Tuesday, January 12, 2016

January 11, 2015

Alright, I have some bad news. (Well, not bad, just news.) Because the mtc is going back to 3 weeks instead of 2, I have an extra week on my mission now. And President Gardner changed everything about how transfers work so now transfers happen on Wednesday instead of Friday, and missionaries going home leave on Thursday instead of Wednesday. So with the extra week and the extra day, I'll now be coming home on July 28.

​Yesterday was so COLD. -1 degree. Who does that. It was actually -3 earlier but I didn't have my camera then. Today when we walked outside I thought, "Hey, this is pretty nice, it's not nearly as bad as yesterday." and then we got in the car and saw that it was 20 degrees and I was like, "Hey that's not bad!" It's weird how your brain adjusts so that 20 degrees becomes "pretty nice."

On Wednesday we had zone training and I got to see Sister Tiritilli (because we're still in the same zone) and Sister Johnson (because she's our sister training leader)! It was so fun to be with them again. When the zone leaders were making announcements, they said that my birthday had been the day before (awkward) and then they said the sister training leaders had something planned. So they made me go to the front and sit in a chair and they sang happy birthday and it was awkward because having people sing to you is always awkward but then Sister Johnson walked in and handed me a pack of bacon, so it was all good. Haha after zone training, this elder walked up to me (he's the new AP but he was also in my very first district) and he joked about how it's better to get bacon than a pack of hot dogs. (because forever ago, some elders gave me a pack of hot dogs because they thought they were funny and I told them I don't like hot dogs.) Bacon is definitely better than hot dogs.

So I read this amazing talk and all of you need to read it as well, here's link. It explains the Atonement so perfectly.  https://speeches.byu.edu/talks/stephen-e-robinson_believing-christ-practical-approach-atonement/

Quote of the Week:
"Of course we fail at the celestial level. That’s why we need a savior, and we are commanded to approach God and to call upon him so we may receive *according
to our desires. *In the New Testament the Savior says, 'Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled' (Matthew 5:6). We misinterpret that frequently. We think that means blessed are the righteous. It does not. When are you hungry? When are you thirsty? When you don’t have the object of your desire. Blessed are those who hunger and thirst after the righteousness that God has, after the righteousness of the celestial kingdom, because as that is the desire of their heart, they can achieve it—they will be filled. We may receive 'according to our desires.'" ~Stephen E. Robinson

~Sister Temp

Wednesday, January 6, 2016

January 4, 2015

Well, it's been another uneventful week. Probably the most exciting thing is that a couple days ago the couple in the apartment room across from us asked us to fish-sit for them, so we go and feed their fish every morning. They get home tonight though, so that's the end of that.
We have this investigator named Tony who is just sooo excited to learn all about what Mormons believe. I've never taught someone who just absorbs everything we say and constantly wants more information. It's really cool. When we saw him this week, we basically just did a question and answer session where he asked everything he's ever wondered about our religion, and he's sincerely studying the Book of Mormon. The only problem is he might be too cerebral and he just wants to know everything for the sake of gaining knowledge, not to learn if it's true. So we're trying to get him to focus more on the spiritual aspect of it.
Sooo, my birthday is tomorrow and I was wondering if I might make a request. It's super simple, I just want all yall to send me 1 or 2 or 3 or 4 or 5 or how ever many you want to send of your favorite scriptures and/or quotes. Because I really like scriptures and quotes. Thanks!

Quote of the Week:
“We don’t have to be fast; we simply have to be steady and move in the right direction. We have to do the best we can, one step after another…The only thing you need to worry about is striving to be the best you can be. And how do you do that? You keep your eye on the goals that matter most in life, and you move towards them step by step…That is easy enough. We don’t have to be perfect today. We don’t have to be better than someone else. All we have to do is to be the very best we can.” 
~Joseph B. Wirthlin
Oh, and fun fact: gratitude has the same effect on your brain as antidepressants. That's pretty cool.
"The benefits of gratitude start with the dopamine system, because feeling grateful activates the brain stem region that produces dopamine…One powerful effect of gratitude is that it can boost serotonin. Trying to think of things you are grateful for forces you to focus on the positive aspects of your life. This simple act increases serotonin production in the anterior cingulate cortex...It’s not finding gratitude that matters most; it’s remembering to look in the first place. Remembering to be grateful is a form of emotional intelligence. One study found that it actually affected neuron density in both the ventromedial and lateral prefrontal cortex. These density changes suggest that as emotional intelligence increases, the neurons in these areas become more efficient. With higher emotional intelligence, it simply takes less effort to be grateful."
So that's awesome. I have a whole article about it too, and other stuff that makes you happy. http://time.com/4042834/neuroscience-happy-rituals/?xid=emailshare

~Sister Temp

December 28, 2015

I'm emailing later than usual because of a huge winter storm that's coming through. President Gardner grounded all the missionaries, but he ungrounded us for a couple hours to hurry and email and shop, and then we have to go back home and be grounded again. Not that I mind. I'd rather go home and sleep anyway.

We have had so many miracles this week! Not like major miracles, but a bunch of baby miracles. We did a LOT of tracting this week because we have about 2.5 investigators and people are generally nicer around Christmas time so we thought that would be a good idea, and it actually was! We handed out those "A Savior is Born" cards like candy and people kept saying that we could come back and talk to them more! People never say that when we tract into them! It was crazy.
We had a lesson with one of our investigators, Katherine, who's this sweet 16 year old girl from Iraq. Her family isn't very interested but she loves learning. We were worried she would never accept the Book of Mormon but we asked her if she had a chance to read and pray about it and she said she did! And she was almost in tears when she told us she knew it was true and it was the word of God. I've never taught anyone who's so sincere. And then we asked if she would be baptized and she said no. But that's okay, she wants to be baptized, she just doesn't want to yet. It'll work out.
Christmas Eve and Christmas were pretty great. The members here are so sweet. They kept inviting us over and feeding us treats, because that's what you do on Christmas. Christmas Eve dinner, the members had these little poppers (Like the cute little poppers they use in British television, like Doctor Who or Harry Potter.) and they had little gifts in them and paper crowns and it was so fun. 

​This is delayed, but here's a group picture we took with Elder and Sister Martino when they came for the mission tour. I was still with Sister Tiritilli then, but you can see Sister Munger in the polka dot dress, so we're basically together.

Quote of the Week: (New Years Themed!)
"The Holy Ghost doesn’t tell us to improve everything at once. If He did, we would become discouraged and give up. The Spirit works with us at our own speed, one step at a time, or as the Lord has taught, 'line upon line, precept upon precept.' The atoning sacrifice of the Savior is what makes perfection or sanctification possible. We could never do it on our own, but God’s grace is sufficient to help us. . . Be persistent, brothers and sisters, but never be discouraged. We will have to go beyond the grave before we actually reach perfection, but here in mortality we can lay the foundation. 'It is our duty to be better today than we were yesterday, and better tomorrow than we are today.'” 

~Larry R. Lawrence ("What Lack I Yet?")

​Here's our Christmas tree! Yes, it's wearing a sombrero. 

~Sister Temp

Snow. Everywhere. Always.

December 21, 2015

Heyyyyyyyy. So I got transferred! Shocking. I didn't go very far, I'm in Lincoln now in the Holmes Lake ward with Sister Munger. She's basically the best missionary ever. She's 22 and she came out a couple transfers after me and she only got to this area 5 weeks before me, so we're kind of learning it together. She's awesome. We're gonna be best friends. 

Sunday was pretty overwhelming with getting to know everyone. I'm kind of sad I got transferred right before Christmas because Sister Tiritilli and I already had so many Christmas plans with all the members and now I don't really know anyone, but that's okay because the ones I've met so far are awesome. (Did I mention Sister Tiritilli is training? Good luck to her.)
We live in an apartment, and it's super weird to not live with members for the first time. I thought I would miss it, but it's really not that different. It's actually kind of nice to have a whole place to ourselves. I just miss driving a truck.
We watched this AWESOME video last night with a member and it's Lindsey Stirling playing for the #ASaviorIsBorn initiative. It's amazing. Everyone needs to watch it.


Quote of the Week:
"The Hebrew translation of the word devil is "spoiler." The devil seeks to spoil your journey into the eternities. He attempts to interfere with your potential here and hereafter. He seeks to have you exercise your agency unwisely. Some young people, eager to assert their independence, feel that their independence is best demonstrated by choosing to do something wrong. Any fool can do that; any crowd can do that. In fact, independence, real freedom, is best exhibited and experienced by always choosing the right. God has given you not only the right to choose between good and evil but also the power to choose good over evil! Thereby God has given you greater power than Satan and his hosts."
Oh, and here's my new address:
4544 Bancroft Ave #5
Lincoln, NE 68506

This is awkward because I don't have a picture of the sky, but here's a gingerbread house we made with the Gibsons before I got transferred. It's supposed to kind of be a temple, the gingerbread man on top is supposed to be the little angel Moroni, and the one by the door is a sister missionary/mermaid. With one eye. We're really talented.
Merry Christmas!
~Sister Temp


December 14, 2015

This week was crazy and I feel like there's so much to talk about. 

Most importantly, we had our Christmas zone conference this week! That was my favorite thing in the world. We had some trainings from Pres G and the Assistants and then we had our "program" and a bunch of missionaries did skits and performances and things like that. Sister Tiritilli and I wanted to do something together with her on the guitar and me on the piano, but we couldn't find anything that worked. But we had already signed up to do a performance so I said I would just play one of my Christmas songs on the piano. And then on Tuesday during lunch we went to the church so I could practice my song, and while I was practicing Sister Tiritilli started to mess around on the guitar and then she found this really cool pattern she liked, and then words popped in her head to go along with it. So then I joined in and started helping come up with words, and we came up with about half the song right there. And then all throughout the day the perfect lyrics kept popping in our heads and by 10:30 that night we had the entire song written. So that was pretty sweet. We wrote a whole song in less than a day. And I swear that song was 100% by the Spirit because Sister Tiritilli and I are the least musically talented people/singers that I've ever met. And then Sister Tiritilli panicked and said she couldn't perform it by herself so she made me sing it with her at zone conference. And it wasn't that bad. Here are ze lyrics (don't judge them, they sound better to music):

Savior, you are all I need, 
In this harsh world, you gave my eyes to believe,
Savior, help me find my way, 
I want to feel your warm embrace,
And I ask you to be my guide, 
And you tell me that you're by my side,
You've done everything for me,

You open my eyes, fill me with hope, enlighten my heart with all of your love,
You gave up your life so I could return back to my Heavenly Father above.

Savior, you are God's chosen son, 
You paid the price for everyone,
Savior, you have the power to heal, 
And that's because you know just how we feel,
And I love you, the Great I Am, 
To repay you, I will feed your lambs,
You've done everything for me,

You open my eyes, fill me with hope, enlighten my heart with all of your love,
You gave up your life so I could return back to my Heavenly Father above,
Back to my Heavenly Father above,
And it's all because of your love.

Ta-daaaaa. It really does sound better with music, I promise.

And then on Friday we had exchanges! And guess who I got to be with? SISTER JOHNSON. It was basically the best day of this transfer. We had so much fun. And Friday night was the ward Christmas party so Sister Johnson got to see everyone! Everyone came up and hugged her and said hi, but they weren't nearly as excited to see her as we thought they would be. And then about half an hour into the party, everyone realized that Sister Johnson shouldn't actually be there. They all said that they didn't even realize anything was special because it felt so natural for her to be there. 


And then this morning, our favorite semi-less-active member Waylon had us come over to his cousin's house where they had a professional microphone and recording equipment and Sister T and I got to record our song! He said he would probably be done with it by transfers.

​Here's me pretending I can play the guitar.

Oh right, TRANSFERS is this Friday. I know something is for sure happening with me and Sister Tiritilli because President and the Sister Training Leaders keep implying it. And while I was with Sister Johnson, I tried to get her to tell me what was going on but she wouldn't because she said she needs to keep President's trust, which I understand. But Sis J's companion is super trunky and told Sister Tiritilli what was happening and Sister Tiritilli likes to hold things over my head so she won't tell me. Sooooooo it'll just be a surprise for everyone.

Quote of the Week:
"To those within the sound of my voice who are struggling with challenges and difficulties large and small, prayer is the provider of spiritual strength; it is the passport to peace . . .Miracles are wrought through prayer." ~Thomas S. Monson

~Sister Temp

December 7, 2015

I could definitely be a professional Christmas tree fluffer when I get off my mission. I have had a ridiculous amount of practice in the last couple weeks. That's probably my future career. 

Anyway, this week was weird. We went to see this investigator named George that Sister Tiritilli and Sister Johnson had met before I got here, and he's interesting. He did say he would definitely study the Book or Mormon, but he seems a little skeptical about it. He truly believes that mankind was put on earth by Martians. Sooo we'll see if the Spirit can straighten him out.

Here's a picture of me and 2 other sisters at zone training when we all decided it was a sweater, scarf and maxi skirt day.

Here's a fun story. So we helped this less active lady to set a date to go to the temple since she hasn't been in forever and we decided on Saturday. So Saturday comes and this other member who was going to go with us drove us up to the temple. (The less active lady said she would have her son give her a ride since he wanted to go too.) So we get to the temple and lo-and-behold, the less active lady and her son didn't show up. So we didn't know what to do since we're only allowed to go to the temple if we bring a recent convert or less active member. So we asked President Gardner what to do and he said we could do sealings! It was Sister Tiritilli's first time doing sealings, so that was pretty cool. AND, as we were leaving the temple, we ran into Sister Johnson in the parking lot! That was the best thing ever.

​Sister Tiritilli's awkward fortune cookie.

One of the members in our ward had this genius idea of doing "Living Christmas Cards." Which basically means that someone in the ward will give us the name and number of someone they want to deliver a living Christmas card to, and then we go visit that person, sing them a couple Christmas songs, and read the story of Christ's birth in Luke 2. Which all seems like a really good idea at first, until you actually do it and realize how awkward it is. It's so awkward. Especially since Sister T and I are literally the worst singers I've ever met. 

A Savior Is Born is so awesome! If you haven't seen it yet, go watch it. 

And then go share it with all your friends. If you want pass-along cards, let me know and I can hook you up. We only have a couple three million of them.

Quote of the Week:
Please understand that what you see and experience now is not what forever will be. You will not feel loneliness, sorrow, pain, or discouragement forever. We have the faithful promise of God that He will neither forget nor forsake those who incline their hearts to Him. Have hope and faith in that promise.Learn to love your Heavenly Father and become His disciple in word and in deed. Be assured that if you but hold on, believe in Him, and remain faithful in keeping the commandments, one day you will experience for yourselves the promises revealed to the Apostle Paul: “Eye hath not seen, nor ear heard, neither have entered into the heart of man, the things which God hath prepared for them that love him.”
~Dieter F. Uchtdorf

And one more, because last week's quote was lame:
"Weaknesses and trials teach us charity, compassion, meekness, patience, courage, long-suffering, wisdom, stamina, forgiveness, resilience, gratitude, creativity, and other attributes we need to become like God."

~Sister Temp

November 30, 2015

Winter decided to happen. This car looks like it's dripping but those are actually icicles. Literally everything was coated in an inch of ice. It was crazy. We were backing out of our driveway but then the truck started spinning on the ice and almost hit a brick pillar but luckily the Spirit stopped it for us.
On Thanksgiving, we actually only had 2 dinner appointments, one with the stake patriarch (who is like 90-something and all his family was over and no one under 60 was there besides us) and one with the Gibsons, who are still my favorite family in Nebraska City.  Sorry this is so short, we don't have as much time to email because our cars got grounded today because of the snow so we had to get a ride from a member and they're ready to leave already.
Quote of the week: "Happy Holidays!" ~Sister Tiritilli to a Jehovah's Witness. That was awkward.

We really love our truck. Especially now that it's winter.

November 23, 2015

On Monday we got to go to a cat funeral. Our dinner appointment told us their cat died that day and so after we ate dinner we went and buried their cat in the backyard. Their uncle drove all the way from Omaha for the funeral because apparently he was very emotionally attached to the cat as well. They asked us to say a prayer and share a scripture so we shared Mosiah 16:7-8 and then we all sang a song about the cat. It was the most solemn funeral I've ever attended.

On Tuesday we had zone conference and Elder Martino from the Seventy came and spoke to us. I can see why he's a general authority. It was the coolest. So much good missionary advice. And cool story, I actually got a priesthood blessing from Elder Martino. 

Quote of the week from Elder Martino's talk this last general conference:
"If you have felt to sing the song of redeeming love, I would ask, can ye feel so now? If you do not feel it now, you can feel it again, but consider Nephi's counsel. Be obedient, remember the times when have felt the Spirit in the past, and ask in faith. Your answer will come, and you will feel the love and peace of the Savior. It may not come as quickly or in the format you desire, but the answer will come. Do not give up. Never give up."

I think so many people just give up because they forget the spiritual experiences they've had. You think you'll remember an amazing experience because the Spirit is so strong and it seems unforgettable, but you'll still forget. That's why writing those things in your journal is so important! (And this is a little hypocritical because I've only written in my own journal a couple three or four times in the last 2 months, but don't worry, I repented.) Like in the Book of Mormon in 3 Nephi when the sign appears, everyone is amazed and gets baptized. But like 3 years later they were already forgetting what they saw and they started disbelieving all the things they had heard and seen. If you don't write down your exact feelings, Satan will lessen the experience in your mind and you'll dismiss it. All throughout the Book of Mormon the prophets are telling the people to remember their fathers and remember when they had faith and remember the things they experienced. 

Alright there's my rant of the week.

~Sister Temp

​Oh Nebraska . . . You can't be Harry Potter.

​And here's Sister T and our wacko dog, Izzy. (She is seriously the weirdest dog ever.)

November 16, 2015

So, I'm still in Neb City, and Sister Tiritilli is still in Neb City, but Sister Johnson is gone now. But we all knew that was coming. She became a sister training leader in Papillion, so luckily that means she's OUR sister training leader! So she gets to come do exchanges with us, so it wasn't too sad to see her go. Here's a picture of practically all of my favorite sister missionaries in Nebraska. I got to see Sister Peters again too! She's a sister training leader as well. 

And guess what? Sister Brunner is in Elkhorn now! Kind of. The stake changed a bunch of ward boundaries, so she's in half of "Elkhorn" which is now called Pacific Ridge I think. This transfer is going to go by so fast since it's only 5 weeks long. 

Our last picture together as a trio. It's so sad. (And yes, that elder in the back did photobomb every single picture I took during transfers, which were not a few.)

Anyway, transfers was the only exciting thing that happened this week. Besides me getting sick yesterday. Being sick is the worst on a mission. Good thing it's a P-day so I don't have to feel guilty about not working.

Quote of the week (from my favorite conference talk):

       "I have struggled to banish the mortal desire to have things my way, eventually realizing that my way is oh so lacking, limited, and inferior to the way of Jesus Christ. “His way is the path that leads to happiness in this life and eternal life in the world to come.” Can we love Jesus Christ and His way more than we love ourselves and our own agenda? 
       "Some may think they have failed too many times and feel too weak to change sinful acts or worldly desires of the heart. However, as covenant Israel, we don’t just try and try on our own to change. If we earnestly appeal to God, He takes us as we are—and makes us more than we ever imagined."   ~Neill F. Marriott

~Sister Temp