Monday, November 24, 2014

A Thankful Heart

Yo Yo Yo!
How is everyone?? Freezing? Its 70 degrees outside right now in Virginia nbd... :)
Haha anyway this week has been so good!!! Not even kidding Heavenly Father has been putting so many awesome people in our path. Not complaining!
Earlier in the week we had some lessons with some really nice guys. One's name is Kameron and he was just super sincere. As we started the lesson, he just nonchalantly pullled out a notebook and pen and started taking notes as we taught him haha! I've never had anyone do that, but it was awesome. I said the quote, "there's no growing in a comfort zone and no comfort in a growth zone" and he made me repeat it so he could write it down hahaha.
Then we taught this guy named Jonny and he is also just really awesome. I'm always amazed by people who are super open-minded about religion and other people's viewpoints. But it was cool because we were going to meet him on campus for the lesson and me and my companion both accidentally handed out our copies of the Book of Mormon on campus before the lesson so we didn't have one to give him! But then it turned out that he already had it on his Kindle! #elect. :)
Then that night we had a lesson set up to meet that Muslim guy Abraham that I told you about last week? Yeah, so we had never taught him but we assumed he would just come alone and we would teach him. Nope! He brought 3 of his friends and said that he would have brought more but he didn't know how big the room would be hahaha. So we just taught 4 Muslim guys all at the same time it was hilarious. They had no idea what any of the Christian principles were so we had to kind of start from the beginning and explain everything. But they were super awesome and we are getting them some Arabic Book of Mormons! And they said they would cook us some Arabic food? Who knows haha :)
The problem right now is EVERYONE is leaving for Thanksgiving break and is suuuupppper busy with finals. So no one has time to meet with us. I don't know what we are going to do over thanksgiving break but it will be interesting!
We are having Thanksgiving dinner at Elder and Sister Chuntz's house on Thursday! They are just the best, it will be so fun. :)
We've also still been meeting with our investigator Gina! She is doing pretty well and came to a baptism the other night and loved it. We are trying to figure out how best to teach her because she's not really retaining anything. We are shooting for her to get baptized in January, so we'll see.
Random story: we were street contacting on campus and we gave a card to this girl and so she looked at it, then got really mad and tried to throw the card really hard and hit us but instead it kinda just fluttered to the ground.... it was really awkward. So I just picked the card up and we kept walking haha.
Today we went ice skating for sisters pday! So that was fun :) We got to wear pants and it felt weird.
I hope that everyone has a wonderful Thanksgiving this week!!!
Here are some things I am grateful for:

  • The Gospel of Jesus Christ!
  • That I get to be a missionary and put on my name-tag everyday.
  • My Family!
  • Tights (its cold out there!)
  • Missionary approved music ;)
  • Friends
  • Utah! (When is VA going to get a cafe rio??)
  • The Scriptures
  • Email haha :)
  • Prayer
  • Pictures
  • The missionaries I serve with
  • All the tender mercies Heavenly Father sends my way.
I could go on forever... But I am so grateful for all of the blessing I have been given.

Psalms 100:4 "Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name."
President Uchtdorf said "Gratitude is a catalyst to all Christlike attributes! A thankful heart is the parent of all virtues."
 That is so true. If we can truly become grateful, we can slowly but surely become more like the Savior every day.
I know that this is Christ's true church on the earth and I'm so grateful to be a part of it and to share it with others.
I love you all!
XOXO Sister Fowers

Sister missionaries

Kaycee and her companion 

More missionaries

Growing sunflowers in a tiny pot

Monday, November 17, 2014

Bible Study,Gospel Principles, and Pres

Hey hey! 

How is everyone?? Hopefully you're staying warm! I thought it was cold here in Virginia, but it sounds like it is way colder in Utah. It has been in the 30's and 40's here, and its super rainy today, but as long as there's not snow I'm good! 

I will admit though, that we already have a Christmas tree up in our apartment, listen to Christmas music in the car, and sing Christmas hymns every morning for comp study. You could say we're a little excited. 

This week has been so good though! We have seriously seen so many miracles. 

Before I get into all that can I just tell you a story I forgot to tell you last time? Hahaha. 

So, a few weeks ago we were just contacting on campus and we stopped a girl and gave her a card. She took it, walked away, and then turned back around and asked us if we wanted to come to a bible study that she was going to right then on campus. So we were like... sure! Why not? Maybe she'll come to church if we come to her bible study? So, as we're walking there we're talking to her and she tells us that the bible study ends at 9:00 but that we could leave whenever because the guy that is like the preacher was really cool and chill about it (not true). So we told her we probably would leave early because we have a curfew. 

So we get in there and its kind of like a non-denominational Christian bible study and its just a room full of about 30 people. We take a seat next to some random people and the guy is just talking about a lot of different topics in the bible. Its so interesting to compare religions, I love it haha. The whole time I just have to stop myself from being like "actually.... thats not true." Haha so throughout the study this guy just gets weirder. He went up to this girl who was leaning on her arm sleeping and he like ripped her arm out from under her head to wake her up and make her listen it was so weird. 

Then someone stood up and left early and he made this huge big deal about it in front of everyone. We were like uh oh.... he's gonna get mad when we have to leave early! So like 8:45 rolls around and we're already gonna be late, so I just look at my companion and we decide to just get up and leave anyway. 

So I was wearing a yellow cardigan that day, and as we stand up to leave the guy starts making a scene about us leaving. He was like "Yeah, yeah, go! Its alright the door is right there." But clearly he was mad that we didn't want to sit and listen to him anymore. 

So as we are walking toward the door, he stops and says to the whole room, "You see that girl in the yellow sweater? She was saved when she was a teenager." 

So I turn around and am just like uh...? What? 

Then he looks at us and is like, "Wait, wait, listen. Listen to me prophecy to you right now. Let me guess you are forming a women's organization that will travel over seas." 

At this point we are just really confused and feeling super awkward because everyone is staring at us and this guy is nuts. So we're just like "Um, yeah sure." It was like he was trying to prove to the whole class that he was a prophet it was so weird. 

Then he says, "Let me give you some advice. Get rid of the box." And he makes the shape of a square in the air with his fingers. Then he says, "If I never see you again, see you in Heaven." Then he just salutes at us and we just got out of there asap. Hahahaha. 

So, basically I had a crazy guy try and prophesy about me. It was so weird. I always read about other religions in the Book of Mormon and all the prophesies about how corrupt they'd get in the last days but I never actually saw any of that in Utah. Then I came here and hello! False prophets everywhere. I love our Prophets. The whole time that guy was talking you could just see in him that he was doing it for money or for the praise of men. 

Anyway, interesting weird experience overall. hahaha welcome to the bible belt! 

This week we have found so many new people to teach!! It has been so awesome! So many referrals poured in and we just had a ton more lessons. Prayer is real guys. :) We taught this guy named Joshua McCormick and he was just super cool. He is a touring musician though, so he's super busy and can't meet with us again until December.
So pray that his schedule will free up! 

Also, this Sunday Gina came to church! We have been teaching her a lot, but she struggles to keep commitments and come to church, so we're still undecided about when she should be baptized. We had these other three guys come to church as well, and we hadn't even taught them yet. We actually met one of them, his name is Abraham, in Monroe park and he is from Saudi Arabia and he wanted to come to church but wouldn't give us his number, so we gave him ours. Usually if we give people our number they never text us... so its lame. But he actually text us Saturday and said he was coming to church and bringing his two friends! 

Haha so they all come to church and they're all from Saudi Arabia. The friends names were Ali and Moo. They are Muslim and looked very confused the whole time hahaha. 

So we're in Gospel Principles and we did like a get to know you question and everyone went around and answered it. So the question was, "What is your coolest scar and how'd you get it?"

So everyone goes around and answers and it gets to be Abraham's turn and he says that his only scar was on his fingers from moving the coals around when he smokes hookah.......... hahaha. Yup! It was so funny and awkward.

Happy 4 months to me yesterday! Ahh time is going by so fast! I was talking to my companion this morning about going on missions and how everyone needs to go on one!!! Seriously. If anyone ever asks me if they should go, I will tell them yes. Every time. Because there are just so many things to learn on a mission and you can't learn them any other way!!!
Go on missions peeps!! 

Last week we had a testimony meeting at President Wilson's house about handing out books at the Book of Mormon play and it was just so powerful and awesome. At the end, it was about 9:00, so we all kneeled down in the family room of the mission home and had a family prayer together. President Wilson said it and it was just the most powerful prayer ever. He is just such a great mission president. It was so cool to see how much he prayed for us and loves us and how he speaks to Heavenly Father. At the end, we were crying. It just made me think of how much our Heavenly Father loves us and how much he wants us to succeed. 

Things are going so great here! I love Richmond and will be so sad if I have to leave! Transfers are in two weeks, so we'll see. Pray that I stay here!!! 

I'm so grateful for all the love and support, you guys are great! Happy almost Thanksgiving! 

Love you all!

XOXO Sister Fowers

Monday, November 10, 2014

You've seen the play, now read the book!

Well this week has been a little different than most! Some exciting things have been goin down here in RVA. :)

Last Sunday President Wilson had most of the missionaries in the Richmond area meet together to talk about the Book of Mormon play that was coming to Richmond. I had been hearing rumors that is was coming for a few months, but I wasn't sure when so I was so excited that it was coming while I was here!

So, we got to the church and President told us that there was going to be 8 shows over the course of the week and that we were going to be standing outside the theater at every showing handing out copies of the Book of Mormon and talking to people! We were so pumped!! He told us he expected to hand out a few hundred copies of the Book of Mormon and that is was mostly a public affairs deal, more than a proselyting thing. 

As I'm sure you know, this play is definitely not made by the church and is super crude and basically a satire that makes fun of missionaries. Haha so our plan was just to show people what Mormon missionaries are actually like. :) 

Tuesday was the first show and at first we were standing right outside the doors, handing out cards and books..... but then we got kicked off the property hahaha. The cops said we couldn't hand anything out in front of the theater. So! We just went across the street, to the corner next to the theater, and basically every way that people had to walk to get there. So it was no biggie. :) 

Before the play started no one really wanted to talk to us. I think we handed out some cards and a few books, but nothing crazy. A lot of people laughed in our faces, said rude things, yada yada. BUT, after the play was a different story. 

Throughout the week, no one wanted to talk to us before, but after the play ended we were giving out boxes and boxes and boxes of books. IT WAS CRAZY! People would come back and ask for a book and want to take pictures with the elders haha, I've never seen anything like it. 

This is what President Wilson said in his weekly email this week:

"Finally, a marvelous work and a wonder were done in connection with the play The Book of Mormon. We distributed approximately 2,000 copies of the Book of Mormon to theater goers. The missionaries that helped with this service represented us all very well. People thought our missionaries were cast members. They wanted to take pictures with them. Our missionaries were great in being friendly about the gospel and inviting people to learn more."

2,000 copies of the Book of Mormon! It was crazy. We handed out pretty much every Book of Mormon in the mission, and we even had to go get some boxes from the D.C. South mission, and we still ran out. 

Elder Collie, an elder in our ward even got interviewed on the news for it. I think you could find it online somewhere haha. It was just crazy.
 It was cool to be a part of it and give people a chance to see what the Book of Mormon actually is, and testify to them in just a few short seconds that we knew it was true and would change their life. :) One of the prophets said that the Book of Mormon will flood the earth, and it is! 

Other than that, we've just been busy trying to find new people to teach! It's hard to kind of just start over fresh with investigators, but I know there are

more people here who are ready! We just need to find them. :) 

Not much else is new! Last Sunday we watched the CES devotional and it was in the Odgen tabernacle and that was crazy to see! I saw some people in the audience that I knew. 

I hope all is going great at home! Thanks for all the love and support! 
Love you!

XOXO Sister Fowers

Monday, November 3, 2014

Ease Your Burdens

Hola familia! (do I sound like an Hermana?) 

This week was just cray cray. It was probably the slooowwwest week of my mission so far. We had like... a total of 4 appointments actually follow through. 

All the rest didn't show. 

People are just disappearing its so weird!! So we've been trying so hard all week to find new investigators. Texting old potentials, street contacting, referrals, you name it. But hopefully this week turns things around! 

Last week on P-day we went to Belle Isle (I sent a bunch of pics of course)! There's a bridge that crosses the James River and under the bridge there is a little suspended bridge that people can walk across to Belle Isle, which is all these cool rocks and stuff down on the river. It was such a nice day and the leaves were changing, so pretty. 

It's been super cold outside this week, like freezing all of the sudden. IM NOT READY FOR WINTER. I've heard horror stories about winter in Virginia, so it should be fun. 

We had a super amazing experience this week. We met with an investigator, I won't say who it is just because its personal, but its a girl and she is just going through the hardest time right now. She's really young, in college, and she told us a little bit ago that she was pregnant with twin girls but that her family didn't want anything to do with it, and wouldn't help her at all. The father also basically left her to figure it out. Then one night, she text us and said that she went to the emergency room and that they told her that it was a high risk pregnancy and that she'd have to be on bed rest until the babies were born. We went and visited her, and she seemed like she was doing great despite the hard situation. Then, the next day she text us and told us that she had a miscarriage and lost both babies. We were just heart broken for her. We went to her apartment and just sat on her bed with her while she cried. We read Mosiah 24 with her and the spirit just filled the room. 

13 And it came to pass that the voice of the Lord came to them in their afflictions, saying: Lift up your heads and be of good comfort, for I know of the covenant which ye have made unto me; and I will covenant with my people and deliver them out of bondage.

14 And I will also ease the burdens which are put upon your shoulders, that even you cannot feel them upon your backs, even while you are in bondage; and this will I do that ye may stand as witnesses for me hereafter, and that ye may know of a surety that I, the Lord God, do visit my people in their afflictions.

15 And now it came to pass that the burdens which were laid upon Alma and his brethren were made light; yea, the Lord did strengthen them that they could bear up their burdens with ease, and they did submit cheerfully and with patience to all the will of the Lord.

That chapter is so powerful. We talked to her about how sometimes God doesn't promise that he will take our burdens, but that he will help us carry them. As we sat and talked to her, I just felt so unqualified. I've never, ever dealt with anything like this. Who am I to tell her everything is going to be okay? I can't even say that I know how she feels. 

But that is the whole message that we carry as missionaries. 

I will never know what she felt when she lost those babies. I'm just a young girl myself. But I do know, that Christ knows exactly how she feels.  He alone has carried her burdens. And he alone can make them light, just like Alma and his brethren. That is such a comfort to me as a missionary. I don't have to know everything or experience everything to help people. I'm just guiding them to the one person who does and has. 

Then she just turned to us and said, "can we say a prayer?" I will never forget that prayer. I know that the gospel is the only way we can truly find healing from life's blows. Life is so hard! But it's never too hard that we can't reach out to our Savior and ask for His help. 

I'm so grateful I get to help people in just the little ways that I can here in Virginia. There's nothing more rewarding! 

Thanks for all the love, I just love hearing from you all. :)

XOXO, Sister Fowers