Monday, June 27, 2016

Week 45

FLORIDA IS SO HOT!  But it's weird, because its a very different kind of hot. I still don't quite get it. I'm just glad I'm only serving one summer here. Woohoo! The spring, fall, and winter are really nice.

Well, both Sister Hunt and I are staying in Odessa for another transfer!  Our new mission president, President Cooper arrives tomorrow! President and Sister Cusick leave on Wednesday, and we are having zone meet-the-new-president meetings. Ours is on July 1st.

I've got a few experiences I'd like to share with you all:

We met a less active while we tracting last week. She has children and a husband who are not members of the church. We ran into her again on Tuesday and she told us she would like to have Family Home Evening in a members house so she could see how to hold FHE for her family. It was super awesome! We are working on getting that set up.

On Wednesday I had an interesting experience. It wasn't necessarily fun, but it was something. We went to contact a potential, and she was busy. But her neighbor was outside, so we went to talk to her. She told us that her neighbors(on the other side) might be interested in a prayer because their father was having some major health problems. We went over to offer the prayer, and a daughter answered the door. She told us kindly she wasn't interested. So we kept tracting the loop. As we came down from a house, an angry looking man was standing outside. He asked if we were just working the neighborhood, because he's the son of the man with health struggles. We told him his neighbor thought he might need a prayer. The man got really angry at us and started yelling and cursing at us for offering to pray. He said his dad didn't need Mormons to pray for him, and said some things about why Mormons are always persecuted. We walked away, and he stopped and went back inside. It was pretty scary, I'll be honest, but afterwards I mainly felt bad for him because he was under so much stress and pressure for his father's health. That night I prayed for him and asked that Heavenly Father would help him feel peace and one day have his heart softened to the gospel. I think I learned the importance of forgiving others that day. That was a powerful experience for me because I felt charity for him, even though he was yelling and cursing at us. I know God and Jesus love him, and he is my brother. I love him too.

On Saturday we had a fantastic experience which was definitely a miracle from faith. We have been diligently asking for referrals from everyone, even though most everyone says no. We were tracting and met a lady (named H) who appreciated what we were doing but said she was too tired right now. We asked her for referrals. She told us her neighbor across the street recently had a death in her family, and we could go pray with her. So we went, and we met Natalia. That was a fantastic experience because we were able to pray with her and help her feel peace. We also had the opportunity to testify of truth to someone who was genuinely listening. I miss having those opportunities. I really needed to meet her, and she really needed to meet us. It was definitely a miracle. 

I hope these experiences were able to inspire or help you in some way! I am so grateful for my mission. We are working hard and I love this gospel.

Me with one of our recent converts! I love her!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, June 20, 2016

Week 44

Transfers are this week!! We are stressing! Sister Hunt and I both feel like a change is happening, whatever that means. We'll see what happens!!! Yikes. We think it's about time to transfer because we are getting pretty good at guessing what the other is thinking. haha, We know each other too well. :)

The Beach Party last Monday was SO much fun. It's also why I didn't email y'all last week. I was out of time for emails. At the beach, we played in the sand, built sand castles, took lots of pictures, and just hung out with other missionaries. I have TONS of pictures! (See below.)

As far as investigators go, we are still working with O, he is doing really well! We are going to help him be baptized in July, hopefully. He feels like this is the path God has for him. And other investigators, that is mainly just follow up. We are working on helping them to set return appointments!

Yesterday was my 10 month mark, can you believe it?! I think it's so crazy. I only have 8 months left of my mission! That time is going to fly by.

It only rained once or twice this week! That meant that it was HOT outside. We sweat A TON. Well, I did. I don't know about Sister Hunt. I am carrying a sweat rag with me to make myself look less wet when we talk to people. It's gross, but necessary. Gotta look presentable for Florida!

I ate spinach pie this week! It was actually pretty good! A Part Member family had us over for lunch, and we ate that, and also shrimp pasta, and fruit. It was super good.

That is basically my week! We'll see next week what happens with Transfers.

With love,
Sister Minson
On our way to Bradenton Beach.  Going over the exciting SKY Bridge.
Sister Hunt and I at the Mission beach party at Bradenton Beach last week

Old friends/new friends! With previous companions and district members.

With President Cusick, and Elder and Sister Wilson
My MTC district!

Our zone's sand castle
Other pics from this week. HUGE storm clouds!

Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Mission Beach Party!!

Monday June 13, 2016:  
Mission Beach Party at Bradenton-Coquina Beach, FL

The whole Florida Tampa Mission

Sister Minson and Sister Cusick
Eating a delicious lunch with fellow missionaries

At the beach

Building sand castles!

And of course we followed the mission rules!

Week 43

It was SUCH a fantastic week!

It's still basically raining every day, but it's not pouring anymore. I'm just getting used to always having my rain-jackets and umbrellas in the car and in my purse. We've gotten caught in the rain a few times, but thankfully we've always been prepared. Today we are driving 80 miles to get to our Mission Beach party. I love road trips!
Tuesday we went to Metro- a specialized missionary training. It was fantastic! I learned about confidence again and how to street contact with variety.   
On the way to Metro! 12 passenger van.
Funny faces at Metro

Nice picture at Metro :)
Wednesday we applied what we learned, then we went to this one neighborhood and met O! He is now a date set, and we have an appointment with him tomorrow to help him prepare for baptism. It's pretty awesome!  
Thursday we weekly planned, and then we went and found another guy who wants to be baptized!  We also taught a girl named F, who is O's wife. We brought her a German Book of Mormon. She asked if any of our congregation speaks German. We asked around and found out that there is one member who served his mission in Germany! How cool is that?
Friday we set another date with a guy named B, who was walking his dog. It was really cool! We have an appointment with him tomorrow, too. Woohoo!
Saturday we almost got caught in an electrical storm in Trinity, but we made it back to our car in time, so we were safe. We worked hard, and that night we went to a wedding reception! We saw President and Sister Cusick there, and we were able to find out a member gave away a Book of Mormon! SO cool.
Sunday we went to church, then had a fantastic lesson with a Part-Member family. It was pretty awesome. They gave us bags of food to take to our apartment! That was a miracle because we didn't have time to go grocery shopping today. 
I am working hard out here and am sharing the gospel with everyone I meet. I love being a missionary!!

With love,
Sister Minson

Tuesday, June 7, 2016

Week 42

Hello, everyone!

So Hurricane Season started June 1, as I said in my last email, and on Sunday we received a warning that Tropical Storm Colin was making his way towards the Tampa Bay area. It was pretty exciting.

For those who don't know (Because I didn't until I came to Florida), A tropical storm is a circulating weather system with maximum sustained winds between 39-73 mph. A hurricane is the same thing, but the maximum sustained winds are 74mph and above. So basically, a baby hurricane came through this weekend. Woohoo!

So when you think of Hurricane, you all probably think of panic, and floods 5 feet deep, and trees bent over, people stuck on roofs, that sort of thing. Those things do happen, but typically those happen with Category 2 (96-110mph) and above Hurricanes. What a tropical storm means is typically a lot of rain and some windy days. SO Monday and Tuesday(today) has had rain basically all the time. And of course, since there is about 3-5" of rain per hour, some of the roads get water buildup on them, but it's not too bad. It's all quite exciting.  However it's not too great for missionary work. We can't be outside teaching people the gospel when 1, there isn't anyone outside, and 2, the rain and weather conditions keep us inside. It's a little depressing, at times.
Sunday we were able to work as normal, but when Monday rolled around, which is our Preparation-day, we went grocery shopping and then basically came back home and worked on our emergency packs again. We got very wet and have a lot of wet Walmart bags we are working on drying out. Our Mission President, President Cusick, asked that all of the missionaries remain inside their apartments for the remainder of Monday, so we continued to work on our emergency packs, and then we studied. Then Tuesday, today, they cancelled District Meeting and asked for us to be wise in our travel and proselyting efforts. We are planning on going to Metro (a specialized training event) today, if the roads allow us to get there.

That is basically everything that has to do with Colin, the Tropical Storm.
(Pictures of Tropical Storm Colin rolling in, and Sister Hunt and I all wet after grocery shopping and loading our groceries into the trunk while it was pouring!)

Our 72 hour kits! We are now prepared for anything!

Last week was a little tougher, especially because there weren't too many people outside who wanted to hear the gospel, but we did meet some pretty cool people this week. The coolest thing happened on Friday! We had a great day of contacting referrals, and we were able to teach a less active youth. We then were walking to meet some members and we met a father and son who were working in their yard. We prayed with them and invited them to baptism, and they accepted! We are hoping to meet with their family and teach them all the gospel and help them be baptized. We set the baptismal date for July 2. Pretty cool!

We are working so hard here and I love the way I can feel the Spirit when I do everything in my power to teach others about Christ.

Have a great week everyone! Enjoy staying dry! 

With love,
Sister Minson