Monday, June 29, 2015

                                                                  Goodbye to an old companion...
                                                                               ...hello to a new one!


Short P-day today! So I'll keep this short, because we only have 3 hours for our pday today. Why? because this Saturday is 4th of July, which means...
All Day P-day!  
Pretty cool, especially because apparently it was not an all-day pday last year.  But it's a good thing because everyone and their mother has asked us to participate somehow in the 4th of July celebrations.  We've been asked to help with the breakfast, to hold a banner in the parade, help with a kid's craft booth, and some other stuff, too. So we will have a fun, busy day! I'm excited.

My new companion is Sister Stephens! She is from Hawaii (the big Island) but her family moved around a lot when she was young so she's lived in a lot of places in the United States.  But she's part Hawaiian and has lived there the longest, since she was 12, so she claims it. When President Brinkerhoff told me that she was enthusiastic and outgoing, it was an understatement.  Sister Stephens is energetic, bubbly, and so full of life! I've got a great feeling about this companionship, and together I think the Lord will help us do great things here.  

It seemed like we talked a lot about the temple this week. We had a lesson with these recent converts who are sisters.  They are such sweet girls and the oldest one has done baptisms for the dead a couple of times so she was able to share some of her experiences doing that.  It was a great lesson because their mom is less active but she really opened up about her desire to one day go to the temple. Then we took our progressing investigator, Tracy, and her family to the temple visitor's center! That is always a great experience, I love the visitor's center! Then we talked to a woman yesterday who is less active about going back to the temple again.  Her daughter has been to baptisms for the dead and we discussed how they could prepare to go do that together! The mother has a desire, just isn't sure if she's ready yet.  But I have faith that her Heavenly Father loves her so much, and we were able to discuss that being worthy to enter into the temple doesn't mean that you have to be perfect.  Then, on Sunday, our lesson in Relief Society was on the temple!  SO I saw quite the reoccurring theme this week. I am so excited for all of these people to be able to go to/prepare to enter into the temple.  I love the temple so much and I know that its blessings are real.  Being sealed to my own family was one of the most wonderful experiences that I have ever had. 

Oh, and President Brinkerhoff leaves today and President Hancock is arriving! :D
I love you all so much and hope you have a wonderful week and a great 4th of July! God Bless America!

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

Man this week flew by!
Well, we got transfer calls this week, and Sister Leon is getting transferred to St. Anthony!  So I will be left the lone ranger in Inkom!  Ha, except I will get a new companion, of course.  Her name is Sister Stevens and she is from Hawaii. So we're getting all prepped for the transfer!

So this week, I stepped in cat puke. That was fun. I hate cats.

During district meeting this week, the Elders talked to us and gave us a commitment: that whenever we met someone new, Sister Leon should initiate the contact and start the conversation about the gospel.  The Elders gave us both priesthood blessings to achieve this. Then we had a few days this week where we just got out there and talked to EVERYBODY.  It was great, nothing makes you feel more like a missionary than just talking to a bunch of strangers, sharing the gospel of Christ!  Many weren't interested, but for every 5 or 6 people you talk to, there is usually one who is interested, so that's why we tried to talk to everyone we possibly could, and it worked!  We met a new family, a less active dad that wants to return to activity with all of his kids, some of whom are not members.  I have a really good feeling about them.  We also met a Methodist woman, and at first she said she wasn't really interested because she was content with her faith, but after we talked a bit with her about the Book of Mormon and how it goes along with the Bible, she gladly accepted a copy of the Book of Mormon!  Miracles happen.

Man it is so hard to focus right now.  There are about 20 missionaries in this computer lab right now and they are all talking and catching up, so it's pretty loud.  So sorry if some of this email doesn't make sense, it's because I'm having trouble paying attention to what I'm writing.  But just know that I love all of you so very much and hope you are having a fabulous life with lots of love and blessings and miracles and etc etc etc. Happy late Fathers day to my Daddy, the very greatest Dad that I could ever hope for! and to my Grandpas!  And to all of the other wonderful Fathers out there!  And most of all to my Father in Heaven, who has given me everything I have.  The Lord Jesus Christ lives.  Love y'all.

God Bless,
Sister Moreland 

Monday, June 15, 2015

                                                Burning an article of clothing at her halfway mark - 9 months!

Hey everybody!

So I don't remember a whole lot that happened this week, mostly because I lost my journal. And my journal is how I remember anything that happened during the week.  But really, I never lost it.  It was sitting on a table in our house the whole time.  Hiding right in front of me. 

I do remember details such as meeting the Gwen family this week! They were investigating the Church formerly, and we have knocked on their door probably 20 times since I've been here, but we've never gotten an answer. Well, we were on our way to our dinner appointment one day, and the Relief Society President was driving us there.  We happened to drive past the Gwen's house, and we saw them outside! As we drove past, I debated in my head what to do.  We would be late to our dinner appointment if we stopped, but then again we might never get this chance again.  I pointed them out to the Relief Society President, and I'm so glad that she had more courage than I did, saying, "Oh, I'll stop so you guys can talk to them!"  She did, and we got to meet this wonderful family!  They had felt a little too pressured the last time they were meeting with missionaries, but it seems like they are ready to start taking lessons again.  Hooray for members that are more courageous about following promptings than I am! I'm so glad we stopped, and I can't wait to meet with them again next week!

It never ceases to be beautiful here. There are these amazing sunsets up in the mountains where we live, and it's nice enough in the evenings that when we get home at 9:00 (which is when the sun sets) we sit outside and plan our day for the next day while sitting on the Long's swinging bench and watching the sunset.  It's beautiful, and quite peaceful. There are tons of cottonwood trees up here, which I don't think I had really seen before my mission.  All of the cotton blows off the trees, and on a really windy Idaho day, there is just cotton everywhere, flying through the air!  I call it a "summer snowstorm" because it really does look like it's snowing. 

 We've really been trying to find new investigators this week and talk to new people.  Sister Warren's words to me last week were really inspiring. I have to want to spread the gospel more than I want to breath.  I think of that every time we get an opportunity to talk to someone, and fear strikes me.  "Be brave" a voice rings through my head.  And I never regret talking to someone about the restored gospel, ever. Not even when they aren't interested.  I don't know why I still get scared, because I know I won't regret it!  I think it's just Satan's ways of shutting my mouth.  Don't let Satan plant fear into your heart when it comes to talking to people about what you believe and know to be true! Be brave!

Love you all so much!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland

attached is a picture of me burning a skirt, traditional of missionaries when we hit our "halfway mark".  I can't believe I've already been out 9 months!

Monday, June 8, 2015

                                                                   NO PICTURES THIS WEEK 
Helllooo mi familia! (y amigos)

This week we had a zone conference, and it was quite a bitter-sweet meeting. It's President and Sister Brinkerhoff's last month here.  Soon we will have a new mission president! President Hancock is his name.  I know it will be different having a new mission president and that some things may change, but come what may and love it! 

Last week we heard about Elder L Tom Perry passing away. That was talked about in Zone Conference a little bit too, as Elder Perry was extremely influential to the Idaho Pocatello Mission.  He came to the mission a lot and was the one who changed the standard for baptisms from one baptism per month per companionship to two baptisms per month per companionship. He's really had a big impact, so it was something that was very personal for President Brinkerhoff. 

I got to see a lot of the missionaries from Blackfoot, which was really fun. Sisters Whalen and Hansen are now serving in my last area in Blackfoot, so I got to talk to them about how the investigators and converts there are doing.  It was great to get updates!

We had exchanges this week with our Sister Training Leaders and the sister that I was with told me a "parable" that was really influential to me.  It was about a young man who wanted to be a karate master, so he came to a karate master to teach him.  The karate master asked the young man if he really wanted to learn, and he told him "yes!" so the master took the young man to a beach and told the young man to go out into the water, so he did. The karate master told the young man to keep going out into the water until he was about up to his neck in the water. Then the karate master came out to the water with him and pushed the young man's head down into the water. The young man flailed and struggled and fought desperately to come up for a few seconds, and then the master let him up again. The young man, flustered and angry, asked the master why he did that. The master replied "When you want to learn karate as much as you want to breath, then I will teach you."  She then related that parable to missionary work, and how we will know we are committed when we want the people we teach to come unto Christ as much as we want to breath. We know we are truly committed when we need to follow Christ as much as we need air.  

So that was a lesson to me this week. Love you all and hope that helped you to want to commit to Christ as much as it did for me. 

God Bless,
Sister Moreland

Monday, June 1, 2015

                                                                              Leaving one house.........
                                                        ...and enjoying the view at the new house.
Hello, my loves!

Well, on Tuesday night after we got home, we got a phonecall from our housing coordinators and they said, "okay sisters, we are gonna move you out of your apartment tomorrow at 2:30!"   errmm...what? We knew that we were going to have to move soon because Sister Belnap's daughter was going to need to move in.  But they didn't need us out of the apartment until June 1st, so we were thinking we still had about a week until we were to move.  But nope! So we packed everything up on Wednesday morning and had that entire thing emptied of our stuff, furniture, food, dishware, everything! And they packed us all up and moved us to the Long's house. They live all the way up by the sky resort. It's kind of far away from everything and it kills our fuel efficiency to drive up that steep mountain, but they have a really nice place for us to stay, and I am more than grateful that they have opened their home up to us!  We miss Sister Belnap, but the Longs are a great family, so we are excited to stay. (Plus they have dogs! :D I love living with pets again!)

The tough thing this week has been that people have been so busy the last few weeks, we haven't been able to meet with many of our investigators.  But the good news is, we were able to find a few new ones! Found a great new couple that just moved in. They have a brand new baby and aren't really familiar with religion or Christ, so we are excited to teach them the first discussion tomorrow.  Plus we met Drew, the old man with a huge grey beard that can be seen riding his horse up and down the streets of Inkom.  This week he was even taking his horse for a stroll in the rain.  He was very friendly, but he is baptist so wasn't interested in the church. But hey, we met Inkom's famous bearded horseman!

I love the Lord. and I love his scriptures. The more I have been able to immerse myself in the scriptures this week, the closer I have been able to get to Christ.  I've been reading in the New Testament lately and just marking it up like crazy.  It makes me appreciate the men who took the time to record the life of Christ. But it also makes me realize how much was not recorded, and how much there is still to learn.  It makes me grateful that we have modern day revelation and that we knew there is more that the Lord is yet to reveal to mankind here on this Earth! 

I love you guys soooo much!

Have an awesome week!
God Bless,
Sister Moreland