Monday, December 26, 2016

christmas party-ed out

So this week was Christmas part central!! It was very fun and festive :)
Lets take a gander together at the week!

Party #1
Ms. Kelly Joe's family Santa party. 
Our wonderful less active that we have been working with made sure we were taken care of for all our Christmas needs and especially a picture with santa
Party #2
The Holm's classy family dinner and FHE :) 
Party #3
The Brian gang. Christmas eve gumbo and white elephant!
it was the same place we went to for Thanksgiving
They got us adorable presents that were so beautiful I didn't want to open them
The Pride Elders! Elder Mortensen and Bennett. They got LSU ties and we got dresses with a sash!
Party #4
the crew
The oldy moldies. 
The originals who were here one year ago in the Denham springs zone. #wow #feelingold
Family picture!! my daughters <3
Party #5 
The Price Family decorating mom's sugar cookie recipe!!
​Party #6
classic present load pic :)
Party #7
Skyping with my favorite people on earth <3
I just think the world of yall and am so grateful for yall :) couldn't have had a happier week!
sister sades

Monday, December 19, 2016

elder howe and miracles

Yall. We are frozen little popsicles over here. 
It got really really really cold. like colder than I have been in a very very long time :(

but we had a really really awesome experience this week! 
(told yall I would have a good story this week :)

So this week we got permission to go visit Elder Howe! and that was so amazing. 
He is progressing like crazy and is such an inspiration to us all. We are so happy that he is improving so drastically. 

Friday night, we went down to the hospital in Baton Rouge and visited him. 
His speech is fantastic, he looks and acts very normal, he just wears a helmet! 
It was great to see him and help keep his spirits up.
But in reality, he lifted our spirits up. 
Elder Howe is so charitable and Christlike and selfless. We loved being with him for a quick moment!

We had the cooooolest experience when we went to go visit him though. 
When we were there his parents weren't there so there was a nurse sitting with him, there to help him with whatever he needed and whatnot. (not entirely sure why actually lol) But we were talking to Elder Howe and making sure we involved her and helped her feel comfortable. We all got talking more and talked to her more about her life and just a whole bunch of things! 

One topic lead to another and before we knew it, Sister Henrie and I and Elder Howe were all team teaching this nurse the Restoration. Talking about the Book of Mormon, prophets, missionary work, and how we can best follow Jesus Christ. It. was. so. cool.
Also this nurse was the most golden investigator I have ever met. She knew she needed something in her life, she's been searching for a way to get closer to God but she just didn't know how! and then this just dropped into her lap. It was completely meant to be. When we were talking about the Book of Mormon with her she was so pumped! She got out a notepad and was writing down the suggestions we gave her of scripture chapters and page numbers to read. 
It helped lift us and we think it helped Elder Howe feel like a missionary again. 
visiting Elder Howe ft his zone t-shirts he designed and the golden investigator nurse!
I love missionary work and sometimes we have these little "God-wink" moments to help remind us why we are doing what we are doing. and I love it. and need it sometimes. 

sister sades

this cat liked tummy rubs and was so chill and relaxed he was falling out of my arms!

volunteered at a veterans cemetery putting wreaths on graves on veterans!
We were in a Christmas parade! it was really fun. I was a shepardess who walked next to our
float and handed out scrolls that said "keep Christ in your Christmas!" it was great!


Monday, December 12, 2016

another day in the life :)

dearest darlingest familia :)
our transfer news is pretty boring... Transfers for the Zachary district is all expected. 
One from each companionship is being transferred. 
So we glad about that. 
we have another 6 weeks to attempt to figure out what we are doing! :D lol jk but not
This week.... hmmm.... I really don't have too much to report on because we just go around and knock on doors most all day everyday sharing the best message in the world!
I love Christmas time. its a wonderful wonderful time of year :)
yalll... I'm the worst. I really don't have too much to report... 
so here are some answers!
What is a habit that you have developed on the mission?
waking up at 6:30am. I've gotten really good at that.
Listening. and being interested in everything their saying.
saying "yall" and "dang" and little southern phrases and mission phrases that we have.
always carrying a bag with me everywhere
taking pictures of everything
being on a strict schedule
being exhausted daily
learning to love others so much more than I ever have
being aware of all my surroundings

What do you think is one of the MOSTEST IMPORTANTEST things you want to teach all new missionaries? Like your little daughter you are training?
figure out the way that you feel/hear/listen to the Spirit. aka learn the language of the Spirit. it makes everything alot easier because you just do what God wants you to do.
also obedience is cool. its really cool. especially when you do it cheerfully. (bc if you dont then its not fun for anyone and you might as well just not)
not just obedient to the mission standards. but obedience to everything in life. 
listening to what people say and doing it. or what they need and helping them.
obedience to God and His teachings and what He is trying to tell us.
Never trying to find loopholes or outs of things. 
its too complicated. don't try and look at it another way. just be completely and totally obedient. 
Its called honesty, humility, & integrity.

What was the first thing you guys did to get started in your brand new area???
(srry i forgot the very first one) we went and met the members who's side apartment we live in. They showed us what key was the house key and where we park and so on. 
first, we had to clean alot. our apartment was kinda grody.
second, we looked through the phone and the ward roster. trying to make sense of everything. (that was very overwhelming. everything was different and I didn't have any idea who any of the people were. I looked through the ward roster and didn't even know who the Branch president was. #what)
third, we texted the previous missionaries to tell us who the branch president was.
fourth, we called the branch president. (he didn't answer.)
fifth, we called a man from the ward. (we found a bag with a note to take to him at church on sunday. we figured that meant he was active.) so we called him and he answered! We asked him who the Branch presidency was, who the RS president was, and who the Branch Mission Leader was. Where is the church building, what time is church, is there anything going on that we should know about.... little things that you don't think about that new people don't know.
sixth, we called all those people who he told us. (none of them answered, we left messages)
seventh, we called the missionaries in our district! the Zachary Sisters and Elders. then we asked them other basic questions like, wheres the nearest walmart? wheres the library so we can look up all the other things we don't know? 
eighth, we went tracting in our neighborhood. 
ninth, we came home... at what little food we had leftover, then we rearranged and started deep cleaning the apartment so we could start unpacking our stuff in a clean place. (that we knew was clean)
tenth, we planned for the next day. looked through the area book a bit. 
eleventh, we went to bed. finally.
wow. what an overwhelming day.

Who is one of your missionary heroes? (another missionary in your mission that you really admire)
oh my heck. I have so many. like so so many.
but this is who I thought of right off the bat.
Sister Sarah Louise Amezcua
an inspiring example of strength, optimism & also being real, and Christ-like love and caring for others around her. truly a steadfast rock
Sister Shaina Karen Toner
an incredible example of listening to the Spirit, being genuine, listening & caring for people and just calm sunshine in a person. 

What do you do when you get home when you have had a really hard day?
we plan. we always come home and plan no matter what the day was like. 
then after that I will take a hot shower. 
showers soothe all the pains and stresses of the day. 
also its a good calming satisfactory feeling at the end of a really good day!
sometimes depending on the mood I will bring in our fancy DVD player and play music or listen to talks. and that is how I cope. by the time you get out of the shower its time to be over it. whatever "it" was. you had that time and now its time to be over it. I talk to Heavenly Father alot too during this time. is that weird idk over it. it works for me :)

anyways... I'll try to have some stories for this next week!
and then I'll see your faces the next week!!!!
ahhhh hooray for christmas!!!
Love yall so so much!
be thinking of some more questions for christmas :)
sister sades
last monday for p day we went to a haunted plantation home tour!! It was rainy and absolutely beautiful. and haunted. 
The Myrtles Plantation
our creepy tour guide........
sister cornia swears she felt a hand touch her and tried to blame it on us.... but we weren't even close to her.
rainy days in our truck mags (short for magnolia)
last district meeting with this rad team!
WE MADE A COFFEE TABLE for our apartment! actually we hammered in some nails and watched Cowboy, a lessactive we love visiting and are working with, do most of the work

Monday, December 5, 2016

life isn't picture perfect but we sure try

Yall what a blessed week it has been here in s-laughter town.
Updates on Elder Howe, he is a miracle, improving and recovering beyond belief. Truly Gods hand is in all of this. 
Updates here, we are still doing our finding thing! Trying to find people to teach and most especially to WATCH THE CHRISTMAS VIDEO WITH US!! 
The Christmas initiative this year is a Christmas countdown. 
25 days in 25 ways. 
Things to do everyday to come closer to Christ. Such an amazing message. 
But this week we had a ton of adventures so that equals a PICTURE LETTER!
tune in for the stories and miracles and adventures of the crew. 
day 1 adventure 1: unpaved roads. aka the beauty of s-laughter. aka all the roads in s-laughter
(so its actually not an adventure because it happens all the time. just documenting daily life)
good job gps
adventure 2: a broken bridge in the middle of nowhere adventure
This one was an actual adventure. wow. 
Pretty sure it was supposed to be washed out and un-drivable from the flood but it was safe! and beautiful
adventure 3: we went to mississippi!! the was no mississippi sign just the edge of our parish sign. 
but it was awesome. 
day 2 adventure 1: THE MISSISSIPPI RIVER (in louisiana)
part of our area backs up to the MS river. I had driven over it but haven't touched it yet. 
it was cool. in both meanings of the word.
louisiana. the pearl in my oyster of lyfe. #idkwhat
am i cool yet
adventure 2: exchanges with this beauty
I ADORE SISTER TONER. she is a light in my life and a huge example to me. She was my STL in the last 2 transfers when I was in Covington and she is my STL again and I have learned wonders from her. our exchange was a blessing for my soul. literally cant express how much she blesses & influences my life
we went to a rainy rainy rainy festival to contact. Handed out lots of #LighttheWorld cards and then went to get Lebanese lunch to warm up
day 3: so not cool. 
actually its more like a deer hit us. 
here is the narration from my incident report. 
driving down the highway when its dark. brights are on, see a deer on the left side of the road, slow down, deer gets scared and starts running after hesitation. hits the trucks drivers side rear & tail light. knocks tail light out but it still is connected and works. There is a large dent in the body of the car above & after the tire.
whats missing is that we are screaming our faces off when the deer starts running. #hatemylife
BEYOND THANKFULLY THOUGH, the deer ran off into the wilderness and we could not find it. i cannot think of the state I would be in if we had found the deer. 
10/10 would not do it again.
our feelings about it post freak out and calling our car dude and not finding the deer.
day 4 adventure 1: ztm
I love zone meetings. I wait for these for the whole week. I love missionaries.
Ugly sweater day
me and bbygirl + the ugliest sweater
DS zone <3 e howe.
these are the zone shirts Elder Howe designed and ordered before the accident. 
how cool is that. 
so happy to be apart of the Denham Springs zone and this little miracle.
our district fam bam

These are some random pictures from the week.
I take pictures like these all the time but usually don't include them in the letter. since its a picture letter though.. why not? :)
where I'm coming back to get my dreads
dabbing with a random statue in front of a house that didn't answer the door
its casual
sister toners first time cutting a pineapple!!! ft a sneak peek of our apt
a tree inside of a tree.... what
share the christmas video with one of your friends today! or a stranger. 
its great how the christmas season brings us together and makes it a billion times easier to share things about Christ. 
Challenge yourself. 
talk to someone about the christmas video. 
watch it with them in a line at the store.
share it on social media.
->> you will be surprised at how many people are happy to see it and happy to hear it <<-
love yall bunches. 
merry christmas
sister sades

Monday, November 28, 2016

gratitude and empathy

Happy thanksgiving yall!

This week really was a week of thanks and really reflecting on what I am really grateful for that I sometimes take for granted.
Thursday, Thanksgiving day, we were invited to go to our Branch Mission Leaders extended families house for a turkey day lunch! It was very sweet of them to invite us. :)
(I'm suuuper super bummed but I didn't take very many pictures at all this week!)
But we had a great time, talking to all the family members and extended family there and getting to know them. Really quality conversations :)
Elder Mortensen and Elder Howe were there as well! They are serving in a little town called Pride.We laughed and talked with them alot. They are so awesome. 
We talked about the new zone tshirts that we are going to get at our next zone meeting that Elder Howe designed, empathized with each other about being doubled in and nasty apartments, joked about Elder Mortensen being the grim reaper of companions, (he has sent home his last 4 companions in a row, 2 going home at the end of 2 years, 1 getting injured and having to go home, and one going home early), swapped stories about what we were doing last thanksgiving a year ago, vented about how we were struggling to stay within our allotted mileage limitations and what we were trying to do to stay under miles. 
We were walking everywhere and these elders were biking everywhere. around 40ish miles a day. They had biked to this Thanksgiving lunch and it was around 15 miles away from their apartment!
Then it was time to go to not overstay our welcome and went our separate ways.
The rest of our day was very relaxing and chill! We were able to take a quick nap, visit with the Halls (the people we live next to/with) and then we went to a small dinner with another family in the ward. 
Friday was another good day! We walked and walked to more peoples houses and tried meeting as many people as we could as everyone was still off work and hopefully home for the holidays.
Friday night we received shocking news.
Elder Howe was in an accident. The elders were riding their bikes and Elder Howe was hit by a car going 50 mph. He is in very critical condition.*
This news literally blew me away yall. 
It was devastating to my heart.
We were literally with them only 24 hours ago! laughing, joking, talking about our lives and futures. and it all changed in one instant.
But most of all I was overcome with sadness. Since I was just with them I was able to imagine a single pint of what they were going through. The scenario kept going through my mind. And I became completely heartbroken. to the point where it was about to consume me. 
Luckily, (and by luckily it was obviously spirit led) that morning I was reading through some of my old inspirational advice emails from my family and I had read this one from Mallory that I remembered reading. It was exactly what I needed. 
Email from Mallory:
I don't often share things on social media.
I look at it though.
I LOVE looking at pictures of people's lives.
I laugh and show Preston funny cat memes.
I eat up articles about #fixerupper.
I think I have seen every single #studioc sketch.
Heck, I even made a March Madness bracket this year with Pres.
I also keep in touch with the "world's status".
I sometimes hit up #hony to read people's stories and get in touch with the feels.
I read and watch news articles, or hear it from Preston- an avid current event-er.
I sometimes read the open letters from so-and-so to whomever.
I shed tears over articles that break my heart, especially ones involved with sexual abuse or angel babies.
I watch presidential debates and read (with some eye-rolling) political articles.
(The only thing I don't do is scroll down to comments on articles, videos, etc. Too much, too much.)
I do enough to stay in touch.
But sometimes my heart hurts too much.
It's like I have a magical power that lets my imagination take me and put me right in the shoes of the persons involved - 
the husband of the wife with cancer, the rape victim, the woman struggling with depression, the child of the police officer who was killed, the mom of a beautiful angel baby, the torn family fleeing their home
- feeling what they feel and crying with their cries.
Oh wait...I do.
It's called empathy.*
When I get too sad or too sick over the world, I used to just close the article and swallow myself up in an aforementioned cat meme or pictures of a pretty house.
And then I would feel guilty for running away from the real world and trying to find happiness in frivolity.
So one day, I sat down and tried to figure out what I could do to stop that sad feeling.
want to be informed. I want to feel.
don't want to run from the world or hide or cover up my feelings.
want to embrace the fact that I can feel those feelings and experience that beautiful, sorrowful, and sometimes painful part of life.
But I don't like to be overwhelmed with sadness from an outside source.
And so I sat and thought.
And I sat and prayed.
And this is the overwhelming answer I got.
That is why there is an Atonement.
The Atonement isn't just to be talked about on Easter Sunday (which is soon, btw).
The Atonement isn't just for when you did something wrong.
The Atonement
all those with a broken heart.
It is for the husband of the wife with cancer, 
the rape victim, 
the woman struggling with depression, 
the child of the police officer who was killed, 
the mom of a beautiful angel baby, 
the torn family fleeing their home.
It is even for the silly 25 year old girl who weeps when she reads Facebook articles while her baby sleeps.
This life is full of sadness, pain, heartache, trial, anger, frustration, and seeming injustice,
And, I hate to break it to you, but the next president isn't going to fix that.
But I know One who can.
Not because He will make all that go away.
But because He helps you through it.
Isn't that beautiful?
It is okay to feel. It is okay to feel all those sad things.
Embrace them even!
But don't wrap them up in your heart. Don't hold on to them. 
Embraces are hugs - 
you hold them for a second, a minute, sometimes even a few minutes.
But you always let go.
They will still be there. Maybe even right next to you.
But you don't have to hold onto them forever.
And let me tell you a not-so-secret.
The best way, and sometimes only way, to let them go is to let the Savior take them.
He will take them for you.
That's how much He loves you.
It doesn't matter what your sad thing is,
He will take it for you.
If you are willing to let go.
And let me tell you the best part.
After you let Him take it,
the Savior of all mankind 
will then wrap you in His loving arms.
Soothing, comforting, and bringing peace.
Sometimes we have to give Jackson medicine when he is sick.
To say he dislikes it would be a vast understatement.
Every time, after we give it to him, I wrap him in my arms and just hold him.
And he stops crying.
I like to think that is what the Savior's embrace is like.
Those things will still be there.
But so will the Savior.
You didn't run away.
You stayed and you faced them, but with the Savior by your side.
Holding you up.
And helping you feel.
Because it is okay to feel.
I love feeling.
He is real. I know He is.
#Hallelujah for that.

*Yes, I said empathy. No, I have never had those experiences. Yes, for that moment, I have felt the feelings of what they are feeling. No, that doesn't diminish their feelings at all. Compared to their sorrow, it is fleeting. It does not match the magnitude of their experiences. But, in that moment, it is very real. 
(Thank you to Tom Barker for opening up my eyes to the compassion hierarchy.)
Look it up.

So that moment when I was almost overcome with feeling, I knelt down and prayed to my Heavenly Father. I poured out my heart and prayed for Elder Howe, Elder Howe's family, and Elder Mortensen. And I started a fast.
Then got up and we got to work. We went out tracting and trying to share the #LighttheWorld video with everyone we could!
And that was one of the coolest experiences. 
I really felt the power of the Atonement work in my life. 
I felt God take it for me. He heard my many prayers and gave me the peace I needed. 
I felt light. I felt optimistic about a hard situation. I felt strength. I felt the power of the Atonement in my life. 
I gave my feelings a hug. and then I gave it up.
The Atonement is not just for sins.  Its for everything we feel. Good and bad and indifferent.
yall I am so thankful and my heart is full. 
honestly thank you for writing and sending me all your prayers and emails. 
They really honestly mean alot to me! They help me! and they make me happy :)
love love love yall!
sister sades

*The whole story is that Friday evening the Pride elders were riding their bikes on the hwy (not an uncommon thing, its all rural) and riding towards the sun. The sun was in everybody's eyes. A lady was driving and didn't see them. She side swiped Elder Mortensen and hit Elder Howe. Elder Howe hit the windshield and his bike was impaled into the car. His helmet was split in 2. Elder Mortensen called 911 and then immediately went over and gave Elder Howe a blessing. Elder Howe has been in a medically induced coma, his brain is very swollen and he has a punctured lung but no broken bones. Elder Mortensen is shook up but he's alright. Elder Howe's parents came down Saturday night. We have been praying a ton as a companionship and as a mission and we had a mission-wide fast for him Sunday.
Can you just appreciate the beauty of Lousiana for a moment with me <3
all from this week

Monday, November 21, 2016

caterpillars and butterflies and 1 year. what.

Well yall. 
Sorry for not emailing last week, life is crazy here in S-Laughter. 
We went on a rad waterfall adventure!! It was so fun. It felt so good to hike and see water and be relaxed and outside!
but sorry about the lack o email. hopefully this makes up :)
But its been a good week!
yall its been a good year.
Last week I hit one year for being on a mission and its a crazy crazy feeling. 
This was one year ago last week! can you believe that. just a little sister mish
ready for this reunion :)
I have learned alot alot alot in the past year. 
It can pretty much be summed up in this quote my wonderful companion showed me this week.

[ How does one become a butterfly? One has to have the desire to fly so badly, that they give up being a caterpillar. ]

wow. thats honestly been my goals and the summation of the last year in one quote. 
Trying to become what God wants me to become.
Trying to be someone God can depend on always to listen and then do what He wants me to do, no matter what the occasion, situation, person, or action. 
Trying to be someone who you can see Christ by seeing or knowing me. 
Trying to be 100% committed to God and motivated only by love. 
Trying to give up [ me ] & the things [ I ] want and purely be a servant for God.

And some days I do really good at these things!
Other days I am not so good at these things. 
And other days I am doing good but especially adept to seeing only what I need to improve. 
And these are the days that have made up the past year.
I just really want to become the butterfly God sees me as and God can use me as and give up my caterpillar self and tendencies. 
Here are some things that I have learned:
1. to depend on Christ and the Atonement to be enough. 
sometimes we mess up. sometimes we don't do all that we can. sometimes once we get in the car and start to drive away we realize what we should have done or should have said. sometimes we don't know what to do or where to go and we have to be the strong ones. 
but I've learned that, thats okay. and we can do it. 
only when we rely and depend on Christ.
and I know this because each one of these things happened to me this week. and I'm here trying to be better today than I was yesterday. and I can only do that with Christ.
2. to [ l e t  g o  a n d  l e t  G o d ]
sometimes we worry. sometimes we say the completely wrong things. sometimes we really ruin a door approach. sometimes we really want to take away our investigators agency.
but I've learned  to let it go. not only let it go but let God take it for me. give it to Him and lay it at His feet. 
and I know this because each one of these things has happened this week as well. and I'm at peace with my mistakes (& how to be better) and others decisions and I'm giving it to God.
3. how to treat others, how to care for people, what makes others feel good
sometimes we aren't as patient, loving, caring, compassionate, humble, kind, Christ-like, as we should be and sometimes we are. sometimes others serve, write, love, say, do things that make us feel good and feel cared about and sometimes its the opposite. 
but I've learned how to be more Christ-like and how to treat others the way Christ would, how to love and speak and react with love even when its hard and even when its not reciprocated. and I have learned alot from the members, investigators, and missionaries here about how to care, serve, and 
4. my personal relationship with God and Christ and what that means
God is my Father. who really loves me. and blesses me alot. and blesses those around me alot. and sometimes I get to be the tool He uses. and thats the coolest thing ever.
Jesus Christ is my brother. who is my number one cheerleader, supporter, listener, friend, example, and everything else that is good in the world. He is all of that and more. 
And they each know me very personally. and want and do the very best for me. 
5. value of time
Have you ever realized how much you can get done in one day when you plan it and wake up early? ALOT YALL. you can get alot done.
Have you ever realized all the stuff that you need to do and want to do and how little time we have in a day? or in a week? or a month? or on a mission? or whatever stage of life we are in? or on the earth? NOT ALOT YALL. 
So why waste it on pointless activities or time wasters that are not helping us progress?
6. what makes me happy
God trusting me.
seeing people change their lives
helping people change their lives
becoming converted and changed through the Atonement
talking to people
talking about God and Christ
making friends with strangers
making friends with missionaries
eating louisiana food
making fun and irreplaceable memories
learning new things daily
feeling successful
feeling the Spirit
petting cats
getting prayers answered
being the answer to others prayers
being on the Lord's errand all day every day
driving a truck
dirt roads 
christmas music
sister henrie
jamming to christmas music in the truck with sister henrie on dirt roads
looking at pictures yall send me
[ being a representative of Jesus Christ and servant of God ]
7. why I'm on a mission
because I love God and I want to serve Him. 
because there is no other way to be saved except through Jesus Christ and baptism through this priesthood and the people in this world NEED that.
because I want to help people have the peace and happiness through the gospel.
because I want to help my brothers and sisters access the Atonement of Jesus Christ.
wow. moral of the story. 
I've learned alot. here are just a few things. a few of my favorites.
and I am so THANKFUL.
for my mission, for the knowledge of the gospel, for the miracles I get to see and the lessons I get to learn, for the eternal friends I get to make, for my wonderful companion who is full of energy and love for her mission and life.
and especially for YALL. 
headed to zone conf with bbygirl henrie <3

update on missionary work in s-laughter town! 
this is what we do all day everyday. roam the roads and knock the houses. 
we have meet lots of rad God-fearing people. 
GOOD NEWS: we taught 2 lessons this week! actually in their houses! so that was really exciting and see the work move forward. lots of hopes for this upcoming week and the one after thanksgiving
posterity. my 2 daughters + sister putoa
walking to save miles and walking on railroads to save our lives from the hwy :)
and we always need to stop for picture opportunities. :)
i <3 s-laughter
Here are promised pictures of the apartment :)
cheesin :)
happy thanksgiving and tune in next week for more gratitude and christmas joy. :))

just living life and seeing good days :)
sister sades