Monday, February 29, 2016

Week 28


So Sister Hunt and I are getting bruised because we keep seeing Slug-Bugs everywhere!! Seriously! (Don't worry, we only lightly punch each other when we are in the car or no one is around to see us).
This week was good! It was hard, but it was good.

On Monday we dropped Sister Handley off at the mission office (she was in our companionship for a week, but President transferred her to the mission office because she has to stay off her foot, so we are back to two people) and crammed to get everything else done in time. We also were tracting, got a referral, went and visited that referral, and then that referral invited us in and had us eat dinner with them! She was really nice, but she wasn't interested in learning more. She had made the best ribs and drumsticks I have ever eaten before. MMMM.

District meeting on Tuesday was really effective. We roleplayed and I practiced street contacting. We also met a teenager who was walking home from school and we taught her. She is friends with one of the youth in our ward! We texted him about it. Tuesday night we felt like there was a specific person we needed to find. We drove from area to area, and we tracted, street contacted, and talked to everyone we saw. We tried our best to be diligent, and at the end of the night we met a lady whose dad had just passed away. We were able to teach her and her roommates about the Plan of Salvation, and she was so grateful we came. I know God was leading us to her!

Wednesday was great because we worked hard and we acheived all of our goals! We also were able to serve Wendy and pick up some branches for her. Thursday through Sunday were a little tougher, because not too many people were interested in our message, but we are working hard and won't get discouraged! It was a hard week, but I know that God will help us accomplish all that he needs us to do. We just need to have faith and keep working.

 On Saturday morning, as I was studying, I felt like I needed to get a priesthood blessing. I decided to think about it on Saturday and Sunday, and when Sunday rolled around, I decided that I needed one.  It turned out to be a wonderful experience. He talked to me a lot beforehand about how sometimes missions don't see fruits of labor too quickly, but that a mission will always affect someone's life. The blessing I got gave me so many words of encouragement and advice.

Have a good week, all!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, February 22, 2016

Week 27

A LOT happened this week!

On Monday I got to participate in proselyting at "The Book of Mormon" the Musical. Which is amazing MAINLY because it's a once in a life-time chance. I mean, how many people get to give away Book of Mormons at a musical making fun of Mormons?! I thought it was so cool. And really, it was such a good experience. That night we handed out around 250 books. The musical has been going on since the 16th, and they've already given out more than 1000. It was an amazing opportunity and I met a lot of people that were genuinely interested in learning more.

Then comes the story of transfers!

I am training a new missionary from Arizona, Sister Hunt!

 We got the email on Monday telling us that everyone in our apartment was transferring except for me, and I am training a new missionary from Arizona, Sister Hunt!  So I said goodbye to Sister Handley, Sister MacFarlane, and Sister Olson, and now it is just me and Sister Hunt!

 Also, I am no longer a Sister Training Leader! I am kind of bummed but I am also really excited because now I can focus completely on improving myself as a missionary AND training Sister Hunt. I also am happy about it because I finally have STL's that I can go to for all my questions and problems! I am really excited about that.

Last night with these four
Also, I want to bear my testimony for a little bit to all of you. It has grown so much the past 6 months, why WOULDN'T I share it?

I have found a lot of strength from the scriptures recently. I know the Book of Mormon is true. I know that if you read it with a question in mind (such as how can I overcome stress), God will answer you! I have been testing that every day during my studies and it ALWAYS works.

I have been feeling my testimony strengthen so much since I've been on my mission. I'd never realized how important the gospel is to me. I never want to forget how I feel while I'm out here working solely for God.

Also.  I have been on my mission for 6 months!!! I celebrated my 6 month mark by going to Waffle House. I'm a third of the way through my mission!!!! I think that is so CRAZY!

A miracle I saw this week was the companionship inventory that we held on Thursday. We all were genuinely focused on helping each other become better people, and I felt the spirit so strongly as we talked and helped each other. 

I'm really excited to see what this next 6 weeks brings. I love you all and I LOVE being a missionary!
Sister Minson

Friday, February 19, 2016

February Pictures

February picture time!

Walking on a rainy day!

A recent convert and me!

I found a swamp while we were tracting!

A street named after my kitty! Cinnamon Blvd.

My Valentines Day package!  :)

We asked a lady if we could help her move and she said yes! So I'm wearing jeans to do service.
Dinner at Lake Tarpon

Monday, February 15, 2016

Week 26

"There's some HOT ladies walking over here!" ...said a 10 year old kid as we got out of our car. Haha, children are hilarious. Sister Macfarlane and I just about died.

So first off... Transfers. Because there is such a big group of missionaries coming in this transfer, they are doing it a little different again. We are getting an email at 1pm TODAY telling us if we are staying or going. Then TOMORROW at 5pm we are getting an email telling us WHERE we're going, who we're going to be with, etc. Then on Wednesday morning we are doing the actual transfers. I like this better because now we know if we have to buy groceries, if we need to use our P-day packing, etc. It will be much nicer than last time. I'm so anxious to see what happens!

I'd like to share with you a lesson I've learned from the Book of Mormon. It's the stories of two missionaries. One missionary went to his area and served with all of his heart for two years. He labored diligently, and only one person became converted because of his work, but he wasn't baptized until after that missionary completed his service. The other missionary served in his area and baptized thousands. Some might think that the second missionary found more success than the first, but this is not true. Success is not measured by numbers or stats. "Success as a missionary is measured primarily by your commitment." As that first missionary learned, "people have agency to choose whether to accept your message", but it is essential to remember that "the Lord is pleased when you feel the Spirit working through you." God is pleased with every missionary's effort to serve with all of their hearts (Preach My Gospel pg 10-11).  The stories of Abinadi and Ammon are inspirations to me as I serve my mission.

Funny story: We met Johann Von Sax again! He showed us the people on the Tarpon Springs map and he explained in more detail why this is Eden and Atlantis. I guess I just don't understand how someone can believe in both Greek Mythology and Christianity. Don't they contradict each other?

There's not much else to share. Happy Valentines Day!

With love,
Sister Minson
Lake Tarpon
Contacting at the Sponge Docks with a youth in our ward (that is a sponge bike!)
A picture in the car with Caroline (a youth in our ward)

Lunch at the apartment on Sunday. Happy Valentine's Day!
Yes I still love cereal! :)

Monday, February 8, 2016

Week 25

There are so many stories for you this week. First: Johann Von Sax.  So there's a story to that name... A long one.

We were street contacting on Tarpon Avenue, which is this cute little downtown area, by the Gulf of Mexico. We were there, talking to people, and after we said a prayer with a couple of girls, this old man rides up on his bicycle. He starts off with talking about how he saw us praying with those girls. Then he says "I've been an archeologist for 44 years." We knew right then it was about to get interesting.

So he tells us that Poseidon's son was Atlas, and Poseidon's friend had a daughter, and she married Atlas, and they had 3 daughters whose names were Anglo-Saxon. He tells us that if you turn the map of Tarpon Springs upside down, you can see All of those people. (we did it later, we couldn't see anyone.) He also says that when Noah was in the ark, he landed between the Euphrates and Tigress Rivers, so he knew he was in Eden. But what Noah didn't know (but Johann Von Sax did, apparently) is that he landed half a planet off. See, the water stayed where it was, but the earth moved underneath it. Euphrates in English means water dragon, and there's a dragon river here, so obviously he landed in Tarpon Springs. Which means Tarpon Springs is Eden. But wait, there's more. He told us that Tarpon Springs AKA Eden was also Atlantis, and he has proof of it because he found 200 stone anchors lining Tarpon Springs. He then changed gears and told us that his father died 2 months ago, and that his father was the King of Switzerland. So now this man is the King of Switzerland! And because his last name is Von Sax, which obviously is the same as Anglo-Saxon, he is the king of all Caucasians. And Von Sax apparently means Isaac, which means he is the king of Israel and Judea.
I'm not sure how he can be king of so many different things, but apparantly he is. So we met a king! (Weird... So weird...) The rest of this week was interesting too, but not as interesting as Johann Von Sax. Nothing can be more interesting than him.

Did I tell you all about G? He used the word Serendipitous while we were walking with him. He was quite funny. Well, we met up with him again on Tuesday, and he was genuinely interested in learning more! We taught him about the Restoration, and then we gave him a Book of Mormon. He said he would definitely read it. Crazy cool!

On Thursday we got caught in a rainstorm. It was horrible! But miracle, a recent convert was driving by while we were walking in it, and she picked us up and drove us back to the apartment. Which was really nice of her.

On Friday at our meetings we talked about how to help the missionaries become better, and one of the lessons I took away from it was the importance of teaching by the spirit, and discerning needs. Afterwards, when we got back to work, I tried my best to do that, and the lessons were amazing! We found a wonderful girl, M, who genuinely wants to learn more. She is so cool!

Mission Leadership Council
On Saturday it was raining again, and it got really cold. We were out tracting, and we found a street called Cinnamon Blvd! for those of you who don't know, I have a cat named Cinnamon. So I took a picture by that sign, but that was a little boring because 20 years from now my cat will probably be dead, and then I'll have a random picture of me with this sign. But anywho.

Today we went to Steak n Shake to see D, one of our recent converts. While we were there, D comes up to us and says "Do you have a plan of Salvation pamphlet? There's this lady who wants to learn why I am so happy. I told her it was because of my sisters, who came to see me today. She said she wants to meet you!" So we talked with her for a little bit about it, and then we suggested that she come over here to our table, so its not overwhelming to have 4 girls come over to her all at once.
She came over! Her name is C, and she is amazing. She wants to have us over for dinner, and she wants to hear about our message. She kept telling us that we looked so happy and she has been looking for that happiness her whole life.  We got her contact info. Sister Macfarlane and I have another member referral that we are working with who wants to get baptized, so we told the other sisters that they can teach her. It will be amazing to see her progress.

We are teaching less people than normal. I'm not sure why that is, but we don't have a plethora of new investigators. People are just saying no. Although we have had a couple of amazing people to teach just show up. One I forgot to put in my other email was M. We were finding in an area, and we decided to stop by a member. We went to the house listed in LDS tools, and it wasn't her house! Turns out she was renting that to a tenant, and she lived next door. But we taught her Tenant, who committed to baptism! We are so excited to help her.

Yesterday I was sick. Man it is going around! I tried to muddle through it and go to lessons, but I was dying. So we went home and I slept. I feel much better today but my throat is still raw. Hope you all had a good week!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, February 1, 2016

Week 24

There is no pancake that is too big for your Heavenly Father to flip!! Some of the sisters in our area found a book that says that. I think it is hilarious.

Last week, Monday through Wednesday were normal days, not much to report. It was rainy on Wednesday so we went and tracted. We had fun with Karsen, one of the youth in our ward. We also found a family! I am so excited to teach them. They moved here recently and are looking for a church to go to! Thursday through Sunday were sick days, because Sister Macfarlane was sick, so we were indoors. We played cards, watched Mormon messages, read scriptures, and did a lot of talking.

Today we are going to the sponge docks, which is the world's #1 sponge harvesting location. It is a cute little dock-like place that has boats on sides, and lots of little shops and stores. There are sponges everywhere.

I feel like I am learning so much from this whole experience. I am being trained in so many different aspects of my life and I don't really know how to separate one life lesson from another.  This week was kind of boring, I know.  But I am looking forward to a great week. The work is kind of slow, but I know that it is going to pick up as we continue working. I have faith that God will place people in my path that I can help progress towards baptism.

Today for studies I read a scripture that says "and now, as ye have begun to teach the word even so I would that ye should continue to teach; and I would that ye would be diligent and temperate in all things."  I have begun to teach the word, and now I will continue to teach! I have been on my mission for almost 6 months, and I am looking forward to continuing to cry repentance and baptize converts. I love missionary work! 

With love,
Sister Minson

At interviews with President last week

Role playing
A cool mosaic mural on Tarpon Avenue