Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Zone Conference, Departing Testimony, and Temple Trip


Dear Family,
This week was a pretty crazy week! We had a lot going on and we even found some new investigators. We slimmed down our investigator pool this week so new ones are definitely needed.
On Monday, I think I already mentioned we went shopping. We got two pairs of boots, but I may send one back. It has a heel and isn't super comfortable. We saw the O’s and I just love them. P's birthday is today (November 16)! We are going to celebrate! I am so excited for him. We saw D and her husband. We just stopped by. They let us in when we just stop by. Brother H came with us. It was pretty great. We got to teach her husband for the first time! He drinks...heavily. We saw H after that. It was really great. We did Family Home Evening with them! It was good. C wanted to teach us about FHE so she and H could do it. (Alma 34:36)
On Tuesday we had district meeting. It was good. I don't really remember what we talked about...OH YEAH! We talked about teach people, not lessons, and How to Begin Teaching. It was good! I am trying to memorize the bullet points. We ate lunch at the O’s. Sister O stopped by our apartment that morning and helped us with some stuff. She dropped off Sister P's clothes. Then she invited us to lunch so we could work on my farewell invitations! IT was good! We saw M after that. She is so great. She didn't come to church though :( We did have stake conference and they can fit the whole stake in one building! Except the Spanish ward. We saw the U’s. They are pretty great. Then we ate dinner with the P’s. They are really great. She made chicken spaghetti! It was yummy! We finished our aprons with the beehives. The woman who texted y'all was Sister M! But the picture was of me and Sister F, who is the second counselor in Young Women. They are both awesome. (Alma 36:3)
Wednesday, we had zone conference! We talked a lot about obedience. President C did this really cool thing where he had this piece of long wood. He put blocks on there of our tools/principles/things we give. Then on the other end he put what God's give. In the middle it was our missionary purpose according to faith. The bigger the fulcrum, the closer we would get to God. The fulcrum was our obedience. I wish I could send a picture! It was really cool. I loved it. I also got to bear my testimony as a departing missionary. That was really weird. There were only two of us at this zone conference. Sister W and I. It felt so surreal. I can't believe how close it is. Afterward, Elder H (J, Ma's ex) came up to me and told me how sad he was that I am going home. I didn't expect that. I never had the opportunity to serve around him. He was in Modesto when I was in Hanford and now he's in Fresno North. So at least I got to see him at zone conferences. He said he would be at my farewell so I will hopefully get a picture! And then Elder M, who is an assistant and an elder I came out with, told me how sad he was. I just really can't believe how close it is. It's super weird. We ate dinner with the B’s and then we went to mutual because it was young women in excellence! It brought back so many memories for me! I just love those girls so much. The young women here are so tight knit. It's so cool to see. We taught H and ended up using President's fulcrum idea with him. We talked about obedience. It was really great. The spirit was really powerful and Brother M, our member who was there, added so much to it. It was really great. (...WE WON SECOND PLACE FOR CAR CHECKS! And we didn't even try that hard...)
Thursday was temple day! But don't worry; I have another trip to make. The day after Thanksgiving. I also got my departing information so I know when I'm leaving and my schedule for the next couple weeks. I love the temple so much. It is one of my favorite things. I will hopefully be able to go pretty regularly when I come home. Sister H took us to the temple. I will send a picture! It was really fun! She took us to Mexican afterward. It was great. We ate dinner with the M’s! K said they were going to come to my farewell and A is getting ready to go through the temple. But K asked her to wait for him! He will be baptized soon. I just know it. We saw R, a nonmember whose grandparents are members. Her grandparents live up near Turlock which isn't even in our mission. We saw Brother H. He's pretty great. I just love him so much. (Mark 5:34)
Friday was fun! WE weekly planned and had two appointments cancel on us! But then we taught F at her husband's sister's house. It was great! We saw the P’s after that and then we got to go to the youth activity that night. It was a nerf war! It's totally something the youth in our ward should do! I was terrible at it. We played this game called Zombie and there was one zombie who had to touch us all but if we shot him he was dead. And we spread out around the church. Sister Putnam and I stayed with the O’s for the duration. C was my body guard. A boy grabbed my ankles...that was weird. After that we saw F and J! I haven't seen them in so long. It was really great! They are coming to my farewell too! (Alma 37:14, 16-17)
Saturday was an interesting day. We finally finished my farewell invitations and we are going to send them as soon as I can this week! It'll be...interesting. We saw R again. She's sweet. She is lonely though. Then we ate dinner with the K's. They are sweet. We went with H and C to the adult session of stake conference and President and Sister Clark spoke! Also, I got to see the R’s from Cedarwood! It was so great! I miss them so much. I got to see a lot of people from Cedarwood. H got us McDonald's afterward. That was cool! (Alma 37:33, 36-37)
Sunday we had stake conference. I got to see P M, a less active I taught a couple times when he first wanted to come back to church--he remembered me!-and Sister O (did you know the junior O’s moved to Meridian??), the L’s, and R! I am sure there's more but those are the only ones I remember. We had more time to work so that was cool. We tried by a couple people but no one answered. Then we ate dinner with the H’s. They made me taquitoes from Costco!! I was so excited! I miss those. We saw the C’s for a little while. I love them a lot. Then we found a new investigator! The Ventura (Spanish) sisters passed off an investigator to us! It was great! She's really sweet :) (Alma 38:5)
I just love this ward so much and I love everyone here. I am grateful for the opportunity I have had to serve here. I love these people and I didn't know I could love people as much as I love these people. I hope you all are doing well too! Thank you for your support. I love you all!!
Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

New Investigators, Exchanges, and Shopping!

Dear Family,
This week was a really productive one! At least more than last week. We found FOUR new investigators, and we taught a lot of lessons! We didn't teach that many last week. It was a rough week. This week was great though!
On Monday, I don't really remember what we did during preparation day. We went to the O’s like we always do, and we ended up going shopping with her and some of her kids! It was just like shopping with Mom, except it wasn't MY mom. It was fun though! She got us a treat and everything, just like you used to do. It felt like home. We ate dinner with them too. So that was really good. Then we saw I A for another new member lesson. We are SO CLOSE to being done with them. He won't be a recent convert in December so we're trying to finish before that happens. We saw H and FINALLY finished general conference. I think he really liked it and I think it helped him. He is progressing more and more now, and he is praying to know if he should be baptized before I go home. I really want him to be, but I don't want him to if he's not ready. (D&C 88:125)
Tuesday we had district meeting which was almost like zone meeting. But Elder W asked me to share my testimony on how the mission can change you so that was a definite blessing. It got me thinking about how the mission really had changed me. It has changed my life. It has changed who I am. I am so grateful for this experience. I don't know where I would be or what I would be without it. I just love serving here and I love these people so much and because of that, I know I will be more prepared for my future. We saw Sister H after district meeting. She is moving so it was luck that got us to her before she moved. Then we saw M M for a church tour! It was really good. I think she really liked it. A member who is friends with her was there and she likes to talk but it was okay. I played the piano for them and Sister P and Sister T, the member with us, sang a song. It was cool! We ate with the M’s and I played their piano! The only recital piece that I remember. We didn't see a lot of people after that. We tried by some but none of them answered. So we went to see Brother H for a minute and interrupted a date so we didn't stay long. It was good though! (Alma 34:9-10)
Wednesday was a good day! Well, kind of. We saw Sister L. That was good. Then we saw F with H A. We then went to the O’s. We went through clothes for the P’s. We weren't able to see them this week because they kept cancelling but it was okay. We ate with the M’s and Brother M talked about his mission in Germany! It was cool. Then we went to mutual and started to make aprons! The beehives invited us so that was a lot of fun! (D&C 19:16-19)
Thursday, we saw Sister J in the morning and then we saw the O’s. Sister O is helping me make my farewell invitations! I appreciate it a lot. We saw M at her home and taught the Restoration. It was really great! Her kids are so sweet. One of them is really engaged and the other one isn't really. The youngest doesn't really pay attention but that's okay. We ate with the L family and it was fun! I love them a lot. We saw H again and Bishop came with us! It was really good! He made a really good point. He talked about studying your decision first and then making it and THEN praying, but God isn't going to give us an answer until we're ready to do it. Brother H talked to us for a few minutes after that. It was good! (Alma 32:15-16)
Friday we went on exchanges after we weekly planned. I went to the Spanish area again with Sister R! It was cool. We tried to contact a few people in Clovis which happened to be in Cedarwood, except these people were Spanish so they weren't in Cedarwood. It was really weird. We then had dinner with a really sweet family. I couldn't understand them but Sister R translated for me. We saw an investigator after that and then nobody answered the door or they were busy. So that was cool. (D&C 76:22-24)
Saturday we exchanged back in the morning and then we did time. We were able to see the M’s after weeks. It was good. P is so sweet. He will be a great missionary. They all came to church on Sunday finally! It was been a really long time since they were all there. R wasn't. But that's normal now. We did service for H and C. It was good! Then we ate dinner--Sister H gave us a pizza. It was artichoke and bacon and chicken...yum...then we taught M. And then we were finally able to get into the H's! It was really good. It has been so long since we've seen them. (Alma 33:11)
Sunday was a really good day. At first I felt a little off but it got better. It was cool. We had three investigators at sacrament! H sat with us because C spoke. We ate dinner with them! It was really good. After dinner with saw U C. Then we we saw Sister H for a little while. It was good. We did much better than last week. (3 Nephi 18:24--my ponderize scripture for the week!)
Today Sister O took us shopping for boots. She was so sweet. The whole family came with us except Brother O. She bought us both two pairs of boots. My one pair is beaten up so they just bought me more. I feel really grateful but also a little selfish. They really went for Sister P, but then they offered for me too. I just...I just love them all so much. I don't know how I'm going to leave them.
I love you all! Thank you for all your support!
Always <3,
Sister Abigail Reese

Monday, November 2, 2015

Service, More Service and Halloween!


Dear Family,

This week was a week filled with service. We had a ton of service hours--we helped the O’s with their backyard. It was so fun! (Yes, Dad, yard work was fun!) We were basically taking tree branches to a pile to be burned but we had to cut them down because they were huge. It was fun though. I loved it. It was a work out too. I had fun throwing leaves and branches and berry-looking things at P and C. And L too, but she's just so sweet, I couldn't always do it.

Monday we ate dinner with the O’s, of course. i love them so much. They are pretty great. It was fun! I loved it. They had really good food, as always. Sister O also did our laundry so that was really nice too. We saw the C’s. I just love them. Brother C shared his conversion story with Sister A. It was pretty great. They are doing pretty good. They just lost an uncle or something so they went to Hollister this weekend for the funeral. (2 Nephi 9:3)

Tuesday we found a new investigator! Her name is M M and she is so solid. She is really open and so prepared. She came from a member. She was a member referral, as all of our recent converts have been. I just love her. She is really great and asks really good questions. She's awesome. We went to the airport to pick up Sister A's companion, Sister A. The assistants were with us, one of which is an elder I came out with. Elder Mo'O. He oh so kindly reminded me that I was going to be there in about five weeks (now four). He'll be there to say good bye. We started doing service for the O’s. It was great! Then we had dinner with the R’s. They are really sweet. We saw the P’s. I love them so much. I hope they know that. We saw Brother H. He's doing great. I just love him so much. (2 Nephi 2:48; Alma 23:6)

Wednesday, we had zone meeting. It was probably the most spiritually exhausting zone meeting I have ever had. And not even in a good way. I felt like I was a terrible missionary afterward. And I won't go more in detail about that. We did service for the O’s again. They are great. Then we ate dinner with the D’s whom I had never really met so that was fun. We saw the R’s family. They are great. I love them a lot. That basically concluded our night. (Mosiah 3:18-19)

Thursday, we did more service and it was so fun! I just love them a lot. Also, Sister O helped me make Grandma's rice krispie treats! They were so good! Except I forgot the butterscotch chips so they weren't as good. But they were still really yummy. We ate dinner with the H’s who are great. I really love them. While we were there, Bishop took a question that one of his daughters asked about what you could write as a testimony if you aren't sure if you have one as a teaching moment. It was good for me. We saw the T's. They are pretty sweet. We saw H and C. They are really great. I love them so much. (Mosiah 4:6, Alma 25:17)

Friday we did more service and did some weekly planning. I just love the O’s. They fed us dinner before the Halloween Trunk or Treat. We decorated our trunk with was kind of pathetic but we walked around and said hi to people most of the night. It was pretty great. It brought back so many memories! I don't even like Halloween, but as a missionary it's great. WE get to spend it with members! We taught M and it was a good lesson on prayer. Then we saw Brother H for a few minutes. He's great. (Mosiah 14:3-7)

Saturday was a pretty unproductive day. We did some service for an inactive woman who was going to get evicted if she didn't clean her garage. That was fun. I saw a mouse that crawled on Sister W and it scared me so much. She ran out of the garage. It was pretty funny. We finished weekly planning which took forever and then C picked us up for dinner since our cars had to be parked at 6. It interesting couple hours. We started to play Life but then C took us to the O’s. That was fun! We sat around a campfire and played Telephone and then we played Mafia. C killed me! I was so hurt! But it was because he knew I was the doctor and also I've been throwing things at him all week so it was payback...I understand. Sort of. It was a good night! (Alma 27:18)

Sunday was a really good day. We had church and I bore my testimony! I don't know if you're aware but it is my last fast Sunday yesterday. I thought I'd share my testimony with them. It took me most of the hour to actually get the nerve to get out of my seat, as you probably know. But it was good. Then before Gospel Principles, I got frustrated with a sister in our ward and I thought I may have offended her so after the class, I apologized. It turns out I didn't actually offend her but I thought I did. In Relief Society, we were talking about miracles and Sister W asked us what miracles we had seen today. This same sister raised her hand and said, "A sister who thought she had offended me today apologized. That doesn't happen to me very often and that is a miracle to me." If I hadn't apologized--because I really didn't want to--this woman wouldn't have been touched and I would never have known how much she needed it. She came and gave me a hug after Relief Society and I felt more love for this particular woman than I had ever felt. It was cool. We ate with the F’s. I love them a lot. We saw the B’s whom I also love. They said we are like family. Then we saw Brother H. We were sitting in our car outside his apartment and we were praying. At the end of the prayer, as I was saying amen, I looked up and opened my eyes and let out a blood curdling scream. There, at our window, was Brother H and his girlfriend, S. Brother H was waving his arms like a bat or something and it scared the living daylights out of me! It was pretty hilarious though. I was just a little shaken by it. (Alma 29:9)

 I love being a missionary so much and I am so grateful for this experience. I wouldn't be who I am without it and I am so grateful for the time that I've had. I love all of you and I know I couldn't have gotten this far without your support.

Always <3,

Sister Abigail Reese


Transfer Week, Farewell, and Sister Arruda!


Dear Family,

This week was really good! Not a ton of interesting things happened, but it was alright. Transfer week is always crazy though, and that it has been. Even though we weren't transferred, we housed two sisters--Sister R while she waited for her companion and Sister A now while she waits for her companion to come from the Philippines. She gets here tomorrow so today is our last full day with her.
On Monday, we did not do much. Just the usual. The O family fed us, like always, and it was really good. We had a good time with them, as usual. We saw F. It was good. Sort of. We had a hard time teaching. We need to be better at that with F, but we are getting there. She is slowly progressing--or so we thought. she didn't come to church yesterday like she said she would. We saw H after that. He is doing well, just progressing very slowly. They are reading the Book of Mormon together and taking notes! He writes down his questions for us to answer. It's great! (Alma 17:10)
Tuesday we didn't do very much. We didn't have a very productive day. We did have a district meeting--Elder V's last. It was so sad. He's home now. It's super weird to think. His flight plans were exactly like mine are, I think. Crazy. We went to the H’s for dinner. They are great. It was just K H and the kids. Her kids are crazy but they are super sweet. We went to the O’s next. She took us to the farewell. It was great! I loved it. The P’s came and Elder V got a picture with them. It was sad to say good bye to him. OH GUESS WHAT?? ELDER MO'O IS THE NEW ASSISTANT!!! You remember him? I came out with him! He's one of my elders. I am so excited. I'll see him more often!! It's great! We took Sister R home with us this night so that was cool. (D&C 10:4; 123:17)
Wednesday was my 17 month mark! Can you believe it has been 17 months since I entered the MTC? I remember it like it was yesterday, and yet it's faded. It's like a dream but not. I feel like so much has happened in such a short amount of time. Weird. We saw Sister J that day and then we ate dinner with the H’s. They are really great. We saw the P’s too. It was fun! They are remembering things so well. Then we saw the R family. They love us. It is really sweet. I just love that family. We saw C because H was out of town. So we stopped and kept her company for a little while. Then we saw Brother H. I just love him so much. (Alma 17:11--my ponderize scripture!)
Thursday, we were in the middle of our studies when the assistants called. They asked us if we would be willing to take an extra sister for a few days--five, to be exact. And it was Sister Arruda! We were companions in Hanford! So, of course, we said yes. We had a really productive day with her though. We found two new investigators! P M and S! Different places but it was cool. We stopped by the R’s briefly. Brother R is pretty blind. But he's cool. We saw the B’s for dinner and met their granddaughter R. They are great. We saw I last that night and then had to get Sister A a mattress to sleep on for the next five days. Brother M helped us out. We found an apartment that was her apartment number but someone lived in that one. She thought we were breaking in. So then we found the RIGHT apartment. It was cool!
Friday we weekly planned. Sister A and I had a good conversation at lunch. We are working together again well. It's great! We saw A M before dinner. We got her address to send her records there so that was really good. Then we ate dinner with Sister V. She's really sweet. She has the cutest baby. Then we saw the U’s. It was good! F said she was scared so I think she's afraid to make the commitment. We saw F and J next. I love them so much. They are great. (Alma 19:23)
Saturday, we saw Sister N who was supposed to feed us but she gave us money instead. Then we did Then we did a service project. It was fun! It was a lot like the dental care thing we did. We saw the U’s again at the church for a church tour. We think she needed it. She has come to church before but she just won't get baptized. I don't know why. We saw Brother H last of all. He's awesome. I just love him. (2 Nephi 2:3, 6-8, and for Hunter and any other young men out there [or young women]: Alma 57:21-27--they were youth like you!! They are valiant!!)
Sunday was crazy. We had a good day at church, of course. Brother H texted us the night before and asked if we could teach the priests about how to use the pamphlets so we did that. It was pretty cool. Sister A and I taught Sister P! It was really cool. the spirit was definitely there. We saw the W’s for dinner and then we were supposed to have an appointment with a potential but she wasn't there. It was sad. But we saw Sister D! I just love her a lot. We taught H again. He was finally home. It was a good lesson. We watched more of conference. We need to figure out how we can help him make it a priority. But I really love that family. (2 Nephi 2:28, D&C 121:45-46)
I just love being here. I know that everything I've done has been really great. I love being a missionary. Thank you for your support and thank you for all your prayers. I LOVE YOU ALL!!

Always <3,

Sister Abigail Reese