Wednesday, July 29, 2015

"Go Do It!"


This week was so good. So many happy things.

First, we had a meeting for all the sister training leaders down in Richmond! We drove down Tuesday evening and I got to spend the night proselyting in Chippenham!
 So I got to see lots of people from my first area and go street contacting at VCU.
 Love that place with my whole heart. 

Then we got to spend the night at the mission home!

Then the next day we had our meeting and it was just such a spiritual boost! I learned a lot about how to be a more Christ-like leader.
 And I've learned a lot about weaknesses lately.
 President asked me to share my testimony at the meeting and I read this scripture:

Ether 12:27 "And if men come unto me I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them."

I love that. And I know its true. Missions seem to show you all of your weaknesses.... like a lot. And sometimes it can be a lot to overcome. 
But I'm so grateful that His grace is enough. Even when we mess up or fall short or don't live up to our potential.
He is always there to lift us if we are humble. 

I also hit my year mark on Thursday.........WHAT. That is so weird.

But I had a letter that I wrote to myself in the MTC to open on my year mark and I wrote on it, "Open July 16, 2015" so I did!
 And it made me cry haha.
 I typed it up, here you go! 

"Dear Sister Fowers,

When you read this you will have been on your mission for a whole year! Gosh, that is crazy to imagine. I hope it's been the best year of your whole life.
 I hope you have learned so much and are still working to be the missionary the Lord wants you to be.
 I'm writing this letter in my last class at the MTC. I am so excited to leave in two days and just get into the field! I can't wait to meet my mission president, companion, and all the people there. I'm also nervous though! It's scary and it's a big leap of faith. I don't feel totally ready but honestly is anyone ever ready?
 I don't think so. So, I'm just going to go out there and work my hardest with a big smile on my face. I hope that I can love the people I serve and teach with my whole heart and give everything I have to them.
 I can't wait to see the hope in their eyes as I tell them about this gospel. I can't wait to see the peace on their face as they enter the waters of baptism.
 I know it's going to be so hard, and there will be days when all I'll want to do is quit. But don't quit! Keep going until the very end because you'll never get this opportunity again.
 People are counting on you and watching you, so be an example.
 Don't get discouraged when things don't play out like you want them to.
 Just give it your all and leave the rest to God. He will make everything right in the end.
 Don't turn back on your testimony and never leave someone wondering if you have one.
 I know that this mission is what God wants me to be doing and I know He is preparing people for me.
 So finish strong.
 Make Him proud.
 Because He has given you everything and now it's your turn to give back to Him.
 Enjoy the journey, especially the hard times because they'll teach you the most.
 Love the people and keep smiling.
This gospel is true and you have work to do!
Go do it.

Sister Fowers"

It is so crazy that it has been a whole year since I wrote that sitting in my little MTC classroom.
 But its been the best year :)
 I'm so grateful I chose to serve. Best decision ever :) 

Anyway, we celebrated Austin's birthday on Friday! He chose his baptism day specifically, so that it would be the day after his birthday :) We gave him a little gift and a cupcake and had an awesome lesson on Mosiah 18 and baptismal covenants. He is the most prepared person I have ever taught! I feel like I've done nothing, he was just so ready and accepted everything from the start. 

Then on Saturday we had his baptism!!!!
It was such a spiritual experience for me.
 We had some stresses leading up to it (including not being able to unlock the sliding door thing to the font....) but it all came together at the last minute! His friends Chris and Ty, that introduced him to the church baptized and confirmed him and spoke at his baptism.
 Sister Johns and I played and sang "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" and it went great.
 When Austin came out of the water he just put his hands together like he was praying and just had the biggest smile on his face.
 It was definitely a moment I'll never forget. 

Then it was so cool because Austin has always struggled with depression and anxiety, but ever since he started meeting with us, he's been so much better. When he gave his testimony during the baptism he got up and said, "I have been stressing over what to say during this for days. Today I was just laying in bed thinking and praying and I just realized that..... God wants us to be happy. He just wants to bless us and we just need to stay on the path." Then he talked about how ever since he started living the Word of Wisdom and keeping the commandments that his anxiety has been gone and that it was a miracle that he could even stand there and share his testimony in front of people and feel calm. Then at the end he said, "I not only know that this is all true, but that it brings us closer to God."
 There is nothing like the pure joy that you feel as a missionary :) 

Then on Sunday he said he felt so much peace as he was confirmed! 

Miracles are happening! Its so exciting!

Funny tidbit of the week: I cut my companion's hair. With craft scissors. Hahahaha. It turned out pretty nicely, surprisingly :) 

We also had a huge miracle with a former investigator that Sister Johns taught when she was here at the beginning of her mission! Her name is Nana and she is from Africa! We just happened to be able to find her, because she's super hard to get in contact with. But we talked with her and she wants to be baptized! But her dad won't let her :(
 So we said a prayer with her and she asked God to soften her dad's heart and said that she wants to be baptized on August 9th!
 So it will take a miracle, but I have faith :)
 Pray for her! 

Other than that, we've just been trying to find new investigators and been stressing because we got the Area Book app on our ipads and have to put every single teaching record in........ its going to take ages. But whatevs haha :)

I hope you all are doing great! Keep sharing the gospel and being awesome! Love you!
Sister Fowers

pics: year mark and my favorite multi-colored tree 

Austin's birthday was on Friday, so we had a little celebration at Books a Million.

Then he chose to be baptized the day after his birthday. So he had his birthday and then his "re-birth" day!

Selfies with President at Sister's Meeting

Sister Training Leaders Meeting

Beautiful Chatham Manor

My favorite multicolor tree

One Year !

Separation Anxiety

Haha okay that email title is a little dramatic, but we had to go on 2 exchanges with other sisters this week and it just made the week so long!
And Sister Johns and I hate being apart haha. #besties

But I realized that last week I didn't tell you much about my new companion!
 Sister Johns is 21 and from Sammamish, Washington! This is her last transfer!
 But we're kind of the same person.
 We both love to play the guitar and sing so we have little jam sessions every night before bed. :)
  Its the life. 

This week was great though! We saw so many miracles.

We had a few lessons with our investigator Austin this week! On Monday we taught him about the temple and about family history (my favorite). He loved the idea of temple marriage and that relationships can be eternal. The last thing he was struggling to give up was his little electronic cigarette, so we committed him to throw it away and at least get the refill that has no nicotine, just flavor. Then next lesson he plopped the new one down and was totally committed to living the Word of Wisdom.
 So happy :) 

Then on Thursday a member of the branch invited Austin and us over to have dinner and a lesson. It was awesome. We had a lesson on the priesthood and serving in the church and he is so excited to have a calling. :) 

We also new that Austin would need to be interviewed by someone in the mission presidency, not just an elder, so we set up his interview with President Sackett yesterday morning. He was super nervous for the interview and we were just hoping it would go well. So we decided to fast yesterday and guess what. He passed! Yay!
 He was just glowing after the interview and said he felt like a huge weight had been lifted off of his shoulders.
 Fasting is so real and so powerful!
 So he is all set to be baptized this Saturday at 7:00!
Pray that everything goes well!

We also saw a huge miracle with our investigator Cris on Tuesday. We were on exchanges so Sister Johns wasn't there, but we asked him about his reading and he loved it. He read Alma 32 and said that he could feel the Spirit as he read. Then we taught him about the Plan of Salvation and he was a bit overwhelmed by all the information, but he said he felt like he was just starting his spiritual journey and had a long way to go. He said he has lots of things in his past that he regrets and as he was talking
I just felt this huge prompting to tell him how much God loves him.
 Its so weird, as a missionary you get this strange ability to feel of God's love for other people.
 I've never experienced anything like it.
 But I just told him how much I knew Heavenly Father loved him and I just started to cry.
 The Spirit was so strong.
 We had set him on date for July 25th previously, but he had to work this Sunday and couldn't come to church, so at the end of the lesson we all knelt down and said a prayer and Cris prayed that he would know what day he needed to be baptized on.
 When he said "amen" he was a little emotional, it was so happy.
 I love seeing the Spirit work in other people. We are meeting with him tonight and hopefully he'll have his answer! 

We also had a great lesson with a recent convert named David this week. We've been working with him a lot. He got baptized about 2 years ago and has been trying to decide whether or not to serve a mission. So we just had this super powerful lesson with him about acting on our faith and how our missions have blessed our lives. By the end he pretty much said he knew he needed to serve and wants to start his papers. :) 
I'll say it til the day I die, missions are the best! 

We also found a new investigator this week named Kyle! Get this. He also used to work at Books-A-Million just like Austin did! We joke and say that we are going to convert the whole store and turn it into Mormons-A-Million :) He is cool though. He struggles with his relationship with God, so we've just been teaching him about prayer and how Heavenly Father always wants to hear from us, even when we think we're not worthy. He was going to come to church yesterday but fell asleep.... smh. Haha but he is coming to FHE tonight! 

Overall its been a great week.
 I hope everything is going great with y'all
 Pray for Austin and Cris and Kyle!

Thanks for all the love and support!
XOXO, Sister Fowers

ps. here are some pics of us and Austin, he's on the left :)



This week has been a dream! Lets just start from the top. 

First off, congrats to Kade and Heather!
Hazel Maisie is the cutest ever!
 Can't wait to meet my cute new niece :) 

Also, so jealous of the family for going to Lake Powell without me ;)
 But I'm glad you all had a fun safe trip! 

So on Tuesday we had transfer meeting. Sister Weber was going home, so I knew I would be getting a new companion. I had a few ideas of who it would be, but I was praying for one sister. Sister Johns. And guess what. I got her. Hahaha when President announced it, we both literally ran across the chapel and hugged each other so hard core. It was the happiest reunion. :)
 She has been a close friend my whole mission and she actually started her mission here in Rappahannock YSA, so it was her dying wish to come back for her last transfer and she got it!
 So I'm killing another missionary off, but I am so grateful to be with her.
 We are too alike and probably have too much fun. 

So that's super happy :)

This transfer was huge too! 32 new missionaries. So we have lots of new sisters in our zone and it will be a busy transfer! 

We met with our investigator Austin again this week! He is so cool. Its been really hard for him to give up coffee and tea, but every day he's getting better. He is so excited for his baptism. We went over the baptismal interview questions with him and he is so ready.
 He has a hard time letting go of his past,
 but its so cool to see the Atonement truly take effect in someone's life and
  transform them into someone else, someone new and someone better. 

Then that day we met with our investigator Chris again, who works with a member, Cynthia. It was such a powerful lesson! He had some questions after reading the pamphlet on the Restoration of the Gospel, so we answered a lot of them and he was like, "So you claim to be the only true church? That's a bold claim." And we were just like, "Yep, pretty much." :) And he later told the member that he likes when people are bold. #goldeninvestigator
We also committed him to be baptized and set him on date for July 25th! He said he felt like that was soon, but I love how the Spirit just softens people's hearts and helps them see that this will bless their life. He also said that he is looking for a church that can be his church. And he's never been baptized. YES. We are meeting with him again tomorrow :) 

Then Saturday was the 4th of July!! We spent most of the day visiting all of the sisters in our zone, and set goals with them of things they want to accomplish this transfer. They are all so awesome, I'm so grateful to serve and meet so many amazing people who inspire me. We brought them all little American flags, it was fun :) Then we had dinner with a recent convert and her family and got to share the Restoration with her older brother and his fiance that aren't members. Then on the drive home, we drove over the Rappahannock river and saw fireworks and just crowds and crowds of people staring up into the sky and it was just a beautiful moment. I'm so grateful for family and this country and just all the happy things in life. I'm so blessed. 

Then of course Sister Johns and I came home, ate some watermelon
 (you can't have 4th of July without it) and took lots of patriotic pictures. It was great :)

Currently it is raining more than I have ever seen in my whole entire existence. So that's fun. Too bad I actually did my hair today.... #curlyhairsprobs ;)

I am just so happy though!!
This is going to be the best transfer ever.
 Missions are great.
 Life is great.
 Heavenly Father is good.
 Hope y'all have a blessed week! 

XOXO, Sister Fowers