Tuesday, August 15, 2017

la ultima carta

Well... this is it. My last email ever as a full time missionary for the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints. How crazy is that!? It has been one rollercoaster from start to finish. In February 2016, I couldn't have even imagined where I would be right now, or who I would be more like it. It is a weird feeling, this has literally been my life, every single day, for 18 months and now it's all over. I have seriously loved every second of it. Even though it wasn't always easy, it was definitely worth it. That sounds so cheesy but it's true. Florida is my second home, and will forever have a giant piece of my heart.

Dang. This is weird, but it's good. God calls us for 18 months and it's over now. But it's okay, because I have truly learned so much. This last week at zone conference we had to give our departing testimonies. I talked about a few things but the biggest one was the biggest lesson I learned on my mission, which was how we can find true joy. There is no greater joy than in living the Gospel of Jesus Christ, in keeping His commandments and in serving your fellow men. Charity is so vital and it truly brings us the joy we need in this life! I was so lucky to be able to learn this lesson here in the Florida streets.

I loved all my areas, all my comps, all the sisters I lived with, all my leaders and all the people I got to talk to every single day. There is no way I could count the number of people I have talked to but it's a lot. I am so grateful for every single person I got to share my testimony to, investigators, members, random people. Its been fantastic. On Sunday, right after church, I turned around to see Byron and Liliana and little baby Ethan, my recent converts all the way back from Lauderhill. They drive all the way up here to surprise me and I was so happy to see them! They are in temple prep right now! It was amazing to be able to see them. Ethan is so big, and walking now! When I left that baby was barely 1 1/2 months old! Time flies when you're having fun!

I really don't know what else to say other than my testimony! I know this is Christ's true church and I know He loves us all so much. I have been able to feel that love not only for myself but for every single person I was able to meet. Its an amazing gift to be able to feel that pure love that He has for us. UNREAL. I know that God lives and loves us and that there is so much power in reading the scriptures every day. Even when we don't want to. That's when we need to the most! Read, read, read. and pray, pray, pray. Pray until your knees hurt. Thats the best kind of prayer. I loved being able to pray with a million random people. There is so much power in that. I know the Book of Mormon is true and that as we read it, we can feel His Spirit stronger and stronger. The Holy Ghost is legit. And so good. We should listen to it all the time. I loved this freaking mission. The FFLM is truly amazing. It really is the best mission in the world, I testify of that.

I LOVE YOU ALL. There is no better way to say it. Keep it real. Keep reading. Remember: the Church is true and the Book is blue. South Florida will always mean something special to me. The place that I worked harder than I ever had before, cried, laughed, taught, learned and grew more than I ever thought I could. I loved every stinkin second of it.

1: The Sanchez family.

2: Sister Tilby at zone conference and soon at BYU!

3: I'm going to miss this little family, Freddy and Darlyne.

xoxo, sister cottrell

Monday, August 7, 2017

the final countdown: twins for the win

WOW. WHAT A WEEK. Guys I don't even know where to start, but I just wanted to say, yet again, that I love being a missionary. It is the best thing in the entire world. I don't even know how to describe all the feelings, thoughts and emotions that have gone through my mind these last 18 months and especially this last week. It's a strange feeling but it's good. There is still work to do.

Update on investigators:
-June kinda dropped us because she wants to take it slow with learning about Christ, but we gave her a Chinese Book of Mormon and she was very excited to read it and contact the missionaries later. A solid seed planted.
- Freddy and Darlyne. Our golden couple. They are amazing. They want so badly to change their lives for their young kids and they came to church yesterday and loved it. We have brought some members out with us and they love the church. It has been such a blessing to be able to see the change the Gospel brings into someone's life this last week. You can literally see the countenance change the Spirit brings.

We have some other peeps we're working with and are super pumped to see how they progress as well!

We had interviews with President on Tuesday! He is amazing and so inspired for this time. I just talked with him for like 10 minutes because I will have my hour long final interview with him this week on Wednesday! It's gonna be great. Then, on Wednesday we had an exchange with the PSL sisters and I stayed here in Royal Palm and brought Sister Albrecht here! We ate at Pollo Tropical for her first time and it was amazing. I am going to miss that place.

Friday, we drove all the way down to Ft Lauderdale for MLC and it was amazing. There are some very inspired things coming to the FFLM this next month and I am so grateful I got to be a part of it and see the way these goals are set. So much is done by the Spirit and I am grateful for that.

We met someone named Tuna this week... I am  not even kidding. I also got attacked by mosquitos and drenched myself in bug spray afterwards.

I loved this week. Sister Peterson is my fave and approximately 50 people this week, including Sister Garns, have told us that we look related/like siblings. So twinning is winning. I don't see it but it's all good. You be the judge.

This week is going to be amazing. I can feel the energy and excitement that is coming and all those awesome miracles. It has truly been an amazing 18 month journey and I am so grateful for all I learned. I have truly seen God's hand every single day. Thank goodness for that.

1: My homegirl/soulmate Sister Adams.

2: Face masks and cucumbers for the win.

3: Shoutout to the Brazilians who gave us this boss CD of a Brazilian gospel singer.

4: But then also this CD about the end of the world.

5: When this is on the Bishop's whiteboard during ward council... we don't know why this is so funny but it is.

6&7: Our companionship is a mix of these 2 pictures.

8: When you have to wear a skirt to email at the chapel but don't want to change...

Monday, July 31, 2017

it's august!

Hola hola mi familia! Well tomorrow is August but still. This has been yet another great week in the FFLM. It really is the best place in the world. We saw a LOT of miracles this week and just laughed and had fun the whole time. Missionary work is literally the best thing in the entire world. Also my companion is currently teaching me the "alphabet aerobics" song. If you don't know what it is go watch Daniel Radcliffe sing it on Jimmy Fallon. I am currently on letter H... getting close.

We taught one of the recent converts in our ward, who is 16 years old and asked him what time we could meet with him and he said "Tuesday morning" which is not a problem so we asked "What time is morning for you Anthony?" he goes, "about 1:00...." ANTHONY THAT IS THE AFTERNOON. Anyways it made me laugh. Oh to be a teenager in the summer. We brought one of the young men along who had just gotten back from EFY and he bore an amazing testimony on the power of the scriptures. He talked about how he was never super good at reading his scriptures but now feels like he truly can do it and how making it a habit and part of his routine really helped him! I could really relate to that. We just have to make scripture reading a part of our routine and daily tasks and it becomes easier! So shout out to awesome 17 year olds coming in clutch.

We went on 2 full day exchanges and I left on both of them so I wasn't in our area too much this week! I went back to Wellington with Sister Davis and chilled at the doctors office with her for her appointment and then taught a returning member about the priesthood, in Spanish! Wow, it was awesome to teach in Spanish again! It felt so good. The gift of tongues is so real. All that Spanish came flooding back and I was able to explain deep concepts of the Gospel without any problem.

Thursday was a great day. We had a boss comp study from the APs and just laughed through the whole thing. Love those goobers. Then we had a member take us to Panera Bread. Just such a tender mercy because I had literally said that morning that I wanted it. Such a blessing. We found some cool peeps this week. We had correlation with our ward mission leader... patience is key there folks.

Friday- another exchange, this time I went to Palm Beach with Sister Johnson! It was a party. That area is a blast and we just partied. We were at the chapel picking up food from a member and there was a Latin party going on and I saw the Rivera family from my first area! He was my first ward mission leader I worked with. It was so amazing to see them. Hermano Rivera definitely tried to give me a hug but went for the kiss instead. I haven't seen them since last August so it was so weird to see them all the way in Palm Beach, far from Lauderhill!

Lets talk investigators:
-Rachel and Zan. Our awesome 9 and 15 year old investigators. They are so sweet and have such a strong desire to come closer to their Savior and really understand Him. They came to church yesterday for all three hours and loved it. Zan especially is super open and wants to learn all about temples and is reading in the BOM right now! They came to church all by themselves and it was so awesome to see that.

-June. oh June. She is from China! She has been thinking about becoming a Christian and actually had a Mormon neighbor teach her in Gainsville where they lived 6 months ago. She is SO open and it is a completely new experience for both of us to teach someone who has no background in Jesus Christ, but it is amazing. She loved that mormon.org was in Chinese and we showed her how to get the BOM in Chinese too since we didn't have a hard copy of it with us! It was amazing! Such a strong Spirit. As she was kneeling down to pray in our last lesson she stopped speaking and was saying the prayer in her head in Chinese. Even though I didn't hear the words that were said, the Spirit was so strong as she was praying and she could feel it. God is amazing and it is such a privilege to bring that knowledge to someone.

The work moves forward. A quote I loved from a talk yesterday, taken from the Brad Wilcox talk "His Grace is Sufficient" says, "The problem is not accepting or doing His will, but doing it without fear or hesitation." All we have to do is do it and trust in Him and it will all work out. What a blessing it is to not have to worry about it, but to just go and do.

Someone asked me this week if it felt like I had been serving for 18 months. After thinking about it I said "No it really doesn't. There have been hard times and long days but this has been the fastest 18 months of my life." IT'S TRUE. I cannot believe that time is closing in on me so fast and I am going to have to leave this beautiful state of Florida behind. It really is the sunshine state even though as I write this it is pouring outside. A part of my heart will forever be here.

ps go watch this video on lds.org. Its adorable. https://www.lds.org/media-library/video/2011-03-004-children-of-israel?lang=eng

1: Whoo exchanges at the doctor's office.

2: Holla at these Florida skies


4: the district (also my hair started turning blonde again this week for no reason.)

5: palm beach sisters

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!)

Monday, June 5, 2017

summer in florida

WOW. What a week. We drove all over the place and had a billion meetings but it's all chill guys. Sister Mills and I have both survived a full summer here in Florida and we are ready to do it again... just kidding because you are never ready for a Florida summer.

We went to Belle Glade for p-day and it was an adventure. We ate at this place called Dixie Fried Chicken... and it was actually super good and Sister Mills and I got matching t-shirts. Then on Wednesday, we drove ALL the way up to Stuart and Port St Lucie to see some of our sisters up there and the drive was GORGEOUS. PSL is like a cape and we have to go over this huge bridge to get there... so basically the same as Cape Coral. But all we had time for was that and a lesson with a recent convert here named Eric who is SO awesome. Love that guy.

Then, we had MLC on Friday so we drove to Ft Lauderdale again. It was President and Sister Richardson's last MLC before the new mission president so it was super tender and sweet. They are the best. The training was SO good. We talked a lot about how we as leaders can be that example towards those around us and really just teach by example. There is nothing better that we can do. We also bought Burger King crowns and wore them while we were in front of everyone accounting for our area... gotta work with the Royal in Royal Palm Beach.

We also made it back to Lox this week and as we were visiting a less active we found her family members holding a little small group bible study and they asked if we wanted to join... so of course we did! It was very eye opening for both Sister Mills and I. They were all so confused and had so many differing opinions. It was crazy to me how many things they just didn't have the knowledge of. We were pretty quiet just observing for most of the time, but as we both bore testimony of the things that we did know, the Spirit just came in! The rest of the time the Spirit was not there because there was just so much confusion. It was shocking to me honestly. The entire time the Spirit was just testifying of the truthfulness of the message we share everyday and that the church is true. There is nothing more to say. I am just so grateful for the knowledge I do have and for the chance I have to share it with everyone I meet!

Summer in Florida has 100% come upon us. The rains have come and they literally haven't left all week. Thank goodness for chacos. We got stuck on a blitz with our district in the rain and we all met back up and stood under some random person's garage overhang thing. We were soaked.

We got a lot planned out for this week so that we can go hard and find and see those miracles that God has in store for this area. We know that He has got a path for us and we just need to follow it to find those people who truly need the Gospel right now! Also 2 different people sent me this quote this week so it must be MUY IMPORTANTE: "Our responsibility is to prepare ourselves, to live worthy of the association of the Savior, to deport ourselves in such a way that we would not be embarrassed if He were to come among us. That is a challenge in this day and age" Super true and full of hope. We just need to do our best to be worthy and to be the very best self that we can possibly be.


1: Good ole Lox

2: ROYALS (sing the Lorde song as you read that...)


4: After that bible study and people yelling at each other because they don't listen when you give them the truth.

5: When you do family history and go all the way back to 100 BC

Tuesday, May 30, 2017

royal palm, best palm


So this week has been fabulous and Sister Mills is a party and we are having a lot much fun. Our area is so different and diverse and it's just so much fun. We go out and find these unknown people from our ward list and knock around them and we have seen so many miracles already. The Lord is placing so many people in our path. This area has a super bad rep of not being a great area but we are super determined to change it and to make it great! The ward members are not ready for this companionship!

So more about the area... there's part of West Palm Beach in our area as well as Royal Palm and then this place called Loxahatchee. Lox is the middle of nowhere. Like look up "middle of nowhere" in the dictionary and its Lox. There's just trees and houses and more trees. Like The Grove in Naples. We have to be really careful not to get attacked by guns or crazy people hiding in the sticks. We've had some adventures already. The ward members are super sweet and willing to help and we just gotta help them do some of their own missionary work!

On Wednesday, we had transfers and then drove up here. We have a lot of sisters in our sisterhood to help and we are super excited! It's going to be way fun! We get to go all the way up to Port St Lucie and down to West Palm spanish sisters! We live with the Wellington sisters and I have to shut up and stop asking so many questions about the ward because I love them!

We had interviews yesterday and it was our last ones with President Richardson. It was super sad but IT WAS SUCH A GOOD INTERVIEW. He is amazing. I sneakily recorded the whole thing so I could go back and listen to it. He talked about missionary life and post missionary life and marriage and it was weird but I love him. He gave me a big hug and we talked about the ways he has been able to see me grow these last 15 almost 16 months. Crazy how fast time goes!

Sister Mills and I just talk like 24/7 and she may look tiny but she put me in a headlock the other day. We also tried to scare the Wellington sisters and they didn't even really flinch... (my scare game is not on point)

Well that's it for this week. Lots of parties and lots of fun and lots of Gospel goodies. REMEMBER GOD LOVES YOU. I cannot express that enough. I just want to shout it to every single person I meet. The Gospel is there to bless us and there is no reason we can't open our mouths and share it with everyone we meet! Also if you haven't watched the LDS Bible Videos you are missing out on the greatest movies ever. Seriously. Jonathan went to the temple on Monday with Sister Adams so... YAY!

Also, today is dubbed ghetto p-day because we are going to Belle Glade aka the worst part of the mission and the Elders are taking us on a tour. It's gonna be very interesting.

1: The district! Elder Krieger is our DL and I was in his district when he got here and now he's my DL!

2: The gruesome twosome. President actually called us that on transfer day we have no idea why but we love it?

3: Love her

4: How the day actually goes...

5: Jonathan and Sister Adams bumpin at the temple! LOVE HIM. Word is he is thinking about a mission.

Tuesday, May 23, 2017

transfer 11

BACK BACK BACK TO...JUPITER. I am headed back up North in the mission to Royal Palm Beach! It's still English but it is a super fun area and my comp is going to be Sister Mills! She came in one after me and she and I are gonna party as STLs together. I will actually live in the same house/go to the same chapel as I did when I was in Wellington! So it's a pretty familiar area! We were laughing because I have gone back to the zones again where I only spend one transfer the last time I was there. Heavenly Father just has some more work for me to do in Jupiter!

I am super excited for this transfer that is coming up. It's a 7 week transfer which means more time for some miracles! It's gonna be great. We have 5 sisters areas, or 10 sisters, in our sisterhood that we get to help out and serve and its gonna be great! Also, mi hija Sister Dimond is an STL too... so she'll get to kill me next transfer.

This week was great. Jonathan is doing amazing and we got to do some family history work with him and helped him find two names he can go take to the temple! Thiago is getting the priesthood next week so he can go to the temple in June!!! After 3 transfers here in this area, I feel like I accomplished at least something! I am super grateful for the time I got to spend here and the wonderful people and YSA in this branch. It has been an awesome experience and I wouldn't have wanted to spend 3 transfers anywhere else! I just love the west coast man.

We also had interviews this week with my mission president and with the schedule I have interviews again this Monday... so I need to come up with something for my last interview with him because he goes home at the end of this transfer as well! But it's going to be AWESOME this transfer.

"Heavenly Father sees our value and He helps us develop the gifts and graces He knows will help us become all that He has signed us to be." Jean B Bingham  WE ARE ALL DESTINED TO BECOME GREAT! DONT FORGET IT.

We have to rush off to a funeral we are in charge of... not a real one. There's an Elder "dying" aka going home so we planned a funeral for him. It's awesome. Missionaries are weird. #sorryboutit

1: A guy caught an alligator and I held it... #Floridian

2: ​​Sister Kyle! We had a great full day exchange in YSA.

3: We went to The Grove. Aka all trees and houses spread apart for MILLAS.