Monday, May 30, 2016

Bishops Call‏

So here's the story for the week. 

Bishops Call:
So we cover 2 wards. 
Alexandria Ward and the Pineville Ward.
Bishop Owen and Bishop Stock.
Alexandria members are really struggling to the point where there is hardly a ward.
Pineville is struggling as well but in contrast to Alec ward... They are doing veryyy well. 
The previous Sisters have been asked to focus their time in the Alec area since the Alec Elders are on bikes and the Pineville Elders have a car and are also the Zone Leaders.
buuuuut. The work in Pineville is absolutely awful because of it and the ward really doesn't like the Sisters because we haven't done any work in Pineville
especially the bishop. #notasisterfan

Sister Pfleger has been in Alexandria for only 1 transfer so only 6 weeks so only 6 Sundays. Its enough.. But not alot
So we are both feeling very new and we dont really know anyone. 
Our days are alot of introducing ourselves to people :)

Because we are both fairly new and the wards generally don't like us, I have been thinking about what we can do to make it better. 
I remember reading Preach My Gospel with Sister Steve and it talking about meeting with the bishop, trying to become a blessing and not a burden. 
Plus my previous experiences tells me that a good relationship with the bishop and auxiliaries makes ALL the difference. 
I didn't know at the time but that was the Spirit being like, "Um hello. You need to meet with the bishops."
So I was thinking of that all that morning about meeting with the bishops and I decided I would bring it up to my companion during Companion Study.

Personal study is first, so I'm studying and reading and stuff. and then about 10 minutes before we finish personal and move to companion the phone rings and its Bishop Stock.
Asking for me. 
He asks me to give a talk on Sunday about the Book of Mormon.
After we hang up, I just sit there for a minute and then I tell Sister Pfleger that it was weird that he called because I have been thinking that we should meet with the bishops. 
So we start talking about it and the benefits and what it would help. She shares with me her experiences with the bishops. 
Bishop Stock will be easy to meet with but hard to work together with.
Bishop Owen is always busy and doesn't answer phone calls and is very discouraged to be bothered with by the missionaries. 

All the more reason to meet with him! But we compromised and agreed that we would text him instead of call so that he could get back to us when he had the time. 
Meanwhile I called Bishop Stock right back so that it would be an immediate thing. He totally agreed to meet with us and had us and the Elders over for dinner on Thursday night!
While we were drafting a text to Bishop Owen to meet with us, the phone rings.
And its Bishop Owen. 
And he asks for me.
And he wants me to give a talk on Sunday. 
I said of course but only if you meet with us. 
And he said no problem how is Wednesday. 
I said grape. 

Check, check, and check. 
I though Sister Pfleger was going to fall off her chair after that phone conversation.

That was truly a Christmas miracle. 
We had two meetings with both bishops within a matter of 10 minutes when the past experiences were all against us.
Heavenly Father told me that we needed to meet with them and I had faith that it needed to happen. That it would get our missionary work rolling.
And they both called us. 
or me I guess. 
And I get 2 talks out of it! 
so double bonus. 

We met with Bishop Stock and I think it went alright! It was obvious that he loves the elders and he has some serious frustration at the sisters but its all good. We got it all out and I think by the end he was able to see that we are here to work and we want to start the work in Pineville more. He served his mission in Boise and so he took out his mission box and we literally talked about Boise/Idaho for over an hour. (He served in McCall for 4/6 months!) 
 Bishop Owen cancelled twice this week so we still haven't met with him.

Talking in sacrament meeting as a missionary is literally the best thing that can happen. It gives you an opportunity to publicly introduce yourself, teach, encourage, and bear testimony to the whole ward in a way that they can feel the Spirit. Its such a valuable opportunity.
Also it makes it alot easier to get the people you visit to come to church. :) 

So this whole week I have spent lots of hours during personal study, the hour when we get ready in the morning and the night, and even coming home early on a day to really prepare these talks. 
I really wanted to prepare these talks in a way that the ward needed to hear.
I spent this week on my knees, really pleading with Heavenly Father to tell me what to say that I can have the Spirit with me so I can write and prepare enough so that it will touch someone in the ward. 
I really worked hard on these talks and for one of the first times I didn't write every word out. I wrote quotes, scriptures, and general ideas but not a written talk. 
I really had to rely on the Spirit because I don't feel like I speak well by myself :)

So Sunday comes up! Talk time!
Alec ward is first. 
This was the talk I liked best talking about personal revelation. 
I think it went alright! Its a small ward of maybe like 50 or less so I was able to look at everyone and also see who I put to sleep ;)
But it went well! Bishop Owen told me I did a really good job as well as his counselor. And we set up another appointment this week which I think will be a for sure :)

Right after Alec sacrament meeting we had to go straight to Pineville PEC meeting, which was a little icy but it went better.
Then we had the Pineville sacrament!
My talk was on the Book of Mormon and it only consisted of quotes and scriptures. It was the least written out and one where I knew I needed the most Spirit. I was praying the whole time on the stand. I couldn't do this without the Spirit.

The talk before mine was fantastic! A recent convert who just got her Patriarchal Blessing. It was so interesting and inspiring! It really helped bring the Spirit.
I was nervous and the beginning of her talk about what I was going to say but when I really stopped thinking about what I was going to say and started listening to her and feeling her Spirit was when I became very calm. I knew I had prepared enough.
I thought the talk went alright. I talked about all that I thought I needed to. Again the ward is very small and there many who were distracted and it was kind of disappointing because it didn't look like many were paying attention. 
I was just hopeful that I hadn't just prepared for myself but for someone in the ward. That the Spirit touched someone in that congregation. 

The next 2 hours went on, Sunday School and then the combined 5th Sunday lesson. We were able to have a really casual and easy conversation with Bishop Stock in 5th hour. Its kinda hard to explain but Bishop ended up sitting next to us and we had a casual, friendly conversation. 

I didn't think much of it until later when Sister Pfleger and I were talking about it later. We were talking about who was at church and how the talks went. I was just saying that I thought the first one was best because most people were paying attention. 
Then Sister Pfleger said that in the Pineville ward, Bishop Stock was really emotional and crying through the whole talk. 
Then it was easy to see how the Spirit lead me to somehow touch him and how we then created a good relationship during the rest of church. 

I can't do anything without the Spirit.
I have really seen the power of studying and preparing and the results.
I have see the power of the Spirit touch lives. 
I love the gospel! 
It makes me so happy. 
I'm so excited to be in these wards.
I love yall so much!!
Sister Sades
so. it reached the hundos this week. who knows what the humidity was but it was probably one thousand. it was so hot. we were only outside walking for 2 or less minutes
and we turned into this. #lazysloths
found a broken down old style ice cream truck on someones lawn? sure!
seems safe enough

Monday, May 23, 2016

lux life in Alec‏

This week has been a blur but its also felt like the longest week ever. Mission time is literally the weirdest. 

But I would like to tell yall that I am currently sitting in normal people clothes on a very comfy recliner. So if that is any indication about how wonderful this transfer is going to be... its going to be rad. 

OH WAIT. I already know its going to be rad because..
1. I already know my companion and she is super rad. 
(p is silent, hard g)
Also Kylie Andersons Bff
Also Mom went on a date with her dad
Also I'm sure we have alot more connections but I just don't know them
Also an Idahomie. We talk about Idaho and Boise all. the. time. who knew in your daily conversations you reference home so much and then its so exciting when they actually know what you're talking about! YAY. 
I love her already. so so so happy and excited for this transfer :)
Idahomies. We looked up each others houses on googlemaps.
 then we found Kylies house. Laughs for dayyyzzz. #seriousBoiseprideupinhurr
I am in Alexandria, Louisiana! nickname Alec
Alexandria is one of the northern most areas in the mission but since our mission doesn't go all the way to the top of LA, when you look at a map Alec is in central Louisiana. Its very low populated and country. A huge adjustment from what I'm used to! But I love it already! :)

and the Alexandria Sisters are so so spoiled. 
We get to live with a wonderful family!! 

the Green farm
The Greens were out of town this weekend so we had chicken duty!
chickens also for dayzz
not pictured is the two cats that live on the back porch. life=complete
We live in the upstairs loft area of Garry and Robin Green aka Pop and Hunny aka probably the sweetest people I know. They are really our pseudo parents here and would love to do anything for us. They are very special people. probs going straight to the Celestial kingdom sooo...

But really. We live in luxury which is a huge contrast as well! We have queen sized beds to ourselves, wonderful couches, access to a pantry and a big kitchen... like wow. #whataretermitesagain?

As for the STLing we haven't started those responsibilities yet! 
We will have MLC aka Missionary Leadership Council in the mission home in Baton Rouge every first Wednesday of the month. 
We have to do a little presentation in ZTM aka Zone Training Meeting once a transfer from what we learned in MLC
We have 4 sisters in our zone that we will do exchanges with once a transfer.
and then we just get to be BFFs with the sisters in our zone! be their friend, listening, support system and such. 
and other than that we are normal missionaries and get to work extra hard to make our area and teaching exemplary for the sisters to learn from. 
Woohoo!! I'm super excited about that! 
Like really. I cant tell you how excited I am to meet more sisters and make friends :) yay

As for missionary work... Its not the lux life this week.
This week has really been a struggle in that aspect. We got lost several times, made goals, spent hours talking about the area and people, got cancelled on times a billion.. Its the Transfer Week Curse and it stops for no one. 
But in reality. Even though it was a bummer and we really felt useless, I think it was intervention from Heavenly Father.

Transfers are so many emotions!
Sad to say goodbye to your companion and all the friends you made
Excited to move on to different places
Anxious of the unknown comp and area
Pure stress to pack all your stuff
Exhaustion from packing and driving and emotions
Getting your heart ripped out when you actually leave the area and companion
Happy to see old friends
Adrenaline getting to the new area and new comp
Realizing everything is unfamiliar and you know nothing
Having to be the new one again
Satisfaction of having some very successful conversations with strangers
Extreme awkwardness of having not so successful convos
Excitement for new goals and ready to work hard

There is just so much going on and we really had a chance to slow down and think about what we want in this transfer and to really get to know each other.

It has been such a blessing to be apart of the work in Covington 
and it will be a crazy adventure to be here in Alexandria!

But already seeing blessings and divine guidance! 
I love Alec
I love Sister Pfleger
I love being a missionary
I love yall
I love new starts alot
I love church
I love summer
I love my Savior
I love yalls advice
I love life
Sister Sades
graffiti? wall art? gospel related? always.

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

goodbyes & termites‏

Welp. Its Transfers Week. 

And yet again I'm going to need a bunch of help from all my wise wise peeps. 

Soooo I'm getting transferred. 
We don't know where. and we don't know who. 
But we do know that I'm going to be an STL. A Sister Training Leader. 

I have alot alot of emotions going on.
1. because I love Covington! I have made so so so many good friends that I'm going to miss so much! The ward members are so kind and loving, our investigators are so fun and we've worked with them so much, the less-actives and seeing them start coming to church. ahhhhh. Its like leaving home again. 
But I have been here for 6 months so I'm ready to meet new everyone and everything :)
Some of the faves <3 The ORY's
adore them
2. because I love my companion! I adore Sister Steve so much. She started as a daughter but she has grown and changed so much and is now ending as someone that I really learn from. Seeing her progression has been so cool and I know that she will do absolutely amazing with taking over Covington and taking care of everyone here. She is such an amazing sister and person I'm so so happy that we are friends for life now! I'm gong to miss her so much and I have loved getting to know everything about her. 
But that means that I get to become bffs with another amazing sista friend :)

3. because um HELLO. this will be my first time getting transferred.
Packing and saying goodbye is very sad and very stressful.
But I have an awesome companion who is so willing to run around with me and help me pack :)

4. because um WOW. I'm going to go to my first new area and I'm not going to be a normal missionary! I have to learn who and where everyone is and what to do very speedily so that I can go on exchanges with other sisters to my new area as well as be an example of how to teach and model missionary work. That's alot of pressure. 
But I know that my Heavenly Father knows me and what I'm capable of. He knows the people in my new area and that He loves them so much. He knows what I need to do and who I need to meet so that I can find my purpose in my area. I will turn to Him so that I can be lead and guided to have the Spirit even more to know what He wants me to do. My only goal is to be an instrument for Him so that He can depend on me. I'm so excited to learn from the sisters who will come and to really stretch and grow so that I can be the missionary I want to be! 
Yay for new adventures!! <3

4 and a half. Another call for help. PLEASE send me advice! I would love some more help from yall. I need some more wisdom and help for this next adventure! pls pls pls!

5. because I'm running on low sleep. 

This week was preeeetttyyyyyy eventful. in the unfortunate way. 

Wednesday night we get home from a wonderful time on exchanges with our STL's. We <3 them lots. 
So we get home in the evening and then we have an appointment so we go out again and don't come back until curfew. 
There was a nasty surprise waiting for us when we got home. 

For anyone planning on travelling Louisiana... NEVER go in May. EVER. 

Apparently there is such thing as "Swarming Season" and it happens in the spring time and lasts for 3-7 days. 
Swarming Season is an absolutely terrifying experience where every single nasty termite in the entire world decides to come out of the ground and trees and wherever the heck they are all at the same exact time and they will find any and every way to get into your house and lights. 
but all they do is annoy you.
They create a nasty bug wall around lights and stuff and get into houses and then they shed their wings and die. thats it. 
This is what the swarming looks like
So. if you can imagine. 
We come home at the end of a really long day and all we want to do is plan, take showers, and fall into bed.
Instead we come home, open the door, and scream because there is 5 billion dead (and some alive) termites inside our house. 
in our couch
in our stairway
in our closets
in our dresser
in our clothes
covering our bathroom
covering our study desks
etc, etc.... 
must I go on. 
It was probably the worst experience of my life. 
I think the most tragic part was that we didn't get to bed until midnight. 
And still woke up at 6:30
it was a rough night and hard to wake up but studying in style

But we got to stay in a members home in Mandeville. 
And it was a mansion so thats all good. 
the mansion we got to stay in #thanksdonahues

Our substitute humble abode 
our nasty apartment. PS shout out to Mom and Kort for the package I got Wednesday afternoon and put in the car. It was the only clothes I had and it saved my missionary bum 
update: we are back in our apartment after 2 nights away and 3 days of cleaning. 
update again. We are still cleaning up the little devils everyday.
Goodbyes stink.
New adventures are fun.
I love yall so much. 
I love serving my Heavenly Father and testifying of my Savior. 
I wouldn't want to be anywhere else but here. (preferrably termite free though)
And I wouldn't want any other family but yall. 
Sister Sades
The goodbye party to the leaving missionaries and the Croppers! Our WML

Tuesday, May 10, 2016

more crawfish and books and Brooks‏

The happiness is really overflowing now. 
Happy post mothers day!
I just wanna say I adore yall sooo much. 
also I adore yalls faces.
especially talking to them in real life
I have one good lookin family. 
So something that I don't have pictures from but that was really cool was on Saturday we went to another crawfish boil!

I'm sure you're thinking to yourselves. 
Holy smokes Sister. 
All you do is go to crawfish boils every weekend. 
Is this all that people in Louisiana do?

Welp I have the answer for you.
It is yes.
All we do is eat and talk. 
Especially in crawfish season. 
Which is right meow.
That is how people party. 

Background time:
Remember back when it flooded? 
Yea me too. 

Well way back when, we helped an older lady named Angela. 
Her house got wayyyy flooded and so we helped her pack up allll of her stuff that she has accumulated in the past 35 years of living there. It was alot of stuff let me tell you. Also, Miss Angela has a GIANT library. Like huge. 

Being the sweetie that she is, Angela calls a lady who owns a small book store to come pick up any books that she wants. 
So of course she does.
And we happen to meet and hang out with this book lady for quite some time as we were helping pack up Miss Angela. 

Turns out she used to live in Utah and knows all about the Mormons! 
Turns out she is really stinking nice and funny!
So we all had a really good time working and talking. 
Fast forward to only a couple weeks ago:
We decide to go find this book lady in her store!

We find her cute little store and she is so happy and surprised to see us! (which is always very satisfying) We talk to her for a long time and then ask her if she needs help around the store that we could come in and help with every week. She is very surprised but she gratefully accepts! 

Now this book lady is Miss Brooks.
She is amazing. A true sweetheart
She is so smart, so easy to talk to, so kind, so thoughtful, asks a billion questions, laughs loud, and just loves all people and is willing to do anything for them. 
I have learned so much from her in the couple times that we have gone to help her. 
But this is a cool experience because she asks us literally a billion questions about missionary life and what we do everyday and who we are teaching. 
And she asks hard questions sometimes!

Sister Steve and I have really bonded with Brooks and she's become like a mom to us!

Soo.. This past week when we were painting in her store she tells us that we are going to a crawfish boil that is for her husbands nephews graduation party that is at her house. (I would say invite but it wasnt an invitation) ;)

And yall. It was so fun. 
All of her husbands family was there just hanging out and talking and eating crawfish and we were just right there with them!
We got so many questions about missionary work and compliments for volunteering in Brook's store. They were all so so kind and sweet even though we totally crash a family graduation party!

Moral of the story: 
Southern hospitality is real.
and crawfish boils and crawfish season gives all kinds of people an opportunity to chill out and talk openly when they otherwise wouldn't.
I love service
and also I love Brooks.
life is so good yall and I'm loving it.
I lava yall!
Sister Sades
This is dearest donna. 
With her teeth in, but not her eye, and not hair either. 
So she was mad but still got the pic :)

Hey look! Louisiana is calling you Kort :)

Zone conf! We bought cute cups to be matchy #goals

Monday, May 2, 2016

6 days‏

So I get to see yalls faces in literally 6 days.
I'm stoked yall. 
Flipping out. 

Sorry if this is short but I'm saving some stories for skype!!
For example the pictures of the turtle. 
We had a turtle saving adventure this week and it was probably the funniest thing of my life. 
So Sister Steve and I are going to wait to tell yall on skype. :)))
So keep these pictures handy for sunday :))))

But we had a VERY good week this week! 
We had lots of lessons and appointments and alot of them stayed and the people were there and they listened and it was fantastic. 

We have an intestigator.
Her name is Donna Hayes. 
She is 63.
She is the skinniest 63 year old I know.
She's also the craziest lady I know.
She's also the sweetest.
She's also the energetic.
She also has one eye.
She also has been a street missionary and motorcycle minister for 35 years.
She will literally talk your ear off.
She witnesses of Jesus Christ everywhere she goes.
I met her on probably my 2nd or 3rd week in Covington and she was actively against religion and churches. 
We met up with her again about 3 weeks ago.
She is getting baptized on May 14th. 
For suresies.

Yall this is a huge deal.
A baptism?
In Louisiana?
Donna Hayes is getting baptized!
She is so prepared because she listens to God. 
And whatever God tells her to do. 
She will always do it. 
So how did she go from actively against religion to having a baptismal date?
Our awesome ward.
We got her to church! 
We found her a ride and made sure she got to church.
And our ward took care of her.
The first thing she said about it was that she's never seen so many smiling faces in a church. Everyone was happy to be there! No one looked like they have been sucking on a lemon! (exact quotes) 
The lives of our members testified to her that this was what she had been searching for and that this is what God wanted for her. 
God told her to join our church so nothing is stopping her now!
We had to convince her to finish the lessons before just hopping in the font that's how ready she is. (maybe an exaggeration, but only slight) 
I'm so excited about this and it is a complete surprise but I'm so grateful and happy. 
Also transfers are May 18th. 
How blessed am I.
Like really blessed. 
Heavenly Father is so goood to me.
And yall. 
I am so strengthened by yalls emails every week and I'm really realizing what a unique blessing that is.
sister sades
ps I also tried to get a picture with Donna but she's literally crazy so it didn't happen. 
I'll take a video this week because we will be meeting with her 3-4 times to get through the lessons. 
You will understand then :)))
Fancy restaurant appetizers. crab legs in fancy really good sauce
Our rad investigator Rob showing us his old house he grew up in
Wild West day at the Windsor <3
So we went to a cool Louisiana museum.
Now we are true Louisianans with fox tails and gator heads.