Wednesday, May 28, 2014

Rawlins Letter #4

Look what we found!

Picnic with Moose and some of his grandkids.

Dandelion crown made by Sister Waite.

A cool train we found to explore.

The toilet seat trophy we made for the Outhouse Races.

Running up to Devil's Gate.

On top of Independence Rock.

Pulling all the kiddos at Martin's Cove.

Sister Waite and I with the three little boys I mentioned in my letter.

The Martin's Cove gang.

Last week was rough. I was super sick. I felt like I had been hit by a train. It seemed like nothing was really working out. We couldn't schedule any appointments (school is getting out this week so everyone is super busy with all that, or out of town for Memorial Day weekend, or just gone...) It was rough. However, we were driving and saw a house that we had tried to visit previously but didn't get to talk to anyone. We saw the lights on and I immediately pulled the truck over (I think I scared Sister Waite a little bit) and changed our plans. We were warmly received by a wonderful family. The wife hasn't been to church since she was 13 and we invited her and her daughter to take the missionary discussions. They both seemed excited about it and we'll be meeting with them again tomorrow.

Moose took all of us sisters and some of his grandkids on a picnic Thursday. Getting outside always cheers me up :) and we had dinner with the S family on Friday night. They are incredible. There is just something so special about this woman and her three boys. Her husband works out of town and isn't there very often, but it just feels like home there. I love it.

So I had a cool thought on Saturday. I feel like myself and those we visit tend to struggle with the same things over and over. It's frustrating. I think to myself all the time, "Why can't I just change. Just make a decision and do it!" Well, change is made possible through the Atonement. Repentance is how we access that power. True and lasting change can only happen when we sincerely repent and turn to Christ for strength to overcome our weaknesses. So, that's something I think I already knew, but it became much more clear. We hear that all is possible through the Atonement. The Atonement is what gives us power. These are true statements, but it's hard to see how it applies to us sometimes. The gospel of Jesus Christ is how we apply them: Faith, repentance, making and keeping covenants, feeling the Spirit and just keep moving forward. Repentance doesn't always mean we have done something terrible. It simply means change, changing to be more like Christ. 

So Sister S, her boys, Sister Welch, her granddaughters, and us four sisters all went to Martin's Cove, Devil's Gate, and Independence Rock yesterday!! It was sooooooo fun to get out in the middle of nowhere. I loved every second of it. We had the best time pulling handcarts, hiking, and running along the river (I can't tell you how close I came to jumping in). The 3 little boys (that I just adore) say, "Hey, Sister Hoer"...and then something random about every two minutes. If they don't see me for a minute, I'll hear, "Where's Sister Hoer?" Coolest family ever. They want to take us to Saratoga to go hiking next :)

The best part about yesterday, however was after we got back and were sun burnt and sore and so incredibly happy. We got to meet with R and S. They are the most prepared people I've ever met. It was the best lesson of my mission so far. Not because of anything we did, but because the Spirit completely took over. You could just feel the love that Heavenly Father has for these two individuals and how much He wants to bless them. Sister Waite and I just listened and asked questions and taught a little here and there. We've been trying really hard to teach according to people's needs. Yes, we want to share everything with them, but Heavenly Father teaches us the things we want to know step by step. After we explained what the Book of Mormon was they asked, "How do we get one of those?" We talked about the prophet today and S said, "Yeah, we need that." They even said they would read the Book of Mormon every night for half an hour without us even inviting them to. That is what happens when you teach people what they need/want to know. They naturally desire to do those things. I had the opportunity to invite them to be baptized at the end of our discussion and they both said yes!!! They both expressed how they want to make this a part of their lives and then asked when we could come back.

Life is simply amazing.

Sister Rashauna Hoer

Monday, May 19, 2014

Rawlins Letter #3

Our new pet, the fish we found in the freezer!

We're proud of our muddy truck (don't worry, we washed it today).

The sprouts are doing good.

Sue and David Day stop by for a visit!

We eat the raspberries like candy!

We all wore ugly sweaters to the district meeting.

Each week in Rawlins gets better and better. Sister Waite and I are officially meant to be together as missionary companions. Everyone asked us when we first got to town, "How long have you two known each other?" We responded, "Oh, just under two days." 

Miracles this week:

Monday - Raspberries were only a dollar per carton.......we went crazy.

Tuesday - We basically do art projects for service at the Chamber of Commerce. The woman in charge is awesome. She wants to take us to Martin's Cove and she is so much fun to spend time with. Best service project ever.

Later in the day...
"Oh man, we don't have a dinner appointment tonight."
Not two minutes later Sister Ina Welch texted us: "Sisters, I just made a large pot of vegetable soup. Do you want some?"

After receiving manna (soup) from heaven...we tracted into a less-active that we had the most amazing discussion with.

Wednesday - At the Chamber of Commerce we decorated a golden toilet seat that will be the trophy for the upcoming outhouse races, hahaha. I forgot to take a picture, but maybe we'll get one tomorrow when we go back. We also decorated the front desk with a cool chalkboard thing. I'll have to take a picture of that, too...David and Sue Day stopped by on their way home from Cheyenne! It was sooooo neat to catch up with them a little bit and to just be in their presence. I sure love those two, even though David used my appropriate handshake to trick me into a hug! Hahaha. I sure appreciated it though :) AND I got a letter from Paige.

Thursday - One of the young women, G, (who has been contemplating going on a mission) came out with us for an hour in the evening. We passed out two Book of Mormons, got a new investigator, and taught two lessons. We got back into the truck. I turned to her and said, "What do you think?" She responded simply, "I'm going on a mission." Sister Waite and I screamed. It was the coolest moment. It reminded me so much of when I told Leshelle and my mom that I had decided to go on a mission. Calm and sure, but also a little scared. It was a really neat thing to be part of.

Friday - We contacted a referral Friday evening. She was furious. At God, at life, at her situation, her past. Just furious. We listened and bore testimony of Heavenly Father's love for her. She screamed at us, telling us we we believed in some crazy things (Jesus Christ dying in a battle...weird things like that???) For some reason, we were prompted to stay. So we continued to listen and then bear testimony of the truths that we know. After a very long time, she calmed down. We were able to share the Plan of Salvation with her and by the time we left she was smiling. She looked hopeful and even apologized and sincerely told us to have a good night. Change is what the gospel is all about and I absolutely love when we get opportunities to see it happen before our eyes. 

Saturday - We were contacting referrals and there were three houses that caught my attention. None of them were the houses we were told to knock on. I mentioned to Sister Waite who agreed to stop by those three houses. No answer. No answer. No answer. Well, then let's leave a card on each door. I just felt like we were there for a reason. So we started placing cards on the doors and were going to the middle house when a man came out. "Hey, I'm Ricky. What's your names?" We explained who we were and he was so excited to meet with us. "I've been meaning to get back to church for quite some time now" was a direct quote. Then, his girlfriend came out and we invited her to meet with us, as well. "Of course!" she said. We got their numbers and we got a text from them this morning!!! We have an appointment with both of them tonight :)

Sunday - We have been inviting all the members we meet with to pray and look for the "Bridger Pass Family". We have felt very strongly there is a family ready to be baptized and start on their path to becoming an eternal family in this area. They are in almost every one of our prayers and I think we met them on Sunday. The K Family. The wife is baptized but her husband and two of their three children are not baptized. They were so kind to us and we are just really excited to see them again. They said we can stop by any time :)

Sorry, half of our miracles were about food. It's those little things all the time though that help me be sure that Heavenly Father is always looking out for us. It's an amazing feeling. He cares so much for each one of us. Keep looking for miracles!! I also just put a ton of things in the mail, so be looking for those, too!!!

Sister Rashauna Hoer

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

Rawlins Letter #2

At the dump.

Cleaning out a creepy crawlspace at the new apartment.

Making cookie bouquets for a church activity.

Getting pulled over by the police. Received a warning ticket for going 8 mph over the speed limit.

Lamp shades we found all over the new apartment!

Treats we got from church on Mother's Day.

My pride and joy wall.

When we saw this blue house with a blue car, we knew 
we had to take a photo of our blue truck in front of it!

Bubbles we found!

A cool sign we found.

TALKING TO YOU GUYS WAS THE BEST THING IN THE WORLD!!!!!! I felt like I hadn't been gone at all :) Love and miss you family.

I'm in a mad rush this week...kinda always am, but I wanted to share this one miracle.

Miracle of the week: We were trying to get in contact with a woman we had been told we should visit. We tried calling...wrong number. We decided to go knock doors and ended up on this random street close to the train tracks. We had decided on this street, but a green house around the corner caught my attention and we decided to start there. It was the first door we knocked on and guess who it was? Yup, the woman we were trying to contact earlier! She let us in immediately and made sure that after we shared a message with her and her husband, that we knew we were welcome back, anytime. They told us to come over to eat. Don't even knock, just come in. They also want to take us fishing on a p-day!!!

Life is what you make it. "An inconvenience is an adventure wrongly considered. An adventure is an inconvenience rightly considered." I totally forgot who said this, but it wasn't me :)

Sister Rashaua Hoer

Monday, May 5, 2014

Rawlins Letter #1

Saying goodbye to everyone in Greeley, Colorado was incredibly hard. Grandpa and Grandma Buss, Mama Liz, my island daughter (Sister Tafengatoto)...ahh...that was pretty rough. But the drive up to Laramie was surprisingly mellow. The roads had been closed all morning due to bad weather, black ice, bad visibility and such. They opened right as we were driving to Laramie and closed once we got through. Miracles. I got to say hi to Grandma Thompson in Laramie and one of my favorite members from the Sherman Hills ward was at her house when we randomly showed up!!!! Sister Trudy McCracken was there! It was neat coming back to an area I had been to before. Then my new companion, Sister Waite, and I drove our BLUE TRUCK (I've been hoping to drive a truck my entire mission and finally get to) out to Rawlins. Right as we were nearing town we got about eight text messages from a contact in our phone simply named "Moose" to a fun start! He is a member of our ward and took us out to dinner that night to welcome us to town. He has treated us to lunch and several meals since that time. The Relief Society President, Sister Welch, has also taken great care of us. Actually...everybody has taken such good care of us! This is the first time since anyone can ever remember that there are sister missionaries out here. Everyone is so excited to have us here and I feel lucky to be here! Sister Waite and I are still in shock about how fortunate we are to be the first sister missionaries out here.  There are two wards in Rawlins. We have one and another set of sisters we share an apartment with are serving in the other one.

Sister Waite and I don't have beds. There were only two in the apartment. We let the other sisters take them and we just crashed on the floor next to the space heater the first night. (The heat in our place didn't work until this morning.) Well, we decided to just sleep on the floor the whole transfer, haha! So every time someone asks us if we have enough beds we just say, "Yes, we figured it all out." Hopefully no one in town figures it out or we might get into trouble for not telling them. Members here would seriously do anything for us. Sister Waite is so cool. She and I think a lot alike and neither of us can turn down a challenge. That makes for interesting experiences.

We found an antler in the closet of our new home. I hid it in the microwave to surprise the other sisters. Then it was in the shower the next morning for me to find. Sister Waite and I put it in the foot of one of the sister's beds. Well, two nights ago I opened up our bedroom door, felt for the light switch, and right as I turned it on, something touched my face! I was so scared, my feel flew out from under me and I cut my hand on the vent. It was the antler! The sisters hung it from the ceiling! Sister Waite and I are scheming for where to put the antlers next!

Coolest experience yet: one night after getting lectured by how wrong we were, we were understandably feeling a little down. We had 20 minutes before it was time to head home and the thought to just go home early was pretty tempting. I turned to Sister Waite and said, "You know what's going to cheer us up? New investigators." I started driving without really thinking. Soon we were at an apartment complex that neither of us had ever seen before. We walked to the stair case and went up a flight. We walked right up to a door that had lights on, paused, and without talking we turned and went up another flight of stairs and passed several apartments. We walked straight to apartment B and knocked. Inside was the most amazing couple. We had the opportunity of teaching them right then. They had us over for breakfast and another lesson the following day. They have started reading the Book of Mormon and we meet with them again this weekend.

I've never felt so directed by the Spirit before!!!

Sister Rashauna Hoer