Monday, July 29, 2013

Cherry Grove Part 2

Hey Everyone,
  I'm still in Cherry Grove, so I guess I haven't done what the Lord sent me there to do, so I still have the opportunity to stay and figure that out, so there is the good news.  Also I will be at the Blackhams till August 28th, so we don't really need to worry about the address for a bit.  But funny thing next transfers are the next week so who knows if it will even be worth it to move all of our stuff there or not, we shall see in six weeks I guess.
  I really don't know where to start this week, it kind of throws me off that its only been since Wednesday that I wrote last, so sorry if I repeat anything, I'll try and think of new and somewhat exciting things to share :)
  We didn't really do anything exciting on Wednesday, more tracting and contacting potentials.  We did meet a few new potentials one of which we are going to see again tonight, so hopefully that will go well.  Thursday we were going to go to this one place and I accidentally turned the wrong way so we switched around our plans a bit and it turns out that if we had stuck with our plans we would have missed setting up an apt w/ a LA that we really want to work with, so moral to the story is sometimes good things can come out of wrong turns.  We went to an ice cream party at United Dairy Farmers bcuz one of the Recent Converts moved and so we went and wished her well. But turns out their ice cream is really pretty great.  So that was delicious.  We were close to  Mount Washington so we had set up an apt w/ a RC who lives there, and we were able to have a really great time with her.  I think that we should try and see her once a week, but we shall see what actually happens.  All I know is that I quite enjoyed my time with her.
  Oh  going back to Thursday. It was soo so soo sad to say goodbye to Sis. Denison.  It was harder for me than I anticipated.  But good news is that we are still in the same mission and so theoretically we should see each other at some point in the near future. 
  I was glad for weekly planning on Friday so we could really figure out what we will do this week, and besides its always nice to feel slightly ahead in your plans.  Who knew the feeling of accomplishment I would get from filling up my planner.  Also sidenote is that this is my 3rd planner now, but only one is completely filled up so good news eh?
  We had a okay day on Friday....Haha I'll explain why I say so, and then you'll all laugh at me, so prepare yourselves.  We were doing some more tracting and then we headed off to an area that was closer to our dinner apt. Well we were following where the GPS took us and it took us to private property that most definitely did not lead to where we wanted to be, so we had to re-inter it in and go  for our desired destination again.  Fail.  We ended up driving all the way down to New Richmond, which is not, where our dinner apt was, it was actually up in Amelia.  Bad news is we were lost and we had a GPS.  Sad on our part huh? the 2 of us did not figure out that we were in the completely wrong town until we had driven around New Richmond looking for a street to go tracting on, that we actually never found.  So I ended up calling our dinner apt and telling her that we were lost and we got some directions from her of where we needed to be, and then we headed off to Amelia.  Dinner was great and so that was good.  I feel bad that we got so lost, and even with a GPS.....moral of this story, don't always trust technology...  Haha not always good in our case, where we don't really know what else to trust.
  Saturday we went to New Richmond, but we were actually supposed to be there, so that was good.  We were going to help do some service, but the Sister ended up taking us shopping with her so then we did that instead.  However I did help her put some of her groceries away, so thats got to count for something right? :)  We had a lesson set up and we actually had a ward missionary meeting us there, so we were so excited.....we ended up being a few minutes late so we text Tyler, the wm, and let him know.  Turns out our apt forgot and had other plans so that didn't end up working out. Bummer eh? But hopefully we get something else set up with him so that we can start teaching him.  Because I'll tell you what I much prefer being a teaching missionary than a finding missionary.  We had dinner with a really nice couple in the ward and they told us that they know our calendar doesn't always fill up so feel free to let them know and then head on over and have dinner with them whenever.  I think that is so nice of them to offer.....who knows if we'll end up taking them up on their offer, but its nice to know that we have that option open to us.
  Saturday we really really wanted to find an investigator and we met this really nice guy named Kevin who we are going back to see tonight, so that is exciting. We also met a guy that I can just envision as a High Priest Group Leader, but he is going on vacation and will be getting back on Aug 10 so hopefully we can teach him then.  It was time to go back, but we decided to knock on one more door.  We knocked and there was no answer, so we did the customary second knock and again no answer, which is definitely not out of the norm.  We head back to the street and saw this really cute family walking down the road together.  We went and were talking with them and they said that we could come to their house and share some more with them.  The dad travels and is gone all week but we are going to go see them next weekend. I am SOOOO excited about them.  I can just feel the potential!!! But sometimes it is hard because you get so excited and then it is hard when it doesn't work out.  But I have full faith in them.  They are my miracle for the week!!
  Sunday we had an awesome meeting.  The sister that spoke talked about how we have to have our heart in the right place. We must make sure that we are fully converted, and that our conversion is in our inner-most part and not just on our outward appearance.  It was really great, her husband talked about finding our purpose and how we have to work for everything.  Nothing will come w/out consistent work.  I really loved the meeting also cool sidenote we are eating with them tonight.
  We had dinner with the Bishop and his family they are really nice. I love his wife!! She is really awesome.  But the best part is that he gave us 17 names of people that he would like us to work with.  So now we have a definite direction of where he wants us to be as we work in Cherry Grove.
  Last night we had another miracle.  I was able to teach the whole Restoration to a lady on her doorstep and she was able to recognize that she was feeling the spirit and she was so excited to  have the pamphlet so she can find out more.  We are going to call and check up on her later this week and set up an apt. I am so grateful that we sometimes get those promptings of one more house.  Because that is when we truly get those miracles. 
  This week I'd like to invite all of you to ask yourself a few questions.  Am I striving to work on my inner-self?  Do I have to constantly be reminded of what I should be doing, or am I self-starter? Where is my direction?  What is my purpose?  Am I being complacent?
  These questions came from those talks yesterday and they really got me thinking.  I know that these are things that I want to be working on this week, because we can always work on being better.
  Also just so you know I celebrated National Ice Cream day last week as well.  However mine was with vanilla, mint chocolate chip and crowning glory was peanut butter chunck, or something of the like I don't actually remember the name, I just know how much I loved it!!!
  Also while I'm being randomly sidetracked.  I have been eating a ton of fresh peaches this weekend and they have been fabulous!!! It was so nice to have fresh peaches and I even helped peel some for cobbler and then for jam.  I felt bad we had to leave Sister Blackham to finish the jam by herself.  Also Brother Blackham made it safely home this week.  It was good to see him come back.  And my sad note is that Sister Ward is leaving in 2 weeks. I don't ever want her to leave!!! I love her.
All of your love and support is amazing!! I can't tell you how much I love getting letters from you all! I love you all very much and hope that you have a great week!
        Sister Julie Ann

So this was my kind of first district in Ohio......
Hope you like it :)

Wednesday, July 24, 2013

Transfer Week

As a side note, the "Woah" post is also new, it didn't post last week!  Sorry!!
Hey Everyone,
  First off Happy Pioneer Day!! I am so glad that I have an opportunity to write to you on Pioneer Day  and express my feelings of gratitude for the pioneers and all of you modern day pioneers as well.  I read President Monson's thoughts on Pioneers in the July Ensign and Idk if I already told you about it but, I really really loved it.  I think that it is so amazing that we have them to look to when times get difficult, because all I have to do is think of all the hardships that they went thru and I know that mine are nothing quite like that.  Not to say that I am struggling, its just sometimes there are ups and downs to every day.
  On Monday Sister Palmberg and I did a bit of tracting, and when I say a bit, mostly I mean a few hours.  The first road we didn't have any success....well actually we left a pass-a-long card and we will be checking back in a few weeks I guess.  But anyways before we went to the next street it was my turn to say the prayer, and as I took a step back and really humbled myself before the Lord and truly ask with true sincerity for the opportunity to help others and be the answer to someones prayer we saw better success on that street.  Actually for the rest of the day we were able to truly enjoy tracting and really connect w/ people on a level that we previously hadn't been able to.  I think that tracting truly is something that I will be doing quite of a bit of, but I need to remember that I must humbly go before the Lord and ask Him to lead us to those He has prepared for us.
  As far as I know right now, I will not be transferred.  However we just found out Sister Denison is being transferred.  It will be very weird, because she and I have been together our whole missions.  I am sad about that, but know that it is something that I need to get used to, because missions are all about change and growth, so I need to be prepared to do all of that, whenever the Lord calls. 
  Saturday Sister Ward was able to come back to Eastgate because of Sean and Jackies wedding, which we were able to set up for, and can I just say that we missionaries did a pretty good job of setting up their wedding.  The cultural hall looked downright lovely. Haha. Anyways her and I were able to go upstairs and sleep in one of those rooms, but the real point of this story is the fact that the two of us were able to laugh about some of the most random things.  I love that about her, I miss the time that her, Sis. Denison and I had together because we were always laughing about something. 
  Monday's Conference call was fabulous! I don't know if it is normal for every mission to have a weekly call together, but we do and I honestly look forward to that time each week.  It is such a unique experience to have President and Sister Porter give us advice each week.  We were taught about the importance of following the promptings of the spirit and really being unified.  I think some missionaries are having a hard time with the transition from being two separate missions to being one mission, the Cincinnati Mission. I think that this transfer things are really going to be shaken up and that they will continue to talk about unity a lot more, because they have quite a job in front of them in uniting everyone together.  Even tho we are all about the same cause the other Mission Presidents were different and their approaches were unique to them. I know that President Porter is definitely the man for the job tho.
  I had my interview with President and it was amazing.  He started right off and pinpointed my weakness and then He worked on identifying w/ me the ways that I can improve and become a better missionary and truly be a better disciple of Christ.  While I was in w/ him, he was actually prompted w/ direct revelation for me specifically  so that was very cool.  He told me "Say what you know, and testify of what you say" He promised me that I can be powerful and I will help others, but I first have to open my mouth and talk.  I am so thankful for him and Sister Porter, because she also told me a few things that I can do. I love that they have the power of discernment and really know what are the important things to talk about w/ each missionary.  President told me that he would be checking up on me, so I have been working on doing what he has asked of me, for I know that he wouldn't have given me that assignment if it wasn't important.  I just think the Lord knows that He needs to come at me in every direction for me to truly get it, because it is kind of the same thing I have been told my whole mission from the MTC, to President Nilsen to now President Porter, he just said it a little differently and in a way that was truly inspired. 
  One thing that we are focusing on as a mission is less actives.  I think it is so great that we are doing this, because President wants us to rekindle the fire that these people have.  Once you have been converted to the gospel that fire will never leave you, thru different actions you can diminish it, but I know that it will still burn w/in you.  I have loved visiting the Less actives, I just hope that we really can help them get that fire back so they will have the desire to come back to church.  I love this gospel and I learn so much more every single day.  I love that even as we read the same thing we learn different things from it.
  This last little bit I read Elder M. Russell Ballards April 2013 GCT This is My Work and Glory.  It is so powerful.  I love the priesthood and I love knowing that God loves us so much that he trusts us to truly honor the power that he has given to us.  This talk really made me think more about the priesthood and question myself on if I truly do all I can to reverence and respect the power.  I would challenge all of you to read that talk, and also 3rd Nephi 27 I was reading that ch this morning and I only made it to verse 19.  The things about the atonement in there are so powerful.  It made me think who am I to not accept the gift of the atonement?  Christ truly suffered for me and I really need to accept what He willing offers to me.
I love you all lots! I hope your week is fabulous and you enjoy the 24th of July Celebration.
Also sidenote this morning when we stepped out to go running it felt cool, like home instead of a door of humidity.  Cool huh? it was a little gift which made it easier to run this morning.  So for that I am extremely grateful.

Love you, love you, love you!!
Julie Ann
PS Tell Katie Congrats and tell Sage how much I love her!


Sorry this is the letter from July 15, apparently I drafted it, and didn't post it!!  Sorry!! But enjoy a two for one type day in that case!!  

Hey everyone,
  I want to start out by saying how much I love and appreciate all of you.  I know that it is through all of your prayers that I am able to have such strength. So thank you to everyone for all you do for me.
  Turns out the amount of rain we have received since I've been here is more than they usually get, so people haven't been watering their lawns, gardens, etc this year, I think I've seen 4 sprinklers on...tops.
  This last week has been good. We had a few dinners which was great. Funny story almost all of them were Mexican food.  The meals were all good, but I don't think I've ever eaten so many re-fried beans in one week.  All I have to say is I am so grateful that people are willing to open their homes to us, because it really helps out to not have to make dinner at night.  Right now it is also saving a bit on our mileage so we don't have to run back to Eastgate and then back to our area.
  Turns out President went to the Indiana areas for interviews last week, so ours are to be this week.  I am excited, because every time I get to see President and Sister Porter they are so warm and inviting, and genuinely happy to see us.  There is nothing quite like their presence.
  This last week we have spent quite a bit of time going around meeting members, and less actives, trying to get a feel for the ward and acclimatize ourselves to the area.  I am getting to know my way around a little bit, funnily enough we seem to go down the same roads constantly so I most definitely recognize Muskegon, Ponder, Clough, and Shayler.  Hopefully the rest will come soon.  Also some of these drivers are plain crazy!! But so far we have not died.....I think of my setting apart prayer daily, and how I was promised safety. :) Never fear tho, all is well!  But I'll tell you what we were driving somewhere and these huge rain drops started falling, I was not too impressed, but then they got bigger and faster, much much faster.  I turned on the wipers and they don't go very slow, and there are actually like two settings is all, but I turned them to their highest setting and the window was completely covered before it came back up and down. It was crazy!! So driving in the flash flood was not my favorite. I have never been on the road when so much rain is pouring down continuously, it was like a huge outpouring from the sky.
  One day we tracted in the rain. Not my favorite, and no one let us in, but we had a few quick conversations.....come to think of it we walked around in the rain more than once this week. It is fun, but made me want to start carrying my umbrella for the next time the skies open up and let loose. 
  It was Sister Denison's 22nd Birthday on Tuesday so I wrote her a little note with some of T-Swifty's lyrics, haha I couldn't let that moment pass me by.  What is w/ everyone turning 22 this year anyways?
  So on Wednesday we met this awesome lady named Kari on our way to go visit a member. She was sitting outside her apartment/condo and we taught her a mini restoration and asked if we could come back. She said yes so we set up an appt w/ her on Thursday, I was so excited all day, because I love Kari she is really great, I guess her family had missionaries over when she was younger and she said that she would have her mother come over as well. But anyways we got there on Thursday and she left us a note because she had something come up and she gave us her number to call and set up an another apt. It was so sweet tho, that she left us a note, and she actually just addressed it to me, so maybe she'll be someone that I can really connect to. In any case the note made my day even tho we weren't able to teach her.
  Thursday we taught a lesson to an investigator. She is a Pentecost, and after walking in, I realized it would have been really nice to know what her beliefs were going in. Quite frankly I was frazzled and didn't know where to go, or what to say to her.  We had contacted her a few days ago and found out that her daughter had died so we had left her w/ a PoS pamphlet, hoping that it could help her.  Well her mother lives with her, and she was the hold-off.  Our investigator said that she and her mother had both read the pamphlet and that it was confusing and didn't agree w/ their beliefs.  We asked what some of their concerns were and I was shocked by some of what I learned.  Also as a sidenote it was kind of frustrating, because we would ask our Inves a q, and she would turn and say I don't explain it well mom you tell them. So does she really believe it, or is she still leaning on her mothers belief, ya know?  But they do not believe we were w/ God before we were born, but He breathes our spirits into our bodies and again the whole being born is the act of being baptized, because of the amniotic fluids.  I still don't understand not being w/ God before, bcuz we read they scripture that says "I knew thee and formed thee before the belly"...but yeah, it was interesting.  Needless to say, the dropping was mutual and we are back to one investigator we haven't seen since Wednesday.
  So yesterday we got to meet our Ward Mission Leader, because he has been out of town.  He is very excited and wants to help us as much as possible.  So I think that will be great.  We had our meeting w/ him at 12 since church is at 1. After the meeting we went out to they foyer and the Eastgate Elders and Sisters told us to go out to the parking lot because there was a family there who was asking about the church.  We sat with them during sacrament meeting, and it was such a great meeting.  The spirit was so powerful.  It turns out they are Baptist and they were running late and weren't able to make it to their church so they saw ours and decided to try it, since it was the Lord's day and they wanted to go to church.  We gave the Mom a BoM and our number and hopefully she will give us a call.  She did seem excited about the BoM so I really hope something comes out of it.
 For dinner we headed over to a Sister's house/her parents.  The unfortunate thing is she is moving this week to Cali and I really really like her. She served a mission in Cali a good few years ago so she has been great to us every time we have seen her. One funny thing about her is that her MTC comp was Wendy NewMyer.  What a small world huh?  But after dinner she spent a few hours helping us piece together a map of our area, since we did not have one.  It was so nice for her to help us out that way.  She was also nice enough to give us her GPS, since she is moving out to Cali she will be driving and had decided to get a new one, so it is mine to keep now.  Thank goodness for miracles. We have a GPS right now, but its pretty old and so this will be nice to have so we can have a more updated system.
  So this week was my first Zone Mtg and I loved it!! My ZLs are great and they taught us a bunch of fabulous stuff, like after HF has helped us out offering a prayer of gratitude right in that moment.  Making sure we pay attn to details because they are so important and other stuff like that. I honestly think that I have grown quite a bit spiritually this week.  I am working on my Christlike attributes of Humility and Obedience. They are so intertwined and I love that when we study obedience more we see how it is the first law of heaven and as we are obedient we can be blessed more, and as we recognize those blessings and promptings we will be blessed with more and more.  It is a continuous cycle in which we always come out victor, because the Lord always always always gives us more than He asks from us.  I am so grateful for the small reminders everyday that I receive of His love and awareness of me!
  I want you to know that I thought of you all at the Reunion on Saturday and figured that it was great! I hope that you got to have some fun with everyone. 
I hope you all to have a wonderful week, and you are in my prayers.
Love Julie Ann :)

So turns out I forgot a few things.  My new comp has been out 10 months and she is from Connecticut. Her town is 10 minutes from UConn crazy cool huh? Anyways its Coventry and pronounced a little differently than you would think.

So I love to write on these and this is one of them 

No judgement
We had just got out of the rain okay?

Monday, July 8, 2013

Week of Change

Hello Errybody,
  So I know that I say this every week, but this week its for reals....too much too say in too little time.
  We did indeed go teaching with President and Sister Porter, it was stressing me out a bit, but it was great.  He let us have control of the lesson and when he did interject it was at times that we needed and it always fit perfectly with what our investigator needed.
  I LOVE President and Sister Porter!!!! They are so fantastic! They are kind, warm, inviting, so loving, and the presence around them is fabulous! I am so happy that I am under them for the rest of my mission.  When I met them there was just an absolute feeling of love, it was amazing.
  We had a meeting with them, and their youngest son Brian on Tuesday.  Brian is going to be a senior this year, and I think he is really great to have such a great attitude about moving to Ohio to finish off HS.
  I can't even begin to tell you how much I learned from that meeting.  Pres. Porter broke down D&C 121:45 for us and we talked about how bowels are the centermost part, garnish is to enhance and how we need to always enhance our thoughts and so on....too much to write to tell you all of it!  But I'll tell you what it was amazing! He talked about how imp it is for us to realize that we were sent out at a specific time and to a specific Mission Pres to learn specific things.  It made me realize I need to go back and decide what it was I was to learn from my time under President Nilsen.  He went thru and told us so many amazing things I wish I could tell you all of it. At the new Mission Pres. training in the MTC this year all 15 of the Apostles and First Presidency spoke. This is actually the first time that has ever happened, so that definitely puts some perspective on what is going on with missionary work right now huh? :)
  Skipping right along.....Late Tues. night President called and talked to Sis. Ward for a while and then said he would call back.  So a little bit after 10:30 on Tuesday I found out that I was going to be  a part of an emergency transfer.  So I have a new comp now, her name is Sister Palmberg, and she was a part of the Indianapolis Mission that got brought into our mission.  Her and her comp got split up and she is training me and Sister Parker her previous Comp. is now training Sister Denison.  President decided to do this so that he can have Sister Ward go thru-out the whole mission training all the Sister Training Leaders before she leaves. 
  So basically this week has been very very different.  I guess being in a trio was too easy for me or something, not that I'm expecting this to be hard, its just different.  Also it is a bit of an adjustment because we are still living with the Blackhams, so 5 Sisters in the basement is a change.  So far so good though.  Also imp to note Brother Blackham is on a trip to Alaska on his himself, until July 28th.  He actually left on your Birthday Mom. 
  So Wed was my last day in Eastgate, and now I am in Cherry Grove which is in the same District, we are now just doubled in with the Elders one of which is the DL.  It is a little bit hard, because I was beginning to know my way around Eastgate, and to be moved midtransfer is more than I was bargaining on, but the ward has been really nice.  I think that we are the first Sister Missionaries....or at least the first in as long as anyone can remember.  So there ya have it.  July 4th was our first day in Cherry Grove, since the Sisters didn't get to Eastgate until after 10:30 Wed. night. 
  July 4, 5, 6th were very very rainy.  It is the weirdest thing to me that you are all dying of heat, and no precipitation, and we have heat, and humidity, and lots and lots of rain.  It really rained almost all day those three days.  Also equally weird to me is the fact that it is rainy, but hot. Everytime I ask Sister Blackham if its cold outside, and she looks at me and laughs and says not in Ohio.  Something to get used to I guess.
  This last week in Personal Study I spent a few days reading Elder Cooks GCT from this last Conference.  I would definitely suggest you all take the time to read it.  It is on Personal Peace and it was really great for me, so I bet it would be good for all of you as well.  I have also been working on developing more humility.  I have come to realize that there is a lot more to Humility than I had previously thought.  As we all develop humility it is interesting to learn that our self-control will grow in all things, I really like to think that as I continue to work on this thru-out my life that I can better control all aspects of my life.  I think too often we do not realize how much self-control we really need, because it is a part of everything.  We need self-control in time management and food and thoughts, and so so much more.  It really is amazing. D&C 12:8 is one of the scriptures that was helping me to think so much deeper on this attribute. 
  I have also been reading in 3rd Nephi, and I am amazed at all I am learning on the Atonement, it feels like the more I learn the more I come to see how important it is that we keep learning about it, because honestly as humans we can never completely understand it.  I love thinking about the fact that He did it for me, personally and individually. It has really helped me to realize that Christ has walked my path, before I have even thought about what choice I am going to make He knows which way I am going to go.  He is right there with me, and He continues to love and support me in all that I do, even when I don't choose Him.  Being on a mission has definitely made me realize that even tho I never did a bunch of bad things, I still wasn't being the best person I can truly be. I am learning so much more about the gospel and myself, and how the 2 are so interconnected that I cannot even fathom not having it be a part of my life, it is so important to me, and I want you all to know that I have a testimony of a very loving Heavenly Father.  He is all knowing and He loves us, even when we make mistakes.  I know that Jesus Christ is truly divine, and what He did, He did for each individual person.  He has a perfect love for each of us, and I know that even tho we cannot be perfect in this life as long as we do everything in our power to follow Him, He can help us make up our difference. I know Joseph Smith is a Prophet and He did see a vision.  My testimony of that grows stronger and stronger each time I share it, and hear it!
I love you all so much,
                                      Love Sister Julie Ann :)
Thank you for your sympathy!!  Lice stinks, so my suggestion to you, is to never get it.  K nuff said.  SO I have been listening to the Work lately and you would not believe how much more of a meaning those songs have to me now.  I am so much more in love with it, than I was before I left!!

Monday, July 1, 2013

Real Life Experiences

People people people,
  This week was really interesting so hold your horses!  Also I am starting off with nasty news so brace yourselves!!!
  We have lice!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  Ewww huh? We are all pretty disgusted.  Sister Ward was getting super nervous so she had one of the ward members check her head on Wed. and she said she potentially had it, so we went to Walmart and bought the lice kits and headed off to an appointment.  My head wasn't itchy until I found out there was a potential that I could have lice, and then I kind of freaked out and felt like every inch of my head was extremely itchy.  I was able to keep most of freak out inside of my thats good right? Haha.
  Thursday we got up at 6:30 and immediately started cleaning.  We all wore shower caps incase we did have it so it wouldn't spread.  We were busy past 10:30 trying to get everything done. I now know what a monkey feels like, and I am completely honest when I say that I never want to feel that way again.  It was only on each of our left ear area, we have our suspicions of where/who we got it from but I am pretty sure we caught it very early on.  We only ended up finding 2 or 3 eggs in each of our heads, and we never saw any bugs, so at least that part is good news right? 
  It was kind of a different day on Thursday, because we honestly never left the house, we cleaned everything and all of our clothes got washed, whether or not we had worn them....that was me actually.... I hadn't worn everything yet, so that was fun.  I felt bad for the washer and dryer because they never got a break.  We ended up finishing our cleaning on Friday and right now after we wear each outfit it goes in a plastic bag so that we don't infest/infect anything else with lice.  Yay! I wasn't really loving this experience, but oh well, it's all good, everything is a growing experience, right?
  So Mother Dear actually Happy Birthday this week!!! But also I was wondering if you wouldn't mind sending me a new brush and combs...possibly bobby pins as well, because we have been soaking everthing in alcohol, but it makes me leery.....I just don't like it.  Also I am probably wearing my hair up for the remainder of my mission so if you think of any good hairstyles besides braids and ponytails I will definitely take that.
  Last monday I had a most excellent Cream Soda Sucker Kare, just fyi.  We had our last Conference Call w/ President and Sister Nilsen.  Even though I didn't know them very well, I actually did become quite attached.  It was really nice and uplifting. 
  We met a family that we want to become investigators, the wife just got diagnosed with cancer and it has hit them pretty hard, we are hoping to go visit them again this week and hopefully they will be interested in learning about the gospel, esp. at this time in their life, when it could really help them. 
  I had my first district meeting this week. It was good and the ZL's were there as well....idk if that is normal or not.  We learned how to do a Chapel Tour so that was good information.  We had a lesson with Steve.  He is interesting, he is really nice, just kind of intense.  He really likes ordinances but isn't so keen on the fact that we aren't entertained while at church. 
  I already told you about Thursday so fun stuff right? Haha :)
  Friday we had dinner with the Stake President and his wife, the Bradleys.  They are fabulous!! I say that about everybody, but that's because they really are.  They have 2 kids on missions currently and are just great.  We had to rush out of their house and head off to an apt but our apt wasn't there, which ended up being fine, because we had a good discussion w/ his sister and one of her friends.  They are really great.  We didn't get to teach much because they had so many questions we kind of pinged around from subject to subject.... but it wasn't bad, they are really really awesome. Maria is absolutely fabulous, I love her and I really think that she is in a place in her life where the gospel would be so amazing for her.  We are going to see them later tonight, so we'll see how it goes.  We are taking some friends from the ward and then we can split up and teach them two lessons so we can focus on each of them individually which I think will be really good.
  Sahara's Baptism was on Saturday.  We ended up combining her baptism with one from the Cherry Grove ward as well.  So it was really great to have 2 at once.  So I have kind of been to 3 baptisms since I've been here. Cool huh? Steve came to the baptism and he really liked the ordinance he said it was great.  Sister Denison was playing the piano and she really brought the spirit so that was great.  I love how the spirit is just able to really touch us very strongly esp. when we have such great opportunities.  We took Steve on a tour of the building after the baptism and he liked the building.  So that was good. 
  We ended up having dinner w/ Brother Blackham on Sat, Sister Blackham and their daughter Missy were on a cruise this week which was good w/ us having lice and all.  But point of the story is he got the most delicious pizza. It was canadian bacon, pineapple and barbeque chicken. I would most definitely encourage that kind of pizza to anyone. Just saying.
  Church yesterday was absolutely fantastic.  We had some really great talks.  It was one of those Sundays when everything is just so relevant and cool to learn.  One of the speakers talked about Patriotism and it was awesome! It really was awesome to have someone go over the ch in Nephi where we learn about America being a promised and blessed land and how we need to teach others how important it is.  He talked about the Founding Fathers being inspired and it was just a great talk.  It made me love America even more. So on that note Happy Fourth of July everyone!!!
  Brother Blackham and I were talking yesterday and he said some stuff about Virtue that really hit me and I want to share with you.  He said Virtue is a catalyst for greater things.  It is a pureness and it leads us more wholly to Christ.  Isn't that awesome?  He is really great, such a spiritual giant that I really look up to.
  Sister Bradley took us to play tennis this morning that was cool! I loved it and would definitely go again. I have no skill but it was fun anyways.
I love you all and wish you well and hope that your week is fabulous.  The work here is good and I love this ward/area.  I am so grateful for all the support I receive, it really helps to know I have all of you praying for me, and writing me.
I don't regret any of it, including the lice, because it was a growing experience for me....I didn't love it, but hey so is life.
The Lord is amazing and He knows exactly what we need even if we don't.  I would suggest that if you have extra time you watch the movie Finding Faith in Christ.  We did twice this week & at first I was just kind of blah towards it, but when I really let the spirit in, it was sooo powerful!!
Oh one big thing I forgot to say in my email, is that the new President is coming out teaching with us tonight. Cool huh?!?!? Also no pressure right? haha
Lots and lots of love,
                            Sister Julie Ann :)

Isn't it cool that I'm now in a new mission????  :) 
Our Piles

 So Julie is in a new mission as of today!  She is now in the Cincinnati, Ohio Mission.