus on the real issues and then create fictitious "problems." It's all a matter of personal pride.

"It was through pride that Christ was crucified. The Pharisees were wroth because Jesus claimed to be the Son of God, which was a threat to their position, and so they plotted His death." -Ezra Taft Benson

The Jaredites were willing to submerge themselves despite the terror that they might have felt. Imagine 344 days inside a barge. They didn't have steering, no windows, no GPS, no idea where they were, and yet "And they did sing praises unto the Lord; yea, the brother of Jared did sing praises unto the Lord, and he did thank and praise the Lord all the day long; and when the night came, they did not cease to praise the Lord." (Ether 6:9) The difference is where we place our trust.

We had so many awesome experiences this week. Here are a few:
-We went to visit a potential. Her husband had died the night before. We read her the Book of Mormon and watered her flowers. A few days later, I felt a prompting to go and see her earlier than we had planned and to buy her some flowers. We went to the store, and ended up seeing another investigator instead!!  The lady ended up not even being home, but we got to see our investigator which was such a miracle and tender mercy from the Lord. I'm glad that we recognized and followed that prompting. God's timing is perfect. Don't worry, we delivered the flowers, a couple hours later.
-A member had a friend that saw our chalk drawing. She called us and we have a lesson set up this week! So excited for Sister Anderson and her new companion to teach her.
-A member set up a dinner with us and a non-member friend of theirs who is interested.

So many more things, but I have no time to write it. It has been incredible. I am so sad to leave Duvall. This place has my heart forever. These people have my heart as well.

I love you all. Have a wonderful week.
Sister Jenne”

Monday, September 25, 2017

Remember the name, my friends (Week 67)

“Random things this week:

-We had zone activity day which consisted of some Japanese games. In one of the games you play rock paper scissors and then the winner gets to hit the loser with a pool noodle. Pretty awesome.

-We also are working with our members on sharing scriptures from the Book of Mormon on social media to allow the Book of Mormon to speak for its self!

-We went and did service for a woman. Her husband is dying of cancer and she's pretty old so she needs help with a lot but it gave us an opportunity to reach out to her and we shared some parts of the Plan of Salvation. I was sitting there sharing while Sister Anderson was watering the plants. It was fun.

-We had a lesson about who God is. We also read 2 Nephi 32. (She pointed out the fact that she was listening to an ABBA song about angels the whole way there on repeat) We discussed how we can receive answers and about what baptism is. It was really great and i know i felt the spirit and i pray that she felt it to. This was the perfect chapter for our investigator. Sister Anderson was so spirit led in choosing that chapter!!!

-We went and helped out at the farmer's market and we helped clean up the market. (we recieved a 20 pound squash, a grocery bag full of grapes, and the most glorious loaf of bread)

-There was one day where we felt like we needed to move going to Russian class from 6 pm to 1 pm for what we thought was just a random reason. (you'll need to know that for later) but our morning consisted of us tearing up our arms and ankles by tearing out hundreds of blackberry bushes. My legs are scratched up like crazy. I didn't wear long pants because I don't think sometimes. I had felt like I needed to wear my Russian tag that day...for no particular reason. Psyche! I met a man from Ukraine at service and we talked for a while and he even asked where our church is. It was awesome But fast forward to that night at 7:30. Sister Anderson had to pee. We decided to stop by a member's house and ask to use their bathroom. We were in our most populated neighborhood of members but we were going through the names of people that lived near by and decided to drive up a neighborhood to a different member. We knocked and the wife was home. She was kind enough to let us use her bathroom. We got into a discussion with her about her hard past. (I'm not going to get into details because the story is not mine to share) Her testimony of the ability of the Atonement to literally change everything bad in our lives into something good is one of the strongest that I have ever heard. As we sat and heard her story and heard her bare witness of the truth of the blessings that God gives us in return I knew that that was exactly where we needed to be. The spirit was so strong and as she finished she stopped and said "Sisters, I just want you to know that 15 minutes before you knocked on my door something horrible from my past popped up and I was all home alone and prayed for God to send me peace." No it was not a new investigator or a baptism. But it was God, our Heavenly Father, reaching out to one of his daughters through us.

- We went to a baptism of a girl in our ward and got to talk with some members and non members there which was nice.

-Our investigator came to a member missionary fireside, and it was awesome!

-We met a man with whom we discussed how the Book of Mormon, and how it brings us closer to Christ. He was pretty argumentative, and I usually will not try to argue too much in those situations. Sometimes, missionaries will just let the person bully and walk away. Which is fine. However, in that moment, I felt a strong prompting to stand up boldly for what I believe. I bore testimony, and the spirit was really strong. He said that he would keep an open mind and took a Book of Mormon. He may decide not to read but we left knowing we left it all on the field. People cannot take away our testimony or deny it. Sister Anderson and I thought that these scriptures from the book of Alma best describe the situation:

3 But now, ye behold that the Lord is with us; and ye behold that he has delivered you into our hands. And now I would that ye should understand that this is done unto us because of our religion and our faith in Christ. And now ye see that ye cannot destroy this our faith.

4 Now ye see that this is the true faith of God; yea, ye see that God will support, and keep, and preserve us, so long as we are faithful unto him, and unto our faith, and our religion; and never will the Lord suffer that we shall be destroyed except we should fall into transgression and deny our faith.

18 Now Alma did not grant unto him the office of beinghigh priest over the church, but he retained the office of high priest unto himself; but he delivered the judgment-seat unto Nephihah.

19 And this he did that he himself might go forth among his people, or among the people of Nephi, that he mightpreach the word of God unto them, to stir them up inremembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them.

Another thing I was thinking about this week.....

10% luck
20% skill
15% concentrated power of will
5% pleasure
15% pain
100% reason to remember the name

In the Book of Mormon, King Benjamin tells us: "I would that ye should remember to retain the name written always in your hearts, that ye are not found on the left hand of God, but that ye hear and know the voice by which ye shall be called, and also, the name by which He shall call you." No matter the different pleasurable or painful or suffocating or illuminating experiences of this life, no matter the percentage of happiness versus the percentage of sorrow, we are always 100% responsible to remember the name of the Lord that will always be written in our hearts. This week I was reminded that baptism is a time when we receive light and make a promise with God. D&C 50:24 says: "That which is of God is light; and he that receiveth light and continueth in God, receiveth more light; and that light groweth brighter and brighter until the perfect day." One way that we receive light is through receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost at baptism. Receiving more light comes when we "press forward with a steadfastness in Christ" [2 Nephi 31:20]. If we consider the course of a day, including all of the ups and downs, different emotions, and choices that are made, it's easy to see that steadfastness in Christ is constantly being threatened by opposing forces. Remembering the name takes skill, luck, power of will, pleasure, pain... Heavenly Father wants to know if we are all in with a willing heart and mind to follow Christ no matter what. "To be tested, we must have the agency to choose between alternatives. To provide alternatives on which to exercise our agency, we must have opposition."

Along with our agency there is responsibility. Lynn G. Robbins calls agency and responsibility a "doctrinal pair." He also says, "When Satan is successful in dividing doctrinal pairs, he begins to wreak havoc upon mankind. It is one of his most cunning strategies to keep people from growing in the light." Everyone seems to want their own free-will. Our human soul not only desires to survive, but to be free. However, as Spirit [the cartoon horse] would say, "with freedom comes responsibility." In the Spirit movie, they're put into a difficult situation where Spirit is on a mission to stop the men from overtaking his homeland. Because he wants to be free, and he wants his family to be free, he's willing to fight for what is right. This is where the disconnect occurs in the world today. Everyone wants freedom, but there's a difference between recognizing the results of our actions and making excuses when something bad happens. "When Satan tempts a person to avoid responsibility, that person subtly surrenders their agency because that person is no longer in control or acting." Slowly but surely, we are actually being led down to prison instead of happiness. Wickedness never was happiness.

Yes I did reference some worldly things in this email, but don't worry, I'm still as cut off from all of it as I have been my entire mission.

Love you all! Sorry for the novel.

Sister Jenne”

Cat Puns Freak Meow (Week 66)

“Well, the email might be a little shorter than it has been this week because we have a lot to do this P-day. However, hopefully it'll still be worth reading.

Random things from this week:

Flu shots, free t-shirts from Harley Davidson, super fast grocery trip on Monday. We also were able to talk with an investigator and teach him the Restoration on his door step and we talked to him about how our message is for families and we now have an appointment set up to teach his family and him.

We went on exchange in Robinswood in Bellevue with our STLs. Sister Anderson and Sister Olsen went over and met this lady who does art inside of the Book of Mormon and paints the pages. She has a blog called and she watercolors in her Book of Mormon!  We also went on a mini exchange in Totem Lake and it was great to be able to be in their area working with them. It was cool to see what happens when other sisters take the stewardship in their area, follow promptings, and see a miracle!

We had to go to both Zone Conferences because we were doing those trainings. Mine was on prayer, and the overall theme of it was that  many people pray, but few people actually lose themselves in prayer. Matthew 16:25 and this quote were my focus: "Happiness is like a butterfly; the more you chase it, the more it will elude you, but if you turn your attention to other things, it will come and sit softly on your shoulder." I think that we are often doing too much to search for answers to questions that are in our heart. We do have to study it out, but I think that the answer isn't always going to come in the way that we expect it to. Our attitude is what's most important. I've been trying to focus my prayers outside myself and I've surprisingly received more personal revelation than ever! In losing myself, I am finding myself! the butterfly has been making a ton of appearances. It's awesome sauce.

 We also had an amazing lesson with an investigator and we talked a lot about our path to God and focused most importantly on where we are because she tends to lose confidence when she compares herself to others around her. It was a great spirit filled lesson and she committed to read the Book of Mormon!

We went on an exchange with Sammamish and it twas a day full of finding. Sometimes you look at those days and think they're going to be hard, but it was awesome to just go out and talk to people after a week of meetings and exchanges outside our area! It's good to get stuff done!

Suday was a super busy day. We talked with an investigator and recommitted him to pray. We also had a good conversation with a man named Fred. He lives in the forest and talks about bug freeways and coyotes. He had some pretty crazy ideas about Paul and about people in general but we are gonna go back and talk with him next week.

Sorry this is scattered. Have a wonderful week everyone!

Sister Jenne
P.S. we also got called Burt and Ernie by some members”

Catholic Rabbits (Week 65)

“Miracles & events:
-I started painting a painting. We'll see how that goes
-We went to do service for a former investigator & we ended up having an awesome gospel conversation & they just started pulling out pamphlets and a book of Mormon from the shelf
-We have been taking this large rock around to some of our members and teaching a lesson and then giving them 48 hours to be a little "boulder" (get the pun?) We had given one family the rock and when we came to follow up and see how they did their 9 year old son said that while he was at the beach he found out that one of his friends had never heard of the Articles of Faith or even the Book of Mormon. He just couldn't believe it, so he sat and talked to him all about the things he knows to be true. (by the mouth of babes my friends) This young boy just talked to his friend about the gospel and didn't die... the concept of becoming like a child comes in both receiving and sharing the gospel.
-we were inspired to text a former investigator. She texted us and said she has been thinking a lot about the Book of Mormon and about the missionaries. Then she texted a member and set up her own lesson with us.
-We had a lesson with a man, and he had read (carefully) all of the pamphlets and the intro/witnessing at the beginning of the Book of Mormon. He was saying how cool the testimony of Joseph Smith is and just describing how important the gospel would be if it were true. He taught himself the Restoration. Literally so golden!!

Some insights:

We often make the mistake of believing that the gospel's many commandments and "rules" leave us bound captive from happiness or freedom to do what we might want to do. However, to understand the gospel is to understand the very essence of freedom. To be free means to be "made or done voluntarily."
We recently met a man who was asking us how we can follow all the small rules and not feel oppressed. He said that he would be so unhappy without his coffee in the morning. He would feel oppressed. Coffee is known to be a harmful substance to intake, especially in high dosage. When we avoid withdrawal symptoms by continuing to do something harmful, we are becoming addicted to that substance. Addiction is involuntarily; and therefore, the opposite of freedom.

The first and greatest commandment is to "love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind." We also know that we show our love to God by keeping his commandments and through service to his other children. In the 3rd chapter of 1st Nephi, Lehi is commanded by the Lord to send his sons to get the brass plates from Laban. Rewind a little bit, and God has just barely told Nephi: "inasmuch as ye shall keep my commandments, ye shall prosper." After he is told by his father to meet with a wicked & hostile king who is greedy & not likely to give them anything besides death threats, Nephi says "I Nephi said unto my father: I will go and do the things which the Lord hath commanded, for I know that the Lord giveth no commandments unto the children of men, save he shall prepare a way for them that they may accomplish the thing which he commanded them." Because God had already promised Nephi many blessings, he had the motivation and the desire to follow commandments, no matter how hard. Laman and Lemuel were not so motivated, to the point where they were dragged, essentially kicking and screaming to talk to Laban about the plates. As I was reading, something that came to mind was confidence. Confidence in the things that matter, and the elements thereof. Nephi had confidence in his own ability and will power to call upon God to deliver him out of the power of his enemy. This type of confidence comes when we believe we're worthy of receiving God's help. We are always receiving help from God, but we are only able to have confidence in Him to accomplish anything when we have a strong testimony.

So, why do we need confidence in the things that matter? Elder Holland said "You will need information. But, in matters of great consequence it is not likely to come unless you want it urgently, faithfully, humbly. Moroni calls it seeking 'with real intent.' If you can seek that way and stay in that mode, not much that the adversary can counter with will dissuade you from a righteous path. You can hang on, whatever the assault and affliction because you have paid the price of conviction. There may come after the fact some competing doubts and confusion, but it will pale when you measure it against the real thing. Remember the real thing. Remember how urgently you have needed help in earlier times and you got it. The Red Sea will open to the honest seeker of revelation. The adversary has power to hedge up the way, to marshal Pharoah's forces and dog our escape right to the water's edge, but he can't produce the real thing. He can't conquer if we will it otherwise. Exerting all our powers, the light will again come, the darkness will again retreat, the safety will be sure."

"Cast not away therefore your confidence, which hath great recompense of reward." It's all worth it. Every single time following a commandment seems like chore, seems silly, seems unimportant, we are defining who we will become through our agency and choices. Our exalted destiny rests on every day choices; isn't it wonderful that we have a Savior who "went forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind." so that we might receive the promise and reward through our diligence and faith.

The Lord said, "men should be anxiously engaged in a good cause, and do many things of their own free will, and bring to pass much righteousness. For the power is in them, wherein they are agents unto themselves. And inasmuch as men do good they shall in nowise lose their reward." "and then shall thy confidence wax strong in the presence of God."

Another thing: today we went to a meeting with a couple other sister training leaders and the zone leaders. They gave everyone assignments except for us. So President Schofield asked us to stay behind. We had an extra 45 minute meeting about how we are going to have to go to both zone conferences and do 30 minute SOLO trainings. So I will be training on Prayer for 30 minutes 4 times. BY myself. Each time, it will be in front of 2 whole zones. I'm scared but it'll be fine. Sister Anderson will be in a separate room training on studying for investigators. Pray for me on Thursday and Friday that I won't have a legitimate heart attack.

I love and miss all of you! Have a wonderful week.
Sister Jenne”

WARNING! (Week 64)

"This morning at 2am, we woke up to "WARNING CARBON MONOXIDE *BEEP BEEP BEEP*" going over and over. So that freaked us out. We turned it off, ran outside, called President, he told us to leave, so we ran back inside and grabbed some essentials and drove to a different sisters' apartment. I haven't been awake at 2am in ages, much less driving through the back roads of Redmond, WA. It was a little bit dark & no one else on the road. Don't worry though because we called 911 and it turns out that we have a faulty detector. FALSE ALARM, but still very startling and an interesting experience.

Onn Saturday we had this crazy day. We had some lessons with investigators planned and then the Russian sisters called (Sisters Piddubna & Christensen) telling us that there is a Ukrainian Festival, and they want to go, but Sister Christensen is feeling really sick and could we come and do splits with them. 2 seconds later, one investigator called to cancel, and we decided to just stop by the other in the morning instead. So, all of the sudden, the day was free! We were driving to Bellevue to do the splits, and we kept hearing something in our tire clinking against the road. We get there and Sister Piddubna and I are walking around and we get a text from Sister Christensen and Sister Anderson..."We're on the side of the freeway with a flat tire, but don't worry the district leader is coming..." So while they're supposed to be going home to rest from sickness, they're trying to get our car fixed for 3 hours.

Meanwhile, we have people approaching us with the intent to argue. It was weird. I almost had forgotten how different the culture is. Almost every single person that we talked to had the same concern "Why are you reading the Book of Mormon" "Who is Mormon" "You girls really should just read the Bible" I also got told that I look like I am from Kazakhstan or China. I also was fasting, and so all of the amazing food was a no go. I did buy a crepe at the end of the day.

Every time I am in a similar situation, I start to remember the importance of testifying as a missionary. I remember that the one thing that people cannot argue with or take away is my sincere testimony. If someone's heart is hard, seeking out the flaws of what you say, it probably won't be easy for them to allow the spirit to penetrate their heart. All we have to do is create an environment where the spirit is present and pray that "those you are teaching will feel the confirming witness of the Holy Ghost." In fact, the Prophet Brigham Young said "If all the talent, tact, wisdom, and refinement of the world has been sent to me with the Book of Mormon and declared in the most exalted of earthly eloquence, the truth of it, undertaking to prove it by learning and worldly wisdom, they would have been to me like smoke which arises only to vanish away. But, when I saw a man without eloquence or talents for public speaking, who could only say 'I know by the power of the Holy Ghost that the Book of Mormon is true, that Joseph Smith is a Prophet of the Lord' the Holy Ghost proceeding from that individual illuminated my understanding, and a light, glory and immortality were before me. I was encircled by the, and I knew for myself that the testimony of that man was true."

I think this verse describes how Sister Pidduba and I were feeling: "It came to pass that there was a division among the people, insomuch that they divided hither and thither and went their ways leaving Nephi [us] alone, as he [we] were standing in the midst of them." There were people all around us. Good people! But, we were alone in our testimonies. We were feeling "much cast down." In the Book of Mormon, Alma gave up the judgement seat to Nephihah so that "he himself might go forth among his people and that he might preach the word of God unto them, to stir them up in remembrance of their duty, and that he might pull down, by the Word of God, all the pride and craftiness and all the contentions which were among his people, seeing no way that he might reclaim them save it were in bearing down in pure testimony against them."

As people try and argue with me about the Book of Mormon and as they encourage me to "do a little research," my testimony is only strengthened. I have read the book. I have prayed about it. I have felt the confirming witness of the spirit of the Lord time and time again. I know that the Book of Mormon is the word of God and I agree with Joseph Smith when he said "the Book of Mormon is the most correct of any book on earth, and the keystone of our religion, and a man would get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book." Now, there are a lot of cool historical facts and miracles surrounding the Book of Mormon, but the sweet testimony in my heart came from a heartfelt prayer with a true desire to know the truth. I know that when we ask, God answers. It's in His own time, but he does answer.

Our area is doing really awesome. It's not easy, but we are seeing miracles every day! We have an investigator who is really progressing and is super interested in the Book of Mormon. We got to our appointment on Sunday and he wasn't there. But, he left a note on his door apologizing and asking that we please come back because he's been reading the introduction and testimonies and is going to keep reading. I just want him to progress toward baptism! This week we also met with a PMF who wants their 9 year old son baptized asap. he will probably get baptized on the last Saturday of the transfer, so that's awesome! MIRACLES MY FRIENDS

I love you all! have a GREAT week,

Cectpa Jenne"

Sunday, August 27, 2017

Squashed Lavender plant... (Week 63)

"Random things from this week:
-the other Russian sisters' apartment got broke into which sucks but good news Happy Valley DuValley is the 3rd safest city in the nation (I think that's correct) so no exciting robberies or crazy hiests will be apart of our week.
-Also we went and did service for the lady in our ward we bought a treadmill for and I taught her how to use a smart phone. She is a sweet lady. Also I demolished her lavender bush.... I repented.
- We met this couple that was more than happy to talk to us about how we need help finding the truth. ("You're such sweet girls, we really appreciate what you're doing, but you need to look more into it, but we love what you're doing, but look into it. ) twas a grand convo full of much testifying. -9:20 PM, we recieved a knock at our door and a member in our ward was there with two containers of Ben and Jerry's ice cream.
-We discovered the miracle of bleach and other chemicals in our cabinets as we tried to erase an elders push up chart from one of our only white boards. Sister Anderson worked on this for like an hour
- We planned a zillion exchanges for the next few weeks.
-We were out tracting in the woods and met a man. It was a creepy encounter but we came out on top with a bag of blueberries, tomatoes, and a zuchinni (with more potassium than a banana) so all is well. Again remember Duvall is the 3rd safest city so even when on a creep dark road at night one needs not worry!
-We were nearing the end of our night and we didnt know what to do. It was 8:30 and we had visited all the people we had planned for. So we said a prayer and felt prompted to go to a certain apartment complex and the second door we knocked we found a new investigator!
-We had costco muffins for breakfast with the Stake presidency
-We had an AMAZING lesson reading the Book of Mormon with a guy. He had the perfect questions and the spirit was there. At the end, he shook our hands and told us that he knows God sent us because he is at a point in his life where he is looking for spiritual guidance.
-We had a member call and set up discussions with his 9 year old son so that he can get baptized
-We were on the side of the road and a member pulled up with a plate of cookies and some info on his neighbor as a potential referral
-We ate much Mexican food and it was the best


We are going to be doing a 40 day fast with our ward over the next 40 days. It starts today. Because of this, I was studying about when Jesus fasted for 40 days in Jesus the Christ. I love how it says "Our Lord was sinless yet peccable; He had the capacity, the ability to sin had He willed to do so. A thoroughly faithful man cannot culpably lie; nevertheless, his insurance against falsehood is not that of external compulsion, but of internal restraint due to his cultivated companionship of the spirit of truth. His honesty is an armor against temptation; but the coat of mail, the helmet, the breastplate, and the greaves are but an outward covering.The man within may be vulnerable if he can be reached." We can put on the armor of truth and righteousness to deter Satan. He will still be there, but we don't have to let him in. Will power is strong.

In D&C 64:14 it says "Behold, the Lord requireth the heart and a willing mind; and the willing and obedient shall eat the good of the land of Zion in these last days." Then, in Nephi 15:24, it says "Whoso would hearken unto the word of God, and would hold fast unto it, they would never perish; neither could the temptations and the fiery darts of the adversary overpower them unto blindness, to lead them away to destruction." Something awesome about the Book of Mormon is all of the prophecies that we see being fulfilled. I especially love Nephi's vision in some of the chapters of 1st Nephi. 1 Nephi 14:14 says: "I Nephi, beheld the power of the Lamb of God, that it descended upon the saints of the church of the Lamb, and upon the covenant people of the Lord, who were scattered upon all the face of the earth; and they were armed with righteousness and with the power of God in great glory."

Here, we learn a couple of things...Satan is powerful and capable of tempting us. However, we are capable of resisting him at all times. But, we are more likely to be successful in our attempt to deny all ungodliness when we have put in the effort to protect ourselves.

"Living the gospel does not mean the storms of life will pass us by, but we will be better prepared to face them with serenity and peace." [Joseph B. Wirthlin] The covenants made at baptism and in the temple are that preparation. Luckily, keeping covenants does not mean begrudgingly checking off the list of to do's every night. It's not quite like remembering to brush your teeth or wear your retainer at night. Being a covenant-keeping people is a lifestyle.

 Our relief society president was talking about how when we carry something heavy, we begin to start shifting to one side, and our body becomes croooked and sore. We are in need of an adjustment which usually includes putting down the heavy thing that we were carrying and stretching out a bit to straighten ourselves. In this earth life, we will never be physically or spiritually 100% upright by ourselves. There's always small things tugging this way or that. "We recognize the multitude of tests, temptations, and tribulations that could pull us away from all that is virtuous and praiseworthy before God...we become a Zion people, of one heart and one mind, a pure people who dwell together in unity and righteousness. 'For Zion must increase in beauty, and holiness.'" [Carol McConkie]

 Holiness is in keeping our personal promises with God. Then, I know that we will be ready and prepared to stand before him and hear the voice, saying "Come unto me ye blessed, for behold, your works have been the works of righteousness upon the earth." We are called to serve others. After all, "the spiritual power that Jesus possessed had not been given to Him for personal gratification, but for service to others."

When you find it difficult to love or serve someone, ask yourself what encouragement might this person need?

I love you ALL! have a fantastic week :)"

Sunday, August 20, 2017

Staying in DUVALL (Week 62)

"If this is too much just let me know, but I thought I would try going day-to-day in my email this week!

After emailing, we got a call from President Schofield saying that we needed to be in Bothell at 4:30 to pick up Sister Hamon and be her companions for 1 week. Whaaaat. Craziness. So, we go and get some ice cream really a result of trying to eat it fast while walking down to the river beach, I dropped mine on the trail. It became rocky road/full of gravel instead of Chocolate PB cup :( And then we got another call saying nevermind, be in Bothell at 8:30. That was a relief, but I regret dropping the ice cream. But anyways, yes, I was in a trio with Sister Hamon for the 3rd time! As we were picking her up, we found out that a main road was closed. The GPS wanted us to go out of mission to get there, so we just drove around until it found a different route. And then, on the way back home it took about 45 minutes. So we got home late. it was weird to be having to worry about night construction.

District meeting and the RZAs! District meeting was huge because we combined 2 districts. It was basically a zone training. There were 14 missionaries in there and so each companionship got up and accounting took forever. Almost a whole hour. Then we had a training where they had us throw a hacky sack at a mad looking guy (he represented a mad bible basher at a doorstep or something) and then they took away his picture, and there was a picture of Jesus behind the lesson was that everyone is a child of God, of course, and when we are rude or annoyed by these people, we have to remember who they actually are. Sister Anderson always says that if we knew everything about everyone, we would love everyone unconditionally. If we understood their perspective and their situation.
Something that the Redmond Zone does is the RZAs (Redmond Zone Awards). All of the district leaders stand up and present each missionary with a certificate. Elder Jacks got up there and basically said "This missionary is from Alabama and she like boiled peanuts" well, that's obvious. Then, I made the whole zone try boiled peanuts. Most of them tried to eat the shell's really sad that they haven't had this experience.
We had a lesson that was really long, but also enlightening. It's interesting when people actually understand that God will answer, and because they know that...they're a little bit scared to ask. They know that a big change will come into their life if they receive the answer that the Book of Mormon is true, and they think they aren't ready for that change or that trial.

I said that last week was service week, but I just think that every week is service week in Duvall. We always go to the food bank and clean the City Hall and Visitor's Center and help a recent convert and then something else always comes up. We poured out gallons and gallons of chunky expired milk. I've enjoyed being out in the sun and working hard, but it's exhausting! We had a member lesson where we role-played the Restoration; the spirit entered the room almost immediately and confirmed to me the truthfulness of the simple message that we take so much for granted.

We had dinner with a member family and their inactive grandpa. We had a really good conversation with them. They both talked about how they found the church. She was a convert and then helped him the quit smoking and alcohol. Sister Anderson shared Alma 19:6 "...the light of everlasting life was lit up in his soul, yea, he knew that this had overcome his natural frame and he was carried away in God." It really touched them. We were in an ADD lesson on the beach, and I was flipping through the BofM. The guy we were talking to was just randomly like "what's that verse?" and I read it and he was like "whoa that applies to me so much" which was awesome just to see how much the BofM is so personal.

Our whole district came to Duvall, and Helen told us exactly what to do. She gave us all jobs and advice like always. After 2.5 hours of that, she took us (in our sweaty/stinky clothes) to a really fancy sandwich shop where we sampled fancy bread dipped in oil and vinegar. We drew the plan of salvation on the sidewalk right next to some girls doing a bake sale for their church...awk...and then we wrote the quote "We may not see the silver lining on our clouds, but God can and He has a plan." -Holland & wrote our number. No one has called yet though. Another cool experience..we prayed and Sis Anderson felt like we should go to the gas station, so we were getting gas and I wash washing the windows and then we struck up awkward conversation with the guy next to us. Not always something we do. He didn't become a new investigator, but we were able to increase his faith. It's always a victory to follow a prompting.

We had a lesson with a member couple and us 3. 5:1 is a weird ratio, and it's hard to get things done because everyone wants to talk at once. But, our investigator really liked the members..that might be the most I've ever laughed in a lesson. Russian class was interesting; Sister Hamon, Sister Christensen, and I worked together to do some role-playing and it was just like old times. Super weird. On exchanges (I swear I go on 100s of exchanges...), we needed to leave in 10 minutes, but we knocked on one more door and then that turned into a 45 minute discussion. Basically, this guy was just talking about how there are so many differences between our religions. So we tried to highlight the similarities, but he wasn't having it. One thing that he said, I thought was interesting. So he was taking about how it's weird that we believe in the Bible because if we believe that the church became corrupt after all of the apostles died, then why would we want to read a book that was assembled by a corrupt church. (So I guess that the Bible was assembled by the Catholic church, after the apostles all died, according to him). But anyways, the point is, he was trying to dissuade our testimonies with all these random facts, but when he was talking about the Bible, it just strengthened my testimony so much in the Book of Mormon! He's right, we can't 100% trust the Bible. It's not 100% correct. It's been changed. Yeah, it was originally written based on what the apostles wrote, but..the Nicean Creed happened...We need the Book of Mormon. We need that clarification. We ate some cheese. We were so excited. We put it in our mouths, and it tasted so gross. Then, we looked at the package and it expired on June 25. I don't know how we didn't get sick or die.

Sunday: So we went 54 days without rain here. On Sunday morning, we realized tht it was raining! It's a miracle! The drought is over..and maybe some of the horribly hot weather as well! At church, I felt a strong prompting to focus on the baptismal covenant of "[comforting] those who stand in need of comfort." No idea why, but I decided to think about that during the sacrament and afterwards. We got transfer calls and Sister Hamon will be leaving us, and Sister Anderson got some sad news as well...let's just say that I got to follow the prompting of comforting. It was seriously an answer to prayer. God was actrually preparing me for something that would happen just a few hours later. I was a little awestruck based on the fact that he cares so deeply.

This is incredibly long.
Hope it's enjoyable, though! Feel free to skim :)

Love you all
Cectpa Jenne"