Monday, March 31, 2014

Week 42

This week was UNREAL!!  Amazing! The vibe and spirit on campus was great.  The students were so accepting and suddenly so interested in our message!  I'll take that any day!!  We taught so many lessons this week we barely had time to breathe!  We taught 18 total lessons to investigators and 8 to returning members and members! Busy, busy, busy!!  We were also able to get four new investigators who seem solid!  One of them is Krystal, the best Chinese hip hop dancer in Troy!  She is the coolest.  Ever since we met her at the Chinese New Year Fest we've known we've wanted to teach her but we haven't known how to go about it, so this week we invited her to go out to lunch and there straight up asked her if we could teach her about the Restored Gospel.  She was SOOO EXCITED!  She was like, "YES YES teach me everything!  I want to know!"  We taught her the Plan of Salvation and she was so in tune, asking so many questions!  Unfortunately she goes back to China at the end of the semester, which is approaching quickly :(  We have a lot to teach her in a little time so I have no clue where it will all go!  She's legit though and wants me to visit her dance studio in China one day!  Another new investigator is Soumalia from Salt Lake City, INDIA haha!  Who knew there was another SLC!  Anyways he is atheist, well humanistic really, but basically does not believe in God.  Teaching him is interesting but pretty cool!  Another one is John who has always been curious about Mormons.  He said growing up that people would always call him "Mormon" because of his high standards!  He came to church on Sunday and really enjoyed it.  Then there is Ishmael, this sweet 18 year old.  He could be a golden investigator as long as he doesn't let his friends influence him too much on their opinions on Mormons!  Sister Mac and I just love the kid to death!!  There is such a light about him!!  Our other investigators are progressing right along as well! Ram and Nick are still set for April 12th baptism, although Nick still refuses to quit drinking coffee.......ha.  Alishia, the little niece of one of our investigators, loves church!  LyLy (her nickname) is hilarious.  In the middle of the lesson she will randomly say a prayer!  We invited her to the women’s broadcast and she jumped up and was like, "YOU’RE TELLIN ME I HAVE TO GO TO CHURCH SAT NIGHT ANNNND SUNDAY????"  Then pauses......."THIS CHURCH IS AMAZING!" haha she is the bomb!  The rest of her family are a little hard to teach, so we are focusing strictly on her right now. 

We met with Kyle, Nathan, and Rachel this week in response to President Smith's direction!  He told us that we need to ask them to have one more lesson with us and at the end of the lesson ask them to kneel in prayer and specifically ask God if Sister Mac and I are true messengers sent from God.  So we did it and let me tell ya, the SPIRIT WAS SO STRONG!!  I can't even describe it sorry y’all!  But I've never heard a more sincere prayer given by Kyle!  Me, Sister Mac and the member who came with us got up and left them in the room to ponder their feelings.  Unfortunately they let us know that they still think their beliefs are the true beliefs....but we have such a good relationship with all of them now that I will continue to share the gospel with them for the rest of my life!!  ONE DAY I'm telling ya!!  The Lord has a plan for them!

We taught one of our investigators named Clinton the Plan of Salvation.  He really really liked it.  After teaching it he expressed how the things we teach just feel so much more complete then what he’s grown up learning!  If only every investigator could get that insight!!  He is slowly but steadily progressing! 

This week we met a girl on the volleyball team from...ARIZONA!  HA!  There are no western people in Troy so that was a miracle in itself!  It was cool cause we were walking out of a building on campus and Sister Mac was like, that girl needs the gospel!  So we turned around and talked to her and found out all these Mormon friends at BYU she has!  She is really sweet and hopefully somehow we can teach her!  If anything it was a good chance for her to see that Latter-day Saints are everywhere, EVEN IN TROY, AL :)

The General Women’s meeting was AMAZING!! Holy cow, just the tremendous strength in the unity of the women of the church gathering together brought the spirit so strong!  The speakers, music, and videos were all really really good!  Once again they talked a lot about COVENANTS just like last time!  How our life is a pathway marked by sacred covenants.  How we need to keep our eyes locked on the temple!  Although I cannot go to the temple currently I still think about it daily and cannot wait to enter again!  I loved how President Eyring told the sisters in the church how we are truly the favored few daughters in the covenant right now on earth.  How blessed we are!!  I'm so grateful to be God's daughter in His royal army right now.  I don't think anyone in their right minds could have watched that conference and denied this church.  It was so good! 

Last night the YSA had an FHE game night at our Branch President’s house so Sister Mac and I decided to serve them!  While they all played games, we were busy in the kitchen making omelets!  I finally became a good omelet maker!  Y’all would be proud!  It was fun! 

This week we are starting a Gospel Class on Thursday nights.  It is going to be an open discussion structure where we plan a topic to discuss beforehand and then anyone is welcome to study that topic throughout the week and come to the class with questions or comments!  It’s mainly for our YSA who are seeking for more knowledge in the gospel but also for students who have questions and it will be a friendly, open environment!  We are going to test it out and see how it goes!  This week’s topic is the Godhead!  We do have our dance and yoga class tonight!  Unfortunately we just aren't getting the turn out that we want so we will have to reestablish our plans for that!  I don't have pics from the class but I do have a video on my camera of us all doing a dance! 

We had some great food this week! One of the members fed us PAZOOKIES FOR DESSERT!  It felt just like home :)  I miss going to the Chocolate! Is that place still there!?  It better be!!  This famous News Anchor for Troy took us to SISTERS this week!  It was buffet night....SO MUCH FOOD! But so good again!  He told me he'd get me a job in broadcasting here in Alabama if I ever needed it :)

Good news I found out from Lynn Haven was that a returning member we worked with A LOT, has plans to go to the temple again!!! :) yayay! 

In answer to your question, I have used my potato bag every time!  ONE TIME it kind of burned though so there is a big black mark on it! It scared me!!  I remember the story of Aunt Rhonda saying one like lit on fire!!  I always keep an eye on it!!  Speaking of Aunt Rhonda, I'm always praying for Uncle J to find a job.  Hopefully in Utah, because I love living by them! 

Y Awards!!!  Aw I LOVE it!  It sounds like it is going to be really cool this year!  I like how the public can go!!  That's sweet that Mike Davis got a good catch in Spring Practice!  Can't wait to be friends with him after!

Well, I love y’all so much!!! I could honestly type forever to y’all!!!  Thanks for everything! I love hearing from you!!! You have no idea how much I LOVE Mondays!!! :)  Have a wonderful week!!!! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe!
 Us with Krystal

Monday, March 24, 2014

Week 41

Good morning y’all!!  I love P-days :)  There is a reason P-days are after Sunday's because Sunday's are the craziest for missionaries!!  Yesterday we had 6 of our investigators at church! 6!  Our Gospel Principles class was bumpin!  It was hectic trying to get rides for all these people but luckily God provided ways and they all got there!!  One of them was a Chinese guy named Ben who we've started teaching this past week.  He is hilarious!  In our first lesson with him he straight up did the straddles!  He is more flexible than any girl I've seen!  He does not know how to whisper though.  I was dying in Sacrament because he kept asking all these questions and I was trying to tell him to be quieter. Bless his heart!  He loved church though and wants us to continue teaching him! One of the members gave him a ride home and they said the whole way home he was saying, "This is the best day of my life"! ha! We also started teaching a lady we met downtown and her 11 year old niece and baby nephew!  They all came and loved it as well!  Then we had our Chinese investigator named Lanokey come.  It’s been like a month since we've really had any contact with her but yesterday she randomly showed up.  We were like WOAH, sweet!!  Then we had Ram come.  He has a BCD for April 12th!  Erik’s birthday!  He is getting really excited about it.  Nick unfortunately is starting to get really nervous about his baptism so he wanted to move it to April 5th for now!  He is still progressing very well but he doesn't know if he can be a Mormon his whole life haha.  It is a huge commitment so he wants to be sure!  Yesterday we had a great lesson with him though and I think he'll be ready for April!  We had a fun St. Patrick’s Day party with him at the Brimhall’s home.  Such great food and they were able to connect well with him!  We also had Maggie at church.  Maggie is the 19 year old we met while doing service.  We taught her about family history, gave her a church tour, she came to church, and is now reading the Book of Mormon.  Good things to come with this girl!  See how great the work is going right now!?!?!  We are seeing so many fruits of our labors!!!  Being so blessed! :) Oh and I spoke in sacrament again...haha #branchprobs

Summer is coming quicker than I'm ready for!! We had a few hot days this week and I already have tan lines! Summer in Alabama could be.......rough!  The hills here are NOT COOL when it comes to biking and walking!  My thighs and butt can't afford to get any more muscle!  The bugs are coming back too :/.  Alabama has these bugs called "stick bugs".  They are harmless but they are EVERYWHERE and literally I get like 10 on me at once!  It’s so annoying!  Also, they have love bugs which I dislike with a passion.  Apparently they come by the thousands in like July and August!  We also have lots of wood bee's here like the ones in Kentucky!  At least I learned they don't sting! 

I had a really cool experience this week!  Probably one of my favorites on my entire mission.  We have been working with a less active man, and his nonmember wife and kids.  He actually played football for the U back in the days.  He went on a mission and then was offended soon after and hasn't been back to church for 25 years.  Since the day I got to Troy his name and story, I've always felt prompted that I want to work with him and his family.  We've eaten there a few times because they love feeding the missionaries and I've been able to build that relationship but last week Sister Mac and I knew it was time to teach with more power and more spirit than ever before.  Something needed to change.  We planned a lesson earlier in the day and then that night I can honestly say the spirit completely took over.  I know the spirit told both Sister Mac and me exactly what to say.  It was one of those moments where I was given the needed words at the EXACT moment!  SO indescribable!  We were bearing our hearts to him on how the gospel of Jesus Christ is that missing gap that he has in his life.  I told stories of less actives I've worked with on my mission and while I was speaking my testimony was being built stronger.  I love working with less actives so much.  I love helping bring them home.  I can't even put into words in this email some of the things we said but tears came to my eyes when I did and I think it took him by complete surprise.  He started crying!  The spirit touched him so strong.  The next morning he texted us and thanked us for the things we said.  Then on Sunday the Branch President came up to us and told us that he had talked with this brother at a soccer game on Saturday and he told him that no missionaries have ever had the guts to say some of those things that they said and bear their hearts to him before and that is exactly what he needed.  I know it is because now is the time in his life when he is ready.  He will come back soon and bring his family with him, whether I see it or not!  MIRACLES HAPPEN! 

Kelsey had us over to her Grandma’s house for a family home evening!  She planned the whole thing and it was soooo good! So proud of her for how well she is progressing in this gospel! 

We got a referral this week to teach the previous star running back of the football team. HE IS LEGIT!!  I'm so glad they gave him to us to teach.  He will be a hard one to set up lessons with but when we get him, he listens and he feels the spirit! 

A tender mercy this week was one of our less active YSA's inviting us to lunch at Moe’s this week.  She even paid for us!  She expressed how she really needed to feel our happy spirits because her day was going so wrong.  She never opens up like that so it was pretty cool to see!!  And of course I love Moe's :)

I've learned a lot about southern people.......haha but one thing for sure....their doctor appointments apparently last 24 hours.  We try to set up appointments with people and they are like ohhhh not this week I have a doctor’s appointment.  I'm like, ALL DAY EVERY DAY YOU HAVE A DOCTOR’S APPOINTMENT??? haha I've had to deal with this for the past 9 months and it’s getting to be hilarious!!  The south is its own world and it’s a very humorous place!! But I love it!!

Thank you for your package and letter Mom! I LOVVVVE the smell of that lotion! It’s perfect! One of my favs!  Also the bracelets are so cute!  They are so popular down here and I've been wanting one!  And of course I loved the cake bites :) :) In fact, I can’t wait to go home from emailing and have one!!  You know me too well!  Unfortunately I can’t use the Moe's gift card........the campus restaurants don't take any gift cards which is super lame!!  I can either send it back to Shan for her to use or use it when I get transferred :) Moe's are everywhere in the South so I might be in an area with one later down the road!!  I LOVED Brigg's baby announcement!  SO CUTE!!!  It made it on my picture wall:)  To answer some of your Q's...we email President every week and basically say anything we want but we always say one Christ like attribute we are working on, give updates on progressing investigators, and share what we are learning in our studies!  I think the PCB reunion sounds AMAZING!!!!  Although PCB in the summer could be quite the sauna haha.  Honestly the earliest would be the best like May, when the kids are still in school and it’s not the hottest months of the summer!  But I'm so in!  The missionaries come home on a Friday now just in our mission!  It is so the new missionaries from the MTC can spend an extra day in the mission home and receive training from President before they get thrown in their areas.  I found out Karina is coming home Dec 14....She may come home before me!!  She left way after me!  Crazy!  We are being interviewed again the Tuesday before Easter!  We do have our dance and yoga class tonight! 

Well, I LOVE Y'ALL SO MUCH!!!!  I pray about you each individually every day!!  Thank you so much for all the support and love!!!!  Enjoy MARCH MADNESS!!!

LOVE Y’ALL! <3/ Sister Lauren Holmoe
 St. Patty's Party!!

 Dead possum.....we see these on the daily!  GRODY!
 The new fam we are teaching! SO CUTE!!

 The 4 sisters at church!  That is our chapel we are in!  We have to set up chairs each week!  No rows!

Monday, March 17, 2014

Week 40

Good morning y’all!! Happy St. Patrick’s day!!  It’s a rainy day here in Troy, AL!  There were crazy thunderstorms here yesterday and just west of us there were tornado warnings!  Apparently Troy has lots of tornado warnings.....greaaaaaaat haha!!  I'll finally know how Shannon feels up in Kentucky!!  This week was awesome!  However, I am glad spring break is over!!  I miss all the students and going to campus every day!!  It’s been a ghost town over here!!  We were able to see a lot of success in the community this week though.  We visited lots of less actives, did some creative finding activities, walked around talking to random people, visited members and did some service in the community!

Going to "Sisters" on Monday was pretty fun! You can't live in Troy and not go to Sisters!  The lady who took us basically owns Troy and knew EVERYONE there!  It was hilarious!  It was good to be seen with the top of the top :)  The food was great and you best believe I'll be taking y’all there one day!  It’s hilarious because the parking lot is full of trucks because it’s a total southern guy place to go!  Marianna, a girl from Ukraine, also came with us!  I love this girl; she always has the most stylish outfits! 

One day we helped out at Salvation Army organizing cans!  Lucky for us, there was a 19 year old girl who was volunteering, so we helped her!  It was awesome because she was stuck in a tiny room with us for an hour :)  She is now one of our investigators and we are giving her a church tour on Wednesday!  I love when God puts people in our path so clearly :)  There was a Subway right next door so I got to use Dad's gift card he gave me!  I'm obsessed with Subway's flatbread! OH, SO GOOD!! Thank you sooooooo much for the Moe's card!!! I am so excited to use it :)  Also, I got your happy 9 month card EXACTLY on my 9 month mark!!! It was perfect!!!!

We had some great lessons with Sunny and Ram this week since they were here for spring break!  They are the ones from India and they are progressing SO WELL!!  We are going to get a baptismal commitment date this week!!  Ram totally wants to be baptized!! He loves church and the Book of Mormon and eternal families!  He is great!  Sunny still needs to increase his faith and gain that witness from the spirit but he is progressing!!  We had one lesson with Nick because he went to PCB and New Orleans!  He brought us back souvenirs though!  So thoughtful of him!  We had a great lesson with him and he is stronger than he’s ever been!  Sometimes he'll say things like, "Well when I'm Mormon...."!  It’s awesome!  He’s still on date for the 29th...but we have lots of work to do and he’s still struggling with Word of Wisdom so we'll see!  Tonight he is coming over to a member’s house with us for a St. Patrick’s day party and a lesson!  We are having Bratwursts Danny!!  It should be fun!! 

Having Facebook has been an amazing too!  In fact, Nick was totally found via Facebook!  We've seen many miracles from it!  It was funny though because we were scrolling down and the account is friends with a bunch of RM's and one of the posts had Elder Murdoch in it AND.....ERIK HOLMOE haha!  It made my day to see his name!  Crazy how far we are yet so close!

We had a sweet turnout to Frisbee on Saturday night!  We combined games with basically the Troy Rugby team!  They looked pretty intense but they were the nicest guys!!  They loved my BYU apparel because they all worship the BYU rugby team!!  We always give a message after we play and it was sweet to see all the guys listen and take it in!  Hopefully we'll see them around campus and keep planting seeds! 

We had mashed potatoes last night at a member’s home and I was in seventh heaven!!!! It’s been FOREVER!!  haha!  I've missed your home cooking Mom!!! 

Funny moment!  We were at a retirement home and this old lady asked this other old lady if me and Sister Mac were sisters...the old lady yells (I think she was partially deaf)..."THEY'RE NOT SISTERS.....THEY'RE MORMONS....AND THEY RIDE BIKES!"  It was hilarious!  We were laughing uncontrollably! ! 

I am so happy to hear that BYU made it to the tourney!!!  Whoo!! You best believe I'll fill out a bracket and send it home to y’all! Don't count me out!  Sad to hear about Kyle though...:(  And also about Cec and Sharon!  I guess I knew it would happen eventually but STILL!  They are the best!!!  

Well, I love y’all!!!  I read this quote in one of President Monson's talks and I love it!  "You pile up enough of tomorrows and you'll find you've collected a lot of empty yesterdays."  It’s so important, especially on a mission, to make each day matter!!  It’s amazing all you can accomplish in one day!  So grateful to be doing this work!  It’s so rewarding!  It’s hard work but so much fun!!  Grateful to wear this badge every day and represent my Savior!! 

Have a great week y’all!!!! Miss love and pray for you every day!! <3/ Sister LA GIRL!

 At the restaurant "Sisters"

 Salvation Army
 "LOVE" St! <3
 9 Months BABY! Happy hump day to me!! :) 
 just celebrating the big day!
 Ariana (one of the YSAs) and the girls going to correlation!
 These are the souvenirs that Nick Gangam brought us back haha!! 
 hahahahha this little meme made my day!! #Mormonminnions
 Happy St. Pattys from rainy Alabama!!! LOVE YOU ALL!!!

Monday, March 10, 2014

Week 39

Good morning y’all!!  I lovvvved all the pics y’all sent me today!!!  Everyone looks so great!  Briggs is the cutest <3!  I love getting pictures!  So in two days I'll officially hit my half way point! MID-MISH-CRISIS!  Sheesh, I don't even know what to do with myself!  We had a visitor at church yesterday (who by the way just happened to be a BULLDOG ALUMNI) and she asked me how long I'd been was the first time saying 9 months and boy oh boy it FELT CRAZY TO SAY!  I've learned a lot the past 9 months, more than I could ever put into words but something that has especially stuck out recently is how truly passionate I am about the gospel of Jesus Christ.  I know with all my heart the message we share every day is the FULLNESS of the truth.  I know Joseph Smith was called as a prophet to be the head of this dispensation, I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and contains all truth, I know Christ is our Savior and Redeemer, and I know and fully understand the purpose of this life.  We CAN return back home to live in our prepared mansions with our Father in Heaven along with our families <3  The church is true people and although I have always known that, my passion to declare it is stronger than ever before! 

I haven't shared too many details about our investigators Kyle, Nathan, and Rachel but working with them the past few weeks has been unforgettable.  These are the investigators who read and prayed about the BOM every day for 10 days and then came to church.  They are some of the most amazing people I've met.  They have a light about them and they are searching for the truth.  They want so badly to believe what we teach but they can't seem to get past the fact there is no physical evidence.  Basically, they want the gold plates to be handed to them!  They just can't understand that the greatest evidence one can ever receive is divine witness from the Holy Ghost.  We've taught them pretty much everything we as missionaries teach and have gone farther and they HAVE felt the spirit but they just can’t move forward!  We met with their Presbyterian Preacher this week (which was an interesting experience in itself!) and as crazy as it was, it was good for them to see us sisters and him in the same room and by the gift of discernment be able to feel who had a more sincere spirit.  We had our last lesson with these three the other night as were aware they were going to "drop us".  (HOWEVER, we will be friends forever!).  We all got to say our last words and it was the strongest testimony I may have ever born in my life.  Sis Mac's was amazing too!!  They were speechless but then finally Kyle sincerely said, "If this really is true, you better NEVER stop praying that one day I will accept it."  BOY YOU BETTER BELIEVE WE'RE NEVER GOING TO STOP PRAYING FOR YOU!  Mark my words, Kyle and Rachel will be sealed in the temple one day! (: <3 We are all really great friends and we'll definitely still be seeing them around the town!  It’s not over yet!  Plus, a member of our branch works with them so we'll work through that now (:

Another highlight this week was.....GOING TO MY FIRST PIGGLY WIGGLY :)  It was always on my bucket list ever since "Win a Date with Tad Hamilton"!  It was a life changing moment clearly haha.  One of our potential investigators works at the "Pig Café" which is the café attached to Piggly Wigglys and she invited us to lunch there.  Her lunch break started at 10 AM............and the Pig Café is like TOTAL southern food!  Oh the sacrifices we make for our people; eating fried meet, greens, and casseroles at 10 in the morning!

Nick is scheduled for baptism on March 29th!  He does have some Word of Wisdom problems which we'll have to work out but for now that's the goal!!  It was hilarious when we were teaching him the WOW.  He was freaking out because basically he is obsessed with tea and he couldn't believe that he couldn't drink tea anymore.  It was a pretty cloudy day and we were in the Sorrell Chapel on campus which has those stained glass windows.  Well, every time we testified of something in the WOW, the sun would shine in and it was like God’s stamp of approval for what we were saying and then every time he would say that it was good for you, it got dark and cloudy again!  It sounds like the cheesiest thing EVER but it was soooooo cool!  He came to sacrament yesterday and then left early to drive to Panama City for spring break (along with the rest of the state of Alabama)!

Some more fun things this week involved going out to lunch to Mama Goldberg’s, a Troy classic!  We went for district activity and it was way fun!  Meeting Sister Ford, the new Troy Sister.  She is really cute, I love her!  She’s from Littleton, CO so she knows all my Colorado friends.  She went to BYU for a little so we have lots of connections!  It will be a fun transfer having her live with us! :)  One rainy day walking to campus Sis Mac and I got a ride from a lady bus driver!  We had the whole bus to ourselves and the lady went totally out of her way to drop us off! SO nice!  We watched a sweet LDS news report on the temple dedication/cultural celebration of the Gilbert, AZ temple!  IT WAS AMAZING!  I highly suggest watching it.  It made me tear up seeing so many Mormons gather for something so great!  Watch it and you'll understand!  Kelsey's testimony is growing SO much!  This week she was telling us how she wants us both at her temple sealing!  She’s changed A TON!! Love her! We had Frisbee on Saturday and we had tons of international students come who have never seen a Frisbee before! It was hilarious!!!  This afternoon someone in Troy is taking us 4 sisters to "SISTERS" that amazing restaurant everyone talks about! I'm stoked!!  Also, this week I started reading and studying "Jesus the Christ"!  I've been hesitant to open it but now that I'm in it, I'M ADDICTED! I'm learning so much ha! Too much!

Mom, thanks for your letter! In answer to some of your questions....all 6 of us missionaries in Troy have different work.  So we find and teach on our own!  The YSAs and Kelsey did go to the Birmingham Temple which is only about a little over a two hour drive!  AND YES I WANT TO GO TO THE TEMPLE EVERY MONTH WITH YOU!  I think that is the perfect idea when I get back :)  I also have officially been motivated to learn how to cook, so get ready to teach me everything you know!  I think I was confusing in one of my past emails; we still have a branch president but we do not have a branch mission leader!  However, he might be coming back....not sure! But yes the branch would not even function without our branch president!  GOOD NEWS!  Julie the YSA from Lynn Haven wrote me a letter this week!  She got accepted into both BYU's for when she returns home from her mission!!  YAYA!!  And apparently SHE GOT HER MISSION CALL ON SATURDAY!!!!!! I haven't heard anything yet but I'll let you know!!!!  I also got MORE German chocolate in the mail, except this time from Christian Santiago! I love German chocolate :) 

WELL, I love y’all so so much and am so grateful to have every one of you in my life!!  Have a wonderful week!  CHEER THE COUGS ON TO VICTORY!!!!  So happy they both advanced further!!  You know they'll be in my prayers!!  Miss you guys so much!!! Church is true, Book is blue!! <3/ Sister Holmoe!

 Last picture with Elder Stokes!!  He gave all us sisters a tie with a note on the back!  He's the best!!

 My message to the students Troy
 International Frisbee! nick, sunny, and ram
 Welcome Sister Ford
 my home girls Lakenya and Jazz!  They wear these new bonnet things out and about, they crack me up!!

Monday, March 3, 2014

Week 38

Hello Fam!  Well the transfer sheet came today and looks like I'll be staying in Troy another 6 weeks! (:  There wasn't a bone in my body that thought otherwise! It was the first transfer I wasn't freaking out about!!  Sister Mac and I are still together but Sister Campbell got transferred to FSU campus and Sister Satterthwaite is getting a new companion named Sister Ford!  We got a new DL who I know from my last zone which will be fun but I'll miss having Elder Stokes here!!! He’s my bestie! Sister Sam is staying in Lynn Haven another 6 weeks with her comp!  Same ZL's and a slight change to our Sister Trainer Leaders.  We'll see how that goes!!  I'm ready for another 6 weeks in Troy though!!!  Woot woot!! We got a text last night that woke me up so I got up to make sure it wasn’t anything important and Nick (one of our investigators)  texted us and said, "I’m ready to follow my Savior and be baptized by full immersion"!  What a grand text to interrupt my sleep! (: haha!  We still have lots to teach him but at least he has the desire now!!!  Good things to come!!

So sad news of the week.  Elder Ballard limited the distance of travel allowed to come hear him speak so only the Tallahassee Zone and the Panama City Zone and one area in our Zone will be able to drive and hear him speak.  Everyone’s really sad about it :(  BUT, that's the order from the apostle so it’s obviously something we need to follow!!  It’s not like I've been counting down the days, reading every one of his old talks, memorizing "our search for happiness" or anything....................................haha (: 

Kelsey and some more of our YSA were able to go to the temple on Saturday and do baptisms!  They all had a wonderful experience!!  There is a fascinating statistic that says 85 percent or so recent converts who attend the temple within one year of their baptism remain active in the church!  I know it’s because of how sacred the temple is and the spirit they feel there!!  One of my all-time favorite YSA, has a SERIOUS fear of water so she was freaking out but she went and although she was only able to do 1 because of her anxiety, she DID ONE (: (:  So happy for her!! 

We found two new investigators from India this week named Sunny and Ram.  Sunny is the great great grandson of THEE Gandhi!  They are hilarious!  They came to church and LOVED IT.  Everyone welcomed them with open arms so we'll see where that goes!! 

We had some more sweet family history experiences this week!  I'm getting pretty good at finding people’s ancestors!  But this one girl who just has a SWEET sweet spirit about her mentioned to us that the only Mormon in her entire family was her aunt who just passed away 3 months ago!  Not a coincidence that now she’s suddenly interested in family history and suddenly meeting with the missionaries!  Her heart still needs some softening to be able to listen and accept the message but there is something special about her!! 

One day this week it was a complete DEAD day! NO ONE was wanting to listen and everyone was studying for tests!  It was to the point of insane laughter from me and Sister Mac!!  We were dying!  That's why I love Sister Mac though because both of us just always make things fun and happy!  Anyways on our way back to our apartment we were like, let’s try ONE MORE PERSON.  Well that one person wanted absolutely nothing to do with us and thought we were the weirdest girls ever haha.  BUT THEN.....2 DAYS LATER......we saw that same guy again and he waved us down and acted like we were his besties!  He suddenly wanted to know all about the Mormon Church History and all sorts of things so he asked to set up an appointment!  Just shows you never know what seeds you plant will begin to sprout! (: 

On Saturday, campus is usually dead, so we went on a 90 mile adventure trying to find lost less active members from our roster who live far away!  It was SO FUN!  I felt like I was in the total SOUTH again!  What you really think of when you think of Alabama!  Funny story, we were driving down the highway and there was this car of college students who kept looking at us so I was like, "y’all, let’s give them a book of Mormon."  So we slowed down right next to them, opened our window, and reached it over to them! IT WAS AWESOME haha!!  #seedplanted.  Another funny thing... we went to an ice cream place which I'll tell you about later in the email and they had a chalk board that you could doodle on so we wrote a cute little quote and put our number on it and 30 min later a woman called us who has been wanting more faith!!  It’s all about spreading the word creatively you see what I'm saying!? :)

We had some great food this week!  I drove us down to Dothan on Friday for the other sisters’ interviews!  I didn't get one since I just had one in Panama City in January so I chauffeured them and then on our way home we stopped and ate at this way good Mexican Restaurant! Mmm so good!  Dothan has so many good places to eat so we get so excited when we are down there during lunch time!  Yesterday we had THEE BEST FISH AND SHRIMP TACOS EVER!!  Dad, you would have been in 7th heaven!!  Wow, those were amazing!  Then one night we went to the cutest little ice cream place in all of Alabama!  It’s called "Milky Moos".  Their ice cream and brownies and fudge are all homemade and it was the best thing ever!!  When the fam comes to Troy one day we will definitely stop at Milky Moos!! 

We got to watch the CES fireside last night!  Sister Burton the General RS President spoke and it was awesome.  She spoke all on learning the language of the spirit and how we can more easily recognize the promptings.  It was the EXACT MESSAGE one of our YSA less actives needed to hear and she was there to hear it!!!  This less active YSA is definitely of my fold.  Yes that's some phrase I've learned to say all the time on my mission when I LOVE someone or they are like me! Anyways, she is the coolest girl and I LOVE the lessons we have with her!  She came to church yesterday for the first time in like 4 months! 

We had a great District Meeting on Tuesday.  The spirit was way strong.  Anytime you can gather with a group of missionaries it’s always really great!  I love the missionaries of the FTM so much!! 

Dad, I was reading the email you sent last week and laughing so hard about the game of "rummy" where Mom got robbed!!! classic! and then about the burning of the rice haha!  Oh the good times (:  I miss y’all!!  And mom, I got your package! THANK YOU!  The TP was not silly, it was a great surprise!!!  That is so awesome to hear about all the mission calls!!  Tell Grayson congrats!!  And keep me posted with Wesley and Megan Ventura!  I'm crossing my fingers for the good old FTM!!!! <3  This seriously is the best mission in the world! 

SO grateful to be here! SO pumped for another 6 weeks in TROYYYY.  Trojans for life!!!  Here goes to another week of teaching and testifying! I love you all so much and hope you have a great week!!

GOOD LUCK TO THE COUGS IN VEGAS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  YAYAY!!  Let’s WIN this tourney!!!  Happy birthday DAD!!!! I love you so so so so so so much and hope you enjoy your weekend in my favorite city!!!! 


 Troy sweats for life (:
 This place was SIMILAR to Mi Ranchitos..........but truly no competition haha.
 I love these sisters!! <3  A member dropped Frostys off for all of us after Sports night!  So nice!
Me and Cheyenne
 Me and Jazz
Milky Moos