Monday, July 25, 2016

Week 49


What a great week! (Not that the week itself was fantastic. We were able to find 3 new investigators, but it was actually pretty mediocre.) But because I did everything I could to be happy and positive, I FELT like it was the best week ever. I am grateful for that lesson. I will continue to apply it in my mission experience, and the rest of my life.

A quote I read last week "Whatever hour God has blessed you with, take it with grateful hand, nor postpone your joys from year to year, so that in whatever place you have been, you may say that you have lived happily." That was quoted by President Monson in his talk "Finding Joy in the Journey", but it was said by Horace, a Roman philosopher. It has become my mantra! I want to be able to say I was happy my entire life, even in the hard times. Rough spots can't get me down!

 We had an interesting experience this past week. I went on an exchange with Sister Sackley, and we found and taught a woman who was totally engaged and was feeling the Spirit. She was asking us questions and we could tell she was learning. We taught her the entire restoration and then at the end invited her to pray about it. We said "Will you pray to know if Joseph Smith was a prophet?" And she said "Honestly, probably not." It was soul-crushing! But I knew that she knew exactly what she was doing. We promised her blessings, testified of truth, and invited her to act. And she chose not to. It's sad when that happens because I just want everybody to feel the Spirit and want to keep commitments, but she chose to stay with the limited light she had. Which is very sad. But it was a great experience because I was able to teach her and testify boldly. I love being a missionary!
Me and Sister Sackley on exchanges!

All four of us after exchanges (Me, Sister Hunt, Sackley and Sutton)
 My mom sent me the following quote this week, and I just love it. Life is better when you're laughing. Missionary work is better when you're laughing. That is the truth. Have a great week everybody!

With love,
Sister Minson

Us in the rain!
A crazy foresty neighborhood we found

Monday, July 18, 2016

Week 48

I've got a story. So we have this family that we've been teaching off and on for the past few months. They are super hard to get ahold of. We found out a few weeks ago that the Elders have found that family too, at a different time than us, and have been working to try to teach them as well! But we found different parts of the family. Sister Hunt and I have been teaching the father and the son, and the elders have been teaching the mother and the daughter. So we talked about it a little bit with them, and have been trying to figure out what to do with who's teaching them. So then we had interviews, and I talked to President Cooper about the situation. He said we need to coordinate with the elders and then call President and let him know what's happening. But President told me that it seems to him that Heavenly Father really wanted this family to be found. So we met with the Elders, and after we prayed with them and talked about it, we felt like we needed to have a lesson with both sets of missionaries and the family. So we've been trying to set that up. The family is going out of town on Tuesday, though, so I'm not sure if we will be able to teach them before they go. It's a crazy complicated situation!

Other than that, this past week has been okay. We've been working hard and doing everything we can to find new people to teach.  I definitely am growing closer to God. Actually, my studies are really carrying me through this rough spell. My personal study is going awesome! Yesterday I read "A Summer with Great Aunt Rose", and it helped me learn about the importance of being happy even when things don't work out the way you want them to. Also, I am reading in Helaman right now, and the stories about Nephi as a missionary/prophet are so cool! They apply pretty on point with my situation, so I am learning from his example and applying it. I am finding so much spiritual enlightenment as I read and ponder the Book of Mormon and conference talks. That is one of the reasons why I am so excited to go to the temple next week. I'll be able to receive more spiritual enlightenment as I feel the Spirit there.

I also took a picture that is just iconic of Odessa:
 I can't get over the Florida weather and ecosystem. That's the right word, right? Ecosystem?

Here is a picture of a CRAZY storm that blew in a few nights ago. I didn't edit it AT ALL. It looks kinda like a dust storm back home! Except there was lots of lightning.

 A cool picture of the trees, a street, and our car. Look at how big the plants are!

I love the spiritual lessons I am learning on my mission. These are memories I'll treasure forever! Have a great week!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, July 11, 2016

Week 47

I would like to share a few cool experiences this week: (If you get grossed out easily, you might want to skip the middle paragraph)

On Tuesday we were parking lot contacting in a Publix parking lot, and we walked by a woman who just got in her car. I heard the ignition click, but it didn't catch. She got out of the car and popped her hood. There was a guy walking by, so I asked him if he had jumper cables in his car. He did! We went over to her and he offered to help. She declined, saying she just needed to hit something under the hood, and then it would work fine. So she did, and it started! The guy left, but I thanked him for being willing to help. Then we went and offered to pray with her. She said she would love to! We prayed for her son who was fighting an illness, and afterwards she asked us where our church was so she could visit it. She lives out of our area, it turns out, so if she calls us, we'll refer her to the Palm Harbor missionaries. But it was an awesome experience!

Thursday was the craziest of all crazies. We taught some interesting people that day, but that evening, disaster struck. We were walking down a sidewalk and I walked into something hanging in a tree. I thought it was a bug so I was swatting at my head and wiping away. Sister Hunt tried to tell me not to, but I was kind of panicking. I didn't want a spider in my hair! When I stopped (after a few seconds), Sister Hunt told me I just wiped green bird poop into my hair and forehead. Gross! It was hanging on a spiderweb for an unsuspecting missionary like me to walk through. We went back to the car and washed it off with water bottles and hand sanitizer. That night I washed my hair... very thoroughly. It was so gross! On a different note, we met a woman who was very open and said we could come back and learn more! We are going to see her tonight.

Friday we ate food. We had a lunch with a Part Member family. We taught them about family history. There was a big thunderstorm today. It didn't rain and the lightning didn't get close, so we kept proselyting. But the thunder was so loud! It boomed and banged and crashed and rolled. It made me jump a few times. We ate dinner (PB and J), and then we went to a lesson with the Q's. Sister Q made us empanadas and quesillo. It was so yummy, and I was really full afterwards. We went to a member's house after that for a lesson and they made us Strawberry Shortcake. We had to get going, so we brought it to go, but I was so full by the end of the day.
This is my favorite kind of palm tree that Florida has to offer. Especially when it is orange on the tips.

My hair is getting long!
I have had so many fun, interesting, weird experiences on my mission, but bird poop is horrible.

Hope you all have a great, interesting week!

With love,
Sister Minson

Tuesday, July 5, 2016

Week 46

Happy Firework Day from Odessa, Florida

Did you know that in Florida, it IS NOT illegal to do big explosives on your own? So the 4th of July was scary from around 8:00 on. There were lots of fireworks in the sky that were super close, and lots of loud bangs and noises at 10:00, while we were trying to fall asleep. Thankfully, we slept well. The library was closed yesterday, so we are emailing today.
Last Monday we bought watermelon and that is the result. Yummy!
I hope you all had a great week! Ours was a little hard, but we won't give up working and doing our best. We will have a lot of finding opportunities to look for and teach new investigators, and we also have some appointments set up with the members for this week. I am working hard at teaching everyone we see and being obedient. I know miracles will come as we do!

President and Sister Cusick left last week, so now President Cooper is our new mission president! He and his wife are so sweet and kind. I am really excited to work with them.
The Tampa Zone with President and Sister Cooper
That's about all of the updates for this week. This next week is going to be great!

With love,
Sister Minson
Us sneaking out of a gated community and a gorgeous sunset along with it!

My fantastic tan lines. Look, I'm tan!

Florida skies are unbeatable. Gorgeous gorgeous

A rainbow we saw after it rained all day on Saturday. It was a gorgeous rainbow.