Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Can you both hear me?

"Hold on, let me put it on speaker phone.... Ok, we're ready."

"Sister Balmforth. I don't know if this is a surprise to you but we would like you to stay in Silverdale 5th and 6th one more transfer. How does that sound."

"That sounds great, President."

"Great. Sister Chronister."


"We would like stay in Silverdale 6th and 5th also."

"WOOOOOOOO!!!!! That is awesome!"


"Thanks President!"

So that was our transfer call Saturday night at 10:20. We are both staying in Silverdale!! Huge miracle, I thought there was no way it was going to happen, but it did :) Especially after he told Sis. Balmforth she was staying, when he said my name I thought my backside was packing out of here, but it's staying for at least 6 more weeks. We are so excited to stay with each other and so excited to work hard. A lot of good things are finally starting to happen here so we are ready to do our part.

Sis. Balmforth was still kinda sicky this week so I made her ramen pretty much every meal this week. She is terrible at cooking. Who messes up ramen? That's right, my companion does. So now I even make her cereal for her, cause I'm so dang nice. The other day she told me my milk to cereal ration was perfect. Why, thank you! That was funny.

Some pretty cool stuff happened this week. We got a call from the elders one night. They are teaching this girl who is engaged, in her early 20's, and had questions about modesty and what to wear to church. She said she wished there were sister missionaries in the area. They said there were. She kind of joked that she wishes they could take her shopping to show her what to buy for church. They said we could. So..........we took an investigator shopping. It was pretty funny the elder I talked to said, "So, can you text her and meet with her sometime and help her out with lady stuff?" Haha. Have I ever mentioned how much I love shopping?! (Sarcasm anyone....?) Sis. Balmforth is the same as me. Of course it would be the two sisters who hate shopping the most who take an investigator shopping. Anyways, it went really well, we talked to her about clothes and stuff, she was pretty on board with it, and we found out some of her concerns about going to church so hopefully that will help the elders work with her more.

Last night there was a youth musical fireside that they put on for the close of their youth conference. We decided we could go and check it out. Church was long that day and one of our appointments was completely chaotic and we needed a spiritual recharge. It was so good!! The coolest part was seeing one the less active girls we are working with there. She is in the YSA ward and was there playing the piano for them. We've been working with her since I got here and I love her to death. She's overcome a lot of things and had to make a lot of changes in her life. During one of the songs, I looked over at her and she was holding the music for the other pianist and singing along with the youth choir. I couldn't stop smiling. Then on one of the songs she busted out some crazy piano skills that I didn't know were there. On the last song, the other pianist was playing and she grabbed the sheet music and went and stood with the choir and sang with them. At that point I got tears in my eyes. That is what the gospel is all about. Seeing someone's life change for the better, seeing the light come back into their eyes. That was so cool.

We finally got to teach Zebediah this week and we got to teach him the Plan of Salvation. That morning we were trying to plan the lesson and we were getting kinda frustrated with it because it's a hard lesson (for us) to teach. It's so easy to complicate and go off on crazy random tangents. We got to the point where we just decided we were going to talk about how this plan is for us because Heavenly Father loves us and it is the way for us to get back to Him. When we taught him, it went differently than we planned because his friend who is a member was there and talked a lot, but that was good too. At the end of the lesson, we brought up baptism again. The Spirit told me to do it. We didn't commit him to anything about that but I think it's something he needs to keep thinking about.

We also both got to speak in church yesterday. We got a call from the bishop on Wednesday that they had a last minute cancellation and he wanted us to speak on the power of the scriptures. We decided not to throw each other under the bus, so we split the 15 minute time slot. We both ended up speaking for about 10 minutes cause the whole meeting went a lot faster than we would have liked, but I really loved planning for and giving that talk. I found a way cool scripture the other day while I was reading one of my favorite chapters in the Book of Mormon. I was reading Alma 7, where verses 11-13 talk about the atonement, and at the end of the chapter was verse 23:

"And now I would that ye should be humble, and be submissive and gentle; easy to be entreated; full of patience and long-suffering; being temperate in all things; being diligent in keeping the commandments of God at all times; asking for whatsoever things ye stand in need, both spiritual and temporal; always returning thanks unto God for whatsoever things ye do receive."

Sometimes I forget that God wants me to pray and ask for things. I think I can do it all on my own, and I want to do my part, but the Lord knows we can't do it on our own and He will fill in the holes, we just have to remember to ask him, whatever it is that we need help with. So I think that was about everything that happened this week. 6 more weeks in Silverdale! I can't wait :) Love you all, have a great week!!


Sister Chronister

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Spoon Feeding and a Sick Shifty

Hello there. This week was so weird. Wanna know why? Probably, that's why you read this. Anyways. Tuesday we had Zone Conference. Lots of new and exciting things happening in the mission, including (this is my favorite) NO TRACTING ON PDAYS!! They want to give our full day from 10-6 and give members time with the missionaries so Mondays are now Member Mondays. It's great. I'm pretty happy about it. Also, we still get transfer calls on Saturday night but transfer day won't be until Wednesday mornings. Crazy business, but I think it will be great. And, it means I get an extra 2 days out of this transfer :)

So, Tuesday night was the Finnegan's 45th wedding anniversary and a few people from the ward threw a surprise birthday dinner for them. It was way cool and we got to see pictures from their wedding day. They are so dang cute. Then, Wednesday morning, I woke up and had the most monster headache of my life. I tried to study and Sis. Balmforth tried to go get ready, but I ended up laying on the floor and she ended up sitting at the table and neither of us could move until we just went back to bed and slept the rest of the day. Literally, the rest of the day. We couldn't move. We both got blessings that night and stopped by the YSA activity night so they could celebrate with the Finnegans for a few minutes, but everyone there kept saying we looked like death, so we went home pretty soon. Thursday we tried going on base for a little bit, no one was home and we still felt super tired and sicky so we went back to the Finnegan's place and rested some more. We didn't want to push it and make things worse. Friday I felt pretty good, we had a few appointments set up that we were really looking forward to, but Sis. Balmforth still wasn't feeling better. One of the appointments had to cancel , so we called Sis. Weaver and she got a doctor's appt for the exact time we would have been meeting with our investigator. Then our morning appt cancelled and so we only had one other appt with an investigator that afternoon to worry about. We went to the doctor, Balmforth has a weird virus or something (there is something going around up here, everyone is sick and it sucks) where she can't really eat and her neck hurts. So that afternoon, I called our Relief Society president, Sis. Cunningham, and she went with me to visit Allison. Allison didn't go to church last week and we hadn't seen or heard from her in a while. When we got there we talked a little about baptism and she said it's a big commitment and she isn't sure if that's what she wants to do. She likes church and learning and reading, but she doesn't want to make a mistake about it. I told her that's totally understandable and we'll keep meeting with her and working with her, we like talking to her. So it will take a little longer than we originally wanted but that's ok because it's her life and her decision. Our job is to invite the Spirit, teach her truths, and be there when she is ready to make the commitment. I got back from the appt and Balmforth looked at me and goes, "Dude, you smell." Allison smokes, I couldn't help it. I did smell though.

Saturday rolls around and Balmforth feels better, but just barely. She decided she would try and eat something, and she wanted ramen. So I made her some while she sat on the couch, and then I had to force feed her. For reals. Like, one spoonful of ramen at a time. And she kept crying cause she didn't feel good and didn't want to eat, but she knew she had to. It only took her THREE HOURS but she did it, she finished the ramen. If that wasn't my good deed of the century, I don't know what would be. Then a sister who used to be in Silverdale called to ask something and we found out she was sick too, but her comp wasn't. They are just about 20 minutes away from us, so we decided to do a sick shifty. President gave us the ok and they came over so the sick one, Sis. Baylon, and Balmforth could chill on the couch and the healthy one, Sis. Welch, and I went out and worked for a few hours. It was pretty cool, I had never been on an exchange before. There is always something you can learn from other people. I was grateful that I got the chance to go out for a little while.

So, as far as our investigators.....Allison is hesitant now, but we are still meeting with her and working with her, just not currently focusing on getting her on date for baptism. Zebediah finally decided that he would give us a chance to teach him. We were supposed to teach him on Friday, but he was the one who had to cancel, some family he hadn't seen in a while came into town. But, we should get the chance this week and we are really excited about that. We haven't seen Sonia in a while, but she isn't progressing very much. It can be hard to help people understand why you care so much and why it's so important. In fact, I asked Sis. Welch that while we were out working on Saturday because one of the people we met with was not understanding that. I liked her answer. She said all we can do as missionaries is invite the Spirit and testify. The rest is up to them. Agency sucks sometimes, but we all have to have it.

I think that's all I have for now. We are ready to work super hard this week. It's the last week of the transfer and there are so many things that need to be done here in Silverdale. I have no idea what is going to happen next transfer, but I don't want to take any chances either way. I want to work hard to see a miracle happen while I'm here with Sis. Balmforth. I have no doubt that it will. Hope everyone has a great week. Miss you and love you!!


Sister Chronister

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Hoooooooo My Gosh

So that is how my companion says "oh my gosh." It's funny. Hmmmmmmdiddly. What happened this week.....I have to write everything down in my planner so I don't forget. This week we attempted a "lifestyle change" (aka a diet) just so we could eat healthier, etc. That lasted about a day. But it was funny cause Sis. Balmforth kept eating mints so she wouldn't eat anymore candy and kept asking me, "Want a mint?" I think I ate about 10 in one day. At least my breath was all minty fresh. I love my companion. She keeps me sane, which is nice, mostly by making me laugh and training by example. Best mom ever.

So last week we were visiting this less-active's house and we offered to do some service for them. Here's the thing though. They aren't very good at housework and the husband has some big medical problems so he can't leave his bed. Also, they have a rooster that roams their driveway and has it in for us. It follows us and we have to run to the door before it can get close to us. Roosters can be mean, in case you didn't know. So they need help doing dishes and cleaning the bathroom. We go back a few days later to help and I get the kitchen, Sis. Balmforth gets the bathroom. I'll keep it short, but it was not a pleasant experience. Not one that I ever would like to repeat. So I'm scrubbing dishes and I look in the window sill......and there's chicken feet sitting there. Real chicken feet. Why they are there, I don't know, but it was weird. I thought of the rooster outside and I kinda felt bad for him for a minute.

We had a really cool church tour this week with Maggie and her husband Jerry. Maggie has run into missionaries everywhere she has been her whole life and she knows pretty much everything. She was being taught a few months ago but wasn't progressing so they dropped her. When the snowstorm came here they called us because they needed some help getting groceries so we started talking with them again. Then Maggie had her 6th baby by C section, and it scared her. When the Finnegans went to go see her in the hospital she asked how her family could be sealed. WAHOOO!! The only problem is they are moving to eastern So we took them on a church tour and talked about baptism and things and they're all for it. They just need to be taught and keep commitments and they'll be good to go. It was just cool to see because you never know what seeds you are planting.

On Saturday morning at 8:30 we got a call that they needed our help at a child of record baptism at 11:00 that morning. They needed us to take care of the intermission part after the kids get baptized and are changing out of their wet clothes. The mom was supposed to have called us earlier, but that didn't happen. Not surprised. Anyways, it went really well and they appreciated it. We just showed a video of Christ that was really cool. I like going to baptisms. It reminds me of mine and how I want to help people get there to have their own.

What else has been going on......tomorrow, Valentine's Day is the Finnegan's 45th wedding anniversary! They are so awesome, and such a great example of Christlike people who are devoted to the Savior, to each other, and to the work. Sis. Balmforth and I die every time we see them holding hands in Sacrament meeting.

I think that's about all I have for this week. We talked about prayer a lot during comp study today. It't such a cool thing we can do and Heavenly Father is just waiting to help us, but He won't do anything until we ask. Don't be afraid to ask for things. He knows we can't do this alone and He is more than willing to fill in the gaps when we fall short. He's there, just ask. You'll feel it. Love you guys lots. Don't suck. [<----Thank you, Joe.]


Sister Chronister

Monday, February 6, 2012 would you maybe want to sort of possibly get Jesus?

GUESS WHAT?? WE HAVE AN INVESTIGATOR ON DATE!!! And the title of this email is about how I sounded trying to extend the commitment. I have to start at the beginning of that awesome day though. It was Saturday. We had a church tour with this girl on base named Sara, or so we thought, and her husband. They were running a little late because they forgot, but they get there and we start talking to them. We thought Sara, the wife, was a member and her husband was not. So we're checking names and we're all, "You're name is Sara, right?" And she's all, "No, it's Maria." We're just thinking ok, maybe she goes by a middle name or something. Then we're talking about the gospel and the basic principles of it and we go, "You remember these. You're a member aren't you Maria?" "No, I'm not." WHAT?!? So, side note, proselyting is illegal on a military base. We're not supposed to wear our nametags when we go on and we can only go to homes that are members or investigators. No knocking on random doors. Anyways, so we go through this hectic church tour and at the end, I was supposed to try and commit them to baptism and I TOTALLY blanked so my wonderful companion stepped in and saved the day and they both said they would be baptized. They wouldn't commit to a date but they were all for it if it's right for them. It is and they will be.

So then we have a church tour later that afternoon with Allison. We have had a few lessons with this investigator and had a church tour with her on Saturday and we decided before that we were going to put her on date because she is totally waiting for a change in her life. What better change than Jesus, right? So we're standing there talking about when Jesus was baptized and this time, I'm thinking, "Ok, you got this man, don't blank or chicken out or anything, just commit her. You know she'll say yes." This is how it comes out: "Would you maybe want to get baptized and follow Jesus?" Terrible! BUT it was a good effort and she said yes! She said she would get baptized on the 19th so now we get to plan a baptism. WOOOOOO!! And, we had Stake Conference this weekend. We're only allowed to go to the general session on Sunday, but if we have an investigator come with us, we could go to the adult session on Saturday night. So, Allison came with us and we got to hear some pretty awesome talks and see President and Sister Weaver. They are so awesome. We were talking to Sister Weaver and she said she sees us and wants to represent us so well. Then she looks at us and wants to cry. Not really sure what that meant, but we're just going to take it as a good thing and not that we looked super tired or anything.

That was such a cool day. We have been working super hard for 9 weeks and we finally got to see some pretty big miracles happen on Saturday. We were so dang happy, and I was pretty thrilled that I extended my first ever commitment to baptism and they said yes. Awesome high.

We also have this kind of investigator who was found by the Elders but he wants to come to a singles ward with his member friend so if they come to our ward, then we get to teach him. He came to the activity night last week and we all played volleyball and he seemed to really like it so we think he's headed our way. His name is Zebediah. I totally thought he was Mormon. Sis. Balmforth had to tell me afterward that he wasn't. I keep trying to come up with good nicknames for him (he doesn't know this, I just think Zebediah is.....a unique name) and so far I have Z man, Z money, Diah, and Zeb.

That was definitely the more exciting things that happened this last week. I love it here in Silverdale. The people are so awesome and so easy to love here. I love working with the Finnegans, they help us so much and are so dedicated to the work. I love the wards that we are over and that I get to be over a family ward and a YSA ward. We all just love it. It's all just so dang awesome. I probably just jinxed myself and I'll get transferred now, but it has to happen eventually. Yesterday was my 2 month mark in Washington, by the way. That seems pretty crazy to me. Some days it feels like I've been here forever, and others it feels like it's flown by.

I just wanted to share something interesting that I heard in Stake Conference yesterday. There is a reason that the first principle we teach is God is our loving Heavenly Father. It is the whole purpose for the plan, the gospel, the Atonement--We are God's children and He needed a way for us to become like Him. That's why we're here and that's why we're out sharing that message with people. There is something better and we can have it. It makes us happy and brings us peace. There is nothing greater that the world can offer us.

So, just remember, God loves you! :) Haha. Love you!! Have a great week.


Sister Chronister