Monday, August 31, 2015

Who Do You Want to Be Like?

So... this week was pretty great!  Monday we went bowling and then sat around a fire and made smores! It was legit!
Legit Smores
Tuesday we had Zone conference! I love Zone conference! I always learn so much! It was also nice because we were all together.  Our Zone area is pretty huge so that rarely happens! It was good!

After we finished Zone conference I headed up to Salida with Sis Fox on exchanges.  So I got to spend the day there in a new area with new people. I really enjoyed it. I love meeting new people... who would ever have thought they'd hear that from my mouth!??! Crazy!! Still kills me on the inside but I enjoy it.
So exchanges was really good!
Monte Vista (South) to Salida (North)
Salida, Colorado

The rest of the week we spent catching up on work we missed out on during Zone conference! It was busy! I love being busy!

We got to go and see one of our members who is in a wheel chair. It was his birthday. We tied balloons to his chair and brought him cookies!
It was a really cool lesson!

I am running short on time today!! Nooo!! But we're about to head out fishing!
Gone Fishing

Something interesting.

Jesus Christ and Satan are  opposite in every single way... except for one.

The only thing that they have in common is that they both want you to be exactly like them. Who do you want to be like?

I'm sorry for such a short one today and for my lack of pictures... but I have to goooo!!!!

Remember that I love you and that the church is true!!!!!


Sister Botts

Monday, August 24, 2015

Meeting the Amish

Chillin' on the train tracks!!

 So!!!  This week has been cray cray!  We started Monday by taking our car in to be fixed... we were supposed to get it back on Wednesday morning but only got it Thursday afternoon... so that made things a little hard, but it meant we got to walk a lot and we got to do a lot of service! It was pretty nice!  We poured cement for the Bishop and snapped green beans for his wife. We then went to the Veterans Center and played Bingo with some of the residents there. It was fun.   Funny thing I've come to learn... the tone of my voice is inaudible to older people who can't hear real well.  They can always hear my companions but never me!! Isn't that just dumb!! Stupid man voice! Hahaha

But yeah! It was fun! And then we walked probably a little over a mile from there to visit a sister in the ward. Her neighbour offered to drive us home. So we actually just got a ride to the library, picked out some books for a sister in our ward and then walked back to our place.  It is so hot and sunny that my hair gets lighter every day and my skin a little darker!
Hair getting blonder by the day

Hot, sunny days

We were walking to our dinner appointment on Tuesday night (the bishops family offered to feed us since we didn't have a dinner appointment that night). As we were walking "Papa" pulled up next to us and said we'd get there faster if we ran... then... shhh... this is a secret... but we couldn't ride in the car with him and the house was just a little bit away... so we hopped on to the tail gate of the truck and rode there for about a minute.  I felt like a proper farm kid.  It felt just like being back in South Africa!!
Sitting on the tailgate of the truck!!

The elevation here is so high that when I leave my bread out for 5 mins while I do something, my sandwich is already starting to get hard by the time I get to it!! Sad days!

It's been a great week though!!  We cleaned the Chapel with "Papa"  and sister Simpson on Thursday, and then taught a lesson. Then we went and got our car and taught 7 more lessons that day! And still had time to get an ice cream before going home as a reward for ourselves haha. We really wanted to catch up after a few days of not being able to teach much because we were on foot!
Ice-cream reward

Friday we went to do service at the bakery... They told us that they weren't actually baking that day, they wanted to tell us but didn't have a way... they were having church in their bakery on Sunday so they were just cleaning up for that. So we picked up some brooms and helped them with that instead. We got to chat with the girls and get to know them a little better.  One of the daughters invited us to her baptism on Sunday. Unfortunately we would be at church at the same time it was happening. Then the other sister told us that she would be published at church on the same day... which means her engagement would be announced.
Then their mother came in... I will admit to being a little worried. I didn't want her to think we were there trying to steal their children away from their faith... but she was so nice and lovely. She talked about some members that helped her when she lived in Arizona,  then she invited us to dinner with their community on Sunday evening! How exciting!
So Saturday night we had Stake conference and our Mission President and his wife were there.  They gave us permission to leave the Sunday session a little early to try and make it for the baptism.  We got there like 2 minutes after her baptism. sad! But we got to sit in for the last 30 minutes of the service. It was really interesting trying to pick out parts that I could understand because the whole thing is done in high German.

It was very interesting.  Then we went back at 6 to have dinner with them.   I must admit, the whole thing really scared me!  I don't like standing out!  But it was realy nice! They were all very friendly and kind and accepting of us.  We were there for an hour and we had a really good time!  I'm really grateful for my companion being so excited about it, because I was so scared that I would have just let my fear decide and not gone... but she was so good and I'm happy we went! At the end of the evening the daughter called us out and handed us an invitation to her wedding.  They were all so sweet!  It was a really good experience!  So this week has been very different but I've learned a lot, and had loads of fun!!
Cheating on Thor!!

This gospel is so great! I just love it!

John Taylor once said "God will hold you responsible for those you could have saved had you done your duty"    Are you doing your duty?
John Taylor - Third President of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints

Jacob 1:19 (Book of Mormon)
And we did magnify our office unto the Lord, taking upon us the responsibility, answering the sins of the people upon our own heads if we did not teach them the word of God with all diligence; wherefore, by laboring with our might their blood might not come upon our garments; otherwise their blood would come upon our garments, and we would not be found spotless at the last day.

I love you all and hope you are all having as much fun as I am!!!

<3 Sister Botts (aka Sister Robotts, Granny Botts, Sister Boss)


Monday, August 17, 2015

New Faces and Wide Open Spaces

Ice-creams with SIs. Park and the Frederick family on her last night in the area
So this week has been super, super interesting! New area about 4 hours away from my old area... also completely different too!
Monte Vista City

 We live in this tiny, cute, old apartment! Ancient. It's so hot down here too, so windows stay open over night, and the fan is on while we sleep. Sooo hot! Hahah.  I'm gonna be so blonde when I leave here!

But it has been a great week! The members here are great and so is the scenery!  Our area is so much bigger than any of my others! There are people faaaar out in the country! It's so funny because I got so used to people always being so close... I forgot that in Ireland, some people live hours away from the church building!  We take these things for granted sometimes!
Wide open spaces of Rio Grande County

But it really is awesome here! At night when we get home and you look up at the sky it's like being in the game reserve because you can see all the stars super bright. Then you hear a gunshot, remember you're not in Kansas anymore, and go inside haha.  Seriously, I love it! It's exciting! I was just talking to sister Olsen, my new companion, about how exciting it would if someone tried and mug us... but we get away fine. It's only exciting if you live! hahaha

This week was so busy though! We spent a lot of time planning the first 2 days, and then taught our butts off for the rest of the week!

Also... we ate our butts back on! Brownies everywhere!! and and and and

There are AMISH people here!!! So cool!!  We went to this Amish bakery and bought cinnamon rolls and banana bread... and then asked if we could come back and help them bake one of the days!!  So... Friday we will be doing service with the Amish!! How cool is that! I'm so excited!
Miller Family Bakery

We also did service twice this week... one in a charity shop... we set up the shop window... it was pretty fun, they let us do whatever we wanted!  And then the second day we were helping hand out food boxes to families that needed it! My hands were killing me by the end but it was awesome!! Loved it!

We also contacted a lot of referrals this week... or at least tried.  One was in this super sketchy apartment place... so of course... we had to take pictures of ourselves.   Cuz that's what you do in those situations! hahaha!
Outside the super-sketchy apartment

Something that I found during my studies this week... it was from a talk by Richard G Scott given in 1994 called "To be Healed"   You should read it!!
Richard  G. Scott

Richard G. Scott - To Be Healed  (link to the talk)

It says " 'Don't say no one understands me; I can't sort it out or get the help I need'. These comments are self defeating. No one can help you without faith and effort on your part"
 I love this quote... because there are two parts to it... there is someone who can help... the Saviour can always help, and always knows what we are going through... BUT.... if we aren't willing to get off our butts and do something... good luck ... not gonna happen!

I just love being a missionary.  I hate leaving people and companions but being a missionary is pretty great! Just today at the laundromat we spoke to someone and gave her a Book of Mormon... I'd never have the guts to do that at home!!   Heavenly Father always puts us where we need to be!!!

I love you all!! Be good!

With Elder Migi and Sis. Aukuso at the transfer meeting

Monday, August 10, 2015

STL stands for... So Totally Leaving and.... Sister Training Leader.

Goodbye Sis. Park
So… sad days… after just one transfer here I am leaving.  It's so sad.  I cried for like 48 hrs straight.  I love this area and these people so much!  I could stay here for the rest of my mission and be ok with that!

This week though has been good!
I got to play the drums!! Happy freakin' days!!
Got my guitar tuned.. woohoo!

Loved playing the drums again :)

We've taught quite a bit this week. We had 5 investigators at church yesterday!

I'll be going down to the Manassa area. Serving in the Rio Grande ward.  I'm excited. I'll be a Sister Training Leader though… Kinda freaked. Haha
Rio Grande chapel

Two of the people that I just totally love, love, love, and feel like I needed to come here just to meet, had babies this weekend.  That makes me happy but also sad because I won't get to see them really.  I got to see one of the little boys yesterday in the hospital when I went to visit.  He was so tiny and cute.  Tiny humans are so cute!

The funny thing about this transfer is that I knew, as soon as I got here,
that it was a one and done deal.  I knew it wasn't going to be more than 6 weeks.  I just knew it. But I still got so attached to the people. They are so great and I love it here and I don't want to leave.  I knew it, but I just wanted to be wrong so when I got that phone call… dang.

And then a missed call from President.   Uh oh.   Freak.  I never expected to be an STL.  Ever… never mind just now.  But I'm excited.  I'll be on a totally other side of the mission. I'll be boiling to death.  It'll be great!

I'm excited though.  I'm excited for a new area and new people and a new companion…. and yeah,  maybe going on exchanges with my MTC companion. Haha that'll be cool!
MTC Companion - Sister Tucker 

But… I still love the work!! I think crying this much after only 6 weeks has made me realize how much you get to love people by sharing the gospel with them. Even when they don't progress… you just love them because they are more than a baptism.  I don't want to just come out here and baptize, baptize, baptize… If I never saw a baptism on my mission I would still love these people just as much.
Baking cookies for someone they're teaching

I'm happy.  Sad but happy.

I love you all.
I want you to know that the church is true. I don't just think it is because it kind of makes sense.  I know it's true!!!   If someone can send me out to preach the gospel, and I haven't offended everyone around me enough to make them never return… you gotta know it's true! haha

PS… I have not decided to start spelling 'baptize' the American way… it's just auto-correcting… this thing must think I'm dumb.
Fun in the gym

But seriously!! I love the gospel. I love sharing it.
I'm slowly finding myself horrified at how fast the time is going.   Me no likey.
Swiftly move the sands of time

This morning we went hiking. As I looked out over the rock and I was so sad to think that I wouldn't be seeing this place for a while… all the time.

 But that's ok.  I'm sure the Valley is pretty great too.
The Valley
    I'm ready.

I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!

Sister Botts.

Monday, August 3, 2015

Get Up and Go Again

Well well well… this week was hard. Who knew missions could be hard? Not me?!?
But yeah… the week was hard.
Remember the Incline?
But one week out of 7 months (CAN YOU BELIEVE IT????? 7 MONTHS) isn't so bad!

On the bright side… we have been teaching this one boy… and by "we" I mean me and many others before… and they have been teaching him at his grandparents house… I thought it was because his parents didn't want to be part of it… so it took a few weeks but we finally just asked his grandparents for his parents' address and number, and then we went over and saw them. We taught him at his parents home with them. They invited us to continue the lessons in their home. It was great! I have such a great feeling about it. I love it!

People are getting ready for back to school, and so more than 50% of our appointments this week cancelled on us. That sucked. But we'll get up and go again. We biked to District meeting again which was great, and we're much better about working out in the mornings so that's good too I guess.
Missionary tan

Wanna hear something that is, simutaneously. both funny and sad?
So we live in the basement. Sometimes little bunnies get stuck in the window wells… it's sad. Usually we can rescue them. This time…I guess we didn't. We didn't even know about it until I walked into our room… called sis Park and said "Do you smell that?… it smells like Death!!" Low and behold… right outside our open window lies a dead baby bunny… It was so sad but I couldn't help but burst out laughing. Poor bunny!! Smelly bunny!!

Hummingbird - one of the more 'fortunate' creatures at their house

Anyway… I have been thinking a lot about the Second Coming… and how we say no one knows the time etc. and so we kind of just chill and sit back and wait and hope we are prepared… but I think we have a lot more to do with the time of the Second Coming than we think. Maybe no one knows because it's not just a set time of on that day, regardless… He's coming. Nope.

In 1 Nephi 22:26 it says:
And because of the righteousness of His people, Satan has no power; wherefore, he cannot be loosed for the space of many years; for he hath no power over the hearts of the people, for they dwell in righteousness, and the Holy One of Israel reigneth.

So I think we have a lot more to do with when it happens than we think. I think when we are righteous enough that we ourselves can bind Satan by not giving into him… then we will be ready.

I meeeeean… this is just my opinion on what I've read from the Scriptures the last few days.

I've been taking forever to read the Book of Mormon because I've decided to just take a plain blue copy of the BoM and just study it and mark everything with all the thoughts that I have. It's so much more effective than just reading.
Effective study

Also…. I bought a guitar this week. Super cheap. Super green. I have named him "The Hulk" because as I laid it on my bed I realized that it matched the green of the Hulk on my pillow case… and there ya go. I found a name! Haha.
The 'Hulk' - helping to maintain sanity

But regardless of the hard week… we get up and we move on. Life is good.

Except for that bunny… he did not get up and move on. He just moved on…. to the other side. Sorry bunny.

The Gospel is true. Be Good. Make Good Choices!
Just do it.


Sister Botts. (aka the Sister BOSS!)