Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Triple Threat

February 20, 2017

Dear Family,
What a week. I know I always say that, but this week has been busy and long, but good! It started Monday night when Sister Nilsson and I drove to Farmington (2 and a half hours away) to spend the night and pick up our new sister in the morning. We were invited to stay with the Farmington YSA sisters, and we needed to be there no later than 8:50. So we plan out our day and we were going to be right on time, and around 8:10 the assistants to the president called us and asked if we were going to make it, and we said yeah we're right on time. Then they told us we were supposed to be at the training meeting for all the trainers, which started at 8:00. We were never told that information, and even our district leader who gave us our travel itinerary didn't know about it.... long story short, we missed the memo and didn't make it to the meeting. And then we had a hard time finding the YSA sisters where we'd spend the night. It was a rough and stressful night, and everything that happened is so typical for Sister Nilsson and I. But it's okay, they gave us a paper of what they went over. I just feel bad for our trainee, because this is our first time training, not to mention we're both pretty new to the mission. I just finished my training one transfer ago. I'm just hoping Heavenly Father knows what he's doing :)

We got a new companion! Her name is Sister Dowd, from Saratoga Springs UT. She's super sweet and nice. We're lucky to have her! And I'm learning a lot by training a new missionary! It's crazy to watch her learn and grow, because I remember having to learn the things she's learning, and struggled with the same things she is. I just get to relearn these lessons! Which is really helpful :)

This week, on Wednesday, Courtney officially quit chewing!! He has chewed since he was 13, and now he's decided to quit. He's 32 and has the cutest 2 kids in the world. His daughter is Raylee, the 11 year old who wants to be baptized. We're still not sure if her mom will allow it. She's been brainwashed by her boyfriend who has been excommunicated. You would not believe the drama that has happened over the past few years in Monticello. I feel like I'm watching a crazy TV show where there's overload of drama and everybody's connected to it somehow, only it's real life. I'm pretty sure the song "I'm My Own Grandpa" was written by inspiration of Monticello UT. Everybody's related!!!

Also, something very exciting happened on Sunday! Amalio got the priesthood!!! He was ordained a priest!!! And the bishop has asked him to be his first assistant. You'd think that the young men would help him along and bring him to class, but Amalio's the one who has to drag his friends along to class. He's such an amazing person :)

One of the things we teach on a daily basis is to do CPR. It's not like the medical CPR where you help somebody breathe, but it's a similar concept. Spiritually, there are 3 absolutely essential things we need to do to stay alive. Church, Pray, and Read the scriptures. If we do these 3 things, I know we'll stay alive spiritually and have the energy necessary to overcome our challenges. I hope all of you take the time to do your CPR so you are strong and have the spirit in your life.

I know this church is true and if we do all we can to show our faith and follow Jesus Christ, then Heavenly Father will make up the difference. You are all so amazing! I love being a missionary, and I'm so glad I get to stay in Monticello! I LOVE the people here. I hope to stay as long as possible :)

I love you all more than the number of things I've learned as a missionary.

Sister Withers

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

No Sleep and a New Companion

Dear Family,

This week concluded this transfer, which means this is a new transfer. And we got transfer news on Saturday, and.... (drumroll..........) we're going to train a new sister :) We'll be a trio. Sister Nilsson came out one transfer before me, so neither of us have trained before, so we'll see how this goes, but I have full faith that things will go well. We meet her and pick her up tomorrow morning :) It's funny because President Adams didn't think this would happen, but he called before the normal transfer news call to ask us to train. I guess Heavenly Father had something else in mind. We're both super excited!

This week was a good one for sure! We had a lesson with Amalio's cousin Alieghya, and she accepted the invitation to be baptized!! We're going to work towards March 25, but it depends on if she can get off work to come to church. She's so ready for the gospel!!

There's this less active guy named Alan who moved to Monticello from Blanding (the neighboring town) and hasn't come to church because nobody reached out to welcome him or anything. Turns out, his records aren't even moved here, so that's why nobody knew about him. But we apparently were the first people to reach out to him. We had a lesson with him, and invited him to come to church, he was a little non-committal. The worst words a missionary can hear after you invite them to do something, and they say "We'll see" or "I'll try". And I just want to say "that was a yes or no question." but patience is a virtue. Anywho, HE CAME! It's always exciting to see a guy his age reach out and sit by him and then bring him to class!!!! Members make all the difference! I hope you're all doing your part in this work!

On Sunday, we go to the church and were talking people, and the guy in the bishopric walks up to us 10 minutes before sacrament meeting and asks us to speak. We said we were more than happy, and I was surprised how not scared I was. It must be a blessing of being a missionary. It went well, and we took the meeting to 5 minutes after the hour perfectly :)

Saturday night was really funny. Sister Nilsson and I both couldn't sleep, but I must have fallen asleep by midnight or so. Anywho, on a regular morning, the alarm goes off, Sister Nilsson checks the phone, and goes to the bathroom while I say my morning prayer. So, at one point in the night, she gets up, checked the phone, and went to the bathroom, and I thought it must be morning. Then she comes back in, and I had finished my prayer and just couldn't believe how tired I was, and she shines the phone light on me and tells me it's 12:51. Then we really couldn't sleep because we were laughing so hard! I was glad to get another few hours to sleep :)

We got stuck again, but honestly, I don't know if it would be a week if we didn't get stuck. The mud was thick. All the snow is melting, and it's making the roads difficult to work with. But, thank goodness we have 4wd! And, we got a new truck last week because our old one's 4wd gave out. They fixed it, and it turns out the problem was that it had so much dirt on the battery or something that the electric charge to turn on 4wd didn't engage. So yeah, that should tell you how much our poor trucks go through. But now we have a 2015 instead of 2014 Nissan Frontier. Did you know missions keep vehicles until they get to 60,000 miles? Crazy, huh?

I love you all more than the number of electrons that are used for electricity to engage 4WD.

I hope you all  have a lovely week :)
Sister Withers

Tuesday, February 7, 2017

Amalio Was Baptized!!

Dear Family,

This week was just crazy! This week, AMALIO WAS BAPTIZED!! And it was just amazing! Our ward mission leader baptized him. We've had all the lessons in their home. He only has half of his right arm, so it was kind of funny to watch. And then he was confirmed on Sunday, and the whole ward basically bore testimony about missionary work and welcomed Amalio into the ward. It was amazing! (PS Mom, this ward mission leader is the guy who texted you, and he read the text and thought it was so funny how you said I'm your favorite, knowing I have 4 other siblings :) it made me happy) There were tons of people at his baptism! Half the chapel was full, and the baptism room was packed. He has a lot of support from this community! ANDDDD, the most exciting part of all: his nonmember dad and uncle and cousin were there, and the branch president in Eastland was there translating the whole meeting for his dad Humberto (because he only speaks a little English) and at the end, he turned and said this is something he wants for himself, and would like to also be baptized! And, his cousin who was there was in tears and said she wants to be baptized too. Amalio is doing amazing things for his friends and family!

 Brother Burt went through the temple and got his endowment!! He's in his 50s, and his wife had been excommunicated and finally got her blessings restored a few weeks ago, and they're going to be sealed in the temple this Thursday!!!! It's so exciting :)

We had a lesson with a lady who is a new investigator named Whitney. She's super nice and we had the lesson in a member's home. It was the dream set up, and then we found out she lives in the elders' area. So they'll teach her, but it's sad we won't get to work with her anymore. She's super ready for the gospel though!

We have dinner appointments basically every night without fail. We're very blessed. But, the only problem is everybody must think that nobody feeds us well, because we get fed roast and potatoes every day!! It's a little overwhelming, and we always smile and say thank you, but having it 4 out of 6 meals in one week is hard. So, if and when you have missionaries over, have a light and fruity meal. With no dessert, because brownies are also getting old.

As for Raylee, the 11 year old who wants to be baptized, we aren't sure what we can do. Her parents are divorced, and the dad is all for it, and the mom is a little hesitant. And there's a lot (A LOT) of drama that went down with their divorce, and that's playing in with this whole deal. So we're going to take a step back and just hope that eventually (hopefully soon) things will get resolved and she can be baptized.

And apparently the Superbowl was on Sunday. We kept trying people, and they just said sorry can you come back when the Superbowl isn't on? It was annoying. I kind of forget there's a world out there.

PS I forgot to tell you, but a few weeks ago Dad spoke in sacrament meeting, and I spoke probs at the same time. And we had like no notice either, but it worked. We filled up the hour, somehow!

I hope you're all doing well! I love you all more than the number of prayers that are said in one day all over the world!

Keep up the good work :)

Sister Withers