Wednesday, February 26, 2014

We Stay IN

"When you are involved in the work of the Lord the power behind you is always greater than the obstacles before you." -Elder Dallin H. Oaks

This week has been so eventful and my heart is so full! I love being a missionary, I love my best friend Sister Nance, and I will never get over how wonderful and sacred Kirtland is.

Something awesome: The Kirtland Visitor's Center sisters received permission to read Karl Anderson's books, "Joseph Smith's Kirtland" and "The Savior in Kirtland." READ THEM! You will NOT be sorry! They are fantastic and so well written. You will come to understand the significance of the place. I already bought myself a copy of each and I'm going to beg Patriarch Anderson to sign them for me; I don't think it'll take much haha.

We had Zone Conference on Wednesday. I always look forward to this kind of stuff. We were edified, uplifted, and instructed on how to be better missionaries and servants of God. We focused on opening our mouths, talking with everyone we see, and mastering the lessons in Preach My Gospel. In the middle of the conference President Vellinga stops and asks Sister Nance and I to demonstrate how to teach the Plan of Salvation in perfect unity, covering all the points in PMG, at a funeral full of non-members, and invited us up to the podium.
1. Sister Nance and I have never taught the Plan of Salvation together. 
2. Sister Nance and I had taught maybe one lesson together. 
3. Luckily for us, we were fast friends. 
4. It was awesome and so easy! 

The benefits to being able to finish each other's sentences are endless-haha! When you serve a mission, you hear a whole other definition of this word we call LOVE. It's the pure love of Jesus Christ, it is the work of salvation. Our mission is to show the world what love really is. The Gospel of Jesus Christ blesses families - FOREVER! Our world is sinking in problems, but the Gospel will keep us safe and true. I know that life can be hard, everyone has challenges, but I also know where I came from, I know my purpose here on Earth, and I know where I am going. Heavenly Father loves us and will bring us safely home if we let Him.

Sister Nance and I took ourselves out to Olive Garden for Valentine's Day hahaha. A member in the ward gave us some money for dinner. Also, Sister Thornock made the coolest thing for dessert on Thursday! Ice cream made from only bananas! It was divine...

We were able to see E this week! He is doing well but is still progressing so slowly. We want him to take his time and really feel the Spirit. He has a hard time remembering pretty much anything because of a stoke he had, but I know that the Lord will help him to understand all that he needs to. E is the cutest thing! He calls us to remind us of our appointments sometimes (haha) and I think he really enjoys meeting with us, but he wants to try out a bunch of religions and makes it clear that he's not committing to anything.

At the John Johnson Farm
On Friday we got to travel to Hiram to go to the John Johnson Farm for our weekly Kirtland Training Meeting. It was really good! I have had a cold all week so I was kind of miserable, but the Spirit was so strong. Amazing things happened there and I know that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ appeared there to Joseph Smith and revealed the kingdoms of glory, section 76 in the Doctrine and Covenants. Go read it!

On Saturday night I woke up in the middle of the night pretty much in agony, but of course hate going to the doctor so I ignored it until Sunday night when I went into the ER. This week has been an emotional roller coaster and to be honest I am drained; exhausted to say the least. I am getting through it and am getting help from many doctors who want what's best for me. Sometimes our bodies are tricky and don't do everything we demand them to-haha! My mission has not been a cookie cutter mission, and it probably never will be, but it is the mission that Heavenly Father called me to serve. I believe in the strengthening, enabling, and redeeming power of the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I know that I can trust Heavenly Father and that whom He calls, he qualifies. I know that this church is the true church of Jesus Christ restored to the earth through a living prophet and I know that the greatest, most important thing I could ever do with my time right now is to preach the Gospel.

This is my testimony too:

"I have absolute knowledge - perfect knowledge - that God loves us. He is good. He is our Father. and He expects us to pray, and trust, and be believing, and to NOT give up, NOT panic, and NOT retreat and jump ship when something doesn't seem to be going just right...

We stay in. We keep working. We keep believing, keep trying, and keep trusting, following that same path, and we will live to fall in His arms and feel His embrace, and hear Him say, 'I told you it'd be okay, I told you it'd be alright.'"

-Elder Jeffrey R. Holland

High Rollers!

Well another week down and I'm feeling great! I'm still alive, even though I have a hard 
time replying to letters. I indeed still exist. I promise I'm going to reply to a bunch today! The problem is that I LOVE getting letters, but I am just awful at writing back. I always run out of time on preparation day. I'm so, so, so grateful for all the sweet Valentine's Day cards and for the awesome packages Mom and Dad! I feel so loved and so happy! It's one of my favorite holidays! 
So our district has started using hashtags when we text each other. Too far ha ha? I 
don't know, but it's funny. Staying in contact with our district keeps us motivated and focused on our district goals.

 This week we had two lessons with E! We talked to him about baptism as our first covenant. I think that lesson kind of overwhelmed him a little bit. I could definitely see some wheels turning in his head, but he just progresses very slowly. Later in the week we just talked about recognizing answers to prayer. He told us that he had to watch his granddaughters on Sunday so he wouldn't be able to make it to church. We were devastated! At the end of the lesson however, he said, "well I guess I could make it for the first hour… " The Spirit can work miracles! That makes three weeks in a row with E at church. I think he really likes it, he's just resistant to 

Happy Birthday Sister Smith!
Valentine's Day was Sister Smith's birthday so after training meeting we came back to the house and surprised her with breakfast! I'm so glad I don't turn 20 for another six months. Scary! 

Anyway I of course didn't join in on the French toast, but it was still fun. Later that day we went to Golden Living Center to get trained to volunteer. It's an assisted living center in our area. We literally watched videos on "slips and falls" and "senior citizen abuse" for two hours. Biggest waste of my life ha ha! 

But at least now we are certified to lead BINGO.

Another super fun thing that we did on V–day was get super stuck in the snow and spent 30 minutes shoveling ourselves out… good times. To make matters worse, did I mention we drive a minivan in this ward? 

Yep folks- HIGHROLLERS. 

There's no riding dirty in that baby. I tried to avoid telling you, but the truth always comes out. Sunday was awesome! We were able to traveling to Cleveland with Elder and Sister Sorensen to go to Mission Pres.'s fireside for new members and investigators. Let me just start with #ghettoCleveland. The fireside was wonderful, Justice was one of the speakers! She shared a beautiful poem about being a child of God and wanting to serve a mission. Love her! E was supposed to come but he never showed up. 

It's so great to be a missionary and be in Kirtland! 

Sister Nance is the best companion a sister could ask for! I've been so blessed to have been 
able to become best friends with my companions. Sister Nance has only run a few redlights and nearly killed us once or twice. But all is well.

Even though it is hard to get my body to make it through the day sometimes, I choose to push myself and I choose to be happy about it. 2 Nephi 2:25, "men are that they might have joy!" Might is the operative word for me. Might=agency. No one can force us to feel, we can choose what we want to be. Men are that they can choose to have joy. So to be or not to be- that is the question...I say be! 
Be happy, be grateful, be yourself! 

I love you so much!

Sister Mohler

Sisters Mohler & Nance

Fancy Nancy

This week has been one of change! On Tuesday I celebrated Hannah's birthday by working extra hard at the Visitors Center-haha! I hope she had a good one! On Wednesday we were supposed to go to transfer meeting in Kirtland, but because of bad weather, it was changed to Thursday in Cleveland. Yay- another day in Euclid word and another day with sister Clark!  That evening we had a last correlation meeting with the Tally's and the Elders at Five Guys. That was kind of fun! I just ate my burger without the bun. Most days it's not hard to stick to the diet, but sometimes it can be really hard! The sisters like to order pizza at sites from this awesome pizza place and I'm always tempted to eat it! "Just once wont won't hurt" ha ha. Luckily I have some delicious alternatives to fight the urge!
(Sister Mohler is on a special diet to address some health issues, not to lose weight!)

I feel so much better these days and I'm so glad that many of the things I'm trying are working! I still felt exhausted 24/7, but I'm sick of going to back to the doctor. On Thursday we had transfer meeting. The weather was still bad so Pres. decided that the site sisters should just stay in Kirtland and have a separate transfer meeting with Elder Sorensen. It makes sense because we all just switch companions there anyway.

My new companion is Sister Nance, as if it couldn't get any better!  She's always happy and positive and loves missionary work just as much as I do.

Sister Nance and I have two investigators: E and S! E is a sweet Vietnam veteran and takes his sweet time learning about the Gospel. That's okay because we are usually pretty patient. S comes to church every Sunday and has a few friends in the ward.  Both E and S are just awesome people and sister Nance and I are going to get them where they need to go!

Sister Nance laughs at everything I say. She makes me feel like I might actually still have a personality despite what my letters sound like. I like to call her Fancy Nancy. : )

We get so many international calls and chats when we're at sites. This week I talked to people from Fiji, Thailand, South Africa, Bangalore, and many more! Sometimes the language barrier is rough but the Spirit can always reach a prepared heart. The man from Africa called the bishop and is going to church on Sunday! Another cool thing happened this Sunday back in the Euclid ward. A family from Ukraine just walked into church wanting to learn more! They said they had always seen the beautiful temple in Ukraine and are now meeting with Sister Clark and her new companion. What a miracle! The temple is such an important place. I learn that more and more each day as I talk to people about the Lord's commandment to build the Kirkland Temple, the sacrifice it took, and as I do my family history. These welding links are crucial to our salvation and salvation of our ancestors! How lucky we are to have temples on the Earth today!

Something fun this week was that we got to do some service for a member in our ward! Yay! I love, love, love service. We cleaned her house. We also convinced Ed to let us come do service for him this Thursday. I can't wait! Shoveling snow is a great workout.

My first Sunday in the Kirtland Ward was great! There is awesome leadership and organized missionary efforts. I can tell there are bright things in our future. : ) We are really doing everything we can to use every second of our time to serve the Lord. Our goals are to teach as many lessons as possible and to talk to many people as possible. Don't forget what matters most!  I love my mission and happy Valentine's Day!

Sister Mohler

Sunday, February 16, 2014

No Unhallowed Hand Can Stop The Work...Or Sister Mohler

Hyrum Smith Home

Since the baptism things of been really slow in our area. We do a lot of finding activities: tracking, snow shoveling, service, family history, member lessons, you name it! But we don't have any investigators. We know that as we work hard and dedicate all our time to the Lord He will lead us to those who are prepared to accept the Gospel. : ) We are learning to be really creative! 

One of my favorite parables in Mark is the parable of "the seed growing secretly." (Mark 4:26 – 29) James E Talmage said, "the sower in this story is the authorized preacher of the word of God; he implants the seat of the Gospel in the hearts of men, knowing not what the issue shall be. Passing on to some similar ministry elsewhere, attending to his appointed duties in other fields, he, with faith and hope, leaves with God the result of his planting and harvest of souls converted through his labor, he is enriched and made to rejoice." We rejoice in knowing that our area of the Lord's Vineyard is bursting with seeds and we are excited for the day when they will be cultivated. We never know who will accept the gospel, but we have faith and hope that as we attend to our appointed duties elsewhere, God will bring forth a result of our planting. 

Speaking of elsewhere, I am being transferred! :((  I absolutely adore Euclid ward and I am so sad to say goodbye. They are my family and I will miss them all. I've learned so much in this area and I'm thankful for all that the Lord has blessed me to experience here. I'm looking forward to new challenges. I'm anxious to get down to business in my new area! Sister Clark I had a great run and we will be friends for eternity. (Sister Mohler moved into a different house and serves a different area and ward, but still works at the Visitor's Center two days a week.)

Our ward mission leader told us that his neighbor tried giving him $20 to give to the "people in his church" that always shovel her driveway. I was like, we don't want your money, we want to TEACH you woman! Hey, at least she noticed… 

Everybody's Shovelin' (well, at least Sister Clark is)
Something else cool that came from shoveling was a phone call received at the visitor center. A guy called looking for two missionaries who always shovel for him. He had always hated Mormons and they were racist, but after seeing these missionaries in such Christlike service he wanted to hear what he had to say. He called the number on the pass-along card which led him to us and we sent the missionaries in his area right over! It was such a miracle to hear about! Every small, seemingly insignificant thing we do as members and missionaries impacts the lives of those around us. : )) 

The sites are excruciatingly slow right now ha ha. I can't even remember the last time I took a tour. The good news is that chat and the phones are always busy. I even have a few investigators I'm working with through chat. Daniel is in India. I've been able to teach him through chat and he's prepared to be baptized! I'm so thrilled to see him make that step. Another one of my investigators lives in Sweden and I love teaching him and answering questions through chat. He's even meeting with the missionaries in his area now! This week there were tons of chats coming in from Romania and we couldn't figure out why. One of the sisters asked and found out. Apparently there is a Facebook page for "Satana" a.k.a. Satan and he has a ton of followers. He posted the link to to bash it and so all these people were coming on chat. As sisters were talking to the people many of them had sincere questions and accepted missionary visits! It is amazing how something intended to destroy the church can be turned around to lead people to the truth! I know that is an inspired tool to help people coming to Christ. I feel so lucky to be able to teach people to chat, on the phones, at sites, and dinner area. There's no corner of the world that cannot be reached. 
Beautiful Ohio

In the words of Joseph Smith, "no unhallowed hand can stop the work from progressing; persecutions may rage, mobs may combine, armies may assemble, calumny may defame, but the truth of God will go forth boldly, nobly, and independent, 'til it has penetrated every continent, visited every clime, swept every country, and sounded in every ear, 'till the purposes of God should be accomplished and the great Jehovah shall say the work is done. " I know this to be true and I know the work is not done. : )

There's so much to do I can't possibly come home early! I am just overwhelmed with gratitude for the love and prayers from home I know I'm not alone and I no I can do hard things. I feel awful for causing you to worry, but your support and fasting has made an immense difference. I feel at peace knowing that Heavenly Father trusts me to make good decisions. I know that he needs me in Ohio and I have faith that he will give me strength after all I can do. Everything is working out and I'm feeling a lot better! When we report our numbers up at the end of the week one of the elders who is not in our ward will sing and play the ukulele over the phone if I'm feeling sick. So that's a nice gesture, ha ha. 

One night we were doing stop-bys we happened upon a sleepover of a bunch of 10-year-old or so girls. They invited us right in and were hugging us and telling us to join in We hadn't even introduced ourselves yet- ha ha. We talked to the dad and he didn't seem opposed meeting with us but he did belong to another church. One of the girls chimed in, "yeah, actually we just church hop!" So much energy and excitement in that house- ha ha. The girls were not shy to tell us how beautiful we were and invited us back. When we left we heard them all squealing, "they are adorable!" And giggling. I think that family will become new investigators. They brightened our day. 

I feel like I haven't seen the sun in ages! I miss it. If it's not snowing, it's raining, if it's not raining, it's about to. We have had a lot of missionary snow days! The roads get so bad and dangerous in some parts of Ohio you can actually get a ticket if you're driving when the roads have been declared unsafe! All the moisture makes for a beautiful landscape though! It's really not all that bad. The roads we take to get to our area are very picturesque. The scenes look like they belong on a Hallmark card. I accidentally lost one of the nice gloves you sent me, but my boots are still awesome! My coat isn't super warm but it does the job! I love my mission, I love my savior, and I love you! 
This is Sister Nance from Texas. 
She is ALWAYS happy and is a huge ball of sunshine!
We are great friends (:
(and yes, they get asked if they are sisters all the time!)

Five Guys with the Elders