Monday, January 26, 2015

"Have you ever actually bought bread?"

Hellooooooo everyone :)

This week has been so good! I feel like I just barely wrote you, but I'll try to make this good anyway ;)

On Wednesday we taught a lady named Diana! She is a referral from a family in the ward. I can't remember if I told you about her, but the first time we stopped by her house she opened the door and started ranting about how she didn't have time to talk to us and didn't even let us say anything before she went to slam the door, then we hurried and said, "We're friends of the Pixton's!" and then her whole demeanor changed and she said, "Ohhh! Come in I'm so sorry I was rude! You're from the Latter-day Saints! I thought you were Jehovah's Witnesses and I just didn't have time for them tonight." Hahaha it was funny. But then she said she had talked to Sister Pixton a lot about the church and came to some activities in the past and would love to meet with us. So we went over on Wednesday and taught her the restoration. She basically just asked us question after question about what we believe and why we were on missions and just about mormons in general. She was like amazed at how home-make-ish we all are. She was like, "You bake bread..... who bakes homemade bread? Do they teach you to make bread? Have you ever actually bought bread??" Hahaha we were dying. But she is just fascinated by our church and kept calling it beautiful :) She is super sincere and seeking the truth. We asked her if she would be baptized if she knew it was true and she said that it would break her family's heart because they are all devout catholics. But she agreed to read the Book of Mormon and pray about it and she told us she wasn't going to say no because there is "obviously something that is drawing her to this church" and she said she's been thinking about joining for a year.
 It never ceases to amaze me how Heavenly Father prepares people's hearts!! 

It was also really cool because Sister Pixton had already given her a B.o.M. and marked chapters for her to read. Such a good example to me of member missionary work.
 So do your missionary work people! :)

We've also been working with a lot of less actives lately. Can I just say that less actives break my heart? It's so sad to see someone lose the fire of the gospel. And it always seems to be the result of not dong the little things like reading, praying, going to church.
  The simple things matter!

We also had zone conference this week! We met down in Fredricksberg. One of my favorite things that President said was, "Worry as missionaries comes from pride." 

I had never thought of it that way. If we worry about our investigators, we are prideful.
 We don't understand that the only true converter is the Spirit.

If we worry about looking stupid or silly while sharing the gospel it is because we are prideful. We are fearing man more than God. 

If we worry about our lives back home or how things will be after our missions we are prideful. We don't trust that Heavenly Father has a plan for us.

Isn't it crazy how it all comes back to pride?? 

Also, we had a great training on attitude. A favorite quote:
"There's no such thing as a bad companion. There's no such thing as a tough area. There's no such thing as a hard mission. But, there is such thing as a bad attitude." That is so true!!
 We should never let our circumstances get in the way of our happiness. 

Sister Wilson also talked to us about online proselyting. AKA: Ipads! Don't get excited though, our mission hasn't heard any news about them. And we aren't getting them yet. Haha but I am praying that we do soon! 

Then on Saturday we had a lesson with Rosa! She is straight up the funniest old French lady I've ever met. Well, she's the only French old lady I've ever met, but she's still my favorite. :) Her house is full of pictures of cats hahaha. And pictures of Dior ads because she used to be a makeup artist for Dior. So funny. We taught her the restoration though and she totally understood it! Even with her broken english. Half way through the lesson she even blurted out that she wants to be baptized! Haha we were like ummm yes! But she said she wants to wait until the spring.... noooo hahaha. We'll work on the date. :) But she came to church yesterday and loved it! She kept talking to everyone in French and she wore dark red lipstick and sunglasses. I love her. She calls us her grandchildren and kisses us on the cheek a lot haha :) 

Sad news though, we stopped by Naomi's the other night and she said she is too busy with school to meet with us :( I was sooooo sad. But hopefully she will come back around. 

Everything here is going great though! I love this place and the people here. Lovin life!
You are all great. Hope you have a wonderful week!

XOXO Sister Fowers

Tuesday, January 20, 2015

Do it the Lord's Way

So... sorry about last week's email. I totally ran out of time and just had to end it, so I didn't get to say everything! 

But this week we had transfers! Sister Phipps left and Sister Wagstaff is now my new companion! She is so great. She is my same age and from a town just north of Seattle, Washington. We both love to take pictures and laugh, so I'd say its a good match. :) She went to BYU-I and has been out for 3 months. 

Speak of months.... I hit my six month mark this week!! If that isn't the weirdest thing ever than I don't know what is. I just left?? It's been the best though.
 Hopefully the next 12 won't go by so quick. :) 

Remember Naomi that I told you about last week? We taught her again this week and she is so prepared! We didn't have much time to teach her, but we brought a couple with the ward with us and she opened up to them and told them how the day after we taught her the first lesson she went to work and they were having a retirement party for a guy that she's worked with for years. She told us that this guy has always just had a calm, peaceful sense about him but she didn't know why. At this party though, she found out that he was Mormon, so she went up to him and told him about how she had prayed and we had showed up the next day! She told us that it's kind of freaky how many signs and answers Heavenly Father is sending her. The only problem is that she is super busy, but hopefully we will meet with her again this week. Pray for her! 

Highlight of the week though? Ohhh my goodness. Elder Gay of the Seventy came and spoke at our stake conference and it was AMAZING.
 I have literally never been in a meeting like the one we had on Saturday night. 

He started his talk by telling us that the things he was going to say weren't really meant to be written down or shared and that he was going to speak from the depth of his heart. Because of that, I won't share all of the details, but he told a story about his grandma and an experience she had with the Savior. The Spirit was so thick in the room, you could honestly tangibly feel it. It is so cool to hear the special witness of Christ that the leaders of the church have.
 Definitely an experience I will never forget. 

Then we sang Armies of Helaman and I cried.... Ha.

Some favorite quotes from conference:

"We come to Earth, to go to the temple."

"This is the ministry of love."

"There is never a convenient time to serve."

"The Lord's calling you to save your life."

"Because it's true, what am I wiling to do?"

"I hope you are teaching lessons every day,
 by being who you are."

"The greatest sermons that have ever been given haven't been oral, but acts of kindness."

"Perhaps the greatest act of faith we can have in this life is to do the will of the Father no matter where it takes us."

"Be true to the voice of God within you."

"Live your life the Lord's way. Down to the little things, do it the Lord's way."

I love that so much. Are we willing to do it the Lord's way? Are we always ready to set aside our will and do it how He wants us to? That is something I have learned so much on my mission. That the real happiness come, only when we live our life His way. Because His way is so much better. 

The work is picking up so much here in Woodbridge! We are finding so many people who are prepared. 

We had to have a "DTR" with Jeff this week though.... we told him that if he isn't truly working toward his baptism then we can't keep meeting with him. So pray that a miracle happens and he has a change of heart. 

We also met this French lady named Rosa this week. Oh boy, she is hilarious. She ranted to us half in french and half in english forever hahaha. She is so cute though. Next time we go over I'm going to take a picture of her so you can she her. :) 

I love being a missionary. It is honestly just an adventure every day. Knocking doors, talking to strangers, all that jazz. Thanks for all the love and support, you are all the best. 

Have a wonderful week! Love you lots!

XOXO Sister Fowers

Saying goodbye to Sister Phipps

My cute new compie, Sister Wagstaff :)

Sista Wagstaff and I being as awkward as possible

Six months down!

Monday, January 12, 2015

Brrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr. That's how I've been feeling all week. Its freezing here! It snowed once this week, but there is something about humidity in the winter that just goes through all layers and chills you to the bone haha. 

This week has been so good. I'll tell you some funny stories to start though.
1. One night me and Sister Phipps were trying to go to sleep and we started hearing this weird banging down on the outside of our building, like someone was hitting our wall from the outside, right by our window. So obviously we were super creeped out and scared!! Haha I got brave though, and decided to watch out the window to see what was making the noise. So, there is this porch type thing right by our window and as I'm watching out the window all of the sudden I just see this huge black figure come at me from the porch and I flip out and seriously jump into Sister Phipps' bed with her and we are both screaming and freaking out hahaha. We were hysterical. Then the noise keeps happening and we were like.... "What do we do??? Who do we call? Its like midnight, no one is awake? We're gonna get murdered." Then I told Sister Phipps to go look out the window and she if she could see the weird thing that I saw because I was too scared to look out the window again, so she did. Then all of the sudden she freaks out and like falls to the ground because she saw it too!! We were dying hahaha. I wish we had a video because we were so scared. Turns out, we looked the next day and it was a door that was swinging that made the big shadow and the noises....... so funny.

2. On Monday my companion went down to Richmond for a baptism with another sister, so we just switched companions for the night and I stayed here. I was with Sister Sher and we went tracting in the apartments all around our apartment. They are kind of ghetto.... the first night i got here there was a shooting haha. But we went anyway! So we went up to this top floor and there were these creepy orange lights and it smelled like alcohol and drugs and stuff and we knocked on this door and there was a door that led to the stairwell on my right with a little window on it. So we knock and no one answers, then Sister Sher says, "Look in the window...." and so I do and all I see is this man's eye staring right back at me. It was proabably the creepiest thing I've ever seen and we ran away. And I decided I need some pepper spray. Yup.

Anyway! We also saw some cool miracles this week. :) 

Back at the beginning in December we tracted into this lady named Naomi. She was super nice and told us we could come back. Then, the holidays happened and Sister Phipps got sick so we didn't have a chance to go back and we kind of just forgot eventually. Then on Tuesday night we were planning for our next day and we got done and said a prayer and then Sister Phipps was just like, "We need to go see Naomi!" I didn't even remember who she was, but we looked and saw we had her written down, so we put her on our plans to visit her the next day. Then on Wednesday night we stop by at about 8:00 and she answers and lets us right in! So we sit down and start teaching her a little bit and she just stops us and says, "Can I tell you something weird? Last night I couldn't sleep and that never happens. I couldn't sleep because I was up praying that somehow I would find a way to teach my daughters about God and how to pray. Then you showed up. He answered my prayer REALLY fast." So cool to see the power of prayer working in people's lives! I'm so grateful for it. 

I'm out of time but I hope you all have a great week! Lots of love! 

XOXO Sister Fowers

That happy moment when a recent convert from your last area straight up crochets you a scarf with your name on it for Christmas.... Probably the nicest thing anyone's ever done. :)

Monday, January 5, 2015

new year, new me, new miracles!

Hello everyone!! How was your New Year's?? Hopefully it was good. :)

Things have been going so great here! I love the holidays and all, but its soooo nice that its over and people will actually meet with us again! That's pretty nice. 

On Tuesday we met with our investigator Jeff again. The best way to describe Jeff is just..... that he's a character. He does some weird at home business where he helps international businesses with stuff. So during the lesson he'll just be like, "One second, I need to make a quick call to Pakistan." Like what? Hahaha. We talked to him about the Word of Wisdom and committed him to live it. He said he would try, but it would be difficult. The real problem is his wife Connie........ she's a Calvanist and is very anti-mormon. So its been hard to get Jeff to church and to figure out how him getting baptized is going to work if his wife is so against it. So pray that her heart will soften! He has made a lot of progress though, so hopefully he'll get there.

New Year's eve and New Years day were pretty uneventful to say the least. We basically just spent time cleaning and weekly planning. Nothing too fun! We did have a little celebration at about 9:45 in our apartment though, so thanks for the package mom haha. :) 

On Friday we had zone meeting and it was so good! We focused a lot on our goals as a mission and as missionaries and how we can achieve the vision that we have for ourselves. Last year the mission set a goal to double the amount of baptisms than the previous year, which was about 300 I believe. So the mission worked super hard, they didn't quite reach their goal, but they got about 510 baptisms last year alone. So, pretty impressive. :) That's the cool thing about goals I've decided! Even if you don't quite reach them, they leave you better than when you started. So this year as a mission we set the goal for every single missionary to baptize every single month! So two baptisms per companionship per month. So we're all trying super hard to have the faith to see miracles in the mission and working hard to get there. 

Then after zone meeting we went on exchanges with the sister training leaders for a whole day! So fun. I went with Sister Armstrong in Quantico and it was totally a tender mercy because we spent like two hours helping a recent convert named Will clean up an antique store. I REPEAT: ANTIQUE STORE. I was literally so happy it wasn't even funny. I think I could spend my whole life in an antique store. Anyway, we were in this room full of old pictures and we started looking through them and we found this old picture of the Salt lake temple! What are the odds? Also, Will was telling me how he is obsessed with Downton Abbey so we became instant best buds hahaha. :) Then we went to dinner at a ward member's house and they fed us Filipino food! So yum :) Then, we took a member with us and stopped by this part member family's house named the Kendall's. The mom has been a member her whole life but went less active when she got married because she felt like the gospel was forced on her. And her husband is not a member but got in a horrible motorcycle accident a few years ago that almost killed him. His wife called the bishop when it happened and he came and gave Steve, the husband, a blessing and they both believe that is why he survived. So cool. So they met this family a few weeks before and when we stopped by this time the husband was just home so we went in and taught him the restoration. It was an amazing lesson. He was just so humble and the spirit was so strong. At the end he said that he would get baptized when he could tell someone exactly why he was mormon, but that he didn't doubt that it could be true. It's so cool to see people who have been through so much but are being prepared by Heavenly Father. Prepared people are everywhere!! I've seen that so much on my mission. We just have to open our mouths and go and find and teach them! Then, we went and taught this little 9 year old boy who just got baptized and his prayer at the end of the lesson was probably the best prayer of my mission haha. I was smiling so hard the whole time. Here are a few phrases that I remember hahaha:
"Heavenly Father, thank you for the earth, thank you for the ground. Thank you for the gospel. Help everyone. Send everyone prophets. Lead us, guide us, walk with us. Help us to be good. Tell everyone to repent. Tell everyone to keep the word of wisdom. Help everyone to get baptized. Help everyone that's sick. Send everyone missionaries. Help us to keep the commandments." 
That is only a few he was saying them so fast hahaha. It was so cute I was dying. :) If we could all be like little children we'd be set. 

On Saturday we met this cute little latino less active lady  in our ward and she gave us canned peaches so that was fun haha. :)

On Sunday we saw so many miracles!!!!!! It was cray. Sister Phipps has been feeling a little better lately, and we've been getting out a little more and working a little more but she has really bad headaches. But, this night I gave her some excederine and poof! No more headache. :) So we went out and decided we were just going to try and contact tons of old potentials and less actives and just find people to teach! So first we went to try and visit a less active family in the ward, the Holt's. But as we pulled up to their apartment building we realized that we needed a pass code to even get into these buildings! So we said a prayer and told Heavenly Father that if he really wanted us to visit this family that we knew He could get us in somehow. So as we're walking to the building, this little lady walking her dog starts walking in front of us and it just so happens that she walks right into the building we were going into! So we hurry and follow her in and were just going to sneak in while the door was open and as we walk up to the building she turns around and says "You're mormons?" and we said uhh yes! Haha then she told us how her husband's family is mormon and she is from Honduras. So we gave her our number and then went to visit this family! So we knock on the door and this young black kid answers and tells us that the family had moved out. BUT, then we talk to him and he starts telling us how he's been looking for the truth and that he's felt like Jesus has "been in his apartment lately" and that he's been feeling a lot better lately. So we gave him a book of mormon and are going back to teach him this week! Ahh it was just so crazy to see how the Lord opens the door for us if we just trust Him . Then we found a bunch of other super solid people who agreed to meet with us this week! So it was just super awesome to see all the miracles pour in. :)

I don't have much time left but we've been setting a lot of goals as missionaries for the new year and I only have about one year left! There are so many things I still want to accomplish and become. So many things I still need to learn! But it is comforting to know that we can always become better, we can always become new people, that there is always hope. :) 

I hope you all have a wonderful year and set goals that will bring you closer to the Savior!
 2015 is gonna be a good one, I can feel it. :) 

Love you all! Miss you!
XOXO Sister Fowers

Ugly Christmas sweater party yo

The White Family on Christmas day

Skyping my family

Christmas night dinner-Indian food!

Christmas dinner with Sister Gupta!

The dessert she fed us! nope, not my favorite

Baking gingerbread men

The Stanford family-they're great!

Saying goodbye to my mom-Sister Clonts at christmas conference

Look what I found in an antique store over here in Virginia!

Sister Armstrong and I trying on CRAAAAZY hats!

Happy  New Year!

How missionaries party on New Year, party poppers and cake in a mug. #USU