Wednesday, August 27, 2014

Hipsters and T-Swizzle

This week was good here in Chippy! 

We had a good week full of recent convert and less active work! We hardly went street contacting this week, which is weird because usually that's all we do! But we still passed out a whole box of cards which has 500 cards in it. So yeah that tells you how much we contact haha :)

We got a few investigators this week. One's name is Koa and we had a lesson with him, but he's just one of those people that loves to learn about religion and visit different churches, but isn't willing to actually act on their knowledge or change. He kept telling us about how when he parties and gets drunk its his favorite time to pray... So we'll see how that goes. 

The second one is Ahmad, he's from Saudi Arabia and barely speaks english. Hahaha he probably had no idea what we were saying, but we taught him about Christ because he grew up Muslim but doesn't even know very much about that. It's crazy to talk to people who have such a totally different view of religion and God. We have another lesson with him this week though!

Then we met with Ian again, the guy i told you about last week. We had another lesson with him and taught him about repentance and talked a lot about pride vs. gratitude. It's kind of cool to think about, but pride and gratitude are opposites. Pride is the root of all sin and gratitude is the root of all Christ-like attributes. So if we want to become less prideful, we need to be more grateful. :) Ian came to church yesterday too, but he is kind of hard to work with. He's fine in lessons and agrees with everything we teach him, but as soon as we leave he thinks about all of these political issues he has with the church and its leadership. So I don't know how much longer we'll teach him, but we'll see. 

Also, i just want to take a moment and say that I've been freaking out all week because Taylor Swift announced her new album and released a new single. AHHHHH. Not okay. One of our recent converts showed me the album cover and I almost died. And yes and i am secretly praying that i hear her new song in the grocery store or something.... Hahaha so enjoy it everyone while i sit here taylor swift-less. :( 

On Friday we had a giant zone conference with Elder Anderson who is in the second quorum of the seventy! It was so good. 

President and Sister Wilson talked to us first and president talked about how questions are such an important and sacred part of our gospel. People think that we as a church don't like people who question our beliefs but that's not true at all. Joseph Smith had a question. We all have questions. And we encourage everyone to ask questions and seek answers from Heavenly Father. President also talked about the differences between Nephi and Laman. When you think about it, they both did many of the same things. They both followed their father into the wilderness, left their home and wealth, went to get the plates from Laban, built a ship, etc. But the difference was their attitude. We can't just do God's work with a grudging heart. We have to do it cheerfully! And when you look at the differences in Nephi and Laman's character, you see that Nephi's attitude ultimately made him a much greater man. So i just loved that. :)

Elder Anderson talked about a lot of things because he left it open to us to ask him questions. But he talked a lot about how when we teach investigators, first we have to teach them the doctrine and give them "head knowledge", but if we don't use the spirit to touch their hearts and give them "heart knowledge", then they will never be truly converted. So first, we teach their mind, then their heart, and then the spirit gives them desire, and when they have desire we invite them to act and accept commitments, then when they keep commitments their faith grows, then we repeat this process until their faith is strong enough to repent, and when they have faith and repent they will want to be baptized. So it's kind of a cool way to think about the conversion process. 

Then that night, Elder Anderson had a fireside for investigators and recent converts and we got to go because we had recent converts there! So that was good. 

Anyway, school is now in session! We call campus Babylon because of all the crazy people. Literally so many half naked people and all that. Plus, I've never been in one place with so many hipsters before. Richmond is crazy. One day we straight up had a 20 minute conversation with these two girls because they kept arguing with us, saying that we should be able to use drugs and hallucinogens to have visions of God. We were like.....nope! So yeah we see people walking around with beer, machetes, all sorts of crazy stuff. There is lots of people to talk to though, so its exciting! This week we're going to set up a lemonade stand so that will be fun :)

Sorry mom, but i only have like two pictures this week. Hahaha. One is of the side of the police station that's next door to our institute building, and it has this weird metal thing that's supposed to be a police man. And the other one is just the city as we were driving over the James River. I'm sorry! I forget to take pictures and have no time to! It's so unlike me. But I'll take some today and send them next week. :)

Today we are going to lunch with a recent convert named Katie in this place called Cary-town. It's supposed to have all these cute shops and restaurants, so that will be fun. :)

Things are going good here though! Still humid. Still hot. Still makes my hair weird. But its fun :) 

Love you all and miss you! 

xoxo Sister Fowers

Monday, August 18, 2014

School's Starting!


Can I just say that writing weekly emails is really hard. I don't remember anything that happened when i sit down to write it and we have no time! Frustrating. But i'll try to get better I promise! 

This week has been getting a little busier! Campus is starting to just fill up with people! School starts this week and I'm so excited!! When i got here, it was a struggle to find people to talk to, and now there are too many! Plus it's not even bad yet. So hopefully me and my companion don't feel totally overwhelmed by all the people this week. It'll be fun though :)

We've been doing a lot of recent convert and less active work lately. There are tons of converts in our ward and a lot of them go inactive and so we go visit them! Its fun to teach people my age though, I don't even know how i'm going to teach old people after this. :)

One of our recent converts is named Athalie and she is so funny. She ends every prayer even if its in church with, "Heavenly Father, we love you. You're the best. Amen." In the funniest diva voice, its hilarious. So we meet with you a few times a week and keep her strong spiritually. 

We've also been doing a lot of finding this week by texting old potentials in the area book. A few days ago we actually text a guy and he said he would meet with us, but he had just moved to Houston Texas. We were like we have missionaries everywhere!! So he gave us his address and we got to send a referral to some missionaries in Texas. So that was exciting :)

While we're texting people though, we get some interesting responses. Everyone is ruder and weirder when they can just text you i swear. Someone told us they worship the devil, one guy said "no, this is jonathan's evil twin. i'm only interested in the three d's. destruction, doom, and devastation.", and other people just curse at us! So super uplifting i know :) Haha we actually got a few appointments for this week by texting though!

On Wednesday we got invited to a recent convert named Emily's house for dinner and she said she was going to have her non-member boyfriend named Ian come! We were like yeah!! So then she tells us that he's met with missionaries in the past and is very resistant to the church and is very argumentative. So then we were a little nervous. But we went a just shared a message about faith and how when we truly have faith, it leads to action. When we were done we asked to close with a prayer and he said, "wait can we go in the other room? i have some questions for you guys." We were like umm, yes! So then he starts telling us how he has prayed about which church to join and he never feels like god answers his prayers. So we start teaching him about receiving revelation and all that stuff and he's just not having it. Then my companion asked a totally inspired question! She said "Ian, I'm going to ask you a question and i don't want you to answer right away. Think about it first, then answer. Do you believe God loves you?" and then he just sat there for a minute and then said no. Then Sister Clonts said, "Well, shouldn't your question not be which church is true, but Heavenly Father, do you love me?" 
Then he just totally opened up after that and told us how he never felt like god loved him and that he had ever been forgiven of his sins. He even started bawling hysterically. It was super awkward, but sad. Haha we were like, Ian we can help you with that!! So we told him to pray to know that god loves him and then make a list of all the things he is grateful for. 

Then on Saturday we had another lesson with him. Oh my goodness, you could just see the difference in his face! We taught him about how god loves us unconditionally and how because he loves us, he sent christ here to perform the atonement. We showed him the patterns of light mormon messages by elder bednar and it was just one of the coolest lessons of my mission so far. He went from being totally against what we taught when we first met him, to telling us that he felt god's love and would pray and read the book of mormon. Plus he said that he would get baptized when he knew it was true. The only problem is he is very logical and has a lot of political issues with the church, so i guess we'll just get to that later. But yeah we're working with him and things are looking up! 

Yesterday we had church and Ian came! Which was awesome. After church we had "sunday suppper" for the YSA's, so they feed the whole ward dinner once a month, so that was fun. 
The work is going good! I'm out of time though, so i gotta go! I'll send pictures next week! 
I love and miss you all! 

Sister Fowers :)

Thursday, August 14, 2014

A Baptism & A Cake


It's been a... interesting week here in Richmond haha :) It's been pretty slow when we go out contacting but this weekend people are going to start moving in for the school year so hopefully it will pick up! Elder Chuntz is one of the Senior missionaries in the ward and he told us during the school year that at the compass (this central spot on campus) there is so many people that we literally have to choose who we want to talk to because there's so many people! So that will be exciting because its pretty barren right now. But this week has just been weird and we've talked to only weirdies it feels like. 

Anyway. There's actually five sets of missionaries in our ward! Haha crazy right?? I guess there's just so many people to find in this area that we need that many, but it's fun because we have a senior couple (the Chuntz's), our companionship, the sister training leaders, the district leaders, and the assistants to the President all in one ward! So we get to see each other and be friends, it's awesome.

We actually had dinner at the Chuntz's last night and they are the funnies most awesome old people ever. Ah! I love them. Elder Chuntz was a lawyer and Sister Chuntz started her own business so they are really wealthy and just buy stuff and do nice things for the missionaries all the time. Next week Sister Chuntz is paying for the sisters to all get haircuts, she is so cute. And the dinner last night was home cooked and just so good. 

Oh and guess what! Remember Schic that i told you about? He got baptized on saturday!! Woohoo! It was awesome. We made him a cake and it was a great baptism. So that was exciting :) I'll send some pictures.

Dad, thats awesome about the stake program for family history work! I wish i had time to still do it, but you guys will have to just learn haha :) No i don't really get blisters anymore, I'm getting used to walking all day. I'm glad my garden isn't completely dead yet ha! Is the horse still evil? Probs.

Mom, no we don't really get fed at all... we're in a YSA. So we eat all of our own food! A convert bought us groceries the other day but that's about it! Um, i haven't had that many weird experiences yet- just talking to hobos is always a treat! They like to talk to us or something because we always get stopped by them. We walk through Monroe Park every day to get to campus and they all just sit in the park and talk to each other its so funny. 

One night we were talking to an Iranian guy and he told my companion that her nose was crooked and she needed surgery and that he knew that Christ isn't the son of God because one time he was one the toilet smoking and he hadn't eaten anything before, so he passed out and was about to die, but then he recited some Muslim saying that says Jesus isn't the Christ and then he came back to life. So yeah. People here are nuts hahaha. We were like.... uhhh all you did was pass out on the toilet? Anyway, other that weird stuff like that, not really!  

No we don't have ipads and i don't know when we'll get them, hopefully during my mission sometime but no one knows. Lame! They would be so useful!  Hahaha my companion's mom's name is Alyson Ritchie Clonts and yes, you can look her up on facebook, don't be creepy though ha :) No one has been mean to us, people here love Jesus and missionaries most of the time. No i don't have allergies. For Pday today we're just relaxing, but there's tons of museums and tourist sight here so i'm sure we'll go to those eventually. There's also a Forever 21!!! Ahh so i'm probably going to go shopping one of these mondays, no joke. :) Tell Park that unless he makes cool videos or something with his drone, then that seems lame. :) I don't need any fall clothes yet, its still hot! But i'll let you know. 

Other than that it's going good! My companion also loves books and Pride and Prejudice so we talk about that a lot. :) Last pday we went bowling and the picture is us in our shoes and dresses. Yup, i bowled in a dress. Wouldn't recommend it. Haha :)

 I'm still getting used to the missionary life but everything is going great! What else do you guys want to know?

Tell me what else is going on at home! Love you guys!
xoxo Sister Fowers :)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The New Greenie on Campus!

Hello everyone!!

Ahh I have so much to tell you and no time! We only get an hour and a half every week to email everyone and our mission president so if my friends and peeps could send me a letter or email me your address that would be great! Because it looks like letters are gonna have to do it from now on! 

Thanks for all the email and love though! You are all the best. 

I'm sending pictures finally but it only lets me send like 2 at a time so be prepared for a bombardment. ha!

Now for the good stuff :)

So, it was really hard to leave the mtc, there was so many great people and teachers and yeah i cried it was sad. BUT i'm so excited to finally be here in VA! I got here on monday and we spent the night at the mission home, which is so cute. President and Sister Wilson are just the funniest, cutest people ever. President cries at like every single meeting its so funny. Then we woke up the next day to get our first area and meet our trainers! 

Drum roll please......... My trainer is Sister Clonts!! Ah she is so awesome. :) She has been out here for about 13 months and is from Claremont California! She is such a good trainer and we get along so well and I'm not just saying that. Heavenly Father keeps blessing me with good companions. But yeah she is so obedient and such a hard worker. She's also like the best scriptorian i've ever met! She knows every single story in the BOM and Bible and who its about and what the reference is. Oh my goodness it comes in handy when we are practically bible bashing with people and she can just whip out every scripture in the bible to show them what's actually true. So basically she has shown me i need to know the bible so much better so that's what i'm working on right now. 

Also, guess where my first area is......... CHIPPENHAM YSA!!!!!! ON VIRGINIA COMMONWEALTH UNIVERSITY CAMPUS!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Yep. I'm on a college campus. In downtown Richmond. In a YSA ward. Basically everything i wanted. HOLLLA!!!! Oh my goodness I can't even tell you how much i love it. So VCU is like the sweetest campus ever, they took all of these old victorian/colonial houses and turned them into classrooms, so they like built VSU into the city and so i just walk down the cutest streets lined with threes and super old adorable houses all day and talk to people about Jesus. 

Life is good.

We have cards and we just walk around downtown all day on campus or just in the ghetto and hand them out and get people to talk to us. Street contacting for daaayyysss. :) its so fun. Also, I've officially decided that black people are way nicer than white people. I talk to them all day long and they are so awesome. Everyone here says "have a blessed day" instead of goodbye its so cute. 

Plus its summer right now but school is going to start in a few weeks and then we will have so much more work! Ah its like i never left college ;) 

The ward is so good, i went yesterday and everyone is so awesome. its full of recent converts and i've realized that i've like never been exposed to very many converts and they just amaze me! They sacrifice so much and have so much faith in something they just barely learned, its crazy! So yeah the members here are awesome and come to lessons with us all the time. 

It's been a little rainy this week, but not that hot surprisingly. Everyone says that its been really nice weather and i haven't even felt the heat yet. One day though it was way humid and you would have died if you could have seen my hair. AFRO! Hahaha hopefully it will adjust to the humidity.  

I live in a little townhouse thing about 20 minutes outside of Richmond. If you want to send me anything, letters or packages send it to this address!

6820 Dartmouth Ave.
Richmond, VA 23226

We're teaching this guy named Schic (sounds like sheek) and he is the funniest most awesome guy ever. My companion and her old companion found him and when i got here he was already ready to be baptized and stuff so we're just finishing teaching him all the lessons before his baptism. For my friends, he is the black version of Kade Criswell, so yeah he is hilarious. 

We had some other investigators but everyone like left for a few weeks before schools starts, so we can't teach them until then. But we just go out and contact every day and try to find new people to teach! 

Here's one cool story that's already happened! 
So we get referrals and my comanion had a sticky note full of names and addresses of referrals. So we had time one day to go try to contact some, so we picked this girl to go visit because her address was the only one that was even kind of close to us. We typed her address into the GPS and went. We knocked on the door and no one answered, so we just left a pass along card in the door. Then there was this old man across the street, so we went and talked to him for a little bit and gave him a card too. He wasn't very intersted though, so we left. Then we marked on the sticky note that we had visited this house. 
Fast forward a few days and it was later at night and campus was dead so we decided to go try and contact this referral again! So we looked on the sticky note and made sure it was the same address, and then the GPS even still had it saved, so we just clicked on the same address and started driving. 
This time though, when we got there we were so confused because we were on a total different street and house? We were like what the heck? We know this is the same address and the GPS took us to the same address, but we're in a totally different place? We just figured we'd see if this was her house or not though, so we knocked on the door. Turns out the girl had moved a year or so ago and so a guy answered the door and told us she was gone and he lived there now. So we asked if he was interested, he said not really, and we gave him a card anyway. 
So, even though that story seems kinda lame, I know that we used the same address and that one of those people must have needed to meet us. I don't know why, and I probably never will, but it was just cool to see that the Lord does things his way and does whatever it takes to accomplish what he needs accomplished. So yeah it was crazy. :)

I don't even know what else to tell you guys but its is awesome here and basically I got the most coveted area in the mission for my first area. #blessed :) 

Send me pictures and letters! 

What else do you guys want to know?

You're all awesome and I love hearing from you guys :)

Oh and happy late birthday to Millie and Weston!!!!!! Send me pictures of Weston's party please :)

I'm doing great so don't worry! I've never had so many blisters on my feet but its fine :) 

Love and miss you all! 

xoxo Sister Fowers :)

Leaving the MTC

The mission home! Darling isn't it?

Beautiful Virginia

Kaycee and her first companion Sister Clonts