May 15, 2017

week 81: 18 MONTHS

Monday, May 15th 2017

Words cannot explain how I feel right now. My last email. I have so much to say. So I am sorry if it's long - meh actually I'm not cause you don't have to actually read it! We are driving down to the valley soon so I'll be there for a couple of days which will be fun! So let me tell you about my last week in the mission field.

Monday we saw Kristen, a potential. We taught her the restoration simply on her doorstep. She has no religious background. She has never prayed before. It was really cool actually to tell her that there is a God that loves her. You could just see the light in her eyes! That night, the other sisters got frozen steak from members so at 9:15 at night we made steak! Haha

Tuesday I had my last taco Tuesday!! We then went to Leah Gencks and figured out boundaries for block parties because we are going to do a lot of parties this summer to find people and for members to get to know their neighbors. We went to the Hitchcocks & said goodbye to them. We then had dinner with the Ruberts! They are awesome.

Wednesday we had district meeting & it was probably the funniest district meeting I've had. And of course they made me bear my testimony. We then visited some people. We saw Sister Letner & her cute kids. We taught her the restoration & it went really well. She is a member but doesn't really know anything. We then had a lesson with the Coles & it went super well! We talked about the Holy Ghost & revelation.

Thursday we gardened for a while at the show low garden. It was way fun. We then saw Haley and her mom and said bye to them. We went over and read the Book of Mormon with Jackie. We stopped by Joanna's and that was really good seeing her. She said she wants to meet with missionaries again. We got to meet her dad who is visiting from Poland! We then had a lesson with Zach, on the Book of Mormon and it was really good.

Friday I had my last meal with Papa Phil at Annie's! Oh my goodness he went all out and decorated the place. And got appetizers and cupcakes! It was so yummy. We then had a lesson with the Raymonds on families. It went pretty well. Sister Guevara came with us. We then had a lesson with Noah. We had it outside cause it was so nice out. We had it on tithing and fasting. We gave him a tithing jar and he was so excited.

Saturday we went to the elders baptism. I just love baptisms. It's amazing to see others commitment to follow Christ. Zach and Channa also came! It was really good. It was Zach's first time to see an LDS baptism. I'm pretty sure they both cried. We then helped at the show low park for some big service project to make a trail plus we got free lunch! We then had a lesson with the Williamsons. Haha they are crazy but I have grown to love them. We went to Hillary's wedding! She is a less-active who married a nonmember. They are pretty cool people. Their wedding was really simple I loved it. We had dinner with the Sotos. They are awesome members and invited a potential investigator over! Also I ATE CACTUS 🌵 I'm a true Arizonan!

Sunday was good! It was awesome to talk to my family! Happy Mother's Day to all those mothers out there! Elder Holland said, "No love in mortality comes closer to approximating the pure love of Jesus Christ than the selfless love a devoted mother has for her child." But yeah in relief society they were closing & then they surprised me by asking to bear my testimony. I got up there & it just hit me that I was leaving & I started balling, so embarrassing. We had dinner at the Moore's. We then went to the Ramirez's and had a lesson with them. It was so strange to think yesterday was my last day proselyting. We then got home & the sisters threw me a funeral.


I read this in the institute manual about the pioneers & it is kind of how I feel about my mission. "I have pulled my handcart when I was so weak and weary from illness and lack of food that I could hardly put one foot ahead of the other. I have looked ahead and seen a patch of sand or a hill slope and I have said, I can go only that far and there I must give up, for I cannot pull the load through it...I have gone on to that sand and when I reached it, the cart began pushing me. I have looked back many times to see who was pushing my cart, but my eyes saw no one. I knew that the angels of God were there. Was I sorry that I chose to come by handcart? No. Neither then nor any minute of my life since. The price we paid to become acquainted with God was a privilege to pay, and I am thankful that I was privileged to come in the Martin Handcart Company." I will never regret my mission. It's been a sacrifice but I have seen those sacrifices turn into a blessing - a gift to my life. I have felt angels lifting me up & cheering me on. For I truly have been acquainted with Him when I have felt like I could not go on.

Mosiah 18:30 says, "And now it came to pass that all this was done in Arizona, yea, by the waters of Scottsdale, in the forest that was near the waters of Scottsdale; yea, the place of Eagar, the waters of Scottsdale, the forest of Show Low, how beautiful are they to the eyes of them who there came to the knowledge of their Redeemer; yea, and how blessed are they, for they shall sing to his praise forever." Arizona will always be sacred ground. It is where I have come to know my Father in heaven & his only begotten son. I have met so many amazing people here that have touched my life.

Some of my favorite scriptures are John 6:67-69, "Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God." I have been converted to the gospel of Jesus Christ. I don't ever want to go away. I have been forever changed.

I just wanted to leave with my testimony. By the power & witness of the Holy Ghost, I know that the Book of Mormon is true. When we study it, there is so much power that comes into our lives. When we open any page, there is light. Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ really did appear to Joseph smith. The restoration of the gospel of Jesus Christ is a fact. I am grateful for the sacrifice Joseph Smith made so that we now have all the truths so that we can return home & be with our families forever. I know that prayer brings us to our Heavenly Father. It aligns us with him. Prayer is real & He is listening. I know that repentance is real. Change is possible through our Savior. It is a miracle that we can have our burdens & guilt lifted in exchange for peace & joy. I have felt it & I have seen it. Heavenly Father is with us today. He is always there. Whether we feel we deserve His love or not. He will always love us. He is in the details of our lives. His timing is perfect. He knows what we need. His plan isn't always easier but it is always better. He knows who we can become WITH Him. I have come to know my Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ more over these last 18 months. I have had to lean on them a lot. I love them. I am forever grateful for them. Jesus Christ is my Savior, my Shepherd, & the redeemer of the world. He is the beginning and the end. He is the light in the darkest night. I need Him every day, every hour. He is very much alive today as He was 2,000 years ago. He is real & He lives. His atonement means everything to me. His atonement puts things in focus, makes it so we can have hope & that we do have a purpose. We have the potential to become like God! Heavenly Father & Jesus Christ can make so much more out of us than we could ever make of ourselves.

Being a missionary really humbles you. The scripture that I put on my plaque at home is Philippians 4:13, "I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me." I have had to use this scripture a lot & apply it. I know that the Lord qualifies who He calls. I never thought I would go on a mission, I didn't think I could do it. I know when we trust God, He really can turn our weaknesses into strengths. I have never been a perfect missionary but I know that through the Atonement of Jesus Christ I gave my all to the Lord these past 18 months. I have learned that my missionary service is not about me, it is about the Lord, His work & Heavenly Father's children. I have learned to love people in a way I didn't even know was possible. Being on His mission is a sacred opportunity. I have thanked my Heavenly Father every day for being here. Even when it got really hard. I am forever grateful for my mission, it wasn't the mission itself that changed me but the Atonement of Jesus Christ. I have learned that everything I am doing here is about families. I truly did leave my family so that others may have eternal life with theirs. I know that the gospel of Jesus Christ does bless families & individuals, it is how we can be eternally happy. Even if I came here to touch one person, that is enough & will touch thousands of others. I have been enlightened these past 18 months. I am my biggest convert. It's true, this is the truth. I am grateful that sharing the restored gospel is our lifelong Christian duty, because I am not done.

I want to thank all of you for supporting me & encouraging me. Serving a mission has been the best decision I have made so far. I feel so grateful to be a part of His work these past 18 months & I'm excited to continue to do His work. Christ's gospel brings me true happiness! Well I love you all! See you in two days! 😘

--xo: sista fisha

late night steak

Letners!

baby goats

Clarice

Coles/Colvins

Haley

Papa Phil & Jackie

Williamsons

Hillary's wedding



eating 🌵

DEATH


Kylah

skyping family

Kylah made us shirts


funeral


my cousin Greg!

bye to my baby

May 8, 2017

week 80: are you trunky?

Monday, May 8th, 2017

People keep asking me if I'm trunky. Ah it's just crazy that I'm coming home next week. I'm really excited to see you all! I'm just going to enjoy every moment!! Today we went frisbee golfing with the elders - it was fun!

Monday we had a little party with the ward missionaries in Show Low Ward. Oh and I got really burnt that day at the lake & so Sister Genck made me drink aloe vera juice (absolutely disgusting) but hey it worked and I'm a shade of white darker. We had a lesson with Addi. She is so cute. She told us a story about when she took the Lord's name in vain and she felt really bad so her and her friend immediately got down on their knees and repented. Children are the best.

Tuesday we had a lesson with the Williamsons. It's sad cause they told us that their daughter doesn't believe in God and she is only 14. The world is rough. We also knocked on a part member family's door and they let us in. It was crazy cause there were kids everywhere. There were 5 12 year olds and we taught them about God. They were so interested. None of them really knew anything. They had super deep questions and funny ones as well. They all ate fruity peoples while we taught them. I gave them Jesus cards and stickers. They were so excited. A few afterwards were like I need to get baptized!! And they all wanted to put the picture of Jesus by their bed so that they would remember to pray. We asked when we could come back & they didn't know when but they said they all had to be there haha. All of our other appointments canceled but we knocked on this trailer and she was totally interested! We made an appointment for the next day but she canceled :(


Wednesday we had a lesson with Jackie, we are mainly trying to help her get an answer. We taught Addi again. We asked her why she fasted and she said "cause my mom doesn't want me to get fat" haha. We then had a good lesson with the Ramirez. They are awesome.

Thursday we had district meeting & it was on comp inventory so that was funny. We then had dinner with Charlie and Carol and Deanna came and she gave me a gift! That was sweet.

Friday we had a good lesson with the Cole family. They already pay tithing! We then had a fiesta at Channa and Zach's. That was fun. We then met up to exchange!

Saturday I was in Eagar with Sister Walker! Some of my favorite things! It was an awesome day. I love Eagar and I love Sister Walker. It was just really great and I got to see Brother Ayres!! He showed us his new house. Super cool. Also President and Sister Hamblin showed us their house and it is GORGEOUS. I also got to see others that I taught and it was awesome.

Sunday was good. It was weird bearing my testimony for the last time on fast Sunday!! The members here are amazing & I will really miss them. They are all trying to feed me before I go home. Elder Robbins invited our mission to do a fast on gratitude. I had never done that before. I thought it was awesome because it was my last fast Sunday on my mission, I have so much to be grateful for. It reminds we of one of my favorite scriptures. 1 Timothy 1:12, "And I thank Christ Jesus our Lord, who hath enabled me, for that he counted me faithful, putting me into the ministry."

I read Elder Hales' talk from conference & I loved it. I feel like my whole mission I have been working on His attributes. I'm no where perfect but I know we can constantly work on them & become more like Christ. Here is a quote that I like.

"The attributes of the Savior, as we perceive them, are not a script to be followed or list to be checked off. They are interwoven characteristics, added one to another, which develop in us in interactive ways. In other words, we cannot obtain one Christlike characteristic without also obtaining and influencing others. As one characteristic becomes strong, so do many more. As we earnestly strive to be true disciples of Jesus Christ, these characteristics will be interwoven, added upon, and interactively strengthened in us." -Elder Hales

So I finished President Nelson's challenge on reading everything about Jesus Christ! It truly was amazing to fully immerse yourself in His words, teachings and mission. I've come to know Him even more. President Nelson wrote some of His thoughts about his study. I want to quote him cause it's how I feel & he words it perfectly of course.

"In a coming day, you will present yourself before the Savior. You will be overwhelmed to the point of tears to be in His holy presence. You will struggle to find words to thank Him for paying for your sins, for forgiving you of any unkindness toward others, for healing you from the injuries and injustices of this life. You will thank Him for strengthening you to do the impossible, for turning your weaknesses into strengths, and for making it possible for you to live with Him and your family forever. His identity, His Atonement, and His attributes will become personal and real to you. But you don’t have to wait until then. Choose to be one of His true disciples now. Be one who truly loves Him, who truly wants to serve and lead as He did. I promise you that if you will study His words, your ability to be more like Him will increase. I know this is true."

Pretty powerful!! I read 3 Nephi 11:14 & it really stood out to me. I imagine Him saying it to me when I meet him. Christ told the people in America, "Arise and come forth unto me, that ye may thrust your hands into my side, and also that ye may feel the prints of the nails in my hands and in my feet, that ye may know that I am the God of Israel, and the God of the whole earth, and have been slain for the sins of the world."

Well I hope you have a great week! I know I will! I love you all!!

--xo: sista fisha

"And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true 
God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent." -John 17:3

tres de mayo with hunsakers

Threlkeld girls

Ramirezes

Charlie spoils us

Exchange with Sister Walker

ultimate frisbee with the district





May 1, 2017

week 79: april showers bring may flowers

Monday, May 1st, 2017

Hiiiii

So this week it snowed a bit. Weather here is nuts but don't worry it will be back to the 70's this week. I don't think anything that exciting happened this week. People keep canceling appointments! But what's new!

Monday we didn't teach anyone just tried to find. We had 4 other sisters sleep over that night so that was a lot of fun.

Tuesday I had my last zone conference!! They have all the departing missionaries give testimonies, yeah I cried it was awful. I hate crying in front of people. But zone conference was amazing, President gave a training on The Living Christ. So good.

Wednesday we had interviews with President & Sister Robinson! They are awesome. We then knocked lots of doors. People either love or hate the missionaries it seems like. We had a lesson with Addi, she is adorable. She asked me who I was going to marry, I said I didn't know and asked if she knew anyone. She said she didn't know anyone my age & that I couldn't take any of hers boys haha. We then taught the Tsosies, it's just sad cause they don't know pretty much anything about the gospel.

Thursday we didn't have any lessons :( but we did contact some referrals. And hopefully are soon teaching a part member family that we found! That night we have a ward activity with Show Low Ward - a fiesta!

Friday was my 18 month mark! It didn't really feel real. We had a lesson with Noah. He of course told us a cute story. He always has a story for us and he gets so excited to tell it. We then went to Jackie & Robert's and taught the word of wisdom. It went well! We visited some members. They are so awesome here. I love helping them build their faith in Christ. Something I will miss!

Saturday we had breakfast with President Williams. It was my last one so they had me bare my testimony of course haha. We contacted a girl named Taylor and she wants to meet with us! She was the one who asked when we could come by, we are seeing her Saturday!

Sunday was good, church is always what I need to hear. We helped teach primary. I love going in there. We also went to a youth fireside for the stake. President Williams asked us to come.

I read President Eyring's talk from priesthood session & I really liked it. Here is a quote from it, I changed "priesthood holders" to missionaries.

"As missionaries, we are His representatives. We act not for ourselves but for Him. We speak not our words but His. The people we serve come to know Him better because of our service."

That is pretty much our goal, to represent the Savior & help others come to know God. He also said, "If you walk with the Savior long enough, you will learn to see everyone as a child of God with limitless potential, regardless of what his or her past may have been. And if you continue walking with the Savior, you will develop another gift He has--the ability to help people see that potential in themselves and so repent."

I have felt this love as I have served Him and His children. And He concluded by, "I testify that we come to know Him best by working with Him and serving Him in the great work of bringing salvation to God’s children."

Mosiah 5:13 "For how knoweth a man the master whom he has not served, and who is a stranger unto him, and is far from the thoughts and intents of his heart?"

I can testify that we do come to know God by serving Him. Being a part of their work is the best. I am forever grateful for it. 🌷

--xo: sista fisha

zone conference
Trista

Breakfast @ Williams

breck & jake

picnic

the lake