Monday, February 29, 2016

We're Your People!

This week started out pretty poopy! haha We had Zone Conference on Tuesday, so we spend our P-day washing our car... old school with sponges and buckets! It was pretty sweet!
Then... we wanted to be extra sure, so we went through a car wash for a cheap rinse! Then we needed to vacuum it... cuz it was full of random little junks! But the machine would only take coins.. We had none and I wasn't willing to pay 3 bucks to draw cash! So... off to the house we went... picked up our vacuum cleaner, and went to the chapel to use an extension cord... Finally got the vacuum to the car... and oh... well look at that... it sucks!.... or should I say, it doesn't!!! Grrr!! So... we swept and wiped and swept some more... sooo much effort... so we gave up and go to our appointments and decide to wake up early before Zone Conference and get some cash to change into coins... sweet! Plan! We get there... stick the money in the machine... *SLURRRRP* Gone... ok forget that... off to Zone Conference with our unvacuumed, yet sparkly clean polished car!... Luckily we got a "Great" for our interior.. happy days!!  Zone Conference was good!! It always is!

We spent a lot of time this week helping people with moving!! It's good though!! I miss the good hard manual labour!! PUT ME TO WORK!! haha

I've spent part of the week just daydreaming about rugby... so weird. Sometimes I find myself thinking about home things... and then I wake up and my companion reminds me that it was 14 months to the day since I left home... and then I die a little bit because the time goes so fast, and I still feel like I haven't done anything! How the freak has the time gone so fast!! I don't believe it!

This week.... Has a very special day in it though!... March 5th... Why is it special.... No!!! not that!! :/

Because I get to go to the temple with the Lujans as they are sealed as a family!!!! How exciting is that!!! Nothing better to be doing on that day!!
At the Denver Temple in October

Freak I Love my mission so much!! We have been sharing with the active members a message about Missionary work and the importance of it... and that's just reminded me even more of how important it is!! During one of our lessons I just felt that I needed to turn to 3rd Nephi in the Book of Mormon... I didn't understand why, I thought that surely there is no relevance there to our lesson on missionary work... and then I came up to the page that I had marked when Elder Nash was here... it was in ch 11 when Christ appears to the Nephites and when they recognise who He is, they say "Hosanna"
Christ appeared to the Nephites
That word doesn't just mean like "Oh yay" like I had thought a few years, back but it actually means "Oh Grant Salvation"

3 Nephi 11:17
 Hosanna! Blessed be the name of the Most High God! And they did fall down at the feet of Jesus, and did worship him.

... then in verse 21 Jesus Christ tells them that he is giving them the power to baptise the people when he is gone...

21 And the Lord said unto him: I give unto you power that ye shall baptize this people when I am again ascended into heaven.

So in essence... Jesus comes, the people say "Oh, Grant salvation" and then He does! He gives them that power to baptise and bring people to His True Gospel.

And now we have that power! That Priesthood Authority to once again "Grant Salvation" how freaking sweet is that? So it's not only a blessing that we have... but a responsibility to share the gospel with others and to help them come to the gospel... and we can't do that alone... we really do need to involve the missionaries in that process! If you have friends that are interested in the gospel, have the missionaries help teach them... We had this discussion with a member last night... He is returning to activity in the gospel and he has a lot of friends who are not members. We told him that he was in a position to share the gospel with so many people... Then we told him that he needed to involve us in that process...  He thought he'd be smart and said "you just want more people to teach" I had my sassy pants on and responded quite honestly with "No, They're your friends, I'm sure you want them to have the gospel... but the truth of the matter is that we're probably 100 times better at teaching the gospel than you are... so ..." And that ended that... haha... It was funny... but true. I'm not talking only about myself, all missionaries are set apart to do this! So if you want success in bringing your friends and family to the gospel... we're your people!! haha
We're your people

Anyway! I freaking love this gospel! I love the people that I've been able to meet in the last 14 months and I'm so excited to see what the next 5 will bring!! Transfers are next week so we shall see where I end up or if I stay! I'd like to stay!

Anyhoo.... I love you all!!

Make Good Choices!!


Monday, February 22, 2016

Off Road and On Track

I legit spoke to an Olympic rugby player this week.... Freaking made my day!
We went to the Olympic Training Center and took the tour.
I, of course, was wearing my Springbok rugby jersey because... just because. So anyway... we're walking down the stairs at the end of the tour and I'm talking to Sister Kirby and Sister Adams about crocodiles eating people (seriously!), and this woman is looking at me kinda strange and she turns around and says "Rugby?" and I'm like YESSS!!! Just excited that someone actually wants to talk about rugby with me. So we chatted and then she's like.. Oh yeah, I play for the Eagles... which is the USA team... so there's that. It was pretty schweet... and now I've been wanting to play rugby all week. When I get home... I'mma kick some serious butt.... that'll be fun!!

That'll give me a reason to start seriously working out in the mornings again!! Ok Go! I have like 5 months to lose 20lbs... that's possible right? I probably drink like 60 lbs of soda a month anyway! Haha ... and since I've given that up for "Lent" hahaha...

Other than that it's been a pretty quiet week! I got to have breakfast with someone from my first area!  That was so great! We also had breakfast at Denny's on Tuesday before we had to go to an early appointment ... it was sweet! Our server was Baptist and we had a good talk! She said to us "well since you are in your missionary uniforms, we are going to give you your 10% "uniform discount" haha that was pretty sweet!

I found my soul mate this week! His name is Lugnut and he is super buff! We pretty much made out for like our entire appointment. #true love. #calmdownitsadog

New love- Lugnut

I am loving this area! I'm scared to say it because whenever I do, I usually get moved... But I really love the people here! You know how you go somewhere and you find the people that you were supposed to go there to find. I think that really happened this week! So many people that I've just been like... aaagh! I love them! Such good people here that I've learned so much from!! Let me staaaaaaay!!! hahaha

On Saturday it was super sunny and we didn't have any set appointments except for one at 10 am and then later in the afternoon, so we got our bikes and went to the park to talk to some people! It was so nice! Super sunny and there was a bike trail that we took with a bunch of people on it... and a sweet lookout point where there were binoculars, and so we got off and looked... and there were turtles lying on a rock... I got way over excited! It was like being back in South Africa in the KNP again!! It was pretty sweet! So we ended up talking to a bunch of people. My butt hurt after all that off road biking, but it was sweet! I forgot how much I loved being on my bike!!
Back on the bike

It's almost the end of the transfer again... and thus the end of training! That 3 months went too fast and dragged all at the same time! 3 transfers left. That blows my mind!! I don't get how that happens! Missions are supposed to feel like forever, and you're supposed to count down the days until you get to go home.... right??? Because I'm not there yet?!! So maybe I'll just stay here until that day comes ok?

I've been thinking about prayer a lot this week and then we taught a few lessons on it also...  I realised how my prayers were not sincere enough... or at least I don't think they are. Sometimes I think prayers are just for things I can't do by myself, or that asking for things is weak.... even from Heavenly Father... But then as I was thinking about prayer, and I remembered the scriptures in Matthew 26:36-39  

36 ¶Then cometh Jesus with them unto a place called Gethsemane, and saith unto the disciples, Sit ye here, while I go and pray yonder.

37 And he took with him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, and began to be sorrowful and very heavy.

38 Then saith he unto them, My soul is exceeding sorrowful, even unto death: tarry ye here, and watch with me.

39 And he went a little further, and fell on his face, and prayed, saying, O my Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me: nevertheless not as I will, but as thou wilt.

Even Jesus Christ prayed to Heavenly Father for help and comfort....and if He needs to... well I'm nothing compared to Him so I definitely need to right?

Alma 37:37 in the Book of Mormon is my fave! Because it says "counsel" which suggests that it is a two way conversation... not just leaving a message on the phone.

 37 Counsel with the Lord in all thy doings, and he will direct thee for good; yea, when thou liest down at night lie down unto the Lord, that he may watch over you in your sleep; and when thou risest in the morning let thy heart be full of thanks unto God; and if ye do these things, ye shall be lifted up at the last day.

Anyway.... the time is almost up... and we have to go wash our car... it's filthy and Zone Conference is tomorrow! Have a great week!!

I love you all! :)

Monday, February 15, 2016

Turtles and Tracksuits

Well, well, well... I feel like I start every one of these entries with some form of "well", which just shows how my communications studies in college have not helped me much. I'll try to figure out some more interesting ways to start these emails from now on.... excluding today,

Today when I logged on there was like 3 billion emails... ok... I'm possibly probably exaggerating... but a lot of them... and so I want to say thank you to everyone that emailed me this week! You guys are all so great and you made my day!

Sorry to those that I did not respond to yet... I will deffo do that next week!

This week has been ... ummm... interesting... lots of crazy things happened but also a lot of awesome things happened! We had an investigator at church on Sunday which was sweet!! And it wasn't one of those Sundays where you cringe at the talks and wish the visitor had picked a different Sunday to come for the first time! Luckily I've never had one of those on my mission.... but I have had those... you know what I mean!! hahaha

We got to go on exchanges on Saturday! That was pretty great! Sometimes I just love spending the day with people who I have no clue about and just teaching them. It's so much fun. Did I even just say that?! Hahaha can you imagine?... Me, Christi, liking strangers!! There was this super Ghetto set of apartments...I just wanted to tract them all... soooo ghetto!! Could you imagine how fun that would be?
Exchanges on Saturday

Someone today said to me "I'm excited to see you this summer" and I got all excited that they were coming to visit Colorado!!! I was like.. yes!! I wanna show them a cool place on P-day.... This is so exciti.... oh. oh . no.... I see what she means. oh... yeah. I'll be home this summer.... nope. Back into my turtle shell of denial... Thank you bye! hahaha

So this week at service, we were sorting some clothes... and there was this super fresh 80's track suit... It was so sweet man! Then... the woman in the back was like... 'Well... no one's going to wear this... you should take it home....' so guess what... I did! Freak... I should have been around in the 80's just saying!
The 'super fresh 80's jog suit'

So... I'm almost out of time and also things to say... so here is my fun study for the week...
I was studying the Book of Mormon... not from it, but more about it, and I came across the scripture in Matthew that says "in the mouth of two or three witnesses every word may be established.

So I'm like oh yeah... the Book of Mormon is another witness of Jesus Christ... but I already knew that... but then I got to John:1:1 where it speaks about "in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God and the Word Was God".... and then I'm like... oh yeah!!! Mind blown. Every word, Christ being the Word, Established by the mouth of 2 or 3 witnesses... and the Book of Mormon is that second witness of Jesus Christ... or as John put it "the Word"...

I don't even know if it makes sense but my mind was a little bit like... crazy! I get way excited about stuff like this... anyway... there's that!

It's been good!! I've learned a lot this week. about myself and about loving other people... even when they suck... cuz let's be honest, people will always suck....!

But... the gospel helps you to see past their suck and helps you work on loving them!! I'm so grateful for the Gospel and for my mission in helping me love people...even when I seem like I want to smack 'em... I do love them! I just need to work on the part where I show that now... haha!!  I have 5 months left to work on that!! Plenty of time right!

Well.... ( I think I always end with "well" too... )

I love you all! Thank you for your love!! You are all so great!! And you put up with my craziness... that's always a plus!!

Have a wonderful week!! Love you!!!!!

Monday, February 8, 2016

Drifting and Driving

Well... I guess another week has passed. Can that please stop happening now?

I learned a very interesting lesson this week!
So it snowed like a whole ton Sunday through Tuesday! It sucked because we got parked... but... you know me and how much I love when people freak out because of the weather! People were stuck everywhere, it was great.... anyway... back to the point. Thursday came and all the snow was melting away! It was pretty sunny, but there was this big grey cloud headed our direction! So I decided to ask people if it was supposed to snow again this week... Each time, after consulting their various mobile devices, they would say, 'Nope, zero chance of snow this week'... Well after asking about 4 people I kind of got irritated because I thought that by now I know what a freaking snow cloud looks like, but, in the words of my wonderful sister, "Compu'er Says No" haha so that was that! I gave up on my dreams of chaos and went to bed... Awkward moment when you wake up... look at the weather to decide what to wear and you see... everything is covered in snow!

What the heck? So before we left I took to clearing the car off, and while trying to blow my now popsicle fingers warm, I thought to myself "But the internet said there would be no snow?"

And then straight away realised how stupid I am, because I saw the clouds! So I felt a little stupid for being unprepared for the snow when I had totally seen the clouds! I knew that it was going to snow, but instead of believing what I clearly saw and knew, I believed everyone else who told me their info from the inside of their houses without ever having looked at the clouds.

I think we... especially me, have moments in our lives where we know for sure that things are true! Where we have a strong testimony of the Saviour because of things we have seen and felt in our own lives... but then as soon as the world tells us over and over again that we're wrong, we are tempted to, and sometimes do, believe them over what we have seen and know to be true.
I think of when Korihor, in the Book of Mormon, went around and tried to tell people that they were wrong, that the things they believed were just the foolish traditions of their fathers... and so many of them,  even after having seen the miracles in their lives and gaining that testimony, still believed him, whereas Alma did not. When Korihor said that there was no proof of God, Alma didn't just refute with saying "well... you can't prove that's there's no God either so nah nah Nah" No, he bore his testimony to him and told him how he knew for sure that there was a God. He said that all things are a testimony of God, and that all things around us, the planets, they way they orbit, everything that we have... denote that there is, in fact, a God.

So that's something I learned this week... and also... that setting mean traps to be funny will come back to bite you in the bum... or more like... Frost Bite you in the bum! Sunday night we went to the dog park in the complex with one of our members so she could take her pup to do her business... and there in the park is a big hole that the dogs have dug up... well I thought it would be hilarious to cover the hole up with snow... and just imagine someone falling in it... hilarious! Well Monday night came and I had not yet forgotten about this hole... I knew in which general area it was and so I was trying to find it... then I gave up and Boom!!!... Found myself on my butt in the hole... Genius! That'll teach me. Probably not though.

This week was full of fun things! We went to our dinner appointment on Tuesday night and while we waited for dinner we played with the sister's two daughters. They are just the cutest. They have a piece of my tiny heart! After dinner and our message, when we were getting ready to leave I felt so bad... they each grabbed a leg and cried because they didn't want us to leave... so I was stomping around with two little munchkins on my legs!! I miss my babies!! Haha... for real though!

Wednesday we were finally allowed to drive again! Happy days! I love Drifting in the snow... did I say Drifting??? I meant... Driving! Hahaha jokes!!

We got to go to do service and that was fun. There was barely anyone there because of the snow still on the roads.
Thursday we were meant to do weekly planning... but probably only got to do a few minutes of it and had to do the rest on Friday because we ended up being so busy on Thursday with appointments! It was nice! I like days like that!! This week I also got to hold a sweet-A Lizard! Happy days..


So... it has been a good week! Lots of things to do! We have a sister in our ward who just got home from her mission this week... that's slightly terrifying... because ... yeah... I feel like it's so close now!! No thanks!

Well.... that's it from me this week I guess... I feel like I've talked about anything that I had to say that was even slightly interesting!!
A record of the good things that happen every day

So... yeah!! I love you all!! Thanks for being great and always saying nice stuff about me... that's cool... hahaha


BYEEE!! :)

Monday, February 1, 2016

Just a Little Bit Crazy

Well another week has flown past! Freak!! It's been 13 months since I left! Well, thats just crazy!
It finally snowed!!! Happy freaking days!

Tuesday was interesting! Got to say goodbye to some pals. I always thought people were dumb when they said "oh, I'm getting to the point where I don't know any missionaries any more, all my friends left" then it happened to me. Awkward! Multiple times I wanted to pick up the phone and let people know funny things that happened... and then I'm like... oh :/ never mind, I guess.

Missing friends

Also got to have lunch with my Li'l Sister Park, since she was waiting for her new companion to arrive... We're not doing transfer meetings any more so it was a little different this time round. Different but good!
So that was pretty nice!
Lunch with Sis. Park

This week we had a lesson with a less active sister who is just great! I love her. We would have been friends even if I wasn't a missionary! We planned for her lesson a week earlier, and then when we went to see her. As we shared the message, we only got like 1 scripture of 11 words read... then she told us how the entire week she had felt like Heavenly Father was trying to talk to her, and telling her that things would be ok! She said our message confirmed it. He really was talking to her. Her countenance changed drastically just from that time! It was so awesome to see! So grateful again that Heavenly Father knows His children well enough to direct us to be able to help them!

My companion and I got matching hats this week... so that happened.
Matching hats

Also got hit on A LOT by old people this week... that's awkward. It's not much of a boost for your self esteem when they're like... ancient! And probably going blind! Haha
And I made it a goal not to have my hair just dangling around everyday any more... so I tied it up for District Meeting. Our District Leader told me I looked like a feminist. well.... thanks!!... I'm like the least feminist person in the world hahaha! But it was funny! Our district is pretty great!

This week we also met with a less active member and his non-member wife. Her mother was there too!! A sweet old lady in her 80s. We had such a good discussion with them! It was so great! I wouldn't be surprised if she was the one dragging them to church in the near future! haha I love this area! It's so great!

This week I've been missing my little ninos at home! They're growing so much! Little Steph is better at counting in Spanish than in English. That's impressive! haha Weird how fast they grow when you don't see them.

This morning I got a call from one of the members in my previous ward! It was so awesome to speak to her! She is the Best! Such a good example to me! Then her butt husband (yes, Scott, that's you) took the phone and said hi. Then me and her talked a bit more! It was such a great way to start my day because I was feeling pretty grumpy before that!  I'm so grateful for amazing people around me that keep me sane. I know keeping me sane is rather a large task!! haha
Little bit crazy

So funny story... We were walking back to the apartment after checking our mail, and these two dudes moving stuff ask "Are you the building manager?" and I'm like oohh... no... these badges are because we are missionaries. So he's all like oh yeah we saw the badges and thought maybe. so I said sorry, BUT if you want to learn about Jesus Christ and his restored Gospel, we are your people!! He was like... if I wasn't in the middle of working I would!... so... he's pretty much getting baptised.. hahaha

We also helped the housing coordinators move some stuff in to the apartment next door.. A senior couple is moving in. I'm excited! I bet they're nice. Also... I'm just excited to help move more stuff!! At the beginning of my mission we freaking moved people all the time.. now no one asks cuz we're girls... but like.. we have arms. So yeah. Anyway. Not a feminist! hahaha

I love this gospel!
I'm excited to bring everything that I've learned on my mission into normal life... and my future family... if that exists! Maybe my future family is me, Thor and nothing else... but that'll work too I guess. haha. He's a good companion!
Anyway, I'm trying to not think about going home... because I kind of never want to... but I miss the babies and my dog. Can they just be fedexed to me? Is that a thing?

Today I was studying a talk called "All is Well" by President Uchtdorf!
Dieter F. Uchtdorf
Admittedly, because I've had a hard week and was feeling rather pitiful and sorry for myself. I recently had a Priesthood blessing that said "All is well" and I kinda laughed, The Lord must really have a sense of humour because I always say "all is well" when it's clearly not... anyway.. so I read this talk. It was all about the pioneers and how they, if anyone would have had reason to yell from the top of their lungs "all is not well" and yet they didn't just sing this song during their hard times, They freaking wrote it! I'm just saying! Shame on me for being such a whiner this past week

I'm so grateful for people in my life who have carried on despite life sucking at times. Trav, you are my Hero! I love you so much! You were never wishy washy about the Gospel! Even when I was. Even when I wasn't even bothering to go to church. (sorry Mom and Dad.... I don't know if you knew that. Awkward)
Travice, Dad and Christi

And the Saviour! He did everything for me with such love! Even when I screw things up multiple times a day.. sometimes multiple times an hour... He just never gives up on me. What's more, He knew very perfectly about every time I would mess things up... and He still felt all that I felt and chose to suffer for me. And you!

Blows my mind!

I read about the Anti-Nephi-Lehis this week!!  (Book of Mormon Alma chapters 23 and 24) They are so boss! When they buried their weapons of war it wasn't just that they physically buried their weapons... but they spiritually gave all of that up. Everything that was holding them back. I think sometimes I give up bad things and I think.. well I'm so great I gave that up! And then I think I'm even more blessed if I give up stuff that I still want to do... but really I'm more blessed if I give them up AND stop desiring them!!

Earlier this year I had my Mom get rid of a bunch of music and movies  for me before I get home so I don't talk myself into keeping it, and listening to the same crap that made me crazy! The Anti-Nephi Lehis, however were not like that. The didn't ask Ammon to bury their weapons in case they were tempted... they buried them themselves! They're way stronger than me! That's for sure!! And then to add to that... when they were about to be killed they still didn't take up arms!! They kept their covenants! AND THEN!!!! When some of their people were killed, they were sad for their dead but MORE sad for those Lamanites who died without the gospel... They knew that their brethren were safe but that the Lamanites were not... how Christlike is that?! I'd be like.. ah yeah!! Rot in H.....  But they weren't. They were truly sad for them! I wish I could be more like that!

Well... like I said before... sometimes life is crap and sometimes that crap is fertiliser...

Our zone leaders once said in a Zone training meeting "Life will be crappy but we will still be happy"

It's true!! Life gets hard... but daily Gospel living will save your life. It wont take the trials away... but you'll get through it!!

Thanks everyone for being so awesome! I love you all!!

I hope you have a great week! And make good choices!!

BYE!!! :)