Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Snow, Angels and Snow Angels

Last week was a slightly slow week! We had to move our emails to Tuesday because of stupid President's day! Why is that even a thing?  That took extra time out of teaching, which sucks quite a bit! But after that it was an ok day! We got some teaching done. It was nice and sunny and we would never have seen snow coming hahaha!  The rest of the week was almost uneventful really... which I kinda hate to say but it was. There was a lot of boring stuff that we had to do last week like planning and stuff so that takes up teaching time.. sad days right!?
Thursday we had district meeting. We had to have it on Thursday because specialized training was on Friday... less time teaching again. I know this stuff is needed, but when it all happens in one week it's kind of a buzz kill!
Also on Thursday we helped a sister make jam for the Relief Society activity that night. It was a "Sisters' Fair" and everyone showed stuff they liked and were good at and stuff about themselves. It was cool.  My package hasn't come yet so I was totally lacking in all pics of Gavin and his kids! I felt guilty for not having them up there. Seriously though!

Display for Sisters' Fair
The Sisters' Fair was awesome. The Young Women were invited too so there were lots of displays!
Friday we had specialized training, so our zone and another zone met together and were taught by our Mission president and some others. It was cool!   After that we had a lunch together as a district. One of the elders here was waiting for a visa and finally got it, so we had lunch before he left. We had Thai food.  All the spicy stuff was put in bowls on the side because we were all sharing stuff, so it wasn't too spicy for anyone. Of course I availed.  Then I thought I was so cool and tough.. and ate a spoon full of chilli powder.  Genius right?  Cried all my make up off so I did!!   It was great! I'm so smart. Not.
District photo

Saturday! Ooh Saturday is where the fun started!!!   On Friday we were warned about the crazy snow, and to stock up on stuff!! I got so excited about a snow storm!! Like soooo excited!! Then the snow stopped! I majorly judged everyone for freaking out...  Saturday morning we were getting ready and did all of the stuff we needed to before heading out. We looked at the weather and thought it wasn't bad enough to justify staying in. Just as we finished making an appointment the snow started pouring down. Meh! We went out anyway! We walked a few miles to our appointment. We didn't want to bike in case it really snowed badly. On our way there we saw this car broken down and a man standing outside looking rather rough and wearing no jacket. As we got closer a girl got out and got in the driver seat. We figured they must have gotten whatever was wrong sorted.
As we passed the car she got out and asked if we had any money. They had run out of petrol literally across the road from the station and had no money. So I agreed that I'd buy them some gas if they could get their car across the road to the station. There was a bit of a hill up to the station and we couldn't push it hard enough... so this crazy nice guy came up behind, put a towel on his bumper and pushed their car up with his! Whoa!!  Luckily the car wasn't damaged!  So I bought them just 10 dollars of gas. Not a lot or anything. We were then talking to him and his friends telling them what we did. We asked where he lived to see if he was in our area if we could teach him. He told us that he was homeless and actually lived in that car! D: I was like holy cow!! I wish I had known before. I would have bought them some food as well instead of just 10 dollars of crappy petrol. Sad.

We got to our appointment and had a really good lesson and chat with the sister we were visiting. We decided that we would stop at one appointment for the day since the weather was getting worse and there was already a car stuck on the hill just outside her house. Her roommate wanted to give us a ride. We said we'd walk because we didn't want them to get stuck but they wanted to take us. So we're driving... la la la... and all of a sudden no more driving. Just spinning wheels! We finally got moving but we were at the bottom of a long hill! So we told them to turn around and we'd walk the rest of the way! They couldn't even turn around. We had to push the car so that they could turn,  then once they got turned around we started up the hill. It was Chaos! I loved every second of it!! People stuck everywhere, cars sliding around, hazards on empty cars, people trekking up the hill. Flippin' sweet, man! We had already been in the snow for so long. My hair was frozen!
Let it Go!!

I had icicles on my eye lashes. It was the coolest thing ever! EVER! Once we finally got to our apartment it had even snowed under the roof there!  I may or may not have made a snow angel outside out door.  Maybe.
A distinct possibility 

We spent the rest of Saturday watching church videos and eating... I'm gonna get so dang fat!

Sunday we did our usual studies etc. and waited to hear if church was still on. Every other ward meeting in our building was cancelled as well as pretty much everyone else in the stake! ... Nope... not us!  So the sisters from another ward that meets in our building said that they wanted to come with us, which was awesome because we could ride with them.  Since it had snowed and church was still on we got started with texting some elderly sisters in the ward who might need their driveway shoveled to be able to get out to go to church. We did two driveways before church and then ended up only having an hour of church, which was kind of awesome because it meant that we got to go teach!! Woohoo!!
So we set off to go and teach a family of kids! We taught them their second lesson... using football terms to help the boys understand. They loved that one and listened even better than the first time. Good thing there was that one year where I tried to understand football....
After that we met back up with the other sisters who had also gone to teach a lesson. Our dinner appointment were so nice, and kind enough to take the other sisters too because they saw them at church and heard their appointment cancelled! How nice! Our ward is great!!  So after dinner we went and visited with the man who recently got baptised and his wife. We decided instead of going home early we would visit them. They too were kind and took the other sisters in. We ended up playing Mexican train (a dominoes game) until it was time to go home. We didn't know if we'd even make it home... Luckily the one sister was a great driver and we made it up all the hills and home safely!! It was great!! I love snow and storms.
Giant icicle

We lost a couple hours of today because all the cars were parked up.. so that kinda sucked. But it's still awesome!!

Anyway... sorry it was a rubbish week!   Hopefully the next one will be better!!

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

On fire!!! In the work and on her bike!!!


Tuesday we had interviews with the mission president. I had no idea what to expect.

We biked down early to be there in time for our interviews... mine lasted maybe 5 minutes... I just had nothing to complain about. Maybe I should think up something for next time! hehe
Sister Botts and President Rehm

After interviews we biked over with the Elders to help someone from our ward move...

My lovely new dress that I had bought on Monday was so flowy and awesome... and I had visions of myself flying down the hill with the wind in my hair and my dress flowing nicely behind me... ( this is where someone needs to make a meme of "what I imagined vs what really happened")

What I imagined I would look like!!
Because what really happened was… me... riding down the hill, no hair flowing because I have a freaking helmet on! And my dress... is it flowing wonderfully in the wind? No. No it is not. In fact, if you'd like to know what it was doing... it was getting stuck in my back wheel... and having the friction from the wheel burn a hole in the back of it. If I'd have been going any faster I'd have lit up in flames like some sort of failed attempt at being Katniss Everdeen!!!
Katniss Everdeen

So every time you see some glammed up chick on a bike looking great in a magazine, with her hair flowing freely.. first... she's gonna crack her pretty little head open.. and second. Just no. It doesn't work like that.

You're welcome!!!
The offending wheel
So we helped them move... then we had pizza. Mmmmmm pizza. How am I not already sick of pizza? I don't know. But I'm ok with it.
They do eat healthy food sometimes!

Wednesday... we had lunch with one of the sisters in the ward and two sister missionaries, one of whom served here before me and is going home, so it was kind of a goodbye thing. Then the rest of the day was kinda quiet. We just visited homes of people we hadn't seen in a while.

Thursday we taught a bouncy little boy who we'd had trouble teaching before because we just weren't interesting enough for him... the lesson went well. He loves super heroes and so we taught him about Jesus Christ in terms of super heroes. By the end of it he knew that Jesus was like a super hero and that he taught everyone to be nice and love each other. He related back to us how "Baddies" didn't like Jesus and so they killed him, but that because Jesus was a super hero he came back to life and he did that so that we can also come back to life and be super heroes.

We just needed to talk his language haha, and he sat down and listened well and drew pictures. It was good.

Friday was our ward Valentine’s Day activity so my companion and I didn't really think that was somewhere we wanted to go to... but one of our investigators was going and her friend was only getting there an hour late so we went with her. Holy cow. it was like the most amazing activity I've ever been to, and the food... so good!! Like seriously so good! I could eat that brisket all day every day for the rest of my life!! We were really glad that we went because one of our recent converts went too, She's an awesome girl and so it was nice to be able to be there for them. People were so sweet to us. Our recent convert gave us roses and our investigator gave us a card and some chocolates, and then at the end of the night when we needed to get home or be late, instead of letting us bike home a sister took us home and we left our bikes at the chapel. Because we had an appointment early Saturday morning she said she would take us to it... but first she made us breakfast. Waffles! Mmmm. The people here are so good to us!
So Saturday.. we had that breakfast with the sister. It was good, filled us up. After breakfast we went to teach our investigator at the Ice cream shop. It was a good lesson and he asked loads of questions which is good! If you don't ask, you don't learn. That's why I'm kind of glad I was the obnoxious one in class always asking questions when I was younger.
After that we went to our investigator’s house (the one who was at the V-day activity). We did some work in her garden and I fitted and fixed a new fire alarm for her. I forgot how much I loved doing stuff like that. Thanks Dad!
Daddy's girl 
She then took us for lunch. It was goood lunch! Steak burger! Yes please! Ugh. I just love food! (Just as well I have to bike and walk everywhere most days! )

After lunch we went to another sister.. (back to the one who fed us breakfast) to do some service for her... which then ended up being that we made chocolate dipped everythings for some people... and ourselves!

Chocolate dipped 'everythings'

Then we had dinner with another sister and headed home! It was a nice day. I have missed doing manual labour like working in the garden or something!

Heart attack and yummy sweets from the Elders in their building

Sunday... snowy, snowy Sunday. Started off really sunny but windy... so windy that I couldn't really walk properly because the wind was blowing my dress up. And then sometime between getting inside and sacrament meeting finishing... everything was covered in snow! Crazy! The wind was blowing so hard that it blew the snow over us in just over an hour... then it snowed for like 24 hours! But it's sunny again today! We have to wear sunglasses though because it's so bright with the sun and the snow... WOO! Any excuse to wear sunglasses!!
The deer didn't want to hear!!
This is the end of this slightly less eventful week. I did try to teach a family of 10 though. They weren't very receptive, but they were... well... Deer, so I'll give them that.

Love Sister Botts

Monday, February 9, 2015

Hard Work Brings Miracles and Blessings

This week was a hard week.

Hard in that we worked our butts off!! Pretty much covered our entire area trying to visit less active members, most of whom never opened their doors.
One of the neighbourhoods they worked in this week

Slightly worried on Friday night, feeling like we hadn't done enough, my companion and I discussed that although there were no direct results from our hard work this week, we would still be blessed for working our hardest and doing as much as we could.

That conversation had barely ended when our phone rang. Some of the other sisters close to us had gone to this place for ice cream. The place we had gone to a few weeks before. They had spoken to one of the people who works there. He's kinda like the manager I guess.

When my companion and I had met him when we went there 3 weeks ago, we had a good, long chat. Business was slow and so he sat down and just talked with us. We had a really good discussion but he made it clear that we was not going to be "converted" because he's actually a youth pastor in his church. We thought that was cool and talked more about that and what he did there. He is a really good man with a great testimony of Jesus Christ. ...

Back to this phone call. So they are telling us that they spoke to him, and he's in our area so it would be us who teach him, I was thinking, 'oh yeah, he's a good man... but he said he wasn't really interested'... and then they tell us that something happened that caused him to question things at his church and he's leaving. He wants us to come over in the morning and talk to him about the church!! What?!

So we left the house earlier than usual in the morning and went to the shop where he works. He had to clean up the floors before opening, so as we discussed the Gospel with him, we helped clean and mop up everything and put the chairs and tables back in their place. Once we had finished, we sat down at a table and continued the lesson. He had a lot of questions but none that we couldn't answer. Not yet anyway!!

We will be teaching him again this coming Saturday!

Accidently co-ordinated outfits when they both had to speak in Sacrament Meeting on Sunday

A recent convert and her little boy
It just goes to show... when you put forth the effort, the Lord will bless you!! Even if it's not directly related to the specific things you were doing. It also shows how He prepares people for us to teach. 3 weeks ago we would never have thought he'd have a desire to learn about the Gospel! How awesome is that!?!

Walking up a long hill on a sunny day all dressed in black!!!

Love Sister Botts. (That's a command, not a greeting)

Two amazing young women

Monday, February 2, 2015

Sister Botts and the Parable of the Soggy Glove

This week was pretty awesome!! So many little miracles. I'll start on Tuesday.

We had exchanges, I spent Monday night at the other apartment with Sister Fisher. She was my companion for Tuesday. We did some stops and visited some people. (The thought of exchanges horrified me! Seriously! Now I have to talk to MORE people I've never met!! Agh! Cry, cry cry.) Anyway...

We had had lunch with a sister and then decided to drop by another sister for a reason I'm unsure of since I knew no one in that area.

As we went to see this sister she was very nice and kind and gave us some pineapple! It was so goood! (The pineapple is in no way pertinent to my story but I like food... so it's in there!)

As we're sitting there chatting, pickling our tongues with pineapple, this sister mentions that there was supposed to be a new sister who just came in to the mission from Springville Utah... and I'm like well I don't think so because I came in with the new people and there was no one from Springville there... then suddenly she just pointed at me and said "it's you!" and then straight away I knew that she must know the Condies! Haha crazy right! She had seen their pic with me in the MTC on Facebook! How mental is that, that on the day of exchanges I would happen to go with to visit her! HA! So that was super fun!
Little Miracles

We finished off the evening teaching some more lessons. I loved it, despite dying inside from being generally socially awkward!

The rest of the week was somewhat quiet. We worked and taught and ate and walked and biked and walked and walked and biked.. and died a little! These hills are killing me!


One of the killer hills!!!

Saturday came and Saturday was a good day! A big day! One of our investigators was getting baptized! Didn't take him long to decide... only about FIFTY YEARS!!! Hahaha. He and his wife are such wonderful people. They're like our mission parents! So kind and loving. So Saturday we spent most of the day at the Chapel. We kept the water in the font warm, and made brownies for afterwards. There was such a huge turn out! It made me happy! Plenty of food too... that also made me happy. Very happy!

Baptized after 50 years!!!
New best friend, Griffin

After the baptism we had to decide whether we'd go straight back to their house and celebrate together or if we'd go out and work some more and then go out to dinner with them. We decided on the latter and got to work in the snow. Biking in the snow is cray cray! little icicles flying into your eyes as you speed down a hill... I mean... slowly and carefully drive down a hill... don't worry mom. 

Biking in the snow
As we were going about looking for specific houses of people who were members we just couldn't find the one house. Nowhere!! 

And here comes the parable of the Soggy Glove….

So as we're walking, looking for this seemingly non-existent house I look down and realise that I've lost a glove. Normally I'd never turn and go look for it but it was flippin' freezing and I knew I'd need it! So around we turned and headed back to where we had just come from... suddenly a lady comes out of one of the apartments with a bag of rubbish in her hand. We said hi, she ignored us.. maybe? Maybe she didn't hear us? We said hi again… nothing.

Then as we rounded the corner she crossed it and calls out "which ward are you sisters from?" So we told her... surprised that she knew who we were! We asked her if she was a member. She told us that she had been baptized a year and a half ago and was just in the area visiting her son and had just come out from baring her testimony of the church to him and he had agreed to go to church with her on Sunday!! What! So she was excited to see the missionaries who were in the area.. ie us! And then as I told her that we were actually supposed to be somewhere else but I had lost my glove and we wouldn't have met any other way, and she had said that she'd just randomly decided to take out her son's rubbish, or else she'd have just gotten in her car and driven away.. we all got a little... no, I'm not saying it. I am not a crier!

Anyway, we ended up giving her our card with a number so that if her son enjoyed church he could give us a call and we could meet and tell him more. We also got to know the general area of where he lives so we could maybe one day just pop by and say hello.

So we said our goodbyes and carried on looking for that glove. Finally we found it. Lying on the wet road, all soggy and gross... but I was so grateful for that soggy glove! It made me realise that sometimes God gives us soggy gloves that help us to get to something super important and awesome but sometimes we just see it as a soggy glove and not for the blessings that it brought!

So there. there is my parable of the Soggy Glove

It's dried up nicely now though! They always do!

I forgot to mention that last week at some stage we went for ice cream... Italian ice- cream. So goood.... And while 4 of us sister missionaries were waiting in line to order, this family paid for our ice cream!! How awesome is that!

Ah the blessings!

And that so far has been my week!!

Until next time!