Tuesday, December 30, 2014

Christmas Time :D

This past week was absolutely wonderful with another new investigator, Christmas, and awesome service.

For Christmas Eve we got to have a zone meeting where we learned about how to improve on extending commitments and how to best help those we work with in their progression, then we watched It's a Wonderful Life (because it is a tradition of the Stoker's to watch that every Christmas Eve :) ).

Skyping with family :)
Then we got to have dinner with the Relief Society President and her family. It was so much fun getting to know them,. especially her daughters because one is deciding to serve a mission and another is in the communications department at BYU. It was great to start our Christmas off with some families in the ward.

Sisters Danner, Tyler and Cannell
Then, on Christmas day, we got to have brunch with the Bishop and his family and there I met his son who served in the DC South Mission (Spanish speaking) his name is Elder Earnshaw, and he remembers our ward a bit while he served in the Little River ward as well as some people in the McLean Stake (i.e. Alvarez, Ogden, etc.). He also remembers the youth conference dance celebration we were preparing for when he was finishing up his mission. Which is really cool. After all of that, I would have to say my favorite part of the day was Skyping home to my family. I definitely miss my family, and was nervous that Skyping would make me trunky (homesick) but in the end it gave me some extra energy and motivation to continue strong in the work :).

Christmas Eve sleepover
I hope everyone had a wonderful Christmas and enjoyed discovering the gift that God has given us all. I love Christmas, and will always remember the one Christmas I spent away from home on my mission. I love serving the Lord, and having this time to serve Him during His birth time has made everything so much more special and significant. I know the Lord loves each of us, and because of His willingness to come to earth and sacrifice so much for us, we have the possibility of experiencing joy forever with our loved ones someday.
Supplies to help her "creative" side :)

I hope everyone gets a chance to consider the true meaning of Christmas each year, and also to look at themselves and think about how God would want them to be as we strive to set new goals this upcoming year.

Love, Sister Tyler

Opening one Christmas Eve gift

Sister Tyler with her future niece!

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

Five Sisters Proselyting

This week was definitely a unique one. On Tuesday Sister Danner and I got our new companion, Sister Cannell. She just left Burlington, VT (having replaced me) and was trained by Sister Burton. It is so fun to get to know her while she updates me on people I miss from my first area! haha :)

After getting our new companion, we also got a new investigator! We've stopped by her house a few times now to invite her to learn more, and each time she would say to stop by in about a week. But this time she let us in and we began teaching her. She is such a sweet person and she likes the idea of a loving Heavenly Father, so we hope to continue to build on that idea.

Sisters Danner, Cannell and Tyler
Then, on Friday, there was a big leadership missionary meeting, which meant that we got to have two sisters who are companions with a Sister Training Leader (but a regular sister like ourselves) join us for a few hours. So, Sister Gilles and Sister Danner went together to one members house for service while Sister Cannell, Sister Pankratz, and I went to help another member. While Sister Danner and Sister Gilles were helping the member they were with, Sister Danner passed out (which she has done before in her life, but this is the first time she has fainted on her mission). So, they called us and we immediately drove over to pick them up and get Sister Danner home to rest. I wish I was better at describing the situation, but it turned out to be really funny with all the different events that put it together :). Now, she is doing much better and the five of us had a wonderful day getting to know each other and doing the Lord's work.

Back: Elders Quinn, Erekson, Hansen, Butters
Middle: Elders Chisholm, Lynn, Porter, Pace
Front: Sisters Harper, Craig, Danner, Cannell, Tyler
Something else that made this week awesome was that we taught Seminary this morning! The Bedford Ward youth who go to Bedford High school have Seminary (youth scripture study class) each morning before school, so we drove over there at 6am and taught a short Christmas lesson :). It was a lot of fun because we got to know the youth a bit more and talk about all the gifts that God and Christ have given us.

Well, I am very excited for Christmas and getting to Facetime home to see my family :) I hope everyone enjoys the special day to celebrate Christ's birth with their families.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

**Shelli here: Katy quickly wrote this on a Christmas package before she mailed it out--
the same day she learned who was going to be their new companion.
It was such a fun surprise to find out before we normally would have.

Tuesday, December 16, 2014

Caroling with the Spirit

Standing: Elders Lund, Harrington, Harper, Erekson, Vaughn, Hannig and Pace
In front (l-r): Sisters Tyler, Danner, Smedley and Craig
This was an amazing week and I can't wait to see what this next transfer has in store :).

After getting our weekly planning done and setting new goals for this upcoming transfer, we got to go and visit a less active sister that we found a couple months ago. She is so sweet and usually she gets nervous when talking about the gospel, but this time we shared with her Alma 32:28 and we showed her a mustard seed and explained how our faith in Christ is just like that seed, and once we nourish it and allow it to grow within us, it will become a huge tree. This is how you develop a testimony after all. Once you're given the seed (the Gospel) you have to nourish it (scripture study, church attendance, and prayer) and allow it to grow (acting on your faith in order to receive a witness of its truth) then it can become a big tree (a strong testimony of the Restored Gospel of Jesus Christ). It truly is amazing to me how the Lord doesn't expect us to have a tree as soon as we are given a seed. The Lord allows us to take our time and carefully tend to it in order to develop the faith we need to stand strong in the Gospel.

Sister Tyler and Sister Danner get to spend
Christmas together!
We also had a great opportunity this week to go caroling with our ward mission leader, the elders, and our ward missionaries. It was such a spiritual experience because we got to stop by and surprise a bunch of our investigators/less-active members. Everyone we sang to said they were just overjoyed by this surprise and that we made their day so much brighter. It was amazing to have the spirit so strongly with us when all we were doing from the world's perspective is singing songs to people we know. But, I know that we had angels with us and that the spirit was able to testify to the people we sang to that Jesus Christ can be in their lives if they allow him in. I pray that everyone who heard those songs (including the neighbors of those we stopped by) were able to come just a bit closer to Christ through that experience.

The Christmas season truly is a great one :)

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Santa meets the sister missionaries! ;)


Tuesday, December 9, 2014

Tons of Mini Miracles

Sister Tyler got to help put Christmas packages
together for the missionaries in the mission.
This week was awesome :). We got to start our week with a fun dinner at a member's home. We had a burrito night and it was just really fun to get to know the members better and to create a better trust and bond with them. It truly is so vital to be close to the members in each of our wards because it gives us a better opportunity to help them grow, help ourselves grow, and even help this area grow because of the amazing strength of member missionary work.

Then, later in the week, we got to see a woman in our area who said she may be interested in learning about the gospel again (because she had been taught in the past and even has an active sister and a niece serving a mission!). So, we stopped by her house and she invited us right in. She was so sweet and sincere, and even more she was receptive to the spirit! She immediately recognized the peaceful feeling she got when we were talking about the Restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. She recognized that she really wanted this in her life. It was then that we committed her to be baptized if she learned for herself that these things were true, and she said yes. :) She is truly such a sweet spirit and we can't wait to see her again this week.

One last miracle that we saw this week was when we had our car broken into overnight. Luckily, all they took was a GPS and a few LDS CDs (we are hoping they listen to the CDs and become converted someday haha). But, from this experience I've gained such a strong testimony of the Lord's ability to comfort us through prayers and priesthood blessings. I am so grateful for these opportunities I have to learn and grow. :)

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

She also was able to help
decorate the Mission Home Christmas tree!  :)

Tuesday, December 2, 2014

Thanksgiving at the Mission Home

This week was so fun but we barely followed any of our original plans haha.

Thanksgiving Snowstorm!
It all started when we got a call from President Stoker early in the week and he asked us if we would be willing to take in an extra sister missionary for a week, we said we would so we went and picked her up the next day. Her name is Sister Frame and she is so fun! We seriously just had a blast from the first minute we were all together. The first thing we did as a trio was go to district meeting, but right when we got there is started to snow really hard! By the time district meeting was over there were already a few inches on the ground, so we went and had fun taking pictures and throwing snowballs ^_^. Once we got home from district meeting though, we found out that our cars were grounded (which means we can't drive them because the roads are too dangerous), so we picked up three shovels and went out to serve. It was so fun because we got to meet a ton of people and just help everyone around us. Later in the day we thought it'd be a good idea to stop by one of our old investigators and see if she needed help shoveling her long driveway. When we got there we saw it completely covered by half a foot of snow, so we went straight to work. The Elders called and asked if they could join us wherever we were, so we invited them over. But, once they got there, we were heading inside to share a message with our investigator, so the Elders said they had something they wanted to do. Once we were leaving we found the elders outside putting their finishing touches on a ten foot tall snowman! It was amazing and really impressive haha.

The next day was Thanksgiving, but since half of Bedford lost power, our original meal appointment for Thanksgiving had to cancel because they couldn't cook anything without power :/. So, we called around to check on others in the area to make sure they were all doing alright without power. We were kind of sad because we weren't going to have a Thanksgiving, but then we had the idea to call the Stokers! As soon as they found out we had our Thanksgiving cancel, they invited us over and were so sweet! It was such a fun experience to have Thanksgiving in the Mission Home with the office missionaries, some other missionaries in the area, and a convert couple from a nearby ward. It was such a spiritually uplifting and fun dinner, definitely a Thanksgiving I'll always remember.

I look forward to another great week, especially with the start of the Christmas season. What better time is there to talk about Christ and the joy that He brings. :)

Love, Sister Tyler

Another temporary trio! Sisters Danner, Frame, Tyler