Monday, July 24, 2017

pitbulls and mangos

With 2 P-Days after this I feel like I just have so much to say. I feel like every story is the same and everyone is probably really tired of these... but don't worry, I'll make these last few the best.

This week while out visiting some former investigators we ran into this cute little 13 year old who was just so interested in hearing more. Her dad had previously been taught and when we knocked on the door she ran right out and "demanded" that we come back and teach her. Then asked us all her questions and was just like so interested. IT WAS A 13 YEAR OLD PEOPLE. Unreal. She was like, "where is your church? when are you coming back? I want you to come back." OK no worries Rachel we will be back.

We did four exchanges this week. FOUR. We did not work our own area on Tuesday because some sisters way north called and really needed some help so we drove the hour and a half up to them and just sang One Direction and Taylor Swift the whole way up. Basically I love Sister Peterson because she just sang for 3 hours total with me. We got home at 9:00 after spending 3 hours in the car and an hour and a half helping the sisters and we were exhausted, but it is all worth it! The feeling of the Spirit that I was able to feel while talking to this sister was undeniable. I don't remember anything that I said to her or any advice given but I know it was led by the Spirit and we both left the exchange uplifted spiritually. I am just so grateful for these last 5 transfers, 8 months, I have had to serve these sisters!

Then, we did a fire exchange in the ghettos of Palm Beach and it was all latinos and the sister I was with didn't speak any Spanish so I got to break mine out. While we were knocking a duplex one of the doors we had just knocked on slightly opened and a PITBULL'S HEAD CAME OUT BARKING AND GROWLING. Literally I just froze and backed up and the sister I was with just slammed the door shut and then it happened again. Somehow the dog was opening the door and the owners came to the window and told us to go away in Spanish. I was just left in awe that that had actually just happened to me because my first night in the mission the AP that picked us up in the airport told us a story just like that and I just couldn't stop laughing when he told it but then it actually happened! While on my mission I have decided that every dog except mine and a select few others are evil.

We had a full day exchange with Stuart and I got to go with the one and only Sister Brown. She is a party and we had so much fun. While we were ending the night knocking, the last house opened up and let us talk to them. There was a less active that was there from another ward and he said he knew we were sent to him because he had been thinking about church lately and then we showed up. He isn't even in our area and the Lord knows he needed us and sent us right to him. Time and time again on my mission I have seen that. It is so incredible. Also, the man gave us like 6 Florida Mangos and I was in HEAVEN. I freaking love mangos and will miss the fresh ones right off the tree. Oh and then he gave us weird Catholic prayer chain things out of a dumpster... so I now have one of those?

Friday, we couldn't stop laughing at everything. I don't know what happened but Sister Peterson and I were like on laughing drugs. A frog attacked Sister Peterson when she touched it. Did you know Florida has tons of tree frogs? Well they do and it attacked her this week.

I JUST LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY. I LOVE IT. Once again, there is no place I would rather be. There is nothing I would rather be doing or saying or thinking. There comes a time when you have to end and THATS OKAY. All good things come to an end right? I am just so incredibly grateful for the next 3 1/2 weeks I have to serve the Lord fully and without distractions. The Book of Mormon provides so much power and comfort in our lives and I have seen that time and time again as a missionary. As I have read it, and my investigators.

Monday, July 17, 2017

oldest hermana in the mission

WHAT! WOW. (So pretty sure I have used every single way to start an email so, we are just gonna jump right on in there folks.)

We were at transfers and I was watching all the departing missionaries get into the van to leave and I was literally watching all my friends peace out and then all of a sudden I was in the oldest group on the mission? What? It was pretty sad actually but new transfer miracles are coming!

This transfer is a 5 week transfer aka it's already going so fast. I cannot believe that we literally are already on week 2?! I don't know where the heck the last 17 months have gone but apparently time goes 2948 x faster in South Florida because... what!?  I told Sister Peterson the other day that it feels like a dream, it honestly has not hit me yet and I am not sure when it will but I know it will eventually... hopefully not?

We had transfers on Wednesday and I said goodbye to my Sister Mills and got Sister Peterson! She is a boss and was pretty pumped to be back in the Wellington house/area. I mean she only left like 7 weeks ago before coming back so it wasn't too much time gone! She is from Bountiful, UT and went to USU for a year before her mission. She is 2 transfers behind me and we have actually had 2 of the same comps and lived with the same people like her whole mission. We got straight to work and we are just having so much fun and going hard every single day. I don't think I have ever been this tired in my entire life, but I also don't think I have ever been this happy either. Its one or the other I guess? There is a quote from "The District" that one of the Elders says that used to make me laugh but now is just too relatable, "I don't understand how I am so happy when I am so tired." The exhaustion is worth it though when you get to meet cool people and change their lives around or just brighten someone's day.

This week was just so fast, I don't even know what else happened. We got caught in the rain the other day and you aren't real comps if you haven't sprinted to your car to get out of the rain, so know we are real comps

We are working with 2 super sweet ladies right now!

Kathy: requested a Bible and she was SO open to meet with us and just cried basically the whole lesson as we taught her and she felt the Spirit so strong. She wants to change her life around and become a better person and more like her Savior. It was incredible to see how God had been preparing her to hear what we have to share and the ways that we can help her accomplish her goals! We are bringing the sweetest member out to meet her tomorrow and just know they are gonna be best friends.

Liz: is a former investigator! We went by her house after a meal appointment and she let us right in and asked us so many good questions. She was so surprised we could answer them and when we told her that the reason we knew all the answers was because of the Church and the Gospel of Jesus Christ, she just lit up and said she needed some of that! We are going back there on Thursday with the Bishop so she can get to know him and then she can come to church!

Miracles are happening here in Royal Palm. I know that God has a plan for us here in this area and all we gotta do is keep working hard and go do the Lord's work. A part of a talk that I love called The Fourth Missionary has a quote from CS Lewis that was also used in Elder Andersen's talk at conference says, “Christ says ‘Give me All. I don’t want so much of your time and so much of your money and so much of your work: I want You.’” All He wants is us to give up our will and do His and as missionaries we get to do that 24/7 and give our all.

1: tres generations at transfers!


3: accurate #sorrynotsorry

4:  HOUSE PIC (my face looks so weird because the light changed right as the picture was taken so I was panicking but...)

Tuesday, July 11, 2017

"in these last days..."

HELLO ONCE AGAIN. Transfer calls came in and guess who gets to stay here in Royal Palm for her last 5 weeks?! ME! I am so pumped to see all the boss miracles and dope experiences that are going to come these last 5 weeks. LET ME TELL YOU. It is getting real. Like wow, time flys my friends. But my new comp is Sister Peterson. Basically she has followed me in 2 of my past areas... she served in Vanderbilt Beach right after me and Wellington right after me and NOW SHES MY COMP. Sorry in advance to having to send me off... but I promise not to have more than 5 breakdowns people!

So this week we got to meet our new mission president! President Garns is amazing. I love that man already. He is just so fantastic and so inspired and exactly what we need right now. We got to meet him personally with the Palm Beach zone as well and then on Friday we got to talk to him some more at MLC. It was fantastic. He and his sweet wife are just so loving and so humble. They are from California and he was most recently a professor at BYU teaching photography.

Then, it was the 4th of July and we made a fire in our fireplace and Sister Mills and I learned that we did not pay ant attention at Girls Camp to the "how to build a fire" portion as we watched the other sisters do it all... oops. BUT we made s'mores and partied until 10:30 when we crashed.

On Wednesday, we went up to Stuart and had a quick fire exchange with the sisters there..and both of them are staying this transfer so I get to party with them some more.

Thursday was a rough day because both of us were stuck inside ALL DAY with food poisoning. Let me tell you, that is not what I wanted to be doing all day. But we survived and made it okay to MLC the next day!

Then, a basic normal rest of the week until Pros Monday yesterday when we did a GIANT zone wide white wash exchange. All of us switched comps AND areas for the whole day and just worked another area and saw so many miracles. Sister Cohen and I headed up to Stuart and drove on over to like this little beach town and knocked some doors before our meal appointment. We were about to jump in our car to head to the appointment and then felt like we should knock this one last door we were parked in front of. We did and a man named Michael came out and after we said we were there to share a prayer with him, the first thing he said was "yeah I need one, my daughter just died." WOAH. What? So we talked with him some more and then prayed with him and he let us in out of the hot sun and we just talked to him about the Plan of Salvation and the plan that God has for every single one of us. How amazing it is that we have the knowledge of that? And once again, God reconfirmed my testimony that He sends us exactly where we need to be at the EXACT right moment. There is no doubt in my mind of that, at every moment of our lives, we are exactly where we need to be.

We spoke at church and everyone loved it. Seriously there were tears shed. We spoke about the Restoration and I spoke about how the church teaches us to be more like Christ by teaching us how to be DAILY DISCIPLES. It is a matter of every single day and every single choice we make should be directed towards helping us become more like Him. It was so great and truly amazing to watch the Spirit touch each of the member's hearts!

I am so excited for this opportunity and these 5 weeks that I have to spend here in the amazing area of Royal Palm. Get ready for some boss milagros and hilarious stories coming from the FFLM.

1: the zone leaders pied us in the face....not impressed

2: gotta be a good sport about it though.... :)


4: comps and heart leaves

5: watch out guys we're taking over Stuart

Monday, July 3, 2017


HELLO FAM. This week we were in Red Robin and "Crush" by David Archuleta came on and we sang along the whole time. It was totally random, like really who still listens to David Archuleta other than Mormons? It was a tender mercy and made my week.

ANYWAYS. We had a very busy week. I feel like I never stopped running. Probably because we never stopped. We worked this week A LOT in the gated communities. Shoutout to members who called us in through their gates so we could knock. We have also been leaving thank you notes on our members porches by ding dong ditching them. Let me tell you, the highlight of my day is watching Sister Mills sprint into the car after ringing the doorbell. It's quite the sight. I get to be the getaway driver for it all. Missionaries are just weird people.

But we also got to do service at a local church called Community of Hope. They are so sweet and kind and just shows that there are still good people in the world! And they fed us Chick Fil A so bonus points.

We also did an exchange with the West Palm Beach sisters and I got to go with Sister Bingham, my grandbaby. It was so funny. I laughed the whole time. It was super weird and just strange that I literally am old enough in the mission to straight have a grandchild but LIFE IS GOOD. My posterity lives on.

We got our first media referral in this area last week and so we called them to set up a time to visit and drop off the bible she requested. We had it all set up and fine and then we missed a call from her 2 hours later and she cancelled her request. She literally got anti-ed in 2 hours. The world is crazy and people just believe false things they see. We actually laughed about it. Satan is working really hard to stop the work but he just can't. Our DT this week was on how God will accomplish His work anyways. Like with or without our help, it will get done. Which is comforting to know that we aren't going to mess it up too much. I mean He does send out 18-20 year olds to do this so you would think it would end in disaster but thankfully it works out!

We get to meet our new mission president tomorrow at a mini zone conference in Boynton Beach, and then have to come in early at 7:00 for safety so basically tomorrow is gonna be a blast.

We ate dinner yesterday at a farm and the member has 7 German Shepherds and 6 horses. Don't worry mom, I took 2 Benadryl in preparation and then came home and passed out. It's a miracle I woke up this morning lets be real.

Every day I am more and more amazed at the help the Lord gives us in this work. As I am now entering my last 6 weeks I am realizing the UNREAL and AMAZING work He lets me be a part of. He doesn't have to but He allows us to do so! And how thankful I am that I have had this amazing opportunity! There is nothing better. And I realize how fast time is FLYING by. WE redid our calendar thats on our board this week and literally the entire rest of my mission is up there. CRAZY to think about but there is no stopping or slowing down. As President Richardson would say we gotta "GIDDY UP!"

We're going to have a zone BBQ today for the 4th and we have to get pied in the face because we lost the challenge so the Zone Leaders are pie-ing us... WHOO!

1: when you knock in Lox you gotta bring a weapon to protect yourself from vicious dogs


3: pre ding dong ditching the Bishop and his family...we think they saw us but oh well!

4: me being a supportive comp while searching for a lost ring

Monday, June 26, 2017

"don't worry, about a thing, cuz every little thing, is gonna be alright"

This song has been stuck in my head for 5 weeks so it seems fitting to use it as my subject line. Pretty sure it stays in there because God is constantly reminding me that it's all in His hands. 

We had zone conference on Tuesday in Coral Springs and I got to head on back to my baby chapel. It was sad to say goodbye to President and Sister Richardson but they have been seriously the best Mom and Dad out here that we could have had. They just love us so much. They fly home this week and then President and Sister Garns will be with me for my last 7 weeks and I am very excited for the chance we have to go to MLC next week and get the sneak peak preview before all the missionaries. It's going to be a great 3 years with them here and we are going to miss President and Sister Richardson so much. 

Then, on the way back from Zone Conference we did an exchange with the sisters way up in Port St. Lucie. Sister Albrecht and I partied all day and topped it off with some McFlurries because that is the only way to end an even better day. It was so funny. We ran into some crazy people who literally just talked themselves in circles and made zero sense but it was awesome. We were able to meet sweet potentials for us here in Royal Palm. 

On Wednesday, we had  a pretty normal day. I made Mac and Cheese at 9:45 because I hadn't eaten dinner all day and was starving. 

On Friday, we were on an exchange with the sisters in Wellington and I got to go back for the day! WHOOP WHOOP! It was beyond weird being back in that area but it was awesome. I loved it and we got to teach their boss gator Colleen and set her to get baptized soon. We went back to the one ghetto street in Washington to OYM and talk to as many people as possible and ran into a guy that I met when I was there who just wanted to talk to us about Rastafarians and his breath was straight alcohol. It was so funny. He's crazy but he definitely knows the missionaries super well and he'll remember us 2 white girls who stood there and listened to him for 20 minutes while he was drunk. We also had a comp study with our DL and he's just the best. It was all about how we can follow the Spirit.

Saturday, we had a comp study with the APs and it lasted for 5 million years. It was so fun and hilarious. They are so great. I had the chance to serve with all of them previously and they are just a party. It was an amazing comp study on setting expectations with the sisters before we actually do the exchanges so that they can be as effective as possible. It was right after an awesome Zone Conference training... so it was just a spiritually powerful week! Then afterwards we went to Panda Express for lunch and who did we see? The APs of course! Man, they're the best. 

After this long week I was so grateful for the chance I had on Sunday to go to church and partake of the sacrament. It really is the most important part of our week. It was so comforting and so amazing to feel of that Spirit and to know that I did everything I needed to that week and that God was watching out for us here in our little congregation of Royal Palm. WHAT /A BLESSING THE SACRAMENT IS. 

I saw on a couple other emails a list of "things I've learned the last (blank) months" so I'm gonna do one as well... so here is 16 Things I've Learned the Last 16 (!!!) Months:
1. open your mouth and talk to everyone
2. the gift of tongues is so real
3. boys do stupid things even on missions lol
4. quesadillas are the best lunch
5. ice cream makes any day a lot better
6. you cannot change people's agency but you can change their perspective
7. transfers are 100% INSPIRED
8. prayer is anytime, any place, any situation
9. write EVERYTHING down
10. Charity is the most important thing ever. without it we have NOTHING
11. dedicating the time to God, whether its 5 minutes,5 hours, or 5 days brings SO MANY MIRACLES
12. God knows what will happen way before I do so I really need to trust Him in every situation. He knows best :)
13. making arrepas and empanadas is SUPER easy and delicious 
14. Latins make the best rice
15. Time goes so fast
16. I love tender mercies, those little miracles that GOD sends JUST FOR ME. 
there are so many more I could put but these are the first ones that came to me 


Monday, June 19, 2017

where is 2017 going?!

CAN SOMEONE PLEASE EXPLAIN TO ME HOW IT IS ALREADY THE MIDDLE OF JUNE?! I don't understand. We were out with some sisters this week and I said, "wow its already the middle of May!"... they quickly corrected me and said that it was already the middle of June, and I about lost it. Time flies when you're having fun and serving the Lord! 

But besides that minor freak out... this week was amazing. Some funny things that happened:
- It rained like crazy and while we were on a full day exchange with the sisters in Stuart and I was with Sister Davis, who is on her first transfer, she asked me if it was always like this...I sadly had to tell her that it was pretty normal and then literally .02 seconds later this GIANT lightning strike flashed across the sky and then the biggest clap of thunder. I screamed and pretty sure Sister Davis thought I was crazy. Florida summer is back and in full force. 
- We had a day where nothing happened. We visited everyone we possibly could, knocked on so many doors and none of them opened. It could have been worse but we ended the night with free frostys and Dr Peppers. It's the little things that make it all better.
- We did family history this week and me and Sister Mills both got all the way back to Adam and Eve. Don't know how accurate all that info is but we followed the line all the way back. It was pretty weird but amazing. DO YOUR FAMILY HISTORY BECAUSE ITS AMAZING. 
- It was Father's Day yesterday (shoutout to all the dads) and we got a new Elders Quorum Presidency and Ward mission leader so we were super pumped because they are all amazing. And as we were walking away we started dancing in the hallways at the church...then heard people laughing and turned around to see the Bishop and one of his counselors standing there...they saw the whole dance party. AWKWARD. Just a reminder to everyone that we are 20 years old and have no idea what we are actually doing okay?

The cool story comes from knocking on Tuesday. We were on this street and we were just knocking along and then David opens the door. And let me tell you. I did not think he would want a prayer. He was this big ole dude with earrings and he looked like a beast. But he accepted the prayer and told us to pray for his wife who had just died. So Sister Mills drops this BOSS prayer, totally led by the Spirit and when she finishes David grabs our hands and then prays for us. It was the sweetest prayer ever. In the prayer he thanked God for sending us to him right after he finished praying for strength and guidance! Literally in less than 30 seconds after he prayed we knocked on his door. He was crying during the prayer and then we stood there and talked to him for like 40 minutes just about God and his church and his beliefs and we were able to testify of the Plan of Salvation and it was awesome. It was really a testimony reminder to me that God sends us exactly where we need to be at the exact moment we need to be there. It was like a slap in the face from the Spirit once again that God knows each of us perfectly and individually. 

Also, we had a fire exchange with 2 of our sisters this week and I am 100% positive that I left the exchange more uplifted than she did! It was just incredible for both of us. We called them later to tell them thank you because both Sister Mills and I needed that fire exchange too! The sisters were so shocked and surprised but it was so true! I also got a testimony slap with the commitments that we leave. After the exchange I had no idea what commitment to leave her because she was just too good, but I told her I would go home and pray about it and I was reminded  by God again that this is sooo not my work and its all His. The commitment could not have come from me but the sister told me that it was exactly what she needed and something that had been on her mind. *SLAP* yeah, God is in every part of this work and we just need to trust Him at all times, 24/7. 

THIS WEEK WAS FANTASTIC AND I LOVE THIS MISSION. We have Zone conference tomorrow and we have to say goodbye to our amazing and wonderful mission president. It's gonna be so sad but I know that the 6 weeks I have with the new mission president will be amazing as well. I don't know of any other place I would rather be than in the FFLM. Its already week 5 of this 7 week transfer and it's going so fast. 16 months has flown faster than I could ever have imagined sitting in Lauderhill as a greenie. Memories last forever man. 

1: from the full day with Sister Rosario!!!

2: just a normal district pic

3: storm clouds rollin in

4: when you lose "what are the odds" and have to stand in the POURING rain for 30 seconds and your comp just takes pictures and laughs

5: oh yeah and we chopped all our hair off....

Monday, June 12, 2017

walking through puddles all day, everyday

In Royal Palm this week we did muchas cosas. I really don't know where to start but....we're gonna try.

OK, Tuesday we had DT and a less active also took us to Golden Corral and I did not like it. I almost puked afterwards... but she was Spanish speaking so I got to practice some of my Spanish and I am grateful for that! We also took ice cream down to some of our sisters who were sick this week and talked some more with them.

Wednesday, I don't remember what we did because I didn't write anything down in my planner... but I know that the sun did come out on Wednesday for the first time in like a week and it was amazing.

Thursday was good ole weekly planning and then we had a new member lesson for Eric all about Temples! It was so good! The families in this ward are boss at teaching the lessons and we didn't have to say a thing! Thank goodness for awesome members. Another member fed us giant steaks and afterwards I couldn't move because my body apparently cannot digest that much meat.

Friday, we went on a full day with the sisters in Palm Beach North and I got to go with Sister Rosario again! It was so much fun to go back and be comps and be able to talk about all our adventures in Naples and everything that has happened since then! That was all the way back in August so it has been a while and it was so awesome to be with her. I got to spend the night in the nicest mission house ever and chill with my granddaughter Sister Bingham! It was a party.

Saturday, we exchanged back and then that night we taught our member's friend! Our member is just home for the summer from BYU and he got home from his mission last July and he texted us and said that his friend wanted to hear the discussions! So of course we went over and taught him and he is super chill. Sister Mills and I were super excited because we got to teach a YSA (she served YSA too) so we were right in our comfort zone. To make it even more perfect, the member went straight back into missionary mode and was speaking at the exact right moments and not saying anything crazy like some members do. It was a solid lesson and we are going to be seeing him this week as well!

Yesterday was a basic Sunday. Church went really well and we were able to meet a lot of the new families that just moved into the ward. They are all so fired up about missionary work so we are pumped to go over and meet them and help them do some member missionary work! Royal Palm is growing fast y'all. The family that we ate dinner with had a lot of dogs so afterwards I took a Benadryl because I was dying and couldn't breathe and then I was super loopy and couldn't stand up so Sister Mills took me home and I forgot about 2 hours of my day. Pretty sure my already exhausted body can't handle drugs like that anymore but we made it to today haha!

I wanted to share a quick quote from President Monson. He said "He lived for us. And He died for us. What can we, in return, give to Him?" So my question for all of you this week is, What can you give to your Savior this day/week/month/year? We all have something to give in return and we can show our love to Him in so many ways! Always remember that!

1: When the sun came out after 6 days of rain

2: This was our view all week man


4: Guys, we made a board to get the ward pumped for missionary work and the Bishop loved it. and I had to be crafty all by myself because Sister Mills is 0% crafty... I need Sister Adams back.

5: House picture (Sister Davis and Sister Cohen in wellington!)