Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Greeley Letter #11

Giant apples...Rashauna loves fruit & veggies!
Rashauna & fellow missionaries helping at the food bank.
Baking raspberry cobbler for a birthday treat.
Rashauna and friends.
R AND S CAME TO CHURCH!!!!! This is probably the only thing I cared about this whole week. Several cool things happened, but nothing compared to how happy this made me. Funny story. There is a Catholic church right next to ours. We had called R & S in the morning and they said they were just waking up and about to get ready. Sweet! It was getting closer and closer to ten and we still hadn't seen them... I texted S and the conversation went as follows:
Me: Hey we have a seat saved for you!!
S: We are already here, towards the back
Me: (after searching the building) Really? We don't see you? Are you at the LDS church?
S: Oh, we're at St. Mary's, I thought this didn't seem like what you have been talking about. Is it too late to come over to yours?
Me: No, not at all!
Well, we were 10 minutes late getting into the chapel, but WHO CARES!!! They came and loved it. It was stake conference and there were several technical difficulties trying to watch the broadcasted version at our building. It was a mess, but they were able to meet our bishop and already have plans to come next week to see what it is normally like. I am so grateful for the spirit that was present, there were many good talks that touched their hearts.
I'm running out of time, but so many miracles happened this week. We see Heavenly Father's hand in all that we do and we have so much fun while doing it. We are always laughing. I love it.
Sister Rashauna Hoer

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Greeley Letter #10

Bronco fans!  A member gave them hats to wear.
Homemade horchata!
Temple Time!
Tennis time on P-day.
So today marks exactly 11 months since I started the mission. I honestly used to not keep track, but everybody asks..... everybody. Did people do that to you Leshelle?
Last Monday, we had family home evening with our recent convert family. I can't even describe how much I love this family. They love us, too. They tell everyone to please call before coming over. Ooops -- we haven't been doing that. Our next visit, we called to see if it would be alright if we stopped by and read together. Their response, "You know you don't have to ask." Well, I gotta tell you, it feels great to be the exception sometimes. :) The mother participated in family night and we even had the opportunity to talk about prophets later in the week. I feel comfortable enough that I can ask her anything. I continue to invite her in various ways. She still says not yet, but we're getting closer. 
R wasn't able to make it to church. As a matter of fact none of our investigators made it. That was hard. But we had several less actives that we've been working with there, and little things help us feel the spirit all the time. I just know that everything is going to be alright. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for me personally and for the people we visit. We helped out with a habitat build again. I love being on a construction site. I have so, so, so much to learn still but somehow it feels like home. I keep expecting to see my dad walk around the corner or something.
On Thursday it was Grandpa Buss's birthday (the member we live with). He was gone all day at the temple because he goes every Thursday so we filled his bathroom with balloons and a birthday card. A day or two later, we got home and I ran to the bathroom because we had been out all day and was surprised to see our bathroom downstairs filled with all the balloons! There is always something exciting going on, haha. I also just love birthdays. I love celebrating anything really. I think everyone should feel special on their birthday.
Saturday I got to go to the temple with Sister Jarvis and Emily Johnson (who I met in Laramie, but is student teaching in Denver). It was a remarkable day. Sunday followed suit. We didn't have time in the morning to plan out what we would be teaching to everybody that day due to early church meetings (one at 6:30, one at 7:30, and then church at 9) so we just kinda planned as we went. It worked out perfectly, though and it didn't have anything to do with us. Each appointment we would arrive, say a prayer, and a thought would come into our minds of what to teach. First it was the Sacrament to a less-active. Then it was the nature of the godhead to our investigator -- (by the way, when we went to visit our investigator, the first words out of his mouth almost were, "are there two gods" as he was looking at a picture of the first vision). Each time we followed a prompting, it was exactly what the person needed. It was incredible. We just have to be willing to work, and Heavenly Father does the rest. I feel like I say that all the time, but it's true.
Today, we played tennis and I just about died with happiness. I love tennis. A little dramatic? Yes, but needless to say I was really happy. Our ward mission leader does such a good job helping us in every way. Getting members to our lessons, keeping our dinner calendar filled and letting us borrow tennis raquets... rackets.... I have no idea how to spell that. But his family is great.
Love you!! I wear my scarves all the time :) Thanks again!
Sister Rashauna Hoer

Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Greeley Letter #9

Beautiful Colorado sky
Puzzle time with fellow missionaries.
Killing time at the hospital...

R is doing great. He was listening to the Book of Mormon on CD when we showed up randomly.That made my day :) He wasn't able to get to church this Sunday due to sickness so that's still our main focus. I know he'll love it, we just have to get him there. He is so sensitive to the spirit I know he'll be able to feel how powerful the spirit is in the chapel. We just need to get him there.
Tuesday was absolutely insane. I was with another Sister Training Leader all day and just handled a lot of crazy sister stuff...... companion issues, seizures, hospital, missing companions.... that doesn't even put a dent into all that went on. Somehow it all happened on the same day. What the heck. Needless to say, I was just really excited to do missionary work again on Wednesday. Sister Jarvis and I's companions (both brand new) managed to cover all of our appointments for the day. I couldn't be more impressed with them.
We took T out to lunch for her birthday and she invited a bunch of her non-member friends. So we were able to meet and talk with all of them for an hour. It was great! I had been asked to give a training at our zone meeting today. I had been praying on what I should talk on and finally this morning, with only 10 more minutes to study, it came to me. I had about 3 sentences written down and one scripture I wanted to discuss.... I really don't know how it happened, but it went better than I could have ever expected. I led a discussion about change. Change that comes whether we like it or not. Change that we bring about. Then I focused on the fact that we are all always changing and we have been given the power to choose which direction we are changing in. People mentioned that that was one of the most revelatory meetings they've had on the mission so far. I attribute it wholly to the spirit. It is always an amazing (and very humbling) experience to be able to be an instrument for the spirit to help others.
Thursday we helped out at the Habitat for Humanity build. I love A, he's the guy in charge and is hilarious. I found out today that he is a less-active member. We got to talking about a couple things and I was able to answer a few questions he had and clear up a few misconceptions. I invited him to church and he laughed, but I personally think he is one step closer to activity. Later we went to the food bank to volunteer and a sister in the zone said, "You want to know how much I love you?" I said sure. She continued, "I only have a few people taped in my Book of Mormon. My sister, my brother, and that's it. Well.... now you're in it." I seriously love these people. Missionaries and non-missionaries. I can't get over how special I feel everyday. Thanks for your prayers. I can feel them all the time through other people and letters and the spirit. It's incredible.
Saturday Sister Jarvis and I went to Fort Morgan. A set of sisters was brought out there to start a new area and have had a hard time getting a teaching pool going. So we all worked there for the day. We went tracting and in an hour and a half found 6 potential investigators (4 with set return appointments), passed out 2 Book of Mormons, and found a new investigator that we were able to teach on the spot. It was seriously a miracle. We hardly were told no. I had been praying for a miracle to help lift these sisters spirits and here it was. I shouldn't be surprised when things like this happen but I always am. Heavenly Father loves us so much. I've felt that a lot lately. I was even able to do a little Spanish tracting and extended some invitations to church. It was so cool. One man answered the door and was just intrigued by us. He said he could see an energy around us like none other. I might have encouraged him a little bit and asked what it looked like, ha-ha. He said that a green, a vivid green surrounded me and that he just saw peace around my companion. What does peace look like? I'm not really sure.
I've really seen the importance of being ourselves and being happy. If we do that and are alligning our will with God's, everything works out. Miracles one right after another. Sister Jarvis and I drove back to Greeley. It was overall the most successful exchange we've been on. And I loved the road trip!! Even if it was just an hour there and an hour back.
Sunday was a day of miracles for our area. N texted (the one that moved to Denver) and said she'd be in town for two hours and asked if we could stop by. YES!!! It was so cool to see her. It was almost like seeing family. We taught her and let her know that missionaries in Denver should be in contact with her soon. We have 3 new investigators!!! One we found tracting. The other two are the grandchildren of the less-active grandparents. The lesson went great and the grandparents even helped us to teach them. It was really neat. I'm excited to see what happens with both kids and grandparents.
We have so much planned for this week. We're having family home evening with our recent converts tonight. I made brownies last night to surprise the kids with :) and Sister Jarvis and I are trying to get to the temple this Saturday!!!! Sorry this got so long all the sudden. Well, the spirit is real and Heavenly Father guides us and this work.
Love, Sister Rashauna Hoer

Monday, January 6, 2014

Greeley Letter #8

Sister Tafengatoto's first ever snowman!
Song from 1909 Deseret Hymn Book
New Year's Eve
Sister Mangum found this giant carabiner at the store
and "just had to get it for" Rashauna.
I LOVED the pictures from the family New Year's party and was laughing so hard in the library I created quite the scene. Ooops.
Miracle week!!! 
C update: We met with him and taught the Plan of Salvation and had the most spiritual lesson with him thus far. He offered to say the opening prayer (that's one of his biggest fears, saying prayers, reading scriptures out loud, giving a talk, bearing testimony) so that was an amazing way to start. This week he texted us a cool scripture that he found. He showed up to church on Sunday even though he was sick and not feeling great. He even participated a little during our Gospel Principles class. He has always been too afraid to say anything!!! It's so cool to see how much and how fast he is progressing. He is very sensitive to the spirit. It's awesome.
R and S (grandfather and grandson): Agreed to prepare to be baptized on February 8th!!!!!! We've taught R the Plan of Salvation multiple times because he has questions about it almost every time we have gone by in the last two weeks. However, he has a true desire to understand and piece by piece, it clicks. Sometimes it's in the beginning of the lesson and sometimes at the end, but each time we visit there is a moment when we can see and feel the spirit teach him these truths. After that moment, he simple says, "I understand now" and we are able to move on. S came back into the picture (after not being able to get a hold of him for a few weeks) and has been making amazing progress. They both have such a sincere desire to be baptized, but I was nervous what would happen when we taught them about the commandments. Sometimes people feel the spirit and believe, but don't want to act on it. We taught them daily prayer and scripture study, as well as regular church attendence and they are still on board! It's so important to help people understand that everything Heavenly Father asks us to do is to help us. So that's what we focused on while teaching these principles. I'm so excited. Visiting them makes me so happy. They are so humble and are sincerely seeking and finding truth. I love the questions they come to us with. I love the spirit that helps us to answer them.
Sister Tafengatoto made her first snowman. We met with T, another less-active we are working with. She's making some great progress, too. For instance, she made a new year's resolution to go to church every Sunday. We also invited her to read her scriptures daily. It's amazing how many people still have testimonies of the Book of Mormon, but have just fallen out of the church habit. Keep loving people and be patient. That's what a lot of people need out here and we continue to see miracles happen. Families in general are so inspired. Our immediate family, our heavenly family, and our ward family. All have so much potential to strengthen those in need of help.
Thank you for all of the Christmas cards and letters!! I was at a leadership meeting when I recieved the Jensen's Christmas card. I showed some of the other missionaries their awesome picture and bragged about how neat my home ward is. J and J, our recent converts, are excited to work towards getting the Priesthood. We got to talk about the blessings that come to a family when that happens.
Sunday was what Sister Tafengatoto called our "Rocky Mountain Day." We had a lot planned in order to accomplish everything we wanted to this week. I liked that name and we worked hard to reach our goals. It was a tiring but really spiritually rewarding day. We expressed a desire and acted on it and as a result, we had some unexpected miracles. A less-active couple came out of nowhere and asked if sister missinaries would come to teach their grandchildren, so they can be baptized. Sweet!!! We have so many people to teach right now it's almost overwhelming, but we just keep going and pray a lot and it all works out.
Sister Tafengatoto said to me one night, "You know one thing I've learned from you is that it's all going to be alright. You always say that, even when things are crazy or going terribly, and everything always works out!!" That was really cool to hear. I hadn't realized that I said that all that often, but I guess it impacted her in a positive way. It helped to remind me that we aren't out here just to baptize people, but also to strengthen all those around us. Invite everyone to come closer to Christ.
Happy New Year!!
Love, Sister Rashauna Hoer