Monday, April 25, 2016

Week 36

On Saturday, a crime occurred, Sister Hunt tried to steal my identity!! :)  It was in the evening. We were talking to a part-member family and setting up an appointment with them. After we set up the appointment, she said "I'm sorry, I never got your names." Normally, I don't know why, I go first, then Sister Hunt introduces herself. So this time I waited to let her go. She started with this heinous statement "I'm Sister Minson and--". It was a catastrophe! We laughed about it and Sister Hunt used the excuse that it was a long day. But I think she just really wants to be me...

:) This week was pretty great. We actually were sick for a portion of the week, so we did a lot of sleeping. We are all better now, though! And Zone Development Day is today, which I'm looking forward to. 

One miracle I saw this week was our wonderful bishop. We went to Ward Council this Sunday, and Bishop said "I have two referrals for you! The young woman who came to church last Sunday wants to take the discussions, and my wife's hairdresser agreed to two discussions." He announced the referrals he was giving us out loud in Ward Council, which set a great example for the other Ward Council members, and we are now able to work with his friends and family members. It was a huge blessing, and a huge miracle. 

We also were able to teach 3 lessons on Saturday and Sunday! I am learning the value of quality over quantity. I think in Palm Harbor the lessons I had were great!  But now that I'm in Odessa, I'm appreciating every lesson we get. I'm so grateful for the experiences I am getting here.

 Mother's Day is in 2 weeks! After we skype that day, there will be 8 more months, then a Christmas Call, then I come home in February. Crazy! I can't believe the time is flying so fast. Here come's Skype call #2!

I would like to bear my testimony to you all. I know that Heavenly Father has a perfect plan for us, and I know he sent us to this earth to fulfill that plan so we could live with him and our families again for eternity. I know He gave us a road map called the Gospel of Jesus Christ, that when we follow it, we will be able to reach that end goal. I know that as we go through trials and struggles, we can turn to prayer and reading the word of God to find solace and answers to questions. 

I love being a missionary and I love serving in Odessa, Florida!  Florida is gorgeous!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, April 18, 2016

Week 35

So I said goodbye to Palm Harbor last week, and moved about 10 miles East of that... to Odessa! I am now serving in the Odessa Ward with Sister Hunt.  We moved Wednesday, and it was so stressful! I will quote from my journal (warning, it's dramatic):

"I AM SO SORE!! We carried our entire lives down 4 flights of sitars, packed our possessions in a 5 passenger car, drove 20 minutes, and climbed 1 flight of stairs with our belongings on our backs. Twice. My body aches. My muscles are so mad at me! I feel so bad for the future me who will have to wake up and exercise with this complaining body."

It wasn't nearly as bad as I made it sound, but I was feeling dramatic. So we whitewashed Odessa (that means when 2 missionaries start in a new area). The rest of this week was really weird. We took a lot of time to call members and set up appointments with them. We met the ward council members, taught them in their homes, and helped them with their missionary work.

This area is so different! There are a lot of big lots of land that people live on, and A LOT of gated communities. So we can't really tract here. That means working with members will be our primary source of finding people. It was discouraging a little bit because I was so used to having immediate results with street contacting or tracting, and member work takes much longer to see the results. But Sunday was awesome! A member brought 2 friends to church, and we gave one of them a Book of Mormon! They both are interested in learning more, which is very exciting. 
Our new area: Odessa, FL!

So you all are going to just die. On Sunday night, there was a special fireside for the Tampa Stake, and Elder Neil L Anderson, a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles, was coming to speak! We went, listening, and at the end... Well, I'll tell you what I wrote in my journal:
"it was such a cool fireside, and afterwards Elder Anderson went around and shook everyone's hand. We were too busy talking to members and missionaries, but we turned around and BAM there he was! He shook my hand and said "Wow, there are a lot of sister missionaries here!", then he moved down the crowd of people. It was so cool! I met an apostle. Woah!

I really liked this week. I have no idea where anything is or who anyone is in this ward, but I am so excited to work here!  

My testimony of the power of the Book of Mormon has been strengthened a lot since I've been on my mission. I know that that is because I've been consistently immersing myself in it's doctrine since I've been here. That is a habit I need to continue for the rest of my life. I also have been learning the power of prayer. That is something I am so grateful for.

With love,
Sister Minson

Pictures from a specialized Sisters' Mission Conference we attended this week:

Leopard print matching at the Sister's Training is so fun!

Monday, April 11, 2016

Week 34

This was maybe the stressiest week of my mission!

Monday- We picked up Sister Clement from the Mission Office who had taken her companion there to go home, and came back to our area, where we cleaned, emailed, shopped, etc. That was just stressful because there were 3 people. Monday while we were emailing we found out whether we were staying or transferring. I learned I was staying with Sister Hunt! We called our ZL who gave us permission to go help Sister Clement prepare her apartment for other missionaries, so we drove there that night, started packing, slept there, then finished getting the apartment good to go the next day.  We had a fun time with a REALLY loud washing machine, some hot pudding and Ice Cream (together. It was good!) and a sleepover on the floor. (We are still 19 year olds, even if we are missionaries. We can have fun :)

Tuesday: We woke up, exercised, got ready, and did personal study. We then began to clean and pack up the apartment. We were able to get everything done and get back to our apartment before dinner time. After dinner, we walked to the neighborhood north of us and we met an awesome family! A couple was walking down the street. We said hi to them, they asked who we were, then they asked us to follow them to their house. They wanted to talk to us. We hesitantly followed them over, and then they invited us in. They gave us water and told us that they were looking for a church and they wanted to come to ours. We asked a lot of questions and they told us how they've been looking to change their lives around, to become happier, to find peace. We taught them the restoration and committed them to come to church.

We took Sister Clement to transfers on Wednesday. While we were there, we helped some sister missionaries who were pretty stressed out about transfers, and I had the opportunity to calm one of them down a little bit by going out for ice cream :) After transfers, we went home and then began a whirlwind of fast days. Wednesday through Saturday FLEW by. They were quieter days, with not as many crazy experiences. We taught a date set, Donna, and a Progressing Investigator, De. They both are so interested in learning more! It was great.

Oh,  there was a TORNADO on Thursday!!  It was scary. We sat in our tub.  But we lived!

Sunday was crazy, too. We went to church, and President Cusick came! He, his family, and the AP's. We had church, and actually had the opportunity to help a recent convert from New Jersey to find the classes for him and his family. His sister and aunt were with him, and some more youth in his family, and none of them were members! We took them to their classes. In Relief Society Sister Hunt and I taught the restoration under 4 minutes for the women, and it was really cool. The recent convert's sister was interested in having the missionaries come teach her! She lives in St Pete, so we referred her info to them. After church we had a youth go out with us for a little while, then we went home for dinner. That evening we street contacted in a townhouse neighborhood. We met some pretty cool people! Oh, and that family from Tuesday wasn't able to come to church because they got sick... But they still want to come!

As you can see, it was pretty stress-filled. But that is all part of life. It was really fun and I LOVE being a missionary!

With love,
Sister Minson

Me with Sister Hunt and Clement

Monday, April 4, 2016

Week 33

Hope you all are having a great week! So last week I emailed at the library and I accidentally left my watch at the library. Well today we ended up needing to email at the library again, so I found my way back and found my watch! At the lost and found station. But I have it again and it makes me happy:)

This week was pretty great. We worked hard, we saw miracles. We watched General Conference! Conference was such a good experience and I felt the spirit a lot.

 I saw an Alligator! FINALLY! He was so close, it was CRAZY.

We received our transfer email, and I am staying here with Sister Hunt! It makes me really happy because we've been preparing for the worst the past few days. And the best is happening! I have the opportunity to be here again for another transfer. And next transfer, I'll be at 9 months. So I'll have spent HALF of my mission in Palm Harbor. That is just crazy to me!

With love,
Sister Minson

See the alligator?

Alligator: There it is!

This area is so beautiful!

Chocolate bunnies someone gave to us!

With our awesome converts watching conference!

St. Pete North District Meeting this week