Monday, May 30, 2016

Episode 35: The One with

Hello everyone! Happy Memorial Day!

Tomorrow is transfer day, but don't worry, I'm not going anywhere, and neither is Sister Pen. We are staying here to keep working hard and making things happen.

We had a huge breakfast for our ward this morning. It was really fun, and there were a lot of people there. Sister Wheelock made a slideshow of all the people in our ward who have served in the armed forces, as well as action shots of planes and boats and stuff. It was really touching.

Other than that. life ha been pretty normal. We are working hard, and I know that big things are coming, so stay tuned!

And remember, "men are that they might have joy"!

I love you all. Have a great day.


Sister Lemon

Monday, May 23, 2016

Episode 34: The One with the Temple Trip and a Pinched Nerve

Hello everybody! It has been a great week, with some surprised thrown in the mix.

To start, I am back to just one companion. Another sister had to go home for more intensive health care, and Sister Knudsen got transferred up to Silverdale to fill her spot until next week when we get some new sisters. The life of a missionary is never boring!

Also, this week we got to go on our annual temple trip! It is usually in March, but the temple was closed in March for some maintenance. Anyway, it was awesome. I love the temple!! 

Here is my zone in front of the temple. I think Sister Blatter got so excited about the beautiful missionaries, that she cut off the top of the temple, but that is alright.

And this is just a goofy picture of the tree zones I went to the temple with. See, missionaries are real people, too! Plus, we got to ride in a school bus for an hour, and that was pretty exciting. Sister Pen was shocked that there were no seat belts.

In other news, I pinched a nerve in my ankle, and for about 20 minutes I thought I was going to die or else they were going to have to amputate my foot. i'm a little dramatic, what can I say. After walking it off (a lot!), wrapping it, and Sister Pen putting magic Cambodian balm on it for 3 days, I no longer think I'm going to lose the foot or my life. 

We have a really awesome new investigator named Bong Sina. She is super sweet, and her two daughters are so cute! They mostly speak English because that is what they learn in school, so Sister Pen and I taught them how to count in Cambodian. Imagine that, me teaching a Cambodian person how to speak Cambodian! Bong Sina has a lot of what we call "real intent": she has a very sincere desire to learn the truth for herself, and she is really willing to act on what she learns. I'm really excited to work with her more.

We also went to a funeral this week for an amazing lady in our ward. She has served 3 missions with her husband, and she brought Sister Baca to church every week from the time she was an investigator, which was 12 years ago! It was really cool to hear about all the amazing things this lady had done in her life, and to see what an impact she had in the life of others. It mad me think about how I want to be remembered when it is my time to leave this earth, and how I need to be living now to make that happen. Perspective is a way cool thing!

Also at the funeral, we sang a song that I absolutely love, and I actually have part of the lyrics written on the back of my planner. The song is How Firm a Foundation, and the whole thing is amazing (10 out of 10, would highly recommend singing it, or at least listening to it), but I particularly love the 7th verse. It says:

The soul that on Jesus hath leaned for repose
I will not, I cannot, desert to his foes;
That soul, though all hell should endeavor to shake,
I'll never, no never, I'll never, no never,
I'll never, no never, no never forsake!

I love that! Trusting in God can be hard, but I can testify that it is SO WORTH IT! It is the only way we can overcome the foes, both literal and figurative, that face us every day.

I love this gospel, I love serving as a missionary, and I love all of you! Have an awesome week.


Sister Lemon

Monday, May 16, 2016

Episode 33: The One with the Blue Weave - Revisited

Hello everyone! This week has been amazing!! lots of miracles are happening here.

On Tuesday while we were knocking doors from 5-7, there were some kids playing in one of the streets we were on. We noticed they started following us from door to door, but always staying on their scooters at the bottom of the driveways. We started talking to them, and they were so excited. We told them we are missionaries, and we go around talking to people about Jesus and helping people be happy because Jesus makes us happy. They told us they love Jesus, and they want to be missionaries, too! We gave them each a pamphlet to give to their friends, and then they went door to door with us for an hour. A whole hour! I was sure they were going to get bored and leave, but they didn't. We even had a short lesson on a doorstep, and they thought that was about the coolest thing they had ever seen. They were sad when we had to leave, so we took a picture with them, and promised to bring them each a copy of it next week. Also, we accidentally kind of lined up with our "mini-me"s in this picture, which is cute.

Every week our mission sets a mission-wide goal that we work on for that week. Usually it is a certain number of lessons taught, number of people on date for baptism, or something like that, where every companionship does everything they can to contribute to the total number. This week was a little different. The goal for this week was called "2-2-2-10", meaning everyone works to have 2 new investigators, 2 people at church, 2 people on date for baptism, and 10 lessons with a member present. Our trio worked really hard all week to make 2-2-2-10 happen for our companionship, and Sunday morning everything was all set to go. We already had more than 2 news, more than 10 lessons with a member, and 2 people on date, and we had invited 5 or 6 people to church, and even set up rides for some of them. And then none of them showed up. Not a one. Even the ones with rides weren't home when their rides got there. We were really upset about, but decided we would just have to try again next week. After the meeting however, we found out that a grandma in her ward had brought her two non-member grand daughters to church, and a less active lady had come with her non-member husband. We had 3 at church and didn't even know it! Our spirits were lifted, until we realized that one of the 2 people we had on date was no longer eligible to be baptized next week because he didn't come to church this week, so now we had met our goal for at church, but were short of our on date goal (if this is getting confusing, I'm sorry). However, we were so inspired by the miracle of 3 people at church, that we decided to just go out, work as hard as we could, and put someone on date by the end of the day. It sounds pretty crazy, but we were so filled with faith, that we knew God would guide us. We prayed and asked where we needed to knock to find someone ready to commit to a baptismal date. As Sister Knudsen was praying, the name of an investigator from my first month in Tacoma came to my mind: Charmaine. Many of you may not remember Charmaine, but she was the title character of "Episode 14: The One with the Blue Weave". It seemed odd, because we hadn't been able to get in contact with Charmaine since that first week or so, but we followed the Spirit and went to knock her street. As we were walking up to her door, before we even knocked, the door opened, and a lady I hadn't seen before greeted us. It turns out that she is Charmaine's mom, and she has been going through some really hard stuff recently, and she started crying just telling us about it. We consoled her, taught her about the Atonement, and long story short, we put Charmaine, Charmaine's mom, And Charmaine's daughter on date! The Spirit was so strong, and I was full of joy and gratitude.

This experience taught me so many things, including but not limited to:
-God supports us as we work toward worthy goals
-if you follow the Spirit, you will always be right
-faith+hard work=miracles
-it is never to late for the Atonement
-gratitude is not a burden, it is a joy

Life is great here in the WA-TAC. I love you all and I pray for you every day.


Sister Lemon

Monday, May 9, 2016

Aavion's Baptism and The Trio

We got chocolate for Mother's Day because we are "the world's best mom", apparently.

Episode 32: The One with a Surprise Trio

Hello everyone! Lots is going in in my life right now. 

I got another companion. Some emergency transferring happened on Thursday, and long story short, I'm now in a trio that covers 2 wards plus the Cambodian work. It's a little nuts sometimes, but it's also great. We have twice as much work now, which is both exciting and hectic, but I am loving it!

Also, Aavion got baptized on Saturday, and it was the cutest thing ever. He was SO excited to get baptized. We didn't have a baptism jumpsuit the right size, so he was wearing a huge suit rolled up a million times, and not very many people cam because it was Mother's Day weekend, but Aavion didn't care at all. In, fact, he was literally jumping with excitement, and he ran to the font when they told him it was time for his baptism. It was awesome to see the joy the gospel can bring to our lives.

In other news, I got to Skype my family yesterday for Mother's Day, and that was way awesome! Families are the best, and I'm so glad that we get to be together forever!

I have been thinking a lot about change this week. I found this quote:


I have seen so much change in myself from the beginning of my mission to now, and I am so glad to be becoming a better person. I know that it is only through the Atonement of Jesus Christ that we can change our nature, but the enabling power of the Atonement is so awesome, I can't even describe it. I am eternally grateful for the ability to change.

I love you all! Have a fabulous week!


Sister Lemon

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Episode 31: The One Where I Get Lost... A Lot

Hello everyone! This week has been crazy. Training is hard, but it is also awesome, because Sister Pen is great. I get lost or turned around at least 70% of the places we go, but we always get there eventually! I told our bishop's wife that I sometimes feel like I have no idea what I am doing, and I'm just making stuff up as I go, and she said pretty much every day of her life feels like that, and she turned out fine, so that makes me feel better! In all seriousness though, I think that is kind of the whole reason we are sent to this earth. We couldn't learn or progress without being put into situations that we aren't comfortable or familiar with. As cheesy as it is, here really is no growth in the comfort zone. And I am doing A LOT of growing right now for sure!

We are still working with Om Jon, and he is great. Actually, his name is Om Chon, we just misheard him the first time. Plus, I am terrible at spelling anyway. Anyway, he has a great desire to follow Christ and be baptized, but he feels like he can't leave his wife, who has spine cancer, long enough to go to church, so he doesn't want to commit to a baptism date. But they are the sweetest couple. They call me the Frenchie (apparently Cambodians assume all white people are French and eat lots of bread).I am really hopeful that we can find a way to get them to church, because I have already seen how much prayer has blessed them, and I know taking the Sacrament will be amazing for them. We are praying hard, and trusting that the Lord will provide a way.

We are also working with a boy named Avion right now. He lives with his grandparents, who were interested for a while, but then decided that they already know everything they care to know and don't want to learn more. But Avion comes to church every week with one of his friends, and he loves learning about God and Jesus. He went to a baptism last week, and afterward asked us if he could do that too! So, we are working with him so that he can get baptizedon Saturday, and he is really excited about it.Every time he prays with us, he prays that he can still get baptized on Saturday. It is really cute!

We had a multi-stake missionary musical fireside yesterday, which was awesome for a lot of reasons. I got to see some people from the American Lake ward, which was awesome. But what was really amazing was how strong the Spirit was. I would try to express it to you, but I cannot. The gospel is true, friends! I don't know how it could not be.

I have been thinking a lot this week this a quote from General Conference, which someone hung on the wall of our apartment:

I have been thinking about what making space in my life for others looks like. There a lots of answers to that question, and it varies from situation to situation, but I have learned a lot about charity and how to build a quality relationship with someone. It has been really cool, and I highly recommend trying it!

Well,that's all for this week! Have a great day my lovelies!


Sister Lemon