Monday, December 26, 2016

Week 71

This Christmas was very amazing! We had a Zone Conference on Tuesday. Sister Alder, Sister Jeffs and I did a musical number! We did The First Noel/Away in a Manger Medley. It was really good! It was fun, because we arranged it ourselves. Everyone liked it, too. Our voices blend really well together!

 We also did some caroling this week! We went on Thursday to a retirement community and sang Christmas carols with the other YSA sisters. It was very fun and inspiring. Then, on Saturday night, we went with some other missionaries and caroled to their ward member and investigators. President and Sister Cooper came in my group, and it was really fun.

When we got home Christmas Eve night we had a sleepover in our living room ! We pulled our mattresses under the Christmas Tree. The next morning, Sister Jeffs and I got up early to make crock pot hot cocoa.  It was delicious. We got ready for the day, opened gifts and then went to church! After church, we went to a senior missionary couple's house for lunch, and I Skyped my family there. Talking with them was so great yesterday. I loved it!  After that, we drove over to the Mission President's house! It was so fun. We had dinner there, and then we got some pictures afterwards. The Coopers also had a fun game there.  There were synonyms for Christmas carol titles on a sheet, and we had to figure out what the actual carol was. Can you guess this one? "Singular yearning for twin anterior incisors."
Then, we drove to the church, and Sister Jeffs called her parents. Then we went home! That was our day. It was fantastic! I am so excited for this upcoming week, as well. Today we have a Zone Activity Day!
M's baptism date is set for Jan 8!  We are so excited. She is so awesome. She loves the church, the Book of Mormon, and the gospel.

Have a great week!

Sister Minson

My Skype call to my Momma!

Christmas Eve sleepover

Christmas Day on our way to church

Our Christmas tree

Christmas Day at the Mission President's house

Sister Jeffs and I with President and Sister Cooper

So I drove Dennis (the car that is currently in Odessa) for most of my mission. For at least a year. And last night he got hit by a deer and is totaled! Thankfully, the passengers (sister Porter, Sister Swanson, and Sister Jensen) are fine, but the car is very hurt. My car is totaled!

Monday, December 19, 2016

Week 70

Transfers: with my old comp (sister Porter on my left) and my new comp (sister Jeffs on my right)
My new companion, Sister Jeffs, and I

Hello! We had transfers happen this past week on Wednesday, and it was crazy! I'm covering the YSA ward now. We share the apartment with the other YSA sisters. It's a party! There are 3 sets of missionaries in YSA, including the Elders who are the assistants. It's fun. We share a 12 passenger van between us, the other YSA sisters, and some sisters serving in Temple Terrace, which shares the building. It's called The Ark. Things are WAY different in the YSA. Our boundaries are super complicated. The YSA ward is technically 4 zones. St Pete,  Odessa, Tampa, and Brandon. But we don't go finding out there because all of the young single adults go to the University of South Florida. So whenever we go proselyting, we go on campus. But we actually do a TON of service here. We reach the allotted 10 hours almost every week. It is so cool!

So Wednesday, we got all my stuff to the apartment, and then went out and proselyted! We walked all day on the USF campus and it was so fun! Campus is pretty empty because it is winter break, but we still had some people on campus, so we talked to them. It was fun! At the end of the day, my feet hurt pretty bad. But it was great!

Thursday we weekly planned, helped with the Institute dinner, then we ate dinner, then we taught M and then we went to Institute. M is a member referral. She had been taught by missionaries in the past and was almost baptized, but for some reason she got cold feet. But she is ready now, so she asked to meet with us so we could get baptized! We are helping her set a date right now. Oh my gosh, she is so cool.  I was at the church, the mission office, literally all day.

On Friday, we did service and found on campus, Then on Saturday, we went to Night in Bethlehem with S, a recent convert.  It was really fun and I got to see a lot of members from Odessa! Also, we started practicing a musical number because we are singing for the Zone conference on Tuesday.

A lot of return missionaries from our mission came to church on Sunday, and it was super weird to see them all! Elder Johnny Dance, Elder Holden Morris, Sister Ashlynn Martin, and Sister Taylor Sutton all came! It was really fun. I sang in the choir as Alto because they didn't have a lot of them. We had dinner after church, and then when we got to the church to go on campus. One of the RM's walked up and asked if he could go proselyting with us!  He was a good member present!

 And that was my week! It was super super crazy. Today is my 16 month mark!

Sister Minson

My companion and I at Institute
 On Friday, we went and did service for Eckerd Raising Hope. It was so much fun! We sorted though clothing donations to help those who are in the Foster System, and it was so much fun. We are going to help them out weekly.

With B who was baptized over Thanksgiving weekend
Reminds me of my kitty at home

Monday, December 12, 2016

Week 69

I seriously am so distracted right now, for one simple reason...We received the transfer call this morning. I am getting transferred!  I am spending my P-day packing, because I am going to YSA! I will be serving with Sister Jeffs. I am so excited!

But I think I can try to tell you all what happened this past week!

We had a relief society Christmas party this Friday and it was so good! N, one of Sister Cook's friends, came to the party. She loves the church, and the members in the church. She has been doing
#LIGHTtheWORLD every day! It is so cool. We made fun Christmas ornaments. I love this ward so much.

On Sunday we had the opportunity to go do some service! We went with a member family and helped them wrap Christmas presents (they were socks) for the homeless. It was really fun, and I was able to talk to the lady wrapping next to me. She was very friendly and asked me about
our missionary service. When we were wrapping up (I love puns), I invited her to Night in Bethlehem. She is going out of town but she promised she would invite some of her friends to go! So that was really cool.

We also went to a school Christmas concert for B, one of our recent converts! We got to meet her dad, who isn't a member of the church. I also was able to invite the man sitting next to me to Night
in Bethlehem, as well! The only thing that was really a surprise at the concert is that they had an elementary rock band that performed in between the choirs and drums. One time, they performed Enter Sandman, by Metallica. It was a complete surprise to me, but they actually did a pretty good job. I laughed because we saw a different ward member rocking out to it.

Sister Minson

I forgot! I went on an exchange on Tuesday with Sister Cook! We got
Freals. They were super tasty! It was fun.

More sidewalk chalk pictures!

Monday, December 5, 2016

Week 68

This week was pretty good, we taught 5 Recent Convert/Less Active lessons. And we got a member referral! So that is super cool.

On Wednesday we weekly planned and had missionary coordination. We saw a friend of the bishop's, N, and we showed her the #LIGHTtheWORLD video! She loved it. She is so cool and is seriously basically a member already. I hope something happens with her.

On Thursday, Sister Huber and I went to Land O Lakes to teach the sister's there how to weekly plan. That was fun.  Then Friday I did great on a goal to drink a ton of water! I drank 6 of my refillable water bottles, and it was awesome!  I was actually hydrated. I've slacked off again, already, but I'll get better!  On Saturday we did some sidewalk chalk in the park, which was fun.

That was basically my week this week! Today is actually D and M's 1 year mark since their baptism, so we are going to Steak 'n Shake today to see them. That will be so fun!

Sister Minson

Opening my Christmas package!

Our little tree :)
 Sidewalk chalk!

Monday, November 28, 2016

Week 67

Happy Thanksgiving and Merry Christmas everyone!

So on Monday we had Zone Activity Day, and it was super fun! We had a Thanksgiving dinner as a Zone. Thursday was super fun, obviously.We went to a family's house for Thanksgiving lunch, and I learned how to fry a turkey. Man, it was so tasty. So you buy a turkey deep-fryer. Then you fry your turkey! Peanut oil, 350 degrees, about 3 minutes or so per pound of turkey. He did a 12 lb one, and it took about 40 minutes. It was so good!!! Yum. YouTube it if you have questions. It's a southern thing, but a delicious thing.  We then did some street contacting (no one was out), then went to dinner with the W'ss family! I love them so much. They are great. And the food was good, too! :)

My Zone at Zone Activity Day

Thanksgiving Day with the W's and the Q's
On Friday the Christmas video, #LIGHTtheWORLD came out. THIS is what I want to talk about.
Step 1- visit to view the #LIGHTtheWORLD video. The video is about how we can be lights of the world, just like Jesus Christ was, through service and our example. It invites you to serve
someone every day, for the 25 days until Christmas.
Step 2- watch the Day 1 video on and make plans to kick off the service on December 1st.
Step 3- every day, sign on to and watch the day's video. Complete one of the suggested ways to get involved and serve others as Christ does.
Step 4- feel the true spirit of Christmas. :)

Saturday we had an exchange. It was way fun. One cool experience I had was we went to the store, and when we went through the registers (I bought a kit kat), I talked to the two women at the register. One was bagging, the other ringing. But I asked if they've ever done a 12 days of Christmas thing before, then I told them about the 25 ways, 25 days thing. We gave them both cards for the video, and they were excited! We also had a lesson with a part member family, and we invited them to read the Book of Mormon together every day. It was awesome.

B was baptized this week! It took place out of town though, so we didn't get any pictures, but we will this week when we meet with her. We also taught a lesson with a part member family, and we invited them to read the Book of Mormon together every day. It was awesome. We also taught the Q's one last lesson before they move. I will miss them. I was glad to be a part of reactivating them! We taught another investigator we have- N. She is R's friend, and we taught her the Plan of Salvation.  Sunday at church, a young woman brought her friend! It was super cool.

Christmas is the best time of year to be a missionary. I know that Jesus Christ is our Savior, and it is through him that we can receive forgiveness from our sins. My favorite scripture this week is Alma 42:22-25.

Sister Minson

PS- I've been counting creepy Santas since Friday. 15 so far! I love
this time of year.

Had a great photo shoot at the Night in Bethlehem set:

Monday, November 21, 2016

Week 66

It's Thanksgiving!

I made a turkey today!! Right now it is in the oven. It wasn't completely thawed when we opened the package, so we had to run some water through it. We had trouble finding the neck cavity, so we were
kind of stressed that we couldn't find the giblets package! We thought the giblets were still inside the turkey somewhere! But when we found the neck cavity, we learned that it was not the case. My hands still smell like raw turkey, even though I washed them many times over. Gross! We rubbed it with butter and sprinkled some seasonings on it. Hopefully it turns out ok! We stuck it in and we hope it will not cook too fast, or cook too slow. Ah! Cooking is such a gamble. 

So today for Zone Activity Day we are watching a movie (Ephraim's Rescue), playing Apples to Apples, then eating our Thanksgiving turkey as a zone! It will be so much fun.
Besides that adventure, we also finished teaching B and she had her baptismal interview on Thursday! I was at a meeting, so I couldn't get a picture with her, but Sister Porter did! 

The Mission Leadership Council meeting this week was really great President Cooper switched our daily schedule around. So now we are getting up at 6, exercising, getting ready for the day, and then at 8 we are daily planning for the day we are on. At 8:30 we start personal study, then at 9:30 we start
companion study. They changed it so we can plan, then prepare, then execute every morning. So cool! I also learned some new ways to plan more effectively. The gist of it was that when we plan, we shouldn't be scheduling. We should set goals for the people we're working with, and then we should write a list of action items, or plans, of things we can do to reach those goals. Then we should plan time in our planner of when we will do those things. It is a completely different way of looking at it than I've ever done before, but I love it! It works great, and it is so much more effective.

I should probably give more info on what Night in Bethlehem is. Night in Bethlehem is a live nativity that our Stake does every year. It is set up on the property next to the stakecenter, and it has a little town (Bethlehem) set up. People come, and they can walk through the town and do things. Like the Ren Fest, actually. Then every half hour the gates open and they go through to watch the show. There is a scene where Mary and Joseph are trying to find room in the inn, then we go through and see the shepherds, and the manger scene. There is music and acting and all that. Afterwards, people file into the church building where there are cookies and hot chocolate in the cultural hall, and a table in the foyer with Book of Mormons, dvds, and pamphlets and things. The missionaries will help with guiding people from scene to scene, as well as mingling in the village and talking to people. It won't be a "proselyting" experience, because it is supposed to be focused on Christ, but we can answer questions if people ask. There will also be missionaries manning the Book of Mormon table, and offering to show people the chapel, if they are curious. It is so cool! It goes over 4 nights, and it is amazing.

 We went to dinner at the M's this week! That was really fun. She made us chicken and rice, and fried plantains. They were so good! We also ate empanadas at the Qs house. The Q,s are moving next week though! I am so sad. G came to church! We have slowly been working with him because he is very busy, but he said he would like to learn more about sacrament meeting. Also, N and B came to church, too!

I hit my 15 month mark this week! So crazy! I can't believe how fast it is going.
Happy Thanksgiving!

Sister Minson

Pictures from setting up Night in Bethlehem last week:

Monday, November 14, 2016

Week 65

This week we set up for Night in Bethlehem (NIB), and it was so awesome! It is going to be an amazing event. We got to go in the church attic. I didn't even know the church had an attic until a few weeks ago, but we got to go in! It was really fun. We also did the exchange this weekend. That was really awesome. We taught two great lessons, G and F! Remember F from over the summer? He has been reading the Book of Mormon and wants us to come back again!

This upcoming week will be fun because we are going to have Zone Activity Day next Monday and we are going to be having Thanksgiving as a zone, too. We are going to make a Turkey! It will be very fun.

B is doing well with preparing for baptism! Her baptismal interview will happen this week and her baptism is next week. We are so happy and excited for her!
I was reminded me of something that Elder Klebingat said. He was talking about God and how us living with Him premortally is like us living at home when we are kids. We learn and grow and are taught by Him. And when we get old enough, it is time for us to be kicked out of the house so we can keep progressing and learning, so that one day we can own our own houses and raise our own kids the same way God raised us. Isn't that cool? And he said that God wonders and worries about us the same way our parents wonder and worry about us. 

 I am looking forward to this week because.. We have another MLC! Some people from the Missionary Department will be coming, so that will be cool. Also, It's the most wonderful time of the year! Holiday after holiday. Woohoo!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, November 7, 2016

Week 64

I can't believe it is already November!

A lot of things happened this week that were really awesome!

We are helping B, a 9-year old from a part-member family, to get baptized over Thanksgiving weekend. Our first appointment with her is tonight! I am excited to have those lessons to look forward to! We went to a baptism on Sunday for an 8 year old in the ward. Some of their neighbors came, and we talked to them! They said they would like for us to come by and talk a little more, which is really cool. yay!

Elder Klebingat from the Seventy came and visited our mission this weekend. We had a couple of different meetings. In the one on Friday night, he taught us about effective leadership and also about humility and exact obedience. It was really good. Then on Saturday he taught us some more about the scriptures, and then he talked more about exact obedience. Elder Klebingat is very familiar with the scriptures and remembers a lot of scripture references, and he used them for the training he gave us both days. At the end of the training, he taught us how he remembered the references and encouraged us to work on memorizing scriptures. He taught us some techniques to try, which were really cool! I will be working on those so I can memorize more scripture references. 

 This was our Missionary Leadership Council that we had with Elder Klebingat. He is in the back row, right in front of the Temple picture.

This upcoming week, we are going to help set up for the Night In Bethlehem activity that our stake puts on every year, and then we will go on an exchange! It will be awesome.

 We found this little cat while we were out, and she was so cute! Sister Porter fell in love with her, as you can see. We named her Tiger. She likes the scriptures, and she also caught a lizard! She followed us around for a little bit.

 The Book of Mormon is the Keystone of our religion. So when we found this sign, we HAD to stop and take a picture by it!

Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63

Transfers!!! This is really quite exciting. I am staying! Sister Porter is staying! Surprise!  Haha, bet you really didn't expect that one at all. It was pretty anticlimactic, because we received a call this morning and our district leader just said "you both are staying". It took me a couple seconds to process that he was giving us the transfer info. So that's that!
So here I am in this town I call home, because Odessa is like my home, I have seriously been here that long.  It's good though, because I love it! I am having a blast here and I love the members so much!

We had some exciting meetings this week, but my favorite part was when we went to the Trunk or Treat on Friday. They had hotdogs and hamburgers, and there was a fun carnival inside. There were a ton of people there, and many non-members and less active members! That was really cool. The Bishop's family brought 3 families, which included 13 individuals, to the trunk or treat ALONE. We met them and they were so awesome. I felt like it was a great activity for missionary work to get accomplished. I hope there are more like it. The activities were fun, too, and we were able to help them set up because we got there a little early. They had a photo booth so we took some pictures before it got too busy!
At the Trunk or Treat

Some girls we are teaching
With a family we are teaching. I love the bacon costume!

We taught a few less active families this week, and one of them we taught them about the sacrament. They were really excited and they all came to church the next Sunday! That was super cool. We also taught R again, she is so awesome. She is really working on building her testimony, and is bringing a friend to church! That is really fun.

This upcoming week will be awesome because we are going to have a zone conference and even more missionary meetings. Elder Klebingat is visiting the mission, so it will be really good! 

Happy Halloween, everybody! Stay safe and eat candy!

With love,
Sister Minson
Me with  Halloween package. Thanks Mom!
Us on Sister Porter's 6 month mark!

A pretty bridge and golf course, with some sand cranes on the bridge