Sunday, September 29, 2013

September 23, 2013

Hi All,

Just so you know this is Erin's new address. She did get transferred and I am sure she would really appreciate letters and care packages.

Sister Erin Kingsford
515-2 Market Street
Bloomsburg, PA
Last Monday was an interesting pday. It was far different from any others I had seen. First off, it was just my companion and I. Second off, I had my eyebrows waxed. Yeah, you read that right, they were waxed. Courtesy of a salon that Sister Stovall took my too. That night we visited a potential named Tracey and got her information. Then we walked down the street to talk with a guy named James. He is monotone. "It is true for you but not for me" he kept saying. We then went to meet a less active named Chanty but he stood us up! Instead we meet Rhonda who was interested in meeting with us. We then went over to a former. We had no idea why we were there until we got to talking to her and then after several calls and a long conversation discovered that if we hadn't gone there, then the service project on the next Saturday would have not happened. Once we left Sue we went to meet with Zach and Flora and their friend, Steve who is interested in learning more. We had smores with them and talked about the Restoration. They are going to General Conference next Sunday!
Tuesday was a busy day! It began with us at the food cupboard. We bagged potatoes for two hours. We meet with Martha and did a mock baptismal interview. She was stuck on knowing the exact answer and she was nervous. We were able to talk with her and help her work through it. We then meet with Nate who has been in a bad place for some time and is trying to work his way back. They meet him when they went to go visit his grandfather, who is a less active. After a short dinner we met Margot at the church, she is dating a recent convert named Daniel (he is submitting his papers in Febrauary) and just moved back here to attend the University. She wants to believe in Jesus and know him but is struggling with it. She said that she is envious of those who KNOW Him.
Wednesday we decided to walk to the library. On our way there we met Helena. She has 15 kids and was stabbed 16 times by her husband. He had been in jail and no one let her know that he had been let out early. She is living at a woman's shelter until she can find a new place to live. We had a lesson with Martha about the talk "The First Great Commandment" by Elder Holland. We met a woman named LeAnn while we went to visit old potentials. She lost one of her sons to SIDS. That night we cleaned the car and then headed to calm down Martha before her interview. Martha had her baptismal interview and she is being baptized on the 26th!
We had zone conference on Thursday. The night before and that morning, Sister Stovall dolled me up. I was able to see Sister Robinson and Sister Yates. We talked about Grace during zone conference. When I went up to hug Sister Yates, she didn't recognize me! Later in the day, I ended up with a migraine.
Friday both of us were down and out. I had a migraine and she was having problems with her stomach. Her stomach problems led into the majority of the next day. We went to dinner and did some weekly planning.

Sunday - Margot and Martha were at church. Margot had Dan with her. We were able to visit Janice after church. We had lesson with Martha about grace. In our companionship inventory, it was decided that this week we needed to focus on getting to know each other.

September 16, 2013

Monday morning was like any other in State College but it would be my last day in State College. I was according, to the the rules, the PDay princess. I got to choose what we would be doing for the day. We went to a restraunt, Don Johns. The food was amazing!!! But before we went there we took several pictures at a garden that was created by one of the elders investigators. She had been working on it for fourty years! Soon after emails we went to go play one last game of Onka. The game ended when the ball died once again. That night at FHE, I said my goodbyes to the branch members and the State College elders. It was a sad but a bittersweet time.
Tuesday morning, the Bellefonte elders brought us McDonalds and their car. We drove with their car to Pittsburgh while they covered our area for the day. They were excited about that because that meant that they could go to a barbecue the branch was having. I drove Sister Yates and I to Pittsburgh. It felt good to drive again. As one of the last sisters called, I was called to Berwick West with Sister Gelana Stovall. From Pittsburgh we drove to the Harrisburg chapel. At the chapel, I met my new companion and loaded up the car with my luggage when it arrived in the Harrisburg trailer. Elder Boyd, who is one of the Harrisburg zone leaders, said that I am different and he couldn't put his finger on why. We got home that night at 10:15 but still had to due planning. We were dead tired by the time we got to bed.
Wednesday we had district meeting and I met the other missionaries near by. Elder Yates is our district meeting. From lunch we went to a lesson with an older woman named Martha. The lesson was amazing. We just let her talk things out and figure them out on her own. She knows that the church is true!
Thursday was very hard for me. I didn't know anything really about the area. I didn't know what I was doing. State College was way different then Berwick West and all I could think was "What am I doing here?" It was hard for me because I was having to make so many readjustments. After a lesson with Martha, all of our plans kept falling through and all I wanted to do was throw my hands up and cry. We went to met a member to follow her back to her house. When we got there she informed us that the person we were going to teach was sick! We went over to a less actives home nearby. We stayed there to get out of the storm. We met Zach and Flora there. They are part of a group called Life. They have a lot of similiar beliefs as us. We got to talking with them and set a return appointment with them for the next day. That night we headed back in early because Sister Stovall was starting to get way sick. A couple of men from the ward came over and gave her a blessing.
Friday we spent the whole time inside because Sister Stovall was sick. I did anything and everything I could think of to keep myself entertained and to not go stir crazy. We had to reschedule the lesson we had set up with Zach and Flora for Saturday. It worked out well for them as well because things were a little crazy with them as well.
Saturday, Sister Stovall was still feeling a little off. We had an odd lesson with Zach and Flora. Zach is a bit more open with Flora is a bit more sceptic. Zach has a few Mormon friends and more knowledge from them than other resources. Sister Stovall was off most of the day because she was still feeling the effects of a sleep medication from the night before. We went to a primary art show and also got some free clothes. That was great because I got to meet more members of the ward.
Sunday morning we met with the bishop and talked more about missionary work. It was decided that September 26th was the day that Martha would be baptized. It is also Sister Stovall's year mark. Another potential investigator attended church as well. We sang and practiced with the Young Men and Women a song they are singing the next Sunday. After church we, with some members of the ward, brought sacrament to a women in a old folks home. She was so bright and happy to see. Janice is an amazing woman trying to still share the gospel with others. We went to meet with Justin afterwards. The lesson was going really well but I was having some difficulties with my allergies. I was starting to lose my sight because of them. Sister Stovall turned to me to see if I wanted to say something and I told her what was going on. We ended the lesson. At the end of the lesson, Justin gave an amazing prayer. It was his first prayer!!! We headed to Martha's where I got allergy medicine and talked with her about the remainder of the first four lessons in Preach My Gospel. It was an amazing week!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9, 2013

Picture of Erin Kingsford
Just a note for September 8, 2013 TO everyone! Erin got transferred and we are not sure of her address at this point. I assume will find out next Monday.
So on Tuesday we were setting up lessons with a couple of people and I mentioned to Sister Yates that it looks like we meet our goal for the week in member present lessons. She seemed shocked but said nothing about it until later when we were beginning to eat lunch. She let me know that my statement was a silent rebuke. She had been going through motions of "Oh, maybe we can reach that this time" and "We'll say 1 because we can't say 0". By pointing out that we might be able to reach our goal, she realized that she needed to stop going through the motions. Later that day, our investigator, Kaui, did not show. We found out later (we only have his email) that he was running behind from class and was headed our way at the time we had scheduled the lesson for. We are currently trying to reschedule the lesson. From there we went to the Interfaith Fair. A few people talked to us about what we believed but none were very interested. We ran into a few former investigators though. We were able to see Adam, Hope, and Kevin. Sister Robinson and I had previously taught Adam and Kevin but had had to drop them for varying reasons. With Hope, she is so busy her lessons keep getting canceled and we have yet to be able schedule a new one. That night we had dinner with the Lewis family. It was super fun to be around a family. That night after dinner we went bus contacting. Sister Yates hates bus contacting because the bus drivers think that we are weird for riding the bus for hours on end without getting off. We were talking (somewhat arguing) about what stop to get off at because either way we would get home early. I told her we should wait a couple more stops but she wanted to get off then. I pointed out that we had already planned on getting off at that stop and she agreed. Then she goes to talk to the only other person on the bus, besides and the driver, who is sitting across from her. His name is Reza and he had missed his stop. She talked with him about we believe and gave him a Book of Mormon. We, of course, missed the stop had been planning on getting off at but we ended walking back anyway. What was really cool was that he asked "How do I become a Mormon?". It made our day. Then when we were home, one of our potentials contacted US.

Wednesday we had district meeting. We started late because a member needed a blessing and the elders had to have the other sisters in the room with the member (woman). Elder Daniels delayed starting as much as possible because he was unable to plan for the meeting. He let us know that he had not slept at all the previous night and was unable to make a plan for the meeting. So we just talked about what was going on in our areas and tried to come up with things that would help us improve our numbers. After lunch, Sister Yates and I went to my doctor's appointment. After a a detailed conversation with the doctor, it looks like my stomach problems might be solved with one gigantic pill. We had dinner with Sam Webb and the other sisters at a place called The Diner, it was pretty good. We then headed to Institute.

Thursday morning was rather awkward. During the night, Reza had texted us but I had not seen the text until morning. From what he was saying it was rather obvious that he believed he was going on a date with us. At first he had asked us to go meet him in a bar! We told him that we would not do that and he choose somewhere else but then the whole time situation wasn't working so we said we would have to wait to meet with him, possibly next week. After studies we walked to Walmart and picked up my medicine (the pill bottle is giant!). At Forums, all of the missionaries were low in supplies so we were doing our best with what we had. We handed out Institute class pamphlets, multiple Book of Mormons, pamphlets (Plan of Salvation, Restoration, and Gospel of Jesus Christ), and what pass along cards we had. That night we went to the Relief Society activity for the 2nd ward. It was fun. We were able to meet more of 2nd ward. Sister Done (she is in the Stake Young Women's Presidency).

Friday we had a lesson with Candice about teaching and learning in the church and service. The lesson went real well. We had dinner with a member, Rob, who was having some problems with his roommates whose standards are not the same. We went to Baby's and it was amazing. On the was to the bus stop, Rob was walking with us when he walked into a lamppost. Sister Yates burst out laughing. He wasn't hurt but his pride was. That night on the bus heading to a meeting when we ran into Reza again. Sister Yates taught him about the Restoration, the Plan of Salvation, and Word of Wisdom in a 30 minute bus ride. Not only was Reza listening but a couple of other bus passengers too. On the walk home from the Walmart bus stop, I got a  transfer call. It was official, I was leaving State College.

Saturday we were in isolation. The reason being a Penn State home game. We talked with our district leader and he talked to the zone leaders. The consensus was for us to stay home because it was not safe or productive for us to be out. After studies, the sisters (Sisters Hanseen, Hurdsman, and Yates) gave me a makeover. There are pictures. When they left, I began to pack. It took me less then 2 hours to pack everything. We then had Dominos with the other sisters (no one wanted to cook - the other sisters spent nearly 6 hours cleaning their apartment). Later that night, the State College Elders (Elder Vassallo and Elder Trotman) showed up. They knocked on the door wanting to see the after of the makeover (they had talked to the other sisters first), only to find me in the middle of putting multiple braids in my hair. It was kind of funny.

Sunday morning, I got ready and dolled up once again because I knew I wanted a ton of pictures with branch members before I left. One of the members said they did not recognize me when they saw me (my hair was full on curled). After church, we had a lesson with a girl named Anqi (An-chee) and it went rather well. Sister Yates and her new companion will meet with her again this Thursday. After dinner at the Collins we headed to the church to finish training. On a picnic bench we did the last of Sister Yates training. We then headed into the church for the CES Fireside - Elder Nelson. Sisters Romero and Franklin (they had served in State College before and are off of their missions) were visiting and we were able to watch it with them. It was an amazing experience.



August 26th - September 2nd

Monday was an odd pday. We did the normal grocery shopping and emailing but we didn't spend the whole day with the other missionaries. Instead we stayed downtown while they went on to the Grange fair. We would be meeting our investigators at the church before we headed to the Grange fair for FHE. We looked into a few stores before we got tired and then just headed home on the first bus we could. Sister Yates took a nap and I worked on our white board for the area. That night at the Grange fair, I had my first funnel cake! It was huge! One of our members - Kade Moss - turned 22 so we wished him a happy birthday!

On Tuesday, we had a last minute exchange. That morning during studies, our lesson with Hope was canceled. Sister White (she is Sister Ferrin's companion) and I instead went to Forums. Forums were crazy!! We ran out of pass along cards. At about 4 o'clock, Elder Clark decided that he was going to hand out a chastity pamphlet. Keep in mind we are in a college town. He didn't end up doing it. During forums we saw our branch mission leader - Justin. We then saw another of our members - Sam Webb who helped us out with forums. We saw Candice for a little bit with one of her friends. We were also able to see Matt who we had not seen since the end of the last transfer. He basically drooped us but wants to still be invited to activities.

Wednesday morning we finished the exchange and went back to our normal companionship. We had rime where I printed out 102 pages worth of articles. I finished them today (the 3rd). That night we had the first institute for the school year.

Thursday we had district meeting. It was a very profound district meeting.

"Blessings come from doing the hard things." - Elder Daniels

"We without them cannot be saved." Elder Daniels qouting a member from his branch.

"Just turn it off, I am losing my marbles already." - Elder Daniels to his companion, Elder Haws.

"We went from a dead area to an ocean teaching pool." - Elder Daniles

"Ultimately we just need to show our branches (our members) that we are here to work and show them how to work and to build up the branch: because ultimately this is not our area, it is theirs!" - Elder Daniels.

"We need to work with the members. We need to change them from Latter Day Saints to Mormons through prayer, service, and fasting. If you build them, they will build your teaching pool."
- Elder Daniels

"We are here to serve his sheep."
- Elder Daniels

"If you, out here on your mission, search for all of the lost: you have every right to call upon the heavens for the help with those of your lost."
- President Topham's promise retold by Elder Daniels

Forums were once again busy but this time we were prepared and did not run out of cards. We had dinner with Sam where we had an amazing waiter named Katie. Sister Yates tried the crazy burger. A glazed donut was used as the bun for a regular burger.

Friday we had a lesson with Candice about priesthood and auxiliaries. We also had dinner at Alice's. For the spiritual thought where we ended up bearing our testimonies.

Saturday we had lunch with Kaitlyn at Irvings. Apparently the salads aren't good - Sister Hanseen got a bad one. It would be our last outing with Kaitlyn as she leaves tonight (Tuesday - the 3rd) for school (at BYUI). We visited Rob Ross at McDonalds - apparently he works there now because he has to grow up. He is engaged. We had dinner with the Esplins. That night we were surprised by Sam who brought us ice cream cupcakes from DQ. We were even further surprised when Yong showed up and scared us. That night, I wrote a poem about Kailtyn for her going away card.
  It reads:
Kaitlyn Moss
A friend so true,
To the sisters in two,
Caring, helpful, and charitable,
Traits that shine bright,
Even in the darkest of night
Sunday at church I discovered that I cannot fast, not even for one meal. I was shaky all morning and during Relief Society, I ended up throwing up. Not fun. We found out that Shawn's girlfriend, Clarissa is being baptized on the 7th of September. Kade Moss, a former branch missionary, was called to the Elder's Quorum's presidency. Brother Josh Wilson was called as the second counselor to the branch presidency. That night at break the fast we were surprised by our investigators. We were waiting to head over to the Owen home (where it was being held) when we got a text from Matt saying that he was in front of the address we had given home. Justin brought him and his friend in. Anqi, someone we have been trying to get a hold of, was there with Candice and Fei. It was amazing!
Monday we had a labor day picnic with the 2nd ward. We then went shopping and headed over to the church. We ended up playing 12 rounds of scattergories! It was a fun day.