Monday, March 25, 2013

Fort Collins Letter #3

An older woman is yelling about Sante Fe in the library right now... not intentionally of course. An employee is helping her on the computer and she is yelling all her questions at the worker. I don't think she can hear very well. What do you think?  :)

So this week has been amazing. It all started last Saturday or Sunday when I starting praying a little differently. I had always asked for help to find those that the Lord has prepared but nothing was really happening even though we were doing all we could to find people to share the gospel with. So knowing this, I told Heavenly Father that I knew there were people here; here in the Stetson Creek Area that were prepared to hear what He has to offer them. I told Him with all my heart that I know they are here and that I can't find them without His help. (This has been made very apparent through our unsuccessful weeks tracting and such) Well, Monday night rolled around and we headed over to some apartments to tract. Before knocking on a single door, we ran into a woman sitting on the patio of an apartment we had already tried knocking a few days prior. The woman, S, and her two children live in another state and were visiting her husband over spring break. She was so open to conversation and shared some really incredible experiences as we asked questions and taught the whole first lesson. We left her with a Book of Mormon, a prayer, and a promise to check back in. 

Well the week flew by (full of very unique tracting stories, service opportunities, and meeting more of our ward's members). When we woke up to a fresh blanket of snow Saturday morning, my companion was disappointed but I couldn't help but smile knowing that more people would be home than usual. I couldn't wait to get started. Wanting to make sure and see S before she left the next morning, we walked over (it was a "no drive day" for missionaries) and knocked on the door. Her husband, J answered and invited us in. We all sat down on the floor and got to know their family a little bit. They are so kind and have the most comforting southern accents. We then brought up the gospel and included J this time. When I bore testimony of how much Christ's gospel could bless him and his family and asked if that is something he would be interested in hearing more about, he responded with, "I'll listen, but I'm not going to say anything." Well we prayed and began teaching. He asked several questions, shared his thoughts, and spoke openly about the kind of father he wants to be to his kids. Oh, and S mentioned how they had plans to go to the zoo that day, but then it snowed! I was beaming by the time we left their apartment thinking about how grateful I was for the spirit and the snow. I cannot wait to return this Saturday to teach their family again (S via computer). 

The Lord really does act on faith and I know that my faith gave Heavenly Father an opportunity to bless someone else. It is an extremely humbling experience to know how much He has assisted us in finding this beautiful family that is sincerely searching for truth.

I love you all and am working really hard to get letters written to everyone. Know that I think about you all the time and truly live to read about what you are up to. :) Thank you for the love, support, pictures, and time you spend to make sure I know you care.  

I don't know where I'd be without my family and the knowledge that we get to be together forever.

Love you, 
Sister Rashauna Hoer

Tuesday, March 19, 2013

Fort Collins Letter #2

Rashauna with Sister & President Thoombs

Oh man hearing about the family makes me so happy. Thank you for the letters :)  Thank you for fasting for me, too! I had been sick and throwing up for a few days and Sunday.... the day you fasted.... was the first time I felt like myself again. It was so incredibly difficult trying to work still while feeling like I was about to throw up almost 24/7 and not being able to sleep. Ha-ha, I went a little crazy and thought about how you said something along the lines of: "if anyone wanted to torture me all they would have to do is keep me awake" Well, let me tell you, I couldn't agree more. Anyway, thank you. It amazes and inspires me every time I think about how spiritually in tune you are. 

I  heard a rumor today we might be getting 2 hours of email time instead of 1 sometime in the future. Keep your fingers crossed. Oh, I've been thinking of a scripture and just can't make up my mind on one (what's new?) I guess Alma 26:15-16. Yeah.
So, this week we followed up with a woman named M that I challenged to read the Book of Mormon. She read and I almost had a heart attack when I asked what she thought about it and she answered plainly, "It's true." My companion, Sister O'Donovan, laughed later as she told me how obvious it was how surprised I was by the look on my face! The sisters before I got here had been visiting with M and now we are finally going to be able to teach her a lesson! Very exciting. P, another person I challenged to read the Book of Mormon, got pneumonia..... so we'll be checking in with him later. 

There's a woman named R we met.  She was just sitting on her back patio (which is open, no fence or anything) so we walked up and asked if there was anything we could do for her. She was having a pretty bad day and after we were able to talk about some of our basic beliefs and assure her that Heavenly Father loves her, she helped remind me of why we are here when she said, "Here I am thinking no one cares, and you gals come out of nowhere just to check on me. That means a lot." I can't really describe how that made me feel, but it was incredible. It was energizing. It gave me the incentive I needed to keep going that day, even though I felt so nauseated I almost threw up on her dog. O-kay, so I'm exaggerating a little bit :) But, thinking back about what R said just makes me happy. Happy that we were able to uplift her in some way and so happy to be healthy again. 

I was able to teach my first lesson!!! It was to an amazing 7 year old, J. His mother, M (incredible woman, I love her), joined the church about a year ago and J is really excited to prepare for his baptism in April. We taught him about the Plan of Salvation and were impressed with how well he answered our questions and asked his own. 

Tracting (going door to door) this week resulted in a few possible investigators that we're excited to follow up with. Other than that, life is good, and anything is possible with our Heavenly Father nearby.

Love you all so very much and I think about you always.

Sister Rashauna Hoer

Monday, March 11, 2013

Fort Collins, Colorado Letter #1

At the MTC...

...unloading Rashauna's suitcases...

...the traditional mom & dad kiss... more photo before Rashauna entered the MTC.

The last few days at the MTC were full of good advice but one particular phrase that stuck out to me was from a member of our zone's leadership, Brother Ellis, who said, "Give 'em heaven!" I hope you liked that as much as I did.

We were waiting for our departing devotional to start when I saw a picture of Uncle Mike and Aunt Laurie greeting missionaries pop up on the giant screen in front of the room. Most of the people around me were sitting quietly so it was very noticable when I stated in my normal (which is kinda loud) voice, "That's my family!" I was so surprised. There was also an Elder Bryce Klabacka in my zone that knows Steve and Cynthia as well as another Sister who approached me at lunch asking if I knew who Chantre Hoer in Las Vegas. Well as a matter of fact, yes I do. She wrote her name on a napkin for me: Sister Melissa McElvany. My family is pretty remarkable. Case closed.

Anyway, the MTC was incredible and I've learned more about Christ in two weeks than I have in my lifetime. The more I learn, the more I want to be like Him. The more I want to slow down and trust Heavenly Father. The more I want to reach out to others and encourage them to do the same.

Perfect time to head out into the real world, right? Well I'm in Colorado! Fort Collins to be exact. We've just been doing a lot of door to door tracting. I've realized how much I enjoy a conversation with anyone about anything after getting so many people fearful to say more than a few words with us before closing the door. It's an exciting challenge though to bring the gospel into any one of those precious conversations. I have a few people committed to read the Book of Mormon and will be checking in with them later this week. A few of them have already snuck their way into my heart and I want more than anything for them to know what I know: that happiness comes through following Jesus Christ. One particular person is Pete. I really hope that I have more to share about him soon. Stay posted.

The Mission President and his wife are amazing people. They have so much respect for their responsibilities while serving a mission, but still have fun. My companion, Sister O'Donovan and I have acquired a similar balance and work really well together. The Stetson Creek Ward we are serving in is also incredible. I've really enjoyed getting to know the people here and it's only just begun.