Sunday, June 17, 2012

Journal Entry from 06/13/12 - Brent and Nancy*

June 13, 2012
Today I met Brent and Nancy. they gave me a gift! it was some virginia blown glass. it is a coaster for my drinks! i love coasters. but it was so cool that they just were prepared to meet me and wow. so Brent was voluntarily ex-ed...he believes in the BOM and we go to read with them but he believes that not all of Joseph's teachings were inspired by God like polygamy and just that because he is man not everything can be trusted so he believes the book and not the church but he really did not want to talk about the disaggreements he has with the church because he doesnt want us, his guests, to feel like we have to defend our beliefs and that we should be respected and not offended. so we just read from the book of mormon with them. and Nancy isnt a member and believes the book and i told her my views on polygamy because she asked. and it was cool. but their dog likes to lick people and it kept sneakin past me tryin to lick my arm every once in a while cuz i told it no. and then the dog got smart....i was asked to pray and we knelt down holdin hands and while i prayed the dumb ol' dog came and licked me right in the mouth. how could i say anything!? i was dog. haha we laughed hard at that one!

Journal Entry from 06/13/12 - Shay*

June 13, 2012
So we went to teach Shay* and her mom Raelynn* was there. I was a little worried with Raelyn there cuz she is a definite Christian woman. and I just figured the way her personality was that she was gonna shun our message and that she would be the type to say I am good with My church. But we taught, and she listened. and It was SO COOL to see her participate in the lesson and listen intently and then we went to schedule another appointment and she wants to have a B.O.M. and she said she has all the time in the world when it comes to Bible studies. and That was sooo impressive. while we were there we got to try some mullberries and they in fact were delicious. Raelynn told me she would send some to Utah for me! that was tight! I really like these ladies! they rock!

Journal Entry from 06/13/12 - Maria*

June 13, 2012
We met with Maria*. and she has  a lot of depression. what bothers me is that she is paying for cable and tv but yet struggling for food and her depression meds, so the church helps. Food is a need! and to struggle to pay for that is scary! she says that she gets up routinely everyday yet the missionaries had to buy her a special alarm clock for sundays and call her. she is a convert for about a year now and i dont know how converted she is.
I want her to experience the atonement in her life so that she can change and let the atonement heal her wounds and her depression. she has a lot of grudges she is carrying and maybe that is what we need to talk about is forgiveness. I dont want to be judgemental on her because we should serve others according to her wants and i know she loves her children but if she is struggling for food....wouldnt that be a little more important than tv? just a thought. but i hope we can get her to that conversion because true conversion leads us to action and to healing. so we talked with her a little about that.

Journal Entry from 06/13/12 - Dan and Luke*

June 13, 2012
Today we saw Dan and Luke. Luke keeps making these lame excuses after he set up a plan to get to church and finally i just hammered down and we talked about how the gospel causes us to act and i called him out on how we made a plan for him to resolve his concern he just doesnt want to, but says he does. and we asked them why they wanted to have us over cuz they are both members. but mostly we were crackin the spiritual whip on Luke. and Luke made some dumb comment and Dan was like why are you lyin? haha he just like called him out and anyway at the end we said you know we are sorry for comin down but we want to make sure we are making a difference in your life, the gospel is all about you progressing because if we teach you somethin and it affects your spirit and you dont allow it to change your life then it's a waste of your time. wisdom can be of NO worth if we do nothing with it. but yeah Luke really doesnt care and at the end Dan was like i needed to hear that. dan has an addiction problem and is really working on it and has a bunch of health issues but it was so cool how we cracked down on Luke and Dan was like I needed that! so we left them with a question to ponder for the week "what have you done with what the missionaries have taught you, how has it changed your lives?" i really am so impressed with Dan. he is great! Luke...he is comin along and i hope he stops bein so there and just starts to enjoy life a little more.

Journal Entry from 06/12/12 - Todd

June 12, 2012
Todd* is in the hospital and we go to visit him and now we are teaching his daughter-in-law and her mom! but he is an old guy and his legs were having real issues and extreme restless leg syndrome. and i asked if we could rub them for him cuz he was trying to do it in his hospital bed but it just wasnt working out. so we rubbed his legs and even his feet. I dont know why i would ever do such a thing cuz his feet were real dry and yuck and just not something i can imagine doing. but for some reason it felt like the right thing to do and noorlander FREAKS when it comes to feet. but for some reason both of us were comforted and not grossed out and did that for him. it was a really neat experience and i dont wanna share it to brag in anyway. but when he prayed it was just so sincere and neat to hear him pray cuz i think he is losin it too. but it was so cool to just feel the comfort and it is so sad to see him struggling the way he has been. it was a neat way to feel the spirit.

Journal Entry from 06/12/12 - Nadine and Lanae

Week of June 12, 2012
We went to read some scriptures with Nadine and Lanae*. we asked them to memorize D&C 18:10 and Nadine totally did it! I am WAY proud of her. She expressed a desire to go to the temple and we told her it was gonna take a lot of hard work and dilligence. so I asked her about the drugs she has been using and we asked to take them to get rid of and she was like no way you will get in trouble havin those so she went to throw them away but we didnt want her to dig back through the garbage to get them and Noorlander said to flush them and when she was takin the trash we followed her thinkin she just was gonna trash 'em, and before she knew we were behind her she did dump them down the toilet and that was an AWESOME step! however she told us she can get them for free, so was that even a big deal for her? i dont know but she has TONS of issues and i wanna do my best to help her.

Journal Entry from 06/11/12 - Warm Springs, VA

June 11, 2012
Oh my gosh! I think I found another Heaven on Earth. It is called Warm Springs Virginia! It was SO BEAUTIFUL to see the wonders of God! we went for a hike on pday to the waterfalls and down below you could walk under neath it and it wasnt just like a regular river flowing but had different levels of natural pools and mini waterfalls and the green forest surrounding it was incredible. in one of the pools a man was baptized there! wow that would truly be so wonderful to experience. then we hiked above the falls and there were logs over the river we could sit on and other natural pools just chillin in a calm river and there was a rope swing in one of them and i was so tempted to swing into it. the water was SO CLEAR and BLUE! i have never seen anything like it! but dont worry i did get to pull up my pant legs and walk into the river! if it is real shallow you cant swim so that was allowed but also i did it to pick up some trash. I needed a good excuse to get in it :) but wow it was sure amazing! and the water was actually warm even in morning with the cool air so it was just perfect. hopefully someday i will get to come back to this spot.

Journal Entry from 06/09/12 - Terry and Penny*

June 9, 2012
Today we talked to Terry and Penny*. they are not married but John is married to a woman and they all 3 live in the same house but his wife doesnt want to take the discussions but she will sometimes sit at the window and sneakily listen while we sit on the porch and teach them. Penny is RAD! she read the BOM in 6 days then is now reading it backwards. she knows it is from God and it is SO cool! like she doesnt know everything but her faith in that book is compelling her to have a desire to be baptized.
We taught about the premortal life and about adam and eve. that was a new concept for her (mostly adam and eve) but we taught her and she really soaked it in and just listened and believed it. we left with them 2 nephi 2 to read. but they both are gonna be baptized on july 7. so that is way cool!

Journal Entry from 06/08/12 - Harry*

June 8, 2012
Today, we decided to spend the day at Harry's. We helped Harry build a dog house and would have gospel conversations. Nyla his wife is a member and she was going to do a yard sale thing somewhere else and when we got there she was loading up her car and STORMED inside saying all types of colorful words to Harry that we were there and well, it was epic to say the least. They have serious marital problems but our goal is to get them to come regularly to church together and start praying as a family together etc. but we asked them both what the ideal family life was and they put down each other a lot...but they both had good ideas. now we just gotta help them turn those ideals into actual goals so their family and their children can have good examples and more happiness. Harry believes the church to be true, he just has an addiction problem and i feel like if the family support was stronger in their home he would be baptized and change his life but he is scared to get baptized cuz he doesnt wanna be a hypocrite and lose his temper with his wife etc. so the goal with them is to build their family ever so subtly. They are quite the couple thats for sure, but i sure do love them both and it was so neat on the next day to see them at church together as a family!

Journal Entry from 06/08/12 - Believing in Christ

June 8, 2012
Today we were doing service at the library. A guy came up to us and starting talking about religion. He proceeded to tell us that our religion is wrong and that ALL we have to do is believe in Christ. i am believing in if that is all i have to do then how are we doing anything wrong especially if we are doing our best to make the world around us a better place? he just kept saying we were wrong....does he not get that we believe in Jesus Christ and according to him we should be good to go? anyway it did get a little frustrating cuz if that is true that is all you have to do then he should back off...haha but then he began to tell us that he is a prophet and this is his calling. Oh REALLY? haha wow...then he asked if he could pray for us and i said sure please do. it was wild...then after he left I looked at sister noorlander and i said " well, i guess i can cross off meet the prophet on my bucket list now." haha we had a good laugh at that one.

Journal Entry from 06/07/12 - Nadine and Lanae*

June 7, 2012
Today we went to read with Nadine and Lanae*. We, had a good discussion with Nadine last night and i made her look in my eyes as i told her i loved her and Noorlander told her that she has to be comitted to doing what we ask so we can help her be happy. So we are workin on charity and when someone puts her down she needs to immediately uplift someone else and compliment them or serve them. and She immediately took that to heart. she told us she complimented another person and then she came and swept off our porches to make us happy! that was so cool! she has a lot of mental instabilities and HUGE HUGE issues but i am so happy that she is makin this step. Noorlander said it is a big step for her!

Journal Entry from 06/05/12 - Bob*

June 5, 2012
Today we saw Bob*. I dont really know what his real name is, but he is awesome and he totally prayed with us! he is not comitted to coming to church yet but he has been reading and just makin little steps of progress. He does believe this can help him. He has had a lot of struggles, but he is going at his own pace to find out if our message is true. He is really awesome and knows it takes real intent and starting to understand what real intent is.

Journal Entry from 06/04/12 - Lincoln's family

June 4, 2012
Today we went to the Lincoln's for the daughter's graduation. I met an older lady named Lila. We talked for a little bit and she was very nice. she is an accountant or something for a methodist church. When she asked my name i said, "Jessica!" and without hesitation i grabbed my name tag and blurted out "by that i mean Sister Little." Noorlander and Sister Leffell were right next to me when i said that and we just laughed! Lila seemed to really like me and told me she had gone to our church a couple of times and invited us to come and visit her at her home. so that was a pretty neat experience.

Journal Entry from 05/31/12 - Arnold family*

May 31, 2012
We had dinner with the Arnold's but it was fun to be there. Brother Arnold is the ward mission leader. his 3 grandkids were there and his son. His 5 year old grandson Mack* told me their dad died. it was just sad and i said oh do you miss him and he said yes and so i asked if he was stayin happy and Mack said yup! so that is good. but it was just a little awkward cuz i wasnt exactly sure what to say to him. but the Arnold's are really good people.

Journal Entry from 05/31/12 - Harry

May 31, 2012
I met Harry* yesterday and his wife (inactive member) and kids. they fight a lot and it is a little funny but i think Sister Noorlander said that they get into some physical fights. and Harry* believes everything he is taught and just doesnt wanna mess up on that. also they have a smoking addiction so we are working on that with them right now. I really think that they can do it. Harry  told us when we asked him what he expected from our visits he just said he wanted a different feeling. cuz when a dude tells him to do it he says ok and doesnt do it. but when a woman asks you to do something they expect it to get done. haha i laughed at that. but i am excited to talk to him about the atonement.

Journal Entry from 05/30/12 - New Companion

May 30-31, 2012
Today I got my new comp. her name is Sister Noorlander from Sanpete Utah. She is way tight. we are gonna have a lot of fun for sure! We already told each other a LOT of our life story. we are both pretty bold and outgoing and easy going as well. It sure is going to be fun i think. 
Our apartment is also 2 stories which is way bigger than the Teays Valley apartment. we have a workout room and a wickedly out of tune to the MAX piano. This is gonna be a GREAT transfer!

Journal Entry from 05/31/12 - Bob*

May 31, 2012
Today I met Bob*. I cant remember his real name but he has committed to read and pray about the Book of Mormon and we sat outside and just bore testimony and talked about life. He is a good man. He is probably in his 70's. He told us he hadnt read a lot cuz he had been so busy and been driving to Ronoake a lot and so I asked him how many times he had to fill up his truck and told him he could read a verse a the gas pump. he laughed and looked at Sister Noorlander and said you two will sure get a long wont you. He seemed pretty sincere about reading the BOM and I asked him why he thought it was important to know that book is true and he gave a good answer and i explained yeah thats right and just like Peter the book of Mathew we need to have a witness of the Holy Ghost and reading the book of mormon the HG can testify truth through it's words of our Savior.


202 Rosedale Ave #6
Covington VA 24426

Excerpts from a Letter dated 06/04/12 - TRANSFER

Sister Jennifer Noorlander is from Indianola, Utah (sanpete county) and she is the youngest of 11. I seriously know her whole life story and she knows mine. it has been less than a week. we are both REALLY outgoing and have very similar personalities so it should be a blast. but it probably will only get to be for one transfer because they need us to help the other sisters in the mission, but sister pitt said that every missionary needs that one companion that they just really get along with. i LOVED GUNNELL and i love Noorlander. of course i loved Boyce, 

we have a lot more people we are teaching here. I am trying to keep up on my journals and i will try sending them to you asap. there is a lot of curvy roads and not a lot of flat. it is gettin a little more hillbilly. in fact they have been askin if i have had squirrel, turtle, and frog legs yet. so i have a feeling that is gonna be comin to me in the near future.

There is some Crazy people around here...not as safe as the Teays Valley (utah-like) area. but we will be safe, we know what to do. We have like 4 people on date around here so that is pretty cool. i have already had like 4 people ask if i was 16. I get that all the time. i should probably start keeping a tally of how many times i get asked that. but I am still gettin into the swing of things. i was able to share my testimony on Sunday and when teaching Becca who tried reading the BOM in jail. and those have been 2 very strong spiritual moments for me. life is good. I still need to write y'all but it's been a crazy couple a weeks. oh yeah. a lady in our branch took her teeth out and was wearin these giant pineapple sunglasses we brought (she is old!) and as i was askin her to share a card with someone she listened and looked very serious and i was bustin up cuz her teeth were out and wearin those glasses. like i said. they are crazy here!

I been told i am gonna gain a ton of weight bein in covington...but from what it looks like the members in teays valley fed us more than they will here just because there arent that many.

Oh...and there is a papermill here so sometimes it smells like rotten eggs or the after fireworks smell.
Well, i love you all! have a good one!
love jessica

Journal Entry from 05/24/12 - Mary*

May 24, 2012
Today we finally got to follow-up with Mary*. Her kid is the one that loves God so much. We got to teach her a bit and i really think she is gonna come to church and she really seemed sad i was goin to be transferred. and gave me information how to keep in touch! wow, I sure hope our testimony affected her and i hope that she has all the means to make it to church! that would be the BEST! her friend Dani* that went to like the rehab school or somethin ran by mormons is back to her old ways, doin drugs and in the "racy" business. That seems to be kinda big around here. but it is sad cuz Mary wants to help her but when Dani is high she doesnt want her kids around that. I hope that one of these days she can have the desire to let the gospel change her life as well. Hopefully Mary can help her as she lets the gospel change her life as well.

Journal Entry from 05/23/12 - James*

May 23, 2012
We are slowly handing James* off to the Elders to make sure Jerry has true conversion. We took the Elders to his house and the Elders asked if they could come by and read the book of mormon and teach him. We will still visit, but the Elders are in charge of the main teaching. it was sad lookin at our goals and our 1 person on date to be baptized we are turning over to the Elders. It wasnt hard to give them the numbers though because numbers are just numbers. but it is kinda rewarding to see, "YES! one person is making it! their life is being changed!" but see, we dont need the number or the goal, because we know that this will be good for Jerry. This will help him MUCH more! to help him change his life for the better. As we were there with the Elders it just felt right and the more friendship and guiding we can give Jerry the better.
It also helped me to see that the numbers thing doesnt matter to me. That i truly care for those that i teach. I want the best for him. But you know I want to give everyone this opportunity to come closer to Christ. I know that they can come closer to Christ. That is the goal, to come closer to HIM who gave us everything!

Journal Entry from 05/19/12 - Thanks Gma Little

May 19, 2012
Today I learned how to do a french seam sewing pillow cases for cancer kids. It was a relief society activity. Grandma Little would be so proud of me! Thanks Grandma for teaching me how to sew! I felt very accomplished!
One of the family's invited us over for dinner because they found out i was getting transferred on the 30. It was such a good time to be with them. We had dinner and then played some Phase 10. they are amazing. we got to listen to their testimonies. and how brother cecil prayed and fasted that Kim would not feel any peace until she recieved a witness of the book of mormon. and the story they shared was amazing! They are some powerful people and I love them! Gee...I love everyone here. This ward and being here really got me to be involved in their lives so much that they are just like family. you know i been here 6 months but these people are incredible, and so very strong! amazing examples of the gospel!

Journal Entry from 05/19/12 - Joan

May 19, 2012
I dont know what to do withJoan*. She had a testimony at one point and had gone through the temple. she has MAJOR depression issues and when we try to teach her she says all this nonsense that makes no sense to me. but i asked her if she loved herself and she said NO. and i think that is a huge thing with her testimony. she doesnt feel like the blessings apply to her cuz she doesnt love herself and it is just so sad. she goes to a counselor every week so hopefully things will get better for her.

Journal Entry from 05/18/12 - Tiffany*

May 18, 2012
We went and visited with Tiffany*. She rocks. she kinda reminds me of aunt Debra. a few people remind me of aunt Debra round here. so it feels like home! but Tiffany's daughter is way into drugs and we been wantin to teach them at the same time. Jayne* wasnt there so we just invited Tiffany to church and got to know her some more. They are fixin up this sweet house/mansion and planning on selling it. There is a pond that we checked out and Tiffany told us she legitimently did Frog Griggin as a kid in Kentucky and cooked and ate the legs. You do go out at night and spotlight the frogs to blind them and then stab 'em up with a pitchfork. then you cook their legs and eat those. A few people have actually told us it legitimently tastes like chicken...weird!

Then we played a round of pool in her house. that was a good time for sure. She is one that i plan on staying in contact with. unfortunately we found out (may 24) Jayne* is back in jail until they can get some rehab people to help her. But maybe this gives us a window to teach Tiffany and show her how it can change her daughters life. But she is an awesome lady.

Oh yeah the quote in her bathroom i liked was "Dance like no one is watching. Sing like no on can hear you. Love like you have never loved before. Live like Heaven is on earth."

Journal Entry from 05/18/12 - Lori*

May 18, 2012
Today we went to Lori's. she hasnt been to church in AGES! she is way nice though. She made us pancakes and eggs. Then we got to help her in her garden. We planted a bunch of seeds. It was a really fun time to help and serve her. She definitely has a testimony, but what she needs is a testimony how church isnt just something you do. It is a part of you, it is who you are and who you can become and how it can change and direct your life, and the cleansing power of the atonement when we partake of the sacrament.

Journal Entry from 05/16/12 - Stan*

May 16, 2012
Today we went tracting and we were walking down a gravel road and on one side was a bunch of pine trees and the other side was a bunch of bamboo! WHAT?! I'm in the forrest, no i am in the jungle, forrest, jungle! haha i was jumpin from side to side of the road saying that to my companion. it was funny...guess you had to be there. Anyway, Stan* saw us walkin up his road and came out and greeted us. He knew a lot about the church. he asked a little about the baptisms for the dead and said he knew what it said in the bible and so we talked a little of that, talked a bit about the plan of salvation and asked him to read alma 40-42. It was really neat talkin to him. He told us about the church he was attending and why he chose it, because they really care about the preacher. but anyway he said that he admits that the church service leaves him empty. He is golden. he is open to learning and i hope that we can help him experience being full on the restored gospel. Something that he also asked was about blacks and whites are on different levels of heaven...nope haha. he said he didnt think so but had to ask to clear it up. people can be ridiculous sometimes, but whatev. atleast Steve had a desire to know the truth.

Journal Entry from 05/15/12 - Matt and Julie*

May 15, 2012
Today we went over to Matt and Julie's house. They are Mormoterians or something like that. Matt is a presbyterian and Julie is a mormon. they go to each others church every other week. When he told us the first time he read the book of mormon it was like reading God's word from people he had no idea about. and he was in a accident that broke his C4 vertebra and everything lead him to the presbyterian church and he is saying so what you are saying is everything that saved me is wrong? and that is not what we are trying to say and we explained the book of mormon and just all this stuff. it is really sad because he does have a testimony, but all of us no matter what faith need to be open and know that there are no limits to God's words. that's why we believe in prophets words today are scripture for our day... but we dont know what to do exactly. just allow him to feel that the things are true. every part, in full. i dont's hard cuz this man shoulda been paralyzed and dead. but he is fully functioning...I know that God loves all of His children and blesses them. We ALL pray to the same God, and do the best with what knowledge we have been given. I think he is sad that if it was the mormon church that is right then why didnt God lead him there earlier? sometimes we have to understand we wouldnt accept it and i dont know. but God has a plan.

Journal Entry from 05/15/12 - Patty

May 15, 2012
Today we went to see Sister Patty! I have only met her once and never got in the door until today. It was really interesting because I put their name down for that day and when we planned I wrote it again. and realized they were on that day twice so i knew we had to go. and it was really neat that we got in. We helped her do some cleaning and then we talked about the sacrament and how they needed to come back to church. She said yeah we just got outta the habit and they dont have any excuse anymore. They have family night, they read scriptures, have temple pics up and everything like that. so it is really weird they dont come to church. she told us her son would really like to go to church to see old friends. when her son got home she asked him if he wanted to go to church and he said yeah i would really like that to see my friends. and then he grabbed his scriptures and said he reads from them almost everyday and they are on his night stand. and he takes a little book of mormon with him to school and he is only like 12! so that is way cool but really weird they dont make it to church.
(they didnt end up comin to church. we need to go and see why not.)

Journal Entry from 05/15/12 - Patty

May 15, 2012
Today we went to see Sister Patty! I have only met her once and never got in the door until today. It was really interesting because I put their name down for that day and when we planned I wrote it again. and realized they were on that day twice so i knew we had to go. and it was really neat that we got in. We helped her do some cleaning and then we talked about the sacrament and how they needed to come back to church. She said yeah we just got outta the habit and they dont have any excuse anymore. They have family night, they read scriptures, have temple pics up and everything like that. so it is really weird they dont come to church. she told us her son would really like to go to church to see old friends. when her son got home she asked him if he wanted to go to church and he said yeah i would really like that to see my friends. and then he grabbed his scriptures and said he reads from them almost everyday and they are on his night stand. and he takes a little book of mormon with him to school and he is only like 12! so that is way cool but really weird they dont make it to church.
(they didnt end up comin to church. we need to go and see why not.)

Journal Entry from 05/08/12 - Scriptures

May 8, 2012
These scriptures hit me hard today.
Alma 20
29 And when Ammon did meet them he was exceedingly sorrowful, for behold they were naked, and their skins were worn exceedingly because of being bound with strong cords. And they also had asuffered hunger, thirst, and all kinds of afflictions; nevertheless they were bpatient in all their sufferings.
 30 And, as it happened, it was their lot to have fallen into the hands of a more hardened and a more stiffnecked people; therefore they would not hearken unto their words, and they had cast them out, and had smitten them, and had driven them from house to house, and from place to place,even until they had arrived in the land of Middoni; and there they were taken and cast into prison, and bound with bstrong cords, and kept in prison for many days, and were delivered by Lamoni and Ammon.

Journal Entry from 05/07/12 - Adam*

May 7, 2012
Today we went out tracting. We met Adam* from Germany who had a Mormon professor and some Mormon friends. He told me he wasnt about to switch religions now. and i said Why Not? and he said well cuz i'm old and i have been in my church a long time. so i said well, we are out sharing the Book of Mormon with people. Just like the Bible it is written by prophets who have recieved revelations about the Savior Jesus Christ and what they had to do to recieve salvation. These people who wrote the record were in the American continents. God loves all His children so it was necessary for them to know how they could also recieve salvation. So they kept a record and were able to see the signs of Christ's birth and of His death and when He was resurrected He came to them and ministered to them also. Then Adam* said well, how can i get this book? how much is it? and we said it is for free. we asked if we could come back and see how he liked reading from the book and he said yes but you have to give me some time. but that was a cool experience.

Journal Entry from 05/05/12 - Kate and Zach

May 5, 2012
We went to a follow up down in Tornado and we talked to Kate* who took 2 BOMs to give to her friend to read too. She had read just a little bit and her friend Zach* had read more of it. He has COPD so we werent able to talk to him today, but hopefully we will get to go and teach them some more about the Restored Gospel.

Journal Entry from 05/05/12 - Dan and Susan

May 5, 2012
Today we went over to Dan and Susan's to help them do some yard work. There really wasnt a whole lot to do but we helped anyway. And it was POURING rain! it was awesome! It made me wanna play soccer SO BAD! a warm pouring rain is perfect for a game! needless to say we were soaked to the bone. I accidentally discovered that i could slip n' slide on the wet grass and took advantage of that when i could since we dont swim on our missions! it was really a good time.

Journal Entry from 05/04/12 - James*

May 4, 2012
So we went to see James*. We talked to him about his dad not wantin him to get baptized into our church and how he could handle that. He also told us he had quit drinkin his coffee so that was good. We then talked about his reading in the book of Mormon. The way he was answering things made it sound like he hadnt been reading. So pretty much I drilled him question after question to see if he was say anything about the characters of the book. It didnt sound like he read...but we just said well, lets read it together because it is important to know the story line and then to apply it to our own life. then jerry's dad pulled up and we talked to him and invited him to the baptism. He asked some good questions and answered them.
Then on Sunday, James went to church with his dad i think and then while we were at church one of the young women went to go teach him with us works at mcdonalds and ordered him a coffee to drink. he just told us he had quit drinkin! so he is no longer on date. I guess the spirit was tellin me that when i felt he wasnt doing his reading.

Journal Entry from 05/02/12 - Hardships

May 2, 2012
This last week I was just complaining my life away. In my own head i did that, and i prayed lots and just what's the point. We find joy in bringing many souls to Thee! and it is just meh! no one wants to listen to us when we knock on their doors. I mean I know i wouldnt listen to me knockin on my door! So i have just been nearly hopeless and going through the motions. and i do see tender mercies and miracles everyday but no one wants to change. So i decided I would write down all my complaints down last night that bugged me so i could just get it out and be happy as i work. Then we had dinner with Sister Tucker. The last time we were at her home she had a non-member and he was a Basher to the EXTREME! it really was outta hand. she told us she was way mad at him. I just would smile and tell him that i wear the garment as a symbol and a reminder just like he wears a cross around his neck and i stood up for Joseph Smith a few times. Boyce was gettin a bit fired up but i just smiled and looked him in the eye as he ranted. Come to find out Sister Thompson* was way mad and he kept callin her to apologize. she told me that when they talked he said "that sister little looked like she wanted to hit me!" I laughed when she told me that. Elder Noorda always talks about the "look" his mom gives and he always tells people that I can do it better. haha he cant even look away cuz he can still feel it when i give the "look." so we had a good laugh when Sister Thompson told us about that. but i was impressed a few times before we got to her house today to teach the restoration. Come to find out she invited another non-member who she mentioned she wouldnt be interested in the gospel. We went out to eat, really had a fun relaxed time and came back. Erin* asked us if we needed time alone with sister Thompson that she didnt know exactly what we did. and I said well we give spiritual thoughts or lessons as directed by the spirit after dinner to help uplift. and We would love it if you would join us. and she said she wanted to. So i told them i was prompted to teach the lesson of the restoration. and we taught. Erin was cryin and told us she never felt so comfortable talking about God, especially with someone she just met. we read the last two paragraphs in the intro of the BOM and Moroni 10:3-5. She was HIT HARD! we invited her to church, to read, to pray, to be baptized and she said YES!!!! She wanted to keep the feeling so bad! she wants to come to our church! and it was just so COOL! then...we asked her to pray at the end. she was nervous and asked us to. we shared why we ask her to pray, why it was important for us, and how we pray and then she ended up doing it with ease and knew we wouldnt judge her! it was SO awesome to hear that prayer! I know she has a real desire because she trusted us and God to pray right there to know! Oh it was COOL! then i told her i wanted to leave her with some chapters about the Savior cuz i felt prompted to do so. I wrote down Alma 5-7 on a sticky note and Sister Thompson said Alma 5 is a good one too! and I was LIKE OH YEAH!!! 2 witnesses that this is for you to read! so cool! and it was so neat to see Emily learn new things and understand and be touched by the spirit and Sister Tucker was SMILING SO BIG! it was incredible! Why did that experience happen for us? because Emily had a friend in the gospel and knew Mormons werent psychotic, therefore that shell wasnt there. if we woulda knocked on her door. Her readiness to accept the gospel woulda been hindered because she would not have opened up to us! it was a miracle and a blessing to be a part of! I was SO HAPPY! Especially because i could see as we taught about the nature of God, and how He loves her and when Joseph Smith saw God and Jesus Christ as 2 beings she wept. I could see it transform her life. and that is what i have been yearning to see in a convert!

Journal Entry from 05/01/12 - James*

May 1, 2012
Today we visited with James* and we taught him about prophets and it was really good. He is off coffee! We are really impressed with him and his perseverence. His dad has been giving him a really hard time about coming to the Mormon church. and Jerry only has his dad! we pray for his dad's heart to be softened because Jerry know he has found a peace in this gospel. He was also going to introduce us to his ex-girlfriend cuz she was interested in learning about the gospel. but when Jerry said his friend wasnt talking to him and didnt know when we could meet her didnt surprise me.

Journal Entry from 04/29/12- Stake Conference

April 29, 2012
Today was stake conference and i was very happy to be in attendance there. As we sustained the leaders of the church the Spirit bore witness to me that President Thomas S. Monson IS God's prophet on the earth today! that was a really incredible experience to have and I was grateful to have it!

Journal Entry from 04/28/12 - Leslie*

April 28, 2012
We finally made it to see Leslie* and she is one that cycles through inactivity and being active in the church. She asked us to give her the discussions which we are excited to do and need to do so that we can practice. One of the members called to invite her to saturday stake conference and we committed her to calling them back and attending. She did go to saturday night and went to Sunday as well! I was really excited for her and believe there were a few things spoken that specifically for her concerns. it was really neat.

Journal Entry from 04/24/12 - Karlee*

April 24, 2012
Karlee* is pretty cool. She loves Bon Jovi. She is a bit outta control haha i say that in a loving way. She was baptized when she was 14. I dont really understand her concerns with religion. I feel like she is like her mom and is using it as an escape.
She is very pro-choice, she thinks it is dumb you cant get mad at God if things are going wrong, but you have to give praise to Him if things are good. and she doesnt like that blacks didnt have the priesthood. she told us how she felt the presence of her father and didnt know if her mind made it up, but it was so real. she hopes there is something after this life cuz that means her dad is somewhere. I dont know how to explain it all, but sometimes people will give all these excuses to hide the real problem. and yeah it is sad. Hopefully we can help her. She has a daughter named Sam. Way cute. she is a good mom. She needs the gospel for sure!

Journal Entry from 04/24/12 - Elizabeth*

April 24, 2012
Today we visited Elizabeth*. She told me sometime ago that as we talked about quitting smoking and baptism that it was driving a wedge between our relationship. well, everytime since then she has brought up quitting on her own. Well, today when we went she told us she was going to call the quit smoking hotline! she reads the book of mormon all the time and she knows it is her ownself causing the challenges and not being able to get baptized. but she talked about having a goal and Elaine NEVER talks about having a goal. We have a quit smoking in 7 days workshop but it needs some serious revision. I dont like the signs that you are supposed to hang up on walls because they have pictures of cigs and i think that is too much of a trigger. but i am using that and i am going to revise one for Elizabeth, one that i know she can follow with her lack of discipline and if she messes up that she can repent. Just make it so it is not overwhelming for her. Yes Elizabeth is a wild rollercoaster. she has been through A LOT though! she has messed up, seen a lot of crap, health issues a lot because of her ownself, but I have seen a change from the first time i was in her home to now. Physically you can see the light in her home! it is unreal. she has all the same lights but i have seen it brighter and darker depending on how she is doing spiritually. but it has never been as dark since the first time i met her. We arent asked to be perfect right away but to progress. I was given some advice and that is "If there is a renewed hope in the investigator there should be renewed hope in the missionary." she has been learning for over a year, wants to get baptized, she will get there! She is slowly progressing but she IS progressing!

Journal Entry from 04/22/12 - Dan and Susan*

April 22, 2012
Today, after we went to Tornado we went to Dan and Susan's with Julie. We played some dominoes. Anyway, they are very set in their church but they have become so close to me and the last time we were at their home I strongly desired that they would just read the book of mormon. just read it. and it has been weighing on my heart for quite sometime. I decided to write them a letter. i still hadnt given it to them and then a night or two ago i had a dream. and i dont dream about the mission very often but i have had 2-3 dreams about these 2. my dream was that i told them i need them to read this book. and Susan was crying and Dan was sittin there like a bump on a log. i know Susan had felt something before! i saw it! i knew she had. so When we decided to leave i read something about the atonement in alma 40something. then I decided to tell them why i came on a mission and my dream. and that i needed to tell them because if i am right and i didnt share it...i didnt wanna be guilty of that, and have them ask. why didnt you tell us? Then as i shared and gave them my letter Susan just said we just Cant believe like you all do. and we were totally rejected. they said how they would never try to convince us otherwise and how they were raised to not even associate with mormons and they are rooted in their traditions and all this bologna they have nothing to lose but only to gain1! So, then it was time to go. but as they sat there and rejected this i felt like someone was holding me, so i wouldnt fall apart in there. I knew i wasnt alone. It just killed me and it hurts so bad because i love them so much. it's kinda like those family members, we dont wanna push the gospel on them becuase of the hurt we will experience (and when youre family you are more blunt with each other) and we dont wanna experience that hurt! but what if we dont try? so what if they reject it? i would rather feel the hurt now then after this life them asking me Why didnt you atleast try, didnt you love me? I know that when we are rejected we are carried, and the atonement carries us. Sure this is killing me because i love that couple. it kills me everytime someone rejects the gospel! there is so much more! but we walked outta their home and i didnt know what to think, my heart ached like crazy. Julie told me that she knows what i did was right, she didnt even know them and her heart hurt so bad and she said she could feel the spirit so strong that it was like she was searching and heard the gospel for the first time. and it is just like it hurts and you can actually feel it in your chest, the pain. I know this gospel is true, and i know someone was there holding me together in that moment, because i can sure be an emotional freak sometimes and that was a hard thing to experience. i love them so much and we will always be friends...but they got nothing to lose just by reading it....why wont they?

Journal Entry from 04/21/12 - Tracting Hardships

April 21, 2012
It is hard work to be a missionary in the bible belt! I seriously had no motivation to do anything today. It was dreadful outside...ok it wasnt dreadful it was just gloomy. And no one we wanted to see was home...ugh...and then a ray of sunshine peaked out of the clouds and that was just enough to get me to say lets go tract this street. We knocked on the first door no one answered. I wasnt exactly happy, i was about as gloomy as the sky and i thought to myself. these people are gonna have no idea that i love them with this attitude! But ugh i am just exhausted! But i gotta make sure they know right when they open the door i love the gospel! the next door was a Mansion! i thought oh no...(yeah i was a little on the judgemental side thinking there would be a lot of pride) They had a drive up like a hotel for their cars they parked under this onning and they had black pavement and these statues and pond thing and a pool in the back and just looked wow, and extremely nice cars. So I had a battle within myself praying to Heavenly Father and i said ok please just let them be nice when they reject me. and then i thought wait i cant handle rejection right now. i am NOT in the mood. I am sick of being rejected and it is just ridiculous. there has got to be someone...and i was like i swear if they reject me i am gonna just throw in the towel for the day! (yes these people had a long driveway that i could have time to think ALL these things!) then I thought oh man i didnt mean that, Heavenly Father i know satan wants me to be like that but i promise if this is the worst experience i have thus far on my mission i promise i will knock on another door....but pleeeease dont let this be the one! and then i thought how i love the gospel and how it makes me happy so that way when they answer the door i can be sincere as i bare my testimony. anyway so i battled and battled. I got to the door and we rang the bell. to my surprise a blonde lady answered with a smile. ok this is good! and i did my simple door approach and she said she had a few minutes. WHAT!? so she let us in. I felt like we walked a mile to get to her living room, and we talked to her and her name was Doreen and she knew another family from our ward. well, a friend of hers just 2 weeks ago invited her to their church so she has been going there. she is trying her best to get her kids to go because she says they really need something...ANYTHING she can get them to right now. but holy cow! that made me so happy that a nice lady was behind that door and her heart was soft. but yeah this week has been so long and that was a blessing for me to have a nice lady talk to us.

Journal Entry from 04/21/12 - Susan*

April 21, 2012
Today we went to visit Susan*. Her husband Josh* the only one in the family who isnt a member. and she has been a member for 30ish years. all her kids and grandkids are members and a dry mormon. But he was gone and her grandkids werent visiting her so we went out to talk with her and have lunch. We made some delicious cookies and her jumbalaya is delicious as well. We talked a lot about her conversion. She also told me that I did plant a seed with Josh weeks ago when I shared a message and my story. She said it was real and he really thought about it. Josh isnt one to dwell on things but she said she knew he had listened. But if he is gonna get baptized its not gonna be because so little missionary shoves him in. He has an amazing home teacher that has been his home teacher for 30 years and Josh would do anything for him. and His children and grandchildren are amazing. It made me so mad though because when we taught him he i flat out asked. well, have you ever wanted to know. and he said Nope! and i am sorry but if someone has a promise that i can be not only with my family but my spouse for not just time but all eternity. that is gonna spark my interest atleast enough to investigate. I shouldnt judge...but i think true love comes with a desire to want to be with them for all eternity and doing ALL that you can to be with them. maybe it's just something i think haha. I sure hope that he gets there. This gospel is truly amazing and the progression is incredible that we can accomplish. there are great and precious promises awaiting us.

Journal Entry from 04/19/12 - Paula and Ron*

April 19, 2012
Paula and Ron* are an inactive couple. They kinda remind me of Debra and Al because these guys like the old rock stuff and they are just chill like they are. but these two play in a band and i got a little demo cd from a club they played at! I am excited to listen to it. just a little peice of West Virginia to take home with me! They are way cool and i dont really get why they dont go to church cuz they always bring up religious stuff way before we do and they get into some deep doctrine sometime too. I know their daughter Sharon* is just self-consious and the friends she had moved and all the young woman leaders all got called out at the same time and she was a convert at 13-14 so it was really hard to lose that social part for her! But this family is way cool foreal!

Journal Entry from 04/17/12 - James*

April 17, 2012
We went to see James*. I dont know if i mentioned but he has a little bit of a learning disability and when he opened his door to us he had classy red long john underwear. it was histerical. James is a very humble guy and keeps his commitments and he wants to be off coffee drinking by may 1! we are so excited for him. sometimes he forgets basic principles and i think that is just his learning stumbling block. but we just keep teaching him and he is doin good. He says that he feels more peace in his life and that there is a purpose. so that is good!

Journal Entry from 04/17/12 - Simon*

April 17, 2012
Today we picked up Kallee and went to Simon's. Gunnell and I gave him a book of mormon weeks ago. and we had a little lesson out on his doorstep. he has read a little of the book but not a lot cuz he doesnt get around to it/he doesnt understand its purpose. He said he was very interested because it is history. he just doesnt know it will change his life. as we talked to him about the restored priesthood authority i dont think it clicked in his head cuz he was just saying, i dont know how people couldnt believe it's true. so we need to do better at letting him know that it will change his life and there is a purpose.

Journal from 04/16/12 - Elizabeth*

April 16, 2012
Today i thought that we needed to go see Elizabeth. So after dinner we stopped by and she told us that she was goin to South Carolina for a vacation. it was really interesting that i had the thought to go and visit her. she said she was also thinking about us that day and she just said she loved us and was sayin how we have been savin her life.
she even admitted to being the reason she isnt progressing because of her addictions! i sure hope she can conquer that soon!

Journal Entry from 04/15/12 - Sally*

April 15, 2012
Today we went over to Sally's*. we tracted into her a while back ago and she knows sister Bodily* and teaches 6th grade with her. We talked to her outside for a little and she invited us to come in and see her husbands animal room. he has gone all over the world for hunting and fishing. he had a giant fish that was bigger than me and a zebra and bears, elk, deer, those sick pigs with the tusks, turkey, other animals i dont even know their names. it was amazing! but then we got talkin to her about life and it was so weird becuase she had to be a mormon! the way she raised her kids and thought about things. and we talked to her for quite a while. i gave her the reference to Uchtdorf's talk, Forget Me Not. I really believe that would benefit her life. We are excited to get to know her better for sure!

Journal Entry from 04/15/12 - Dan and Susan*

April 15, 2012
Today we decided to go to a Sunday evening service with Dan and Susan. It was unreal! like These people are such Mormons that I was so surprised they had a shouting preacher! They started by standing and singing together with the words on a projecter and a lady was sort of leading/singing into a personal microphone (she wasnt even that good...sorry) and then randomly the Preacher would shout AMEN! the first few times i kinda jumped! the song litterally lasted like 10 minutes long! forever!!! then the Preacher got up and welcomed people who had been gone for a long time and then started praying... He was shouting SO LOUD! and i thought to myself the story of Elijah...Shout louder! maybe he is sleeping and cant hear you! God isnt deaf! but i sure bet He was after that prayer! (ok that was probably not very nice...) anyway, but while he was praying so was this dude in the isle next to me and i was so confused...but whatev. Then people would raise their hands randomly and kinda shake them or bounce them up and down, in praise i guess. and then people would egg the preacher on by saying That's right, or come on, like at a sporting event. those were pretty funny. and he would SHOUT like crazy then calm down and of course people would shout amen randomly and like 3 different times in the middle of his sermon he would start prayin and it caught me off gaurd. but anyway, it was an interesting experience. he had a pretty good message about waiting on the Lord, having patience. and it made me realize you know these people believe this way and worship like this cuz it is all they know! and they do have good stuff. personally going to a church like that would be a waste of my time. because i have experienced the fulness of the gospel! I dont imagine any of those people acting the way they did in church out of church. our religion is our lives and it was just so interesting to me. That we conduct ourselves in higher more reverant manner and we are doing our best to separate ourselves from the world. I just pictured Dan and Susan going to a more reverant church...but what an experience. they believe that cuz that is the most they have experienced so it is our job to help them feel the MORE the FULNESS this gospel has to offer.

Journal Entry from 04/14/12 - M ark and Beth*

April 14, 2012
We went over to the Madeo's* and they are cradle catholics. Mark asked us if we know about their religion and we said not really at all. and he told us the essentials and told us about some experience he had. I wanted to take his experience and talk about the plan of salvation but i just listened. then we asked them if they would play a song for us and they played one they had at their wedding and Beth and Mark sang it together and it was sure cute. but it really put me into an investigator situation and i was able to understand these people better. you know all good things come from God so of course they can have witness of those things that are true but we have something more. but how do i show them? it was also really good so they can see we really care about understanding them. it was a blessing for me cuz i am sure when i explain things to people they have no idea what i am talking about either so i gotta be doin like the abc's with these people! But i know that this church is the gospel of Jesus Christ in its fulness!

Journal Entry from 04/14/12 - Judy*

April 14, 2012
We went tracting and this lady named Judy* invited us in. she had gone to church and had read a lot of the book of Mormon. she told us that people (and her) dont consider us Christian because we dont believe in the trinity. Like we are talking about two different people with the same name. i thought that was ridiculous. then she pulled out 3 nephi 19:17 and says well why dont you pray to Jesus it says it right here. and i told her about what was happening in this verse she didnt really buy that. i dont know she was bible bashing for sure. i mean i feel like she would want to know...but then Boyce pointed out that if she wasnt bashing she wouldnt have said well i dont believe that book so your answer is invalid. so it was weird. she was way scientifical and said something about horses being here and metals etc. i dunno what her deal was. i asked her why she let us in and she said well if youre going out talking about Christ i thought it would be nice to listen. so i dont know really...she just said talking about Christ so she contradicted herself in that statement when she said we believe in 2 different people with the same name.

Journal Entry from 04/14/12 - Joan

April 14, 2012
Joan is an older woman who has been active for 20 some-odd years. But I gotta say i love her guts! she does not give stupid lame excuses she is just honest and that is what I have been waiting for is some honesty! She told us she had gone to the temple once. and she doesnt remember a whole lot. she stopped going to church because someone offended her. but we asked her about what the sacrament meant to her. and she gave the perfect answer and then she said but i am not worthy to take it. and i asked her if she wanted to be and she thought it over and said yes she did. and we talked and she told us how she liked to drink coffee and wine and smoke some cigs. she knew why cigs are bad but not wine and coffee. but we gave her alma 55 to read and then we are going to go back and visit her. She is aching to feel that forgiveness i just know it! I hope we can help her!

Journal Entry from 04/13/12 - James*

April 13, 2012
James* called us today and told us we said he could call us anytime if he needed anything. He asked us to pray for him. He has a history in his family of depression and the doctor told him they didnt know what else they could do for him cuz he is already on meds. So, after we got that call we went over to Jame's and had a little lesson with him and it was pretty good. We resolved some of his concerns and he said that the bible says if a man sees God he shall surely die. Well, Moses talked with God face to face, and we know all things are possible with God. He can transfigure one to stand His presence. But it was good to talk about that. and Jerry is going through the Book of Mormon from the beginning so that is great!

Journal Entry from 04/10/12 - Joy*

April 10, 2012
So, I "cornered" Joy* at the Relief Society activity with a member that is her friend. we casually went over and started talking about things and then Sister Kemp* kinda just got away from the conversation. I wasnt being pushy and I was just asking if she had prayed about the docterines and then Sister Poorman's* sister (who you could tell was a missionary at one point in her life) came over and started SPILLING about the Plan of Salvation. It was really good and I was glad to see members wanting to share, but she was quite confusing and you could tell Joy started feeling pressured. But I listened to her for a long time. and I was just going to end with a simple powerful testimony and give her a book of Mormon......I= started to bear my testimony cuz everyone was ready to go and i hadnt gotten a chance to say read this cuz i just had been listening to her concerns really. and as i started Joy interupted and applied what i was saying to her life and they knew i was just wrapping up and thats when [we got interrupted] and i wanted to share a scripture in Jacob 4 about why we have the BoM and it just didnt make sense to Joy why i was sharing it cuz i just rushed through it and it was a mess. So Joy probably thought we were all crazy cuz the members were all EXCITED and......[deleted out].   it's just when you are a missionary here you dont get a lot of opportunity to teach people....i mean you do but it is DANG hard. so anytime you can you wanna say EVERYTHING and make sure they know it all...but i have learned you HAVE to be patient and let them talk and provide them an experience to apply to their life. it really did make me mad [when we got interrupted] cuz I patiently held my testimony and my desire to share to listen to this womans concerns with why she hasnt investigated our church more or how she recieves answers to prayers and i was patiently awaiting the moment the Spirit would speak to her when i shared...well, Satan will do anything to mess anyone up. he will even give good things so we are prevented from getting better things...ugh so stressful! none of that probably makes sense but it makes sense to me. yep i am learning a lot of patience!

Journal Entry from 04/10/12 - Lanae*

April 10, 2012
Today we stopped by Lanae's house. I feel so bad for her. She has a testimony just doesnt wanna do anything about it. I think maybe she has given up because of her smoking addiction. I think cuz she feels like she cant give that up that she will just give up on going to church and stuff like that. It was really funny to me though she was talking about how drugs cloud your spiritual sensitivity and talking about her grandson that is smoking pot. She wants us to come and talk to them. and while she was tellin us this her cigs and ashtray were right there on the couch with her. Sad! I dont even understand how addictions like that work. We have a quit smoking workshop and I wonder if she will try doing that. She seriously looks MISERABLE. we go over and she always has the DARKEST circles around her eyes and is watching some French soap opera. haha oh West Virginia!

Journal Entry from 04/09/12 - Dan and Susan

April 9, 2012
I realized today that Dan and Susan's hearts are closed off to the things we believe. We tried to teach them about the Plan of Salvation and they just said they dont believe that we lived before this life and you could tell they listened but without it entering into their hearts. They truly have become like family and I am NOT giving up on them so we are going to do bible study with them every so often and I believe it will help me to understand the people better out here and resolve false doctrines, i dont know. but it was interesting that they believe that every Christian will be taken away from the earth for 7 years and then people will take the mark of 666 in their skin somewhere, and the ones who dont have to believe in Christ and can be saved. and we asked if all the Christians are taken away how will the others learn of Christ? i dont know. there are some funky ideas that dont make sense. it is weird how people will take from the bible the really off the wall scriptures and believe them and then say they believe word for word the bible when we give them our doctrine that is proved by the bible they dont believe it. people are contradicting themselves all the time and they dont understand.
I have been listening to a cd called 17 points of the true church. it is really neat. anyway, someone else explained that John Bytheway came up with 7 different ways the world believes they have to be saved, and our church is the only one that covers all 7. So, we are good to go! if i wasnt sure about a church i would want to make sure i did MORE than what was expected so i didnt fall short! but I know that this is the true church and i will always fall short, but i know in this church the fullness and restoration of all things are brought to pass.

Journal Entry from 04/07/12 - Tracting

April 7, 2012
So this week was really long and hard! but today we saw some tender mercies from the Lord. Maybe it was because of Easter, but people actually listened to us. A lady we met even said she would share the B.O.M. with her friends! Wow! that is awesome! we went down to Tornado. we have a LOT more area than we realized. but we hope to start teaching a couple people there. we were able to share our testimonies a lot, and it was a blessing and a boost for us, because usually people dont listen.

Journal Entry from 04/02/12 - Dan & Susan*

April 2, 2012
We went to Dan and Susan's with their family and had dinner with the Elders and them since we helped do service and cut down all their trees. It was a really good time. we played a bunch of games. the Bolero game, a bean bag tossing game, cards. it was loads of fun. then each of us shared thoughts from conference to help them understand the purpose and messages the Prophet and Apostles share with us today! they are so amazing and they are planning on coming to Utah to see me, Kayla (gunnell), and Elder (Christian) Howard! These people are so awesome! we love them! and they always pray for our success and for people to understand. soon enough they will understand! :)

Journal Entry from 04/01/12 - Elizabeth*

April 1, 2012
Today after conference we went to Elizabeth's home. we read Alma 40 with her and then we had her bare her testimony to us. I was very impressed that we needed to sing to her. luckily Julie was there who could carry us! we sang the spirit of God. as we sang i felt chills run through my body! and i saw tears in Elaines eyes! it was an amazing experience.

Journal Entry from 03/31/12 - Brandon*

March 31, 2012
Today after conference Boyce wanted to follow up with Brandon*. He was outside cleaning his car. We went and just started talkin to him and then we told him our purpose and invited him to conference. He talked about how he had been praying and he sees the blessings from God but has not ever FELT His love. we taught him about the restoration and Julie bore her testimony and it was amazing. Then I felt to promise him that if he attended conference he would FEEL God's love in a way that he never has before. He said that was a pretty powerful promise. unfortunately he didnt come. He even recognized us as being an answer to his prayer to understand God more...ugh...if we are an answer to his prayers what is holding people back from coming?

Journal Entry from 03/29/12 - Bailey's*

March 29, 2012
we went to visit the Bailey's and they are such a funny family. I asked Boyce to share the thought before we left and then told the Bailey's to be prepared cuz she has a strong spirit. Boyce then says that i put her on the spot and she is nervous! leave it to sister Branum to lighten the mood and as Boyce is flipping through her scriptures sister Bailey says, "Oh dont be nervous! i have read all those books!" yeah we laughed a good long time over that one.

Journal Entry from 03/27/12 - Kallee*

March 27, 2012
We took Kallee with us to do some missionary work. She is 16 and a member in our ward. I love her family! they are the ones with millions of kids! haha they love me and i love them! all the kids give me hugs and pictures they draw! anyway, we decided to go tracting and i said ok Kallee you got the first door. and without hesitation she is like OK! and woah!!! i was like are you serious? i was so amazed! she had no fear at all! like i said! the Youth here are so incredible and have told me. growing up here you either have a testimony or you dont...and it's gotta be strong. they are so amazing!

Journal Entry from 03/27/12 - James*

March 27, 2012
We saw James today. We took Kallee* and Brother Fidel* (ward mission leader) with us to his home. He didnt get a chance to read the second chapter we left him which was alma 7. we decided to read it there with him and explain things. brother casto gave good testimony being a convert himself. after we were through Boyce invited James to be baptized and James said Yes! He also understands that he has to give up coffee because after he said "i want you to know i am down to 2 cups of coffee. my doctor said i needed to stop drinkin it so much cuz it was bad for my health." I laughed and said so our ideas arent entirely crazy are they? he laughed and agreed. i believe that is why he gave up on being baptized last time because he loves coffee! but i am glad that a doctor backed us up on the health benefits! haha

Journal Entry from 03/26/12 - Jon and Amanda*

March 26, 2012
We had dinner with Amy and Jon and their 2 boys. It was a really fun time. we talked about a lot. and she kept asking us why we believe this. what makes us different. and she is just really cool she knows that the spirit grieves when she does wrong and finds joy in doing good. and I just realize that we need to teach her the simple truths and she will find the why. she just needs to read it. but she asked us to really think about it. someone who is living the same way we are, enduring to the end is the key, she believes she has the holy ghost always, and believes she will have an eternal family that her baptism counts that she is happy cuz she follows the commandments, so what is the difference between us, why does she need this gospel. she is skeptical cuz she is so strong that you ask her to read this book and pray and she asked what would we do if someone asked us to read this "revealed" book. what we would do? we are living right, have the same core beliefs, and then to have this challenge? what makes us different? it is so confusing but it makes sense. and then you know you have to read and to pray...and only she can find the why...i dunno. she is a great lady. we agreed to go to her church one time if she came to ours. she even expressed how she grew up in a very strict religion...and then she couldnt just go off her parents and meeting her husband they had to search and find what they believed. she is prepared! almost too prepared haha...but what can i do? I guess i need to be even more converted so that when i say this is the only true church on the earth today that she cannot disbelieve my words, but also she can never know unless she experiences for herself.

Journal Entry from 03/22/12 - Testimony

March 22, 2012
So, i taught our scripture study class on "the calling of the 12." I learned a lot from teaching that lesson and i really felt the spirit directing me in that lesson. i have learned that God gives us a MILLION different witnesses so that He may more fully persuade His children of this gospel for the salvation of their souls! He gave His Son, prophets, scriptures, apostles, Joseph Smith, the B.O.M. and then asks us to pray to recieve ANOTHER witness. the book is truth of joseph smith which both have testified of the Savior, then to pray to recieve another witness, likewise am I...I AM A WITNESS of the Savior Jesus Christ! I know Him! I have a relationship with Him and my Father! and I seek to strengthen that as we all should do! I need to do so much more to strengthen that relationship with them, so that my testimony when said, that NO ONE that hears can disbelieve my words! for I know that they are true! we are given many witnesses of the truth! even the planets in their organized pattern prove there is a God, all things denote that there is a God. Alma 30:44

Journal Entry from 03/22/12 - Sharon*

March 22, 2012
Today we saw Sharon*, she is a member who hasnt been to church for a long time. She does a lot of family history which is cool. but we just talked to her for a little while and taught her the importance of church. and then she admitted to laziness about missing church. and i know that if her faith was stronger it would push her passed the laziness. but i wanted to share a quote with her and i was impressed to ask it in the form of a question.
the quote is "when we make it, it wont be because we have a testimony of Him, it will be because we have become like Him!"
so i asked her, "does satan know Jesus Christ?" she replied, "yes."
and i asked, "will he enter into the kingdom of God?"
She sat there just pondering that and said wow, that's a loaded question. but i definitely think we got the point across. she didnt come to church but hopefully she will come to conference cuz she has no excuse really to miss that cuz its at 12 and 4 here in West Virginia.

Journal Entry from 03/21/12 - Amy and Jon*

March 21, 2012
Well, we had our dinner break and i took a little nap in our break. i wanted to call it quits for the night. i was just pooped and done for the day. we see all these people ignoring us, makin us feel like we are fools, nobody wanting to change let alone listen. Christian people who have NO desire to act Christian or strengthen their faith in Christ. Luckily my companion was ready to go right when our break ended. she said, "sister little are you ready to go do some good?" I groaned and was like yup im no quitter. We went back to a subdivision we got kicked out of for soliciting the other day. well, we read that we arent soliciting and it is our right protected under the first ammendment to tract. well, the guy that kicked us out was outside and so i wanted to turn back but then decided we would tract the opposite side of the street. the neighbors next to that man were outside and we decided to talk to them. Jon shared a miracle story with us and we talked about the restoration and his wife Amy came over and listened. we testified of Christ, of eternal families, of the Priesthood, of the light of Christ and the Holy Ghost. it was amazing. and Amy said, I want you guys to come back. She invited us to dinner for monday. she asked us why men could only hold the priesthood and I testified of our divine roles and how if we had each others powers of either creating life or the priesthood we would have no need for each other...and we are made for each other. family units and man and wife are ordained of God. and then i told her when she asked why, i told her i knew it was true and i would die for this gospel, and not only that but i am living for it now! it was an incredible AMAZING miracle! i will never forget the way that i felt and how the Holy Ghost witnessed to me that what i testified of is true and that Joseph Smith was infact a Prophet of the Almighty God called to RESTORE the TRUTH!

Journal Entry from 03/20/12 - Julie's Testimony

March 20, 2012
We got Julie to come out with us and we taught a lesson to an investigator, knocked on a few doors, had dinner with a less-active member and taught her. then we showed Julie our apartment and just a little of what it's like to be a missionary. then all of a sudden she got a bloody nose.....

But I am so impressed with Julie and her testimony. she is a beautiful singer and has shared her testimony through that. She has stood up for her beliefs as teachers KNOCKED us bad. she has been praying for missionary experiences and is giving out book of mormons and even came up with "accidently" leaving bom's or cards at the mall or other random places for someone to pick up. strong testimony. its so rad!

Journal Entry from 03/20/12 - James*

March 20, 2012
We saw James* of the youth from the and that was really neat. The young lady jumped in and shared her testimony without us even asking her. The youth are incredibly amazing in this ward and they are so converted to the point that they have to share the gospel! I love it! It builds me up so much!
We asked James about Joseph Smith and the things that he had been reading. he knows that it is all true! I think James is afraid of coming to a church that is new so we have invited another member to come meet him so he will become more comfortable.
James was an elect find and i hope this time we can really be good guides for him.

Journal Entry from 03/20/12 - Lindsey*

March 20, 2012
We were incredibly excited to visit Lindsey*! she had the question of why there were so many churches and why does God allow evil and suffering to occur. We picked up Julie Ashworth who is a youth (17) in our ward and took her to come teach with us! we were so excited! we knocked on the door...heard the tv and no answer. we were straight up ignored. Molly* who lives across from Lindsey said that Lindsey wanted her to tell us that the "Mormon" is not for her. ....k cool! thanks for tellin that to our faces. that's real cool. we even talked to her about how the spirit felt and when we did that i saw something in her eyes change. what's the deal? anyway, we were excited to teach her but she doesnt want to hear it.