Friday, January 29, 2016

January Pictures

Exciting news, I have more pictures for you!

Bailey's baptism: a little 8 year old

Haircut! Not too much off.

Holding a nice cat :)
Me sending 4 letters! I was proud of myself!

Pretty canal shot

Glamorous selfie
Dinner at John Chestnut Park

Do you know the Muffin Man!?

The Muffin Man, Who lives on.... Drury Lane!

A sign outside our pond in our complex. Unfortunately, I haven't seen any yet!
But I'm looking!

Monday, January 25, 2016

Week 23

Hey family and friends! This past week was crazy. I had a lot of fun experiences which make me really happy to be a missioary. I will share a few with you.

I got my hair cut last week! It is so much healthier now, which makes me happy.  We got a cold front here in Florida. We have to go out with ALL of our jackets on, because it gets so cold at night. I think that's because of the wind, humidity, and the lack of sun that makes us feel freezing. We're surviving though! I'm wearing socks to bed at night, which I've never really done before.

OH I have fun story for you all. On Thursday we were tracting near a park, and so we sat and ate dinner at the park. It looked like the Superstition Mountains back in Arizona, but flat. It was really pretty and it felt great to be there, Until the squirrels came. They surrounded us because they could smell our food. It was the funniest thing because C was with us and she kept chasing them away and they kept coming back. It actually was pretty scary! But we ate our dinner and then we got in the car. Those squirrels were vicious. They really wanted food.

We all were struggling and feeling a little discouraged this week, so Sister Macfarlane and I surprised the sisters by buying them Ice cream! We got Caramel Coast Getaway, which is a limited edition Publix ice cream. It is divine. Sister Macfarlane said "if this ice cream were one of God's children, it would be a prophet." It cracks me up, but it was a really accurate metaphor. In my journal, I wrote "I feel so satisfied right now. I'm warm, full of ice cream, and with some of my best friends. I love being a missionary."

 Zone Conference was great! We learned so much and I got to sing with sister Briggs! The song went very well, and it was great to get to perform again. I love singing!!!

Zone Conference on Wednesday
I feel like this past week has shown me how to appreciate the memories I'm making here, even if it is hard. People don't understand how hard missions are. There are very individual, personal challenges that come with serving a mission, challenges that no one can ever fully understand or comprehend. The same goes with the rewards and blessings. No one can ever understand how happy I am. I am doing the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, and I am so incredibly happy. Does that make sense at all? I think you have to have gone on a mission to understand what I mean.

On Saturday Elder Kopischke of the Seventy came and visited our mission. We held a special meeting that was 4-5 hours long, and then we attended a meeting for the Ward Council Members immediately following, which was around 2-3 hours long. We did the math afterwards, and we were in that building for 8 hours, sitting and learning. My bum and my brain were both so tired!! We learned so much though, and I feel like my vision of my mission has changed. Elder Kopishke is from Germany, so for lunch we had a German food called spatzle. It is a weird kind of noodle that looks like worms. They were pretty good though! 
Leadership Council on Saturday
The last experience I can share is about this interesting guy named G. We met him last night while we were tracting, and he is around our age, probably around 22 or so. He was so interesting! We walked with him for a little bit, and he talked about everything under the sun. He used the word serendipitous, which made me happy. (I love using big words, so that was fun.) He was really intriguing and I hope we get the chance to teach him about our beliefs! He expressed that he wasn't affiliated with any particular religion because he didn't feel like any one of them had the full doctrine of Christ. I really want to share with him the gospel of Jesus Christ. We are the true church!! I know it. And I want him to know it too. We got his number, so we are going to try to get ahold of him and share our message with him.

 I LOVE LOVE LOVE being a missionary. I needed three loves because just one isn't enough.
With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, January 18, 2016

Week 22

Hey all! Here are a few fun stories from this past week:

A fun thing that happened: The one on the forefront of my mind is yesterday. We went to church, which was great. They had a North America South-East Regional Conference. It includes all of the stakes from 14 different states. We were able to hear from some of the Apostles and other leaders of our church and it was pretty good. I learned a lot about what I want to do with my future family years from now. After church we went into the relief society room and we had a music-therapy session. It was the best!! My favorite part was when one of the sisters had the sheet music for Come Unto Christ, which is one of my favorite songs. She played it and I got to sing along. I wrote in my journal about it "you can't express what music does." It is true. I loved singing so much. It was very helpful and therapeutic.

Last night I got a call from a missionary asking if me and Sister Briggs (my MTC companion) wanted to sing at a Zone Conference on Wednesday. I was really excited about it. We are going to sing Jesus Lover of my Soul, hymn 102. Sister Briggs and I sang that song at the MTC a while ago. I am really looking forward to getting to use my talents again. I miss singing. I am so excited to sing on Wednesday!

Something crazy that happened: Bird poop. We were walking and all of the sudden a 3 things fell from the sky around us. We looked around, and looked up, and we saw birds flying overhead. They pooped on us! And it seriously landed around us but we weren't hit. Miracle of the week! Haha:)

Something cool that happened: Carmelitas. They are the most amazing things I've ever had in my life. Goodness gracious. A member made this dessert on Sunday, and we got the recipe and made it last week. MMMM, They were amazing. I will find out the recipe/website to get the recipe and I'll send it to you. They are to die for.

Another crazy thing that happened:
Last night, around 3 am, our weather radar went off. It said that there was a tornado warning in our county and 65 mph winds. We were kind of scared but whats the likelihood of a tornado actually touching down in Florida? We live on the third floor, so we figured that we'd just go back to sleep and then if a tornado blew through our apartment we would be woken up by the roof coming off. It was great.  Nothing happened, how boring. :)

We play this game where when we see 10 couches we can go get ice cream. So we were at 9, and we heard an ice cream truck in the neighborhood. We NEEDED to find another couch so we could get Ice Cream!! While we tracted we searched for a couch. Finally, we looked way out in the distance and we saw another couch!! We tracted up to it, and then we took a picture with it. We were so happy we found the 10th couch.

Caroline went out with us Sunday night. She gave a Book of Mormon away! It was amazing to see her do that. She is the cutest thing and we loved getting to go tracting with her.

The young women made us dinner. It was the cutest thing!

District meeting last week:

Friday, January 15, 2016

December pictures

Finally got the SD card from my camera sent to my mom with December pictures!

On our way to the mission Christmas party at the beach!

Beach Mission Christmas party

Running though some seagulls

Me and Sister Briggs, my MTC companion

A giant leaf

An Arizona sign!

Monday, January 11, 2016

Week 21


SO! I am training! I am a little overwhelmed by this prospect, but I am really excited for her. My companion's name is Sister Macfarlane. She is from Alabama and she is so cool! She has a lot of energy and is really enthusiastic about the work. Also, she is already an amazing teacher! I don't really have to train her, which is nice. I'm basically just showing her how to do things. Training is going really well. I love her so much! She is so courageous while we are teaching, tracting, and the like. She also really loves Role Plays. She is seriously so awesome. We role-play something once, and she does amazing. Then she does it in real life with no added problems or difficulties. She truly was born to be a missionary.

My week was crazy. on Monday, we dropped Sister Tawzer off at the Mission Office so she could leave. She went home. ACK! She is doing very well though. We also got the transfer email, in which I found out I was training. Tuesday we went to the Mission Office for district meeting, Sister Handley got her new companion, then I went to the trainer meeting. I called it a "trainer training" in my notes. It was a great meeting because I really felt calmer after I was able to talk about what I would be training on with other trainers. It was a great experience. We also proselyted for 2 hours, and we taught 7 lessons. That was a tender mercy. It's kind of funny, I've discovered that the best way to relieve stress is to go work! I really do love missionary work. It is relaxing for me. That night we went to the hotel that the new missionaries were staying at and we went to bed. On Wednesday we went to the Mission Office for the rest of the day. About 2 hours into the meeting, President Cusick assigned us our trainees! It was so cute because he called up one new missionary at a time, and every time he called one up I felt a little bit of anxiety. Then he called up Sister Macfarlane, and I felt really happy and peaceful. And then he said "You're with Sister Minson." It was really cool. She is so cute! We sat together for the rest of the time, and I helped her get her iPad set up, get her driver stuff together, and get all of the other things she needed. Thursday was a normal proselyting day, but Friday I had a Leadership training meeting I had to go to, so we went to that for 6 hours. We brought a banana there for breakfast, on the drive home we got fries, and then we were finding in an area that smelled like cigarettes. So by the end of the night our car smelled like smoky banana fries. What a weird combo.  Saturday and Sunday were normal days, and we taught so many cool people! 

It was an amazing week. I saw a miracle every day, and I feel my confidence growing in my ability to be a trainer. I really really love being a missionary.

Last District meeting with Sister Tawzer

Me with Sister Cusick (Mission President's wife) on Transfer Day

Sister Handley's new companion, Sister Olson
Meeting my new greenie, Sister MacFarlane!
At Training meeting for the new greenies

At Missionary Leadership Council on Friday

Me and Sis MacFarlane!

Monday, January 4, 2016

Week 20

Hi!  So last Monday was crazy. This Monday was pretty crazy as well, although we had more time to do things, thankfully.

There is some news, though. They are changing the transfer schedule. So now we get the transfer emails on Monday night by 8, and we are expected to be in our new area by district meeting (10am) the next day. It is going to be crazy stressful. You know what else? On Saturday they brought another bed, dresser, desk, chair, etc to our apartment. There are 4 beds in there! Something is going on. Not sure what though.  Unfortunately, we aren't having transfer meetings anymore. So you won't know where I am or who I'm with until the Monday AFTER transfers, which isn't that fun for you. But that's okay.

We took Sister T to the mission office this morning. Poor thing is going home with a cast on her arm. She is really upset about that, but there's nothing she can do. The doctors think it is a radial head fracture, but they aren't sure because the swelling was so bad. She is going to see an Orthopedic doctor as soon as she gets home on Tuesday. 
I keep writing 2015 on all of my things. It's a problem.  And it got really cold here all of the sudden! I am using my coat. I wear it quite frequently. At least, I have for the past couple of days. 

We taught a lot of lessons this week though, which was super exciting! We had so many different things to do and yet we still managed to teach more than 7 lessons a day almost every day. It was a great miracle.  We met an amazing investigator named Henrine. She is very interested in learning more, and has a date set for Jan 30!  Also, do you remember Tamra? I don't know if I ever told you about her. We were teaching her for a while, and we had to drop her because she wasn't keeping commitments. But 2 months later, we get in contact with her again, teach her a lesson, and she finally came to church! It was amazing to see how sometimes people just aren't ready yet for the gospel. I hope she is ready now:)

Funny story: There are firework tents EVERYWHERE here. I was wondering for the longest time why there were so many. I didn't understand. Normally fireworks are only sold for july 4th. And then, just a few days before new years, it hit me. New Years Day! Why in the world I couldn't remember that people do fireworks on New Years, I don't know. But I finally did remember, and I was so proud of me. Then I couldn't remember what we do on New Years Day. No one was out on the street, and I kept wondering why. Then I remembered: On new years day for us, we always go on a hike, a bike ride, to the ranch, or something outdoorsy like that. So people were probably doing those things. It's funny how things like that don't really matter when you're on a mission. 

I've been on my mission for around 5 months now. Can you believe that? It really doesn't feel that long. I feel like I've only been here for maybe 1 month. But Christmas is here and gone, and the next holiday is Valentine's Day. WOAH!

I really love being a missionary. It is such a great experience and I am so grateful I am here.
With love,
Sister Minson