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!!!

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