Monday, April 28, 2014

LAST letter from Greeley!

After our 20 mile bike ride to Pres. Brown's home in Windsor, CO last week!

This has been one of the best/toughest weeks of my mission. The bike ride to President Brown's house in Windsor was the best p-day of my mission so far. So much fun!!! R was baptized and confirmed. We had so many less active members at church yesterday. Tuesday was Earth Day (Happy late Earth Day). We got to help out one of my favorite members who is in a wheelchair with some gardening. Service projects are always a highlight of my week. Saturday I found out I was leaving Greeley and being sent to Rawlins, Wyoming. It's the northwest corner of our mission boundaries. It's been really hard to say good-bye to people, but for some reason I'm excited to go to Rawlins. Everyone here says I'm going to love it. I trust that Heavenly Father knows what He is doing. Sister Grammer, Elder Torres, Elder Winter and I all gave talks in church yesterday. I had the opportunity to speak about our life on earth. There are so many things that are important for us to know here, but I focused on making and keeping covenants. Nothing compares to the strength that comes when we do our best to keep covenants with our Heavenly Father. EJ showed up and attended church with us! She is a convert/returned missionary I met up in Laramie who was traveling through :) Her visit made my entire week! Yesterday Sister Grammer and I contacted someone that Joanne Hill mentioned we should visit. They opened the door and immediately said, "No, thanks," and almost had the door shut when I blurted out the Hills names. This caught their attention. I explained that I went to church with the Hills and Grove even taught me as a youth. They let us in and we ended up talking a little about the temple :) Tell the missionaries about your friends. We would have never gotten in if it wasn't for Joanne's help. Thank you! This morning we went on one last bike ride to the wall downtown. Life is good. Change is good.

Love you all!!!
Sister Rashauna Hoer

Making hundreds of burritos for the food bank

R's baptism! 

Sister Grammer and I riding tandem


Last bike ride in Greeley...

At the mural in downtown Greeley.

I had to include this sign for Brandilyn & the Tennessee gang!

Thursday, April 24, 2014

Greeley Letter #22


We've had some amazing progress with one of the less actives we've been working with. She's been going through some tough times, but simultaneously making change a little easier. Heavenly Father is helping her so much even if it's not as clear to her right now. We'll be having family home evening with her and her two kids tonight :) and it was her idea!!! She has a hard time changing on he own, but she really wants to give her kids the knowledge and tools that will help them avoid the path she took in life. She will do anything for them. It's cool to see such a clear example of why Heavenly Father has asked us to have children.

B received a Priesthood blessing before minor surgery this week. Everything continues to bring her a little closer to her Father in Heaven. She felt so good after the blessing and said when she started getting a little nervous at the hospital, she remembered the spirit she felt earlier and immediately felt peaceful again.

Prayers are answered all the time. We've had so many prayers answered this week. Oh, and I ate it on my bike! We were on our way to help build at Habitat for Humanity. I was riding without hands thinking I was really cool...and I made several turns smoothly, but right when we arrived at the job site I turned (a little too hard). My pedal scraped the ground and threw me off. I went rolling, camera and phone flew out of my pockets. It looked like an instant yard sale, hahaha! Without really trying, though, I was rolling and on my feet in no time. Sister Grammer said I actually looked pretty graceful :) Picking up my bike I realized my back tire was completely flat, which probably contributed to the crash. I found a huge chunk of glass stuck in my tire. Not cool. "And that's why you never throw glass bottles on the side of the road..." (quote for Monica, Brandilyn, Josha and anyone else who is an Arrested Development fan).

Cool study this week. I opened up to Doctrine & Covenants section 109. I thought to myself, "why not?" I'd never read that section before. It's the Kirtland Temple Dedicatory Prayer, but I tried to read it in regards to a person or a home. Anyway, verse 8 is quoted often. It's good, but I love verse 12: "that it may be sanctified and consecrated to be holy, and that thy holy presence may be continually in this house" and verse 13 made me think about how people feel in our presence or our home. It's an amazing goal, "And that all people who shall enter upon the threshold (enter your last name here)'s house may feel thy power, and feel constrained to acknowledge that thou hast sanctified it, and that it is thy house, a place of holiness."

We "egged" a family in our ward. We got 12 plastic eggs, filled 11 of them with goodies and hid them all in their front yard. The one we didn't fill represents Christ's empty tomb and therefore His resurrection. I think we got away with it...they haven't said anything, at least. Nice pranking is one of my favorite activities.

We acted on a feeling to visit one of our investigators randomly. Sister Grammer and I showed up at L's house at precisely the right time again!!! Heavenly Father keeps helping us get there right when she needs a reminder that He loves her and her family. It's really neat to testify of His love for people.

Happy Easter. Keep the spirit alive and study the Atonement.

Sister Rashauna Hoer

Tuesday, April 15, 2014

Greeley Letter #21

More snow in Greeley -- Sister Grammer and I

My awesome fortune this week

Only in Greeley -- these are in someone's front yard!

My soccer team this Monday, whew-whew!

Sister Grammer, so owl-like!

My turn with the owl

Well, it's been another miracle filled week. I didn't fall down any flights of stairs and WE HAVE THREE NEW INVESTIGATORS on top of the several people that are already steadily progressing.

We had all sorts of cool experiences happen while on exchanges. Sis. Grammer found an investigator in our area and I found a couple while in the Centennial ward's area with another sister missionary. It's been crazy trying to plan exchanges alone during this transfer (especially because I don't like leaving my area, haha). With both of us sets of sisters, most of our set plans for the day didn't work out, but we just kept going and that's when the Spirit directs us to where we most needed to be.

Sister Grammer and I were happy to be working back together in our area on Wednesday. We've been biking everywhere for our in town appointments, and it's been fantastic! R loves it when we show up on our bikes. He's doing really, really well. He invited most of his family to his baptism on the 26th and he continues to get more and more excited as the day approaches. The ward has helped out so much with getting him to church and making him feel welcome.

We got a referral for a woman named M. She is looking for a church, and when we met with her she informed us she has already been reading the Book of Mormon!!!! We are very excited to meet with her again this week, as well as to meet with J, the investigator that Sister Grammer found when we were on splits. People are being prepared everywhere, we just have to keep our eyes open for opportunities.

R said the most amazing prayer during our last lesson.  He is an older gentleman, so he struggles to remember even some of the little things. However, he said his first prayer without having to ask us how to start or how to finish. He said a prayer after the example that our Savior set. I was in tears by the time he thanked Heavenly Father for the support He has given him by sending us sister missionaries. I had this brief but powerful thought about being able to continue our friendship with R after this life. I keep learning that real and lasting relationships are based on eternal principles. Moral of the story: if you want friends in heaven, invite them to come to church. Hahahaha, I'm only half kidding.

B didn't make it to church, but I fasted specifically for her this week and I feel completely at peace about it. I know that Heavenly Father has a plan for her and we went over Sunday night just to make sure she knows we still love her. Love is truly the greatest motivator. I have no doubt in my mind that she will be at church next week.

Love you all, do something nice for a family member today!!!
Sister Rashauna Hoer

Tuesday, April 8, 2014

Greeley Letter #20

Biking to work at the Food Bank

Watching conference Saturday morning

Our district meeting

Greeley, Colorado

Geckos at a dinner appointment

Hey, Hey, Hey. Big news for this week! B announced that she is coming to church!!!! We've invited her several times in the past (as well as her husband, who was baptized back in December) but to no avail. We felt impressed that we should just let it go for a little bit and keep teaching the gospel. Well, not even a week later, she made the announcement!! To be honest, I was expecting her to take a little longer to feel ready. It just helped me realize even more what I already know, that we have to be the ones to decide to change. There's a lot that can help (feeling the Spirit, learning about Christ, answered prayers, acts of others, support from family, etc.) but ultimately, we decide who we are going to be through our every day actions. I am so very grateful that she is deciding to take this big step.

Speaking of big steps. I went upstairs to put some things away before bed one night (we had been snacking on hummus and veggie chips). It was dark and on my way back down the stairs to our room I missed a step and fell down the entire flight of stairs. The only thing I remember is thinking, "This is so loud!" It felt like it echoed throughout the whole house. Our Bishop was out of bed and at the top of the stairs in an instant to see if I was alright. I could not stop laughing! He didn't crack a smile, he is so polite. I apologized and he just simply said, "You know you can turn on a light any time you need to." Hahaha, oh boy! We've cracked a couple of jokes about it since then.

Friday we had our monthly leadership meeting. President Brown said something that will probably stick with me for a while, "The Lord gives us strength to endure and the opportunity to enjoy." Then, after the meeting when we went to the mission office to pick up mail for the missionaries back in Greeley, President Brown snuck up and put a handful of peanut M&Ms in my sweater pocket, haha! He's an inspiration and a fun guy to have around.

Conference was incredible!!! We watched the first session on Saturday with R so that we could show him how to watch it on his TV. It was his birthday so we also brought him over cookies and a birthday card :) He thoroughly enjoyed it and asked lots of questions. J, his family (including B) and us sisters went to an incredible member's house to enjoy breakfast burritos and the Sunday morning session. I feel like I missed a lot of it because I was trying to keep kids quiet and happy so that our investigators and recent converts and awesome member missionaries could listen, but I remember really liking President Uchdorf's talk on gratitude. Being grateful always is possible through faith in Jesus Christ. So simple. So true.

Sunday after the last session of conference, we set out to find an investigator that the Elders were working with in the past. The Elders have since gone home and failed to put down an address, so we've been doing some asking around and figured out what street they live on. Okay, that's a start. We parked on the street, said a prayer, and then got out of the car. I felt impressed to go left. We went left. We walked down the street until we saw a building with 4 apartments kind of set back off the street in a way that makes it hard to notice if you are just driving by. Both of us slowed down and I said, "What about that building back there?" Sister Grammer said confidently, "We need to go there" and we did. First door, no answer. Second door, potential investigators that we now have an appointment with on Friday. Third door, the investigator we were looking for!!! Miracles baby!!! I was dumbfounded. I don't know why I'm surprised every time this happens but I just feel so blessed. I love being able to see Heavenly Father make sure these people are taken care of through us. I love it.

Sister Rashauna Hoer

Thursday, April 3, 2014

Greeley Letter #19

Rashauna and Sister Grammer

A new Chick-fil-a opened in Greeley!

The discovery of a canoe at a member's house during a recent lunch appointment.

The elders pulled off a trick on the sisters: whip cream on the door knob!

So this week, Sister Grammer and I have decided to eat healthier.  We both just feel terrible at times and are determined to do something about it!  Complaints without action to try and make things better has always been a pet peeve of mine, so I'm trying not to be a hypocrite.  The really neat part about this is that on Friday when we were helping pass out food from the food bank we ended up being able to take home the left over stuff: grapefruit, strawberries, potatoes, and tomatoes!!!  Thanks for the help Heavenly Father.

We play soccer every morning at the church building during our workout time. It involves us getting up super early, but it's so much fun and I've just really been gaining a stronger testimony of the Word of Wisdom.  Taking care of our bodies is important to help us to fully enjoy life.  R told us this week a story about how one of his daughters brought him a cup of coffee and he was about to drink it but remembered at the last minute that this is against the Word of Wisdom.  He almost spilled it when he said, "I can't drink this!"  Ha-ha, he always makes us laugh. He is a great story teller.  He came to church again :)  We are just so excited about all the progress that he is making and we continue to visit one or twice a week to prepare him for his baptism on the 26th of April.

So, Sister Grammer is a girl of many hidden talents.  While at the bike shop this week (a member recently referred one of the owners to us) she started riding around a unicycle!!!!!  She is always making me laugh or drop my jaw. She's great. We visited K and had one of the best lessons we've every had with her. Her desire is growing and you can see it by the way she has been acting. She has been more attentive ad asking more questions. It's beautiful :)

We live with the most amazing people. Yes, I am fully aware I say this about every home we find ourselves living in, but it's true. The Walker's take such good care of us. I keep thinking that we are going to get a...not so situation because it seems too good to be true. The Buss family, the Bugarins, and now the Walkers. I just feel so spoiled.

We got to help Z again on Friday. We had the most amazing discussion with her about the Plan of Happiness that God has for us. We basically taught her a lesson without calling it one. She doesn't do well with the set appointments, but she loves talking and learning about the gospel in a more relaxed environment. It's so important that people are comfortable. If they aren't, they can't feel the Spirit. So I think that's where service comes in handy. Did I ever tell you that M, the manager of Salvation Army got baptized?? I hope so. That's the power of service, folks.

The Women's Relief Society Broadcast was incredible!!! I loved every second of it. Some things that really stuck out to me were the influence and power of the role of women and especially the role of mothers. It's often a role that doesn't receive a lot of recognition in the world, but I'm convinced parenting is the most important role in society.

We've invited J and B to have family prayer each night. It was so neat to kneel down with their family and pray with them. It was the first time that they've ever done it and it was super powerful.

Sunday was really great. We met with L and had a great lesson with her. It's so neat to see Heavenly Father helping the people around us. It's so evident when we open our eyes and look for His love. And...that's pretty much it.  I'm sure a ton of other amazing things happened, but I'm exhausted. I always wondered what was going through Leshelle's head when there were weeks and she didn't feel as much like sending an email home...I think I'm beginning to understand, ha-ha!

Enjoy conference!! Invite someone to watch it with you :)

Sister Rashauna Hoer