Friday, September 19, 2014

Changes for Abby

I was struggling last week. I'll be honest about that. But I didn't want you to worry. Apparently you know me better than that because you worried anyway. But I know your fasting and prayers helped me so much because I'm doing awesome now. Thank you for that. I am doing a lot better and I know that I will be okay.
I love Sister Henderson and Sister Jensen. They are both so great! I know that they are wonderful women who love me and are probably praying for me too. I am grateful for them. Please let them know that.
I don't really remember what I emailed last week. I was struggling and I didn't want to worry you. I guess it didn't matter. You know me much better than that. But I promise you that I am okay and I am never going to give up. This opportunity, this chance, has been the best thing in my life to this point, and I know that will be the best version of me when I come home in fourteen months. Know that I think of you often, but not too often because I need to focus. I love you and it gives me strength thinking of you. I know that your fasting and prayers helped me a lot. I could feel them and they have given me the strength I need. I hope that you know that.
I look for the blessings God has given me everyday. He has given me so much. I know that to be true. It's not easy, but I know it's worth it. Like you said, we both knew it would be hard, but I didn't realize how hard it would be. It's harder than I ever imagined but worth more than I ever thought. It's crazy how much I've changed and much strength I have gained from this experience. I have wonderful elders and sisters and wonderful leaders and a wonderful mission president who are on my side and cheering me on just like you and everyone else at home. I know that I will be able to do anything simply because I have all these people in my corner.
The Lord has placed His trust in me through President Clark. Sister Ard and I got a call from President Clark on Friday night. He told us that he was surprised when Sister Ard and I stayed together this transfer but he knew the Lord would provide. And He did. There is a Temple Square sister up in Modesto who is gong back to Temple Square on Wednesday and her companion is going home on Wednesday as well. They need missionaries there for the rest of the transfer and two new Temple Square sisters are coming on Wednesday. Sister Ard is now in Modesto and I am staying here in Fresno over Alluvial and Woodward Park. I will be getting my new companion on Wednesday--a temple Square sister from Denmark. Sister Ard is getting the other one, from the Philippines. I will be leading the area--the two areas--with this Temple Square sister and I will also be training her in the way we do missionary work. this is a huge task that I have been asked to do but I am so grateful for it. I know the Lord has given me this opportunity because He knows I can do it. Out of all the sisters in this mission, He chose me and I know that I will make Him proud if I rely on Him. I hope you are proud of me too. I'm scared and excited and nervous but I know it's the right thing. I know He has been preparing me for this. I know I will do great. I have so many people on my side and I will be able to do anything with that.
The investigator we had with a baptismal date no longer has a date. But he knows he needs to be baptized. During the lesson we had with him on Saturday--I was with Sister Monson and Sister Bennion, who I came out with--there were some concerns that came out, and that needed to come out, because of questions I asked him. It was intense and scary and I was praying the whole time that the Lord would be with us. But he hasn't been reading the Book of Mormon so I promised him if he would, his concerns would be resolved. I know they will be if he does what we asked. Please pray for him. His name is Alan.
I am with Sister Bennion and Sister Monson in Shepherd! I love these sisters! I came out with them and President told me that we needed to get work done when he called (he knew we would).. I love being here. I love being a missionary even though it's hard. It has taught me so much and helped me grow so much.
I love you, Mom. You have been an amazing influence on my life. I am so grateful for that. Please know that I know you are praying for me and I know you want me to be my best. I'm trying to make you proud.
Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese
I wasn't going to send you a letter, but I thought it might help me to get it all out to someone at home. And it did. I am doing a lot better today than I was last week. I tell myself everyday that I am doing the work the Lord expects of me. It is hard being homesick, but I know that it really is something that Satan is using against me. It makes me so angry that he is using my family against me, but I know that I can withstand it. I got an email from Ty last week who told me that I needed to stay. I know that. I have already grown so much and I know that growth would just go to waste if I went home. I have so much support here and so many elders and sisters who love me and care about me and want to help me. I also had the privilege of meeting with President Clark on Saturday. He asked me how I was doing and asked how the family was. He gave me a blessing of strength and comfort and diligence and lots of other things. Ever since then I have been very...calm. I love hearing stories about a child's faith because their faith is so much stronger than we know. I am trying everyday to have the faith of a child. I'm working on it and I know the Lord will help me overcome everything if I rely on Him as you've said I should.
So...crazy things happened this week. The Lord and President Clark have placed their trust and faith in me. on Friday night, Sister Ard and I got a call from President. He talked to us about how the two Temple Square sisters we have are going back to Temple Square on Wednesday. One of the Temple Square sisters here is with a sister who is going home on Wednesday. At that point, I knew that one of us would be leaving. Sister Ard was assigned to go to Modesto where the Temple Square sister and the sister going home are at. She will be with one of the new Temple Square sisters coming in on Wednesday and I will be with the other one. On top of covering two areas, I am now leading that area and sort of training a new sister who doesn't know missionary work the way we do. I'm excited and scared and nervous and grateful all at the same time. It blows my mind that the Lord has put so much trust in me and I am so excited to grow and to prove that I can do it.
So we had an investigator with a baptismal date. However, we met with him on Saturday--I had the Shepherd sisters with me--and there were some concerns that came up. He needs to resolve those concerns before he is baptized. I promised him that if he would read the Book of Mormon (because he's not) his concerns would be resolved. And I know they will be if only he will read the Book of Mormon. I have all the faith in the world that he will be baptized because he knows it is what is right. He wants to join the church, but he needs to get past this block that is stopping him. I know it is Satan just trying to stop him. So will y'all pray for him? His name is Alan.
I loved the picture of the pig and the fridge! The pig is so cute. What happened to it? Did you keep it? It's cute. (Our neighbor apparently has a pot-bellied pig for a pet and it got out and was wandering around in front of our house.  Bill to a picture of it and sent it to Abby)
Dad, I love you. Thank you so much for everything you have done for me. You're such an amazing man and I am so proud to be your daughter. You have helped me through so much in my life. I hope you know how much I love you and how much you have impacted my life. I pray for you every night. Love you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Abby had another good week!

I'm sorry this post is so late! It has been a hectic week and I'm a little overwhelmed!  I just want you all to know how much I appreciate your support.  Thank you for keeping up with Abby.  I'm so grateful for your thoughts and prayers.  Please direct all your good thoughts to Abby!

PS.  For some reason Abby didn't get her dad's email for this week, so she is responding to my email. 

This week was really good! We have an investigator that was being taught by the elders in Woodward Park, and we are now teaching him. He is getting baptized this month! We are so excited and I can't wait to watch him enter into those waters. We have some things we still need to work through with him but I know he will keep the commitment he made to be baptized. It's going to be an amazing feelings to watch him enter those waters.

Earlier this week, we had a miracle walk to our door--literally! We were at our apartment eating dinner because we didn't have a dinner that night. We heard our doorbell ring and we weren't sure who it could be so Sister Ard got up and looked through the peephole since I'm too short and thought it was the daughter of a man who feeds us occasionally in our apartment complex. But it wasn't. It was a Fresno State student who was taking a world religion class. She had seen us going to church on Sunday and wanted to know when the service was and where. She said she had to go to one for her class and she knew that we were members of a congregation. So we gave her the information and we're hoping she'll come soon! She didn't come yesterday, but she will come someday soon. Her stuff is due soon I think. I know that the Lord works in ways we can't understand so I know she'll feel the spirit when she comes to church and she'll want to learn more, even if it's not right away. It was a blessing from the Lord that day.

There is a family in Alluvial who is so good to us. We wanted some granola bars (the peanut ones you always get at Costco) and they had told us in the past if we ever needed anything from Costco to let them know. So we did. They went on Saturday and they got us granola bars and Lucky Charms. It was so amazing to feel their love for us and their desire to help us. They also told us this really cool missionary experience they had a few days earlier. Their neighbor across the street had a daughter who was getting surgery the next day. Her daughter wanted a blessing so they had called the mission office to see if they could get one. Sister Winter, the referral secretary, called us and asked if we could get someone to go, but we had the wrong address and the person who she called when she couldn't get a hold of us had the number but the woman didn't answer. Well, apparently she went across the street to the Burts' home (that's the family's name) and asked him if he knew anyone or could help her find someone to give her daughter a blessing. Brother Burt told her that he could do it. So he called his father and he and his father were able to give this woman's daughter a blessing. It was such a great story and I knew then that we had the wrong address because the Burts needed to do that. It was amazing.

I'm so glad Hunter's team is doing so much better this year! It makes me happy to hear that. And I'm so excited that the Beutlers moved back into the third ward. I love them so much! It'll be weird to see a different fridge and entertainment center. I'm praying for you and your classes. I hope you can feel them!

I love being here. I want everyone to know that. It's hard. It's the hardest thing I have ever done, but I know it's worth it. I love you!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

Also, crazy story! We have an senior couple who's related to Adam (Adam is Abby's brother-in-law) and his family! Elder and Sister Winter. We were talking and she told me she had family in Idaho Falls and then she said the Snarrs. I was like, "No way! My sister married one!" She knows who Adam's dad is and his father too. I just thought it was strange! I've been serving with them for three months and I just now found that out!

Monday, September 1, 2014

Abby is doing Awesome!


Sorry this is so late. It has been kind of a crazy day. The Library is closed today because it's Labor Day so we almost weren't going to email today. But then some stuff happened and we decided to come to the family history center. The elders have a key. So that's why it's so late. I hope you all are having a good day though!

My week was kind of hard. It was transfer week so we were helping with that. There was a sister who was leaving and had to be at the mission home on Tuesday morning so we picked up her companion and then ended up with another sister too. We had two sisters for half the day on Tuesday and one stayed the night. But we were able to go to the farewell which was a lot of fun! I saw Elder Mo'O and Sister Hamilton and it was so great to see them! Sister Hamilton is still North, but she is even further North in Salida (Medesto). But one of the other elders I came out with is now in Clovis so I'll get to see him at zone conference! I was so excited! It was really awesome to hear that.

We had to drop Chuck. We taught him the Restoration on Wednesday and he was totally unreceptive to it. He stopped us a million times to ask us some ridiculous question that didn't pertain to anything we were talking about. He kept asking about the Catholic Church. Sister Ard and I both bore really powerful testimonies about it. He was not receptive to the spirit we both know was there at all. It was really heartbreaking to see that. But hopefully one day he will come to accept it. He has a Book of Mormon and he knows how to pray. He can go to God. If only he trusts in the Lord, he will be able to know the truth.

We heard on Wednesday that we are now covering both Alluvial and Woodward Park. The two richest areas in the mission. Yay for us! I am actually really excited but that made our week a little bit harder and more stressful. However, that day I did pray that God would give me something to keep me focused that day. So he gave us two areas instead of one. But thankfully we still have Alluvial to fall back on. And we have been told to put more focus on Alluvial than on Woodward Park because they are so missionary minded. It is so awesome! The members are awesome and they love missionaries. It's great! I am excited to work with both ward. Hopefully this will help Alluvial become more missionary minded too. I am crossing my fingers.

I got two packages this week--one from you and one from Brittany. I did get all those CDs. You didn't need to send me Brittany's CDs. I feel bad that I have them. Maybe I'll see if I can burn them and send them back. I'm sorry! I totally thought you knew how to burn CDs. But that's okay. I love them all! And Brittany's package made me so happy! I am so excited! A baby boy! (I'm going to assume she told you all because I can't contain myself.) I love it so much! I can't wait to see my new nephew. Whenever he'll be here. It's going to be so exciting! Elder Linekar (my zone leader) told me on Wednesday that he had a package for me but I haven't seen him since then so I don't have it yet. We went to the mission office that day and that's when I got the other two packages so I wasn't sure if he had the package or if it was at the mission office. I think he has one for me, but I am not totally sure.

Ooh a new fridge? Of course, after I leave. But that's okay. It'll be there when I get back!

Oh sad. But that's okay. That's only one game lost. (Hunter's soccer team lost one of their games this week) They are doing so much better this year than last year. I'm sad I'm missing it, but I'm there in spirit! But that really stinks that they only lost by one and they were winning at half time. Those are always disappointing games to watch.

I've been praying for you and your English class. I hope you can feel them! I pray for all of you everyday.

Oh! we have an investigator that we inherited from Woodward Park! His name is Alan. He is technically in the Fresno West Stake so I am not sure if we will be able to baptize him, but the fellowship he has in Woodward Park is so amazing. Everyone loves him and everyone wants him to be baptized. And he wants to be baptized so bad! We will have to see if we can get permission to baptize him in Woodward Park. But I think we have to get permission from an Apostle or possible President Monson. We'll see what happens! I'm praying that it will happen!

I hope everything is going well at home. I miss you all and I hope you know I pray for you everyday. I love you lots!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese


This week has been one of the longest weeks ever but one of the shortest too. The days seemed to take forever, but the week itself went by pretty fast. It's weird to think about that. Part of the reason it seemed so long was because it was such a crazy week. We were given another area to cover--Woodward Park. We are now covering the two richest wards in the mission. It's great! I actually love the members so much. They are so amazing and I really am excited to get to know them. They love missionaries and they are so excited about missionary work. Hopefully it will help our other ward get excited too. Especially since I think both the ward mission leaders are working together now. We are hoping we will have more people to teach now. We'll see how it works out. I think this is one big reason that Sister Ard and I are still together.

We had to drop Chuck this week. It was really heartbreaking, especially since I know the spirit was so strong in the lesson we had with him this week. We taught him the Restoration and we both bore our testimonies and it was so powerful. Yet, he didn't feel it. It was so sad and I really wish we could have helped him, but he just wasn't opened to it. It was one of the most powerful lessons I had ever been in, even though he wasn't receptive to the spirit. I know one day he will be. One day missionaries will look through the area book and see him as a former investigator and they will go by and he will be more open since we taught him. He respects us and what we do but he doesn't want to believe what we've taught him and it's really sad.

On a happier note, we do have another investigator that Woodward Park was teaching. His name is Alan. He has been to church seven times and he wants to be baptized so bad. He's maybe fifty. He has such a strong desire to come unto Christ and he wants to eventually get to the temple too. I don't know if we will be able to baptize him in Woodward Park though because he lives in another stake and so we have to get permission from an Apostle or President Monson. I'm not sure which. I'm hoping and praying we will get to baptize him though because I already love him.

Mom told me about the fridge. I'm jealous. I bet it's super nice and I won't get to see it until I come home. But that's okay. We have a fridge too that is perfectly functional.

At least they are doing a lot better than they were. (Abby is referring to Hunter's soccer team)I read the final score against Meridian and I was shocked. What happened to them?? Why couldn't they score last season? It makes me kind of sad that I can't see it but I am glad I am where I am. I know they will continue to do awesome and I am there in spirit cheering them on. But that's sad that they lost by one point against Centennial. I really dislike fans who are nasty. That always irritated me. But hopefully next time we will be able to show them that we are a great team!

Duke is funny. He loves being in your room at night. Probably because he has more space there. What are you using my room for? Just out of curiosity.

How did your talk go yesterday? Didn't you say that you had to speak for ten to fifteen minutes? I'm sure you did great. You can wing stuff like that easily.

I wish it would start cooling off here. It has. But "cooling off" means it's not in the high nineties instead of the low hundreds. They say they sometimes get another heat wave in September...I'm not looking forward to it. But at least we have a car and don't have to ride bikes. I wish it would rain here too. Fresno is in a terrible drought. It hasn't rained here forever. I mean, it has sprinkled and tried to rain a couple times since I have gotten here but not a lot. You probably got more rain this summer than Fresno did.

Though this week was hard, I know that God gave me several reasons to remind me that I am here for a reason. It is really amazing to know that He has a plan for me that He may not reveal to me for a while. I just need to always remind myself that I haven't done all I need to do here yet. I pray for everyone at home all the time. I hope that one day everyone will understand my love for this Gospel and will want to learn more of it. I love you and I pray for you everyday! I hope you have a great week!

Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese