Monday, September 28, 2015

The Field is White and Ready to Harvest

Sis Botts and Sis Decker
Hello, hello there! haha
This past week was crazy, crazy!  While trying to move the rest of our stuff from our old apartment, we also had to pack Sister Olsen up and get ready for her to leave... well sad flipping days! But we managed to get it done!  Tuesday was crazy! We had to go say goodbye to some people, pick up some more boxes from the old place, and then fill up with petrol so we could head out to the Springs... all before 9 am!!
I freaking love the drive to the Springs! So pretty!
Then by the time we got there our car was nasty and covered in bugs....

Now something you must know... Sisters may deny it, but we all want to look just a little extra nice for transfer meetings... because people take so many pictures there that you just need to look good! haha
Not dressed for Transfer Meeting :)

So picture us looking slightly nicer than usual... all dressed up.. Now we have to go wash our car... drive through?  Oh no! We have a bike rack and a bike on the back of our car that would just take forever to take off, so we are smart... we pull into one of these prepay wash it yourself with giant spray hoses and soapy brooms!
We are so dignified!   Probably the poshest car washers ever.  But our car was super shiny... for like 6 hours, and then we drove back through all the bugs! hahah

My companion now is Sister Decker! She goes home in 5 weeks which is kinda sad, but at the same time, at least I know that I get to stay here for at least this transfer and the next! I like this area, so that makes me excited!

Wednesday was a blur! We taught the man in the Veteran's Center the first lesson, and, at 81 years old, he is getting baptised on October 24th!!!!!!  We also taught the other man I talked about last week (with the tattoos) on that same day. It was sketchy. We brought 2 Priesthood holders with us.  What an amazing lesson we had with him and his wife!  I would never look at these two people and think that we could sit in their trailer living room crying with them as we felt the Spirit! It was so amazing!!   We will teach them this week again!

As we were waiting for this guy to come home we spoke to some of his neighbours... didn't think we'd hear from them again... well guess who was at church yesterday?... His neighbour! He asked a member of the bishopric to give us his contact details, and to call him because he would like us to come and teach him!  Sweeet!! So we have an appointment with him this week too!!  Wonderful, wonderful!

I've also been able to see this week how sometimes missionaries are sent to an area at the right time for the right people.  We got to teach a less active sister who had been visited before, but only as home teaching, ( we go with an older Brother in the ward who has no companion) and so I was skeptical of where it would go.  But we taught the lesson and the Spirit was so strong there. We have a good relationship with this sister now. We've been in contact throughout the week since we visited on Wednesday night! We will start to visit her and her family more!

Thursday we got to go to Creede... most beautiful little town ever!
Creede, Colorado
We were supposed to be manning a "Just Serve" booth at a Rural Philanthropist Day's function there... So we sat there for like 20 minutes and spoke to about 12 people, and then they all went into meetings... so we had nothing to do.  After about 10 minutes of sitting at a desk that says 'just serve'... we got up to see how we could serve haha.  We ended up moving tables and chairs, and cleaning the kitchen in the Community Center, and then... made me so, so happy... we got to prepare food with one of the town's chefs!! It was so great!! So while everyone was in the meetings, we got to do some really awesome service!! It was so fun!!
At the Creede Community Center

The rest of the week was pretty good...

Saturday during studies we get a text from our Mission President's wife... they were in town and she wanted to spend the afternoon with us coming to our lessons....  Maybe I died a little of a heart attack!
But we had some really good lessons that day!
And then we had dinner at the chapel before the broadcast of the General Womens' Conference!! It was cool!

I stress out so freaking much when I think people are watching me haha!!!   I'm sure I burned a hole in my stomach from stress that day! But it was a good day!!  It's been a good week! A little slow because we live here in the farms, and so everyone is very busy with harvest... but that's ok! We do what we can!!   This next week is going to be exciting too, I think!!!  We shall see!

Harvest in Colorado

I have been thinking a lot about this recently

In Alma 7:11-13 in the Book of Mormon it talks about how Jesus Christ went through all our pains.

 11 And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.

 12 And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh, that he may know according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities.

 13 Now the Spirit knoweth all things; nevertheless the Son of God suffereth according to the flesh that he might take upon him the sins of his people, that he might blot out their transgressions according to the power of his deliverance; and now behold, this is the testimony which is in me.

In v 13 it says that 'the Spirit knoweth all things' but that Jesus chose to suffer in the flesh...  So he could very well have received, through revelation from the Spirit, the story of our lives and known what we have gone through... but instead he chose to not just know but to actually feel all of that!

He chose Empathy over Sympathy.  He chose to feel our feelings, not just to know them!

Well... the time is up!!   Hope you all have a wonderful week!

 I love you!!!

Sister Botts.

Monday, September 21, 2015

Miracles not Myths!!

What a week!!
I feel like I need to be carried home on a stretcher! So tired! Haha

This week we moved to a cute little cottage. We love it! So much bigger than our apartment was!

This week has been one giant miracle! Seriously!
Tuesday... we went to go see our new investigator... she dropped us like a Hot Potato! Dang! So as we are driving out of the complex this lady randomly waves at us. Cool, cool!  Then we're driving, driving and I'm having this argument with myself in my head about how I should not vocally point out that I have the strongest feeling ever that we need to turn around and go back. I swear... it was like a wrestling match in my brain... then out of nowhere, it felt like I had no control over my voice.. "We really need to go back" Freak! Then I was like 'Agh what if nothing happens? I'll feel so dumb'.
Sister Olsen is amazing, and turned back, and we went to where I was sure the lady lived... as we are walking up the stairs this man opens his door and asks us for a pamphlet and a Book of Mormon! I'm sorry, what?!?! Did that just happen?! So after chatting with him we set up a return appointment and he went on his way. Then we hear someone coming down the stairs we were just about to go up. It was her! The lady that waved. She seemed somewhat happy to see us. We chatted and again I wrestled in my brain that the man was the reason we came back... don't say anything to her. Don't do it. Shhh!!! (because yes! Speaking to strangers STILL TERRIFIES ME) "Are you religious?   *did I just say that out loud????*  Yup.. I did... so we set up a return appointment with her too!! Wow 2 new people in one day!

I spent Thursday in Salida with 2 other sisters while our companions all went to the Springs for "Train the trainers"

So fast forward to Sunday... there's this slightly rough-looking man who comes into Sacrament meeting. He was sitting on the couch afterwards. I went up to him and talked with him. He has 5 tear drop tattoos on his face. Ask me if I'm scared... no. I'm not! Not in the slightest! haha. Maybe I should be, but whatever! So I chatted with him. He said that he was going to start coming to church here every week! Well that's great! So I invited him to learn more, and asked if we could come see him. So we will teach him this week! Exciting! That's 3 potential people this week... but wait! There's more!

We do service in the Veteran's Center every week. One of our members worked there and told us that there was a man who had said he wanted to speak to people about the church because he thought that the Mormon church was the one for him! Well flipping sweet! So we went to see him yesterday to see what we could do for him. Well... isn't there an Irish blessing hangin' on his wall, and a slight accent when he talks!
Great! So we get to talking, and he just loves Joseph Smith and Brigham Young and the church and the Book of Mormon and, and, and... He was ready for baptism before we ever got here!  All we gotta do is get him off the smokes and we're good to go!  Flippity flip! That has been our week! Miracles everywhere!!!

I was almost sure that those stories you hear from other missionaries were Myths! But no!!   They're a real thing because I saw them!!

Also... may I add that the person I prayed to have as my companion since I found out Sis. Olsen was leaving... will be joining me down here in Monte Vista for her last transfer!! Happy days!! So, so, so many miracles this week! I can barely believe it!

I was so terrified of staying here in this area! I was worried that it was the first time I would be the one who knows the area. Usually I come in to an area and the person there shows me around and then I leave.... not this time.  But as of late, I've just fallen in love with the people here and the area! I just love it! I'm so excited to be here for at least another 3 months, since Sis Decker will be leaving next transfer, so I get to stay again! Woot woot! I just love the people here and the fact that their potential to change is so huge. If some of the people we are teaching were to be baptised that would mean such a huge change in their lives! We don't get to decide who deserves the gospel!

So yeah!

Wonderful week! Been so freaking great!

I love this work so much.   I'm almost half way through. That breaks my heart! I dread the day when I have to take my name tag off for the last time!!
I could just stay here forever!!


Monday, September 14, 2015

Super Trooper

So this week was 'sehr, sehr' interesting!  (Sehr - German word meaning very)

Monday Sis. Olsen and I spent at home... just doing nothing! Because sometimes you need that! We did!!  Then we had exchanges that night with the sisters in Manassa!  I got to bring one of the sisters to my area for the day. At the end of the day we exchanged back and headed to the Alamosa sisters to start another exchange! So... as we're driving to Alamosa.... guess what!!! Freaking, freaking!   I see this cop sitting on the side of the road. I panic that I might be slightly speeding. My car slightly goes over the line of the hard shoulder... which I didn't even notice cuz it was like barely... suddenly... flashing lights in my rear view mirror... I, for reals, got pulled over by the State Patrol.  Dang!
She loved the trooper's car - Dodge Challenger

I couldn't even sweet talk my way through it... the cop was like "was there a reason you drove over the line there?" and I'm all just like "Nah man, I didn't even realise that I had"   #toohonest

So I got let off with a warning... but yeah.

I spent Wednesday in Alamosa on exchanges with Sis Carson. She is just about to finish with her training.  It was such a great day! We got to do service for "Habitat for Humanity" who builds houses for people at 0% mortgage!  Lots of hard manual labour!! I was so happy!  It was good!

Thursday was so great to be back as a companionship and plan for the next week! We spent the morning doing service helping people bring boxes of food from this sort of food bank to their car.
There was this couple outside that was talking to one of the sisters. then the husband saw me and said "Now there's the trouble maker! Look at her and her black hair"
Back to Black - here comes trouble!!
 It was funny. So I walked over and we talked. I  found out that she had been a member and he was not, but they went to a different church. At the beginning of the conversation they said they were happy at their church, by the middle of it we were talking about life after death etc, and I had the opportunity to share the message of the plan of salvation with them... by this time the other sister had gone back inside and so I was talking with them for ages. My one leg got burned from standing in the sun while I talked with them in the car park.  This is so not me....  sharing a lesson in a parking lot like I'm not terrified?!? It was pretty great. By the end of the conversation they were saying that they didn't know why they were brought to Colorado. I said "TO MEET THE MISSIONARIES" they laughed and said "maybe that's it"  As we parted ways the lady says "maybe God will lead me back to the church sometime" well I just about died. I could feel the Spirit so strongly as I spoke with them and I just knew that they were there to meet the missionaries. They showed me where they lived... we will have to set the Elders on them... although they specifically asked that we kick the Elders out and come instead! haha.  It was such a great experience.  So not me.
She says the Ginger was so not her either :)

We spent a good part of the rest of the day planning and then had some lessons. When we got home for the night we see a missed call from President... TRAINING CALLS!  I was horrified... I had just felt that I was NOT training. And Sis Olsen was sure she wasn't training because training is 12 weeks and she will only have 9... so I'm like... No! No!! I'm not supposed to be training! Turns out... Sister Olsen is training and I'm staying put.  Slight relief but also super sad! I've really grown to love her this past few weeks and I'm so sad that she's going already! We had so many plans for the area and we just found 3 new investigators this week!!  So I'm slightly terrified that I have to know the area well enough now after 6 weeks... but it'll be ok. Probably!

We are moving in to our new little cottage next week! Exciting! Sad though cuz Sis. Olsen will only live there with me for a week! The most terrifying thing about exchanges is new companions... someone that you have to spend alllll the time with even if they suck! I've been lucky so far!

Friday we went and helped out at the Amish bakery for a little while before District meeting.  After District meeting we had some lessons and appointments! It was nice! That's the day we got one of our new investigators! It was cool...She has a lot of potential!

Saturday started off bright and early with a hike with 2 investigators. We walked around this beautiful place called Big Meadows.

It was awesome! We had a really good time with them discussing the Book Of Mormon and other gospel topics.  Afterwards they took us to this legit Mexican place in the mountains!

After that we went home and showered and went to the POTATO FESTIVAL!!! So great haha. We were trying to talk to as many people as possible so that was fun. We ended up offering to help this older couple take down their display tent ... as we talked we came to realise that they were a couple that some other Elders in our zone were teaching! It was pretty awesome!

Sunday we had 2 investigators at church... one of whom was not an investigator but became one yesterday! :)

After church we had a couple meetings and visits to do and then had lunch... studies and dinner at home... this week sucked for getting dinners hahaha!!!

An interesting dinner option!!

Then we had one lesson with a newer sister and another one with a less active family in the ward. We went in and they had been discussing some things with the non-member mother of the father.   One of the boys asked the question "If there's one God why are there so many churches?" We had the opportunity to teach the Restoration to them and the grandmother. She had so much sympathy for Joseph Smith, so we then could discuss the Priesthood in a little more depth, and where Joseph Smith's Priesthood came from. It was wonderful.
Joseph Smith's first vision
She then asked us if we believe that after death our spirits are free to go around, or are they in a "deep sleep" like another religion had told her. She is staunch Catholic, and so wanted to know what we believed.  Surprise, surprise!! The lesson that we had prepared to teach was the Plan of Salvation!  Her husband just died the day I got to the area, and so I think she found so much comfort in that lesson. I really enjoyed teaching it to her.

And that was new investigator #3 for the week!

So this week has been full of miracles!!!   I have grown a lot from the week!!
Growing week by week

I'm excited for the next week!!!

I hope you all have a great week!

Love you lots!!

Monday, September 7, 2015

Fishers of Fish and... Fishers of Men

So! I have a little more time this week to write this blog! Happy Days!

I have been gone over 8 months!!!! Aaaaagh!

It has been a most wonderfully wonderful week. (I said that in a Mary Poppins Voice)
We worked our butts off! I'm trying to focus on this entry but I'm sitting in a massage chair right now... haha life is good!

But yes... back to the good week that we had! It was great! We went fishing last Monday! I caught 3 trout... which makes a total of 4 fish I've caught in my entire life!! hahah  I set 2 of them free again, and one of them went for the Salida Sisters' dinner!

Fishers of Fish

Tuesday we spent 2 hours doing service at the Veterans Centre... we played Bingo with them! haha It was cool.  Then we had one more lesson and then headed up to Colorado Springs to spend the night there because we had a meeting on Wednesday. It was a long drive! I love long drives so much! And it was pretty because we drove through the mountains.  Sister Olsen drove up because it was her driving day.

Driving through the Mountains to Colorado Springs

Wednesday we had our meeting.  It was good.  I got to see Sis Aukuso for the day which was!  After our meeting we went to have some ice-cream with Sister Grow.  That was great too! And then we had dinner with a family from Sister Olsen's old ward. It was my turn to make the drive home.  Agh it was so pretty! We drove a different way because we had to drive through Salida to pick up Sis Olsen's bike. We ended up reaching Salida at 10pm so we stayed there for the night and then drove the rest of the way home early the next morning.  So we didn't even have time to shower that morning because we got home just after eight and had to have a meeting with the Zone leaders to plan zone training for Friday... we had to figure out a way to teach what we discussed in the meeting on Tuesday... so it was just go go go.   

All this seems like we would get no work done and we had kind of prepared ourselves to expect lower numbers this week... but we didn't settle on that.   We still worked our butts off... and last night when we did call-ins with our District leader... we realised that not only did we surpass all the goals we had set for the week, but we taught more lessons this week than any other week of the transfer so far!! 


It was such a nice surprise, and also showed us we have no excuse to get any lower since we won't have all that stuff going on every week!

Yesterday after lunch we stopped at this creepy old house that I love, and took some pictures... just random fun. It's so creepy!! For real!
'Tracting' the creepy house 

So it's been an awesome week.  We're trying to talk to as many people as possible around us. We're trying to find new people to teach. Sister Olsen and I have decided on quite a few changes that we need to and want to make in our area. We're excited!

We have 2 exchanges in a row set for this week so that'll be fun! Or tiring... haha either way... it should be a good week! I'm excited!

Well... it really has been a great week!! 
I love this gospel! I love the Book of Mormon!! For reals! Seriously!! It's so great!

I hope you all have an awesome week!

Quote from this week.
Sis Olsen "Sometimes life is just poopy"
Sis Botts "Yup! And sometimes that poop is fertilizer"
Sis Olsen and Sis Botts

For real though!!!

Anyhoo... I love you!