Monday, April 25, 2016

Week #4 - Are Mormons allowed to Hug?‏

Hello Everyone!!
I am so grateful for the opportunity to serve a mission right now :) I can't even begin to tell you the amazing things that have happened!! I love this work and can't wait to continue through my mission experience!! :)
So this week I left the MTC at 3:30 in the morning to fly to Detroit! That was an adventure!! I have never flown on an airplane before and I was flying all by myself with no one else going to New York. We arrived at the airport and I was able to call my family :) Best hour ever! I then flew on my first airplane ride EVER!!! It was so much fun! But so scary because I tried talking to people but no one really wants to talk at 7 in the morning. So I slept most of the way to Detroit. The plane ride was 3 hours long which isn't near as bad as a ride to Australia! But when I landed, I had no idea what I was doing. I wandered around for a little bit seeing if I could get the courage to ask someone for help..(not a good thing when you're a little to independant :/) I  tried to find it but Detroit airport is huge! So I finally found my gate and had a 2 1/2 hour layover. That was super exciting! I read my scriptures most of that waiting time and tried talking to people but wasn't really having success! Then these 2 guys sat down by me and were talking about religion! In my head I was thinking Thank you Heavenly Father! So they said a prayer and I lept for it! I told them what a wonderful prayer it was and then they started talking about how they were youth leaders in their church. It was an interesting conversation. One of the guys leaned over to me and said," Can you give hugs in your religion?" Weirdest question that I have had so far!!! Hahaha it was so great! I told him that I couldn't hug him as a missionary but I would gladly give him a high five! It was great :)
This week has been such a week of adjusting and seeing many many blessings!! I have never felt the love of Heavenly Father "so much" in my life!!
The people of Upstate New York are so very comfortable with where they are at in life with their religion and want nothing to do with the missionaries or the wonderful message that we have to share with them!! It is so sad but there have been many blessings in this area! The area that I am have struggled with finding people who want to hear the gospel and will let us teach them! So the day after I got here we were out tracting trying to find people that would listen to our message and we weren't having much success! We found a couple people that said we could come back but that was about it! The work is very slow but Heavenly Father promises blessings when you are obedient :) Friday we decided to go do some service for one of the ladies that said we could come back and help her with yard work but she ended up being sick. So on our way back.......We saw this sweet little lady doing yard work!!! Truly a blessing! We stopped and helped her for over 2 hours clean this yard and at the end we started talking to her about the Book of Mormon! I gave her one and read her the scripture Mosiah 2:17 (best scripture for just doing service) and gave her the book!! She was so excited to read more of the book and said we could come back anytime and help her with more service! We went back yesterday and talked with her! She said that she had read that scripture over and over again! So this time I asked her to read most of the book!! She said that she absolutely would! 
We have 3 new investigators just in the time that I have been here and one who is now working towards baptism! How great is that?? :) 
One quick story! trainer and I decided to go out tracting one night at 6. We found a young man to teach and he was very willing to hear about the gospel! That was a blessing because the woman that we were going to teach asked us not to come back..#sad. But she was just not ready to hear about it quite yet but will someday! So we continue walking along trying to find people and we are in this little village! It is such a cute place but no one is willing to listen. So we are going around asking people and not having success. So it is about 7:45 at night and we are trying to get back to our car. We look around and realize that we are about 2 miles from the car. Not that far unless you're walking!! We decided to take a 'short cut' never a good idea. We started walking along the highway thinking that it will be a shorter way to the car. We were so lost that we were just praying that we were going in the right direction. The town that I am in is filled with single soliders because there is a base in this area and most of them are either deployed, married, or single. As we are walking, lost in Upstate New York, it is getting really dark and really cold kinda like Idaho. And as we are walking we are saying prayer after prayer asking for help to make it back to the car safely. 
All of a sudden...this car pulls up behind us. Sister Stowell tells me to put the phone in my pocket and she grabs the key and puts it in her hand. We keep walking but this car doesn't leave. It stays right behind us not moving but no one ever got out of the car. So we kept going saying prayer after prayer. The car then leaves but then pulls in front of us so we are walking towards it now instead of away. I have never been so scared in my life!! I love my trainer and that she was able to stay so calm because on the inside I was freaking out! We got a little closer to the car but then it left and we have no idea who was in the car, what their intentions were, or why they didn't get out of the car. Heavenly Father Protects His Missionaries!!! 
I am so grateful for this chance to serve a mission and can't wait to serve the rest of my mission :)
I love you all and hope you all have had a great week :)
~Sister Rose
This is what Upstate New York looks like! This is the day we also did service :)
Sister Stowell and I :)

There are cemeteries around most of the is a little creepy at times!

Thursday, April 21, 2016

Last pictures sent home from Sister Rose in the MTC - 4.18.2016

These are our teachers! Sister Gregerson and Brother Hilton! They are awesome!

All the Sisters in my Zone

Me being goofy ;)

This is the personality of our Elders....That is Elder Graves pulling the face and Elder Snyder behind him!

Elder Graves claims that he gets neck cramps so in this picture he got one and was walking around like that! He is the shortest one! The other elders were laughing so hard! It was hilarious!

The best picture that I got of my District...the Elders don't know how to smile...

The sisters with the MTC presidency :) We got to be good friends with them!
Hi Everyone!!
I thought I would send a quick note and let you all know that I head out to New York while I wait for my visa! I leave tomorrow morning at 3:30...incredibly early but I am so ready! Thank you all for the support and I will write soon :)
Sister Rose

Wednesday, April 20, 2016

Sister Rose has left the MTC, and is off to Upstate New York!

She made it to New York!
New Companion!

Sister Rose left the MTC on Tuesday, April 19, 2016, and flew to New York, where she will be serving in Upstate New York until we hear if she has had a visa approved to allow her to come to Australia. Because of the visa delay, the rest of the missionaries serving in her MTC district, which were called to Australia, all received their visas and left on Monday. 
That was tough for her.
The rest of her district all left with her on Tuesday, but they were all headed to Jamaica and got on another bus Tuesday morning at the MTC, so she rode the bus alone to the airport in Salt Lake City, Utah.

She called home Tuesday morning, and we visited with her for about an hour. She entered the airport with the other missionaries, but twenty minutes before she was to board the plane, she did not have another missionary in the gate with her to board her flight with. As far as we know, she traveled alone. She was to have a two hour layover in Detroit, Michigan, before continuing on to Syracuse, New York. She was very nervous, because she has never flown before. She asked lots of questions, and we tried to give as much advice and reassurance as possible, as well as joke and share updates with one another. I'd be lying to say that it was easy to say, "Good luck and talk to you soon."

As we were thinking it was about time to end our phone call, a man came up to her and told her he would like to buy her and some other sister missionaries breakfast before they left. She said on the phone, "Wow, that is so nice! I'm starving!"

We knew that she should arrive in NY around 3:00 p.m., mountain standard time. It was a very LONG, worry-filled day for mom and dad.

At exactly 3:02 p.m., my phone started to chime, and a sweet lady by the name of Sister Brown sent me messages and also to Sister Stowell's family, her companion, stating that they had our daughters and they had prayed Sister Rose there. They informed us that new companions were chatting up a storm and were so happy to be together. Turns out that Sister Stowell had been without a companion, too.

I then received another text, stating that Sister Brown, who was notifying us that our daughter was safe and sound, was actually from Ririe, Idaho, and is currently serving with her husband in New York. She then proceeded to say that for a time, they lived in St. Anthony, Idaho, and lived in the 3rd and 4th ward, WITH SISTER ROSE'S GRANDMA AND GRANDPA ROSE. The tears began to flow, and I counted my blessings that tender mercy's are real. 

Heavenly Father is in the details of our life. 

There were many other texts between us, and there were many more connections that brought much peace and ease of mind. Sister Rose and her companion will be serving as military relations missionaries, and will spend most of their time at Fort Drum. They will have a challenging time, as the base has constant turnover of people coming and going, most being deployed to Iraq and Afghanistan. I read that the base trains about 80,000 military personnel annually. She will be living in a very tiny town, just north of the base. And about ten miles from Brother and Sister Brown.

Sister Rose looks so happy in these pictures, and I'm sure she was relieved to have warm, welcoming arms as she exited the airplane. 
How lucky for Sister Rose to share her love and friendship and also extend our Heavenly Father's love to those who care so much about our country and freedom that they are willing to lay down their life for what they believe in. We are grateful she chose to serve a mission for Heavenly Father and our Savior, Jesus Christ, and serve the people in New York or Australia, or wherever the Lord needs her. 

We love her; we are proud of her, and we will sure be looking forward to her first email!

Saturday, April 16, 2016

This isn't looking much like the Land Down Under!!!!

 But, we can't wait to see what is in store for her in Upstate New York!
This is hopefully just a temporary assignment for Sister Rose, while waiting for her visa. This mission call, as well as her 1st mission call, have been assigned to her by a member of the Quorum of the Twelve Apostles. If she ends up serving in New York for nine months while waiting for the visa to be issued, this generally becomes a permanent mission assignment. 
Regardless of where she is in the world, our family is being blessed by Sister Rose's "dedication to preaching the gospel to those who are seeking and ready to accept her invitation to come unto Christ."

Friday, April 15, 2016

UPDATE - APRIL 14, 2016

So I wanted to let you know that I got a letter today telling me that my Visa has not been received. I am going to go serve in Utica, New York!! :) I am so excited, still sad but I know that Heavenly Father needs me in New York. 
I now leave at 3:30 Tuesday morning...I leave for Detroit at *** and will land at ***. I don't know if I will be able to call until I land in Detroit. I will try and call you mom and dad before the first flight but I am not sure what will happen with that. So be expecting a call sometime on Tuesday. I will fly from Detroit to Syracuse at *** and land at ***.
I know that there is a reason that I am going to New York right now. The Lord needs me and has prepared some experiences for me there. I am so excited!! I think the reason my visa has had problems because of my name. The ' is probably causing the problems.
I love you all and can't wait to tell you all about my new adventures in New York :D
~Sister Rose

The wonderful life of the MTC‏ *** Week 2 - April 13, 2016

Hello Everyone!
I cannot begin to describe to you the week that I have had. I know I said that last week but this week I have had so many spiritual growing moments! The MTC is great and I love everything about this place! The Spirit is everywhere and it is so nice because everyone has either been on a mission or is preparing to serve! I love this place :)
So an exciting this happened this week...I got to have a wart zapped off!! #ouch. I had been trying to take care of it but it just wasn't getting better so I went to the podiatrist and he about got his head kicked off...hahaha I was so caught off guard by the zapping that I almost kicked him! It was quite the experience :) me and sister Bowen had a great time leaving campus too! We got to see the world again! How exciting!!
So many things have happened this week! Me and Sister Bowen got told that we had to readjust our way of thinking. How do you do that?? I had no idea. He told us that we had been taught the same way our entire lives that that was the way that we were just going to be teaching unless we changed. I struggled so hard. But with lots of practice me and Sister Bowen finally caught on to what he was saying! We were working our way up to Christ in our lessons rather than starting with Christ and working outward in our lessons. #mindblown I had never realized that that was the way that everyone had ever taught me. Ever since then I have felt like I can teach more with the Spirit with our Investigators!! 
Another thing with the teaching! As I had just learned that I needed to change the way I thought to be able to teach better, we started teaching two new investigators this week and our first lesson we taught to a Girl named Ann, we followed the spirit and starting talking about Baptism and invited her to be baptized and she ACCEPTED!! What?! We were so in shock that we all just sat there for 10 seconds in silence before we said another thing! This was our first lesson with her and we applied what we had been taught in our lesson! The spirit is amazing!
We have had a very full week and a very VERY spiritual week but something that I have learned this week is that I can't do anything based on talent. Talent gets me no where in Missionary work. I have relied more on the Spirit so much this past week. I have had to learn and grow so much to be able to feel like I am teaching centered on Christ. Before I felt like I just knew what to teach because I had grown up learning about all of the church. NOPE. I can not do anything without being centered on Christ. I love being a missionary :)

So some more stories about my district....the farting, barfing, and explosions have ceased to stop. If anything they have gotten worse. I don't know why but Elders(boys) think it is so funny to fart. This last week our Elders got so comfortable with us Sisters that they would sometimes fart in class. #gross We all still get along really well but I have learned to be very blunt with Elders. :) Not like I'm not blunt already but when you are talking to Elders about that stuff you need to be blunt.
Another Exciting thing that happened this week missionaries got to sign these beams that are going into the new missionary classrooms! Only the security guards will see it but that is still really cool! And I am actually not as white anymore! I have gotten sun burnt a couple of times but am tan within 2 hours. All the Elders don't understand the struggle of living in Idaho and seeing the sun. They all don't understand how I can get so sun burnt and then tan so fast. It is really easy especially if your skin loves the sun but never gets to see it :) I can't wait to get to Australia!
One last thing:
We had devotional last night and it was absolutely amazing!! It was exactly what I needed to hear. It was a member of the presiding bishopric Waddell is his last name. He talked about how the Lord has sent us to our specific mission because he knows all the experiences that we will have! We have covenanted with the Lord to serve and by doing so we are going to do it Heavenly Fathers way, not ours. I love that! This is not my mission but a mission for the Lord. I may be going to Australia but I am not there to go. I am going there to serve because Heavenly Father has prepared certain people that I will cross paths with that need to hear the word from me. I am serving the Lord and his people in Australia. Maybe someday I can return to Australia to go but for now I am going to serve. I fly out to Australia on Monday and will land on Wednesday! So expect my next letter to have a little more Aussie slang to it :)
Here is a little bit of advice; always follow a good thought you have. Anything that is good that you may be thinking is of the spirit! I have learned that so much this past week that I know the spirit works wonders! 
NO MATTER WHAT you may be thinking....if it is good, it is from the spirit :) I love you all and can't wait to write you next week from the down under! With hopefully a little bit of accent :)
p.s. Don't forget about :) I have one more week so if you want to you can send me notes throughout the week! I will receive them daily but won't respond until next week but I love receiving them! :)
Love you all!!
~Sister Rose
p.p.s I also found out today that I am kinda related to my companion Sister Bowen!! How crazy is that!!

Me and My Teacher Sister Gregerson were matching and had to take a picture :)

My Branch President is Amazing!!!!

The Stress of Missionary Life requires BYU ice cream :)

This is the only good picture of my district that I got at the temple today...Elder Graves was struggling.

Tuesday, April 12, 2016

WEEK 1 April 6, 2016 - I am a Sister!‏

Hey everyone! :) 
So I can't even begin to describe to everyone the week that I have had! It has been the hardest, the funniest, the most stressful, the most exciting week of my life!! I cannot wait for the next weeks to come! I am taking my mission head on and running with it!
So I got here Wednesday afternoon and I got thrown right into a classroom where I met my companion Sister Bowen (She is absolutely amazing!!!) and my district! I never thought that I would be so close to Elders as I am now! We laugh at seriously everything!! The Elders in my district only talk about 3 things. Are you Ready?? 1-Farting 2-Barfing and 3-Explosions!!! Every second of the day! Even in the classroom we will all be studying and reading our scriptures, preparing for a lesson or whatever else we may be doing and Elder Graves (who just graduated High School) will say "Ok...who farted??" HAHAHA Oh my gosh I have never laughed so hard!! Even when we are eating he has some crazy story of the three things that I said earlier! Also we have an Elder who is black...and his name is Elder White!! How funny is that??
Conference was also this weekend!! Wasn't it absolutely amazing?? I have never fully focused on conference until I was here and I wrote a note on every single talk that was given! My favorite was Elder Holland's. OK funny story! So Conference was ending and all of us missionaries were sitting there waiting for Pres. Uchtdorf to announce Elder Holland as the last speaker. So we are sitting there with crossed fingers and hoping that he speaks, as he is announced, every missionary in the gym goes YES! and starts silently clapping! It was so great! I have grown so much in my short time of being a missionary! I am able to focus better and I never thought that I would change that much but being here I have learned to listen to the promptings of the spirit with everything that I have. 
We were teaching one of our investigators and as we got going, we started realizing that the lessons that we had prepared was not what we needed to teach. So we both start silently panicking and I just went for it with what the spirit was telling me. We ended up teaching about Joseph Smith because she had questions on him and it is a good thing for seminary or else we would have completely failed! (HIGH SCHOOL KIDS: pay attention to every thing in seminary!!) You will never regret anything that you have learned! I love being a missionary with all my heart! 
So my companion is Sister Bowen and she is from Utah and is so hilarious! We seriously get along with each other so well that we are so comfortable with everything that we do! The first day we were trying to find out where we were going and we got so lost. We ended up wandering in the wrong building for 15-20 minutes. It was so FUNNY! We had no idea where we were going so we ended up asking a janitor for help and she didn't speak english very well so we were all lost together! #awkward!
I hope you all have had a great week! I want to tell you all that if you ever want to just send me a little note there is a website that you can use called and you can find me on the website and send me little notes everyday if you want :) I would love to hear from all of you! Have a great week!! 
Sister Rose
p.s I can't figure out how to send pictures so I will try again next week!! I love you all!

I figured out how to send pictures!! Here are some of the week!! :) Love you all 
Please write me :) 
You are all the best!!
Sister Rose

Sister Bowen and Sister Rose