Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Zone Conference with Fruit AND Going to Ogunquit, Maine

(Sister Tyler's mom here: This blog post will have 2 weeks worth!)
[ Due to my being gone to Young Women Camp last week... ;) ]

Historic Mural in
Georgetown, Massachusetts
Why does each week fly by so fast?! This week was great, we got to go to Zone Conference to teach and be taught. It was amazing to be so spiritually uplifted while President Stoker shared with us his thoughts on repentance for two hours. That seriously may sound so draining, but it was so uplifting. I guess that is what happens when you feast upon the word.

After we were taught and had lunch, it was our turn to teach. So we split up into our different zones and we taught about a few topics, but we especially focused on what it means to go after the "low-hanging fruit." We thought it would be fun to have a visual for this topic, so Sister Olsen and I took fruit and tied strings to them so we could hang them around the rooms we were doing our training in. We also made a green leaf for each fruit out of duct-tape and wrote what each fruit symbolized (like member referrals, friends of recently converted members, youth of less active members, etc.). We really felt like we should emphasize these things because often times missionaries, when they aren't teaching as much and have a lot of finding time (as our missionaries are doing right now), we feel we have to tract a lot to try and find those who are seeking the gospel. But, we have to remember the counsel given to us in Luke 8:15 that we have a better way to find those who are prepared.

This is also something that my area is doing, so it was great to teach about something that I really needed to learn. We've had to go through a lot of changes recently in making decisions of how to best use our time wisely, which sometimes means taking a break from some things that may be fun, like service projects, but that don't help us much with our purpose as missionaries and can even distract from our purpose at times. Basically, we've been doing a lot of inventory in our area, and as we've made room for progress, we know progress will happen.

I also got to go on exchange to Georgetown, Massachusetts this week and I had a great time with Sister Harman. While we were there we got to street contact and we passed by some really cool historical stuff (like the mural painting along a building's wall next to a river). It was so cool to get to know the history of our country as we talked to people about how we believe that understanding our family's history is also important.

This has been a great week, and I know this next week will be wonderful, too.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Sister Tyler and Sister Olsen
in Ogunquit Maine
There is always something fun to do here in Maine. We even get to go to the beach and meet people around the world. We decided during our weekly planning last week that we haven't done any work in our small town of Ogunquit. So, we set aside all of Saturday this past week to go explore the area and beach contact, street contact, and helping everyone around us.

Honestly, when we first got there we were both completely overwhelmed. We had never seen so many people in one spot before! But we gave ourselves a bit of time just to walk around and get comfortable with our surroundings and we got to work. We mostly walked around and stopped to talk to people when we were inspired to, but the most effective things we did were just being friendly to those we met.

While walking we found a nice beach-side path that was for anyone to take a hike by the beach. We felt like that could be good to just walk and talk to people along the way. So, we went on our adventure and before we knew it there were people saying hi to us and asking us where we were from. We had a few groups from Idaho and Wyoming who already knew who we were, and then we had quite a few people ask us to take pictures for them. Each of the people we talked to though said they felt comfortable asking us simply because we looked friendly.
Ogunquit Beach Coastline

Although we didn't have any miracles happen where we got a new investigator or found someone who would be interested someday, I know we planted seeds and softened hearts. We plan on going back in a couple more weeks to continually visit the beach where thousands of people can have the opportunity to be uplifted by the good news of the gospel.

We will have an exciting week this next week, too, because we are doing a training during Zone Conference for our two zones. It is nerve-wracking to prepare for, but it is so fulfilling.

I hope all is well with everyone, family and friends, and that this is a good week.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

We found a snail with barnacles on its shell!
Sister Olsen decided to hold it...
but I told her we couldn't keep it as a pet haha

We decided to play the game
“Sorry!” one night during call-ins
with some of our sisters
...I won by the way haha :)

Us with Sister Minks, a sweet sister
who is moving down south
later this week.
We will miss her so much!

Tuesday, June 16, 2015

MLT and iPads

Sister Olsen and me at MLT --
also including Elder King
(our District Leader)
I cannot believe it is week 3. I feel like Sister Olsen just got here, but at the same time I feel like she has been here for a transfer already. Missionary time is just weird haha. But it has been absolutely wonderful to be serving with Sister Olsen, she helps keep things fun and moving. It has been hard this past week because we haven't been able to get much sleep due to meetings, but I know that the Lord can make anything He needs done possible.

On Tuesday we had MLT (Missionary Leadership Training, which replaces Missionary Leadership Council twice a year and involves the District Leaders instead of just the Sister Training Leaders and Zone Leaders). It was so fun to go to and see so many missionaries we know. But, my favorite part was being able to discuss what the mission most needed at this time. We started discussing on ITLs, they became a standard for us about a year ago, just a little after I came into the mission, but now the assistants felt we might be ready as a mission for something new. So, they introduced RAs (return appointments). So, instead of counting simply how many people we invite to learn, they are really emphasizing quality invitations to help us improve on new investigators, rather than just asking a question to get a number. I feel like this is so great because it is just one step closer to getting our mission to progress even more. I imagine RAs to be the next step, after ITLs, toward New Investigators. I am very excited to continue implementing this into my work.

We got a window air conditioner
in our apartment. However, there is
empty space where it doesn't fit exactly
into our window....so plenty of bugs
found their way into our apartment...
Then, we also talked about iPad policies and what this mission needed to help stay focused and best use this new tool we've been given. We didn't make any huge changes, but we did make it so that we can check our email throughout the week (but only respond on pday, which is similar to the letters/mail system we have) and only using the iPads for studying and researching rather than teaching with them. This was a bit confusing for everyone at first because we felt that teaching with the iPads was the original purpose of them. But, as we continued to think about it and discuss it, we found that not using the iPads for teaching (unless we are showing a video or a talk) can help us to remember to rely on the Spirit and continue to further our understanding of the paper scriptures, which is what the President wants us to rely on most. I am so grateful we have the new tool of using technology, but I am even more grateful we aren't letting it take over our mission.

After MLT, I got to go on our first exchange this transfer with Sister Daughety and Sister Allen (while Sister Olsen went to Methuen, MA with Sister Halling). It was so fun to be with both of the sisters again (since Sister Daughety was one of my companions in Bedford and I went on exchange with Sister Allen last transfer). We had fun going to district meeting together and working a bit while doing our best to evaluate where they were at in their missions and how we can all improve. It was truly an uplifting and edifying experience.

So logically I put shoes on my hands
and starting to take care of the problem right
before we went to bed haha :)

One last miracle I'd like to share this week is that we got to see a former investigator (who I met early last transfer) and she is now a current investigator! Her name is Becky and she is so sweet. I am really excited to teach her especially since she has such a desire to connect with Christ and learn all that she can. We will do our best to be the missionaries that she needs and the servants that the Lord needs us to be.

This is such a great work!

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Transfers and Cows

Sister Tyler and Sister Olsen
I have another new companion this week! Her name is Sister Olsen and she is absolutely amazing :). She and I have just been having a blast because we both love to analyze and observe things, which can be fun because it means we understand each other really well and we get each other's thought processes (basically, "we finish each other's sandwiches" but we don't betray each other in the end ;) haha).

We have been having some fun adventures this week as we do what we can to get to know the area better and work together in finding those who are seeking His gospel. So, we decided to tract a few streets and each night we are supposed to report to our District Leader how many ITLs (invitations to learn) that we get each day.

So, we did that, but we decided to follow what it says in Mark 16:15 and start inviting every creature we come across. So instead of just reporting 7 ITLs at night, we report: "7 human ITLs, 4 cow ITLs, 4 goat ITLs, 3 dog ITLs, 13 cat ITLs" (which was actually what we reported to them last night!) haha

I think I really like how it makes tracting more fun because it can be hard to hear a bunch of "no"s--but if you invite a cow to learn, they just kinda look at you and you laugh :). I've seriously had so much fun with it because we are in such a boonie area that it is common to come across cows and goats :P :).

New England is always a fun adventure, and I am so grateful to be serving here! This is truly the mission I am meant to be in.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Tuesday, June 2, 2015

Travel, tracting, and more fun

Sister Spangler and Sister Tyler
This week has been a crazy busy one with tons of places we needed to get to and people we needed to see.

It started on Tuesday when we had to bring our car into the shop because our key's remote wouldn't work and we had to do it manually if we wanted it locked (the church asks us to keep these cars as close to perfect as possible, so we do our best to fix all the minor things as well as the major things). Luckily, they were able to fix it, but we would have to come back in on Friday because they had to order a part. And the place we went to was in New Hampshire because it was the closest place we could find for our car. So, it was about an hour long drive to and from, but it gave Sister Spangler and I some time to just drive and talk, which was nice :). We also had lunch with Brother Westwood on Tuesday while our car was getting fixed. He is the high councilman over missionary work, and he likes to take the Sister Training Leaders and the Zone Leaders out to lunch once a transfer so we can get some work done. It was fun and I really enjoyed being able to work with him for my first time.

Sisters Bee, Payne, Tyler, Spangler
Another fun part of this week was getting to complete some of the iPad training stuff. I had no idea that so much training came with getting iPads. We had to do an online workshop type of thing for an hour and a half to make sure we understood simply when the right time was to use them and how to use safeguards so we don't misuse them. It was really helpful and I learned a lot from it, but they are definitely making us work for the iPads because that was only step 1 in a three step online training process...and the next step looks twice as long as the first! haha But, I am seriously so grateful for iPads, because they've helped us so much in missionary work already. I know that this is all so inspired, and by having these tools, the New England area will progress even faster in the work.

I just have to say I love the work, I love this area, and I love my companion Sister Spangler. I wish we had longer together but she is getting transferred tomorrow and I get to go back to Manchester to pick up my new companion. I know whoever it is she will be wonderful.

Keep your faith bright!

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

Our district (including Zone Leaders):
Elders Widerburg, Nelson, Dortch,
King, Griffin, Walker,
Sisters Payne, Bee, Spangler, Tyler

(Katy and her great cartwheels!)