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Monday, December 16, 2013

Faith Precedes the Miracle Every Time

Something that I've learned time and time again as I have been out on my mission, is that miracles are always preceded by faith. 



This week as we were teaching an investigator, she offered us a cup of coffee. While my companion was satisfied with telling her, "No thank you", I took it as an opportunity to dive into the Word of Wisdom. She was horrified when we told her that if she wants to be baptized she must quit drinking coffee.  She proceeded to tell us about how, "that's just too hard" and "I don't think I can live like that" (seeing as she drinks at least 10 cups of the stuff per day), but the next thing out of her mouth was, "Well, I guess I'm going to have to quit it then." I was amazed-- this is a lady that hasn't even been to a church service yet, but she was still willing to give it up due to the spirit she feels while we are teaching her. She has had only 1 cup in the past 3 days! We'll work on getting her to church though haha :)

 
Sometimes miracles don't come in the way you expect them to. There is a girl in our area that lives on an obscure dirt road.  Sister Herring always wanted to go down that road every time we passed it for the entire time she was serving here in Back Creek. Towards the end of her stay, she finally decided to go down the road while I was away on an exchange. When we reunited, she told me about this girl with ear gauges that she had given a Book of Mormon to after she had gone down that road.  She pointed that out to me time and time again as we were driving down one of our regular roads. 
Fast forward to about a month later, and I'm driving down that dirt road again, as plans had fallen though--yet again. I knock on the door of the home that Sister Herring had described to me, and the girl with gauges opens the door and lets us in to teach her about the Restoration of the Gospel and the Priesthood. She agreed to be baptized, and read from the Book of Mormon! Sadly, we had to pass her off to the Young Single Adult Elders, but last I heard from them, she LOVED learning about the Plan of Salvation, committed to coming to church, and also committed to be baptized on Jan. 4th. 

I feel extremely blessed to have been able to play a role in each of these miracles. The Lord loves all of His children, and to be able to teach people about that love is a truly amazing thing :) 

"Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen...he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him." -- Hebrews 11:1,6

Tuesday, November 26, 2013

Changes and Gratitude

This week--

Lots of emotions. Good ones, bad ones, the lot. I said goodbye to Sister Herring and hello to Sister Crossley, a wonderful gal from West Jordan, Utah. She has been serving in Lynchburg, her first area, for the past 6 months, and has come to the best place in the mission just in time for the holidays :)

Speaking of holidays, our mission president has asked us to write down 10 things we're thankful for each day this week with no repeats. I have an idea of what mine will look like:

1. Pumpkin Pie

2. Things that taste like Pumpkin Pie

3. Things that smell like Pumpkin Pie

4. Things that remind me of Pumpkin Pie
5. Whipped Cream (to go on Pumpkin Pie)

Ha, okay, I'm just kidding! Kind of. No, but really, I think my list right now might go a little more like this:

1. The Atonement

2. Prayer

3. The Scriptures

4. The Prophet

5. The Priesthood

6. The knowledge that I have of the Restoration

7. The opportunity to be on a mission

8. A family that can be together forever

9. Jesus Christ

10. Heavenly Father

And let me tell you, that kind of a list could go on and on. This gospel-- it's the reason why I'm here. I am so thankful to have a knowledge that all of this, and much, much, MUCH more is there for me, and for everybody that searches for it. 

"Enter into his gates with thanksgiving, and into his courts with praise: be thankful unto him, and bless his name." --Psalms 100:4

Thursday, November 21, 2013

The One Where Sister Nisse Said Goodbye to Her Mama

So, the day has arrived. It's my last day with my mother.

(Mother = a sister missionary's trainer).

I feel like throwing myself on my bed a-la Sleeping Beauty style (post-finding-out-her-true-identity-as-a-princess), but the work must go on.

This week, I wish I could say that the wonderful and glorious Herring-Nisse duo went out with a bang, but sadly, we had a looooot of meetings to attend, and as such, things were not at their most fabulous. 

However, things are looking good for the weeks to come! We have a precious thing to look forward to-- APPOINTMENTS!!! Believe me when I say that such things are rare and marvelous. People out here aren't as fond of set appointments as the missionaries are, but I'll take what I can get :)

Um, ya, Sleeping Beauty definitely had it easier. 

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Our Purpose



So, having a member of the Quorum of the Seventy address you and your mission summed up in a word:

Haha! Just kidding, we all know it's impossible to sum up.

But in all honesty, it was amazing. Elder Sitati and his wife came from Ghana, Africa to speak to us for our annual mission conference. You wanna know what he talked to us about?

Our Purpose. 

Our purpose as missionaries is to invite others to come unto Christ by helping them receive the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism, receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost, and enduring to the end.

He taught us about how all the questions that a missionary can come up with can be resolved by a re-evaluation of where we stand in regard to our purpose. And, to extend that to you, whoever you are reading this, the same can be said about where you stand in regard to your purpose. What's your purpose, you might ask? Well, let me tell you:

Your purpose is to come unto Christ by receiving the restored gospel through faith in Jesus Christ and His Atonement, repentance, baptism (and weekly renewal of baptismal covenants), receiving and being worthy of the gift of the Holy Ghost and enduring to the end. 

I promise that by continually working to embed this purpose into our hearts, we will eventually be able to not only come out of the other side of life's storms with deepened faith, but to return to our Father in Heaven knowing that we've done all that was required of us to return to live with Him.

"For behold, this life is the time for men to prepare to meet God; yea, behold the day of this life is the day for men to perform their labors."

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Missionary Work on Halloween?

Ha, so Halloween is totally awkward as a missionary. Sooo many people opening their doors, excited to give candy to trick-or-treaters, and then boom. They see the little black tag and their faces DROP. I wish I could show you, because it really is one of the funniest things eeeever.
In any case, we had a miracle last night! We knocked on the door of this one man's house, and well, he's never home...but for whatever reason, last night he was! I love it when that happens. He has such a testimony of this gospel, and I loved hearing about how having a knowledge about the truthfulness has gotten him through some very hard times. The only problem is that he's not a member.

Ha! Just kidding! Well, kind of. He was baptized when he was 16 and living in Bolivia, and somehow the records of his baptism were lost. And so now he gets to be baptized again, the lucky duck. 

Other than that, it's been a rather uneventful week, a lot of working with the other sisters in the zone, so I'm sorry that I don't have more to report about the people in our area! The sister who committed to be baptized is named Mary Henderson, so please include her in your prayers.  
 
Here are some pictures from the beautiful (and extremely terrifying) roads in Virginia.
 

 

Tuesday, October 29, 2013

AMAZING THINGS ARE HAPPENING!!

Soooo, I hate to say this, but here goes:

I told you so.

I told you that we were going to have something amazing happen! Bad things only mean that good things are just around the corner :) 

This week, we had one of our investigators agree to be baptized.

WOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOHOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!

#awesomeweekworthit

She's on date to be baptized on November 23rd, and we would appreciate any and all of the prayers that you could send our way to help her to make it to that date, and to help us as her missionaries to know just how to be able to help her. 

Ah! I'm so happy :)

Monday, October 21, 2013

Sometimes There are Good Things, and Sometimes There are Bad Things

"There must needs be an opposition in all things"

A very wise man said that. A wise man that I, for one, trust. So while things may seem dark and dreary, I don't have a doubt in my mind that good things are on their way. 

I won't go into the details of this week, but let's just say that Sister Herring and I have really learned how to rely on one another. And maybe that's just what the Lord wanted from us this week! 

Either way, I'm happy to have had another week here in Virginia, laboring in the name of the Lord. It truly is a blessing. Even when the bad days come, it really is okay. It's okay because I know that I'm doing something very important, something of a lot of worth. So when the people don't listen, and the time seems ill spent--I just remember that I am 100% exactly where the Lord wants me. I am not cheating Him out of any of the time that He has to have me work where I am. And I will be forever grateful to Him for allowing me to do that.

As a missionary, I recognize that it's very easy to say, "I'm serving the Lord each and every day." However, the commandment to do so is not exclusive to those of us with this pretty little name tag. So, I would encourage you to always, always, always be looking for something to do so that you can say that at the end of each of your days, as well. Maybe keep a journal, and list the things that you did to serve our Lord. I promise that as you do so, you will begin to search for more and more ways to keep serving. 

"When ye are in the service of your fellow beings, ye are only in the service of your God."

Monday, October 14, 2013

Two Miracles for Two Months of Service

A mission is a horribly wonderful, tragic, amazing, heart-wrenching, spirit-lifting thing. 

On a mission, the pains are deep, but the joys are sweeter than any joy you've ever known. The most amazing part of it all is that the happiness you feel as you labor in the Lord's vineyard is so consuming and uplifting that you are able to turn back to the times of sorrow and question why you ever felt that way. 

This past week is a perfect example of that. We had transfers this week, and as a result, things were super slow. But when the time came to go out and work hard to make up for the time lost, noooooobody was home.

Fabulous, right?

Miracle #1: When things seemed their bleakest, we stopped at a store we have in the area to follow an impression Sister Herring had had for the bulk of our day out. We were then able to have an amazing lesson with the cashier at the store. Sisters in the area have been trying to teach this lady for moooooonths, because she really is the sweetest lady, and for whatever reason, that night was finally the perfect night for things to move forward. We told her about how God truly loves and cares about her specifically, and how the Book of Mormon would allow her to feel that love as she learns more and more about Him and His desire for her. 
Miracle #2: Last night, we knocked on a door that Sister Herring really wanted to try because they had lots of pretty decorations up, and while we had knocked on the door before (they hadn't answered), we figured that trying again couldn't hurt. This time the lady that lives there opened the door and invited us in to teach her and her husband our message. They hadn't really heard a lot of fabulous things about the Mormons or our church...despite that, they were very receptive to the Spirit that was present as we taught them about a young man's humble prayer to our Father in Heaven that was answered so that we could have the chance to accept the Lord's restored truth today. As we walked away from their home, we realized that we had forgotten to give them our number (you really can't blame us. We walked out in a miracle-induced haze) and when we came back to give them our number we found the husband at their dining room table, already reading from the Book of Mormon.

I can't even begin to tell you how grateful I am to be apart of this mighty work. Miracles are things that just become a part of the life of a missionary, as you do the work with an honest heart, full of love for those that you serve. 

I love my trials, and I love my miracles. They stand equal in my sight, because with out the trials, the miracles are never wrought. 

"It is your reaction to the adversity, not the adversity itself, that determines how your life's story will develop." --President Dieter F. Uchtdorf

Wednesday, October 9, 2013

Inspired by Words of the Prophets

So, this weekend we had conference, and some amazing things were said. 

Everything was truly inspired. Of that, I have no doubt. Of course, as a missionary, the things that stood out to me are pretty obvious. 

"Now is the time for members and missionaries to come together, to work together, to labor in the Lord's vineyard to bring souls unto Him."

That's what our Prophet said.

D&C 1:38-- "...my word shall not pass away, but shall all be fulfilled, whether by mine own voice or by the voice of my servants, it is the same."

So.

Do you believe Thomas S. Monson to be the Lord's prophet, or don't you? Because that's really what it comes down to. The Lord's servant has spoken, and the work will go forth and there will be lives changed and hearts that will be softened, and there will be promptings from the Holy Ghost, of this I testify. 

But what will you do? 

You might be asking, "What in the world can I do?". And the thing is that you can do a lot

A WHOLE lot.

There was a promise made to us by another one of the Lord's servants. He promised that if every member reaches out to just 1 person, we as a church would gain millions of members. That's huge! Can you even imagine how many new stakes and wards would need to be formed? Can you wrap your mind around the lives that would be changed?

And that's just the work involving members in the next 3 months! (Yes, exclamation point.) Imagine if that was each member's goal for every month. 1 person per month. The Lord has made it very clear that the work is to be done with members AND missionaries if the hastening is going to work. My advice to you is to decide right now to set a member-missionary goal to reach before Christmas, and then: 
  • Pray with faith that the Lord will help you to make it happen. 
  • Allow yourself to follow the direction of the Spirit in everything that you do as you go about reaching the goal that you've set for yourself. 
  • Have pass-long cards ready to hand out.
  • Look for ways to love every single person that is around you. 
I know that the Lord will then bless you to reach your goal, as long as you are doing all that you can to heed this call to the work that has been issued to us all. It may seem impossible, but that's only because we can't see the big picture...the Lord does, and He has called every hand to the work. 

Don't let yours be one of those left behind.

"Forget yourself and go to work."

Monday, September 30, 2013

A New Investigator and Speaking in Sacrament Meeting

Hey there all! Life in Virginia never ceases to be a surprise. New things are always just around the river bend :)

Monday-- We went referral hunting from the members because we were out, and our plate isn't quite full yet, so of course we'd keep looking! However, looking is much more effective when somebody points in a direction for you to head in, I gotta say.

Tuesday-- We taught Bobbie about the importance of women in the church, and how we serve a very vital need in the church, even though we don't hold the priesthood. That's been a concern of hers--that women are 2nd class citizens in the church--so we decided to try and help clear that up for her. We were also able to coordinate our efforts with the new Relief Society President so now we plan to work a lot more closely with the women of the ward. 

Wednesday-- We found a very elect lady who is just super ready for us to teach her! We asked her what her religious background is, and she just replied, "I'm a mess!" Sweeter words have never been heard by a missionary, I'm telling you. We want people to teach who recognize that they haven't got it all--there's something more. Something more to feel, something more to do, something more to know. Wonderful, wonderful things to know, do, and feel :)

Thursday-- We taught a lot of our long-time investigators that like to move at a very...'comfortable' pace, haha. It's okay, though. While people are trying to learn, I just pray that they will pay heed to the Spirit. There's something there, and the fact of the matter is that that 'something' will always be there for them. It's just a matter of them realizing that they've got to move their own feet to learn more about it.

Friday-- We taught Bobbie how to have FHE with her family (her husband and granddaughters) and we just had a grand old time :) The gospel has this amazing way of pulling family ties closer and closer so that you can all support one another when one family member is weakened by something. 

Saturday-- We did service project with a smile all day! (The smile may or may not have been induced by the glory of being able to wear pants for the better part of the day.) We cleaned the pavilion at Back Creek Elementary and then we went to the animal shelter and fed all the animals. I felt like a Disney Princess, noooot gonna lie. There are deer and other critters there that will eat right out of your hand, and so of course the only feasible thing to do a that point was to start singing like Snow White. 

Sunday-- Sister Herring and I spoke in church, and it was super nerve-wracking! Bobbie's whole family came to church to hear us (Bobbie always comes, her family does NOT). Little miracles, one day at a time? Yes please :)

Love you all! Have a wonderful week and pray that all the little buggies out here trying to gobble me up will die in the cold :)

(Bit morbid way to end but it's true. They must be smitten down.) 

Tuesday, September 24, 2013

Searching, searching, searching...

 The planning area
 Lots of walking...lots of shoes

No week as a missionary is ever boring, as long as you are being obedient and striving to truly do your best. We meet new people each day, just looking and looking and looking for those that truly desire to change and come closer to Christ. This Gospel is sweet, and it boggles my mind that anybody actually turns us down (which actually happens quite often haha). No matter! The Lord will prevail, and truth and righteousness will always triumph.
Monday-- We never have anything note-worthy happen on P-day...sooooorry...we are lazy bums on this day and we enjoy it :)

Tuesday-- We got to clean out this big puddle for a member in our ward...we had to clear out the drain that is supposed to be taking care of that so I got a lot of mud on me and it was quite the experience haha!

Wednesday-- We taught Bobbie again, and while she is living the Word of Wisdom, she declined our baptismal invitation. We pray for her each and every night, but in the end it's up to her. While we may be able to see how much this would bless her life, she has to choose whether or not to take the plunge for herself. 

Thursday-- Man, this day we had a hard time filling in our schedule. Especially after it gets dark! Everybody here is either old and goes to bed at like 7 or 8, or they have little kids that need to go to bed to be able to wake up for school the next day. It also doesn't help that it is really just not the culture around here to make appointments. It's more of a "come by when you wanna" kind of place. However, because of this, you also have to be polite and not knock on doors after it gets dark. As missionaries, we're supposed to be out till 9:00, but that is becoming a very hard thing to do.

Friday-- We had District Meeting and I gave a 5 minute lesson on prayer! It was nice, because with that I have already started my talk for next Sunday! We also went to go see one of our favorite less-actives, Jimmy & Rose Neighbors.  They are now going to be feeding us squirrel next Thursday...haaaaaahahahaha.  I am so going to do it. If for nothing else but to be able to say that I did!

Saturday-- We had a Relief Society luncheon, and we had been inviting like craaaaazy to this thing. When nobody showed up, did me and Sister Herring become discouraged? OF COURSE NOT! We got some leftover cake and took it to all those people that we invited but didn't get a chance to come and see us there :) 

Sunday-- Church is always nice, and Bobbie was there.  Josie was also there.  She's another investigator that is 17 and dating a boy in the ward...she took the lessons, and really wants to be baptized, but her mom won't let her, so she does what she can. She is totally awesome though, I'm not gonna lie. She signed herself up for early-morning seminary, which is more than I can say for myself at 17, haha.  While we were hoping to see others there as well, that just means that we're going to be teaching a loooot about the importance of church attendance this week so those people can gain the desire to dedicate the Sabbath day to the Lord as that is what he asks us to do on that sacred day. Also, we went tracting and ran into this totally nice Jehovah's Witness couple. It was basically just each of us trying to convert the others, but it was nice to talk to them nonetheless :)

This week has been a lot of learning the importance of keeping your chin up even when it seems like it's not going to do much good. As missionaries, it is so important to always be consistently faithful in all that we do. In obedience, in working, in the little moments that you don't think matter.  Because that's just the thing:  

EVERY moment matters as a missionary. Every single little one. No matter what we do, we are either serving or preparing ourselves in some way to serve. To become a Preach My Gospel missionary is to 'have an eye single to the glory of God' not just for yourself, but for everyone around you. We must be constantly thinking: 'How can I bring this person closer to their Savior?' 'What steps does this person need to take to repent and receive all of the goodness that the Lord is waiting to pour out upon their heads?' And always, always, ALWAYS: 

'How can I help?'

That is exactly what being a missionary of the Lord is.  

This is the nutcracker that watches over letters from home.  To demonstrate their faith and desire to find investigators to teach, Sister Nisse and Sister Herring agreed that they would sacrifice opening letters from home until p-day. So they place their letters by the nutcracker--kind of like presents under the Christmas tree--and wait until Monday to open them.
Their cute little kitchen
Sunset
Sister Herring, from St. John's, AZ
Writing home at the library

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

Sister Nisse and Sister Herring
 
This week has been full of adventures and crazy happenings. The work is a different ball game each week, I'm learning. 

Monday-- P-day, so nothing crazy. However, every month on the 2nd Monday, they have this thing called 'Empty Nesters' which is when all the empty nesters of the community (whiiiiich is basically everybody) come out to have fun with the Mormons while we eat and listen to a live bluegrass band. The missionaries go because we meet about 101 non-members. They love talking to us, because we're young and interesting (not my words) but it really was a very fun night!

Tuesday-- We contacted a lot of referrals, not a lot came of it, but tracting really makes you feel like a missionary, let me tell you. We had a few lessons, but none of them were all that eventful.

Wednesday-- Craaaaaaaaaaaaazy day! All the stuff that we had planned the night before fell through, so about 2 hours into our day we were grasping at straws, which is never fun as a missionary. However, I'm learning that when that happens, the Lord is just basically saying, "Ya, those plans were nice, but look what else I've got in store for you!" I say that because while we were just trying our hardest to stay out and working, we got 3 new investigators! Two of them are formers investigators that we looked up in our area book and really wanted to contact them, due to the section in PMG that talks about trying out your formers. They were interested and oh my goodness--me and Sister Herring were just on cloud 9. The 3rd investigator is Jessica, the momma of the Mexican family that I told you about last week. Miracle--we knocked on the door just as her 9 month old baby had gone down for a nap and she only woke when we were done teaching her mom. Jessica is super nice, and she's interested in  learning more, as she had brief contact with the Church in Mexico...haaaa she thought that we were polygamists...funny stuff :)

Thursday-- Had specialized training basically aaaaaall day which was AWESOME, but we didn't do much besides go to our dinner appointment after that. 

Friday-- Tracting again, and lemme tell ya. These bugs our here just simply adoooore me. My legs seems to be the must-try diner of the bug world.

Saturday-- We went to Jessica's yard sale, and she was very friendly, but there was also this Baptist preacher there who started to give us a little mini-sermon about how as long as we're all just trying to follow God it doesn't really matter what faith we're a part of...in any case, he started his little thinga-ma-jig by saying that he'd always had questions about the Mormon faith, and so I ended up giving him a mormon.org card when he was done preaching to us :) Hahahahahahaha I'm too funny, I tell ya...after that, everything fell through again, which obviously means that we had another miracle :) We were on our way to contact a referral when we had to stop due to the fact that there was a lady picking up her trash which had been strewn all across the road by some bears. We of COUUUURSE got right out to help her! She is interested in learning more, and it was just really awesome talking to her. She said that she feels guided to where God wants her to go to church (aka church shopping. regular practice out here...you just keep trying churches out till you find one where you like the pastor/minister/whatever the heck as well as the congregation). Which will make it quite the thing  to teach her about having the same gospel all around the world :) 

Sunday-- Committed a stubborn but hilarious 80-year-old named Bobbie Lavender to living the word of wisdom. Pretty much made the rest of my day the best thing ever :)  We hope to commit her to baptism by the end of the month.

Being a missionary, you see people where they are in their lives and you just have this amazing ability to see where they could be with this wonderful message that we've got. It's process getting them there, but it's definitely worth it. I can't say it enough...missions are the best :)


Deer and wild turkeys in the yard
Virginia is beautiful!

Monday, September 9, 2013

Meaghan with President and Sister Pitt
 
Things I've learned while living in the South:

1. You never call to get just one detail sorted out. There WILL be chit-chat.

2. When you have exchanged hugs/handshakes, you are approximately 75% of your way out of the door.

3. You eat all the food on your plate. However, you always begin with saying, "Oh, how in the world am I going to eat all of this??" 

4. ALWAYS ask how a person is doing/how their day is going. (Be sure to actually listen as well.)

5. You can say whatever you'd like about a person, and as long as you end with, "Bless her heart", everything is just fine and dandy.

The culture of the South is pretty different, haha. People are friendly, and all the conversations are long. However, I love love love it here! Life as a missionary is pretty wonderful :) People are coooonstantly trying to feed us or give us money for food. Me and Sister Herring are about 95% sure that they're all secretly playing a game of 'Who Can Make the Missionaries the Fattest?'

Many miracles! We got a referral a couple of weeks ago for a Mexican couple that have just moved into the area, and while our first try didn't work, we now know why: we needed to spend more time with this one sister in our ward from Chile! She offered to go to lessons with them, and maybe even have them over for dinner to speak Spanish and create that bond. I imagine that coming to a place like this would be hard if you were used to being surrounded by Spanish all the time. Luckily, we've found a way to help them with that :) Also, we were able to help one of our less-actives in a big way this week. They had a friend recently die, and while we weren't planning on visiting them, we ended up doing just that. They needed to hear in that moment what we had to say about out Heavenly Father's plan for us after we die. It's amazing to me how much the Lord cares for His children and knows their lives and their struggles. What's even more amazing is that I get to be a part of that. 

Love and miss you all!

Meggie

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

First Area: Roanoke, Virginia

I am in the Back Creek Area, in the Roanoke Zone! However, Back Creek is basically just the fancy part of town in the outskirts of Roanoke. Settling in has been interesting, because the sister that I replaced had been here for 5 months. I hear a lot of, "Where's Sister Tuckett?" and "Aww, i'm gonna miss Sister Tuckett." It's alright though, they'll definitely learn soon that having a redhead is quite the little blessing :)





Sorry that I didn't email yesterday. We email in the library, and since it was Labor Day yesterday, we're doing emails today.



We got into Charleston at about 11 am on August 27, and I was deeeeeeead tired. They had some meetings for us to be at, but they let us go to bed at like 6:30 due to our flight circumstances (I was traveling all night and didn't catch a wink). However, I totally passed out in the middle of our testimony meeting at the President's house. Sister Williams had to wake me up because I was making noises apparently...hahaha. The classy streak continues.
 Charleston, West Virginia


The sisters (there was 14 of us) stayed at a nice hotel in Charleston for 2 nights before we headed off to meet our trainers. My trainer's name is Sister Herring, and she is 24. She has also been out for a grand total of 6 weeks! We have fun in our area, the people are amazing. We've gone tracting 2 times now, and both times yielded new investigators! Tracting is truly an act of faith. In all fairness, it was more guided tracting, however. We had a referral that we wanted to tract into, and so we just did all the surrounding areas as well. Last night we found 2 families that want to meet with us later today (SOOO EXCITED!!!) and as for the other time, there's a little story that goes with it. 

We had stopped at a member's home, and she told us to go and see if we could say hello to this little family that had just moved in, coming from Mexico. We tracted down the street to their house, and they didn't answer their door, so we just continued down the street. We had finished and were walking back to our car when we a car started coming down the street to pull into the house that we had just knocked on. We waved, and she stopped (OMGosh). She rolled down her window and said that she'd like to learn more (OMGoshOMGosh). We had a Book of Mormon with us, but for some reason it had been misprinted, so we had to go back to our car to get her a new one. It started to rain, and so she ended up letting us inside (OMGoshOMGoshOMGosh). We talked to her more about the Book of Mormon, and she said that she'd be happy to learn more.

Kay. 

So.

I love tracting.   

Friday, August 23, 2013

So this week has been craaaaaaaazy! (Don't ever do laundry in the MTC if you can avoid it. People let Satan into their hearts down there, I've decided.)

We taught a lady in the TRC (Teaching Resource Center) who was raised in Venezuela and had 5 kids...very Catholic. However, when I told her aaaaall about how my dad was raised Catholic, and that he had been baptized into The LDS Church, it opened the conversation up quite nicely :)  Our second time with her we decided to talk about prayer, and found out that she hadn't prayed since she was a child. She said that the rote prayers lost their meaning to her pretty quickly. I was able to tell her about my experiences with prayer and how it has helped my mother, which she liked to hear about. She actually ended up saying the closing prayer! It was so awesome.


I have about a billion stories to tell, and no time to do it. Friends, write me snail mail instead if you could! (see address below)
I got really sick this week (I now use my hand sanitizer religiously) and had to go to the health clinic. The doctor tested me neg. for strep, which is good, and prescribed me some ibuprofen and a decongestant that has saved my life. I still feel really dizzy though. I have no idea why. Prayers, please :)  


Also, I have a new companion! Sister Hutto is from Dallas, Texas, and was delayed a week due to medical issues. Teaching in a trio is quite the trick, let me tell you. However, when you eventually DO get it down, the miracles are plentiful. We taught one of the most amazing lessons ever the other night in our little trio and it totally boosted my spirits.We are so blessed to have her :) She's leaving us Monday morning, though, to head to the Fort Collins, Colorado Mission. So sad. However, me and Sister Williams are terribly happy that she is going now instead of having to wait another week. Me and Sister Williams are going to be leaving Monday night, and our flight leaves at 1:00 am. Loverly.

Have a wonderful week and I'll write again soon!

(From WV...Eeep!)
Mission Home Address:
888 Oakwood Rd, Ste 310
Charleston, WV 25314-2071

Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Meaghan's First Email from the MTC:
 
Heeeeey there. It's P-day, or, as I like to refer to it, yoga pants day.

Anywho, my adventures have been grand. I got a beautiful new blister from running on Tuesday and Wednesday morning (gotta shake the stress away) and then when I got to the MTC, it popped. And hurt. A lot. I stopped at the bookstore with my host (the sister that showed me the way to my room and stuff) and got some Vaseline and a Band-Aid. I fixed myself up as best as I could, and then hobbled on over to my first class. When I got there, I met all my new classmates, who urged me to remove my shoe to ensure that I would be more comfortable. We then realized that I was in the wrong classroom.
And that, my friend, is the story of how I showed up to my first class minus one shoe, plus one giant blister, and with a fabulous new strut (i.e. limp).

I'm so classy.
On another note, my companion's name is Sister Williams and I pretty much love her to death. She's from Texas, but she's a tiny little thing so in this case, we really can't say that everything is bigger in Texas. I just got assigned to be the senior companion, which means that for now, I am the Doctor and she is my companion. A metaphor that she gets because she is a Whovian as well :) Proof that the Lord knows me and wants me to be happy! She is more on the reserved side, and me with my much more outgoing self gets toned down a bit when we are together. Which is always. So that makes life just grand :) We go on many adventures...meaning we get lost a lot and make the best of it, haha. We are both really happy to be one another's companions', in any case. She has been patient with me, and I have been the friend that she has needed for her first few days here.

Oh! So we were studying in a little alcove that we found close by our classroom yesterday and a man that works here comes up to me and says:

"Hi Sisters! Can you do me favor?"

"Suuuuuuure."

"I have a girl in there that's auditioning to be an 'investigator' for missionaries to practice teaching on in the TRC and we need to see how she interacts with the missionaries. Could you guys come and teach her a lesson so we can see that?"

Whut.

Of course we accepted, and while it was not my finest moment (give me a break, it was my 2nd day here and I was given appx. 30 seconds to prepare) it was cool because we were going to teach The Restoration, but after praying, we decided to teach her The Plan of Salvation. Later in the lesson we found out that she had a little brother die when she was about 7 years old and was looking for a way to mend her family back together, as things have never been the same. 

Little miracles :)

Saturday, July 20, 2013

Experience Leaving.

The emotions of leaving are something else entirely. You have been dreaming, hoping, wishing for this day to come--and now it's here.

And you can't seem to take the next step.

This phenomenon has got to be the oddest thing about the human experience. We can want something--something big, something dramatic, something that will completely change the course of a person's life--and the hardest thing is taking the first step required to enter into that longed-for place.

It's difficult because you realize that that first step, that wonderful, beautiful thing that you have imagined time after time is also your last on the path that you have become familiar with. All of a sudden, the sights that you looked at with apathy on a good day and disgust on a bad one, are now the most beautiful things that you have ever had the blessing of beholding.

We fear change because there is nothing to grab hold of when the storm sets in. Our familiar surroundings are in immediate danger of being severed from us, nevermore to be the same--even upon return. In our cozy world that we've created, we have built up our rituals and our comforts for when the night seems dark and the winds are never-ending. We have cried, laughed, experienced the space that we have formed from a combination of the personal decisions and events that make up our lives.

In leaving, you are saying goodbye to all of that. You never realize that when you're dreaming.

But now is the day that you say goodbye. You release your grip on the life you have lead up to this moment. Roll your suitcase forward and get ready for a big wide wonderful world that you have yet to inspire, influence, and experience.


And don't forget to smile.


Monday, June 17, 2013

A Humbling Experience.

Today I received my letter from my Mission President. Such a small thing...and yet is had a very profound effect upon me. Here's an excerpt from what I wrote in my journal immediately following the experience that occurred while I was reading all of what my mission sent to me.

"Included was a list of guidelines that made me honestly question whether or not I really wanted to go on a mission. It seems shallow, I know, but the confidence I had once had in my decision was shaken. I got a glimpse of just how hard this all is going to be, and it frightened me. Everybody says that missions are hard...I guess that I had just pushed that uncomfortable truth to the back of my mind to make the decision easier to make. Despite all these doubts that had flooded my mind, a revelation full of light made them vanish as quickly as they had appeared. In preparation for my mission, I have been thinking exclusively of myself. I have been thinking of the experiences that I'm going to have, all of the things that I'll miss. I have been so immature and selfish. But this isn't about me. It's about going out and doing the Lord's work. It's about loving the children of His, and then laboring in His name and for their sake. It's not about the recognition that is received by becoming a successful missionary. It's about doing His work, acting in the knowledge that it's His will, and standing as best as I can in His place. I want to become the woman that He has in mind for me to be. And I will give it my all to do so. Not for me, but for these people."

I have been so impressed while writing these words how much potential the Lord sees in us, despite our flaws. And that is what it means to love us as He does. To see that potential in every person that I meet. I have also been impressed as to how this mission is so completely perfect for me. This is His will, and His will is perfect.     

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Almost Heaven

Lookie Lookie! My Aunt was driving through my mission while on a road trip and sent me pictures!



This one's my favorite :)











Ehrmahgersh I'm so excited! It's so pretty!

Oh, byyyy the way, I had the wonderful opportunity to guest post on the blog One Year Six months Forever, which I absolutely adore. You can check out my little blurb here.




Monday, May 27, 2013

Choose Ye This Day

Satan is a very real being, that knows us on a level that should make everyone feel very, very uncomfortable. 

(I don't beat around the bush.)

I'm writing about this because he has recently been throwing some of his finest curve balls my way. 

First off: Guy that I kinda-sorta-dated comes back into town and makes things get a little crazy in my head. There are some...interesting stories that I could tell about that one. I start questioning if I really want to go on a mission after all. If I leave, he will get married while I am gone. The thought ran through my mind constantly.

Next: I see my one and only ex-boyfriend in town. I NEVER see this guy 'just around town', okay? Things did NOT end well. At all. I've only seen him once before post-break up, and that was a freaky event that I wished never to repeat. Seeing him throws me off my game, plain and simple. SO, when I saw him during the midst of my I-haven't-gotten-my-call-yet-and-I-really-am-barely-keeping-my-cool craze, 
(with the lovely addition of Guy #1 issues), seeing him at this point made me want to cry/scream/throw up/pull my hair out. As if this cocktail of emotions wasn't enough, this ex-boyfriend of mine decides that it would be a really good idea to call me a foul name as I walk by. I cried after rushing to the nearest corner out of sight.

After that: My little sister and I have a rocky relationship right now. We used to be the best of friends. We barely speak now, and I miss her more than I could possibly tell you. I understand that being a teenager is hard, and that there are times when all you need is lots and lots of space. But I'm leaving in less than 3 months. She...she'll be so different after I get back. In a last ditch effort to make contact, I asked if she was going to write me while I was gone. She responded with a very short, very prompt, and extremely serious, "No."

Finally: The first person that I ever invited to take the missionary discussions who also ended up getting baptized has recently fallen away from the church and said some extremely nasty things to me just a few short days ago. She told me that I was going to be the worst missionary ever, and that I was going to fail miserably in the field. She told me all about what an awful, horrible person she thinks that I am. She exploited some very real insecurities that I have to make me feel very, very small. She wished many bad things would happen to me. Now, I don't very easily doubt myself, but this? This did it. 

And Satan knew that it would.

So why am I writing this? I'm normally pretty peppy on here, aren't I?

I'm writing it because of this:

All of this, the big kickers, (plus the zillions of little things) force you to either:

a) Break and crumble under the pressure

or

b) Come closer to our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, as well as the Father. 

Trials are just the things that make us choose. We either devote ourselves, or fall. There is no other way.

So. What did I do?

I told myself that Guy #1 is just a guy. Albeit a very good guy, but in the end? Just a guy. My Savior needs this time with me more than I need time with Guy #1. (Through prayer, I was also able to realize that we're just really good friend anyways.)

I cried about what my ex-boyfriend did in the past, as seeing him re-opens old wounds, and I cried about what he said as I passed by. Did I deserve that? Of course not. Will I be reduced by it? When pigs fly.

I wrote my sister a note telling her how I felt, seeing as how she won't talk to me. She ignored it, but I feel better knowing that I at least tried to do something to salvage the relationship before I leave for the next 18 months.

I did not retaliate in anger as this girl that said these incredibly rude, uncalled for, and viscous things to me. I let her know that it wasn't okay to treat me as she was, apologized for the wrongs that she believes that I did, and left the situation. 

And then I prayed. 

Our Lord, Christ, The Redeemer, The Prince of Peace, The Son of God is always there for us. He was confused with me, He cried with me, He longed with me, and He was wounded right alongside me. Every single step of the way, He was with me. He knew what I was feeling during each of these events. But He also knew that I could make it through them. 

When you're feeling weak, there is always Somebody that knows that we can make it. 

Even if we don't know it ourselves.  

Have faith in that, and take the next step that you can in the right direction. Leave the rest of it up to Him, and He will bless you for your strength.

He will be with you, even when you feel alone.

He will guide you, even when you feel lost. 

He lifts you, even when you feel low.

And most importantly: 

He will love you. Even when you feel unloved.

Especially when you feel unloved.


He will never abandon you. 

Monday, May 13, 2013

A Young Girl's Thoughts on Flying.

Me?

I'm not so special.

I mean, I have my finer moments, but you wouldn't know that from just looking at me.

You wouldn't know that I fully believe that Imagine Dragons is a gift from heaven from just a glance.

You'd probably never guess that I'm an avid smoothie maker/adorer when you pass me on the street.

And most likely, you wouldn't guess that I'd decided to put everything that makes my life familiar and comfortable on hold to move to a place that I've never been to solely to talk to people I've never met and tell them about my story--and more importantly, Somebody else's story that has effected every choice I make. That knowing what I know and living how I strive to live brings an exquisite joy, and how coming to that same knowledge about what He has done for them can change their lives as well.

It's crazy how much a single choice can affect a life. Big ones, small ones. They all have the same consequence upon many, many souls.

So ya, I'm only 18. Soon to be 19. Going out into the world all by myself into the world for the very first time in 3 months.

But goodness. Come what may, I'm going. I'm going to that place that I've never been to to talk to anybody who will listen to me about our Lord and Savior and how they can be happier after hearing what I've got to say.

Because there is not a single thing that I believe more fully, not a thing that has captured my heart with more rapture. Nothing that could be of more worth to so many people, as well as myself.

Just watch me.





Thursday, May 9, 2013

Happiness.

You know what happiness is?

Happiness could be listening to loud music that makes your heart beat wildly and your face smile till it's too painful to smile for any longer.

Happiness might be miraculous love. The kind of love that makes you wonder how you were happy before they came along.

Happiness...maybe it's the warmth from the sun as it shines on your face, letting you know just how very much alive you are.

No. Happiness is just one thing, if we're being honest.

The one thing that Happiness is, without a doubt, is faith in a better tomorrow. The belief that no matter what happens, as long as you're still walking along to the drum that beats right there in your chest, things are gonna be just fine.

So many people lose that beat. Everybody gets thrown off of it every once in a while.

The brave ones in this life are the ones that find that beat again, after realizing that there's pain for the ones that keep in time. Sorrow from abandoning those that risk that precious tempo. Agony over seeing loved ones lose it. Heartbreak from those that would have you lose it to help themselves feel less guilt over their loss. 

Happiness? I refuse to lose it. Because this world has way too many sad people already.

Even when the music doesn't play, the loved ones are no longer a part of your life, and the sun doesn't shine anymore.

Keep your head up, and make your beat the most unique thing on earth. Make it beautiful. Make it special.

Make it yours.

And own it.

Saturday, May 4, 2013

Le Mission Call.

SO.

Drumroll for dramatic effect, if you would.

AHEM.

Dear Sister Nisse,

You are hereby called to serve as a missionary of The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints. You are assigned to labor in the WEST VIRGINIA CHARLESTON MISSION. You should report to the Provo Missionary Training Center on Wednesday, August 14th, 2013. You will prepare to preach the gospel in the English language. 

You know, I had all these crazy ideas of going to Europe or New York or like Argentina or something crazy like that, and to be perfectly honest,  I thought that I was going to be disappointed with anything less than the great grand adventure that I wanted to the places that I've always dreamed of going to. But this? Oh my. I would not dare to have it ANY other way.

I have never been there in my life, but I feel like it's absolutely perfect. 

West Virginia never ever crossed my mind, but as soon as I read those words, it was just like, "Ya, that! That's it! That's exactly, exactly, it."

Now, I feel like if I had read the 'France Paris Mission' I would be disappointed. 

I've already Google stalked the crap out of the place (would you expect any less from the crazy redhead..?) and it is BEE-UH-YOO-TUH-FUL. Just green, green, green! Everywhere! AND. THERE IS A CASTLE IN MY MISSION. 

Perfect. 

Absolutely perfect.

Thursday, April 25, 2013

Life Has Storms


My mother says that I've wanted to grow up since I was 3 years old. And I guess I have, but honestly? It's only because I'm now at the point in my life where the decisions I make affect and shape how the rest of my life will go. Now is the time when I will begin to make the decision for myself as to whether or not I do something. Like go on a mission. Or rob a bank. You know, just your basic everyday options.

Leaving is going to be hard, you guys. Like really super oh-my-heck status hard. But because I have been through hard things before, I know that while times might get tough and I might not want to go, I will go. I will go because I have a testimony of the truthfulness of this church. I know from personal experience that this gospel brings nothing but a better life to those who have decided to walk the path that it lays out before you. In this world, there is so much sadness, and it is inevitable that at some point some of that hardship will splash onto you. However, I know that I never would have been able to walk out on the other side of some of my life's storms without my faith. When I am sad and there is nobody there to comfort me, I am able to pray to my Father in Heaven and know that there is somebody who cares. There is somebody who will always have time to listen to you and comfort you.

So. Now. On to the dirty details.

Here's the story of how I walked through my hardest emotional storm to date.

It had been about a month after he decided to brake things off when I found myself in my car, late at night, all alone in my driveway with the radio on softly to a sad country song about (surprise, surprise) heartbreak. The engine was off, but there was a storm going on. So there, in my beat up old car where we had had our first kiss, I cried my heart out in prayer.

I told Him how I was just so tired of thinking about him everyday, so sick of being angry all the time. I begged Him to take the anger out of my heart so that I could just be DONE with him already.

All of a sudden, I felt this immediate rush of peace and calm enter my body. I felt like I had literally taken something off of my body and thrown it far away.

The next day as I was sitting in church, I was sitting listening to the talk that was being given when I realized something was different.

I kept asking myself, "Am I sad? No. Do I miss him? No."  

Suddenly, I realized that I was happy. Happy! I couldn't believe that I had forgotten what the sensation felt like.

I know this story may not seem like much, but to me, it's a whole lot. I am stronger today. I have a deeper knowledge of my strengths, and my faith was most assuredly bolstered that night. All because of a prayer.