Tuesday, April 28, 2015

I'm proud to be a Mormon!

Howdy Y'all! 

So this past week has been crazy and weird! I'm sure many of you have see Valdosta State University on the news this past week. Well that my area, we are the YSA Sisters and we go there often and even have a booth. As missionaries we are kinda out of the news so we really have no idea whats going on unless someone tells us. Well on Wednesday we had our booth on campus and we did notice that there were A LOT of police walking around, but we were totally clueless. lol! Thankfully that evening our investigator Candace showed us the news clip from the guy walking on the American flag and the stuff he was saying. Then Friday morning the ward mission leader called all the missionaries in the ward boundaries and told us all what was happening! SO we informed our mission president and we were 'ordered' on a lock down if it got really bad and to stay away from that part of town and not to go tracting. So many people kept their kids out of school that day due to fear, guns, the KKK and the black panthers. The peeps here in Valdosta were really in a uproar and it was kinda crazy! Luckily Sister Muegge and I went out with a member for the day in the small towns far out in the country. So we were safe. :) Plus we got to be in the country!!! I have realized that I am not a city girl, I love small towns and the country! :) So back to the protest... Well one of the young women went to it for a little bit out of curiosity and told us that she saw KKK people and Black Panther people on the street and there were many cars and motorcycles driving around with flags. She also said in her school many kids were getting checked out cause of the treats and stuff... man! We didn't realize how crazy it was! So all I can say is that I am grateful for the truths that I know and that I get to share with others! :) 

We taught Candace about the priesthood and missionary work last week! She had some good questions and concerns, but mainly she is struggling with the idea that men and women are equal. She can't fully grasp the idea how the church views women and the role we have as important. :( Sister Muegge and I both bore our testimonies on how important women's roles are and how sacred they are. I felt impressed to show her a talk from Gordon B. Hinckley back in 2003. Its addressed to the women of the church. It brought the spirit in so strong! I got the impression that she will learn over time as she is in the church. :) All will be well and her husband treats her so well and doesn't think the same way she does about the difference between men and women. I love Candace and am so excited for her to be baptized!!!! 

We found someone new to teach! We were going to find a lot of formers and most of them weren't home or had moved. Well at one house (in the ghetto!) they were having a party outside, so we decided to join them! lol! We met many peeps and one of them was very interested in learning more! Her name is Terrica (Tara-ca) and she has very limited knowledge about religion and really doesn't know anything about Jesus Christ. This is a new way of teaching down here in the South cause almost everyone has some level of faith in Him! We made a return appointment when people would be sober for the next day. We took the Swanks (Senior couple missionaries) with us and had a great lesson on the Restoration! She soaked it up and had so many questions! She was suppose to be at church but nope she didn't show up. :( But we will be seeing her this week! 

SO something cool this week was when we had sports morning with investigators and members, we played soccer in a rain storm! It was legit and we were soaked!!! Plus we were all slipping and sliding so it was very entertaining! lol! :) And then we had a HUGE food fight at lunch! lol! I now have full filled a dream of mine! Thanks to Sister Muegge! :) Plus we beat the Elders! lol! 

I have been reading the book of Mosiah again and I have to say that it is one of my favorite books! I love reading about Ammon and how strong and faithful of a leader he is. I like in verse 19 to 33 where he is talking about trusting in God, doing His will and being obedient. Because when you do you are even more blessed and favored of Him! 

I love you all! xoxoxo

~ Sister Willie
 All of us at a youth's soccer game!

 On the tracks! 

 hahaha! Looks so uncomfortable! 

All of us after playing soccer in the rain! 

Sunday, April 26, 2015

The start of my final transfer... Dang! Time has flown by terribly fast!

Hey Y'all!!! 

This past week was CRAZY!!!! For reals! Transfers happened. I said bye to Sister An. :( I'm missing her! I also got to see some of my mission buddies!!! Sister Gray and I hugged for a long time! She even picked me up and didn't put me down for a minute or so! lol! I just love her! :) My new companion is Sister Muegge from St. George Utah! She has been out for 6 months now. We get along very well too! She is very outgoing and friendly and loves people! :) 

This whole week we have been going to early morning seminary and helping out. This means we are waking up a lot earlier and have to be at the church by 6:20 am! (ya we all are super tired! But its so worth it!) These kids are rock stars! This whole week has been their missionary week! They have to live by certain standards the whole week, no TV, computers, electronics, etc. They are only allowed to use their phones for parents and the Internet for homework. They also have to wear missionary clothes all day on Wednesday. They all receive "mission calls". Some went to Japan, Haiti, Ghana, California. Pretty sweet! They were put into companionship's and we helped them with their companion studies and also with district meetings. We taught them one morning about effective studies and then for their Wednesday night mutual activity, us missionaries were in charge! It was awesome! We had a mock zone training meeting and had some "investigators" for them to teach! Pretty legit! I wish we had done something like this when I was in young women's! All the youth are awesome, but I am SO impressed with Emma Oaks! She just turned 15 last week and is on fire with missionary work!! She has a rock solid testimony and just funny! I have claimed her as my little minion aka sister. lol ;) All her older siblings are less active and she keeps on encouraging them to come back to church! She never gives up! 

So Tuesday night all 6 of us missionaries here in Valdosta went to a tent revival service! Man it was CRAZY!!! There were many preachers, but one of them was SCREAMING about hell and how people go there and there is no return! Man it was scary!!! And so depressing! They need the fullness of the gospel! They don't have the Eternal Perspective, so sad. :( Also he was yelling that if you want to be saved come touch his hand. So people went up there. Us and the Elders were looking around not sure what to do or what was going on. I had this sick feeling and I knew this was not true! I was so ready to leave when this lady comes up to my companion and I and starts crying. She told us that she is a less active and is there with her son and some friends had invited them. Her son is 12 and was asking her if he was saved? She knew what the preacher was saying was wrong and told her son so. She was praying that she would find a member so she could feel loved and the truthfulness of the gospel. That's when she turned around and saw us! She said once she saw us, she was overwhelmed with this warm and comfortable feeling. She knew without a doubt that she belonged to the true church and is ready to come back! We got all her info and are know meeting with her! :) I loved it! I knew we were suppose to stay there. After she talked with us I felt better about being there too! :) I am so grateful to be apart of this church! I know it is true and we are lead and guided by a prophet called of God. I feel so blessed to have an eternal perspective in this life. Families can be together forever! How glorious is this message?! 

On Saturday we had a zone service project in Tifton! All 26 missionaries helped American Red Cross knock on doors and install smoke alarms for free! It was so much fun! Pretty much we were tracting and asking if they had one? and if they did if it worked? Or if they didn't then would they like one? We also had rad vest to wear! Oh Yeah! We were in teams of 4. Sister Muegge and I were with the zone leaders (Elder Herzog and Elder Nelson) in the ghetto!!! But we had great success! Plus we saw lots of police arresting some peeps... lol But it was cool. We also got the Elders some return appointments! The only weird thing was when we knocked on the doors and they yelled "who is it?!" Instead of yelling 'missionaries!' we yelled 'red cross!' lol It was a change and more peeps answered the doors. lol! 

Well hope y'all are doing fantastic?!! Continue to be grateful for all that you have! Notice and appreciate the small stuff! Y'all are great! xoxoxoxo 

~ Sister Willie
We fed a gator a doughnut. He spit it out! lol!

Doing our service! #AmericanRedCross

Love this lady... but check out her house... and the cats! #Nasty

Monday, April 13, 2015

A dunkin' week!!!

Hey y'all!!! 

This past week was so amazing!!! I really love it here in Valdosta! The work is on fire and I am witnessing so many miracles! We had a baptism this week, did service, and helped our investigators continue to have faith in Jesus Christ, repent, work towards baptism and confirmation and also to endure to the end. :)

Last Tuesday we had a great lesson with Candace on Fasting and Tithing. She is so prepared, and very willing to do these once she is baptized. But she told us she is still not ready to set a date. We could tell there was something minor holding her back, but she didn't/wasn't ready to talk about it. So we left and the power was strong! Maybe an hour later she texted us and said "I want to be baptized!" "I feel this is what I need to do." Well dang!!! We were totally dancing around when we read those texts! :) So we called her and she told us what had changed her! She is friends with a good group of RM's and converts on FB, they are in this group and one of them introduced her to a recent convert who has/had similar situations and personality. Well she just told her that the church is not for perfect people and to not be intimidated. Candace was also concerned about having tattoos. This wonderful sister helped calm her fears and have faith and see the big picture! So Candace realized they were not big issues at all and it was time for her to be baptized!!! woot woot!! We told her how happy and proud we are of her and that when we see her next we would make a baptismal calendar with her! She picked her own date! May 9th! :) I am SO happy and excited for her! Plus I feel like this will help Jamie in making a decision too! :) Also they both were at church yesterday!!! 

Us and the Elders had a fun experience at one dinner this past week! One member is Nigerian and his wife cooked authentic food! We had to eat it with our hands... yup and it was a stew! So there was this thick grits like stuff that we would use to pick the stew up with. It was so delicious! Did you know there is an art when eating with your hands?!? Ya I had no idea until this past week. We all watched our host and followed suit... but I still got messy, but the Elders were worst off than me. lol :) 

We had a great ZTM last week! I really enjoyed the training's on hymns and the atonement!  We also all made drawings for the #BecasueHeLives and how it affects us personally. :) Then we took a zone picture! :) I love being a missionary! 

Gwen was baptized on Saturday!!!! It was a very special service and the spirit was so strong! Many members are working on knowing ASL so they can have some type of communication with her! :) Elder Noll was able to do the baptism ordinance first in ASL and then verbally. Super cool! And then on Sunday when she was confirmed he sat in front of her and signed her blessing to her, Bishop Hyer confirmed her a member! When Gwen sat back down next to me after the confirmation she was in tears. It doesn't matter what language you speak, the spirit is always the same. :) Gwen is so sweet and has a firm testimony! :) 

Welp I will be getting a new companion tomorrow and Sister An will head back to Temple square on Wednesday. I am now in my last transfer... how the time has flown by. :( I absolutely love my mission and the good people here in South Georgia and South Carolina! #FinishingStrong 
Much love! xoxoxo

~ Sister Willie
 Eating the Nigerian food! with Sister Omotunde!

 The Zone!

Gwen's baptism!!!

Tuesday, April 7, 2015

General Conference miracles! :)

Dearest Family and Friends! 

Didn't y'all just love General Conference?!?!?! It was SO AMAZING!! So many, if not all of my questions and concerns were answered during one of the six sessions! I am so grateful for the Prophet and Apostles and all of the auxiliary leaders. They truly are called and inspired of God! I had so many favorite speakers/talks, but a few that truly touched and helped me are: President Eyring (in the Saturday morning session), Linda Burton, Wilford Andersen, Bonnie Oscarson, Brent Nielson, Kevin Pearson, and Elder Ballard! And of course many more, but these ones stand out in my mind! :) If you missed any sessions you should go online to lds.org and watch them! It truly will help you in whatever circumstance of life you are in or going through! 

Candace has come a long way since last week!!! She opened up and explained her feelings to us, and we were able to tell her that as her missionaries we cannot help her if she does not tell us what is going on in her mind and life. She appreciated that we told her that and totally understood where we are coming from! So last week was awesome! She is progressing very well and wants to be baptized! She is just praying for a date! :) She watched 2 sessions of General Conference and loved them!!! I know it helps for investigators to hear for themselves the Prophet's and Apostles' voices! I just love Candace and Jamie! They are so humble and willing to learn the truth. They want to grow in this gospel and to learn for themselves how it can change and better their lives! 

So Gwen!!!! She is getting baptized this Saturday!!! She also watched the Sunday morning session of General Conference and loved it! We had so many miracle lessons with her this past week! We had exchanges and while on exchanges we taught her the word of wisdom with Elder Noll translating and helping us teach! So we find out that she just loves her tea, she has it every morning and it makes her very happy! Well before we had introduced the WOW by explaining that it was revelation given to Joseph Smith. We just asked her if she would be willing to give it up? She thought on it for maybe 10 seconds and then said "Yes! I can drink orange juice or milk instead." Wow!! She is do golden!!! She even thought of her own replacements! i just love Gwen! She has strong and pure testimony! So sweet and humble! I am way excited for her to be baptized! I know that when we knocked on her door and found her it was the Lord leading and guiding us to her, cause the field is white already to harvest and we just had to thrust in our sickle and work hard and obedient! The Lord is already preparing people to except this gospel. They are just waiting for us to find them! :) 

I am loving my mission so much! It is flying by way to fast!! We have transfer calls this coming Saturday and we already know that Sister An is going, cause she has to go back to Temple square. :( But one of the cool parts is I will be able to visit her on Temple square when I get home!!! :) She also loves donuts so I told her I would bring her some! lol! :) 

I love y'all so much!!! xoxoxo 

~ Sister Willie
 Our crazy district!!!

 We are just a bunch of goofballs! ;)

 Valdosta missionaries!

Trying on the Elder's suit coats... lookin' snazzy!