Monday, October 29, 2012

Obedience brings happiness

Cioa & bonjourno!

So since you sent me some fun missionary stats, here are some I learned this week:

Before the conference announcement they average I think 700 new application started every week; since the announcement they've have I want to say 4000 started every week.

Before conference, 14% of all applicants were sisters. Since conference, more than 50 % are.


Thank you for the move update, all you had told me so far is you were moving lol so good to know. I'm glad you're on board with a Texas tour because I was definitely planning one. Unless I'm successful in my new campaign to convince everyone I know to move to Utah with me.

DAD, I want juicy exciting details about your GA interview! Come on sir! And mommy I'm so sorry you're sick! No bueno :(

LOVED the pictures hahaha!

And no about the book Mom, President Scott is 100% by the book, if he can't find it in Preach My Gospel or the white handbook we don't do it. Except I recently found out the Farcee Elders in our mission have permission to watch Disney movies on p-day in Farcee as language training.  lol jealous.

It was been raining for about a week and a half now, it's really starting to depress Sister DeRuvo but I'm been totally fine with it- probably because rain means it's still too warm to snow. But it's starting to dip below 10 degrees so I'm not sure how much longer we'll get to swing that.  This week...I'm not really sure what to tell you about it. It was good! Lol we survived transfer calls, which is always happy but was no surprise- usually you get to stay if you are 1) training 2) white washing or 3) Sister Jensen, because I don't move much, and since this transfer I was all 3 I would have been shocked if we'd been called.

Sister DeRuvo and I have had some pretty cool spiritual experience recently with being prompted together by the Spirit. It's quite the learning process about how important it is to always be worth of the Spirit, because alot of our experiences lately have been a result of little decisions we made that we didn't realize until later were promptings, like to print off a certain talk when we're at the library. It's also showed me the importance of surrounding yourself with others who can have the Spirit and being careful about who you're connected to (Ugh, I hate when my mission gives me marriage lessons. Gross.) But yeah, I've been so grateful this week to have been blessed with so many amazing companions throughout my mission and to be able to work with Sister DeRuvo especially, I'm so glad we're staying companions another transfer!

Sorry, I really can't think of anything else to share. Oh, except this morning I had the BEST study of Mormon 9 and how faith yields miracles. It was a pretty pointed study too- I was thinking about how obedience is a direct result of or show of our faith, so if you read that chapter thinking of being obedient every time it talks about having faith it throws a new light on it. I realize this is probably true with most missionaries, but I have developed SUCH a love for obedience and trying to follow the commandments and Spirit exactly! I'm still not the best at applying it, but the difference in my days when I strive to and when I don't is so obvious, obedience brings happiness :)

Anywhos, guess I'll end there. We're meeting up today with our district for a last huzzah before half of them are transferred away. So have a great week! Feel better mom! good luck starting your training dad! Love you all!

Monday, October 22, 2012


Bonjourno! Cioa bellas!
Haha so this week was BAPTISM WEEK! Jody was baptized on Saturday and confirmed Sunday! Afterwards he shared with us alot of stories of how doubts would come flying at him throughout the week and each time he would pray and open either the Book of Mormon or the Bible and find a perfect answer to his concern. Amazing how the Spirit takes care of us when we're being sincere. His friend came up from London to support him, and John came to the service which was super cool because he had told us the day before he couldn't come.
We had a couple of exciting things this week, other than the baptism. First of all, Robin came to church! I dunno how much I've told you about him, he was referred to us by the Branch President when we first came in. He wants to be baptized but his job requires him to work every Sunday, and he put his name on the waiting list back in March to get his Sundays off and was told it was about a 3 year wait! So his fiancee Anne, a less active member, has some pregnancy complications a few weeks ago and ended up in the hospital. She knows everyone at Robin's work so his boss asked if there was anything she needed and he said no just my Sundays off so I can go to church with her because she can't go alone....So his boss cleared him right there to have all his Sundays off! So yesterday they came to church together, and left right after sacrament meeting to go home and get married. SO CUTE! We helped Anne carve pumpkins for her wedding decorations Friday night, which was Sister DeRuvo's first time carving pumpkins. So this week we're hoping to meet with him and set a date for him to be baptized, probably the beginning of November.
We also talked to Nika, the 12 year old girl we're teaching, about being baptized. Her mom's a member, her dad isn't. When she was 8 her dad said she was too young to decide and needed to grow up a bit before being baptized, so Nika and her mom are going to talk to him again about being baptized. We're praying with both of them that his heart will soften and he'll let her make her decision! John's doing really well too, we had an awesome lesson with him and the Elder's Quorum President about the gospel of Jesus Christ and he was so open and bold about his questions. He's becoming more and more determined to find out if what we're saying is true, and why he feels so good when he meets with us and comes to church. We also started teaching a guy Chris who I actually OYMed weeks ago when we had sisters exchange, who had met with missionaries years ago and remembers preparing to be baptized. He's had a rough couple of years and is recovering from alot of things still but he really wants to make changes in his life and remembers the things the missionaries teaching him being really positive. He won't set a date as a goal for baptism because he feels he has too many changes to make still, but he really wants to be.
Other than that, I'm just enjoying the good cold fall here. There are MASSIVE amounts of leaves on the ground here! Maybe we'll start walking around with rakes and try to do some service for people :) This branch is in love with us at this point, and the feeling is completely mutual, it's just so good here!
Hope everything's been for y'all this week. Thanks for the pictures of Zeke mom, they are both SOOO CUTE! Btw where exactly in Utah are y'all moving? I've had like 8 missionaries ask me and I have no idea lol
You sent those emails just in time, I was literally about to send this when they showed up in my inbox :) Thanks for the mail! Good luck with all your moving projects! And Dad, cool, have fun in your interview! I'm surprised you're even included if your moving, you have to give me the details of that's that's like.
Love you all!

Pictures of the week:

Us, him, and his girlfriend who introduced him to the church & her kids
The pumpkins we carved

District meeting on "burying our weapons of rebellion"

Monday, October 15, 2012


It was an EXCELLENT week! Jody is being baptized on Saturday, so we have been finishing teaching him the commandments and preparing him for that. Not that he needs us at all, I think he just likes us coming over to ask random questions and show off how much better he knows the Bible than us. He went off about Samson one day, and I told him about Porter Rockwell having the same promise placed on him. He went online that night and ordered a book about him haha!
Had a cool moment teaching him this week- we were teaching about tithing and offerings, and the blessing we receive from paying them and how those blessings come in many forms. Suddenly I had a vivid memory of a tithing settlement we went to where the Bishop told us how he hoped we knew as kids how great are parents were and how you payed a full tithe each year and donated a good chunk of money to other funds as well. He specifically talked about how you had donated money to the missionary funds of the church. Earlier this week someone had told me how crazy it was our family had 3/4 kids serving a mission when the statistic was 1/4 go, and now Erin's planning to make it 4/4. Probably not a coincidence that happened when you two contributed to missionary funds and always payed a full tithe. :)
We also had some AMAZING member work happening this week. A member took us around one morning to drop by several of her friends and invite them to meet with us. We're going to set up an appointment with one of them. Another one we dropped by was an Indian family, who invited us in to meet their spiritual leader- I think they said he was their guru. So we had this deep discussion with him about who God is and he agreed with everything we said. Who knew Hindus and Mormons have the exact same belief?? (We only talked for like 10 minutes, didn't have time to get to any of the differences lol)
We also met with a 17 year old girl in the ward and 3 of her friends from school, we had like a Q&A forum. They all are open minded about God but not really sure what they believe, so we talked about life after death, a little about the restoration of the gospel, and the word of wisdom (of course, 17 year olds, the no drinking came up pretty fast.) It was really fun and they all agreed to meet with us again and learn what we believe.
Well, I think that's pretty much everything....Things are great in Canada! Though it's getting way too cold too early for my taste. Mom you would DIE to see the leaves here though, it's unreal how many shades of red there are.
Love you all! Talk to you in a week :)

Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Get ready to see the work explode!

Props to the GenCon camera man who found that kid with his mouth hanging WIDE open in that announcement! Loved it! Yeah, that was INCREDIBLE, Sister DeRuvo and I were punching each other and freaking out during conference, and trying to hold super still and not alarm our investigator. Awkward thing to do. But it was amazing because I was trying to figure out why that made me SO happy when it didn't affect me at all. I decided it was just that I was excited to see more missionaries go out because I knew the numbers were about to jump. It didn't even OCCUR to me it might be because Erin was deciding to go! I did write down all my advice to her about how to decide to go in case she asked, but I thought she would be in a huge inner debate. Guess I grossly underestimated the Spirit!

Seriously though, that's amazing that boys can now go at 18 and girls can go at 19. The Lord must be ready to have his full number of missionaries out- there must be some prepared areas! Get ready to see the work explode!

Yes, I watched the district before my mission-and every day on it during companion study. You should have taped it so I could watch it when I get back too :)

This General Conference amazed me so much. Our investigator, John, came to the first session and was so touched he left in tears. It was awesome. And Elder Holland of course didn't disappoint in my expectations to have my soul burned- man! I really feel the Lord is extending a wake up call to the members of His church. He has a work to be done and he does not want us sitting around not doing it. I LOVED when he paraphrased the conversation between Jesus and Peter "Do you love me? Then why are we here Peter? Why are we having this same conversation on this same lake? If I need fish, I can get fish! What I need is disciples!" Goes perfectly with the call for more missionaries, and the constant theme of needing to serve others. Mom, I thought about you alot during it and abut how it must be giving you so many answers to your life right now, so it's cool to hear that's exactly what happened.

This week was again fantastic. John and Jody are both doing so well, Jody can't wait to be baptized but it looks like he'll have to- an 8 year old boy is being baptized the same day so we may push his date back a week to the 28th. John has a date but for far off in the future, he feels it's far to soon to commit. I didn't tell him last time an investigator told me that he was baptized a month sooner than his date :) I'm definitely planning on the Spirit working on John similarly, people often feel like baptism is too large a commitment to plan on anytime soon but the truth is when we're sincerely repenting and building faith we desire to be baptized- after all, it's the first fruit of repentance! You can't fight it for too long.

Canadian Thanksgiving is not quite as great as American Thanksgiving-most people had about 5 dishes on the table, not 10- but it seems to be celebrated over a 3 day period so that was fun. Also, since it's Sister DeRuvo's first Thanksgiving ever I'm introducing her to stuffing and left over turkey sandwiches. YES!

Okay I got a billion emails this week so I gotta try to answer them/ print some off to respond to. But I love you tons! OH and i got my birthday stuff! Mom I died at the Spanish birthday card, loved it! Thank you so much for the scarf, I am SO excited to have 2 to choose from this winter! And the cds are more appreciated than I can say. Pretty much it was the perfect box :) Thanks! Love you! Have a great week!

Pictures of the week:

With my new Bimba DeRuvo (Italian for Baby DeRuvo)
My generation shot with my 2 babies and my grandbaby

Love my new companion!
Birthday box! 

The view from my apartment

Monday, October 1, 2012

Woodstock is the PROMISED LAND!

Dear Family,
Yeah, I'm pretty sure I wrote several dumb things in that email- like I said, it was crazy trying to get a computer, you only got one for about 45 minutes. The worst! But we learned and got here plenty early today. And Sister DeRuvo is from Italy. Dunno where Spain came from.

Cleaning the apartment is going slowly, but some awesome discoveries have been found. We found a checker board with no checkers, and were about to chuck it away when some of the elders told us they also had a checker board but had only had half the pieces and found the other half and the missing board for their battleship in our apartment. Looks like some of the elders played checkers and battleship over the phone once upon a time, so on Wednesday we are reclaiming our half of the games and starting that up again.

Woodstock is the PROMISED LAND! This last week has been incredible. We're teaching 5 investigators now, our district leader called in disgust after we texted in our numbers for the week to ask how we had members at so many of our appointments. Sorry Sisters are more awesome Elders. Just jokes, the real secret is find members who have nonmembers living with them and it's easy to have members there. lol. The most exciting is Jody, he came to church last Sunday with a friend and we started teaching him this week. He has a baptismal date for October 21st and loves the gospel, he even got up yesterday in testimony meeting and bore his testimony. John, the man we met in the library last week, also came and is incredible. After church a member told us he has a masters degree in theology-he did NOT tell us that! But teaching him has made me I might be a little too excited when I teach because every time I speak he grins and gives me that "well aren't you passionate about this look", so I feel a little silly. But he seems really touched by everything we share so I guess I can't complain. We also had a former investigator BJ come to the Relief Society Broadcast with us, which was really cool. We haven't started teaching her yet but she told us to call her after the weekend and she'd love to come again, so I'm pretty stoked about that.

We had exchanges this week with the Sisters in London, that was fun. I stayed in Woodstock and Sister DeRuvo went to London. I always enjoy when my babies go on exchanges because they realize they can function on their own, which is good, and they also come back loving me even more. When I said goodbye to Sister Demill, my exchange comp, and got in the car Sister DeRuvo got in and look at me all offended and said "I'm still your favorite right? You missed me? You don't love her more than me?" I died laughing.

The Relief Society Broadcast was AMAZING, if we hadn't had someone there with us I probably would have bawled but I kept it in somehow. The first speaker just struck on everything I've been thinking recently. See, my mission has made me realize something and also grown a huge fear in me. First of all, I've realized that I am in fact AWESOME. Seriously. Not that I didn't know that before my mission, but since coming out here I've really felt like I am who I'm supposed to be and thus am pretty much . (And humble, I promise.) But this has also made me a little terrified of when I get home. I'm worried everything I'm passionate about will fade and I'll slip back into old habits I don't like and I'll lose the person I am. So I've been praying for about 6 months that the Lord would really change me permanently, and that the things I'm learning would be engraven on my heart (that's been my phrase of the year). So then sister Burton gets up and talks about how we need to and can engrave the Atonement on my heart, and it was like wham! Answer! It all comes down to the Atonement. When we're regularly applying and developing our faith in the Atonement, everything else follows suit. The prophets and scriptures have taught that the more our understanding of the Atonement grows, the more we want to share the gospel with others, so as long as I'm continuously relying on the Atonement my missionary fire isn't going to go out. As long as I keep developing my faith, I'm not going to reverse any changes I've experience over the last 10 months. I had such peace and the Spirit was SO STRONG, it just set up for the rest of the broadcast to just swamp me in the Spirit. Loved it!

Mom, i got you letter this week- thank you! Dunno when I'll respond because I owe about 10 people letters and have to scrub a ceiling fan today, but I will eventually. And I love that picture you sent of Joe's EQPresidency, what exactly is that for? Cards? And Elder Roberts definitely sounds really familiar but I'd probably need a face to go with it.  Glad to hear everyone is doing well, I'll keep my fingers crossed for dad! I should be getting my packages on Wednesday Mom so thanks in advance for that.
Love you all!!