Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Greetings from Burlington, Vermont!

My first assignment is in Vermont, home of the maple syrup and Ben & Jerry's ;D. Honestly, though, I am excited to begin my mission here.

My companion is Sister Vanderhoef and she is wonderful! She is helping me learn all about missionary work both in general and specific to my area. She has been out for about 14 months so she has a lot of wisdom to share, which I am very grateful for because I have so much that I want to learn. She has been making it easier to adjust to missionary work here in the field simply by being patient and explaining the answers to each of my many questions.

This area is an interestingly wonderful one. I have learned that we have small wards and large areas. That just means more people to tell about the truth! It isn't an easy area, especially after hearing from my companion that this is the least religious city in the least religious state (haha) but I am not letting that get me down, because guess what! We've already had a bunch of miracles happen each day so far!

The first person I met here was a less active member, Heidi. She was super sweet and said she wanted to get back into going to church because she wanted to get back into the gospel. We had a good talk with her and set a return appointment for a week later. The first investigator I met this week is Haz. and she has been looking into the church for about 4 years now. She is reading the BoM regularly and she knows it is true! So, right now my companion and I (since my companion has only been in the area for 3 weeks more than me after an emergency transfer) are trying to figure out what it is that is holding her back from joining the church. I'll update you all more as we continue to teach her :).

We have had so many opportunities for service in this area. We have weekly scheduled service activities and we have a ton of miscellaneous service opportunities like helping people move, cleaning houses for those who can't clean, etc. This is also a wonderful way for us to get to know people and show everyone that we are friendly. :)

There are so many thoughts running through my head but I think I'll summarize all that I have left with this: I love my area and there is much work to be done in both mission work, and in organizing the information about this area for future missionaries. I don't exactly know why I'm in this area yet, but I do know that I am here for a reason, more than just helping me get into the swing of things here on my mission.

I love you all! Let me know if you know anyone here in my area that could benefit from hearing about the true gospel of Jesus Christ!

Sister Tyler
My 1st Missionary Companion: Sister Vanderhoef
My current Address: 
Sister Katy Tyler
5 Olde Orchard Park #540
South Burlington, VT

P.S. The end of my MTC (Missionary Training Center) experience was amazing! We got to watch a talk by Elder David A. Bednar on Sunday night instead of a devotional, and then they surprised us all by having Elder David A. Bednar walk into the building and we had a Q&A session with him! He just opened the floor to us to let us ask any questions we had for him. It was so cool!

Here is a picture of the sisters in my zone/branch in the MTC the Sunday before I left :) (from left to right: Sister Stailey, Stevens, Tyler, Banda, Danner, Boyce)
MTC District w/one of our teachers: (from L-R) Elders Baldwin, Detlor, Giroux, Brother Quick, Sisters Banda, Tyler, Danner, Boyce

Wednesday, May 14, 2014

May 14, 2014 MTC P-Day

Sister Katy Tyler
Hey! I can't believe I've already spent a week in the MTC! It feels like it was just two days ago that I got here and met my companions and district. Now I only have until Monday morning at 2:30AM to prepare more for my mission! Holy Cow :P.

The experiences have been wonderful here and I have been working hard to grow and improve at least a little bit every day. I have learned to be obedient as best as I can. I've found it important to be on time to everything and be as focused as you can. It is not easy :P. But it's rewarding :). Like it says in D&C 130:19-20 "19 And if a person gains more knowledge and intelligence in this life through his diligence and obedience than another, he will have so much the advantage in the world to come. 20 There is a law, irrevocably decreed in heaven before the foundations of this world, upon which all blessings are predicated" Which means that if we obey we will be blessed.
I've also found that knowing where to go and where to be all the time is so important! Learning how to follow a schedule and be ready for everything that I have to do, otherwise you get stressed from lack of preparation. Speaking of preparation, it is so important to communicate and prepare with your companion when preparing lessons for investigators. I'm currently teaching two investigators. The first is actually one of my teachers and he is like a practice investigator, his name is Alfredo. Even though he is actually our teacher who is a member and returned missionary, we still teach him as if he was an investigator. The lessons have been going well, we taught him about the Book of Mormon, repentance, prayer, and get this: we commit him to baptism! We are just preparing him now to be baptized by teaching him exactly how he can repent of things he feels guilty for and giving him all the lessons.
Companions Sister Tyler and Sister Banda
My second investigator is someone that works for the MTC and could be a member or he could be a real investigator, we don't know! His name is George and he is the sweetest guy. He has a prosthetic leg and likes to take walks to help relieve the pain, so for each of our lessons we spend the 45-60 min walking around the MTC campus :) It is so much fun to get to know him and we just began teaching him a bit about the plan of salvation (including Alma 40:23  "The soul shall be restored to the body, and the body to the soul; yea, and every limb and joint shall be restored to its body; yea, even a hair of the head shall not be lost; but all things shall be restored to their proper and perfect frame."). I'm very excited to get to know him more and teach him even more about what we believe.
Well, I will just wrap up a few thoughts here now and say it is so wonderful here in the MTC. It was also a special treat to be some of the first MTC missionaries in a really long time to be able to call home on mother's day! It was so nice to hear from my mom and the rest of my family. I love them so much, and I love everyone :).
Please email me or write me with any questions/thoughts you have about the MTC! The next time I email I'll be in the field (it goes so fast!) but I will do my best to explain some of the complex things the MTC doesn't tell you before you come in (but I think they should ;) ) 
Anyways! Talk to you all later!
~Sister Tyler 
Her MTC District (from left to right): Elder Detlor, Elder Giroux, Elder Baldwin,
Sister Tyler, Sister Banda, Sister Danner, Sister Boyce
Her MTC roommates: (from left to right): Sister Banda, Sister Tyler,
Sister Danner, Sister Boyce (all going to the same mission!)

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

Here I go!

I am officially on my way to serve the Lord. I was set apart tonight by my BYU stake president with a wonderful blessing. From this point on for the next year and a half, I get to be with a companion every day and I must heed the general mission rules.
I am very excited to serve. Although the whole thought of it is kind of scary, I feel peace with the fact that I know I am serving the Lord and those around me by doing this work. It is difficult to give up some of the basic things in life today like regular internet usage, contacting family whenever, or using a cell phone for fun, but these are simple things to give up in order to feel the powerful blessings that will come in my life because of this service.
I look forward to having my training begin in the MTC tomorrow, but even more I look forward to having the experience of serving the people of New England and bringing the joy of the Gospel into people's lives.
Like many missionaries, I wish I could just give everyone in the world a Book of Mormon and tell them how it is true and it testifies of Jesus Christ, our Savior, and all that He has done for us. But, I cannot force the gospel on anyone. I hope and pray that people will be willing to listen to the Spirit as it testifies to them in their hearts of the truthfulness found in the scriptures. I also hope that people will have an open heart and mind to the messages we have to share with them.
This is a difficult work that teaches 18-21 year olds how to handle rejection, because often we will face those who do not wish to listen to our messages at this time. But, it is those experiences that help shape us as individuals to become better for our future lives.
I look forward to the opportunities to face both rejection and acceptance by those I bring messages of the Lord to.

On a business note: I will be having my mom post my weekly emails home here to the blog and she will be emailing those posts out to those of you who wish to receive emails. If you would like to be on the list and are not on there already, please email: sister.katy.tyler@gmail.com and my mom will add you to the mailing list.
Thanks everyone for your support!