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

Monday, November 7, 2016


Yall. Can I tell you how much God loves us?
So much. He loves us so unbelievably much.

and wow. yall have asked a million questions so I'll try to get to them all here.
Facts about Slaughter
1. pronounced laughter with an S
2. Thats a total lie. it really is exactly the way it look but its just a gross word so I like saying s-laughter.
3. it is right below Mississippi and above Zachary which is right above BR 
4. It is so beautiful. When you think of the stereotype of what the south would look like.. that = slaughter. ie plantation homes, tree alleyways, dirt roads, and beautiful fields and country.
5. Slaughter is very veryyyy country. ie the people. ie you better have the best manners ever. yes ma'am, yes sir, ma'am?, no yawning.
this is the typical manners of the south but it seems to be especially important here.
6. Its like 30-40 minutes away from BR but we are in the Denham Springs stake and missionary zone. aka my baby zone! Covington was also in the Denham zone so that makes me happy.
7. Slaughter didn't but some areas that we cover and especially Zachary (where the rest of our district is) got destroyed in the flood. so basically that is still what everybody talks about.

My new companion is Sister Henrie! 
She is so cute and great. 
Fun facts about Sister Henrie
1. She is from Hagerman, ID (an idahomie)
2. She is a triple major in photography, business management, and interior design. 
3. When she was growing up ie 9-14 she loved Louisiana and studied it and learned everything about it. She knows everything. 
4. Today is her 5th day in Louisiana
5. She is so pumped to be in Louisiana and especially Slaughter.
6. She is so pumped to be on a mission.

A typical and beautiful Slaughter road. 
usually dirt though. 
casual candid. pls excuse the truck corner
heck yea we did!!!! YALL WE GET A TRUCK
louisiana is my place <3
We live in the same apartment the Elders have lived in. For ages. 
And it looks that way too. 
The first several hours and days when we got to Slaughter were spent cleaning. deep deep deep cleaning. #ew. #boysaregross
Luckily Sister Henrie is a champ and dove into it. also bonus she's an interior design major so we reorganized the entire apartment. 
*fail* didn't get a picture outside the apartment yet. coming soon
But we live in a side/connected apartment to some members! 
So we don't live with them... just a little side apartment connected to their garage. :) its fun! 
District lunch at Lagniappe (a word in the south that means 'everything random')
Sister Henrie ordered a seafood platter, fried catfish, crawfish tails, shrimp, hushpuppies, crab, onion rings... It was too spicy for her so I got to eat alot of it and eat the leftovers :)))) she will get used to it soon :) 
District lunch! So pumped to be all together!
We are ​serving in the Slaughter Branch! 
Facts about Slaughter Branch
1.On average about 40-60 people come a week to the branch. That is alot more that I was expecting so I was really pumped about that. 
2. They are very excited to have sisters! This is the first time the Slaughter branch has had sisters in over 20 years. ie probably longer than I have been alive. 
3. The branch is so kind. Supportive. Loving. Tight with each other. I'm so excited to be here. 
We took over the area!
Facts about doubling in a new area
1. It is way overwhelming. 
2. Its incredibly spiritual.
3. very humbling.
4. and exciting. 
I can't tell you how overwhelming it was to sit down at our desk with a good but not so current area book and look through the ward roster.. and not even know where to start. Who the branch president is, who the RS president is, the branch mission leader, if we have one, who's active and not active in the ward.. so you have no idea of who to call. 
The first thing we did in this area (after sweeping the floor) was get on our knees and pray. 
We know nothing about this area and we are completely relying on God to guide us on who we need to see and where we need to go. 
And there are miracles in that.
We contacted one of the elders who had just left and asked a few basic questions, who's the branch president, who is the branch mission leader, and what is the voicemail password bc we have a voicemail we don't know how to get to.
after trying to contact some of them with no success we continued searching through the area book and studying the maps to get an idea of whats going on. maybe an hour later we got a phone call from the branch mission leaders wife. 
"Hey what are yall doing i just got in the car and im headed to yalls apartment do yall still live where the elders were living next to the Halls i just left my house and im coming to pick you up so that we can go see a sister in the ward that needs help okay i'll be there in ten minutes bye!"
lol exact phone conversation.
God is taking care of us. 
He sent us Sister Brian to come save us from the blanket of overwhelming fog and just love us. 
She picked us up and took us to a struggling member who's husband has Alzheimer's.
She told us about the area and helped us feel comfortable in this unfamiliar place. 
Then she took us to the church! We didn't even know where the church was! Or what time church was on Sunday!
But while we were at the church we got to meet alot more members and orient ourselves better. 
This ended up being a huge tender mercy because by meeting half of them on Wednesday we were able to meet the other half on Sunday. and Sunday was able to be a wonderful experience instead of crazy and stressful and mindblowing. 
Anyways. Moral of the story...
Slaughter is a hard area for finding investigators. Its alot different than my last 2 areas for people accepting us. lots more rejection. 
But we have alot of faith. 
Faith that we will be able to find our purpose here in Slaughter. 
Faith that we will be able to help the branch with their missionary work. 
Faith that we will be able to find people here that are prepared by God to accept the message we have for them.
and alot of humility. 
lots of relying completely on God.
lots and lots of prayers.
And Sister Henrie is literally a champ. A huge example to me of passion and dedication and diligence and as PHansen would say.. "Greenie Fire!" 
I'm so grateful to be companions with her and learn many things from her.
So excited for this new adventure in S-Laughter!!!

Love yall so much :)
sister sades
excited to have a comp who loves cats [almost] as much as meeee :)

Tuesday, November 1, 2016

jam packed w goodness

Well family. 
Are you ready for some craziness? 
bc this week was one huge non stop party. 
literally non stop party. 
guess how many pictures I took this week?
you'll never guess. 
I took 400 pictures this week. 

and then we also have transfer news. 
and its kind of a doozy. 

so first things first heres our week!
jokes. I won't be a brat. I know yall are all going to just go right to the big letters and skip all this ramble. but if you didn't and you keep reading this ramble I'm really proud of you because you have alot of self control and by now I think even my own curiosity would make me skip to the transfer news. but if youre still reading for the first time through.... go you. ;)

wow. okay so this is whats going on.
I'm getting transferred. I'm leaving Alexandria.
Sister Fristoe is staying in alec and being STL
In mission lingo, I am being pink-washed, doubled in training.
AKA that means, I am going training a brand new sister in a brand new area to sisters. The description I got from PHansen was that I would be taking a new sister to a branch that has never had sisters. At least since he has been mission President. Its a good branch but it needs some good strong sisters. 

So. Here we go! Off to yet another adventure that I really need help with!
First I needed help with being a missionary. being trained.
Next changes I needed help learning how to train another sister.
Next transfer I needed help learning to be an STL.
Now I need help with yalls knowledge. Whether its missionary knowledge, auxiliary leader knowledge, ward member knowledge or ANYTHING. 

I will be starting in a brand new area neither of us knowing anyone. 
Where in the world do we start?
As ward members, what would yall appreciate with new missionaries?
basically I'm still wrapping my brain around it as well as being in a little branch. 
So seriously.
Any advice you have. 

anyways. more to come. 
pray for me and this precious new sister :) 

Here's my past week:
setting: p day
We had a halloween pday so we dressed up and met up with the elders to have a costumed nerf war and carve pumpkins!
here are our awesome costumes.
Pocahontas and Meeko the raccoon sidekick :)
ps shout out to Kortney for the sweet raccoon hat created and mailed 5 days.
natural habitat?
nerf war! the elders were lame and didn't dress up. but they made up for it by building a fort :)
Carving pumpkins!!! classic. 
update. the carved pumpkins only lasted 2-3 days on the porch before it turned nasty and moldy. soo.... 
STILL DAY 1: monday evening
setting: down the road
This house is just down the road from our church building. They go ALL OUT for Christmas. 
long story short they are on a TV show airing the 1st or 2nd week of December on ABC and they needed an audience when they filmed it. So the church offered up their parking lot for people to park in and walk over so naturally all the church members got invited to be extras or audience members for the filming of this TV show. 
talked to alot alot of people, had a great time, and also probably got to be on TV! (we aren't allowed to say anything about it yet but remind me in December to tell yall what TV show so yall can find me in it!)
its was a big deal!
setting: district meeting
We had a halloween district meeting as well. 
We had a different costume for this one. 

Meet Sister Payne and Sister Meyers from The District 1.
The District is a show/video clips that all new missionaries and their trainers have to watch while they are training aka their first 12 weeks. 
These sisters are from back in the day and they are fluent in the soft sister missionary voice, and they have the clothes from the old mission standards and its just bad. We learn alot don't get me wrong! but.... wow. some points it is painful to watch. 
Here is Sister Payne and Sister Meyers, respectively 
Here is Sister Payne and Sister Meyers 2.0
We looked pretty dang good if I can toot our own horns for a second. 
We dressed like this for District Meeting on Tuesday with just our District.
We dressed like this for MLC on Wednesday with the leaders of the mission.
We dressed like this for ZTM on Friday with our zone. 
It was hilarious.
Here is our tuesday district meeting.
It was a funeral for Elder Porter. 
A great elder that we all learned alot from. 
He will be missed........
he is going home. :( poor man.
DAY 3: Wednesday
setting: MLC & wards halloween carnival
The Sister Meyers and Sister Payne picture was the only picture from MLC because it was kind of last minute late notice meeting. MLC was wonderful as ever!
Then we went straight back and to the Combined Halloween Carnival!
It was great!
We changed into Pocahontas and Meeko.
Failed and didn't take that many pictures and also failed and forgot my name tag. #whoamI?
Setting: the ZOO
A less active in our ward is the Director at the Zoo so she calls us to volunteer when there is activities at the zoo. This week was the ZOO BOO. 
The first time we went we were personal photographers that took a family picture for them on their own phone :) it was really fun. SO MANY PEOPLE. about 1000 for night one.
What we took pictures of. People with the Slimer from Ghostbusters
when there wasn't anyone there we got our own pics :)
said goodbye to a millionnnnnn people this week :((((( 
This is Christlee from the Manna house a place we do service at. I LOVE HER
was the last zone meeting 
Here are our wonderful sisters
our prompt: pose like something out of The District
The homies <3
setting: back at the zoo + the elders this time
the elders loved being superheros. they were famous and all the kids wanted to get their picture taken! 
 we worked the gift shop and once we were done we got to go through their line and get our own pictures!
Went and said goodbye to alot of people. 
last jeep ride with pop. 
love him to death. 
love this area so much
said goodbye to alot more people.
wonderful time at church with both primary programs.
had dinner with a family and they made us stuffed jack 'o lantern bell peppers. SO CUTE
But moral of the story is I love this area. Sad to leave but SO EXCITED TO TRAIN AGAIN. 
send me your advice!
we are having a party at the greens tonight with my favorite people from both wards. I love my mission and I love my life and I love yall

sister sades