Monday, April 20, 2015

April 20

The sky has been so awesome this week because it's been all stormy and rainy. We actually went under tornado watch a couple-three days ago and I got really excited but it never turned into anything. So dang it.


Here's us at district meeting with our matching Easter dresses. Okay fine, I lied, this was at Olive Garden AFTER district meeting. Close enough. Sorry my email this week is so long, I have to cut it in half.

This week was pretty uneventful. Sister Brunner and I had to give talks yesterday in church and we didn't have time to prepare them until about 50 minutes before church started. So that was exciting. I almost decided to just leave. But thank goodness for the Spirit helping. Oh and remember Jessi I talked about last week? We went back and talked with her again during the week and she was just chatting with us and Sister B and I were both thinking "Daaaang it, she's not actually interested, this isn't going to go anywhere." And then we asked if there was anything we could do for her and she was like "Yeah, you can teach me all about your church." That's like the perfect answer every missionary wants! Then later in the week she texted us and asked if we could really help her because she doesn't like where she's at right now and she wants to be better and to be surrounded by other people with good values who are trying to be better too. So she's just perfect. And then yesterday she texted us asking what time church started but she didn't ask until like halfway through church. So we texted her back saying there was a potluck after church and she came! She got along really well with a lot of the members and she likes how most people here haven't grown up in the church. And then while we were eating she told us that the day that we had found her, she and her cousin who she was sitting with outside noticed us walking towards them and they were like "oh nooooo they have matching skirts" and they had decided that they would just pretend they were insane like they always did with missionaries and salesmen but as she started talking to us she changed her mind and she said that if it had been anyone else besides us two, there's no way she would have listened. She's so awesome. 

You know what else is cool? We went to visit this less active man, Rick. He wants to come back to church now, but he's not comfortable walking into church like he never left because he feels like people will judge him. But anyway we went to visit him and we had Amber with us and while we were there he was like "You guys should meet my sister" so we were like suuure and he's like "How about we just go see her now?" And we were like "Sweeeeet we just got a referral!" So he leads us across town to meet his sister and while we're there she's like "You guys should meet my neighbor" So we all go over to meet her neighbor (And there's like 5 of us now) and we go meet her but she didn't give us anyone else to go see. But it was still really cool. Our less active took us on a team up to meet a referral to meet a referral. 

​Here's my companion. This is pretty much what she's like all the time. Her birthday was this Saturday and she just turned 20! She's like super old now. 
#shesayshashtagallthetime #itsbeenrubbingoffonme #whatthehappy

Well, that's about everything.

Quote of the week: 
"Dost thou remember the way to Fairy Queen?" ~Sister Brunner.

Kay now here's the actual quote of the week. It's from a Holland talk that I used in my talk yesterday: 
"In one way or another, great or small, dramatic or incidental, every one of us is going to spend a little time in Liberty Jail—spiritually speaking. We will face things we do not want to face for reasons that may not be our fault. Indeed, we may face difficult circumstances for reasons that were absolutely right and proper, reasons that came because we were trying to keep the commandments of the Lord. We may face persecution, we may endure heartache and separation from loved ones, we may be hungry and cold and forlorn. Yes, before our lives are over we may all be given a little taste of what the prophets faced often in their lives...Whenever these moments of our extremity come, we must not succumb to the fear that God has abandoned us or that He does not hear our prayers. He does hear us. He does see us. He does love us. When we are in dire circumstances and want to cry, “Where art Thou?” it is imperative that we remember He is right there with us—where He has always been! We must continue to believe, continue to have faith, continue to pray and plead with heaven, even if we feel for a time our prayers are not heard and that God has somehow gone away. He is there. Our prayers are heard. And when we weep He and the angels of heaven weep with us."

~Sister Temp

Sunday, April 19, 2015

April 14

Helloooo. Well this is awkward because it's Tuesday instead of Monday. The library internet went out yesterday so we weren't able to email for our full hour and I didn't get to send my weekly email or my email to President Weston sooooo now it's Tuesday and I feel like a sinner.

Well. I am now Sister Christensen-less. It's really sad. We had to say goodbye last Monday and then I got to be with Sister Wilson for a couple-three days, which is good because I love Sister Wilson and she just lost her companion too so we could just cry to each other about it the whole time. But it was great, we got to hold bunnies!

Pay no attention to how extra-white I look, it's just the lighting. Probably. I also got to hold a hedgehog! Pretend I got a picture of me holding it and that I put it right here. [ ] 

I just had a really fun week with Sister Wilson in Kearney. The Kearney sisters are over a ward and a young single adult branch, which was really fun because we got to go to family home evening and institute and stuff with them. It was a party. Everyone kept making fun of my name the first day so for the rest of the week whenever I introduced myself I would just say "My name's Sister Temp . . . as in temporary." It was hard to leave because I really felt like I belonged in Kearney so maybe I'll serve there someday. But for now I'm still in York! And I got to sleep in my bed for the first time in over a week. So that was nice. We finally got the carbon monoxide/mold issues all cleared up. Hallelujah. 

My new companion is Sister Brunner! What are the chances? I've actually sent home a picture of me and Sister Brunner before . . . super weird. But here's another in case you forgot what she looks like.

When we went to go see people, everyone kept commenting on how alike we look. One lady was like "Oh my gosh, you're twins!" Uhhhh nope. I really like Sister Brunner. I was afraid it would be awkward but it's not at all. Her name is Erika so we talked about how names usually spelled with c's are so much better with k's. We get along great. I'm so glad we have so much in common and we're both so weird. She convinced me to get some post-its and it took me like 15 minutes to decide what colors I want (don't judge, it's an important decision.) but she was just laughing at me and we found out that we're quicker to laugh at each other than to get irritated so it'll be great, I'm excited to be here in York with her. We went and tried a couple different people that Sister Christensen and I have been trying forever but they were never home, and then we went yesterday and got into both of their houses. So I'm really excited to see who else she's here for. 

I don't remember if I've ever talked about Debbie before but she's a dry Mormon. She comes to church every week and reads the scriptures with her husband and is practically a member, minus the baptism part. We had a really awesome lesson with her and found out her concerns and Sister Brunner told me that she feels like she's here for Debbie and I told her that I felt like that too so we know that we're gonna be the ones to baptize her. 

I had such a cool experience on Sunday! So Sister Brunner was telling me all these experiences she had had with the Spirit and I've been struggling with recognizing promptings from the Spirit since I got on my mission (well, since forever) so I prayed to recognize promptings that morning and it happened TWICE. Sister Brunner and I were visiting a recent convert and then Sister B randomly told her we would sing a hymn for her and I hate singing but I went with it and we got out her hymnbook and as soon as she did I got "Be Still My Soul" stuck in my head and I almost suggested it but I decided I would just let Sister B pick and then she looked at me and said "Be Still My Soul." She didn't even say it like a question. So that was awesome. And then after, we were driving down a street and I was looking out the window and then I started thinking about what if we went tracting down the street and then all of a sudden I realized that that could be the Spirit so I asked Sister B if it would be weird if we tracted down this street and she immediately pulled over and we went from house to house and met a woman named Jenny doing yard work and offered to help and she said we looked too nice to help but if she needed help another time she would call us so we gave her a "Because He Lives" card with our number on it and she seemed really interested. We kept going and saw these 2 girls in their 20's sitting on their porch and felt like we should talk to them and one of them, Jessie, was really talking to us and she does not seem the type cuz she had tattoos and was drinking out of a flask, but we asked some questions and she told us that her family was Christian and she used to go to church and she still believed in Christ and had faith but wouldn't go to church anymore because of hypocrites and idiots. And then she started asking us the questions and asked if we ever felt embarrassed and we told the truth and said of course we always feel awkward and uncomfortable and sometimes get embarrassed to talk to people but we're still willing to do it because this is important to us. She asked us about our family lives too and she really liked how I didn't have a perfect cookie cutter Mormon family and that I had doubted everything and we both told her we still got doubts all the time. She really liked how sincere we were and she told us that we were the most sincere "ministeries" she had ever talked with and we asked if we could come back another time and she said yes!  So that was just really cool and we're excited to go see her again. I love feeling like I can finally recognize the Spirit sometimes.

So that was my week. Here's a quote: Sometimes God lets you hit rock bottom so you can discover that He is the rock at the bottom.

And here's the sky.

~Sister Temp

April 6

Well, this week was very eventful. But I'm gonna start with the less eventful stuff first. My favorite young return missionary couple in the branch, Janelle and Brandon, had us over for dinner because they usually have us over for dinner once a week and apparently her dad sends them a ton of meat all the time because of his job and this time he gave them a huge box of bacon and they know how much I like bacon (who doesn't) so they gave my like 40 pieces. I don't know how I'm going to eat it all but I'll manage. 

With the weather getting nicer, we've been getting different but still interesting bugs in our house. Now we get these giant beetles that kind of look like demented mini lobsters and they like to lay on their backs and play dead, so you never know for sure if they're dead or not. It's great. I hope my next companion isn't afraid of bugs. 

We had another lesson with Cameron and he's totally set for baptism on May 2. Sister C is hoping to come back for that and I really hope she does. That would be awesome! During our lesson, he told us about this cool experience he had one night after reading the Book of Mormon where he felt prompted to go to and he did and was reading through a couple profiles and he felt the Spirit pretty strongly and it helped to get rid of some of his doubts. He's just so prepared. He watched conference with his girlfriend and her parents, which is perfect because there were a couple talks in there that I thought were perfect for him while I was watching it. 

This has been the longest week of my life. I suppose I can get into the fun stuff now. So, Thursday morning at about 3 AM (you can already tell this is gonna be good) Sis C and I woke up to our CO2 detector going off, which is kind of scary when you're half asleep at 3 in the morning. So we had to call the fire department and get out of our house (in our pajamas. We looked super professional.) and we waited for like 10 minutes for somebody to come, and then finally like 7 firetrucks showed up. They went in and checked our detector and they think ours is just faulty but they didn't have their own detector so they couldn't even tell for sure. But they know this one guy in town who has one so the main fireman told us it would probably be fine and he'd send the guy over in the morning at like 9. As they were leaving, we heard one of the firemen say to him, "You're not actually gonna let them stay here are you?" Soooooo we decided to sleep in our car the rest of the night. It was already like 5:30 by then anyway so we only had an hour before we had to get up. And the guy never showed up in the morning, which was great. We had to report all this to the mission office so we did and the housing specialist, Sister Lee, flipped out a bit and told us we weren't allowed to stay there anymore and that she was shutting down the Byer's home to missionaries and we had to pack up everything and go to Kearney for the rest of the week. But it was Sister C's last week so we convinced her to let us stay in a member's home until Monday (today) when Sister C would go to Omaha and I would go to Kearney for a week anyway until I get my new companion on Friday.  So we called around and got to stay at the relief society president's house that night but she wasn't able to let us stay again so we had to find somewhere else. We talked to the Byers and they said they would do anything to not lose the sisters, so they set up a room in their actual house for us to stay and they said if this CO2 problem didn't clear up, that we could just live in their actual house instead. Long story short, we finally figured out our detector was just faulty, but Sister Lee decided that our house had a mold problem instead and she still wanted us out. We told her that the Byers would be willing to house us in their actual house if they had to and she said that would be fine. So this was a long emotional week. It was super scary that one day when I had to start packing and they said sisters wouldn't be staying in York. That was awful. I'm so glad I most likely get to stay in York now, although it's still a bit up in the air.  

So that was my week. Oh! Conference! I loved conference, it was amazing. But I was a bit disappointed that the prophet only spoke once and that Richard G. Scott never spoke. But the talks were so great. I liked when Bednar said something along the lines of "Jesus Christ is the only source of enduring peace." I think that might be my favorite talk. Or the one by L. Whitney Clayton. It was all really great. 

I have a request of all yall who read my emails. Can you give me your favorite talk or quote or insight from conference? Just tell me what you loved about it. Thanks! 

~Sister Temp

My camera's being obnoxious and won't let me upload pictures. Imagine there's a picture here of me and Sister C dying Easter eggs and a couple pictures of the sky. Thanks.

March 30

This week was so amazing! We saw so many miracles. My favorite miracle was probably on Tuesday. Sister C and I had gone through everyone on our list but nobody answered so we tried all our backups too but got the same results. We still had about an hour before we could go home and we were totally stumped. So Sister C was just driving around and I was looking through our entire list of people and I felt like we should see Theresa, an investigator we haven't gone back to see since my very first night in York. It was weird because we had decided to go try her a couple times the past month but every time we just felt like we should see other people. But I really felt like we should try her that night so I told Sister C that we should try her and Sister C said, "Actually I was already driving to her house." So since we both received the same revelation we knew it had to be the Spirit. And then we got there and she told us that after the last time we saw her like 2 months ago she had gotten a job at a book binding place and there was always at least 1 Christian book every day, so she would be able to skim through it and read a paragraph or two, and she thought that was as close to God as she needed to be. But then earlier that morning there hadn't been any Christian books and she thought that was really weird, and then we showed up. So she took that as a sign from God that she needed to listen to us. It was so cool!

Have you all seen the Because He Lives video? It's so good, here's a link so yall can watch it:

We also got a new investigator! She's a religion minor and so she knows a ton about different religions but she never learned about Mormons and she was talking about that with her friend who's in our ward, Sister Nygard (who's a return missionary) and Sister Nygard told her a bunch about it and basically taught her the restoration for us, and then told her about missionaries and stuff and said there were some sister missionaries in the area who she could meet with and her friend (Jessie) was really excited and we met with her last week and she's totally prepared to receive the gospel, even if her main reason for meeting with us was to get more knowledge. The Spirit worked through her and she got really excited when we gave her a Book of Mormon and she said she'd read and pray about it (before we even asked her to) and we asked her if she found out that it was true if she would be baptized and she said yes! 

Here's a few random things from this week: we caught 3 mice in the last 4 days (that's what happens when you live on a farm I guess. It's awful.), the Byers got baby turkeys (they're so adorable!), on Wednesday the tornado sirens went off and I had a mini heart attack and then Sister C told me they do siren tests on Wednesdays and if there was actually a tornado, we would definitely know before the sirens went off because it would be stormy outside and the sky would be green (people keep telling me the sky turns green when there's a tornado but I can't even imagine that.), Lead Kindly Light is one of my favorite hymns ever now (along with Come Unto Him. The words are just so comforting. Go read them.), aaand that's all I can think of. Oh, and we almost hit a raccoon this week. That would be so gross. 

Quote of the Week! "I urge all of us who are called to speak in the name of the Lord to dismiss our feelings of self-doubt and inadequacy. We don't have to use soaring language or convey deep insights. Simple words of testimony will do. The Spirit will give you the words for you to speak and will carry them down into the hearts of humble people who are looking for truth from God. If we keep trying to speak for the Lord, we will be surprised someday to learn that we have warned, exhorted, taught, and invited with the help of the Spirit to bless lives, with power far beyond our own."  ~Henry B. Eyring
This quote totally helped me. But it doesn't just apply to missionaries. Find a way for that to apply in your own life because it's applicable to everyone. 

The sky! (Are you surprised?) Sister C said that's kind of what the clouds look like right before a tornado starts to form. 

~Sister Temp

March 23

So to answer a previous question, people can send me emails or snail mail if they want to tell me something, both are fine. But if they want a response they should do snail mail so I have time to write a letter back, because email time is very limited.

To answer another question, we don't do like any tracting. We probably see equal parts investigators and less-active members. Brother Lindsey, the old branch mission leader, was talking to us and the elders yesterday at church about how different missions are nowadays. When he went on a mission, they were out of the house by 8:30 every morning (but now we have studies until 10-11), they tracted like all day (we don't do that much anymore because it's just really not that effective), and they only did service if there was extra time after tracting, which there usually wasn't. But now missionaries are supposed to make time for service every week and we don't tract a ton, we really depend on members to find us people. Next Sunday the missionaries of our branch are teaching a lesson in church about how missionaries are really just full-time teachers and members are supposed to be the full-time finders because nobody likes people knocking on their door asking them to join their church. It's much easier for members to just serve and be social and meet people and members don't even need to talk to people about church all the time, if they just be friends with people and serve and love them and be an example, church topics will come up and then they have the perfect opportunity to talk about the church and possibly refer them to the missionaries. People are just much more receptive to learning about the gospel from their friends, not random missionaries.

Not a ton of updates this week. Sorry this email is so short but the internet actually just went down in the library for a while so that cut my time pretty short. Here's the quote of the week!

"As you walk to the boundary of your understanding into the twilight of uncertainty, exercising faith, you will be led to find solutions you would not obtain otherwise. With even your strongest faith, God will not always reward you immediately according to your desires. Rather, God will respond with what in His eternal plan is best for you, when it will yield the greatest advantage. Be thankful that sometimes God lets you struggle for a long time before that answer comes. That causes your faith to increase and your character to grow." ~Richard G. Scott
I love this quote so much because I've definitely found this to be true in my life since I left on a mission. My testimony was pretty shaky in the MTC and I prayed a lot looking for answers but I just never felt like God heard me. But, long story short, He did answer me, even though it took awhile. I couldn't understand why it took so long but then I found this quote in what's now probably one of my favorite talks ever, and the reason is because God wanted me to grow. And it worked. And now I'll never doubt anything God does ever again because ultimately it's all part of the plan and He perfectly knows what's best for each of us. If I had been answered immediately, I wouldn't have needed to exercise any faith and my testimony would not be nearly as strong as it is now. 

I know this church is true! That is all.
~Sister Temp

​Here's a picture of us

​and here's the sky. Again. I hope you love the sky as much as I do or these pictures are probably getting old. I hope you realize how hard it was to only pick one picture of the sky to share, out of like the 100 pictures I've taken of the sky this week.

March 16

Everything's great here in McCool Junction and York! I kind of had a breakdown this week because I realized that my mission isn't going to last forever. But that's how it feels when you're here. But I still have a ton of time left so hopefully I'll actually be ready to go home when it happens. I remember just sitting in the car driving to an appointment and I was looking out the window and then I thought to myself "Life is great. I'm so happy to be a missionary here in York, Nebraska. I never want this to end." So it's nice to finally be really enjoying my mission since I kind of have to keep living with it for another 16 months. But Nebraska is really starting to grow on me. I discovered this week how much I LOVE the wind, as long as it's not freezing outside. But it's been like 60-70 all week so the wind just feels really nice. I never understood how Arizona has a complete lack of weather conditions until I came here. Now I'm really excited for tornado season, even though I know I shouldn't be. 

Cameron went to Texas all week, so we haven't seen him for a while and we weren't anticipating a week setback. So he probably can't get baptized on the 28th still since we have quite a few more lessons to teach him and we don't want to just cram them all in. But I'm pretty sure he's still going to be baptized, it may just be a few weeks later than we were expecting.

My sleepiness is as bad as it was in the MTC again. I was doing really good for a while but I don't know what happened, it's just so hard to stay awake all day now. Especially in the mornings. When Sister C turns the lights on and I sit up, it literally feels like it's 10:30 and I just feel so ready to lay down and go to sleep for the night. But I'm sure it'll get better. 

Sick days are the worst. You would think they're nice because you get a break (that's what I thought in the MTC, I couldn't wait to get sick) but it's just awful because you're just sitting around dying to go out and teach, and you feel super guilty for not doing it, and it's so frustrating because you may be contagious so you don't even get the option to suffer in silence and work through it because you really don't want to spread it. People don't really like missionaries as much when they make them sick. But luckily I was better enough to go to church yesterday. It's really weird, as a missionary you just love going to church so much. And I am like SO excited for general conference! You don't even know how excited I am. It's kind of weirding me out. 

Also, according to the program this week, I am now Sister Tram. Hahaha I just think it's so funny because I really don't understand how people are able to mess up a 4 letter name but they can get Christensen every time.

Here's a quote I may or may not have shared before: 
If you look at the world, you'll be distressed,
If you look within, you'll be depressed,
If you look to Christ, you'll be at rest.

Happy almost Saint Pattie's Day!
~Sister Temp

March 9

Well this has been a pretty good week. We had transfers and we were really worried that either us or the elders would get transferred since so many missionaries just went home and we didn't get nearly enough to make up for it, but both sets got to stay! That was a relief since it would be extreeeemely difficult for just 1 set of missionaries to cover this whole huge area the size of Connecticut. 

The motab rule isn't too awful because I really do like motab, but all of their songs sound practically the same to me. We had to deep clean our place this week because of transfers and we only had 1 motab CD so we listened to that for about 4 hours straight. So now I'm just a little sick of motab but it'll be great, I'm sure. This one song, O Divine Redeemer, sounds a lot like parts of the Daleks' theme music from Doctor Who at certain parts, so I had to stop listening to that song because it always got me unfocused. What a strange problem to have. 

At district meeting last week, our district leader gave us this quote that I found fairly accurate: "As missionaries, we are all awkward angels." So true. Just every part of missionary life is so awkward.

Sister C and I had a dinner this week and this Sister served us these things called Snapea Crisps and they are SO GOOD. Sister C and I are kind of obsessed with them, except they're just a tad out of our missionary budget. But hopefully we'll find a way to get more.

Who came up with daylight savings time? Why is this a thing? We lost an hour of sleep Sunday night because of it. Thank goodness Arizona takes no part in such nonsense. 

Cameron is just so ready for the gospel, it's just the best. The Lord prepared him so much for us. We met with him again this week and he OFFERED to say the opening prayer. And normally we have to ask everyone we teach to say the prayer and normally they say no and make one of us say it instead. We taught Cameron the plan of salvation and he was just like "Yeah, this makes sense." It's so cool to watch him just accept everything. He even said that he really doesn't like reading but he enjoys reading the Book of Mormon. I can't wait for him to get baptized. Hopefully nothing gets in his way.

Quote of the Week: A poem we heard in district meeting that I really liked:
I know not by what methods rare,
But this I know, God answers prayer.
I know that He has given His word,
Which tells me prayer is always heard.
And will be answered, soon or late,
And so I pray and calmly wait.
I know not if the blessing sought
Will come in just the way I thought;
But leave my prayers with Him alone,
Whose will is wiser than my own,
Assured that He will grant my quest,
Or send some answer far more blessed.

I love how it repeats "I know not" because it shows faith. We really don't know anything but all we need to know is that God knows everything, and He always answers prayers and gives us what we need.

And I read these amazing talks that I love and highly recommend for everyone. ~Becoming Perfect in Christ - Gerrit W. Gong (this is helping me to get over my perfectionism)
~The Most Important Things - Lawrence E. Corbridge
~Of Things That Matter Most - Dieter F. Uchtdorf. (If you only want to read one of these, definitely pick this one, it's probably my favorite talk ever.)

Also, if you wanna listen to a talk (actually I don't know if you would call it a talk) but we listened to this talk but Troy Dunn (He's kinda like John Bytheway) called Life is a Football Game. This one's super fun and kids would like it too. But you have to listen to it because reading it just wouldn't be the same.

​Look at the sky! It's just so beautiful. All the time. I love it.

~Sister Temp

March 2

This week was woooonderful. On P-day last Monday our zone went bowling, which was a nice break. I scored 124 on my first round! I really miss bowling. And while we were at the bowling alley, Sister C and I found out that apparently we were getting picked up that night for our meeting in Omaha for the next day. Which was news to us. Apparently this mission struggles with communication. They were picking us up at 7 pm, and it was like 4:30 by then. So we hurried home to pack and eat dinner and all that stuff. But when we got to Omaha that night, we found out we were staying with Sister Johnson and her companion! It was so awesome to get to see her again. At the meeting, President Weston informed us that the only approved music for the mission is now Motab. And that's it. Soooooo that was just great news. It was really hard at first but I'm pretty sure the Lord is blessing me to love Motab, because there is no way I should be fine with this, but I am. 

I had to give a training at the last district meeting, so I'm sure you can imagine how excited I was for that. But everyone said it was really good, though I'm not sure I believe them. Hopefully they were listening to the Spirit as their teacher instead of me. Have I mentioned the Secret Guild of Bacon Lovers yet? I learned about it in my first district meeting here and they inducted me in pretty quick, of course. Before the district meeting last Wednesday, we cooked bacon in the church kitchen and it was wonderful. It was the last district meeting for the president of the guild, Elder Ingalls, and so he had to pass off the presidency to someone else and I have no idea why he picked me but I was elected as the next president. And I denied but they ignored my refusal and voted me in anyway. And apparently you're not allowed to fire yourself as president. I asked. 

We went to Adopt-a-Pet on Thursday and it was like the saddest thing ever. My favorite dog Wiley had to go and bite someone and apparently it was really serious so they have to put him down. Sister C and I got to have one last goodbye with him before they took him away. I don't understand why he would bite anyone, he's such a gentle giant. It's gonna be so sad going back there when he's gone.

Yesterday at church was really cool since it was testimony meeting. It's so different being in a small branch instead of a huge ward. I've only been here for a little over a month and I knew everyone that went up and shared their testimonies. It's different from when I was in a ward for like 8 years and every fast Sunday I would sit there and wonder who half the people were that went up to bear their testimonies. I like actually knowing everyone at church.  

There's such weird lingo here. I'm gonna come back and none of you will be able to understand anything I'll say. I'll say phrases like, "Let's have supper at the Runzas a couple-three farcansees away."

I have a question for yall, what do you want from my emails? Day-to-day life, cool experiences, the people I teach, I don't know. Feedback would be appreciated. I don't know if anything I say actually matters or not. 

Quote of the Week: "So often we get caught up in the illusion that there is something just beyond our reach that would bring us happiness: a better family situation, a better financial situation, or the end of a challenging trial. Doesn't it seem foolish to spoil sweet and joyful experiences because we are constantly anticipating the moment when they will end? Life is not meant to be appreciated only in retrospect." ~Dieter F. Uchtdorf. I just love Uchtdorf so much. 

~Sister Temp

I forgot pictures! This is the beautiful sky. I am literally obsessed with the Nebraska sky. That is my absolute favorite part of being here I think. I just love the clouds and the colors and it's always so beautiful.

This is me and Sis C, being great companions.

And this is our gloriously awkward district.

~Sister Temp

Sorry, here's just a few more pictures. I apologize for their awkwardness. But I felt like they had to be sent.

Feb 23

Things are greeeeat, I'm more adjusted to the cold now. Like this morning we walked over to the Byers to do our laundry and I was wearing a cardigan, not my big coat, cuz I had barely showered and as we were walking over there (it only takes like a minute to walk from our door to theirs) I realized that my hair had frozen since it was still wet. My hair froze. It was weird, but kinda cool. So the cold isn't too bad anymore. I've gotten better with sleep too, I'm not totally miserable and exhausted when I have to get up in the morning, but I do still nap during most of our lunch hours.

My companion is still great, have I really talked about Sister Christensen yet? She is literally exactly like me. Except like a better me since she's been on a mission for almost a year and a half now. But we think exactly the same way and have a lot of similar experiences and she always knows what I prefer with everything because she just has to think about what she would prefer, and vice versa. Like we don't even have to explain ourselves cuz we know the other thinks the same way. It's so nice to be on the same page about everything. And she was super shy too so she always knows how to help me with that. 

Being the primary pianist is awesome, the kids are so cute. And even though I haven't had enough time to practice all the songs we do and I know there's no way I could play them as well as I do, my fingers just go to the right place and it surprises me that I'm able to play it. It's definitely a blessing.  And yesterday when I went into primary, the primary president was asking all the teachers and adults in the room what they were going to do this week to remember Christ more and they said all the basic answers like scriptures and prayer and stuff, and then she asked me and I said that I would try to serve more this week. And this one girl in the front row, probably about 9, nodded all seriously when I said that and then she was like "Sister Temp? That's gonna be really hard for you since you already do sooo much service." I love all the kids.
Last week at our district meeting, Sister C and I walked in and there was a package of hot dogs on my seat. And all the elders were just staring at me waiting to see my reaction, because I had told Elder Ingalls and Williams a few days before that I was picky and I told them everything I didn't like and it shocked them a lot. And so they decided to buy me hot dogs. Naturally. But then they're like okay okay, here's something you actually like. And then they pulled out a cheesecake and life was good. But then I shocked them again when i picked all the cherries off and they can't understand how there's even anything I'm willing to eat. 

Here's an update on Danielle. So we went with Brother Hofferber, the branch mission leader, to go try her again since he said we're not allowed to go back without an adult, plus it doesn't hurt that he's a cop. So we go to the door and some guy answers and apparently Danielle is in jail. So there's the end of that story. We're not allowed to go to the prison but Brother Hofferber is gonna find out what she's in for and how long, so we know if we can see her again.
Here's an awesome story, so we got a referral from the Hastings elders because there's this girl in their ward who has a boyfriend who lives here in York and he's not a member but she got him to meet with the missionaries. That's us. So we got to meet with him on Saturday for the first time and we taught him the Restoration and he just sat there taking everything in and accepting it all and the Spirit was really strong and then at the end of the lesson we asked if he would be baptized and he immediately said yes! He's set for March 28! So that's exciting. He came to church yesterday too and just quietly took everything in and told us about how he loves it.
So there's my week. And if you're looking for something to pray for, you could totally pray for me for this Wednesday because I'm giving a training at district meeting and I'm just . . . really looking forward to that.
I forgot my quote book at home, dang it. Um, how about one by Uchtdorf? "Wherever you are, whatever your circumstances may be, you are not forgotten. No matter how dark your days may seem, no matter how insignificant you may feel, no matter how overshadowed you think you may be, your Heavenly Father has not forgotten you. In fact, He loves you with an infinite love."
~Sister Temp

I forgot pictures, but here are a few. Oh and transfers are coming up next week, I think they officially happen Friday and we'll know what's happening the day before. But there's no way Sister C or I are getting transferred. And transfers happen every 6 weeks. Except the next transfer is only going to be 5 weeks for some reason, so the one after may be 7? We're not sure.

Here are all the sisters in our zone, minus the set of Spanish speaking. The one next to me in the scarf is Sister Lutz and the one below me and Sister C is Sister Wilson, they're our sister training leaders. And the 2 on the left are the Grand Island sisters, but I don't know them like at all. 

​And this is Sister Christensen. She's great.

Feb 17

We got a new investigator! I'm so excited. Her name is Jackie and we haven't even barely talked with her yet, but Sister Christensen and Sister Wrubell (the missionary before me) went and tried her house before but she said it was a bad time and told them to come back later. So she still doesn't even really know who we are as missionaries. Sister Christensen and I tried her again a few days ago and it was stiiiill a bad time, but THEN she was like, "Do you have any reading material or anything I could have till you come back?" And we kind of stood there shocked for a second before we were like "Oh! Yes we do! Are you familiar with the Book of Mormon?" And so now she's reading a chapter and we need to go back and see her again.  Oh and remember Dora from last week? Sister Lutz informed me that she is getting baptized. YES.

Have I talked about Adopt-a-pet yet? We volunteer there every Tuesday and Thursday and we just feed the dogs and take them outside and love them because a lot of them were abused before we got them and they don't trust people a ton. But they usually come around pretty fast. There's this one dog that's my favorite and he's this huge rottweiler named Wiley. He's so cute. I love the big dogs. And there's this lab who fetches tennis balls like you would not believe. I just love the dogs here. 

So last Wednesday we had zone training in Kearney and it's like 3 hours away. And then after it started, the first thing Elder Ingalls, the missionary that was conducting said was "And now we're gonna have Sister Temp bear her testimony." So that was exciting. And I had no idea what to say. I don't even know what I said but everyone said it was really sincere and amazing, so that's good. Then after the meeting, we had zone olympic tryouts, and apparently now since I was the only girl that tried pushups (cuz they said you have to try at least one and that's what I hate least) I have to compete at our big zone conference thing next month. So I can't wait to embarrass myself there. 

Funny story, as we were leaving, we couldn't find our phone and then we realized we had left it at home. And then when we got home we couldn't find it and theeeeeen we realized that we actually left it in my jacket pocket, which jacket we left in the girls bathroom at the church building in Kearney. Soooooooo we didn't even have a phone to call someone to help us out so we had to borrow the Byers' phone and go online to the stake directory, trying to get the zone leaders' number and we had to go through like 30 people and finally got it. But turns out the set of elders in our area, Elder Ingalls and Elder Williams, were still IN Kearney on exchanges so they were able to just bring it to us the next day. And they won't let it go already. 

Did I mention that I had to give a talk this last Sunday? That was greeeeeeat. It was on faith and I was able to plan it all the night before and the morning of. Missionaries don't actually have a ton of time to prepare talks, ya know? But it was okay. All 4 of us missionaries in the branch had to speak, and it was a really good sacrament meeting. We all got a bunch of compliments on our talks and we got a lot of people saying to us "it's nice to know that missionaries are just regular people too." Cuz we all shared these experiences of times when we really struggled, which we didn't plan but it seemed to be the theme. I also had one lady ask if I did sports and I was confused and said no and then she's like oh, well I was just wondering because I noticed during your talk that you had buff arms! Like nice buff arms! I'm really impressed! So that was a bit weird, but whatever.

People here have weird lingo. They say "couple-three" which is just 2 or 3 I think. The elders in our branch say it mockingly all the time so sometimes I have to try really hard not to say it as a joke to the members here because they really do say it all the time. The elders won't let it go that I took a nap at our family history thing we did and they keep bringing it up all the time. They are not ones to let things go like that, but I'm fine with it cuz they're pretty funny. The elders in our branch are awesome but they're possibly being taken out next transfer, which will be really hard because then me and Sister C will have to cover all the area ourselves, and our area is the size of Connecticut. Seriously. We know because the elders told us. So I really hope they stay because Sister C is going home in 2 transfers which means I will be the senior missionary is this huge new area. And I will die. 

Here's a quote on faith! "Faith makes things possible, not easy." And since that's so short I'll add a bonus quote. "Trials are mandatory, misery is optional."

Feb 9

Hey so Sister Hannah, who was in my MTC district, has a website with all the MTC pictures so heres a link she sent me. Don't judge my outfits. You very quickly reach a point where you don't care how you dress, you just try to make it work and be warm. Boots are the BEST. These warm boots are so comfortable and great in snow and I wear them every day and they're so great, I'm so glad I decided I wanted them. And this snow jacket is so great too. 

I'm just about over my cold, which is such a relief. It's so nice to be able to breathe again. I love being able to inhale, I'm not gonna take that for granted for a while. But of course there's always something with me. As soon as I got better, we found out that I have eczema on my right hand so yaaaaaaaay. It's on my knuckles and down the side of my hand so it feels greeeeeat whenever I have to shake hands with someone. But I'd much rather have this than a stuffy nose. 

We got to go on exchanges this week, so that was exciting. We went up to meet our sister training leaders in Kearney, Sister Lutz (who is from Canadaaaaa) and Sister Wilson. They're so awesome. And slightly insane but still awesome. I went with Sister Lutz and we had barely left when we got a call from Sister Wilson and Christensen telling us that they had just got a call from the ward mission leader who had been assigned to give a training in this huge meeting that night with a ton of big priesthood leaders in the area like all the bishops and branch presidents and stake people and mission leaders and such and he told them that he couldn't make it so he decided to ask the sister missionaries to do it in his place. And Sister Wilson and Christensen said they prayed about it and felt that they should be the two to give the training. Which was totally fine with me. It's so amazing how God answers prayers so quickly sometimes because for exchanges Sister C and I both came up with some goals and mine was just to at least bear my testimony to everyone we talked to since I'd been having trouble speaking up in lessons (shocking, right?) and that went okay, but Sister C had set a goal to eliminate fear. And of course we prayed for help to accomplish our goals and God decided that He would help her along by giving her a huge training to do in front of all these big priesthood leaders on short notice. And she was slightly freaking out a bit but they did it and they were great and she says that everything else is just so easy in comparison. 

While I was with Sister Lutz we decided to go tracting, which was about as successful as you would expect, BUT then we saw this lady shoveling snow and we went and helped her and her name was Dora and she could barely speak English but then we said Jesuchristo (is that how you spell it?) and then she understood and she let us set up an appointment with her and she's a new investigator!

We had another blizzard on Wednesday so we got stuck in Kearney all morning and we barely made it to our district meeting on time. But we had a really cool experience! Sister C and I were driving to our district meeting from Kearney and we were on the freeway and we were kind of confused cuz our GPS was telling us to get off the freeway even though we still had quite a bit to go but we got off the freeway and as soon as we drove off the ramp our gas thing started beeping and we realized we were like completely empty and we happened to be driving RIGHT past a gas station that's right off the freeway so we turned in and filled up and then the GPS told us to get back on the freeway instead of to keep going the random way it was taking us before. God took control of our GPS! it was really cool and I'm not describing it right but it was a miracle. 

Have I talked about my district here yet? They're really cool. Not as cool as my mtc district but they're okay. Our district leader, Elder Sellers, kinda struggles, which is hilarious. When he was introducing me on the first day I was there he called me Sister Tempt, and everyone jumped on him for that, and then later he accidentally referred to the senior couple in our district as old people, and everyone jumped on him for that too, and he just can't get anything out right apparently. He also told the district to open to the book of Zeezrom like a month ago and they still won't let that go. But it's all in good fun. 

Everyone here is dying. That's how they describe it when you go home from your mission. Sister C is going home in 2 transfers and so is one of the sister training leaders and a few people from our district and then the transfer after that the other sister training leader goes home and a few more people from our district and it's really sad and there are only like 2 elders that are staying longer than that. Oh and Sister C and I are the only sisters in the district, which is slightly awkward. 

Zone Olympics are coming up this Wednesday, so that's . . . exciting. Not really. Apparently everyone has to participate and there are like pushups and situps and stick pull and arm curls and sprints and I'm not excited for all that humiliation. But I'm sure everyone else is super out of shape too, especially since they've all been here so long and there's not really much you can do for exercise around here. It's not like you can just go out jogging in this weather. It's like super foggy today. I walked outside and I thought it was sprinkling for a second cuz I felt little water droplets on my face and arms but nope, that's just all the moisture in the air. It's awful. I miss Arizona weather where it's the same every day. The weather is so bipolar here, it was freezing for half the week, like in the negatives sometimes, and then Sunday, it was hot (well, it was "hot" in comparison) and I only wore a sweater. It's so weird. I don't like a variety in my weather.

Yesterday was branch conference, and it was super weird cuz afterwards there was a potluck with the whole branch and they just took down the chairs in the chapel and set up tables in there and there were less tables than there would be at a young women event in our ward. We don't even have a real building, it's like one of those buildings with different businesses in each door, so it's kind of set up like a doctor's office-ish? with a long hallway and little rooms and the big main room. But it still feels like a church building, so that's good. 

We haven't found any investigators yet cuz it's so cold and you don't really tract much in the winter cuz people won't answer the doors and if they do they'll call you crazy and tell you to go home and get warm. But we are pretty close to getting an investigator with this one woman named Danielle. I haven't met her yet but Sister C and her old companion went and tried her door a few weeks, or maybe a few months, back and she came out and talked to them and told them that she found God when she was in prison a while back and they gave her a Book of Mormon but they hadn't gone back to see her again yet. We tried her a few days ago and it was night and we got to the door and could smell alcohol pretty bad but we knocked anyway and this guy answered and he was apparently super drunk and he asked who we were and when we told him and said that we wanted to meet with Danielle he said that he was her brother and that she definitely wouldn't wanna meet with us so we should just go home. Soooooo we left and decided we would try again when he wasn't there but this other guy yelled after us a few minutes later asking if we wanted to teach them and we asked if there was a better time and he told us to come back next week. So who knows. 

While I was sick I read Our Search for Happiness by M. Russell Ballard (cuz we were snowed in and there wasn't anything else to do) and I really liked it and it answered a lot of my questions that I was wondering and there was this one quote I really liked: "Many of our missionaries begin their missions thinking they are going to repay Heavenly Father for His goodness toward them by serving Him for 18 months or 2 years. But before long they learn an important eternal truth: you can never do more for the Lord than He can do for you." And it's so true because no matter how hard you try, you can never repay Him because while you're trying to serve Him, he just keeps blessing you and it's impossible to ever be even.

Quote of the Week: Believe, when you are most unhappy, that there is something for you to do in the world. So long as you can sweeten another's pain, life is not in vain." -Helen Keller

~Sister Temp

Feb 2

I have pictures this week! Not very many though because my MTC district people still haven't sent me pictures from then, but I have a few. Here are a few pictures of me and Sister Johnson at the MTC! These 2 pictures are the 2 states you would usually find us in.
She was so weird. Hahaha but she was great. And apparently I can only send 2 pictures in an email. Oh well.
Yeah so we technically live on a farm but there are only a few animals like some horses and chickens and goats. We don't have to do anything with them though, so that's great. We really don't do much with the Byers, we go over every night to read scriptures with them but otherwise we stay in our house. Except we go over on Pday to do laundry and every Wednesday we go over for dinner. This past Wednesday we had chighetti. Which was very . . . interesting. It was spaghetti with chicken and broccoli and Velveeta cheese and . . . yeah it was just interesting.  
We have a meal calendar that we pass around in Relief Society so people can sign up to feed us dinner but since there are about 8 women in relief society, we usually don't get fed dinner. Except every Monday we go to the branch president's house for dinner and family home evening and we get to play Spot It which is SO fun, but maybe that's just from a missionary perspective. The branch president is so . . . wise? I guess you could say, he just really knows what he's talking about all the time. And he makes the worst puns ever which I find hilarious and he says them so casually and quietly that most people usually miss them while I'm sitting there trying not to laugh. Oh and there's this nice young return missionary couple that fed us twice this week and it was so good. They totally understand what being a missionary is like cuz they were just out like 4 years ago so they're really cool to talk to.
I wish we could go to the temple but we can't cuz we're too far away. Missionaries only get to go to the temple once a transfer if they live within a certain distance of the temple and we are waaaaaaay out of bounds for that.
We usually spend our days inside for a long time doing personal study and companion study and all that and then when we go out, it's a lot of member work. We don't go tracting (or at least we haven't yet), we mostly just visit less active members or visit with member families to keep them strong. I think it depends on the area though, so it's probably different in other places. We don't even set up appointments because the people here are so flaky. We just show up and usually they're home and available, which isn't that odd because there's not really anywhere to go here . . . this town is so tiny.
I really feel a lot better about this whole missionary deal this week, which is sad because I feel like I was just getting used to it and enjoying it when I got kinda sick on Friday and then I got super sick on Saturday and Sunday was bad too. I think I'm starting to get better but I'm still not great. Sister Christensen says that she and her old companion got super sick for like a month and President told them that the reason they get sick is because that's the only way Satan could get to them. That makes sense in my case since I was just starting to get comfortable. But now I'm even more determined to be an amazing missionary so his plan kinda backfired.
Church got cancelled yesterday because of the awful storm that hit. There is SO MUCH SNOW. I'm now starting to realize how much I really hate snow. Why would anyone choose to live where it snows. 
Cool experience, Sister C and I were going to an appointment and I felt kinda sick in my stomach, like not physically sick but kind of a bad feeling but I have that a lot so I didn't think too much about it and then we got to the appointment and she started to say the prayer cuz we always pray before we go teach but I was really distracted by the feeling, like it was trying to get my attention and it took me a second that she had stopped midprayer and I could tell we were both on the same page and she reached for the keys and turned the car back on and got out of there. We don't know what would've happened but it's so cool that we both felt it and knew the Spirit was telling us to leave. 

Quote: Fear is the opposite of faith. If you have fear, faith diminishes, but if you have faith, fear diminishes.