Monday, February 23, 2015

week 5

two stories for you this week:

Singing to an investigator.
Yeah. That happened. Sister Sutton and I were teaching a lesson to an investigator this week and all of the sudden in the middle of the lesson he asked us to sing to him. TO SING TO HIM. We just about died. But the spirit was saying do it and you can't just not... so we sang Nearer My God to Thee. I swear on my life, my voice didn't come out of me. It truly was a miracle of God. 

Invite to be baptized?
Yesterday Sister Kitchen and I were headed to meet with some former investigators. On the way we met a lady sitting outside who wanted to hear all about what we had to say. That was a miracle in and of itself. We taught her the first lesson on the spot. It was a super awesome experience and she was totally loving everything we had to say to her, it was incredible. So then as the lesson is wrapping up I have the impression to invite her to be baptized- like we are suppose to do. But it was at an awkward spot of the lesson and yeah... I just thought, next time! 

So we leave.

And then we start talking. And we both realized that we should have invited her to be baptized. So I'm like- WE GOT TO GO BACK! So we did. I marched straight up to her, told her I forgot to ask her the most important question of all, and asked her if she'd be baptized. We talked for a couple more minutes but then she agreed. I was literally jumping up and down after we left. I was so excited.

Moral of the stories? Listen to the spirit no matter how weird, strange, odd or hard what it is that it is telling you to do. Listen and follow, and you will always be grateful you did. The Lord will help us if we submit ourselves to Him.

This work is incredible. Sometimes I wonder why it took me 2 years to make the decision, because I can't imagine being any other place doing any other work right about now. The church is true! :)

Love you!
Sister Mal

P.S. Elder Zwick from the seventy came  this last week and we've been having/ will continue to be having conferences with him. It's been a super cool experience. He has been talking to us all about how the iPads that we have are the Lord's way of hastening the work. He's completely changed my viewpoint on ipads. And now every companionship has two. I'm excited to hear more from him this next week! He spoke in April general conference-- look it up, its a really great talk!

love me some tampa
we got SOAKED to the bone one night. and my umbrella broke. and a car hit a puddle and soaked us. and sister sutton and i laughed the entire time. we truly are "cheerfully doing all things that lie in our power"

riding through mud puddles.... we laughed for a solid 10 minutes about this one.

weekly planning- thanks for the chocolate mad. it helped us survive.

reason #783 why sister kitchen is my favorite. she does leeps during weekly planning

that bayshore life though. we spend so much time riding and running along this. i just love it

the brick of Mormon!

this is our friends avery and maddie. they were great cheerleaders for us
pinewood derby! they do it as a ward here. ours was "the brick of mormon" and it had cards taped all around it. the elders was their minivan that they drive. they won twice and we won once... but the ward loves the sisters, so the elders were "disqualified" hahaha

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

"Miracles Happen" week 4

cue cheesy princess diaries music

Alright. Let's just talk about that one time when Sister Sutton and I went off on our own. Day 6 of our missions, our companions leave us for exchanges and the two newbies have 4 lessons to teach all within 3 hours, oh and dinner should probably happen in there somewhere. We were excited and scared out of our little minds. 

Miracle #1: we have been teaching a sweet old man named Ron. He has been meeting with missionaries for over 6 months, but keeps having various surgeries and because of it the missionaries keep having to drop him. So he's heard all the lessons, and wants to get baptized, but his physical health is struggling right now. So Sister Sutton and I weren't really sure what to teach, but we felt like let's go with the 10 commandments and talk about Mosiah 13. So that's what we did! We get there and ask him about his Book of Mormon reading and guess what he read that morning: Mosiah 13. I was so pumped. It was awesome. We had a great little lesson.

So after that's over, we're hurrying home to get food and trying to figure out where our next appointment is when suddenly: the gps stops working, And hello- we're clueless as to where we are. So we make it home, but we are worried about getting to our next appointment. We take dinner to go, tell the people that we're going to teach we're going to be late and then go to the appartment office to get wifi so we can figure out where we are going! Well our ipad stops working. The lesson we were going to give we can't anymore, basically we had a moment of, "Oh my goodness Satan hates us and we are trying SO hard!!" We finally are on our way to the appointment and we are just stressed out of our minds. I even said to Sister Sutton, "we already had our one miracle of the day with Ron! We can't have anymore!" Well what do you know... we stop at a stop light completely. Next thing I know I hit the car in front of us, HARD. How it happened?! I have no idea, like I'm still confused. But we both start crying. It was ridiculous. We are freaking out as we pull over and cursing Satan at the same time for working so hard on us.

The guy in front of us gets out of his car and is literally the nicest man in the world. There isn't even a mark on his car. He told us to go about our day and not to worry about it. I couldn't stop thanking him. So then we look at our car.... NOTHING. Absolutely nothing. Not even a tiny scratch. This time I cried of happiness. The Lord had not forgotten the two newbies. We were so so grateful. We prayed just before we left for safety and it was granted.

There are no limits to miracles and God answers our prayers. 

Tampa is so great. I'm loving every minute of this. This mission is absolutely NOTHING like I ever thought it would be. No one can tell you what a mission is like, you just can't, You have to experience it for yourself. 

Love you all!
Sister Mal
we received flowers for valentines day from the other sisters! 

packages from home
treat yourself

the squirrel that was petrified. yes it is dead and yes it is climbing up a tree. we were really confused.

last night in the MTC! party with a dozen cupcakes, three dozen krispie kreame donuts and chips and salsa... noise makers of course to drive our hall crazy

trying to get everything to fit
Tampa missionaries 

this is Miss Sharon. She was our TRC investigator. I love her so much 

brother gleason! one of our MTC teachers

familiar faces!
selfie sundays!

la-bon-qui-qui she's our investigator that we teach

Sister Kitchen and I- bowling for preparation day last week!

this is how comp study looks to sister kitchen every day- me in my cocoon. 

sunsets at the yacht club-- it had stormed all day, so we didn't get a full blown sunset, but it was still gorgeous

the yw heart attacked our door- this ward is awesome.
Ronetta- a recent convert. Sister Sutton and I meet with her on Tuesdays. She is basically the most God loving woman I have ever met. I love her 
the first time biking in a skirt... basically the whole world saw everything. it's impossible to be modest i swear. one day i will master this skill.
that one day we biked down to base... on accident. 14 miles round trip. we wanted to die.

Monday, February 9, 2015

"YOMO" week 3

"you only missionary once" - sister kitchen.

hello from the heart of TAMPA!

Let's just do a round of facts shall we... this mission is very different than most...

my companion: SISTER KITCHEN. She's 6'1". From Fruit Heights, Utah. Wants to be a baker. Loves sweets and pretzels. Like Taylor Swift. Hates milk. Loves Tillamook Cheese. And she goes home in 6 weeks:( It kind of breaks my heart. But we get along great. It's fabulous. People are always shocked by our heights. It's a great conversation starter.

But since she leaves in 6 weeks... I'll either have another trainer for the last 6 weeks, or she's just going to have to train me in 6. President didn't really tell us. We're planning for the worst :) 

Also Sister Kitchen and Sister Chadwick (another sister that lives with us) are Sister Training Leaders. So twice a week for this whole transfer Sister Sutton (who just came this last week too) are going to be together. HA! We're scared but it'll be great. We're stepping far out of our comfort zone. 

area: we are serving in South Tampa and its gorgeous. We run less than 5 feet from Tampa Bay each morning and it's BEAUTIFUL. Supposedly this is the area everyone wants to be in. Our apartment is super nice. Our ward is about half military. MacDill Air Force Base is in our ward boundaries so we have lots of military families. The ward has about 150 people in it and there are 6 MISSIONARIES serving in this ward. Yeah. Still can't wrap my head around that one. At one point there was 11. It's insane. There is a set of Elders and then another set of Sisters that we live with-- Sister Chadwick and Sister Sutton. It's a party. 

Molly: she's the big mormon minivan we share with the sisters. Sister Kitchen and I were going to a park in downtown on Friday and we tried pulling into a parking garage. Sister Kitchen tried to squeeze into a spot, and we hit a car. It was an eventful afternoon. 

So President Cusick likes to keep us on our toes... Here's the rules for the Florida Tampa Mission that are different than the missionary handbook:
1. Workouts start AT 6 each morning. We wake up around 5:45. We have to do 40 min of cardio and then the rest is whatever we want it to be. Exercise is serious business here.
2. NO member dinners unless its a part member or an investigator is there. 
3. NO naps. We have 30 minutes for meals instead of an hour.
4. We wear our nametags on the right instead of the left.
5. Everything starts 5 minutes before it's actually suppose to. Being on time is critical.
6. No tracting. Street contacting for the win.
I think that's about all of them. I'm still learning! :)

Other randomness for mom: one ipad per companionship. No facebook. We just use it for the area book and planning purposes. I love it. I'm so grateful that we both don't have our own, it works out really well. 

Fun story of the week: there are members of our ward that live in a yacht club on Tampa Bay on their yacht. Yeah. Let that one soak in for a second. I still don't fully understand. But anyways- we ran around the docks for a half hour the other night trying to find their boat, we couldn't. But we're going back tonight because they have a friend they want us to teach... it just so happens that's we're going right at sunset... I'm just a little excited.

Things are going really great. Its a wonderful area and Sister Kitchen is teaching me lots. We just don't have very many people to teach. We walk and talk as we are searching for the people the Lord has prepared. And praying that the ward will start giving us more referrals... if you know anyone in South Tampa- let me know!! But really....

I love you all!
Sister Mal

my address is: 502 S Fremont Ave #816 Tampa, FL 33606

my FIRST night in the field-- this is dan. The sisters met him at Book of Mormon the musical last week as they were passing out pass along cards. We sang him happy birthday and took him cupcakes that Sister Kitchen made.

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

week 2-blood sweat and tears

blood sweat and tears

I don't have much time-- so I'll keep it short: but here we go.

BLOOD: Sister Sackley's nose hates the world. As a child I had horrible nose bleeds, and of course they have come back to haunt her in the MTC. I've tried everything. Right now I'm craving that Florida humidity so that my nose will stop being so dry. Luckily-- I have not dropped any blood on anything. The missionaries in my district are quite impressed with my 6th sense to be able to know EXACTLY when my nose will start to bleed. I carry tissues wherever I go and I can often be found running out of meetings with Sister Johnson trailing behind me. It's great.

SWEAT: Is there such a thing as spiritually sweating? Because we are learning so much and having so many cool experiences that my heart and mind have been working on overtime lately. We talked about how anytime anyone in the scriptures had an incredible spiritual experience they fell asleep or passed out right after... I mean: Joseph Smith, Sidney Rigdin, after Christ appeared in the Americas, Lehi, Lammon's father, the list goes on and on. Basically there is such a thing as spiritual exhaustion and by about 6 pm every night our district starts feeling it. It's great. We make the best time with it.

TEARS: Happy tears are the best kind of tears. We've been having a lot of them lately, especially with our sweat investigator Miss Sharon. I'll write a letter about her later- but she is wonderful and she has deepened my understanding of the atonement so much. She is also helping Sister Johnson and I prepare for some of the crazies in the South since she is from Tennessee. She is so fun though and someone that is just so easy to love. She's taught me more in just the couple hours that we've met with her than I ever thought I could learn. She's a blessing from heaven and I love her.

I head out to Tampa on Tuesday at 7:10 am! There are 13 of us travelling together but I only know the four other missionaries that are in my district. We're getting excited though. The MTC has been great- but we're off to way bigger and way better things :)

Sister Mal

and our zone vision brought to you by elder ellsworth (sing it to the pokemon theme song)
that one time we had a picnic on the floor in our room
temple walks again with the district
our district
and the TAMPA missionaries (there is a total of 13 of us flying out on tuesday)
some of the new notes we left for our new missionaries that came in this week hahahahha