Monday, February 23, 2015

closing + whitewashing + training = what.....

Where do I even start....

This week has been absolutely nuts

We've been dying with all the snow! Our car was grounded a bunch of days and it is super hard to get around in the snow without a car. So our week started off a little rough. 

Luckily we had sister's meeting on Wednesday, that was a tender mercy. I learned a ton and it was just the spiritual pick-me-up that I needed. Plus I got to see a ton of sisters that are going home this transfer and I will just miss them so much. There are a ton of sisters that came out right after the age change going home, so the mission is having to adjust a lot of things, but I'll get to that later. 

Oh, and after the meeting guess where we went....... CAFE RIO. Yep. Best day.

On Thursday we had another lesson with Carla! Ahhh it was seriously so good. We gave her the plan of salvation pamphlet before hand, and once again she had pretty much taught herself the whole lesson before we got there. She had a ton of awesome questions for us though. She told us that she had never understood the fall of Adam and Even before, but when we explained it she just kept saying, "That makes so much sense!" It just totally clicked for her right in front of our eyes, it was amazing. Every time we teach her I feel like she's teaching us, its awesome. 

Then that same day we had a lesson with a less-active in the ward. She's an older lady from Guatemala and she is so cute. She joined the church in Guatemala when she was like 18 and all of her kids are active and have gone on missions and all this stuff, but the problem is she has a job that is super easy, so she likes the money, but she works on Sundays and can't come to church. We have been re-teaching her the missionary discussions so we taught her the Plan of Salvation and talked a bunch about the temple. We showed her the Mormon Message, "Temples are a Beacon" and it just totally brought the spirit and softened her heart. We were super bold with her and just told her that sometimes Heavenly Father requires us to sacrifice, in order to bless us even more. She said she would pray that night and ask Him if she should quit her job. So cool to see people recognize the importance of the temple!

Then the rest of the week kind of went down hill from there..... haha. 

Saturday we had a huge arctic blast once again. Our car got stranded at the church and our member had to drive us home. It is super scary to drive on these roads because the people here just don't plow or anything! Crazy. But we survived. We tried to work still, but it was rough. A member brought us dinner that night and we had to push her out of the snow in our parking lot in skirts.... haha I'm sure it was quite the sight. 

Then, as we're soaking wet from the snow, we walk in and get a call........ the phone said "Mission Home" so I knew we were getting some bad news about transfers, but I was not expecting this! Here's how the convo went down:

Pres: Hi sisters! How are you? 

(Etc..... then he tells Sister Wagstaff that she's getting transferred...)

Pres: I have a question for you Sister Fowers. Have you had a new companion every transfer?

Me: Yes, I have.

Pres: Oh goodness, I'm so sorry. Will you forgive me?

Me: Yes, I will President.

Pres: Ok good, because you are getting transferred. Also, your area is being closed for sisters, so make sure your area book is up to date and give it to the elders . Also, Sister Fowers, are you obedient?

(freaking out inside. what about our investigators???)

Me: Yes, I am.

Pres: Good, because the Lord wants you to train a new missionary. We need trainers who are loving and hard working and obedient. Would you be willing to do that?

Me: Yes.........

(at this point I'm freaking out)

Pres: I promise you that you'll stay with this companion two transfers and we'll give you some stability. You'll be a great leader in the mission and will do great.

Then I precede to have a "moment" on the floor of our apartment......... hahaha.

Ahhh can you guys believe that?? Me and Sister Wagstaff are dying!!

We think that since not as many sisters are coming out, they are having to shut down some areas for sisters. UGH, it was the worst to give the elders our area book and hand over all of our solid investigators :(
 The ward is so sad to not have sisters anymore and its just a huge bummer.

Then, the fact that I'm training a new missionary..... oh boy. I'll be whitewashing an area with a greenie, so this should be fun :) Haha I am just really praying that I don't mess her up!
 I feel like a greenie still, so maybe we'll just figure it out together!

But yeah its been a stressful few days trying to clean out our whole apartment, pack, and say goodbye to everyone. 

We stopped by Rosa's house last night and wow.... she cried a lot. But hopefully she'll be alright being taught by the elders. She doesn't really like them, so we'll see hahaha. 

Overall, its been pretty much the most stressful week of my mission! I was reading the other day and ran into this scripture though:

Matt 6:34 "Take therefore no thought for the morrow: for the morrow shall take thought for the things of itself. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof."

In the past, the end of that scripture never really made sense to me. Sufficient unto the day is the evil thereof?? What does that mean? 

But as I read I thought, maybe "evil thereof" means the bad things that happen, the things we sometimes can't control. 

AKA: life. 

Things just happen sometimes. Things that you weren't planning for. It seems like nothing ever goes as planned as a missionary haha. 

But I think that scripture is trying to say that we can't worry about "the evil thereof" of tomorrow. We can't worry about "the evil thereof" of yesterday either. We can plan and prepare, but sometimes we just have to deal with the craziness of today. Things always have a way of working out if we just trust Him. 

"Come what may and love it." -Joseph  B. Wirthlin

That's not always easy to do, but when we take a step back we can see that He has a plan for us and He won't leave us helpless. So even when you have the craziest week of your mission, or life, sometimes you just have to take a breather and relax.
 It's all going to work out. :) 

I'm sad to leave Lakeridge and super sad to leave Sister Wagstaff, but I know that Heavenly Father is preparing a new area for me! I'm expecting miracles. :) 

I hope you all have a great week! I pray for you all and hope life is great. Remember to laugh and to smile!

Lots of love!
XOXO Sister Fowers

PS. pic #1 is of Jeff..... oh gosh hahaha. Pic #2 is Brother Thompson, the cutest, sweetest old man from Jamaica. Love him so much.

Also, gonna miss Brother Bogator. What a champ.

Gonna miss mama Nelson :'(

Tuesday, February 17, 2015


This week has just been quite the adventure to say the least hahaha. 

Are you guys ready? Cool. Where to begin...

Well, Tuesday we taught Ivan again. Did I tell you about him? He is a divorced, older guy from Peru and the best way to describe him would probably be... a very stubborn catholic.
 Emphasis on very. Ha!

We took a member with us who is from Mexico and used to be Catholic and we read the Book of Mormon with him, because he didn't understand the language. At the end of the lesson, he pretty much said, "You all can come over here for 20 years and teach me but I don't think I'll ever change." We were like, "Do you believe that through Christ anyone can change and overcome their weaknesses?" And he said "Yes, but not me." He was just trying to be difficult haha :) He even said, "next time you come over I'm going to bring out my bible." We were like coooooool Ivan. Do it! But he did say that reading the Book of Mormon gave him peace, so maybe his heart will soften. :)

We also taught a lady named Carla this week! She is probably one of the more prepared people I've taught on my mission. She is super good friends with a family in the ward and has come to a bunch of different ward parties and things. Back in December the member family gave her family to us as a referral, but then Carla's family went out of town for a while. But! We finally got to teach her on Thursday and she is so so sweet. Her and her husband are from Guatemala and are the nicest people ever. They have two kids and consider themselves Catholic, but don't really follow or believe everything the Catholic church believes. When we had stopped by a few weeks before, we gave her a restoration pamphlet and a Book of Mormon and when we taught her this week she had pretty much already taught herself the restoration. When Sister Wagstaff started reciting the first vision, Carla was like, "Oh yeah, I know!"
 It was a great lesson and she is just so humble.
 Pray that our lesson with her this Thursday goes well!

Saturday was Valentines Day! Woohoo!

Sister Wagstaff and I had a lovely day. :) We made chocolate dipped strawberries and had a yummy dinner all by ourselves, it was great.
 Also, thanks so much to the ward back home for the package! You guys are the best. 

I was thinking the other day about all the funny/weird things about Virginia and thought I'd share some with you. I like to call them "Virginia-isms". Enjoy. 
  • Okay the weirdest one first, that I will never, ever understand: EVERYONE here has personalized license plates. EVERYONE. Hahaha I see like 50 per day. With the weirdest things on them?? Examples: "SLEEEEP" or things like "GETR DONE" or "CAT LADY" or "OBNOXROS" like why Viriginia? Who made that a thing?
  •  Anyway, so weird.
  • Everyone has colorful doors with matching shutters. 
  • It is a constant struggle to find visitor parking here.
  • This one kills me: people refuse to open their door to talk to you if they don't know who you are. People just yell through the door, "Who's there? Hello? Who are you? What are you doing? Oh, I'm not interested." and we just have to awkwardly yell back, "WE ARE THE MISSIONARIES!" Hahaha my favorite.
  • Oreo's go stale in like one week. #humidity
  • Everyone says "y'all" or "have a blessed day".
  • People love to tell us, "Actually, I'm a Christian. I follow Jesus." Okeeeee.
  • People are literally OBSESSED with their pets. Every time we knock on a door it starts a symphony of dog barks
  • And last but not least, when it snows, everything. shuts. down. 
Which brings us to yesterday. We were on a blitz with our district in our area and we had heard that a storm was coming in, but we were not prepared for this hahaha.
 It snowed all day and all night! 

All our cars got "grounded", so we have just been walking since yesterday in like a foot of snow. Yep it took us like 40 minutes to walk to this library today hahaha. I have been wearing 3 pairs of leggings, tons of sweaters, 2 pairs of gloves, a scarf, a head wrap, and like 4 pairs of socks all week. ITS FREEZING. So just pray that it all melts and spring comes early. 

On a happier note, we have a sisters meeting down in Richmond tomorrow! Yay!
 So fun to go back down there and see all the peeps that I love. :) 

Overall we have just seen a lot of miracles this week and had some fun adventures. We found 4 new investigators! The work is moving forward so well! 

Transfer calls are this Saturday night..... So I will know if I'm staying or leaving by then. If I do get transferred (praying so so hard that I don't) then I will leave on Tuesday of next week.
 Pray that I stay! K? Thanks. :) 

You all are great! I am very jealous of how warm it is at home! I'll just freeze over here, no biggie. :) I hope you guys have a great week! 

Lots of love!

XOXO Sister Fowers

Annnddd....we had an arctic blast yesterday. Please note how my braid is literally frozen.

Valentine's Day! Chocolate dipped strawberries, say wha?

Monday, February 9, 2015

love and persecution.

Happy early Valentines Day!

Love is such a happy thing.

I've learned a lot about love on my mission. About real love. 

The kind of love that heals hearts and families and broken spirits. The kind of love Christ has for every one of us. He is the ultimate healer and showed us the ultimate expression of love. That is real love. True, genuine, unconditional, selfless love. 

I never really understood that kind of love until I became a missionary, I still don't always. Its not always easy to love your companion, or your investigators, or the people that slam the door in your face, but as you learn to see others in their best light it slowly but surely changes how you love others. A quote that I love from Jeffery R. Holland says, "Assume the good and doubt the bad." 

What if we all truly applied that?
 Every negative thought or rumor about someone, you just doubted it.
 And every good thing, quality, action, you just assumed it?
 I think that would be such a happy way to live. 

Anyway, I hope you all have a wonderful week full of love, and chocolate of course. :)

This week has been a little rough...

We had some good lessons with some new investigators, but the overall theme of the week was rejection hahaha. 

We had a lot of people yell at us on their doorstep, across parking lots, and we even got yelled at by Rosa our investigator! 

Haha its a long story, but she kind of freaked out at us. She's really stressed about finding a job and we brought over our ward mission leader to help her apply online, but she wasn't home! So we left a note and that night she called us and told us we weren't helping her! And she didn't believe us that we brought someone with us to help because her neighbor said "only two girls came by your house". What?? Noooo. Plus then, she didn't understand that we couldn't use computers as missionaries. She kept saying, "Jesus never said you can't use computers!" We were trying to even get a word in haha. Then she said she'd come to church, but that "we shouldn't wait for her"..... we were pretty bummed to say the least. She didn't come to church and we're sort of giving her a few days to cool off hahaha :) Still love her though. 

Overall, people haven't been super excited to talk to us this week, which is fine. It comes with the deal! But it got me thinking about persecution as we live the gospel. I was studying it the other morning and it was cool to see the blessings that come when we are persecuted for righteousness' sake. 

Matthew 5:10-12
"Blessed are they which are persecuted for righteousness’ sake: for theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

Blessed are ye, when men shall revile you, and persecute you, and shall say all manner of evil against you falsely, for my sake.

Rejoice, and be exceeding glad: for great is your reward in heaven: for so persecuted they the prophets which were before you."

Isn't that so cool? We can almost be grateful that we are being persecuted! It is a price that is paid by all servants of the Lord. Which reminds me of this next scripture:

3 Nephi 22:17 
"No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall revile against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the Lord, and their righteousness is of me, saith the Lord."

This is the heritage of everyone who is fighting for the right team! I think that is so cool. We are a part of the best heritage, club, team, brother and sisterhood, whatever you want to call it, ever. That is something to be proud of. 

Of course, its not fun to be persecuted, or made fun of, or looked down on by the world. But in the end, it still has no power to drag us down. We have the ultimate choice of whether or not we will let the world bring us down with it. I love Romans chapter 8:35-39. 
"Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword?

As it is written, For thy sake we are killed all the day long; we are accounted as sheep for the slaughter.

Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him that loved us.

For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come,

Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."

I love that. Nothing in the whole world can separate us from the love of God. I am so glad that I can get a door slammed on me and still walk away smiling, because I know whose side I am on. 

I hope you all have a wonderful week and know that I pray for you all and miss you all! Keep being awesome. :) 

Lots of love from way over here!

XOXO, Sister Fowers

Just for Dad

Me and the compiiiieeee!

Friday, February 6, 2015

"There Can Be Miracles, When You Belieevvvee"

Hey Hey Heyyyy. 

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

Let's start with miracle numero uno. 
1. So I don't know if I told you about Smitty? We tracted into him one of the very first nights that I got here last transfer. Anyway he is a super nice guy, but very shy. He let us right in the night we met him and we taught him the restoration. He has some sort of leg deformation and it seems like he doesn't leave the house much. He talks super super quiet, and its hard to hear him, but the lesson went pretty well. He told us we could come back in a few days and teach him again. So we go back later, and he wasn't home! So we were bummed. Then we kept stopping by for like a month and he was never home! So we figured he must have moved or something and we sort of gave up. 

Then the other day we were driving down the street and we saw this guy hobbling down the side walk and it kind of looked like Smitty! So I looked closer and it was him!! So I was like "It's Smitty!!! He's alive!! What do we do??" and my comp is confused cause she doesn't even know who he is and i'm freaking out haha. So we decided to hurry and make a u-turn, drive ahead of him down the street, get out, and start walking down the street so we can pretend like we are just accidentally running into him on the side walk hahaha. Devious right? ;) Actually, its pretty creepy.... but I wasn't going to let him get away again! So we did it and then as we were walking down the street he turned around and started walking the other direction and he was booking it! And he was like hobbling with a cane and we still couldn't catch up! It was hilarious, we were dying. Finally though, we caught up and talked to him and he told us that we could walk back to his house right then and teach him! It was a great lesson. :)

It's so funny to see Heavenly Father place people in our path, sometimes more than once! We're now teaching Smitty again and he said he'd come to church next week and he agreed to be baptized on Feb 28th! 

Miracle number two.
2. This miracle's name is Jakkie. She is so golden ah! Here is her story. Jakkie's uncle and grandma are LDS. Last April, her uncle requested that the missionaries bring her a Book of Mormon. They did, and she accepted it. Then her family went out of town for a few months and the missionaries lost contact with them and dropped them. Then last transfer, Sister Phipps and I saw her on the potentials sheet in our area book and decided we'd stop by even though she was dropped. So we go by and she tells us that she would love for us to come over and teach her and about how her uncle still calls her all the time and ask her if she is reading the Book of Mormon. Then it was Christmas time and she got busy. But this week we finally met with her! It was so good. She was raised without religion at all and her mom is very against religion, but her husband was raised baptist and has a really strong relationship with God. Jakkie told us that there have been tons of things that have happened in the last year that have just given her a huge desire to have her own relationship with God. We taught her the restoration and she just loved it. She had so much to say and so many questions. We could just tell that she is sincere and eager to learn. We explained the Book of Mormon and she said that was her favorite part. I told her she could find any answer inside the Book of Mormon and she said, "that's what my uncle keeps telling me! I call him with something that's bothering me and he says, 'Jakkie, just open your book.'" Then we asked her if she'd be baptized and she said, "absolutely! I've never been baptized and I think that's what's missing." So cool! She is so sweet and just so prepared. She also said that she's bringing her whole family to church next week! Happy day!

Miracle number three.
3. Miss Rosa! Hahaha, I wish you guys could meet Rosa. She is the funniest lady I've ever met. We literally quote her all the time and die laughing. The other day we had a lesson with her and she said something sooooo funny and on the way home I was laughing so hard that I was crying and couldn't drive because I couldn't see because of the tears! We also got her a french Book of Mormon and she loves it.  We taught her the plan of salvation and she just accepts everything we teach her as true, it is the darndest (how do you spell that...?) thing. But she is searching for a job and she told us that if we help her submit her applications she will get baptized and "we will all celebrate together!" So we said deal!! So she is totally going to get 'tized. Also, she comes to church every week and loves it so much. She talks to everyone and says "Bonjour! How are yooouuu?" its so cute.
 I just love her a lot. :)

So many miracles, that's not even all of them! It's like I learned from Prince of Egypt, "there can be miracles, when you believe!" Do we sing that in the car all the time? Maybe. It's fine. 

Today we went to the Marine Corps museum and that was fun!
 Me and Sister Wagstaff are just having so much fun together. :) It's a normal thing for us to have to make ourselves stop talking at night and go to bed haha.
 I learn so much from my companions it is crazy. Marriage 101? What?
 Haha its the best though. 

Our other investigators are doing good though! Jeff is on vacation and we are just dropping him for a little to see how committed he actually is. Alicia is doing pretty well, but won't come to church. :/ Diana dropped us....... I don't even want to talk about that. :( 

But its okay because its all in Heavenly Father's hands. This is His work. We are just simply His instruments. I am so grateful to be a part of this work and see it change my life and so many others' lives. There are letdowns and disappointments, but there are so many happy and miraculous and spiritual moments that make it all worth it

I hope you all are having a wonderful week! Here is a pic of Rosa back in the day to make you smile ;) 
Love you all lots! 

XOXO Sister Fowers

Rosa-back in the day

We went to the National Marine Museaum at Quantico. It was fun!

The actual flag they lifted.