Tuesday, March 31, 2015

week 10


PEPE TANUVASA. IM LITERALLY FREAKING OUT RIGHT NOW. IM SO STOKED. LIKE I SCREAMED IN THE LIBRARY AND EVERYONE IS STARING AT ME. but really. You've officially been called to the best mission on earth and I CAN'T WAIT for you to join me out here! AHHHHHHHHHH!!!! :)

To everyone else.... 

Because all the hobos are on the computers at the library today... I don't have a lot of time! But it's all good. Here's a little story for your week!

The Tampa mission is starting what we are calling, "A Vacation from Cars" for the next two weeks. Basically the cars are parked and there are very few exceptions to when we can drive... or in other words- bring on the tan!! 

But we've been low on miles this month, so we've already been biking a ton this past week. We were leaving an appointment and headed to the church and we realized we were running late. So we were biking hard, and it was HOT. We stopped at a stop sign and I turned to Sister Judkins and just started laughing. We were hot, so sweaty, and we were both struggling to properly ride a bike in a skirt. As we were laughing hysterically at the corner, a man road past us on a bike and said, "Are you mormons!?" To which we responded, "YES!" 

He turned around and said, "I could tell by the smiles!"

We talked to him for a little bit and he told us that he can always spot a Mormon by the smiles and that he had met with missionaries probably 20 years ago in Hawaii. We didn't talk long, and he wasn't too interested in meeting with the missionaries again... but clearly a simple smile can go a long way. 

We are continually told that we need to make sure we look sharp and presentable, but in a moment of stress, sweat and craziness, a smile ended up going a long way.

Love all of you... but Pepe most because he's coming THIS WAY! :)
Sister Mal

let's call this week the week where EVERY picture my mouth is open and my eyes are wide. i'll work on better faces in the future :)

mad's package. you're the bomb.com

this is ballast point park- basically our favorite place to go contacting

the bug bites are getting real. bug spray is no joke here. 

leap it out. don't freak out. thank you sister kitchen

we had a leadership meeting on the beach this week... but ended up pouring within a half hour of being there. DANG IT. so i have no pictures of the beach, except for us leaving.... just picture teal waters and WHITE sand. it was beautiful.

"god is in control" thank you random church for making my day better.

Monday, March 23, 2015

week 9

SISTER JUDKINS!! She's 19, from Spanish Fork, UT and is ready to work hard. She's diligent and determined and she puts up with me. So basically she's awesome.

The quickest way to trust God and "lean not unto thine own understanding" is by having NO understanding. Then suddenly you realize the only thing you can do is trust God and ask for His help. I've been thinking a lot about Proverbs 3:5 lately because it seems to explain where I'm at pretty well. And whoever says God doesn't have a sense of humor is wrong.

This last week I've been relying on what I've been taught in 6 weeks and the Lord's help. But I shouldn't have because the Lord truly wants me to only lean on Him. I've been given the opportunity of being a sister training leader this transfer, and God is truly the only one that knows why!

When I think about it-- why wouldn't I lean on God? He's never failed me before, why am I afraid now? God's trust is an incredible thing. When I think about everything that's happened so far on my mission I can recognize distinct times that God trusted me with a specific task. Have I always done what He's asked of me? I wish I could say yes. But He still trusts me. It truly is an empowering thought to me. It also allows me to realize that trusting God is simple for He will not fail me, even when I fail Him.

Every moment that I possibly can is now spent trusting in God and His is directing my path-- because let's be honest, I have nothing else to go off of!! We can accomplish anything with the help of the Lord, we just need to trust. He knows best, He always has, and always will.

Alma 38:5 "As much as ye shall put your trust in God even so much ye shall be delivered out of your trials and your troubles and your afflictions"

Lean on God. He will direct you at all times.

I love you all!
Sister Mal

the lovely Sister Judkins! taken seconds before emailing so that we could have a picture together haha

working hard at it's finest.

brother lewis- our ward mission leader. he's our very favorite. he took my ipad and was having a great time taking pictures

our open house flyers.... haha just kidding. we got rid of the end.

 sister sutton the mummy. 

this is ian. when we were in a trio this week it was my job to keep him busy while the other sisters taught his mom... we had a good time :)

packages from bails... feasting on candy for days!
a drive in church- basically come to church in your pajamas and the preacher preaches from the boat. really tampa?!

Monday, March 16, 2015


Well friends and family.

Transfer calls are here. 

I'm training.

I've been out 6 weeks. 

I'm officially the little train at the bottom of the hill, I'm huffing and puffing and terrified. But I keep saying to myself, I think I can! I think I can! Bless this new sister's heart. Basically we'll be training each other. 

But since Sister Kitchen left me this week, and I am beyond sad about that. I've been thinking a lot about what she personally has taught me about the mission in just our short 6 weeks together. 

The first thing I ever heard her say was, "Don't freak out". And let me tell you, she never let me. It was great. She kept me focused and calm. She helped me set things aside and recognize that I couldn't change what was out of my circle of influence. She kept me in my circle. 

She taught me to laugh when all I wanted to do was cry. I will spend the rest of my life thanking her for that one.

Sister Kitchen taught me truly how fun a mission can and should be. She taught me how to work hard while also having the time of my life. She taught me how to find the perfect balance and truly enjoy the journey.

She taught me about Chocolate Trinity... the best ice cream in the world. She taught me how to love sweets and how to run hard the next morning.

She taught me how to love the members, the investigators, the less-actives, the other missionaries, the random man on the street that yells at us, and everyone else. 

She taught me just how short a mission truly is and how to stay in the moment.

She taught me to face my fears dead on, time and time again. She wouldn't let me get away with anything. She made me do things that I didn't want to do, and oh how grateful I am for that.

She taught me to live by faith and how to teach by the spirit.

Basically, I have NO idea what to do without her. And I just hope I can be half of as amazing as she was to me. The Lord knew we needed to be together for her last transfer, and I'm so glad that I got to be her companion before she went home.

Pray for my trainee this week. Heaven knows she will need it!

Love you all!
Sister Mal

Norman rockwell- ALL of the saturday posts covers. there was a ton more. it was awesome.

norman rockwells paintings were in town this week. we went for the rest of our pday last week. it was AWESOME.

also fidelity sponsored it... shout out to you dad!

tampa love!!

the trees engulf the streets here... like way more than home. the trees are awesome. i just love it.

booker. my favorite person on earth. we're teaching him right now. he's the sweetest man ive ever met in my life.

our favorite sign
this is the senior couple that lives downstairs from us... they are our FAVORITE. 
 living room sleepover!!

waffle house with the Lewis' this morning! They are my favorite family. Bro Lewis is the ward mission leader and they always take the missionaries here the morning they leave.


Saying Goodbye to Sister Kitchen and also Sister Brough. We will miss them :(

Thursday, March 12, 2015

week 7 "it's the best message you could share"

can i just say... waiting 10 days for a pday with daylight savings and then waking up at 4 am to go to the temple is hard. like im a zombie. but yay for emails!!!

It's been a crazy week filled with meetings and trainings. We even ended up in Orlando this morning! We went to the temple and it was incredible. Sister Kitchen takes off on Monday and words can't even begin to describe how sad I will be. I'm trying to convince her to serve back-to-back missions, she won't have it though. Transfers come Saturday!

Quotes for the week from two of our investigators:
"I read the book. And it is so good. The Book of Mormon is SO good. You know how you said it helps bring families together? Well even for me, as an individual, it brings all the pieces in my life together. The Book of Mormon brings me so much peace. It's the best message you could share. God is good" 

"My preacher told me to stop meeting with you two, but I told my preacher, 'You can't tell me what to do!!' And I just love having y'all over too much!"

"I can't find anything wrong with what you believe. And trust me, I've tried hard looking for things! But you two just bring the best spirit, I can't find anything wrong with your church!"

All of these might have been followed by Sister Sackley doing a little happy dance, but it truly is an incredible experience when someone else starts to feel the power of God in their life. And it's even more powerful when they recognize what the restored gospel can do for them. Day and day again I just feel so blessed that I have the opportunity to be able to share the message with people. It truly is "the best message you could share". Before I left, I don't think I realized how much I took the gospel for granted. My eyes have been opened, and I'm so grateful they have.

Love you all!
Sister Mal

ps: Bails is the REALIST.

seriously-- we are so lucky. the stocks (the people who live on their boat) live the greatest life ever. one day i want to be them.

this is ivory-- she reminds me a lot of brooklyn woodley- her dad is even the 2nd counselor in the bishopric and they have 4 boys and one girl. she drew up pictures this week. we love her.

that one time walgreens had a 2 for 5 bucks sale. we bought matching shirts. 

the city from a less actives house... it was a super pretty view

we taught a lesson over the phone, in the candy isle this week. it was awesome. we were also talking loud enough that the whole store probably learned about the plan of salvation. ooops? not so much.

florida has the COOLEST birds ever. i chase them everywhere. this is just one of my favorites. 

sunburnt and its only march... my poor skin is going to die.

the coolest flowers ever... they are super fuzzy

zone meeting! featuring our new neighbors- the McAra's. they are the best! They just got home from a mission in Sydney Australia and are the newest missionaries of the tampa mission

we're 4 year old girls that dress alike on a daily basis.... it got a little out of hand today especially 

we're a little too tall for these poor sisters

all the missionaries that came to the temple this morning!

it was a long day for us all.