Tuesday, April 26, 2016

Episode 30: The One with Sister Pen!

Hello everyone! It has been an awesome but crazy week!

First of all, Sister Pen is here! She is awesome. She is 22 years old, and has already graduated college with a degree in international relations. It is really cool to teach Cambodians with her because they really connect with her and open up to her in a way that they don't open up to white people (in other words, me). I'm also learning tons of Cambodian because we talk to each other pretty much only in Cambodian, and she fills in the words I don;t know and corrects my pronunciation ad it is awesome!

This week has also been a week of miracles. When we came in, we were basically starting from scratch. The work had been a little slow, and the sisters before us didn't really have anyone solid to work with. But, in the last 6 days, we found 10 new investigators, and more than half of them are Cambodian. We are doing a lot of Cambodian work, and I am super excited about it.

We also had ward and stake boundary changes the day before I got here, and a lot of people are sad about it because they lost ward members they loved, and now they have to build relationships with new people. But I am super excited about it because Our ward doubled in side and got new area that used to be in the Federal Way mission. There were so many people at church yesterday, that they ran out of sacrament and had to do it twice! The ward that merged with ours has never had sister missionaries either, so there are a lot of members who are really excited to work with us.

In other news, it has been sunny and in the 70s and 80s almost all week. I already have a tan line from the shoes I wear. It's really great, because a lot of people are outside, which makes it easier to talk to them. It's also a lot more fun to knock doors in the sun than in the dark and rain.

On the more spiritual side of things, I have been thinking a lot about prayer this week. We have been teaching a lot of the Cambodians about prayer because many of them have health or family problems, and we teach them how much prayer can help. For example, we went to the home of
Om Jon, an investigator who had been taught about a year ago, to see if he was interested in learning again. He opened the door, and when he recognized who we were, he smiled, invited us in, and asked us to pray with his family, all before we even asked if he was interested! He said he remembered how important and how powerful prayer is, but he couldn't remember how to do it. We taught him again, and he was so excited to be able to pray on his own every day. I hope that is how we all feel about prayer. I know that prayer is one of our greatest resources in life, and that it can bring us great blessings. I hope we are all as excited to communicate with our Father in Heaven as Om Jon is.

Well, that is all for this week. I love you all, and I can't wait to hear from you.


Sister Lemon

This is me and my new companion, Sister Pen!
This is all of the trainers for this transfer, before we met our new companions.
And this is when I first met Sister Pen!

Monday, April 18, 2016

Episode 29: The One with the Temple Trip

Hello everyone! Lots of news this week!

First of all, I am getting transferred again! I'm going back to the Cambodian area to train a new sister, Sister Pen. She is from Cambodia, and I am so excited to be her companion. I have emailed her (before I knew I would be her trainer), and she sounds awesome!I'm a little nervous because the boundaries of the area were changed yesterday, and a lot of things are going to be different, and I'm the one who has to know what is going on and how things work. But I know it will all work out because God qualifies those he calls.

Also, I got to go to the temple this week! Sister Rydalch and I had the opportunity to take Souhan to do baptisms for his family. It was really cool, and it was great to see him again. Souhan is like my mission best friend.


Because we took Souhan to the temple, Sister Rydalch and I got to be companions again for the day, which was really fun. It's cool how much has changed in the past transfer and how much hasn't.

Other than that, this week has been pretty slow. The weather has been really nice, and I think everyone decided that meant they should not be home.

The theme of this week for me has been trusting God. There are a lot of things in my life that I don't understand in my life right now, but I am realizing more and more that that is alright. I particularly like Proverbs 3:5-6, which says "Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. In all thy ways acknowledge him, and he shall direct thy paths." I know that the more I trust God and His timing, the happier I find myself, and the more I realize that he definitely knows what I need better than I do. Trusting in Him is not always easy for me, but it is definitely worth it.

I love you all! I will write you again next Monday (yes, Monday. I told you things are changing!)


Sister Lemon

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This is Sister Ireland and me looking normal and cute.

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This is more how we feel most of the time: a little scatter brained but still happy!

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And this is how Sister Ireland feels about me leaving:

Monday, April 11, 2016

Episode 28: The One With the VA Hospital


This week has been one of ups and downs. We have had a lot of successes, but also a lot of struggles. Or maybe we have had a lot of struggles in order to have a lot of successes.

We went to the VA (Veterans Affairs) hospital's assisted living facility this week to visit an older guy named Joe Thatcher. To be honest, I was kind of expecting it to be sad, but I was wrong. Joe is probably the happiest person I know. He told us stories about Korea and Vietnam. He worked in communications, which sounds really cool! He also told us about when he used to be a temple worker, and how much he love the temple. He was just laughing ans smiling and telling us jokes the whole time. It was also really interesting because Joe's roommate (who wasn't there at the time) has all of his army medals and awards and flags on his walls, while Joe's walls have pictures of his family and book shelves full of books. It was very apparent what mattered to each of them.

We also had a really cool lesson with a man named Blaise this week. Blaise is from Camaroon, and his wife is a member of the church from Mississippi. Jen (his wife) said that missionaries have tried to visit them before, but Blaise was always to wary of them to ever let them in. But he let us in, and we have taught him twice now! Jen was there for the second lesson, which was really cool because she was able to talk to him about how families can be together forever, and how much she wanted that for their family. She also encouraged him to read the Book of Mormon and said she would pray about it with him if he wanted her to. I have high hopes for this family. They are really just the nicest people!

In other news, I had the most delicious smoked ribs at a member's home this past week, and they were probably the best thing I have ever eaten. I thought I wasn't a fan of ribs, but I was wrong!

I have been thinking a lot about hope recent;y, and I wanted to share a thought from Elder Uchtdorf's talk this past weekend. He was talking about a cathedral that was destroyed in the bombing of Dresden in World War 2. The remains of the cathedral were cataloged, and the building was rebuilt, using as many of the original stones as possible. Today it looks like this (the darker stones are from the original):

Then, President Uchtdorf said "As I pondered the history of Dresden and marveled at the ingenuity and resolve of those who restored what had been so completely destroyed, I felt the sweet influence of the Holy Spirit. Surely, I thought, if man can take the ruins, rubble, and remains of a broken city and rebuild an awe-inspiring structure that rises toward the heavens, how much more capable is our Almighty Father to restore His children who have fallen, struggled, or become lost? It matters not how completely ruined our lives may seem. It matters not how scarlet our sins, how deep our bitterness, how lonely, abandoned, or broken our hearts may be. Even those who are without hope, who live in despair, who have betrayed trust, surrendered their integrity, or turned away from God can be rebuilt. There is no life so shattered that it cannot be restored."

I love you all. Have a great week!


Sister Lemon

This is the King family. We have gotten really close with them, but now they are moving to Texas, so this was our goodbye picture in the wind.

The Kings were having a garage sale to get rid of some things before they moved, and Sister Ireland bought a popcorn machine for $5. Se's pretty excited about it.

Monday, April 4, 2016

Episode 27: The One with General Conference

Hello friends! I hope this finds you all well. It has been a good week here in American Lake.

First, the weird thing. A creepy old man tried to kiss me while we were waiting to cross the street. Life is always interesting!

Other than that though, this week was awesome! we had zone conference, which is a day full of training and inspiration from our leaders on how to be better missionaries. I learned a lot, and the Spirit was very strong. Missionaries are just the best people to spend the day with.

We also had general conference this weekend, and it was awesome. If you missed it, check it out on lds.org, because it was super good. There were lots of super powerful, poignant talks, and I felt I got so many answers to my questions. It is amazing to me how inspired conference is, and I know without a doubt that the speakers receive revelation and authority from Heavenly Father to speak to each of us personally.

One of my favorite talks from general conference was the very last one by Elder Holland. He said that "While the first and great commandment of the gospel is to love God, the first and great truth of the gospel is that we are children of God, and he loves us" (I am trying going from memory here, so that might not be exact wording). This is a truth I have known for pretty much my whole life, but for some reason, it really struck me. God loves me, and He loves you, and we are literally His children. Think of the impact of this truth! How would your life be different if you lived every day truly knowing how much God loves you? I think it's something we take for granted or forget, but I have decided to bring it back into my conscious mind every day, and I invite you to do the same.

Have a lovely week!


Sister Lemon

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our zone watched a session of general conference at the mission home with President and Sister Blatter. This is about half of us.

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The Cambodian sisters were all in one place for lunch and this is what happened. I'm honestly not sure what is going on in this picture, but it pretty much sums us up.

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We had zone conference this week, and this was lunch.

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This is me and Sister Ireland after zone conference.