Monday, February 5, 2018

Grand Junction 5

Today Is a Gift That Is Why It Is Called the Present 

Something that my mission has taught me is that in every day there is something great that happens.  It might be a super little thing or something big in every day there is a miracle to be grateful for. Also that Heavenly Father has His timing and He really does know what is best for us and what we need. 
I got reminded of that a lot this week. It also stood out to me this week that Heavenly Father always answers our prayers. A few different times this week there was something we prayed for that happened. 
The first experience was when we were planning for our day we prayed for an unplanned service opportunity and that same morning we got a text from someone seeing if we could come help them.  
The second experience was when we decided to walk to the Benefields. It was super far and I was not sure we were going to be able to make it on time. At least not in the two hour slot we allotted.  At one point we ran into a member who offered us a ride; we said we were good because we still thought we would be able to make it. A few minutes after we ran into her Sister Lokotui remembered how far it was, she had forgotten about part of the walk. She said a little prayer that we would run into someone who would be able to give us a ride. Not even two minutes later a member pulled over and offered us a ride. We had dinner with the member that night and we shared that experience with him. He said that it was definitely Heavenly Father's timing. He was not even so supposed to be over there, but someone had cancelled so he decided to go to Fruita to do something else and on his way he ran into us. 
The third is that one day I had not gotten much sleep the night before and I was super tired.  I prayed that I would have enough energy to be able to get through the day. I think that I had the most energy that I had in a while.
Fourth, Sister Lokotui's eye started bothering her in church. After Church it just kept getting worse. Eventually it got to the point were she could not open it. We said a prayer that we would be able to figure out what to do. We remembered that there was a member near by. We decided to stop over there and see if we could try rinsing out her eye. We tried that and it didn't really work​​. Then the member realized that a member of the ward was an eye doctor. We called him and he was able to do an eye exam and now she gets to wear some super nice looking glasses.
This week we were also able to start teaching Steve.  We have been able to teach him three times now. His wife was there for the last lesson and that was a miracle. She is super against missionaries.  He is doing great and loves the gospel.
We helped the Knowles family take apart a car and that was super exciting. We tried to take a picture in it and we dropped the keys behind the seat so we had to rip off the back seat to get them out.  
 Breakfast was great it was exciting to see Grandma. We went out to ihop and both sister Lokotui and I have never been there so that was fun. (I didn't mean to strike a pose I pulled a face because I almost dropped my leftovers on the floor then caught them and that is when the picture was taken. I was supposed to be smiling.)
I hope you all have a great week.

Aunt Cathy, (Great) Grandma Sharp, Ana, Sister Lokotui (Hooray! They finally got to meet up!)

Ana, her companion, and Sister Holt (texted from Sister Holt)

(from Sister Holt)

(from Sister Holt)

(texted from Sister Folga)

Monday, January 29, 2018

Grand Junction 4

We Are Going To Build A Ship!

This week was exciting we had Zone Conference. I love zone conference you always feel so inspired.  President Gifford gave a training on how this last year we as a mission have gone through some struggles but now we are in a good place. He related this to the story in 1 Nephi 17 and said Nephi's family had to travel in the wilderness and got to Bountiful and it was good.  Then the Lord commanded Nephi to go and build a ship. He said the Lord has commanded us that we should build a ship and work together so we can get to the Promised Land. Now we are all super pumped to build a ship.  
Yesterday Sister Lokotui and I spoke in Church all about missionary work.  We talked about how we can be better missionaries. Now the ward is pumped about missionary work so that is great. 
Steve came to church this week so that is great.  He is so ready to meet with us; he just doesn't know it.  
I went on exchanges to Fruita and that was fun. We found three new people that want to learn more so that was amazing. I actually got to ride in the same car Sister Davies and I drove in Bowels Grove.  I don't know if anyone remembers, but I love that little blue Ford Fusion. 
There is a park by where we live called The Duck Pond and it makes me think of the park by home that we call the duck pond.
I hope you all have a great week.   
[Excerpt from Ana's letter to me] 
I got my flight info this week.  This week was interesting it was pretty good. I have kind of been having a rough time because it was a week full of lasts. I had my last zone conference my last interview with president.[She also shared a story about a mild disagreement with her companion about not feeling included in planning and she still want to "serve with all my might mind and strength."]
I am seeing grandma next week.  
I love you

Monday, January 22, 2018

Grand Junction 3

From Ana's letter to me:
This week is my last zone conference so that is a little strange. This might be bad but I have kind of reached the point when I don't really want to come home I just want to be a missionary forever.  It is kind of weird being in an area that you know you are never going to be taking over.  It is a little stressful because I just want to work but you also can't just like over work. I don't think that explained it very well.

Sister Lokotui Hits Her 11 Month Mark

 Steve's wife came to church yesterday.  He was so excited.  His wife has been giving him anti and things and said she would never come so that was a huge step. He went hunting with some members this last weekend. The member said they talked a lot about the gospel and Steve said he is just looking for the truth. The member said he testified that he will find it.  Steve is up to 1 Nephi 10 in The Book of Mormon.
We taught this less-active man named Ron. We are going to start reading the Book of Mormon with him because he said he has never really seen how it applies to today.  He has always loved the history of it and how it teaches of the people in the Americas but he has never seen it help him.  He said he is excited to start reading it with a new perspective. 
We also have been working with a family, the Laukes. Their daughter Ali recently got baptized. She is 9 and the mom has been less-active for years and is trying to come back.  Ali loves crafts and art projects so we have been thinking of ideas to help her focus in lessons.  
Yesterday there was a stake music recital and we were able to go help hand out programs. Music is always a great way to feel the spirit and to remember how much heavenly father loves us. 

Tuesday, January 16, 2018

Grand Junction 2

I Will Get There
This week was exciting.  We have been walking a lot because we are a little short on miles*. We have this song called "I Will Get There," and we joke that it is our song because we walk all the time and we motivate ourselves by singing the song, "I Will Get There." We like walking for a few reasons though. You talk to more people when you walk and we need the exercise. 
This week 4 less-active [members] came to church so that was great.  We have appointments scheduled with all of them this week so that is great. 
On the investigator front we ended up dropping all of them so we are starting from scratch.  Our ward mission leader brings his friend Steve to church so maybe we can start teaching him soon. One of the less-active [members] also brought a friend with them so that is fantastic.  
I met sister Lokotui's trainer yesterday she was visiting Fruita and stopped by.  
We have been taking a picture every single day so that is awesome; I will have to add some next week because I do not have much time.  
I hope you all have a great week. 

*The missionaries are supposed to only drive a certain number of miles in so many days- I think mostly for wear and tear reasons.
Just a guess, but this could be the song Ana is talking about.

It seems Ana did not have a lot of time this week for writing (even though this letter isn't much longer than her others lately). Normally she writes a little something to her parent's personal letters, but this time it was "sounds like an eventful week.  I am running out of time but I love you and will talk to you more next week." 
At least Ana's grandma wrote me an adventure of Ana's she heard through the grapevine:

This is as I remember it from Dad [Ana's grandpa] telling me what Grandma [Ana's great grandma] said, which makes it a condensed she said she said he said version.  Grandma's friend Lola lives in a ward that is not the Monument Ward, but her friend Lola goes to dinner at a friend of hers in the Monument Ward.  The sister missionaries were there when Lola went to the friends' and Ana mentioned her [great] grandmother lives in Grand Junction and Lola asked her name.  "Martha Sharp," said Ana.  Lola was delighted of course because Lola Sampson was a very dear friend of your grandmother [Ana's great grandma].  Lola taught your Dad [Ana's grandpa] Primary [Ana's grandpa's family joined the church when he was primary age] and also her husband was the branch president of the Aspen Branch who filled out your dad's [Ana's grandpa] mission papers and called your dad [Ana's grandpa] into his office and asked your dad [Ana's grandpa] to sign them.  I think he also encouraged your dad [Ana's grandpa] to go to BYU instead of Colorado State [BYU is where Ana's grandparents met].  So anyway, Ana and her companion ran out of miles on their car, so they had to walk to the dinner appointment with Ana on crutches.  Apparently it was like a 4 mile walk.  After the dinner they also had a teaching appointment, so Lola took Ana and her companion to the appointment.  At the appointment, Lola knew the man there (I suppose a member, not the investigator) and Lola asked him to be sure and drive the missionaries home, which we suppose he did.  Lola fully intends to get Grandma and permission if necessary to take Ana, her companion, and Grandma to lunch.  :)

Monday, January 8, 2018

Grand Junction 1

Welcome To Grand Junction
Well I have left Gunnison and I am now in Grand Junction in the Monument ward. My companion's name is Sister Lokotui and she is great. She is from California, but her family is Tongan. She is super fun and loves the gospel.
The last week in Gunnison was great. Shay kept her commitment to read the Book of Mormon so that was good. We met with Maria and she said she wants to set a goal to get to the temple and wants to be a better example for her brothers. The Branch seemed excited about that. Sister Carlson also got to stand on a frozen lake for the first time ever.
We are already seeing miracles here in Monument. We have been able to make contact with a lot of less-actives that have said no in the past and have been able to meet them and set up return appointments so that is awesome. The ward here is a lot bigger then in Gunnison and will take some getting used too.
I hope you all have a great week.

 Our District (Gunnison)

[in a letter to me in response to my question about how her ankle is doing]
My ankle is healing, the Branch President looked at it just before I left and said it is just badly sprained and will take a while to heal I will just have to wear the brace for a few months.
[in response to my very excited, "Grand Junction?! Are you in your great grandma's ward?"]
No, I am actually in the other zone (non mission term other stake) so I probably will never see her. I am not allowed to leave my zone. Also in doing this my plan thing I just signed up for an institute class and have committed to go to the temple once a week. I just thought I should let you know so when I am home I am not like, "well I got to go to Institute" and you like planned something. I signed up for Tuesday nights at 7 at the Anoka building.
[and here's a quote Ana thought I would like]

In contrast to the institutions of the world, which teach us to know something, the gospel of Jesus Christ challenges us to BECOME something.”
[bonus picture someone texted to me- Ana and her new companion and they are sprained ankle twins]

Tuesday, January 2, 2018

Gunnison 17 & 18

Ana's letter this week is pretty short- she mentioned when we talked on Christmas that it would be short because Monday the library would be closed and Tuesdays are usually busy, being a regular work day and that she would need to spend most of her free time today working on My Plan.
It was great to talk to her on Christmas. She seemed in a very good mood and we laughed over a handful of jokes. She mentioned her ankle is still healing and also that she's used her Minnesota winter weather driving skills and gained mountain winter weather driving skills after being in rural mountain areas most of her mission. She and her companion (who is from Texas) were driving and hit a patch of black ice.  Her companion kept saying, "What are we supposed to do?!" and Ana kept saying, "I'm doing what we're supposed to do!" and she did (stayed steady and steered straight) and they were safe and didn't go off the road which would have been bad because they were in a rural area meaning no cell service and no other travelers. We are glad they are safe :-) (and glad we got to talk to her because she tells more stories in person than in writing).


Well it happened, I have officially spoken to all of the less-actives [members not attending church regularly] in the Gunnison Branch. Or at least tried to find all of their houses and the houses that we found I have talked to.  That is pretty exciting; I don't think I have been able to do that in any of my other areas.
Shay still is not coming to church. She did start reading the Book of Mormon by her self again so that is progress.  
This less-active family, the Chonas, we were able to meet with.  The daughter kept her commitment to read the Book of Mormon so that was great.
We had another family move into the branch this week.  Also Chris brought his mom with him to church this week and she is not a member so that is super exciting.  
I hope you all have a great week.

Monday, December 18, 2017

Gunnison 15 and 16

Merry Christmas!

Zone Conference was this week. It was great as usual. The entire thing was focused on Christmas.  I gave a training on how to have a more Christ centered Christmas. 
We have been showing everyone the Christmas video and we have been able to get in and see some less-active people because of it so that is awesome. 
We went caroling with the Harvey family and stopped by some members and less-active people that they know so we were able to meet them.  
Monique was in the hospital this week so we went and saw her and showed her the Light the World video.
The members of the branch are doing a great job fellow-shipping Shay. The Branch President invited the entire branch council that if they did not know her they have to find a way to meet her and introduce themselves.  
Something super exciting though is that a member moved into the Gunnison Branch yesterday and he is super on fire about missionary work so that is awesome. He got back from a mission about a year ago it is great.  
I hope you all have a great Christmas and don't forget to help light the world. 

[Letter is from this week, photo is from last week. She didn't have time to write a group email last week and didn't send any photos this week. Photo is Ana with a note made on the "honor your parents" day of Light the World. I can't read what is written on the side, but the middle says "I love you Mom and Dad". There is a picture of her in CO with hearts and dashed lines to us in MN and Isaac in Brazil. It's super cute, I love it :-)]

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