Monday, October 31, 2016

Week 63

Transfers!!! This is really quite exciting. I am staying! Sister Porter is staying! Surprise!  Haha, bet you really didn't expect that one at all. It was pretty anticlimactic, because we received a call this morning and our district leader just said "you both are staying". It took me a couple seconds to process that he was giving us the transfer info. So that's that!
So here I am in this town I call home, because Odessa is like my home, I have seriously been here that long.  It's good though, because I love it! I am having a blast here and I love the members so much!

We had some exciting meetings this week, but my favorite part was when we went to the Trunk or Treat on Friday. They had hotdogs and hamburgers, and there was a fun carnival inside. There were a ton of people there, and many non-members and less active members! That was really cool. The Bishop's family brought 3 families, which included 13 individuals, to the trunk or treat ALONE. We met them and they were so awesome. I felt like it was a great activity for missionary work to get accomplished. I hope there are more like it. The activities were fun, too, and we were able to help them set up because we got there a little early. They had a photo booth so we took some pictures before it got too busy!
At the Trunk or Treat

Some girls we are teaching
With a family we are teaching. I love the bacon costume!

We taught a few less active families this week, and one of them we taught them about the sacrament. They were really excited and they all came to church the next Sunday! That was super cool. We also taught R again, she is so awesome. She is really working on building her testimony, and is bringing a friend to church! That is really fun.

This upcoming week will be awesome because we are going to have a zone conference and even more missionary meetings. Elder Klebingat is visiting the mission, so it will be really good! 

Happy Halloween, everybody! Stay safe and eat candy!

With love,
Sister Minson
Me with  Halloween package. Thanks Mom!
Us on Sister Porter's 6 month mark!

A pretty bridge and golf course, with some sand cranes on the bridge

Monday, October 24, 2016

Week 62

 We actually had a crazy experience this week! We are starting to teach M 3 times a week, and his mom too. They are progressing! M has been keeping his commitments, and he really wants to get baptized. It is so cool!  We also met a man named J. He really wants to be baptized and already believes Joseph Smith is a prophet! He is so excited to learn, and he even came to church this week! So, that's 2 baptismal dates set :)

We had 2 other people at church this week, which was amazing. R's friend, B came to stake conference last week, Mutual on Wednesday, and church yesterday! R wasn't even there, because she was out of town, but B got a ride with a different Beehive. It was so awesome! Also, R.t. came to church again, but he left before we could catch him.

I went on an exchange with the Spanish sisters in our zone this week. That was so much fun! We went to some lessons and it was so awesome! I loved it, because even though I didn't really understand when they were speaking Spanish, I knew what they were talking about because the Spirit was there. I felt the Spirit while they spoke, and I didn't even understand what they were saying! It was the coolest thing. I think I felt a brief portion of the gift of tongues that day, because I knew the words I had learned in Spanish class, but I understood what they were talking about in the lesson, even when I didn't know the words. That was so bizarre, but it was a miracle, I think.

This week I celebrated my 14 month mark! I only have 4 months left of my mission. I can't believe it! It is so crazy. We had Zone training meeting this week, and Sister Swanson and I trained on unity, which was really good. Then we talked about weekly planning and diligence. It was great!
Zone Training

 We had members come with us to two different lessons this week, and in each one they spoke Spanish with our investigators. It was a Spanish week for me!

The weather: I love it! It is so gorgeous. We had a cold front come through, so it has been beautiful! But it should go back up again, in a little bit. 
 The most gorgeous day I've ever been in in Florida. WOW! Not a cloud in the sky, it wasn't humid at ALL, and there was a nice cool breeze. It was beautiful. It reminded me of Rexburg in the summer.

Me wearing slacks on the most beautiful day ever.
We are going to the ward trunk or treat this week! There are a ton of members that are bringing their friends, so it should be really good. I am debating dressing up as an elder... (At least wearing a white shirt with my slacks) That would be funny. Well, transfers is next week. Have a great week, everybody!

With love,
Sister Minson
We saw a scary Halloween decoration that I saw last year... Yikes.
We saw a baby alligator sunbathing in the lake !

Monday, October 17, 2016

Week 61

We had Stake Conference this Sunday, and it was crazy! We were taught by Elder Pearson of the Seventy. I saw D and M (my converts from Palm Harbor), as well as their daughter and her new husband! He is very nice. I also saw a man that I taught a few times in Palm Harbor, and then he moved to Hudson and apparently got baptized in June! So that was really cool. The stake is being split, and they are forming an Odessa Stake. We are in the Odessa Stake, but we have the same stake president. The stake conference was good, and some of the things Elder Pearson said were really helpful.

A tender mercy I had this week, was we went slacks shopping again this Saturday morning, and as I went to return another pair (they were patterned) I found a light gray pair of slacks! They didn't have ones in my size the last time we went to the store, but they had one that was in my size. So I bought those, and then we went to Loft and I found 2 slacks that fit and were black and dark gray. So that was a tender mercy, definitely. It is finished! We wore slacks for the first time on Saturday. It is so bizarre. Definitely hot, too!
First time outside in pants!! It's so weird.
Me and Sister Porter in the car acting happy when we're stressed :)
We taught R about the Law of Chastity. She had already learned about it with the Elders when they taught her, so we briefly summarized the law itself, and then focused on dating and modesty. We talked about why we wait to date until we are 16, and why we dress modestly and don't get more than 1 piercing in each ear. It was a good lesson, and she said she will pray about it to know from God what she should do about those topics.

This week we went to a basketball game for a less active member! It was good, I think. We met some members of their family, who live in Ocala. Oh! We received a referral from a member in our ward! It is his business partner and friend who lives in Seoul, Korea! He is interested in the gospel. So we wrote a teaching record for him and sent it off. How cool is that?!
 We went on another exchange this week, and I couldn't help but get some fun pictures when we found a secret pathway in a huge neighborhood. :)
Exchanges on Tuesday with Sister Durrant
I couldn't help but get some fun pictures when we found a secret pathway in a huge neighborhood. :)
 This week on Friday I went to Mission Leadership Council. I was asked on Thursday to do a musical number for it, so I found a song and sang it. It was Lead Kindly Light. It was really fun! And it was a very pretty arrangement.
MLC (Mission Leadership Council)
Me and Sister Swanson, my STL companion. This is us after MLC.
Sister Clement, Sister Swanson, me, and Sister Porter
Have a great week, everybody!

With love,
Sister Minson

Monday, October 10, 2016

Week 60

Hurricanes and Slacks! 
Some pretty exciting things are happening in the mission! Because of the mosquito born illnesses, Church Headquarters has recommended that Sisters in our mission start wearing slacks! So we are going slacks shopping and getting those in the next few weeks. That will be really weird. We will still wear skirts to meetings and church and things, but slacks whenever we're proselyting. In 2 weeks you will start seeing pictures of me in pants!!  Crazy crazy.

Here's what happened with Hurricane Matthew: I am safe, and there wasn't any damage in Tampa. We got wind up to 20mph and some rain Thursday and Friday night, but that was about it. Sometimes the wind was scary, though. It was loud when it blew through the many trees. We went inside early on Thursday night, and then Friday we chose to stay inside because the wind was making us worried, but we helped some new sisters that live in a building next to us clean their apartment. It was pretty trashed from the last missionaries that lived there. It took all day to clean! Everybody around me is safe, but the East Coast took it pretty hard. There are a lot of ward members going out there to help clean and take care of people. There were some evacuees who came to some ward member's houses over the weekend.
See where it's really red? That's around the eye of the hurricane
Clouds on Thursday night, around 7:20
 10 minutes later! 7:30 Thursday night

On Wednesday we went on an exchange with the Land O Lakes Sisters. It was awesome! Sister Blanchard and I had a really interesting experience. So we drove to a street, and had a guy slam the door in our faces. Then, as we knocked on the last house on the street, he walked up and said "I wanted to apologize. but you girls really are too young to be..." and then the door opened! It was really awkward. He turned and walked down the driveway and waited there. the woman who answered the door said "is he harassing you?" We said "we're not exactly sure yet." she invited us in and rescued us from a potentially bad situation.  Turns out, she was a Jehovah's Witness! She gave us huge glasses of water and the sat us down and tried to hand us materials. She talked for a bit, but we drank our water, kept our hands busy so we didn't have to accept other books, and stood by the door. Then we got out. She was nice, but definitely interesting.

I hope you all have a great week!
Sister Minson

 Trying on pants!

Trying on other cute stuff, just for fun!
Fun time shopping :)


 Exchanges this week!
Sister Blanchard and I on the dock

Me on the dock
We got caught in the rain, so we ran back to the car and took a picture
Me with Sister Blanchard, Sister Brewer, and Sister Swanson

Monday, October 3, 2016

Week 59

My two favorite parts of this week were the bookends. Last Monday we had another Zone Activity Day. One missionary nicknamed it ZAD. I like it. It's an event where the whole zone gets together on a P-Day and play games. President and Sister Cooper came to our ZAD! It was really fun. Sister Swanson, a missionary in Carrollwood, and I were in charge since the Zone Leaders were late and then left to get pizza, so we just improvized and played some fun games. It was a blast!
Our Zone at ZAD
An elder taking a seflie with whoever's around.
Me, Sister Chavez, Sister Gucake, and Sister Porter
I'm explaining the game signs in this picture.

 The rest of the week was pretty good! We worked hard and had a lot of fun! We also went on an exchange with the Carrollwood Sisters. I love exchanges. They are so much fun, and you always learn so many things.  We met a girl that we were able to pray with, and I was prompted to share an experience I've had with answer to prayer, which helped her get a confirmation of her own prayer. :)

General Conference (GC) was this weekend, and President Cooper gave special permission to have dinners with members over conference weekend, so we had quite a few meals. It was pretty tasty. And there were so many good things I learned!
I absolutely loved Elder Uceda's talk on prayer this general conference. I really liked the idea of comparing our prayers to the one's said by Christ and the prophets in the Book of Mormon. I think that is a principle I will be applying, because I want to improve my communication with my Heavenly Father. I also thought Elder Oak's talk was amazing. ;P Member Missionary Work is the way to go! We are really working on developing stronger relationships with the members and helping them take ownership for their missionary work. It's slow going, but it's getting there. 

These are some points I loved:
- Prayer engages all three members of the godhead
- Grace is accessed through faith
- Member missionary work is an attitude of love towards each other
- Joy has to do with the focus of our lives, not our circumstances
- Repentance works by faith
- Service is the fiber that a life in the Celestial Kingdom is made of
 - Christ's strength is made perfect in our weaknesses
- The atonement bears no scars

I know that the Atonement indeed bears no scars. We are able to be completely forgiven for every mistake and sin we've committed, and it will be as if it didn't happen, through Jesus Christ.

 I hope you have a great week, everybody! I'll talk to you next week.

With love, Sister Minson

We got Chinese food for Sister Porter's 5 month mark!

Me and a fun swamp we saw