Monday, August 26, 2013

Last Week at the Blackhams.......

Sooo Hey my Favorite People,
  I can't believe it is already Monday.  You can all clap your hands and shout for joy, cause it's #MissionaryMailMonday!!! :)
  So I'm not really sure what stories to tell y'all so I'm probably going to skip to some of my favorite.  It could be kinda random, for which I apoligize, but then again you all know how my brain works, so be prepared.
  First off Sister Rolfe who is Sister Parker's comp, is from St. George, and she went to HS with Sam Walker, small world eh?
  Second off we (Sis Rolfe and I) have decided that we are going to go work at an orphanage in Guatemala Summer 2015!!  Basically Brother Blackham has inspired the two of us!
  Thirdly next week there will be no #MissionaryMailMonday, because its TRANSFER week!!! Also side note Happy Labor Day everyone! :) I hope you all enjoy your day off......I'm sure I will too Haha
  Fourth it will be Preparation day on Wed, so stay tuned to know if I am being transferred or not.
  Last but not least I am officially done with training next week, and so you never know what will be happening, whether or not I will be staying or going or anything like that.
Anyways time to get to the good stuff: was an interesting day I'll tell you what.  We went and heart attacked a Less Actives door and she has this sprinkler that is motion activated.  Guess who got sprayed twice? If you guessed Sister Christiansen you deserve a gold star!! Sister Palmberg ran up and I was right behind her and I got sprayed right in the eye and all on my right side.  I couldn't really see so I only put a few of the hearts up, and then it was time to run back to the car and again I got sprayed.  Luckily enough, on my right side once again, so only half of me was wet, good thing I live in Ohio, and its nice and toasty, so I was able to dry off fairly quickly.
  Next we headed off to teach Arlene, we did a BoM read with her and watched the Restoration DVD.  However I'll tell you what it was one of the most interesting ways to watch the DVD, because her TV has issues and is perma reddish, so I felt like I was watching Twilight, because everyone had very pale skin, and blood red eyes.  Try and watch it that way and tell me you don't see them all a wee bit differently.  It was still good, I could still feel the spirit, but it was kinda distracting for me for a bit. 
  We had a lesson with Steven later that afternoon and we read the Doctrine of Jesus Christ with him.  We have an investigator named Steven that we had extended baptism to previously, but when we had our lesson on Tuesday we re-extended to him, and he accepted a hard date to be baptized on.  He is so excited, and I have loved the change in him already, and we have only taught him twice.  We read the Doctrine of Jesus Christ with him, and he absolutely loved it.  He wants to do every step he can to be baptized, and I am happy that he wants that change in his life.  He is an awesome guy, and we are really happy that he is so looking forward to having this change in his life.  Now we have two on date for the 28th of September, so that is pretty exciting.
  We went and tried some of our other potentials, but they weren't there/some of them are actually not interested, good to know for sure tho.  Anyways we were kinda disappointed that Nikki and Nate weren't home, and as we were walking back thru the parking lot there was a guy getting out of his car, and he looked kinda familiar.  Haha it was Nate and we went over and talked to him for a few minutes.  Turns out that Nikki was on her way home too, so we had caught him right as he was getting home and that they didn't really have anything going on, and He welcomed us up to his apartment to have a lesson with the two of them.  We hurried back to the car grabbed the Restoration DVD and we watched that w/ them.  Nikki loves, loves, loves the story about Joseph Smith, and I have never seen someone so concerned about him, who is not a member.  It was a really great lesson and we were able to feel the Spirit pretty strongly with both of them.  I loved it!! Those two are so awesome! We were able to set up a Chapel Tour (CT)  for the next day too, which is good.
  We had a good  district meeting on Wednesday.  I love my district, and I am sad that it'll be changing soon.  We talked about getting our investigators to pray, and how we shouldn't really take no for an answer, because prayer is how they will get their answer.  It was good!!  Totally inspiring.  We went and visited Sister Hall that afternoon, and she showed us a bunch of her Indian gear...that she made.  She is a pretty crafty lady, so that was fun.  The tour w/ Nikki and Nate didn't happen, because Nikki wasn't feeling well, so we rescheduled for Thursday.  But the story of the day is this:  We ended up visiting with this less active lady, and at the end we were trying to get her to pray, and she wouldn't and she wouldn't and we were really trying because we knew it would really help her, and she lost it.  She literally broke down and started crying.  It made me feel like such a bully.  But it gets even better, we went home and were telling the other Sisters, and when they were trying to get one of their investigators to pray she started crying too.  Guess we were all a little too inspired by our meeting earlier in the day.
  Thursday was a crazy day!! But I'm going to skip to the eventful part of it.  We had the CT w/ Nikki and Nate, but Nate ended up having to go to work, but Nikki still was excited and we did it w/ her.  She is honestly so ready for the gospel it is amazing.  I extended  baptism to her, and I am glad it was just a soft extension because she is working her way up to being ready to accept the gospel.  We had the Elders come and give Arlene a blessing which was great.  She really liked it, and as a bonus we got to watch an awkward moment for them, when she gave them both hugs.  It took me right back to my awkward moment when I got hugged by the guy a few weeks a go. 
  So on Friday we went and visited this old lady named Evelyn that we have been visiting for a few weeks, but we missed her last week because of the Zone Conference.  She is slowly becoming more and more receptive to the gospel, and I am seeing her heart being softened to us, and the message we bring.  We even got her to pray this time, just by asking so that was simply fabulous!  We had dinner with a Recent Convert, and I just love her! Donnita is the coolest lady.  But I'm going to back track for a second we had a few minutes extra before we had to be to our appointment with her and we saw a lady sitting on a bench on the roadside, and so we went to talk to her.  Turns out she was waiting for the bus.  We were able to have a little lesson with her, and set up a return appointment, all before the bus came to take her to work.  Talk about a miracle it was grand! It was crazy cool tho, because here we are sitting on the roadside talking with her, and it was an extremely busy, and noisy environment, but we were totally able to feel the spirit.  It is such an awesome experience to have the world all around but to be able to not be a part of it, and to be there with the spirit.  So so cool!
  Saturday morning we had our correlation meeting, and can I tell you, I think this Ward mission leader is so awesome.  He really wants to be a part of what we are doing, and I think it is really cool.  We went and met a former and she welcomed us back for Sunday.  We went to Stake Conference with Arlene.  So I think you should all be very proud of me, because it is the first Saturday evening session I have ever been too.  And it is even a halfish hour away.....and we have to go on the freeway to make it there. But it was all good because we got some members to take us.  Anyways I digress, it was great meeting and I am really glad we were able to be there.  Funny story it turns out that we (Sis Palmberg and I), Elder Barnett and Elder Campbell (my District Leader and his comp) and then the Johnsons were the only missionaries there.  So needless to say Cherry Grove and Georgetown represented the rest of the Zone there.  One lady gave this really great talk on covenants.  I wish you all could have been there to listen, not only was it a great talk, but she also had an awesome accent, which made it that much better to listen to her.  A few things that stuck out to me from her talk are:  "Covenants influence the way we think, act, and do.", "Keeping covenants can guide us thru life", "As we keep covenants we are endowed w/ power from on high", and "As we keep the covenants they spiritually protect us".  It was good!
  Anyways it was a good one!
  Sunday, I wore my dress, because lets face it, it was an important day, I was seeing an Apostle.  My Zone all got to go to the Stake Conference for the Cincinnati North Stake, which was being reorganized, so it was really cool to look around and see two zones of missionaries in the building.  I was looking around and I noticed that this guy looked kinda familiar, and then I realized why.  It was Elder Oaks, he was walking around and shaking the hands of different people in the congregation too cool huh?  Sister Palmberg and I were in the hall when he was going thru, and he shook both of our hands!!! It  was a really cool and special moment for me. 
  The meeting was really great.  The new Stake Presidency in that Stake sounds like it will be good.  Elder Oaks Junior Companion for the weekend was Elder Grant C. Bennett from Massachusetts.  He also gave a really great talk.  Elder Oaks had this young boy come up from the congregation and he put his suit coat on him, when he gave his talk.  It was a representation about how all us are given mantles.  Each mantle that we are given is too big for a reason.  We are supposed to grow into it.  It was such a good meeting, and talk about a special memory for that boy!
  After the meeting we drove back to our Clough Pike meeting house, and it was so special, because the whole Ohio Cincinnati Mission was all together, for the very first time.  It was awesome to see who everyone is.  I even got to see Sister Riberia, and Sister Denison again.  That was exciting.  We took a Complete Mission photo. I want a copy because I think that would be very cool to have.  We went and practiced the EFY Medley a few times, and you would not believe the power that came into the Chapel as we were singing that. It was absolutely phenomenal!! I loved it so much.  We were all sitting in there quietly reading our scriptures and then Elder Smuin, one of the assistants, got up and said that Elder Oaks had asked to take a picture with all of us, so we hurried to go get back in place to take the picture when he got to the building.  Turns out we didn't end up being in place for when he got there, but he walked in and we were all able to shake his and Elder Bennett's hand take a picture together, and then head into our special meeting with him.  It was a really special experience.  I was able to learn quite a bit.  It was awesome tho, because He was supposed to leave, to go catch his plane but he wasn't done speaking to us, so he stayed until he finished his talk to us, and then he had to go.  But it was amazing!! Definitely an experience I'll never forget.
  The rest of the day almost seemed like a separate day, and a different experience you know?  All the build up to yesterday was most definitely worth it! We had dinner with one of the cutest families.
  Today Sister Palmberg and I went and played Frisbee Golf w/ the Elders in our district and the Spanish Elders it was pretty fun.  Idk what is w/ everyone and frisbee golf tho?
I love you all so much!!  I would suggest for each of you to take the time to read some talks by Elder Oaks that we read in preparation to see him.  They are: The Challenge to Become, Sin and Suffering, Two Lines of Communication and Testimony.  I know that they all really helped me this week.
I know that I have a Heavenly Father who has a plan for me, I know that Jesus Christ is His Son, and He completed the Atonement so that I can return to heaven to live in the presence of God once again, I know that Joseph Smith truly saw Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ and that He restored Christ's church to the earth once more, which is led by President Thomas S. Monson.  He has the keys to lead and guide us as long as we follow what he says.
I love you, I love you, I love you!!

Love Sister Julie Ann

 Exciting News

So for all of you that care, there is a Ohio Cincinnati Mission Facebook page and I know that there are pictures of me on it. So if you care to take a gander, now you all know.  Also it might be best if you send mail to the Mission home for the next little bit, until I know where I will be for this upcoming transfer, because they gave us our key to the apartment yesterday, I'm not so certain that I want to move in this week, w/ transfers this next week, but we shall see what happens.

This first picture was after the sprinkler attack

My poor skirt, I'm not exactly sure what happened, but it was sad.

 Frisbee Golf....what up folks?

My district, minus the sisters and plus the Spanish Elders

 Again I'm not really sure what makes frisbee golf this great draw, but hey it was fun....
Sister Rolfe and I were really excited!!!

Monday, August 19, 2013

What a Week!

Hey Everyone,
  Cole and Lisa it looks like it was a beautiful day for you two gorgeous people!! Congrats :)
  I can see that you were all super busy and that you didn't have a ton of leftover time, but it looks like the reception looked very nice.  I am glad to see that I was the true superstar tho!! :) Haha. As for me, this last week I just kicked back and took it easy.  Ya know, its not like I had anything big to do.
  Just Kidding.
  Each week I am amazed at how fast Monday rolls around.  It feels like each week is an eternity, and then really it isn't....weird how time moves. 
  Good news I pretty much have our mission scripture memorized.  There a few places that I randomly try to throw in extra words, but it really is an awesome scripture and I love it!!!
  Monday night the families that we ate with threw a mini birthday party for Sister Palmberg.  It was really nice of them.  As a sad sidenote since there were 4 Zone Conferences last week they decided to forgo the weekly Mission call, but good news, I am pretty sure we are back on for it tonight.  It is second only to receiving all of your emails in making my Monday wonderful.
  Happy Birthday Tyson, Jordan, and Sister Palmberg! Tuesday we extended Baptism to one of our investigators, and it was funny he said yeah that sounds good, but I'll have to check my calendar and make sure that I'm available that day.  Haha I'm not 100% sure that he understands the importance of Baptism, but he is willing to do it if he finds out its right, so that is the good news.  We went and visited one of my favorite less actives and she is doing so much better than the last time we visited her.  It is awesome because she told us ever since we came and visited her, she is doing lots better, we had challenged her to work on her prayers, and since she had her attitude and outlook had gotten so much happier, so I am so happy.  It is incredible how such a small thing can make such a big difference.  The family we had dinner with was so much fun.  For dessert Sister Walker had made the homemade oreos, and I'll tell you what they were delicious!! She had frosting and vanilla ice cream, and I would definitely suggest that you all make some and enjoy those fantastic treats.
  Wednesday we had to spend some time updating records, bad news we didn't get completely caught up, but we had to move on with our day, so we did. Since we were home updating I was still there when the mail came, and I had a big surprise, I got a package from my Momma!!  I was so excited to see the same outfit as Karen and Kammie were wearing, and then the treats!! I have thoroughly enjoyed those delectable goldfish.  Who knew that smore ones even existed?? I love them.  My favorite part however was the letters.  I don't think that you all realize how much that really means to me.  It is so awesome to know that people care enough to sit down and write a letter, because I know how busy life is, so I really cannot thank you all enough!!! I love you all so much!  Nothing too big is sticking out to me, so I'll skip to one of the highlights of my week.  I do see that I forgot we taught Heather and her husband was home so he came and joined as well and Bishop Hooper's wife was able to come with us, and it was really good.
  Yay for Thursday! Congrats to Colio and Lisa, but also my day was super awesome I'll have you all know.  Zone Conference was downright phenomenal!!!!  I learned soo soo much, and I was on this Spiritual High, kind of like the MTC all over again.  It was also kind of cool that we got to see President and Sister Porter's kids, who are not serving missions.  I pretty much have 17 pages of notes, if that says anything to you about what I learned.  I obviously can't share everything I learned, so I'm going to pick out a few things that I really really really loved.
  Elder means Defender of the Faith and there are only two groups of people who get to wear that.  Full time missionaries and General Authorities.  That is pretty cool huh? It kind of puts it into perspective for me.  We are the swift messengers that it talks about in the scriptures, President told us that we are the Navy SEALs of the Church.  Our ultimate goal is to protect the family and so we are set up in Stakes.  President Porter coordinated with all of the Stake Presidents so that they could be at every ZC and so we were able to listen to President Bradley for a while.  He is really awesome, and I am glad for the time I have been able to spend with him.  He lives in Eastgate and I spent a little bit of time at his house before I was transferred to Cherry Grove, but I still see him in the building sometimes.  Back to what I actually learned from him tho.  He told us that we are each the Best missionaries.  He has trust in us, and so he likewise expects that we will be the best missionaries.  We are known perfectly by our Father in Heaven and he sent us to where we are at, because that is where we are needed most, and it was so cool to think about it that way.  He gave us some tactile and strategic advice on how we can best serve the Lord, the people and the ward members. It was all very good advice.
  President Porter talked about how our goal is not baptism, it is the Temple.  We should be aiming for when these people can make it to the Temple.  I am excited that we are able to further our vision and see that we are helping them more than to the waters of baptism. With scripture study President said that there are 3 levels:
  Story- we know what is happening
  Doctrine- we know where to go to teach
  Revelation- we read it to receive our own revelation
He talked about how we need to be receiving revelation.  If we do not, how can we help others receive revelation for themselves?
  Good point huh?  I know that it is going to make me study deeper so that I am continually hitting the third level!
  I really could go on and on, but for the case of time, I guess I will move on. It was such a good meeting and I am so glad for everything that I learned.  I never wanted the meeting to end, I could have sat there for the rest of the day and still not been tired of listening to them speak.
  We had a lesson with a guy that we met in the parking lot this week.  He is great!  We extended baptism to him and he accepted so that is good news.  He was also excited about coming to church on Sunday.  We went to a Relief Society party/activity that night and Sister Stokes was nice enough to pick up us, and our investigator Arlene.  It was great because everyone was super welcoming to her, and they also all loved my outfit.  But who wouldn't? :)
  Sister Stokes and Arlene tried to guess my name for at least 10 minutes, but it was funny while they were guessing they really couldn't come up with anything and so Sister Stokes started calling me Janiqua.  I now have a sweet name.  It rolls right off the tongue huh?  I hope you all like it as much as I do, because lets be honest, it totally fits me, and I literally love it.
  When we got back to the house I got another package, this time from my BFFF.  It was absolutely fabulous!! It totally reaffirmed my love for wolves! :)
  We had dinner with the Huffs.  I really like them, we have tried to have Sister Huff come out with us a few times, but it has never worked, one time though, I know it really will.
  Skipping right along to Saturday, we went to Abi McMullin's baptism.  She is the cutest little girl in the ward, and it was so fun to go and see how excited she was to be baptized.  So when they do baptisms for 8 year olds here, they don't have a spotlight, kind of different from home.  But I kind of think its a Utah thing, because apparently they don't do spotlights in other places.  Go figure why not?  We had lunch with the Blackhams and Eastgate sisters, it was great. I love them all, and I don't ever want to leave.  Good news is I don't have to worry about leaving for a few weeks.
  We went down to New Richmond River Days and it was kind of the variety of people that one would see at the Caribou County Fair, but yet better, because there were more, and well, they were different.  I enjoyed it down there, because well, people are interesting!!!
  Sunday was super!!! We had 2 investigators at church!!! It was the most investigators we have had at church the whole time we have been in Cherry Grove, by 2.  We had a lesson with Ken after church and it went really well.  We did a few visits and met the most smiley happy man from Nepal too!! I loved him, he was funny and was laughing/giggling a bunch.  We went back and talked with a lady that we met a few weeks ago and she is really awesome.  Hopefully she will want to learn more. 
  I feel like there is so much more I want to share, but time is really of the essence.  Thank you so much for all your love and support.  It really means the world to me! I love you all more than my simple words can convey! I hope that you all work on your scripture study this week with me, because it is not enough to just read the story.  Remember that you are loved and prayed for by me!!
         Sister Julie Ann


 I'm still a cool kid huh?

No judgement, this was at the end of my long I promise you I did put effort into my look since it was a special day, but at this point it had deteriorated.....completely!

Looking good huh?

 More for your enjoyment!

I look super fab huh? hahahahaha

Hanging out in the woods, with my BFFF's wolf package deal....
So also in those little woods I totally got to have a bonfire this week.  The Blackhams and us Sisters went and cooked smores this week and it was so fun!!


Monday, August 12, 2013

Busy, Busy, Week!

Oh hey yall!
  I bet you all are just taking it super easy this week huh? It's not like anything big is going on this week huh? Hahaha I can't believe that this week is Tyson and Jordan's Birthday, and Colio and Lisa's Wedding!!!! Where on earth has the summer gone?
  This last week has been crazy amazing!!! I can't wait to tell you all about it, so buckle up, because it's a fabulous ride!!!
  Monday Sister Christianson and I got to be companions for the evening.  We really threw everyone off, because of our names, but it was all good.  We ended up tracking into a less active on accident, but it was good because we were able to talk with her for a while and then set up an actual appointment for this week.  Our weekly conference call was amazing as always....! Who doesn't love to hear from the President once a week? Idk if there is anyone who doesn't love Monday nights? I know that I sure do.  We were taught about the importance of being everywhere 5 minutes early.  President told us if we are four minutes early, we are one minute late, so that is definitely something for all of us to work on.  He also told us how important it is that we follow our morning schedule, because the spirit is strong in the morning and that is when we receive revelation, so that is a good reminder for me to make sure that I am earnestly seeking to receive that revelation.
  Tuesday we had a lesson with a potential investigator.  And cool story, she invited a friend. They are both awesome and pretty open to learning more, so we went there hoping to get a new investigator, and instead walked out with 2! Isn't the Lord amazing?!? He always leads us exactly where we need to be, and blesses us in ways that we never expect. I am so excited, because we left them both with a BoM and we are going to be giving them a church tour this week (hopefully).
  So August 6th was National Night out, Idk if you knew that or not, but it was.  So guess who participated in it, yes you probably guessed right, yours truly.  Sister Palmberg and I were walking over to Veterans Park and we met a lady who told us she was already saved, but we are more than welcome to come over and try and save her husband.  Cool huh? We are going to go by this week...possibly tonight, and we hope that they will both end up being interested.
  Wednesday....can you say amazing????  Well I'll tell you what, it was that indeed!  We had Zone Meeting, and we actually had to head to Montgomery, which is where the Stake Center is.  So I got to drive on the freeway again.  Can I tell you what, I have become such an excellent driver, we are no longer experiencing those near death experiences from these crazy cut in and out drivers. But back to the good story.  Right now we have 3 Zone Leaders, Elder Moore, Elder Martin and Elder Watkins, and I love them all.  They are awesome! But their training was awesome!!  They had a do a couple role plays that really invited the spirit, and it was powerful, I am so excited to use BDAW and TTIP even more in my teaching!  They had us all go around the room and say what we are going to do to be better and help our mission reach our goal of 222 baptisms this year.  So that was really awesome.  It was truly a call to action, each of us felt so excited to go forward and do what it was that we were called here to do.  Elder Moore always uses these sport analogies that are great, but it always makes me laugh, because it reminds me of some of the things we would talk about in my classes.  We got our Standards of Excellence, and I know that they are going to be hard to reach, but if we do we will truly be doing everything we can to rely on the Lord and do our best.  One of my favorite quotes, was when Elder Moore said "As we love others and reach out the power of God will come upon us and we will see blessings"  I never ever want Zone Meetings to be over, because I learn so much.  I feel like whenever the spirit is somewhere so strong time literally flies by.  Because it was over before I knew it, and I felt like I had just gotten there.  Sister Palmberg and I left the Zone Meeting so excited to go out and accomplish our goals and to help our mission reach the goals that had been set.
  Fast forward to Wednesday evening, we were supposed to have a lesson with our investigator that we picked up last week, but she wasn't there.  So we had some formers that lived in the next building over, that we decided to go try, but long story short, we never actually got there.  This cute lady called us over and we talked with her for a while, but she gave us a referral, that ended up being so awesome!  This couple that she sent us to is way cool.  The girl is more interested, then the guy, but they both recognized that they were feeling the spirit, and said that they almost didn't open the door, but they were so glad they did and they felt so much better since they did.  She loved the First Vision she just kept saying what a cute story that was.  And she unfortunately had to work this Sunday or else she would have come to church. As it turns out she just got baptized in November and since then she has told her employer that she doesn't work on Sunday, and so we are really excited, because she said she has gone to our church once before, but it was back when she wasn't too interested in religion, so she said maybe I needed to be at this point in my life to be ready for your church.  Isn't that amazing!?! We talked with them on their doorstep for at least 45 minutes, it was so awesome tho, because they felt the spirit, and recognized that it was the spirit they were feeling and everything.  We have an appointment with them on Wed. and she told us that she is coming to church with us this Sunday, so that is definitely something to look forward too.
  So they gave us a few referrals and we contacted some of them, and they are now potential investigators as well, so Wednesday night we are up to 5....yes you read that right 5 new investigators.  We were seriously so happy, well I guess ecstatic is more the word to describe our feelings. 
  Thursday we had a meeting with Nick and the Elders, it was fantastic.  Just like I thought, Elder Barnett and Nick just clicked, I am way excited because I feel like we were able to clear up his questions about grace. Bless Elder Campbell's soul, it was because he had this awesome talk "His Grace is Sufficient" by Brad Wilcox.  We read that with him and we are probably going to go to this next lesson with the Elders, and then hand him off completely.  But I am glad to know that  he is in such great hands, and I know that they will take good care of him.
  Friday we went to try this potential and ended up talking to her cousin who lives there and kind of picked her up as a potential.  I hope that we can help her, because she has had a bit of hard life, and I know that if she had the Gospel she would be happier than she is now. Not saying that she isn't happy now.  So since this week was kind of my week to be in charge Sister Palmberg had me be in charge more when we went to meet people.  So Friday night we went back to those apartments that we had been at earlier this week, and as we pulled up I saw these two adults who were over in the corner, so I told Sister P we should go talk to them.  Well as we walked over it turns out there were actually 10 but most of them were down on the ground, so they had been out of our sight.  I started talking to them, and I could tell right off that they weren't really interested, but I just kept going anyways and we left a card with one of them, and got 2 referrals from the same lady and then headed off to contact our newest referrals.  Turns out both of them were out in the parking lot, just in different spots.  The one was not interested. But oh well.  We saw some guys over a little ways a way and went and talked to them as well.  We set up a return appointment w/ one of them, because again the one wasn't interested. Richie is really funny tho...I will get back to him later...I promise.  So we contacted the other referral and set up an appointment w/ her as well...again for the next day.  We were busy and it was great!
  Saturday we had a bunch of plans, but they were just those regular missionary plans.  Write someone down, and show up at their house and hope they let you in, sort of day.  But the Elders gave us a call and the names of some Less Actives that we should try. Since none of our plans were set in stone we headed to visit one of them, and there was a lady sitting on the steps leading to the apartment building, so we stopped to visit with her.  We talked to her a little bit and found out that she is kind of at rock bottom in her life right now, and she is looking to change that around.  She really wants to work on being a better person and we didn't have a ton of time with her, because someone was coming to pick her up.  But the time we had with her was enough that we were able to teach her a short lesson and ask if she would come to church with us the next day if we could get her a ride.  She was so excited and couldn't wait to go to church.
  Fast forward to Sunday, with the whole parking lot situation at the Clough Pike building and our congregation meeting at the Montgomery building instead she was not able to come to church, but after we got back from church we went and taught her the Restoration, and answered her questions.  She is so ready for the Gospel, it is amazing to see how the Lord blesses us with people who are at the exact place in their life where they need to be to receive the Gospel.  Sister Palmberg extended baptism to her and she very eagerly accepted, and we set a specific date with her to reach towards.  I am so excited because I know that this is something that will not only bless her life, but it will bless her family's lives as well.  I cannot even describe the feelings that come when we truly experience the Savior's love for someone who so desperately wants to come back to Him.
  Isn't that awesome?  Now, I'm going to back track and tell a few more stories, and let you get on w/ the rest of your day.
  After talking with Arlene we got a call from one of our Less actives that is the sweetest old lady, and it turns out she had some time so we went to go visit her. I love this lady! She has been a member her whole life, but she hasn't been active, because her parents got divorced and never took her or her sister to church, so she has been less active her whole life.  She doesn't really know a ton about the church, so she actually asked us to give her the lessons.  Isn't that cool? We were so excited because I know that this is really going to help her! She is fantastic tho! and we are going back on Sat. to give her the Plan of Salvation.
  We went and taught Heather that afternoon and we had our first member present lesson!!! a companionship that is.  Sister Naumann is a superstar, I am so glad that she was able to come with us. The lesson went surprisingly well for the amount of distractions that were going on.  After that we went over to teach Richie, but turns out he was not off work yet, so his cousin told us to come back later that evening.  Well we did....after dinner of course.  But Richie calls us his church friends, and he said that he was going to come to church with us the next day, but as it turns out, they have been redoing our parking lot and somehow it ended up filled with water, so we could have church there, so they decided to send us to Montgomery and we actually only had to go to Sacrament Meeting. But we told him it was just this week and we understood that he couldn't go, and again set up a return apt w/ him for Sunday evening.
  Sunday the Blackhams fed us lunch. So we were one big happy family.  We had BLT's which were great. Missy and Brad have been here this whole week, which has been really fun.  But anyways lunch was great.  The Huffs took us to church which was great, because we need to save miles. We had that awesome lesson with Arlene. Couldn't meet w/ Richie bcuz he ended up having to work but when we called him and he asked who it was, we said your church friends and he just laughed and said oh yeah my church friends.  He is a funny guy. One of these days its going to work out for us to actually teach him.
  We ended up with 7 new investigators this week, and one on date!! I am so excited and I can't believe how much the Lord is blessing us!!
  This week I suggest that you find Elder Bednar's talk "Ask in Faith" because it is amazing!! I haven't even finished it, but it has already shown me ways I can improve my faith and prayers.  Also exciting news....Elder Dallin H. Oaks is coming to speak to our mission on August 25th!! I am so excited!!!  That is way cool for you all getting to listen to Elder Perry coming up, I'm excited to know what it is for!!!
Tyson I hope that you have a Fantastic Birthday!!! You are absolutely my very favorite brother and I hope that you know how much I love you!!!  Nine is an awesome age!
Tell Jordan Happy Birthday as well!
Lisa and Cole Congratulations!! I will definitely be thinking about you!  I am glad that I have Zone Conference to look forward to on your wedding day. Otherwise I might be sad that I'm not there with you! But I love you both so much and I wish you tons of happiness on your special day!
I love and miss all of you! Thanks so much for your letters and prayers!
         Sister Julie Ann


So I realized that I forgot to tell you that Sister Ward came back on Thursday and I got to spend a little bit more time with her.  It was fabulous.  Also she told me that she would come to my welcome home, so I know that she still wants to spend more time with me, so that is good huh?

So this picture is me standing in Kentucky with Downtown Cincinnati in the background.

The Purple People Bridge! So don't judge how I look in that last photo, lets just remember that photogency is not one of my talents

Now I am in Ohio taking a picture of Kentucky

Me and one of my favorite people

Cole I hope you love this one.  I made my Comp take this picture and I stayed on the road for several in I parked at this stop sign for this photo.  and we actually use this road several times.

This is my baby!

Okay I lied.....
I love the Johnsons!

I love these.  I wrote something on all of them and took a picture of each one.

My nice tan line

Where I went today

Turns out my appearance has changed since you all saw me last!

This is a mural down in Newport! Super cool huh?

Monday, August 5, 2013

August already???

Hey everyone,
  I hope that you all have tons and tons of fun up in Grace this week. Yay for the fair, but where on earth has the summer gone?  I can't believe its August already!!
  So yesterday, I felt like my heart was breaking.  I had to say goodbye to Sister Ward, and thus far, it was the hardest thing I have had to do.  I was crying almost all morning. I knew it was coming but I didn't realize how hard it would be.  My poor companion wasn't really sure whether to try and talk with me, or let me be in silence.  It was hard for me especially since I'm not super emotional, and we had to go to Ward Council during the middle, but luckily I hadn't broke down completely at that point....that came later.  Suffice it to say I was devastated, but she said she would write me, so I'm holding her to it.
  So the theme of Sister Palmberg and I's companionship is potential to zilch.  No one is ever interested in progressing beyond potential.  However we have been really focusing on finding in our companionship study and we did a joint finding fast, and we are already seeing the benefits from it.  So I can't wait to tell you are miracles of the week.  But first off, I've got other news.
  On our weekly conference call last Monday we did a BoM read together.  Holy cow I have never got so much out of the first 3 verses in 1st Nephi.  It was so powerful, and the spirit was so strong, and more good news, its supposed to be a weekly occurrence.  Yay for that! So since our mission is so young, and it will only continue to get younger President Porter has instititued a new thing where the Junior and Senior comps switch off every other week, so everyone will be ready to pick up and be a Senior companion.  We have 35-40 new missionaries coming next transfer, crazy huh?  So this week, I guess I am supposed to take charge of few other things.  Slightly scary. 
  Random sidenote, we have not almost died in the car lately.  Idk if I'm getting more used to these crazies on the road or not, but we are doing good so far.  Also I really really really love driving, it's great to have the privilege.  And the car, it is fabulous, and I'm only the second driver, we hit 4000 miles this last week. Kinda cool.
  We met this awesome guy named Dave on Tuesday, he was stationed in Idaho when he was in the Navy, and has read the BoM so Sis. P asked him why he isn't a member and he said I don't know, what do I have to do to become one?  I really hope we can teach him, because he isn't going to church right now, and he has been thinking he should, so what better church to go to eh?  Also Elder and Sister Johnson took the 4 of us Sisters out to lunch on Tuesday, and it was so great. They serve up in Georgetown and they are wonderful!! They told all of us that when we get home from our missions we need to come and visit them. They actually live right next door to the Idaho Falls Temple. Soo cool huh?  I love them!! Senior couples are the best.  It definitely makes me think of Aunt Maxine and Uncle Jim and I can most definitely picture them doing the exact same thing.
  Miracle time!!
  Wednesday we went out on a visit with the Bishop's wife, and then we didn't end up having enough time to do what we had planned after, so we were heading home from the church house and we decided to choose a random road.  We choose the next right that we came to, and then as we were driving down the street Sister Palmberg said how about this house, but at that point it was too late to turn into the driveway, so I said we will do the next house.  We saw someone in the house as we pulled in, so as we prayed we asked that they would open the door.  Our prayer was most definitely answered.  Nick came and opened the door and we were able to talk with him for quite a while, and gave him a mini Restoration lesson.  We were able to set up a return appointment for the next day.  Nick is quite rooted in his faith, but he is willing to meet with us again, which I am so grateful for, because I can see so much potential in him, like I can literally picture him as an Elder one day, helping someone come to the gospel as well.  With as strong as he is in his faith now, I know that if we can get him to accept the Book of Mormon as the word of God, that he would absolutely flourish.  He is a Baptist and there are a few challenges with him, but he is soo nice and we told the Elders we would pass him off to them, because we both felt like he might respond better for them, but they told us we can team teach him.  They know that we have been really looking for someone, and we have passed off a few potentials to them already, so I don't think they wanted to take the best thing that has happened to us since we got to Cherry Grove.  Bless them and their kind hearts huh? :)
  We had dinner with the most awesome family this week.  I really love them, because they made us feel so comfortable and it was so nice.  I have enjoyed every family though, but you know how you just click even more with some people, it was that sort of experience for us.  So that was fun.
  We had a district meeting on Wed. as well, and it was super awesome.  The assistants were there with us too.  But we did Role Plays....gotta love them. and the DL and I were together, he is really awesome.  The training was just what I needed as well. Isn't it great how Heavenly Father works?  We did it on BDAW....Before, during, after warning. Basically we help them rec. the spirit and warn them that distractions are coming up and such. It is super powerful when we do it right.  I was really glad that I was able to see how Elder Barnett teaches, because he does it really well,  I was learning better ways to intensify, as I was listening to him teach me.
 Anyways back to miracle time.
  I'm going to skip to last night.  We went to try an unknown on the ward directory, and there was no answer, and since we had just finished a finding fast how much better a way to close our evening than by doing a bit of tracting?  We tried a few houses and got a lot of silence...aka no answer. One lady had her kids in the bath tub so she said we could come back during the day sometime.  We had 25ish minutes left, and we went to this one house and this guy came to the door and asked if he could help us.  We gave him our we are new to the area spill and then I asked him if he had a few minutes that we could share a message with him.  He told us yes and then he went to get his wife.  I was flabergasted!!! Say what? Someone actually wanted to listen to us, and then went and got his wife w/out us asking if anyone else would like to join?  It was a miracle!! Heavenly Father really blessed us, by leading us to Donny and Amanda.  We taught them an abbreviated version of the Restoration and were able to address some of their/mostly his concerns w/ a previous church, and it was fabulous.  We were almost able to get a return appointment, but they both work 60-70 hour weeks so we have to coordinate with them this week about when they can actually do it. But I'll let you know what happens.
  I am so grateful for miracles, and I love that Heavenly Father never gives us more than we can handle, but He gives us enough that we are able to realize how much we truly need Him.
  This week you should try and ready some in Mormon, because it is really fabulous! I love you all lots!
 Love Sister Julie Ann