Saturday, May 8, 2010
May 9, 2010
I love you so much!
I really wanted to give you a good Mother's Day gift this year, but I don't have very much money. However I am very missionary minded. I was thinking about all the things I'm grateful for and the main thing is that my "Family is Forever"!
I must have done something right in the pre-earth life to be so blessed that I was placed in your family. I'm sorry my gift isn't perfectly straight and professional, I was a little limited on tools and time (Gift was a framed "The Family--A Proclamation to the World" with the border covered in pictures of each family member).
I love you so much. I always talk about you. I tell people how in tune with the spirit you are and how you always recongize promptings. The families usually reply by telling me how lucky I am to have a mom like you. They are absolutely right!
I love you! Thank you for all that you have done to strengthen my testimony so that now I can share it with every one I meet!
Monday, May 3, 2010
April 19, 2010
Well, this week has been good. We have been spending a lot of time getting to know the members in our ward. Our progressing investigators have all dropped us, so we are working on finding people to teach. So we figure the members will be our best help. We have been receiving a lot of referrals from them, too! So it is going well.
We went to a baptism this weekend for two children in our Ward. They are in the Elder’s area though. It was all in Spanish and my companion taught the restoration in Spanish while the children were changing after their baptism. There were a lot of non/less-active members there, but they are all in the Elder’s area.
Today for preparation-day we went to the mall, but I didn't have very much money. So I just spent money on lunch at Red Robin and I got my hair cut! I only cut off about 3 inches, but I got some layers as well. It's not that much shorter, but it's a nice change.
How are all of the grand babies doing? Did Rachel have her baby yet? I really miss the kids. I think I'm finally starting to hit my trunky phase. I miss all the Birthdays and BBQs that we had in the summer, but I guess since Steven and Angelina aren't there it doesn't matter any way that I'm not there.
I started reading the Book of Mormon again, but I am doing it way slower than last time. I started a few days ago and I am only on pg 30. But as I was reading I realized how many of us always bash Laman and Lemuel for being so faithless and murmuring, then I realized how many of us are just like that. I was thinking how they didn't want to go get the plates, but they did it anyway because Nephi was so obedient that they had to go just so they wouldn't look so bad. Then they tried to get the plates and they couldn't so they were ready to go home.
How many times do we relentlessly go to church or pay our tithing then don't see automatic blessing so we don't want to do it again? Then Nephi made them go get their silver and precious things and go back and try again. And again they were thrown out and almost killed! Of course Lamam and Lemuel would murmur! I know we all need to try to be more like Nephi and be as obedient as possible, but the truth is we are all "natural men." The difference between us and Laman and Lemuel is that we need to realize what we are doing and use the atonement in our lives to become better and stop the cycle so we don't lead out posterity astray... That was my most recent spiritual thought...
So I am super excited about your new calling! Have fun with the 14-15 year-old Sunday School class. I think you probably teach Celine White! I love her! So I was thinking about some of my favorite teachers when I was a youth and some of the stuff that they did and I thought you might like some advice. One of my teachers would teach us outside sometimes when the weather was nice. She would bring Cinnamon rolls (or something like that) and a blanket and we would sit out on the institute lawn. I remember that it was a very spiritual lesson as well, because nature always seems to set the mood and make the lesson better. That teacher was Sister Cardon actually. Another teacher that I enjoyed told us that if we paid attention and participated and stayed focus through the entire lesson then the last 10 minutes of class was our time to just talk and laugh and have fun. I remember I always stayed focused because I wanted to socialize at the end of class with all of my friends. And of course, you can always bring snacks and visual aids. I know that this calling was inspired! You will do great!
I love you so much! A lot of the converts make a remark about how they are more laid back than members who were born in the church. Maybe you agree because you are a convert. But I think I am way more blessed. I was so lucky to be placed in a home with such "goodly parents" who brought me up righteously! Thank you so much for your faith and diligence in following the Lord! I love you and daddy so much! You are ALWAYS in my thoughts and prayers!
April 5, 2010
Hey Mommy and Daddy,
How are things going? Everything is going good here! Didn't you just love conference!? It was so amazing, it always is. I took a ton of notes. I loved how so many talks were about the youth and the children. It confirmed my thoughts that I definitely need to major in some kind of child development/child care subject when I get home. I really felt like every talk given applied directly to me! Don't you love when that happens?
This week we have been teaching a man named Stu. He lives in our apartment complex and he is amazing! We tracked him out our first week and he is continuing to progress. He is a recovering alcoholic for the past 14 years! It is amazing how Heavenly Father has been preparing him. He has so much faith and continues to say "there are no coincidences and God wanted him to meet us for a reason." He came to the afternoon session of conference yesterday! He commented on one of the talks and seemed like he really enjoyed it. We have an appointment with him on Wednesday (which is also my birthday!) We are hoping to commit him to baptism that day! Wouldn't that be the most amazing birthday present!?
Today we are going fishing with a family in our ward! I am super excited! I will catch a big one for you and dad and take lots of pictures! Tomorrow is Zone Conference! I am excited for that too, because it is always a super spiritual high! This week has been full of those.
We are still in a finding mode and continually seeking those who are being prepared! My companion and I get along great and have a blast together. She is hilarious! I wouldn't be surprised if I lost weight just from laughing so much! We get the work done too! She gives me so much confidence to help me teach and open my mouth. She is never critical or anything, she always lifts me up. Whenever she gives me advice I can feel that it is out of love. She has been a member for almost 2 years! She is a powerhouse!
So a couple of funny things happened, yesterday. We were going inside the church and there was a sister from the Ward there who greeted us. Although, I have never even met her before, she was kind of blunt. My companion asked if she was a convert and the sister said yes. My companion told her that she was also a convert. Then this sister turned to me and stated, "You were born in the church weren't you?" I said yes, I was and then she said, "I can tell. Converts are way more laid back and down to earth." :O I could not believe she said that to me! She had never met me before! I was a little offended. Then not even 5 minutes later a very active member of the Ward came up to us and said hi. He greeted my companion (who has only been here for 2 weeks) and shook her hand. Then he shook my hand and asked, "Are you new?" I said no, I've been here for 6 weeks! I have seen him every week and met him before! Then as my companion and I were walking away I said to her "What is this, unimportant day!?" Hahahaha! Then later that night we were at dinner with the Ward Mission Leader. I ate the dinner, which was really good. Then they had dessert. I was pretty full so I asked for a very small piece. The piece he gave me was larger than I wanted or could fit into my stomach so I ate half of it. Later when they were giving us some Easter candy and oranges to take home the Mission Leader said "Now, Sister Garbett, I put a chocolate egg in here for both of you. You can cut it into pieces and eat a little bit of it every day so you don't get too full." Hahaha! It was a Cadbury crème egg, so it wasn't even big! I thought it was pretty funny being teased by the previous Stake President.
Well, this week has been good and lots of fun! I love you both so much! You're in my thoughts and prayers!
March 22, 2010
Mom and Dad,
This week has been really good. We got to take an investigator to the Washington D.C. Temple Visitor’s Center. That was interesting, but it was great to feel the Spirit again that is at the Visitor’s Centers. The sad part is the person we took isn’t super interested in learning more about the church.
After we got back my companion and I decided to contact outside of our apartment. It was a beautiful day, so lots of people were out. We met a couple of people who wanted to learn more, but both of them are out our area. One is actually from Puerto Rico. I really wish I knew Spanish.
This week we got a lot of referrals (on the Square we called them potentials) from people. It’s weird because most of the people who give us referrals aren’t member of the church. It almost seems like as members we are too selfish to share the gospel. I remember being like that when I was younger and before I really gained my own testimony.
The next day we worked just as hard and talked to so many people. We went to a park at a light house on the dock of the Susquehanna River. So many people were there because it was a beautiful Saturday afternoon. Nobody was super interested, but we passed out a few Book of Mormons and we had some really great conversations.
Here a lesson. When you teach two or more people a lesson, first say a prayer. So in two days we taught 11 lessons! The entire previous week we only had 14 lessons. We really worked hard that day.
Well preparation day is over in three minutes. So I gotta go. The work is going great. This Church is true. I love you so much.
March 15, 2010
Mom & Dad,
Hey. Today is P-day again and I’m sad because I didn’t get to email back and forth with you very much today. This week has been interesting. We moved into a new apartment so I’ll wait until transfers, which is next week to give you my physical address. So continue to write to my mission address. Except for packages, if you send packages that would get here after next Wednesday just wait to send them until I give you my new address.
Right now, we don’t have very many investigators. The ones we thought were progressing all got “busy” so we aren’t teaching them any more. We had an appointment with this guy named Ron, but he has rescheduled twice. I’m not sure what’s going to happen with him. He says he has been reading the Book of Mormon, but it’s difficult for him because he grew up Catholic. I explained to him how we are just adding more truths to the things he already knows. I told him it was like he graduated high school and now he is going to college to learn more and to gain a better understanding. I encouraged him to continue to pray before he reads. I also told him not to get discouraged.
It’s really hard getting people to come to church, especially the ones who live up in Pennsylvania, because it takes them 45 minutes to get to church. We’ve been teaching a lot of less-actives. We taught a woman and her 20 year-old daughter. I honestly don’t know how they were ever baptized. We have been teaching them the missionary lessons and it’ like teaching investigators. We are trying to get them to gain a testimony. They have so much potential, but the daughter needs to increase her self-esteem. The gospel is where her self-esteem can really grow. I told her how she is a daughter of God and has so much potential. I hope she will start to read the Book of Mormon and gain a testimony so she’ll have a desire to come back to church.
This gospel is true. I wish everyone would read the Book of Mormon and then get on their knees and pray to know if these things are true. If they did the Holy Ghost would confirm the truth to them that it is right. This church is the only place to find true happiness.
My companion and I are still in a finding mode, but it’s going good. I can’t believe I’ve already been her for a whole transfer. Only two more transfers and then I’ll be back at Temple Square. I really try to make the most of everyday here.
Keep me in your prayers. This work is hard, but it’s totally worth it! I love you both so much! You’re always in my prayers!
March 1, 2010
Mom & Dad,
Hello! How’s everything going? Maryland is freezing! It has snowed half the time I’ve been here. But it doesn’t stick. The other half of the time it’s too cold to snow I’m so excited for spring to arrive.
The Mission is going well. I’m still adjusting. My companion is Sister Walker. She is from Massachusetts. She is 29 yrs old and a convert of four years. She has been in this area (the Susquehanna) for 6 and a half months. She knows the area well. Although when I got here we didn’t have any progressing investigators and no appointments, but we’re working on changing that.
It’s such a huge transition from Temple Square to Maryland, but I’m trying to adjust. I’m trying to work with the members and gain their trust. Members are so important. I never understood that so much until I got here. Please help the missionaries in your Ward. Offer to have lessons taught in your home, give the names of people you know when you feed them. Make sure they share a spiritual thought and give them names of friends and co-workers for them to share the gospel with. You know so many non-members! Co-workers, people who do your nails, people who helped built the cabin, people who worked with you on your loan. Pray about it! What about your co-worker who lost her husband. If you feel more comfortable, use my name, tell the missionaries to tell your friends that I want them to see what I’m doing and why I left home for 18 months. If you want me to be blessed, be member missionaries. If you help the missionaries the members here will help me. It’s Karma!
We are in a major finding time. “Nothing happens in Missionary work until you find someone to teach (preach my gospel).” Tracking is not super successful. Although my second day here we found five new investigators tracking, but so far none of them have kept their return appointments. Members are the best finders!
I can’t wait until we get some golden investigators. We have one investigator now. She is 23 yrs old, divorced and has three children and lives with her mother. She seems interested, but she isn’t keeping commitments and hasn’t come to church. She has a baptismal date, but she needs to quit smoking. She still needs to pray about Joseph Smith, then it will be easier for her to quit because the Holy Ghost will testify that Joseph Smith was a prophet and the Word of Wisdom was a commandment from God.
We have a couple of men we are trying to teach, but they live in a boarding house so we need a Melchizedek priesthood holder to go with us. We haven’t found anyone who is willing to come to an appointment with us. So we haven’t been able to teach them. Members are so important to missionary work!
We see a lot of less-actives here. Most of the time the story is the same, a member marries a non-member. The non-member doesn’t go to church and won’t let the children go. The member goes by themselves, feels alone and stops attending church. Then they are no longer keeping their covenants so they feel bad about going to church. What the heck were they thinking!?! I have decided that I am going to marry someone who will put the Lord first! So many marriages would last and be happier if everyone would put the Lord first.
There should never be an option to going to church. You make time to go to the temple at least once a month and you do home/visiting teaching every month. Do you know how many more people would be active if everyone did their home/visiting teaching? The Lord instituted this program for a reason. It was inspired. I don’t mean to lecture, but I wish the members could work harder, including me. As we do the little things; read our scriptures, say our prayers, go to church etc. Then the bigger picture will make so much more sense and our testimonies will grow. I so badly want everyone to come unto Christ and be baptized. I feel like the sons of Mosiah “…for they could not bear that any human soul should perish, yea, even the very thought that any soul should endure endless torment did cause them to quake and tremble.” (Mosiah 28:3)
The other day we taught a less-active member of the church, the plan of salvation. After we taught the differences between the three degress of glory we told her that Heavenly father dwells in the Celestial Kingdom, so which kingdom would she want to go to. She said the second one. I could not believe she could be content not living up to her full potential. I can’t imagine the pain and sorrow our Heavenly Father feels knowing his children don’t want to return home to him.
I know I can live with my Father in Heaven again. It takes a lot of work and commitment to do what’s right, but it is worth it. I know we can be together as a family forever. I hope that I can at least touch one person through my testimony. This church is the true gospel of Jesus Christ restored to the Earth! I know we have a living prophet to lead and guide us today. I know that through the atonement we can live with our Heavenly Father again.
I love you both so much. Thank you for your support. Thanks for letting me vent. Please strive to be a better member-missionary everyday.
- ▼ May (6)