Monday, October 24, 2016

p e a c e f u l l y sad

So. very tbh letter today.

The best way I can describe this week is [ p e a c e f u l l y sad ]
here's why:

1. The Greens went on a 7 day cruise. They were gone from Saturday to the next Sunday. and it was so sad! so quiet! lol I feel like a sad whiny little kid but its just something so simple but so noticeable! There was no one to come home, eat ice ream, and to tell about your day to. and to just have someone to care for ya and texts you to ask where you are and what your doing. ya know. the normal parent things. its been nice and I missed them alot this week 
So that was sad. but also peaceful with a renewed focus on studies and the little things. 

2. we tried to contact alot of people that we were teaching. and everybody is done with us. :(((((((
not keeping appointments, not answering calls, last minute backing out, not calling or texting back, avoiding us, not answering the door when we knock (and they are totally home). 
So that has been really really very very sad. heartbreaking.
but its this crazy peaceful sadness that we made good progress them at that time that they needed it. We will put them in the area book. pray for them. and have faith that God will take care of them and future missionaries will find them again. 

3. next week is transfers. and I have been here for 6 months [aka 4 transfers]
aka I'm probably going to be transferred. 
and I know it.
There comes a point when you can just feel that your time is coming to a close. and thats how I have started to feel this week.
that is very very sad. bc i love all all all these people s'much and care about them lots and i dont want to leave them and I'm going to miss them. 
but peaceful bc I know social media is real and I will see them again! (this is the only comfort I have and the only reason why I'm okay with leaving)
also peaceful bc the Spirit is real. and so is God being aware of us and comforting us. 
also peaceful bc I'm ready to learn more. ready to learn from more people in my next area. ready to love them with my whole heart (even though its missing a couple pieces in covington and alexandria and pineville)

Last P day we got to try out slack lining :)))
One of our elders is granola and ordered a slack line and we all get to benefit :)
Its really hard but really fun. someday i can get pro when I loose the south
 mission weight. i mean what? #ilovethesouth #southdoesntlovemybody
the greens are gone so we have to man the farm!!
Went on exchanges with this beautiful lady! Sister Steele from Pasco, WA been out for 5 weeks! She helped me collect the eggs and she was so pumped. "this is a real life egg hunt!!" lol s'cute
the haul :)
since we are giving all our people a break, that means we have to go finding alot!!
Yep. this was in the middle of a neighborhood. just chillin. ya know. for all your emergencies when walking your dog, on a run. or you seriously can't make it to your house.
i <3 the south. 
where everything grows beautiful. 
these pretty flowers grow in your yard instead of dandelions.
um. got creative? sure. entertainment on a hot fall day tracting
see I promise it is fall!!!
Went tracting down a street and this little buddy came running up to
 us at a house. then continued to help us go tracting for the rest of the street. <3 
no owner but just a sweet buddy
no one answered this door so I took advantage and got to hang
 out with this sweetie and her brother for 3 knocks and writing a note. 
but anyways yall. 
This week is literally going to be a non stop party and I am beyond stoked for it. stay tuned for an insane amount of party pictures and halloween goodness. 
not kidding. we are going to have several parties a day. I am really excited. 

this means its the start of the holidays.
I love yall a whole bunch!! 
See yall next week same time but tuesday <3
sister sades

Monday, October 17, 2016

working on changing

hey yalllll! 

This week we had a fun busy week! I think I'll have to take you day by day so you can catch a glimpse of my life :)

Tuesday: we had zone conference! It was wonderful of course. I loved our mission presidents wife, Sister Hansen's instruction, she also talked about it at MLC. It was about trying to create and build Zion in our mission and ways we can work together and watch out for each other. Basically about being our brother's keeper. It was incredible. 
This is the talk she based it off of and I have listened and listened to this talk because its so powerful and applicable! 
check it out:
our fabulous zone. <3 love love love them. will miss them bunches
right after zone conference we left straight onto exchanges! we had another batch of back to back exchanges. Thankfully this time we had a night in between. 

But I got to stay in Alexandria both times and be with Sister Gelwix and Sister Romney both from Washington and both in their 4th week in the mission. 
Leesville exchanges :)
I love exchanges so much. I learn so much from these sisters. 
I loved feeling their love, passion, and excitement for the rest of their mission. It helps me so much to keep my perspective of where I have come from and also where I want to be. What goals I made at the beginning of my mission and how I can refocus myself to reach those goals.
goal 1: be completely changed by the atonement
goal 2: be genuine
goal 3. be exactly obedient
hold me accountable yall :)
Friday after exchanges were over we went over to our homie Kady's house. 
Kady is an 18 year old less active youth from a very active family. 
She's been living w her high school bf since she graduated in May, she just got married in July, and they just had their reception on Saturday. 
Kady the bride :)

Kady has had a rough go with the church. She has her reasons for being less active. She has alot of healing to go through and who knows when that will happen. 
But a true miracle for us is that we have been able to befriend Kady by a true miracle and by spirit-ledness. 

We were able to spend alot of Friday with her cleaning up and setting up and getting ready for her reception. I know her heart was softened by this and she opens up more and more each time we see her. 
the reception partiers :)
We came to her reception on Saturday and was finally able to meet her husband and it was a wonderful time and a wonderful casual environment. 
This isn't too much of a story but this is just a testimony to me that we are not always the reapers. We aren't always getting the baptisms, always getting the lessactives to recognize a huge break through and come to church, not always seeing the results. 
But always always making small differences.
and thats all life and the gospel is about. 
Sometimes we get to be there for the baptisms, and for the less actives reactivation, and for the huge leaps and bounds of progress. 
but lots of times we just do the small things that make the small differences that make ALL the difference down the road. 
We just try to be better than we are the day before. 
A constant work in progress.
Not too many things to report this week just a whole lotta love for this blessing and opportunity to be learning lots on this mission :)
I love yall and your wonderful outpouring of support and love. yalls kind words and emails and prayers and thoughts and everything mean more than you can ever know!
sister sades
[small] bonfire-ing with my la people

Monday, October 10, 2016

musings and thoughts

Dearest familia, 

This will probably be more of a mish mash letter of the testimony I have gained on my mish and realized in the past week.

We have had a crazy time the past 2 weeks. 
We have been struggling with the people we have been teaching. Communication has been hard when we literally can't contact people because they don't answer their phone, don't call back, and don't text back, and won't be home. 

Last week for P day we had to switch from Monday to Tuesday because we had appointments we had to keep that could only happen on Monday! 
Monday morning we had a promising appointment with Duane and Robin, a couple we called from the elders area book about 3 transfers ago and they said that they could finally meet. 
Then we had a lunch date with a spunky lady from Alec ward.
Then we had an appointment with Temeca after and this was her ONLY day off and she has been avoiding us like the plague so it was really important that we went to go see her. (prayers for temeca) 
Then only a couple hours later we had a dinner appointment with a cool group of ladies who were going to feed us and teach us how to knit! 
So basically 
1. the wards love us
2. we are struggling w our investigators
3. our p day was so gone. so we just switched it. got some really good work done on Monday and then p day-ed on tuesday!

But what brings on this email is a mash between the greatness of Conference and what I learned and also meeting with Duane and Robin.

So we met with Duane and Robin at the church at 9 am. 
I had talked to them several times over the phone. Probably about 4-5 times. And I was so pumped to meet them. 
They had met with missionaries before, they were so kind, they sounded very genuinely interested and really excited to meet with us!
I was pumped!

Turns out as we begin meeting with them we find out they are hardcore Catholics. They have zero interest in joining the church or honestly discussing Christ. They totally put up a front that they were interested so that they could meet with us and anti us. Try to confuse us and realize the 'truth' that lies in their beliefs. They said they wanted to discuss the similarities of our beliefs but just wanted to bible bash about the trinity and church history. 

It was a sickening experience but also and incredibly spiritual experience for me. 
This wasn't my first time being anti-ed unfortunately I have dealt with these situations several times. 
but this time was a cool spiritual experience! 
They whole time while they were talking I felt very calm. I had words and stories and scriptures and ensign talks and examples and old seminary lessons come into my mind and bear testimony to me of their truthfulness. 
We did not argue, we did not back down, we did not demean, we did not hurt their feelings or make them feel stupid. 
We just bore testimony. A very simple one that no one can argue with. 
I didn't say most of the stories and example and no scriptures that came to my mind because I knew that they were for me. To build my own testimony. 
and instead of coming out of this experience sick to my stomach, angry, and exhausted... I came out sad, but peaceful and full of the spirit. 
I know the Spirit was with me and that was an incredible feeling. 
But hearing the amazing testimonies from the prophet and apostles at conference and having my prayers and questions answered was just what I needed to have my testimony and faith strengthened. 
I came to this realization.
The doctrines and principles of the gospel are not my opinion. 
They are fact. They are true. 
The question is not if they are true.. because they already are...
The question is if we are going to follow them and if we are going to build our faith and be our best selves.
It's not "is the Book of Mormon really the word of God and did Joseph Smith really translate it?"
The Book of Mormon is true scripture and Joseph Smith already translated it a long time ago and its out for us to read! That already happened! 
The question is "Will you read the scripture God has provided for us and let yourself change and come closer to God?"
It's not "is the Bible really still relevant today and apply to us and something we can learn from?"
Um hello! Its been here 5ever for us to learn from and follow the directions that God has set up for us! 
The question is "Will you read and study it to know the character of your Father and Savior more fully and how to be more like Him?"
Its not "did Joseph Smith really see God and Christ in a vision when he was 14?"
Yes. That happened in the 1820's. Fact, it already happened. Event. It was a powerful, important experience that ended the Great apostasy and started the last dispensation. It shows us more about God's character and in turn ours.
The question is "will you have faith in this account and let it build you up and teach you about our Heavenly Fathers, Christs, and our own character?"
Its not "is Thomas S Monson really the prophet called by and communicates with God?"
Yes. Whether  you accept him or not he is the prophet who presides over the whole world and receives revelation from God how to best help us in our day right now. 
The question is "will you listen and follow his counsel that is inspired from God?"
Its not "will I really see my family and loved ones again?"
Yes! God loves us so much and wants us to be happy. He has a way for us to return to live with Him and our families forever!
The question is "what will you do or sacrifice to live with God and your families for ever?"
Its not "is God really there and does He really know and care about me?"
Yes. He is our literal Father in Heaven who created our spirits exactly the way they are with our weakness to overcome and strengths to help us. He loves us unconditionally, no matter what we do. He does more for us than we can even imagine. He is your loving heavenly Father whether you treat Him like it or not.
The question is "will you talk to Him like a father, humble yourself, and let him lead and guide you?"
Its not "Is Jesus Christ really the Son of God and Savior?"
Yes! He suffered, died, and rose again so that we can be saved, so we can be our best selves. He gives us the perfect example to follow and to strive for in an example of our Father. No sin or darkness is too deep for the Savior to lift us up.
The question is "will you access His atonement, let Him carry and heal you and repent and be better?"
This is not my opinion. This is truth. This is fact. This can keep going with each of the doctrines and principles of the gospel. Its all true! and we just distract ourselves with the reallys. 
There is no question "is this really going to benefit them?" or "they are content with their own church right now..."
The scriptures say baptism by the proper authority is NECESSARY to enter the kingdom of God. They need this beyond belief yall. Its necessary for their salvation.
Doesn't that just get you pumped??

Anyways. this is my little testimony and I just love this gospel alot yall. 
I don't know if this makes a whole lot of sense but here is what I have been thinking about and bearing testimony of. I'm so grateful for this sure knowledge. 

sister sades
driving on our way to BR! the sunrise over fog. plot twist those aren't meowtains. its clouds
the MLC crew. <3 love these individuals
the sista squad. sisters from our zone.
our prompt was 'how awkward can you picture?'

Monday, October 3, 2016

Mar baptism and #ldsconf

We spent alot of the week preparing Marilyn for her baptism on Friday. 
It was a great great time. 
the cutie pie herself

Just to remind you who's who:
Marilyn Eissler = 9 year old getting baptized
Josette Eissler = Marilyns mom
Hunny and Pop = Gary and Robin Green, Parents to Josette, grandparents to Marilyn, and also the wonderful kind souls who we get the blessing to live with :) <3
Just to share a little bit, Marilyn has had a hard life. She has seen alot alot in her short 9 years and has had to emotionally grow up quick. Marilyn and her sister Cheyenne have alot of behavior and attention struggles so having a good lesson with them, where we feel that they are listening and absorbing what we are teaching, has been pretty difficult to say the least. It was easy to be discouraged and hopeless if they will ever retain the principles we are trying to teach them. 
But its in those moments when Marilyn is in her beautiful white dress and runs up to us and gives the biggest wonderful hug and starts chattering about her CTR necklace her Hunny gave her and how excited she is and gives everyone a program to her baptism, when I think..
We did all that, for this. 
And it was hopeless at times as Marilyn's mom was present for all of the lessons to think that she would be motivated to change her habits and turn to Christ. That 
But its in those moments when I look over at her during the baptism and see her glowing, so happy, so completely feeling the Spirit when I think..
We did all that, for this.
And it was tense Friday night before the baptism getting everything ready the way everybody wanted it, making sure everybody was happy with the many politics going on in the family and friends, getting all the pictures, all the last minutes whatnots, and managing behaviors of the girls.. 
But it was in that very special and sacred moment when in between pictures, Hunny gathers us in a hug and with tears in her eyes and emotion in her voice whispers, "Thank you. For everything." and  in that moment with just 4 words said but many emotions conveyed, I think.. 
We did all that, for this.
And all in all missions are hard! There are moments when its hard to be motivated, hard to be obedient, hard to wake up in the morning, hard to be time efficient, hard to deal with imperfections and inadequacies, hard to watch those people that you've come to love purposefully choose the opposite of what God wants for them, hard to deal with anti, hard to resist temptation, hard to live up to the pressure to be a representative of Jesus Christ.
But its in those moments, like right after Marilyn was baptized and we were in the bathroom with Marilyn, Josette, Hunny and Marilyn's primary friend Amy, talking about colors and how she still had a little bit of hair dye in her hair from over the summer when she got it dyed rainbow streaks, I ask, "Marilyn, what color do you feel right now?" And she answers, "White. I feel white. and maybe a little bit of green." and look up to see Josette grinning and Hunny with tears in her eyes and beaming (bc their last name is green, get it ;)
and I think..
We do all that, for this.
And every single time I get the chance to watch a baptism, and think about Christ and his example of baptism, His example of humility, His patience, kindness, faith, unconditional love, acceptance. But ultimately His sacrifice for us, His suffering, death and resurrection, what baptism is a symbol of. 
And its in those sweet moments when Pop and Marilyn all dressed in white enter the font, Pop says the prayer, and Marilyn comes in and out of the water, and you can feel that first fresh breath of cleanliness, purity, and determination, of a life now dedicated to striving to be a stronger disciple of Christ. and I think..
HE did all that, for this. 
Pop and Marilyn
Pop & Hunny & Marilyn
US <3
We finally had an adventure last week! last Pday we went hiking as a district. it was really fun :)
we all had a really great time and became one with nature haha

louisiana is my place <3

the fambam. love these goobers

in between the #ldsconf Saturday sessions we had a district lunch at this hipster restaurant.
 we had bank braking gourmet chicken and waffles. $$$ wow. 
Saturday afternoon we went over to one of our fave Pineville families houses to watch #ldsconf Sanders <3
The rest of the #ldsconf sessions this is what we looked like. Us, the elders, and the Hornbecks having the chapel to ourselves :) we tried to get investigators there buuuuut..... no go. 
The power of Christ is so real and it is emphasized to me over and over and over yall. 
I love this work.
I adore the Green family.
I am so beyond blessed to see the miracles God has for each of us.
I also LOVE #ldsconf
I'm going to have to do more on that next week and why we had to email on tuesday bc I am so out of time. 
sister sades