Tuesday, August 26, 2014

I believe in miracles

This past week was really uplifting and inspirational. It started with an exchange on Tuesday where Sister Burton went to Montpelier and I stayed here and our new sister training leader (who trained one of my MTC sisters [Sister Boyce]) came to spend the day with me! It was so good to talk to her and learn how one of the sisters I came out with is doing :).

Richmond Vermont (on our way to Bolton VT, it was too beautiful to not take a pic)
We had a regular Tuesday until the day was about to close and we had set aside time to go and find some people in Bolton (a town in our area that doesn't have any members, investigators, or even potentials!). We decided to simply stop at the first house we thought someone would be home at (because there were very few houses and they were spread apart). We knocked on the first house we saw and we talked to a sweet guy who told us a story about how he got stranded on the side of the road in Maine while he was on vacation once and these two elders came by to help him! Then he said he would listen to our message! So, I quickly relayed the first vision and my testimony of the truth of the gospel and he said we could come back anytime! So, we don't get to go to Bolton often since it is so far away, but we definitely plan to visit him again :).

Then, on Thursday, we were surprised by a call from one of our investigators. She hasn't ever come to church before, but she said she would try to go this past week and she didn't make it. So, when she called us, she said she was so sorry for not going and she committed herself to going to church in a couple of weeks after her vacation! She hasn't ever committed to church before, so this is a huge miracle for us! We are so excited to have her come to church for the first time!

Then we ended the week with an awesome dinner with a less active family in the ward. It was so fun getting to spend time with them because the son loves Minecraft and the daughter loves My Little Pony haha. So, we had a wonderful dinner with everyone and we got to share a quick message with the mom afterwards. She expressed to us a few of her concerns about each of her children and we did our best to reassure her that the Lord can help with everything and that attending church can help strengthen anyone's family. She said she could see that as Sister Burton and I continually bore our testimonies of how the gospel has helped us in our lives. It was such an uplifting experience, and now we know how to better help that family :).

Things are going really well here in Vermont, and I can't wait for another week here in Burlington!

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Brother Carpenter (he is like our ward dad) He claims he is Porter Rockwell (Joseph Smith's bodyguard and childhood friend) so he won't cut his hair and he has some cool swords he wanted to show us haha :)

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

New Transfer, New companion

Things are awesome! My new companion is Sister Burton and she is a riot haha. She loves fun and laughing and it really makes things different and exciting. I think the best part though is that we really get along and we both have a strong drive to make a difference in this area, even more than ever before.

Starting with the week on Tuesday we had transfer day. We had to run out the door at 5:30am to get to Lamoille, VT to meet a couple of sisters where we would do a mini trade off. My past companion, Sister Vanderhoef, would go with Sister Blume's (Lamoille, VT area's sister) companion to go down to transfer meeting, where they would both go to a new area (confusing I know haha). So, I stayed in Lamoille for a few hours with Sister Blume just waiting to find out who our new companions would be. While there we went about the day like a normal mission day :). We went and did service at a thrift shop, ate lunch, and did street contacting. I think the best part about spending a day with Sister Blume was that I knew her from Zone Conference and I felt like I could really connect to her. So, we were able to grow a lot in one day and it really taught me that it's possible to connect with someone in a really short amount of time. It was almost hard to leave her when I got my real new companion haha! But, I was really excited after starting to get to know Sister Burton, my new companion!

Since Tuesday we have been keeping ourselves busy! We have been contacting a bunch of less active members, doing lightning (quick) visits with members, and trying to find new investigators. So far, Sister Burton says she really loves this area and the ward. I couldn't agree more :).

I think recently I've just really gained a testimony of how the spirit really is surrounding us when we don't even know it. I am seeing more and more how the spirit works when we are in lessons with investigators because we are finding ourselves saying things we don't think to say, but then it somehow really helps the person we are talking to. It is the little things like that that make missionary work so amazing. Being able to see the spirit in every activity of your day truly is a spectacular thing!

I hope all is going well with everyone else!

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

I'm done being trained!

It's crazy, I've been out for 3 months! Two transfers down and I am done being trained as a missionary. I'm now a regular junior companion :).

Even more crazy, I'm getting a new companion tomorrow! My Trainer is moving on to become a Sister Training Leader and I am staying here in Burlington and receiving a new companion tomorrow as my senior companion. I will miss Sister Vanderhoef so much! But I'm glad she can spend her last transfer on her mission as a sister training leader :).

This past week has been a great last week with her, too! We were able to spend a lot of time with members since we had 5 meal appointments with either a member, less-active member, or investigator. It was fun spending time with everyone during meals because it is so much easier to get to know people when you're just sitting down for dinner.

Lesson-wise we were able to focus a lot on the needs of those we teach as we taught the Restoration to one of our investigators and she said it answered a ton of her questions. Then, we committed her to go visit the JSM (Joseph Smith Memorial) with us in September and she accepted! So, we get to drive down with her and a member next month and visit the JSM! :D We are really excited to be able to do that. We were also able to teach about the Plan of Salvation to another investigator, which was nice because we were able to hear a lot of her concerns and help her understand how the gospel can help her through these things. She really opened up and said she wants to come to church with us! So we will be bringing her not this Sunday (she is out of town) but next Sunday, and we are so excited!

To wrap up the week we had an amazing day at church! When we told everyone that Sister Vanderhoef was getting transferred they started gushing over us and telling us how much they'll miss her and how grateful they are for the work we do and everything! It was amazing because it helped reassure us that the ward really does want to help us in every way they can and they care so much about us. We are so grateful to be in such a wonderful ward!

The work is definitely a marvelous one! (D&C 4:1)

Sincerely, Sister Tyler
Her District after a pizza buffet lunch. They won 2nd place in the mission competition for ITLs! (see July 15, 2014 post)

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

A miracle that I never thought would happen

Sister Tyler and Sister Vanderhoef at the Joseph Smith Memorial.
Alright, I have to start with the silly miracle I experienced this week then talk about actual missionary work haha. So, as many people who know me know I am not the craziest about watermelon (I call it the “devil fruit” a lot because I despise it haha), I can't even eat it because my body simply rejects it and won't let me. But, on Saturday, we had lunch with the sweetest member of the ward and she brought out a few small slices of watermelon to have with lunch. I just felt so strongly that I shouldn't reject it but that I should try my best to force it down. So, I prayed, I knew the Lord would make anything possible, and I ate it. I ate the entire slice of watermelon!!! It was truly a miracle! I didn't dare try it again though with another slice haha. I am so grateful the Lord helps me with even my simplest and silliest concerns :).
Her dreaded "devil fruit!"  ;)

Onto the rest of the week. We had Zone Conference this past week, which means a few of the missionary zones (about a dozen or more missionaries to a zone) got together for a day-long meeting. The cool part though was that we had our meeting at the Joseph Smith Memorial in Sharon, VT (where our Prophet Joseph Smith was born). :D Before and after the meeting we got to walk around and just feel the uplifting spirit that comes with the memorial.

The small plot outline of Joseph Smith's home.
Then, on the way home from Zone Meeting, we got a voice-mail from a member in Missouri who said she has a non-LDS friend in Burlington that wants to learn more about the church after seeing the Hill Cumorah Pageant with her! So, we called the referral and set up an appointment. After meeting with her we could already tell she was really wanting to find the truth and that she would commit to anything that she found for herself was true. So, now she is a new investigator and she is excited to meet with us again and talk about her experience at church this past Sunday.

We wrapped up the week with seeing some members and we are excited to continue to work closely with the members as we continue in the work. :)

Sincerely, Sister Tyler