Tuesday, January 26, 2016

Episode 17: The One with the Surprise!

Hello everyone! Today's email is going to be great.

So, Tuesday night we met with the leadership of our ward, which we do every other week. We were talking about how the missionaries could work more closely with the different classes and groups to find people to teach and help the ward run more smoothly. The woman in charge of the young women's classes said that the 16-18 year old girls would not have a teacher on Sunday, and that she would love for us to come teach their class on whatever we wanted to teach, in the hopes of inspiring them to go on missions themselves. We were really excited about it, and after praying and studying together, we choose to teach about humility, and how it cam be empowering. It was shaping up to be a really good lesson.

Well, Sunday came around, and we made sure our investigator got to her class, our recent convert got to hers, and then we went to teach. We started teaching, and after about 5 minutes, in walks our mission president and his wife. And then our bishop. And then Dallin H. Oaks of the Quorom of the Twelve Apostles.

You read that right. Sister Rydalch and I taught a lesson on humility to AN APOSTLE!! And our lesson came mostly from Preach My Gospel, which was written by a committee lead by THAT VERY APOSTLE.

Being the amazing person apostles are, he participated in the class, complimented us on our teaching, and told us that "it takes a very special missionary to serve a foreign speaking mission in the states." And he would know, because he is the one who assigned my call!!!

And, in case you were wondering, here is the comment he made in our class:

"One definition of humility that I like is willingness to learn."

I've been thinking about that for the past two days, and the more I think about it, the more perfect that definition seems to me. If you are truly willing to learn, you accept criticism and try to change. You see the good in others and try to emulate it in yourself. You are willing to try anything, knowing that you don't have to be perfect, you just have to learn everything you can from the experience. Sounds like humility to me.

On a less shocking note, Sister Rydalch and I took up scrap booking yesterday.

That's all for this week everyone. I love you and you're amazing!


Sister Lemon

P.S. In case you don't believe me, here is the photo evidence.

Wednesday, January 20, 2016

Episode 16: The One with My New Companion

Hello everyone! Happy Transfer Day!

Today Sister Humphreys is going home! Also, Sister Johansen is transferring to American Lake, which is a little south of us, to train a new English sister. Our car is crammed full of their suitcases and bags, plus the four of us. I'm amazed we fit so much in a Corolla.

This means that Sister Rydalch and I are now companions, which I am really excited about. We started our companionship by cleaning out our fridge and our closets, because the fridge was too full, and the closets had stuff left behind in them from the original Cambodian sisters, who have been gone for years! We have big plans for this transfer already, so stay tuned.

Our Elders had a really awesome baptism on Saturday. The person who got baptized is named Jeff, and he is really cool. He used to have lots of drug problems, but he decided he wanted to change and get away from that lifestyle. He moved in with a member of our church who doesn't come as often, mostly because of health issues, and she referred him to the Elders. They have been teaching him for about 3 weeks, and he just loves the church. He is going to rehab in about a month, but he said the church will always be a part of his life from now on. The Spirit was so strong at his baptism, that almost everyone in the room was crying. It was really amazing.

I've been thinking a lot about the concept of missing people recently, and I found a scripture that I think goes along with that concept really well. It is in Alma 17:2, when 5 best friends all meet back up after their missions, and it says that they rejoiced to see each other, but that what was more important than seeing each other was knowing that they were all "still bretheren in the Lord". I'm not saying that it's not okay to miss people, but it gives me comfort to know that the people that mean so much to me are still my "bretheren in the Lord", even when they are miles (or continents) away.

Well, off to stuff ourselves back in the clown car to drop off the departing.

I love you all, and am glad to have the opportunity to know you.


Sister Lemon

Elder Henderson is trying to hide the fact that he is taking 2 cheesecakes home.

Tuesday, January 12, 2016

Episode 15: The One with the Chick-fil-A Birthday

Hello everyone! I hope all is well with you all.

I'm sure you are all anxiously waiting to hear about my exchange. Well, it was awesome! I learned a lot and I feel like I'm doing things different already. Sister Dale does things very differently from Sister Humphreys, and she has TONS of awesome techniques and skills that I want to develop that I didn't even know I was missing out on. I feel like the bar has been raised for my missionary work, but I'm really excited about the challenge and I'm stretching already!

Things are changing a lot right now. Sister Humphreys leaves in exactly a week, and she has started packing and sending things home. Next transfer, I will be companions with Sister Rydalch or Sister Johansen, but not both, and we won't know which one of them is going to a different area to do English missionary work until Saturday! It's going to be really weird to only have 2 people in our apartment. But, I am excited to not be a greenie any more.

Sister Johansen's birthday was yesterday, as well as 2 other sisters in our zone, so we went to Chick-fil-A for dinner, and I found out that Chick-fil-A gives you a free stuffed cow on your birthday! It was a lot of fun to spend time with the sisters because we are all so different but still so awesome. I am the youngest sister in my zone, possibly in the whole mission, and some of the sisters in my zone are 26! It's really cool to see both our similarities and our differences.

In other fun stories, a 50 year old man answered his door with a billy club the other night. He said he thought a knock on his door at 7:00 was "bad news". If you've ever watched the show White Collar, he looked and sounded just like Mozzie, so I was having a hard time not laughing as he talked about conspiracy theories.

I also almost got eaten by a Chihuahua that same night. I think it just wanted to chew on something that moved, so luckily it kept getting distracted by cars. It was terrifying.

On a more uplifting note, I want to share a quote from Elder Uchtdorf. He said "You may feel that there are others who are more capable or more experienced who could fulfill your callings and assignments better than you can, but the Lord gave you your responsibilities for a reason. There may be people and hearts only you can reach and touch. Perhaps no one else could do it in quite the same way." I love this, because sometimes it is so easy to compare ourselves to others and feel like we are less than them, and therefore we should just quit. But if only perfect people could make things happen, nothing would ever happen. I know that if we try our best, God will make that effort enough, and we will see amazing things happen in our lives.

I love you all! Keep being the amazing people you are.


Sister Lemon

P.S. I promise I'm not a red head, it just looks like it in these pictures!

Tuesday, January 5, 2016

Episode 14: The One with the Blue Weave

Hello friends and family!

Life is good up here in the WA-TAC. It actually snowed on Sunday! It "snowed" once before up here, but I would call it semi-solid rain or slush-falling-from-the-sky. But on Sunday it for real snowed! Like, it even stuck to the ground. My companion built a tiny snowman while I was giving our weekly call-in report (which is when we tell our district leader about our week over the phone). We also had to push our car up a hill because it only has front wheel drive and the car in front of us decided to stop, and so we lost all momentum and couldn't get going again. When we finally got onto flatter ground, all of the sudden the car just took off, and I thought I was going to get left behind. But it was actually really good, because snow is so rare here that a ton of people were out playing in it, and we talked to a lot of people.

As to the title of this email, we started teaching a lady named Charmaine, and she has a super long blue weave.

We had zone conference this week, which is when the mission president and some other mission leadership come and train us on different aspects of being better missionaries. The focus of this conference was working better with the members, and it was super awesome! We will still be knocking our 5-7s every day and street contacting to find new people, but we are also trying to learn how to better use members in every step of our efforts. It was really awesome.

Today I'm going on a companion exchange, which means that I will have a Sister Training Leader as my companion for 24 hours. I'm really excited to learn a lot from her, but I'm also kind of nervous because I have to be responsible for knowing where things are in our area so that we don't get lost!

I have learned a lot this week about how the answers to prayer come to us. There is a quote in one of our teaching resources that says this about answers to prayers:

"This knowledge can be miraculous and life changing, but it usually comes as a quiet assurance, without spectacular displays of God’s power."

I know this to be true. Sometimes the smallest things are really the biggest things. And, if you haven't ever felt this before, I encourage you to try it for yourself. I promise God will answer your prayers.

I love you all bunches and I will write you again next week!

Sister Lemon

zone Christmas activity