Monday, December 30, 2013


December 30, 2013 

This week has been wonderful, filled with miracles and spiritual experiences that have strengthened me as a missionary. On Monday Sister Wright-Carruthers and I had the privilege of going to Temple Square with our investigator, Nicole. As we walked her through the pictures on the wall of Jesus Christ's life, we were able to help her understand Him better and she felt closer to Him. When we got the the picture of Christ suffering and praying in the Garden of Gethsemane, and explained about how He prayed for each one of us and suffered all our pains and afflictions and sins, she told us she'd never really understood that part of the atonement before nor seen that picture. She stood there staring at the picture for 10 minutes on her own, as crowds of people walked past her, and tears were in her eyes. I've never seen someone take the atonement so seriously before and I realized how much I have taken the knowledge and gravity of the atonement for granted. What a privilege it was to see her discover that knowledge for herself and help her through her spiritual journey, and be taught by her as well. 

We have many things going on in our side of the Layton Hills stake! We have 5 investigators who are all on their way to baptism. One is scheduled for this Saturday to be baptized. It's exciting as well that we've been able to contact and set up appointments with the referrals we've been given this past month now that the holidays are almost over and they have more time to see us. Sister Wright-Carruthers is a phenomenal trainer and is helping me become more valiant and bold. Layton is amazing! 

December 23, 2013 
Merry Christmas everyone!

This week has been incredibly busy and exciting! We've had so many appointments and lessons despite the busy holiday season. I'm loving the people here in Layton more and more every day as I serve them. The members have been so wonderful and kind to us especially as we feel a little bit of Christmas and family nostalgia, and the people we are teaching make it all worth the sacrifice of being home. I've had opportunities to grow, serve and learn in ways I never imagined I would, and the harder I work the less I feel discouraged or trunky. 

Yesterday in church I learned about charity-the pure love of Christ-and how we can become charitable people more every day. We can avoid thinking we are better than others, and have patience with their faults. Joseph Smith told us to look with compassion on perishing souls and take them upon our shoulders and cast their sins behind our backs. I know that the Spirit of Christmas is really the Spirit of Christ--and doing as he would have done, which is to give to others. We were shown this wonderful Mormon Message that really touched me. It's link is right here:

I love this time of year because everyone's thoughts are focused on family, service, and giving. These are all teachings of Christ and so the people we talk to are more appreciative and open to us because they recognize us as representatives of Jesus Christ and that we are serving just as He did. In Sacrament Meeting yesterday all the talks were about family and Christmas memories, and just as I started thinking about my little sisters, this little girl in front of me handed me a little piece of paper. It said "To: The Sister Missionaries From: Emma" with a picture of two girls with curly hair and dresses, and underneath said, "Welcome Sister Missionaries! Merry Christmas". Things like that make being a Sister Missionary worth it because they remind me that I'm needed here and that the work I do is appreciated!

May you all have a wonderful Christmas! 

Monday, December 16, 2013

No Effort Wasted

This week has been filled with wonderful events and experiences! We had our Mission Christmas Party and the whole mission gathered to hear Elder Sumerhays of the Seventy speak to us, and then a dinner and a variety show where Elders and Sisters sang Christmas songs for us. A congregation in Salt Lake gathered Sister Missionary clothing-skirts, dresses, sweaters, scarves, and coats for all the Sisters to choose something. It was so kind of them and we had a huge wonderful dinner from Sisters in the Kaysville area who all have children on missions. Something from Elder Sumerhays that really stood out to me was that we should treat every day like Christmas--because Christ suffered for us and was born to make us free from sin, and we should be thankful for that and applying that knowledge every day of the year. 

This week we met with a 14-yr old boy named Daxton, who is only here on the weekends because of joint custody. He has been taught by his very active uncle and cousins and desires to be baptized, so we have started the lessons with him so he knows all he needs to. He is on date forJanuary 4th! He is so sincere and humble and I'm so excited for him. He reminds me of Joseph Smith, who at 14 was searching for the truth as well. 

A few other miracles that happened just yesterday was that Nicole, the 16 yr old we are teaching was having a hard time because her older sister wasn't talking to her because she is interested in the LDS church. We gave her some advice about focusing on her sister-relationship instead of religion-bashing and immediately after we talked to her about it her sister called her and apologized and they made up right there at church. Her sister even told her to stop skipping Sunday School and get back to class. Another woman whose husband struggles with alcoholism was struggling at church and felt impressed to "text the Sisters" to come over that night and teach her family. When she looked up, there we were standing in the doorway of the chapel just walking in, and she felt a warm comforting feeling wash over her at the sight of us and she ushered us to sit by her. I feel so humbled that the very sight of 2 19-yr old girls in dresses and nametags could make such a change in someone's life and bring the Spirit to comfort those in need of comfort. How blessed I am to be a representative of Christ and see His love for His children every day in countless ways and experiences. 

We receive a lot of names from Relief Society Presidents and such of members who haven't been to church in a while for us to visit. One lady was never home whenever we stopped by, and we almost gave up on her but on Saturday we felt we should go to her neighborhood and try the doors that haven't opened yet. Cars were in the driveway this time and she opened up and was very kind to us but didn't seem to want anything to do with us. We drove away thinking nothing of the visit--and then last night our ward mission leader called us to say that he went home teaching there and she said she felt like them showing up as well as the "dear sweet Sisters" was a sign to her that she needs to come back to church.

All these miracles this week are a witness to me very effort that we make is not wasted and does affect the lives we come into contact with. Every little visit, smile, lesson, and knock on the door--is part of this great work. There truly is no sweeter experience than helping to build the Lord's kingdom. 

Hope you all have a wonderful week! 

Tuesday, December 3, 2013

2nd Transfers!

I just found out an hour ago that my trainer and I will be staying together this transfer! Usually trainers and trainees stay together for 12 weeks but sometimes they still get switched around. I am so happy Sister Wright and I get to spend Christmas together but most of all that we will be able to continue working with the people in our 5 Wards who are making so much progress. 

We taught 3 lessons with a less active family this week, and the father wanted the lessons because he forgot almost everything since he stopped going to church at 13. I've been leading the lessons now and it surprisingly hasn't been too hard! Sister Wright is a great trainer and has me practice a lot in the morning so I feel prepared during the actual lesson. On Sunday the whole family-parents and all 4 small children--came to church! It was the first time in almost a year for the wife and many years for the husband. I can't believe how happy it made me to see people following through with their commitments and progressing in the gospel. If they keep going, their children will be raised in the gospel! 

My understanding of the atonement widened while teaching the gospel of Jesus Christ, Lesson 3 on Friday. We had all 5 steps-faith, repentance, baptism, holy ghost, enduring to the end-on pieces of paper laid out like steps and at the top was a picture of Christ. I realized that when people say to "use the atonement" in their lives, all that really means is to apply those 5 steps, the gospel of Jesus Christ, to every problem, trial, hardship or affliction in your life. It's that simple! I love growing in my understanding of the gospel, especially when it happens by the Spirit while I'm speaking in a lesson, because the Spirit is teaching them and me at the same time! 

Thanksgiving was great, we went to one of our Ward Mission Leaders' homes, the Cassity's. They are a wonderful family and we had good food and played games like Guesstures and Scattergories. It was nice to be around a family again and see those relationships. 
I miss my family but the people here make everything worth it because I have the opportunity every day to bring light into their lives and smiles on their faces. I wouldn't want to be anywhere else.