Monday, August 29, 2016

i love temeca

A couple weeks ago we had an amazing experience.
Pre story: We had district meeting with the missionaries in the areas around us, Pineville and Alexandria elders, us, Marksville senior couple and elders. In district meeting we were talking about the people that we were working with and the Pineville elders brought up a lady named Jamika, and the Marksville senior couple thought they said Temeca because she was from Marksville. 
Thats it. Thats all that happened. 
Saturday afternoon Bishop called Sister Fristoe and asked her to give a talk the next day. #thanksbishop #lifeofamissionary
While she was preparing her talk that night, I needed to update our area book aka the records that we keep of every person we ever talk to and get their information from. 
I am updating and looking at things in the area book... And I see this name and it says "Temeca - 318-----" with her phone number. It also has a mini description that says she is from Marksville and moved to Alexandria and works at Chili's. 
So I'm thinking, Hey we were talking about Temeca the other day. I wonder if its the same one. Its probably not but I'll call her anyway. 
I call her. She answers. Lets see if I can describe this phone call.
Her: Hello?
Me: Hi this is the Sister Missionaries, how are you?
Her: Heyyyy! I am so glad you called! I have really been thinking about yall and wanted to see yall again.
Me: wait. what. really? Okay when can we meet up with you??
Her: Can you come tomorrow at 4? I work at Chili's and I get off at 4. Can you do that?
Me: Yes yes yes that works great for us!
Her: Good. Oh and make sure you call me before you come to make sure I'm getting home because I reeeeally want to meet with yall tomorrow. 
Me: Wow okay we can do that!
Her: Oh man you should see my face right now I have a grin from ear to ear. I am so happy you called. I have really been thinking about yall. 
and then we just said how exited we were to meet each other and said goodbye see ya tomorrow. 
LIKE WHAT. When does this ever happen?? never. 
Best phone call of my life.
So its tomorrow and we are PUMPED to go see Temeca. I was looking forward to it the whole day. We call her at 4, she was just getting off and was excited to see us still!! A whole day later!
We go over to her house and we sit down and talk. 
And this is one of the most spiritual lessons of my mission. It was incredible. 
Her story briefly goes along the lines that she is 36 and lived in Marksville until recently. Her dad died in December and so her mom and her had to move to Alec in January to try to support themselves. She was meeting with the missionaries and going to church in Marksville and when she moved the sisters tried to keep up with her but Temeca was working crazy shifts, all day every single day at Chili's so they never had time to meet up. 
The sisters wrote her name and number in the area book and left it alone for other sisters to follow up on when she was ready. 
And thats exactly what happened! 
Her side of the story:
She is going through a rough time since her dad died. She has been in the wrong sort of crowd and when her dad died she had to grow up real fast because now she needed to help support herself and fully support her mom. When she first moved to Alec she was overwhelmed and working so much and was just trying to figure everything out. Its several months later and she has been adjusting and really wanting to make changes to come closer to God. 
The night we called her, she was just laying in bed really sad a depressed and having a really really hard day at work but also thinking about how she wants to change and doesn't know what to do. Basically just feeling lost. 
The last thing she wanted was to have the phone ring and talk to anyone. 
But the phone rang and when she looked to see who it was and saw it was us, her first reaction was, "seriously I cant right now.".
But then something touched her that said, "no. This is exactly what you need."
So she listened and answered the phone. 
isn't that amazing? wow. 
So after she told us her version we talked to her about how God is aware of each of us and knows what we need way more than we do. Temeca has a huge desire to come to Christ and to change her whole life to do the things God wants for her. It was not the time back in January, but we know by Temeca's desire and new focus that it is definitely her time now.
The Spirit was so strong during this lesson. I felt very impressed just to tell her how happy her Heavenly Father is that she is choosing to do things that are bringing her closer to Him. That her Heavenly Father is so. proud. of her.  The whole time we were talking Temeca was just crying and crying. 
One of my absolutely favorite things about being a missionary is these moments. Because I am an authorized and set apart messenger of God and representative of Jesus Christ, sometimes I get to feel just a little portion of what God feels for the people we meet and talk to. 
I had so much love for Temeca while we were talking that I knew it was Heavenly Fathers love for Temeca that he was letting me feel and told me to tell her about it. 
I can't even explain how great and special this experience was! I know God has great plans for Temeca and I know Temeca will listen!
Something else cool is that ever since Temeca opened that door the first time, I feel like we connected. I feel so comfortable around her and it just feels like she's my best friend already! I'm excited to see where this relationship goes :) i <3 temeca
Anyways. Since then we have met with her only a couple of times because guess what!
She just found out that she's expecting her first baby! what what! and guess what. her body does NOT like being pregnant. 
She is so so so sick that she can't get up, she can't go to work, she can't move! and this is bad. She had to sell her car to pay her light bill that was due this week. prayers that she gets better!
But she is really excited and we are excited for her. We talked about how this could be a blessing in disguise because this baby now fuels her to be even better. She is going to have someone to take care of now, and be an example for. Also she recognized that this will help her stop smoking and be clean for the pregnancy. 
So there ya go. 
God knows what we need. :)
Temeca is set to be baptized on October 1st 2016
I love Temeca so much and I know God is aware of her completely. 
I love being a missionary and being on God's team.
sister sades
srry no pictures :(   (my camera broke)

Monday, August 22, 2016

truly converted‏

happiest. weekend. ever.
This week was crazy awesome and rewarding for everyone.
This week was the final countdown until Brandon's baptism on Saturday. And when I say Satan doesn't want Brandon to get baptized, he did NOT want Brandon to be baptized. 
This week we worked really hard with Brandon to help him stay focused on his baptism. It was so worth it and so rewarding!!!
Every night this past week we had a lesson with Brandon at a members home. It was a challenge bc
1. Members schedules. (our schedule revolved around these lessons and Brandon has no schedule yet.)
2. Brandon doesn't have a car so they would have to pick him up and take him home. 
But truly if you want something righteous to happen... GOD WILL HELP MAKE IT HAPPEN.
Sunday: church! great day at church! We didn't get to see him bc all the rain came down and the floods came up but we got to call him.
Monday: Brandon has been racked with these awful Satan dreams. Monday morning he woke up from one and he was just so exhausted from them, he also woke up with a crazy strong craving to smoke. 
Luckily, Brandon is who he is and the first thing he does is pray and then text us to call him because he is struggling. Super grateful that he has learned that the first reaction isn't to react but to pray and get help. 
Brandon came to p-day at the church and played sports with the missionaries all day long, had the best time in the world and then an amazing family in the ward had offered to do dinner and FHE in their home Monday. So even though it was literally downpouring we got to go have a wonderful lesson with them.
Brandon told us all day about how much fun he was having. He said he had the best day ever! He loves being around missionaries and members. He really feels the Spirit. And when he feels the Spirit he gets really happy, excited, and just laughs. all. the. time. He never stops giggling. 
So a rough start turned into a super fun, wholesome day!
Brandon modeling for his baptism program picture
Tuesday: We had a lesson with the Greens! We watched the Joseph Smith movie and the Spirit was SO strong after. The Greens really connected with Brandon with them being converts and knowing what he's going through and how it has changed them. Beyond grateful for them. 
Wendesday: We had a lesson at the church with our 2nd counselor Brother Rougeau. It was wonderful. Then we had another lesson to get to but Brandon has a huge interest in learning his heritage and family history! The family history library was open so we let him go search out his family. He was SO pumped. Then the men in the church play basketball at the church at 8 so he had the best time hanging out and being crazy with all the guys :)
Thursday: We had a lesson with a less active in our ward and Brandon. We went over the baptismal interview questions and told Brandon he didn't need to answer the questions to us but he just needed to think about his own testimony and what it means to him. But Brandon being Brandon, always wanting to share his testimony, not even knowing that the member was less active, tells us that he wants to answer the questions for us. Brandon told us his testimony of all the things that he knows to be true. What an awesome experience. 
Friday: Devon Jones in our ward is just stellar. He is a convert of about 4 years or so from California. His wife was less active in her teen years and they were living together in California. They came out to live in Louisiana where their family was and got activated and baptized. THEY ARE INCREDIBLE. 
Our district leader interviewed Brandon and so everything was set for the baptism the next day! After the interview we had a lesson with Devon and Brandon about the Priesthood. WOW. just wow. Brandon had connected with Devon his very first Sunday because Devon teaches Gospel Principles class. It was incredible. Brandon is so ready.
A picture I got from this week. lesson going through the baptismal interview questions!
Saturday: We did normal missionary stuff and then headed to the church real early to clean out the font of all the gross in it and cockroaches and whatever else crawls up the drains. 
Up until today we had been in constant communication with Brandon every day. Constant. As in he loves to talk. So we would talk several times a day and text and things. But of course this was our bad. 
When we were cleaning the church it was the late afternoon and we hadn't talked to Brandon yet. We texted him to remind him of something and he texts us back that he is really upset and angry and to call him. 
What? Brandon is one of the happiest people I know. He is never upset. Except when we told him that 29 was too old to go on a mission and he would have to get special permission to go.
But we called him and pretty much what happened was that he was talking to his mom about his baptism and she just anti-ed him. Really questioned his decision and told him how terrible it was and (his mom is raising his son) that she would never let his son learn about his church and just a bunch of fighting words. 
Brandon was distraught. He was so upset that he didn't want to go through with his baptism because he wouldn't be in the right mindset if he did. But we listened and listened and then it was our turn. We told him how far he has come, how Satan has affected him from the beginning and how this is exactly what Satan wanted. Because really. Brandon has come SO FAR. Then we sang I Need Thee Every Hour for him with my uke and he just cried and said he was ready to go through with it. 
What. A. Champ. 
Its not easy being anti-ed ever even when its someone you don't even know. I can't imagine some one you really care about. But his ride picked him up 10 minutes later and he was all good and feeling the Spirit again! 
We took alot of really fun pictures and Brandon got Sister Fristoe and I some hilarious t-shirts from wal-mart. It was so funny! :) 
But the baptism service was incredible. So perfect for Brandon. Everything that was said was perfect for him and meant for him to hear without the people even knowing thats what he needed. Devon Jones baptized him and everyone that we had a lesson with him came to the baptism, plus others in the ward that just came to support. 
And guess what else. 
Every single seat in that room was full. Every. Seat. Wow. If there was any more people it would be standing room. 
This ward is incredible! So supportive and loving. Brandon is also incredible because he just loves the attention and makes everybody feel like his best friend. He is so good to just talking to people and hugging everyone he sees!
Everyone felt the love and it was so so so good :)
Sunday: Brandon got confirmed!! It was so special. It felt very complete and he was welcomed into the ward and I don't think there was one person in our tiny congregation who wasn't smiling :) 
Brandon just wants to be a missionary so bad we just have to laugh. After church we go talk to people and Brandon just follows right behind us introducing himself and making everyone his best friend and hugging everyone. Its so funny. I love it. 
After church he went out with the elders all day long! He has been waiting for this day forever! He went and watched as they gave the sacrament to a member in the hospital, then he went out for the rest of the day with the Pineville elders with a car and they had an amazing lesson with one of Brandon's best friends! wow. wow wow wow. 
All in all... Brandon was so ready for his baptism and he was truly converted and has a huge desire to continue becoming converted. We didn't do anything. He was so prepared. :) 
It was a real special occasion and I feel very very blessed and humbled to be apart of it. and I got to gain a new best friend from it! (sista p-fleg and I had convinced Brandon to move to Idaho next summer to be around more mormons and find a good sister to marry.... and he's taking it seriously and its going to happen!! so watch out world!!)
Talking to Brandon this morning I told him that my letter was going to be all about him and asked him if he had anything to say to my wonderful family.
This is what happened and this was pretty accurately word for word minus all the laughing in between. I felt like this was a pretty accurate attempt to describe exactly what he is like as well. :)
Brandon says "I want you to tell them that you're so awesome. And yall did a great job teaching me. Tell them that I say heyyyyyy and I cant wait to meet them. And yall did a great job raising up you and that it shows by the way you're teaching me the lessons and I really learned. and you had a lot of help with your companions. And I cant wait to come down there and see all the great things your city has to offer. and one of my favorite things that I want to do when I get down there is go on a hike. Oh and tell them, this is funny like a little humor, and I'm going to teach Belnap to ice skate. and tell them I can't wait to give them the biggest hug ever. Cuz I'm going to give your dad and your mom a big hug so they need to get ready for it. Tell them I cannot wait to go to the temple down there and how I'm going to feel and how its going to make me feel."

I know right. Crying as well :')
That pretty much sums up this week here in Alexandria. just so blessed to be here. :)
Life is so good and God blesses us and knows us beyond comprehension, even the littlest stuff that we don't even realize. 
The gospel is so true and it changes lives.
I love and am humbled to be a small part of it. 
Just living that wonderful life and seeing those good days
I love yall so much!
God is so good and so is our Savior and his Atonement
sister sades

 ps. An update to my knowledge on the flood and Baton Rouge situation, all the missionaries are safe. I think 2 missionary apartments got water in them but all is well. The devastation is real in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs area (my old zone) so all the missionaries in those areas have turned into service missionaries. We are the out-in-the-boonies zone about 2.5 hours away from Baton Rouge so we don't get to go help or anything. All of the surrounding stakes (texas, arkansas, tennessee, mississippi, northern and southern la) are being pulled in to help and some are asked to spend the next 3 weekends down there. They are saying that this flood devastation is worse than Katrina. yikes. prayers always for those families.
we caught alot of things this week!
this dude was chilling in our bathroom

Monday, August 15, 2016

wet wet wet but not drowning

Wowie wow wow. 
Craziness is running all over louisiana this week. 
The week really started with transfers! I'm taking over Alexandria with a new companion, Sister Fristoe. Sister Fristoe is from Amarillo, TX and she went to BYU provo for a year before the mish. Her birthday is on the 21st, only a couple days after mine so we get to celebrate our birthdays together!!!! We are super pumped for that. She has been on her mission for 13 months, she's super chill and nice so I'm excited to learn alot from her!
This weekend it started by raining buckets and buckets and pouring and having a crazy southern lightning storm x1000 
We were just leaving an appointment and it started raining and pouring on us. We got caught in the worst storm anyone had ever seen. It was insaaaane. 
Our windshield wipers were going the fastest they possibly could and we still couldn't see anything. There was lightning all around our car and we saw lightning hit in the field right to the side of us! IT WAS CRAZY AND SCARY AND AWESOME. 
but as a result of all of this crazy non stop rain Baton Rouge and Denham Springs are totally underwater! its crazy. 
But the Lord takes care of his missionaries. All the missionaries are safe! Trapped in their apartment or staying at a members house but all safe. 
I am so pumped and he is so ready. More stories to come next week. 
So blessed and so loved. God is so good to us in this area.
love yallll so much! 
sister sades

Tuesday, August 9, 2016


Yall. wowie wow wow. So much happened this week I don't even know what all happened. 
Please excuse this letter. Its going to come out on this email exactly as I'm saying it in my brain so I apologize. 
1. Transfer news
I am staying in Alexandria. 
Sister Pfleger is off to new adventures!
We are driving down to BR tomorrow and I will get a new companion to take and train as an STL.
So far the pattern continues that I am a two transfer companion. 
But in all honest I have learned alot from P-fleg and I will continue to laugh and reminisce on the time we had together :)
Changes: Incoming new companion, outgoing a fab, boise-pride, hilarious, awkward friend :)
2. The Baton Rouge Louisiana Temple
The BRL temple <3
I am so so so so grateful for the temple! We got to go to the temple the night before MLC and let me tell you. I have been missing it. This has been the longest I've ever not gone to to temple in... my whole temple going life! 
I learned so much in the temple but especially that God loves me. 
Whenever I go to the temple, Heavenly Father always reminds me that He is aware of me and will never stop being there for me. 
I had been kinda weighed down and I just really needed to go to the temple. When it started getting closer to our appointment time, I was curious if I would see anyone I knew, especially anyone from Covington. (I miss that place a whole lot) I said a little prayer hoping that I would see someone I knew. Just a familiar face or something! But I knew it was a very slim chance. Of all the days, of all the people in Louisiana and the area the temple covers.... It was slim. 
But Heavenly Father loves me. 
And I saw a friend from Covington! 
Change: feeling more: uplifted, love, learning, motivation, love, peace

3. MLC
 MLC was wonderful with a bunch of wonderful people. I am so so so so blessed to be able to learn from all these great leaders and from PHansen and SHansen.
Change: The LBRmission has changed so much it blows my mind sometimes. As an STL I get to go on exchanges and 3/4 of the sisters in my zone are training new missionaries. So I get to see how they are doing and what they want to accomplish very early on their mission. 
Let me tell you something.
These sisters are stellar. 
The sistas of mlc
I am beyond impressed. 
They have an incredible desire to be here and make a difference and do what God truly wants them to do. A huge desire to be obedient. 
I love the STL position because I get a chance to really get to know everyone in my zone and these missionaries are INCREDIBLE. 
This mission is changing for the better so much and it makes it so fun. 
MLC fam in the natural habitat. PHansens freezing house

4. ZTM
 Change: For the first time ever in my mission we had non missionaries at a Zone meeting.

Brandon is progressing very very well and is still set to get baptized August 20th. He is absolutely stellar and we meet with him everyday trying to keep him busy. He is still working on finding a job in Alexandria so he doesn't do a whole lot during the day so we invited him to come to our meeting with all the missionaries to give his investigator input! it was awesome. and all the missionaries fell in love with him.
I decided I need a poloroid. #ZTMfam
5. The ward loves us
 This is a picture of our matching BSU friendship bracelets with Bishop Stock. 
Change: Alexandria and Pineville wards have made a complete 180 turn around. We are really good homies with everyone who comes to church on sundays and we have a dinner set up every night this week from church families. We are friends with all the priesthood men and feel comfortable asking any of them to come to a lesson with us to help teach Brandon. I have been blown away by the love and excitement and help given to Brandon. Everyone wants to help him find a job and he has gotten 3 application ideas from people in the ward. like what. 
The ward loves us, we love them, they help us, they feed us, they befriend our investigator... like what??
All in all there are a million changes to talk about that make me so happy and I haven't even mentioned all of them. 
I love the mission. 
I love how the Spirit changes hearts.
I love my comp p-fleg
I love God. 
I love life
sister sades
Didn't get a chance to talk about it but we went to a gator farm this weekend! it was amazing. Preston its a must. put it on your bucketlist
Louisiana swamps
Look familiar??? Matthew Greenlee from AJ's mission. He lives about an hour away from alec and came to visit sister belnap's sister, sister belnap. Did you catch that? ;)

Monday, August 1, 2016

insights to sister sades life rn

to my returned from the wilderness familia,
Here are some more answers to Mal's questions along with some stories from this week. :)
What is the most stressful part of being a missionary? 
a. saying prayers in zone conference.
Jokes just kitten. 
The most stressful thing about being a missionary in my opinion would have to be....
Keeping in mind that there is always going to be room for imporvement. I'm always going to have to be working at something. I'm always going to be bad at something and good at other things. Keeping in mind that the gospel is all about progression. 
Always feeling like you can be doing something better than you are. 
Just because you were good at doing something with one companion doesn't mean it will stay like that with another. 
I guess in a non pity party way its just a way of saying battling the feeling of inadequacy. 
What is the most fun part of being a missionary?
I would say learning for alllll the millions of people you meet ever. 
Everyday we talk to so many people and I learn something from each one of them everyday! Here's a quick rundown of my day and who I might talk to.
1. Pop. 
He wakes up uber early and goes to the gym and gets his coke (aka another word for drink. usually gets blue powerade) then he comes home and sometimes makes us breakfast sometimes not. but every morning, I eat breakfast and hang out with him and talk to him about anything and everything. usually about the military. Some of my most favorite precious moments :)
2. Companion.
We study together in companion study and all throughout the days we get to learn from each other. Each companion you learn something that adds your mission together!
3. Service. 
We volunteer at a different place everyday so we meet a million people from them. 
Story time: We volunteer with a lady at the food bank in Alexandria and we just chat with her when we are there. Well last week when we were chatting she invited us to come over for dinner! 
Not just any casual dinner though. 
She lives about 45 minutes away in the Clifton Choctaw Community. 
but thats not the end!!
Guess what she made us for dinner. 
So they live in the Choctaw community and she has 13 siblings. #whatiknow
but also they all are neighbors or live in the same giant house. 
We had a really really good time chilling with her. and her 6 other siblings who came. They thought it was hilarious that we were so excited and took pictures of everything :)
Ms. Hazel teaching us how to form the taco
Ms. Hazel & Ms. Vera showing us how its done
yikes harder than it looks
Indian Tacos!!!! and with powdered sugar on it, it is called indian frybread
4. Investigators. and who ever is at their house..
We are still teaching Brandon and he still is getting baptized soon! I learn alot from him because he is so so so passionate about the gospel. If I could choose one word to describe him it would be PUMPED. He is pumped about life. and the gospel. and he is really getting the ward pumped too!!!! The ward LOVES him. 
Also for other investigators especially in the hood, every time we go visit them there is a new person or personsss at their house. haha love them
5. tracting. 
oh man. You meet all kinds of people tracting. Learn what you want to be like and not want to be like. :) but mainly because people are so insanely open here. You meet them anywhere, street, doorstep, store, service, anything and they just start giving you their life story. How cool is that. 
Exchanges in Leesville, LA with the wonderful Sister Edwards. What we look like when we tract in the rain.
6. members. 
I love ward members!!!! I love the wards I'm in. I love the people that I get to talk to and meet. They really change my life.
side story:
We had a Ward Party this weekend for Pioneer day last week and it was at a BEAUTIFUL lake called Kincaid lake. It was gorgeous. It looked like McCall minus the meowtains. like what. who knew right. the water wasn't blue though.... #louisianaprobs #swamplife
Ward party at Kincaid lake orrr..... mccall ID???
Can I just tell you how hard it was to not get in the water? it was really hard. but it was a really really good time to talk to all the ward members and get to know them even more. SUCH a good opportunity.
7. missionaries. 
This is my number one right now. 
I am learning so so so much from the missionaries I am meeting recently. I admire them so much. 
The sisters I'm with on exchanges, the missionaries in our zone, the missionaries from MLC, the elders from my district.... So much love for missionaries.
We got Alexandria Elders back on Thursday (random I understand when next week is transfers) but that means we are back in Pineville as well!!
Birthday party for elder wilson with all my favorite people :)
What do you do to relax after you have had a frustrating or hard day?
a. take a hot shower and go to bed. 
That always makes it better :) 
A missionary in a Louisiana's advice after a long day:
Enter apartment. Plan. End planning and go take a hot shower. 
How do you take a hot shower when you've been in the million degrees all day? 
Well. I'm glad you asked :)
First you must turn the shower on cold and get cooled off. 
Then you take a hot shower and relax. 
Then after you have burned up and feel like you've been in the sauna, YOU CANT FORGET TO TURN IT TO COLD AGAIN. 
If you don't turn it cold again and cool off again then you wont sleep because you are hot. 
Its also very refreshing. Takes your breath away and feels like you just jumped into McCall lake :) 

Side Question: Why am I so busy on P-day recently?
In this area all the missionaries in my district come to the church in the afternoon to play volleyball and sports! 
But we also really try and get the ward members to come and our investigators! Its fun for us, our investigators get fun interactions with the church, and the members love it and love our investigators! 
Anyways. so yea. 
This is my life :) transfers next week so don't expect anything from me on monday
sister sades