Tuesday, February 23, 2016

Episode 21: The One with Amazing Grace

Hello friends! I hope everyone is having an excellent week!

This week was really good. We have been really busy, but that is always a good thing for a missionary.

We are teaching a really solid investigator right now named Serian (I probably spelled that all kinds of wrong and will have to correct myself in the future). He is a friend of our recent convert family, and he just moved from Cambodia about 3 months ago. His wife (who I haven't met yet) lived in Utah for a while, and is already a member of our church. Serian came to church this past week, and he is just the sweetest guy ever. He really liked church, and wants to be baptized soon, which is awesome!

Another highlight from this week was a fireside that we put on as missionaries. It was musical numbers by the missionaries and testimonies by recent converts. It was an amazing fireside. The stories of each person coming into the church was different, but you could see God's hand guiding each and every one of them. It was a real testament to me that God is aware of each and every one of my investigators, and of me.

The music we sang was very powerful, too. The Spirit is so strong in the singing of hymns. We sang Called to Serve, We'll Bring the World His Truth, Battle Hymn of the Republic, and Amazing Grace: My Chains Are Gone. If you haven't heard any of these songs, I recommend looking them up because they are all amazing. But, I particularly want to talk for a second about Amazing Grace. You can actually find my mission singing this on line if you look up "Amazing Grace WA-TAC" or something like that. It is our mission theme song, and we sing it any time we are gathered together. I love the lyrics of it. It says "My chains are gone, I've been set free. My God, my Savior has ransomed me>" I think that is just beautiful. Jesus Christ has freed us from our chains. Whether they be chains of guilt, sorrow, pain, regret, or anything else, he has paid the price for our freedom from them. Through him, we, who "once were lost", "now are found", and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father again. How amazing is His grace?!

Have an excellent week, and I will talk to you again next Tuesday!


Sister Lemon

pictures from the fireside

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

Episode 20: The One with ANOTHER Baptism

Hello everyone! Guess what!

We had another baptism!

Souhan got baptized on Sunday night. He's the funniest kid. He sometimes wears grocery bags over his socks to keep them clean.

In other news, we had a baby shower for Souhan and Sakura's (step)mom, and it was a great success! There were tons of ward members there, and their dad came, too, which is really good because it is the first time we have been able to get him to actively participate in anything. He got lots of support and fellowship, and while we were talking about Souhan's baptism, one of the ladies told Em (the dad) that she can't wait until Em's baptism! We are hoping this is the beginning of getting him interested in learning more. He is now the only member of his family who lives at home who is not baptized.

We have a new Cambodian investigator whose name is Nyam, which is the Cambodian word for "to eat". The Spanish speaking elders found him, and he is way cool! He is already Christian, which is pretty rare for Cambodians here. He took a Book of Mormon to read, and we are going to follow up with him in the coming days.

Other than that, this week has been pretty straight forward. I got super sick yesterday, but other than that, life is good. We are setting lots of goals and working hard and praying hard to achieve them. I found a quote in my studies this week that said "Faith is a principle of action and power. Whenever we work toward a worthy goal, we exercise faith. We show our hope for something that we cannot yet see." I'm learning a lot right now about how faith and diligence relate to each other. Among other things, I think that faith that we will see the fruits of our labors motivates our diligence, and working diligently shows that we have faith that God will make up for our shortcomings.

I love you all! Have an excellent week.


Sister Lemon

Wednesday, February 10, 2016

Episode 19: The One with the Baptism!

This is Sakura (pronounced like saKAHruh). She is the 11 year old step daughter of one of our recent converts. Her brother is going to get baptized this weekend as well, and our goal is to teach their dad, and then one year from now take them to the temple to be sealed together as a family for all eternity.

Sakura is awesome. She has already invited 3 friends to church and church activities. She's super sassy, but she has a real desire to do good and to be a good person. Plus, she feed us babaa (I don't know how to spell that), which is a delicious Cambodian rice soup. Basically, she an Sohan (her brother) are my favorite people right now.

I also went to a Samoan baptism this weekend. I didn't understand anything because it was all in Samoan, but it was still amazing. I want to be as kind and generous as the Samoans, and as spiritual and accepting of others as the Cambodians. Also, there were more people at the Samoan baptism than at church for my area, which is awesome because people don't usually make the effort to come out for convert baptisms unless you specifically ask them to.

Ok, here is the part where I ask for your help. We are teaching a way awesome couple, Chris and Tara. They are super receptive to the gospel, and they have an amazing desire to do what is right for themselves and for their kids (they have 5 kids total from previous marriages). I honestly believe that they have been prepared by God to receive the gospel, change their lives, and be baptized. But here is the problem. They are not married, but they have been living together for a year. For those of you who don't know, they have to either live separately or get married before they can be baptized. So, I would like you all to pray that a way will be provided that they will be eligible to be baptized. I know that God answers our prayers, and I know that together we can see miracles through our collective faith.

Well, that is all for today. Until next week!


Sister Lemon

This is Sakura and Sohan. Sohan is 14 and loves basketball, even though he doesn't even come up to my shoulder. But he's about the sweetest 14 year old boy you can imagine.
I told you Sakura is my best friend! She always says that Sister Rydalch is the goofy one and I'm the thinking one.

Tuesday, February 2, 2016

Episode 18: The One with the Answers to Prayers

This is, from left to right, me (but you knew that), Sister Rydalch, Elder Byram (one of the assistants to our mission president), and Elder Lewis (who used to be our district leader, but then got transferred, but then was back for a day on an exchange). Sister Rydalch made them take a picture with us because we pranked their car. According to everyone, the Cambodian sisters (aka us) are the wildest sisters in the mission, but we get the work done.

Hello friends! This week has been really great. Sister Rydalch and I are just constantly moving. She likes to tell people "we work hard, play hard, and then sleep even harder".

On Sunday after church, Brother Wheelock was talking to us about being more organized and really focusing on listening in our daily routines. He talked about how to take what people say and use it to guide your interactions with them in a meaningful direction. I thought it was really insightful, but I was worried that I wouldn't know how to apply it myself. Well, later that night, we knocked into a lady named Dixie Lynn. She let us into her house, and said she wanted to talk to us, but didn't believe what we believed. In stead of leaving it at that or trying to push her, we just asked questions about her life and listened to her answers. We then were able to use what she told us to invite her to read and pray about the Book of Mormon. She was really excited about it, and said that she felt like us coming was an answer to her prayers, which I thought was awesome. We are going to go back and follow up with her later this week. (Also, she has 3 dogs, and I didn't even freak out, so progress is happening all over in my life!)

Yesterday we were walking through the parking lot of an apartment complex that we were going to knock, when I saw a lady smoking a cigarette on her back porch. I called out to her, and just asked how she was doing and if there was anything we could do for her. She said she had just prayed and asked God to send her someone to talk to about her problems who could help guide her. Her name is Del, and it turns out she is in an emotionally abusive relationship, and she knows she needs to get out of it, but she is scared to be on her own. We shared Alma 7:11-13 with her, and she was so much happier. We talked to her for about 45 minutes, and you could see her demeanor change over the course of our talk with her.

A different day (I can't remember which one), Sister Rydalch and I were walking around the International Business district (aka Asiaville, WA) trying to find new people to teach. One problem: there were no people out. None. I don't know where they all were, but we could not find them. It was really cold, and we didn't know what to do, when we heard a voice behind us yell "Hey, Sisters!". To be honest, at first I panicked a little. I figured it was going to be someone who didn't like us or something like that. But when we turned around, it was a very nice older man, who is a member on a different part of Washington. He took us into a restaurant, fed us dinner, and introduced us to all of the employees. They were all Vietnamese and didn't really understand who we were, but it was still really awesome.

Basically, the moral of the story is God is always listening. He knows us, He loves us, and He will help us. We are never alone unless we chose to be.

Oh, also, Sister Rydalch and Sister Johansen took a recent convert that they had taught to the temple on Thursday, so I was Sister Ireland's (Sister Johansen's companion) trainer for a day! It was way fun, even though we almost ran out of gas.

Well, that's all for this week! Have a lovely day and keep on being awesome!


Sister Lemon