Monday, February 23, 2015

A Glimpse of Heaven

                                              My art lesson from Br. Adams
Dear friends and family, familia e amigos, jiating he pengyou,
I can't believe I hit 6 months this week!! I can't believe how fast the time has flown by.  I still feel like I'm a total greenie, but I can definitely see that I've improved a ton.  But there's always room to improve! Transfers are this week, and we found out this morning that I'm staying here and getting a new comp.  Sweet! I'm excited for another friend (: Meanwhile, me and Sister Achziger really had some hen hao times. It's crazy that she's going home! My first 'kill' haha.  She's really taught me a lot, and I feel like I've grown a ton just as a person from being her tongban.  I'm really grateful for her example and diligence.
Yes, this week was FREEZING!! I bought some tights, and I've loved having the gloves you sent me, as well as the coat I inherited from last exchanges. That's definitely been a blessing to be taken care of. 
                                             just waiting for ward council to start

Dang, I have a lot of random stuff to share this week! Where to begin... Oh boy.  So last monday we pretty much got verbally anti-ed! It was crazy! We went in for a return appointment with a college kid, and then he just smacked us down and went mad with false stuff about Joseph Smith, our views on grace, and Jesus Christ, and simply said we're not Christian.  It was insane! But I learned a ton from that experience.  First of all, I kind of enjoy those because it just strengthens my testimony so much.  No amount of evidence against the gospel will shake my faith.  I realized that the whole time he was talking, I just felt so gross and I knew the spirit was NOT with us.  I had such a hard time fighting to find words, and it was just bu hao. I'm really glad to be able to recognize when I have the spirit with me. Also, I learned what not to do as a missionary, such as tell other people what they believe, and that they're wrong.  All I'm here to do is add to people's faith and knowledge, and invite them to act on that.  With Christlike love and kindness and charity, of course. 
        the Carthon girls! They're definitely going to be cute little missionaries one day (:

Visa update: 9 more missionaries got their visas, and now I'm 1 of 2 still waiting in the states.   Heavenly Father is definitely telling me that I'm needed right here in Barnesville.
We were able to visit the part member/less active family that we skyped from their house for Christmas.  They just got custody of their son, and so they're really wanting to start getting him in a routine of church, prayer and scripture study, as well as having FHE and stuff.  This should be really good for them though! I hope this will be their turning point.
We were tracting one day (okay, pretty much all day every day) and we taught the restoration to someone right on their front porch. I love when that happens.  It was kind of a cloudy day, but right as I began the first vision, "I saw a pillar of light..." the sun came out and it was so bright! The spirit just flooded over, and it was such a cool experience. Heavenly Father made that happen just for us, I'm sure of it (: He is aware of each one of us, and He'll do any little thing to show support for what we are doing, so that we know He is there.  Tender mercies are the best!
We also met a 'nontheist' while tracting hahah.  He's not an atheist, just a nontheist.  Buuut it's pretty much the same thing.  We've about seen every religion you can think of in the south.  It's great!
We finally had a last house miracle! Twice even! I swear, whenever we tract, it's always like the 2nd or 3rd house that is interested, and then our faith is tested by having to keep going.  I'm glad to say that we finally found someone at the end of the street, or the last house we knock before we turned around.  Hopefully they'll be solid investigators and progress towards baptism!

                                Cookies, PMG videos, and neutral nails.  What sisters do best (: 

I had a really cool experience with Sister Moyer, the less active we found that's not even in our ward records.  We stopped by randomly, and honestly it was a bit awkward at first.  But we got talking about hard things we've been through and trials and stuff, and I felt like I should share my ACL story.  At first, I didn't see why it would have any relevance to her.  But I realized that's not what matters.  I had a trial, and I was able to rely on my Heavenly Father through it. That can apply to anyone.  I know that he specifically hand picked that trial for me, because He knew that taking me out of playing soccer would mean a lot to me, and push me to rely on Him. The spirit was so strong as I shared my experience and my testimony that God gives us trials so we can learn from them and become more like Him.  Okay, so I guess I'm (kind of) thankful that I tore my ACL.. I never thought I would say that! I see that it changed me into a better person and gave me an experience that I could use to lift others up. I'm so thankful for the atonement, and I know that it works for everyone, especially me.  
                                 Sister Achzgier taught me how do the rubix cube! Victory!

As I was doing my studies this past week, something really cool stuck out to me.  Somehow I made my way into the bible dictionary, looking up the word 'earnest'.  I can't remember it exactly, but it talked about how when we feel the Holy Ghost, that's just a glimpse into what heaven is like.  That's so awesome! Considering that when you feel the spirit, you just feel so wonderful,  I can only imagine what heaven will be like! What a sweet thing to think about (: I want to strive to make my life more like heaven by always being worthy of having the spirit and feeling its influence in my life. 
Cheers, yall.

Love, Sister Facer
                                              The chicken eye... In memory of Brigham

NOTICE: This email message is for the sole use of the intended recipient(s) and may contain confidential and privileged information. Any unauthorized review, use, disclosure or distribution is prohibited. If you are not the intended recipient, please contact the sender by reply email and destroy all copies of the original message.

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

Y'alls book is true!

                                                   Happy Valentines Day!
Good morning!
What a cool week.  First before I forget, I just found out that 10 missionaries got their visas! But not me :( Sister Oviatt, who I practice Chinese with on the phone who's also in Georgia is now leaving, so now I'm all alone for practicing.  Elder Sessions who was in my district in the MTC is also leaving, so I'm the last one to get to the island from our district.  Dang.
                                                         Another temple day! 
But other than that, things here are great! We got to go to the temple on Wednesday, and that was just what I needed.  I seriously can't spend enough time in the temple.  I was in the same session as President Harding, and that was just cool.  He is definitely a man of God, and I love hearing what he has to say.  He truly speaks with power and authority.  He even chastised us but because he used the spirit, we were all so motivated to be better! Haha he always says "mighty; " hello, mighty missionaries! be on the same page as your mighty companion! Lessons with your mighty investigators! Your mighty ward members! Haha it's great.

                                   Gotta knock on every door!  (even the invisible ones)
We got to have a temple talk this week with Shira (: She was baptized a little over a year ago, and her missionary was one of Sister A's old companions so that's cool! I just realized as we were helping her prepare just how much I love the temple, and that I can't wait to help my future daughter prepare and go through the temple with her.  My biggest desire right now is to find someone to teach, baptize, and prepare for the temple so I can share my love of it with them.

                                          we did some hard core country tracking this week 
Oh my goodness we had THE COOLEST miracle this week!! It was Friday the 13th and we decided that we were NOT going to have ANY bad luck. We prayed so hard for a miracle that day. So we were tracting, and we wanted to make it quick because we only had a short amount of time.  We went on these two teeny streets, and we just so happened to knock on a long lost less active's door! She's not even on our ward list! She's also another less active's granddaughter and another less active's daughter! She was so excited to see us, and really wants to come back to church! Also, her fiance isn't a member and he wants to start taking the lessons! She kept going off on how she wants to get sealed in the temple some day.  Ahh, that was just so cool. We should have been praying for a specific miracle long ago! Specific prayers bring specific results.  
We've also been working with another less active for a while, and we were able to teach her the first lesson this week.  I really hope we'll be able to help her get back and active in the church again! Also, West came to church this week! It was a little random, but hey that's great! I really hope since he had his surgery, this might be the turning point where he really wants to commit, but we'll see.  Another investigator also came to church with his kids that he recently got custody of! This could be really good for him.  They're the family that we went to so we could skype on Christmas.  Haha the funny thing is, he's the nonmember.  But that's great! Maybe this will get his wife to come back, as well.  
Ah, Valentine's day this week.  We savored every last bite of the chocolates you sent, and it was wonderful.  Thank you. Sis Watts' family also sent me the cutest package with little homemade granola bars for Valentine's day! I'll have to be sure and thank them. 
                                          Package from the Watts family!  How Sweet!
Okay, one last thing.  We had a lesson with a couple last night, and it didn't go as planned but it ended up being really awesome! We were going to talk about the plan of salvation, but only got so far as to Adam and Eve.  The girl had some things happen that really skewed her perception of things, but we read 2 Nephi 2 with her, and it was really sweet to see her countenance change.  She just understood it. She still wanted to believe what she'd heard previously, but everything we said just made sense to her.  She said she had been praying to see if she should keep meeting with us, and if what we've told her is true, and she was asking her dad (he's a preacher of course) about everything.  Then she just said so simply, "I know that y'alls book is true" and held up the Book of Mormon.  "As we read it, I just feel so good.  It's just gotta be true, because the bible is true." AHH! That's something every missionary wants to hear!! That totally made my day.  We testified to her that it was, and the spirit was just so strong.  Oh, the sweet tender mercies (: 
 Haha Sister Achziger has been praying for me when I start my language study.  She's just used the little book that lays Chinese out for you, but she's gotten pretty good! It's quite flattering that she wants to learn Chinese with me, and it's just cute (:
I hope all is well back in Happy Valley.  I pray for you every day, and I know that the Lord is protecting yall.  Have a wonderful week (:

Love, Sister Facer

Monday, February 9, 2015

Stupid Satan...

                                                   How's that for companion unity???!!
Happy Valentine's day this week!
I can't believe how much has happened in this past week.  We went on exchanges on Tuesday, and I got to spend the day with Sister Echols! The one person I knew when I got to this mission! We went to Junior High together, and we were in Senor Allred's Spanish class for a year or two together.  It was so fun to work with her! Who would have thought that 5 years later, we'd be standing on doorsteps serving the Lord together.  I definitely learned a lot from her though.  I set another goal to not let another day go by without inviting someone to baptism! I'm doing good on that so far. In her apartment there are two companionships, and the other comp is Sis Cheng from Taiwan and another sister from China! Since I met Sis Cheng in the temple, we've always been excited to see each other, and she sent some "Asian snack" home with Sister A for Chinese new year.
                                                                        Car selfie
                                                           Just playin' around...
                        Sisters Echols, Dutra, me, and Achziger at the end of our exchange               
                                             My Asian snack from Sister Cheng (:
We had a few heartbreakers this week. Geisha had to drop us because her husband didn't want us meeting anymore. Dang it! They'll totally get baptized one day though, when he's a little more humble.  We've been out of contact for at least a month with Brock and Shannon, and we went by their house last night, and Shannon said they’re not interested anymore.  But I've still got faith that we can find Brock and bring him back to the path! And Shannon, too eventually.  Why does this keep happening though?? Like my special needs friend would always say in seminary, "stupid satan!!"
On the other hand, however, Montavious came to church! He met the missionaries when Sis Watts was around, but he always worked on sundays so he couldn't progress. I guess he had this sunday off, and I'm so glad that he sacrificed his time to go to church! He was even rewarded with a linger longer lunch afterwards (: I hope that will help him progress towards baptism more though.  I need more people to be excited about! 
                                   Sis. Echols knows more Chinese than I do from Sis. Giles!
                                          I need to start teaching Sister Achiziger more!
 This week we met with a woman named Lameka, after tracting into her a good few weeks ago.  That was the most humbling experience.  She said she grew up in a religious home, but she hardly knew who Jesus Christ was and what he did.  So we were able to teach her the very basics of the life of the Savior and his Atonement.  It was hard to break it down that much since everyone we've been talking to knows at least the new testament really well, but it was really good practice because that's all I'm going to be teaching in Taiwan.  It was so cool to see her countenance change.  She even asked, "So the church y'all go to is Christ's church.. The only one with all the truth?" If only everyone would realize that!! I'm way excited to keep teaching her. 
We met the nicest  pastor, and I'm sure he'll be a bishop one day.  We just helped him start building a garage, and he started asking questions.  We'll see where it goes from there, but if nothing else, he has a really good impression of Mormons.
                                          Helping out Pastor George! What a daddy's girl (:
Haha we also met the most prideful pastor I've ever talked to while tracting the other day. He basically said that what we're doing is wrong, and one of us is going to have a restless night tonight and that will be a sign from God.  Then he specifically pointed to me and said, "it's going to be you, missy." Oh, that made me so mad.  All we could do was testify with the power of the spirit, and leave him with an invitation.  Honestly, I slept decent that night.  Not great, not terrible.  But I decided that Heavenly Father doesn't need to prove to me that what I'm doing is right. And I didn't need to prove it to the pastor either.  I know in my heart that I am called of God to preach the fullness of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, and no one can tell me otherwise.  
I don't know how people come out on their missions without a testimony, especially to the south.  You seriously get torn apart here.  But rather than tearing down my testimony, experiences like that build me up so much, and it just strengthens it.  My dear friends at home, challenge your faith.  Share your testimony with others, and let them question you.  Using the power of the Holy Ghost to testify is such an amazing thing, and if it didn't touch that pastor's heart, it definitely touched mine.  I love the Savior so much, and I've had so many experiences this week that I was able to peek into what it felt like to be a true follower.  And what better way to know how He lived than to share his gospel.

Love, Sister Facer