Tuesday, November 17, 2015

My Final Week

Visiting the Burlington District
I cannot believe I just lived the last week of my mission. Time flew by throughout each transfer but wow that went fast! Sister Harper and I only had so much time together, so we decided to work hard and make the best of it.

On Monday we just took time to organize things together so that we could have an efficient and productive week. Then Tuesday we contacted every person we are currently teaching so that Sister Harper could get to know them and who they are. After she began getting the hang of things we started finding people, both members and non-members who may be interested in being taught the lessons.

A funny mission story from this week: One time when we were contacting someone in North Montpelier, we walked into the front porch to knock on their door and as soon as we stepped in we saw a million huge spiders spread out throughout a spider web that engulfed the entire porch leaving only enough room for a person as tall as us to walk to the door. I didn't dare look up to see what was above my head. But we still stayed long enough to knock on the door twice just in case someone needed the gospel. (And as soon as we left I checked my hair to make sure no spiders decided to fall on me.)

Saying goodbye to Sister Tetreault
(Sister Tyler describes her as “amazing”)

Another funny story: A couple of days later we were going to have lunch with some members in Waterbury and we put their address on my GPS and set it on shortest distance because Waterbury is kind of far out there. As we followed the roads it wanted us to take though, we quickly realized we were on a road that is probably only used during the summer by big trucks and four-wheelers. We kept moving forward hoping it would open back up, but the trees got closer to our car, the mud puddles got bigger, and the rocks got taller and more frequent. We decided it would be best to turn around and just go on the highway. So I helped guide Sister Harper (who was driving that day) backwards about a quarter of a mile until we found a spot big enough to do a seventeen point turn around to be able to drive out of the middle of no where. It was quite the adventure, and the members just laughed when we called to tell them why we would be late for lunch haha.

Overall, I feel content with how my mission has gone. I know I worked my hardest and I have no regrets for anything I did or didn't do. I know that God has blessed me each day in my efforts. And now I get to start a whole new journey. I'm excited for all the future has to offer.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler 

**There's a curious mission tradition here: When a missionary is completing their mission, they are classified as “dying.” They'll pose in a scene for a picture acting out how they “die.” For Sister Tyler they did a time-lapse video where her district members wrote the names of all her companions on the white board. But her last companion (Sis. Harper) apparently is the one who “finished her off.” ;) [here's a few screen shots] =D =D

{The “end” of Sister Tyler}

{The “end” for Elder Bagley}

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

I am 16 going on 17 companions....wait what?

Surprise new/final companion for a week!
Sister Tyler and Sister Harper

Yep, I decided 16 companions wasn't enough for one mission, so this past Saturday I got Sister Harper as my companion for the last week of my mission. President Stoker gave Sister Petersen and me a call on Thursday night this past week informing us that he needed Sister Petersen to fulfill a special calling this upcoming transfer that would take her away from the Montpelier area. Since I am also going home this transfer, he wanted to avoid shotgunning us out (taking both missionaries in an area out at the same time), so he asked if Sister Petersen would be willing to be transferred to a new area before receiving her new assignment so that Sister Harper could come here and learn the area to best help transition things. What a shock all of this was to us, but we both accepted everything and now I am here updating Sister Harper on  everything that happens in our area.

Christmas Lights
at the Joseph Smith Memorial
Besides the new companion, I had a fairly calm week. I got to go on exchange with Sister Lescarbeau in Lyndon, which was really fun. And I got to go to a big zone conference with about half of our mission in attendance. We had Elder Nielson (the head of the Missionary Department of the church) come to speak at our mission. It was so amazing to receive all the guidance and counsel him and his wife offered to us. One of the main things that stood out to me during all of it was how much I need to continually rely on the Lord. Not just in turning things in my life over to him, but asking God for help with everything I experience. I realized that I can do all things with God's help, but I can't receive His strength completely until I ask Him to help me. I had my testimony of a loving Father in Heaven confirmed again and again this past week as I saw Him guiding me to know what I needed to do to best feel like I was doing what I needed to do in my life right now. I'm so grateful for that.

I look forward to making this week and amazing week. My mission isn't over yet. So I plan on loving every minute I have.

Sister Tyler
A nice member texted us this pic last week
—we are SO grateful for these kind acts! 

*just sayin'…. =D

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Learning to Rely on the Lord

District P-day last week
(l-r) Back: Elders Williams, Andrew and Miller
Middle: me, Sister Petersen, and Elder Rappleye
Front: Sister DeWidt and Sister Banda
(who was my MTC companion)
This past week has been an amazing but difficult one. I have had some fun experiences, but I've also struggled a lot with depression. From recent reflection I have found that I need to understand how to fulfill my purpose each day as a missionary in order to best combat depression. So I've decided to pray a lot and ask Heavenly Father what He would have me do to fulfill my purpose every day. It may be a different way every time I ask, or I may need to do a lot of things constantly. Whatever answer I get when I pray in the morning, during my studies, throughout the day, and at night before going to bed, I do my best to find a way to act on the answer I receive. It isn't the easiest thing to have to rely so much on someone else besides me, but I know if I rely on God, He will strengthen me. I've simply gained a strong testimony that the scripture Luke 1:37, "For with God nothing shall be impossible" is very true.

Besides my own personal journey through depression and understanding my purpose, we have had a fulfilling week. We got to do service at Norwich University at an event called, "Clothing Drop 'N Swap." It was fun to be able to help out on a college campus and to also get to know so many people (and Sister Petersen got some new cute clothes, I avoiding getting clothes that would just add weight to my suitcase, but I did get a couple of small things haha). We basically helped collect donations of hundreds of different articles of clothing and lay them out on table for anyone to browse through. There was a dollar admission fee, but then you could take as much as you wanted. It was amazing to see how many people came and got so much, and even then we were able to donate at least two dozen big bags of clothing to the Salvation Army. I love how people in the community find so many ways to help serve others. I feel it brings such a special spirit of both unity and charity.

I think I've discovered recently how vital it is to rely on God for so many things. Not just spiritually and emotionally, but also physically and mentally. In the Book of Mormon, the prophet Moroni explains, " if men come unto me [Jesus Christ] I will show unto them their weakness. I give unto men weakness that they may be humble; and my grace is sufficient for all men that humble themselves before me; for if they humble themselves before me, and have faith in me, then will I make weak things become strong unto them." I know that through Christ's atoning sacrifice we can all become stronger, every day of our lives we have the ability to become stronger in so many ways. That is what I'm focusing on this week, and maybe I can help someone else do something similar in their lives.

Sincerely, Sister Tyler

(Sis. Tyler's mom here)
I'm just sayin'. . . .
(You can tell it's
on OUR minds) ;)