Tuesday, December 27, 2011

2012- Incoming!!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR! (In a few days)
MIM-Missouri Independence Mission!
What the heck, I cannot believe that it is almost 2012. Where does the time go?!!!!! I feel like I was just in January. I hope all of you had a very holly, jolly Christmas. I know I sure did!
It was so awesome to talk to the family and to see how big everyone is getting. I'm realizing though that I'm truly turning into a missionary, haha all I wanted to do was testify, and extend invitations haha.
Talking to everyone was so awesome, but I also realized that there's no where else I'd rather be than on my mission. I don't mean that to sound bad, I am just so grateful to be serving and to have this opportunity to be so close to the spirit and to have the light of Christ around me. It's so great. Thank you, thank you everyone who sent me Christmas cards and packages filled with love, it meant so much to me! Sister Jones and I got to spend Christmas at a members home and they were so wonderful. They made the best mexican dinner and even gave us our own stockings and gifts. I felt so spoiled! I totally wasn't even expecting that. I really do love my area, it is going to be so hard to leave when the time comes. I've been here since my birth into the mission field.
I honestly don't even know what to say right now, so much has happened this past week. But I think the greatest thing that's happened is that I have never felt so close to my Savior than I did this past week. I saw Christmas in a completely different light, and appreciated it so much more. At church I had such an overwhelming feeling of gratitude and love for this Gospel and for this precious chance I have to be here at this time, I know that time will go fast and I'm trying to really drink in every moment. The Lord is truly blessing us, we have 2 wonderful souls with a baptismal date, and a few new investigators. We're pretty excited about that. I love teaching and sharing with others what I know is true! I want to be a missionary for life, there's no greater calling! 
On Christmas Eve morning we had a big breakfast with all the missionaries in Independence. It was so good, I felt like such a spoiled little girl! All of us sisters did a musical number for everyone called, Sister Grinch, and of course (me being the quoter of movies that I am) got to play the Grinch part, it was hilarious! Then Sister Jones and I with 2 other sisters sang the most beautiful arrangement of What Child Is This. I loved it! We also got to hear the Liberty sisters sing, and the Elders did a few funny musical numbers as well. Ha, gotta love the Elders! Then, President Keyes even came and read us this Christmas book that he wrote himself. It was awesome and so focused on the birth of the Savior! Later, that night we had a Secret Santa gift exchange with all the sisters and ate some more food! I think i've eaten enough for all of January. When we got home, Sister Jones and I went across the hall to the other sisters' apt and opened our gifts under their little baby Christmas tree and I read them a Christmas story. All in all it was a wonderful week filled with way too much food, good stories, laughter, and the Savior. 
I love all of you so much, and really do enjoy reading all your letters. It's nice to know I still have friends and family back at home that love me and think about me (for now). Haha. Thank you for everything, seriously. I want all of you to know that I do know this is Christ's true gospel restored to the Earth and that through our Savior we can overcome any obstacle, we can be cleansed from every sin, and we can return to live with our Heavenly Father. I know that if we but trust in Him, and go forth with faith, we shall not fall. I am so happy- the happiest I've ever been. I love this work with all my heart, and I truly do love everyone that I teach. How blessed I am to be in the arms of my Heavenly Father as His servant. Remember who you are- and the royal heritage from which you come!  
Love, Sister Conrow

Tuesday, December 20, 2011

Merry, Happy, Jolly Christmas! :)

WOW!!! Christmas is almost here! Merry Christmas everyone! "God bless us, every one!" Ha ha.

That is just so crazy to me. I have been out for about 7 months now. AHHH. Time is going by way to fast. I'm getting old. One of the senior couples introduced me to a family that came into the Visitors Center the other day and said, "And this is Sister Conrow, one of our more "seasoned" sisters at the Visitors Center." Ha ha, I was like, ahh thanks for reminding me I'm old. I can't believe that by this time next year, I'll be home. I don't like it. I just want to be a missionary for the rest of my life. It's so much easier than real life and reality. Ha ha.                                                                                  
Me with The Browns, they are a missionary couple serving at the Visitor Center 

Well, this past week has been an interesting one. Seriously, Sister Jones and I have made a lot of pretty fun memories and she has certainly experienced the life of being in Independence. There's just no greater place for funny stories.

This week we had our zone conference, which happens every other transfer. Oh my goodness, I loved it so much. We have the MOST AMAZING mission president ever. He has so much love and compassion and is just so in tune with the spirit. He talked about happiness at the end of the meeting and told us he had received special revelation from Heavenly Father on how we can be happy as missionaries. I loved it so much that I wanted to share it with all of you because I know that it applies not only to missionaries but to life in general. Here are the ways to happiness, he called it the:

5 B's to Happiness-
1) Be worthy
2) Be obedient
3) Be anxiously engaged
4) Be "not weary in well doing"
5) Be prayerful

He promised us that as missionaries the Lord truly does hear and answer our prayers. He is so mindful of the work we are doing. He promised us that if we did all of these things that we WOULD be happy, not just maybe happy, but 100% positively happy. Man, when I heard that, I knew it was from Heavenly Father, and I know it's true because as I have tried to follow that these past few weeks, I have really seen the change in my attitude. Isn't that so great?! Do those things and I know you will be happy, no matter what is going on in your life at that time. We have no excuse to be unhappy, we have the gospel!

Ok next, our investigator, who has a baptismal date in January cancelled her apt with us the other day because she was busy with her kids. A few hours later our stake president told us that she had just been taken to jail! I was like, "WHAAAA???! How does that happen?!" Turns out she got into a fight with her boyfriend and he called the cops on her for no reason. Man, I was pretty upset to hear that because this lady is just awesome, she is so humble and has such a desire to do what's right and Satan just wants to do anything and everything to get in the way of her progression. We are having faith though because I know everything happens for a reason and this may end up being a good thing for her life to get away from her past. Who knows, all I know is that I must trust in the Lord.

This weekend we had our ward Christmas party- it was so awesome! Lots of Polynesian food, topped with a cooked pig and all! It was great! I love my ward, it's going to be hard to leave them. A cute older sister in our ward even made Sister Jones and me these awesome handmade bead necklaces! Ah they're just the coolest! She made me a turquoise one even (my fav color!) We're going to wear them to sacrament next Sunday for Christmas, we're pretty excited. Man, I am so grateful for the love that I get from my ward here in Indy. I couldn't ask for anyone better!

Now a couple funny stories, because those really are just the best! First one: Sister Jones and I were out tracting one night and we weren't having a lot of success and couldn't find the homes we had planned to go see, so I said, "Ya know what, let's just go caroling to people's homes.." And she said, ok sounds good. So we try the first home. This lady pulls down her window and says first thing, "I go to the Naz-a-reeene

Next funny story- the other morning the sisters across the hall from us got up early to go play sports (we stayed behind because Sister Jones wasn't feeling good). Well after they left we get this text that says, "Sisters, don't be alarmed but there's a homeless man sleeping in our hallway.." Ha ha. Kinda odd. Then when those sisters got back from sports he was still there so they called us and told Sister Jones to go look outside. So she did. When she opened the door the man woke up and drunkenly (if that's even a word) turned his head and gave a little groan at her. Ha, so she shut the door and ran inside. Well, then Sister Dodd (the one across the hall) called our Zone and District Elders because she just didn't know what else to do. So they show up to our hallway, but right before they showed up the man took his bike and ran off. They said that he smelled a lot like alcohol, chased him down and told him, "never sleep in that hallway again!" Ha ha, they told us that this homeless man told him, "but it was where my mom used to live and I have good memories there..." Ha ha, the poor guy, although now we're all a little weary of him showing up again, we're grateful he didn't stay. Ha ha thank goodness for awesome Elders who are so protective over us sisters! They're great!

Well, even though this week has had it's share of funny experiences, we've been able to have a lot of success, we now have a new investigator with a baptismal date and she is just awesome! Gosh, I love being a missionary, especially around Christmas time. Sister Jones and I love to sing together, and so wherever we go, we sing for people. It's so much fun, and such a good way to invite the spirit of Christ into every one's homes. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for sending his son into the world so that we can return to live with him one day with our families. What a blessing! I know this is Christ's true gospel here on the Earth, and there's nothing else I'd rather be doing, than sharing his beloved message!

Merry Christmas everyone! Or as Uncle Robert would say, "Merry Jolly!"

Love, Sister Conrow

P.S.- If you must send me Christmas gifts, all I really want are your letters filled with love. Those make my day! Love ya!

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

Oh Sister Jones!

Oh my goodness I am already having too much fun this transfer!
Me and Sister Jones
My new companion is Sister Jones from Mesa, AZ! She is soooo awesome! Love her guts already. She went to BYU and was a professional diver there! She came out in April then went home in August for knee surgery, and just got back out this last week. Ya, she's a trooper, a super hardcore missionary. This is her 4th transfer, and my 5th, so we're very close in mission age. Our first day together we had a blast, I felt like I had known her for years and years. I really do feel like we're sisters. Haha, everywhere we go everyone tells us how much we look alike and compliment us like crazy. (That just tells you how awesome and cute she is). We love singing together and so we always try to sing at every appointment we go to. We always say the same things at the same time. Haha, it's just too funny. I am so grateful to the Lord for allowing us to serve together! Seriously. Even though we've only been together 6 days, it already feels like months. We just clicked the second we met. I'm really, really excited about this transfer, and we are soooo excited to do the work and to see miracles! 
I would send you all pictures, but this silly computer will not ever let me upload pics, so.. It might be awhile on that one. 
Our first day together we went to help a lady in our ward move in. She had tons and tons of boxes full of books that needed to go in her basement. Well, I told Sister Jones she better not even think about going up and down those stairs, so she would bring the boxes in and I would take them down. Haha, well on my first trip down those steep stairs I started to make my way and just about tumbled down onto my face. We both started laughing so hard because it really would've been a pretty deadly fall. Ha, I said, "Man, I probably would have had to go home for knee surgery.." Ha ok, this story really isn't that funny, but you just had to be there. President Keyes kept making fun of her at the airport when he was carrying her suitcase and said, "Oh man you could tear an ACL lifting these bags.." And then he told her on the way to the Visitors Center that she didn't need to worry about the stairs because there was an elevator there and then he said "Or, we could just put a diving pool at the bottom of the stairs and you could dive in." Haha, ya President can be pretty clever sometimes ;)  
My Aussie Sista! Sister Kavea! 
Even though we haven't been able to find tons of people to teach, we've been having lots of fun trying. I'm still here in my first area, but we are not only covering 1st ward, but we're now covering the singles branch as well. It's going to be crazy double covering an area, but I know we'll have lots of fun making mistakes I'm sure. Haha. The Visitor Center sure has changed a lot, some of my favorite sisters left but now there are lots of new ones to get to know. My little Aussie sister went to Kansas, and my other fav sister crystal is training and opening an area that's pretty sketchy. But, all is well, I'm just grateful for the memories I've been able to make these past 7 months with those sisters, and I'm grateful for the time I'll have in these upcoming months to make more memories.. This will probably be my last transfer in the Visitor Center so I'm going to do my best to work hard and enjoy every minute of it because I really don't want to go. I love Independence, and I really love everyone that I've been so blessed to serve around! :) 
This Christmas we get to SKYPE home soooooo everyone better look their best. Haha, I seriously am so happy we get to do that. We're having Christmas at a members house that feeds us every Sunday and when we went there this past Sunday they totally had stockings hung up for Sister Jones and I that had our names on it. It was so cool! I am soo excited to be out here and to have my very first and my only Christmas in the mission field. It's so fun to teach others what Christmas is all about, CHRIST. There's just nothing better than serving. I seriously love it. Sorry I don't have anymore exciting stories, but I know there are bound to be plenty in the future. I love you all soo much and I can't wait to get all the packages you're going to send me. (haha joking, but seriously ;) Don't forget what Christmas is all about! 
Love, Sister Conrow    

Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Let It Snow! :)

First things first- This morning, I woke up to SNOW!!!! My first snowfall of the mission. Haha, it was pretty fun. Not sure how much I'll love it come January, but right now- it's great. What's Christmas without snow right? Second off, transfers are this week! AHHH! Craziness. Sister Lund will be going home, and I will be staying in 1st ward again. Ha I'm so stoked! Just won't know who my new comp is until tonight... drum roll please.....
Well- this week was pretty awesome, I must say. No, we didn't contact 500 people or baptize the nation, but spiritually, it was just really awesome.
The Lord blessed us with a new investigator the other day, and she's amazing! I've never met someone who is so open to the gospel and so willing to change her will to God. What a great example she is to me. She has 4 precious little kids, who I just adore. Sometimes I wish I could just hold them because they are so stinkin' cute. Right now, her and her boyfriend are actually living in a motel until they can find a good house for their family. I think she was kind of embarrassed to have us come over, but then I told her not to worry because I could relate. I thought about how when all of our family moved to Montana and we didn't have a house yet and so we stayed at the Friendship Inn in Kalispell. Haha, I will never forget that place. I know what it feels like to live in a motel, but I also know that the spirit of God can dwell wherever there is peace. And believe it or not, but this humble little room had such a strong spirit and I know it's because of how open the heart was of this sweet mother. She has such a desire to bring the gospel into her life and the life of her family.
The first time we taught her, I had a really neat experience- As I told her about the Restoration of the Gospel and about the Book of Mormon and how because of our Savior we can have an eternal family, the spirit just came over me and I just started crying because instantly I felt so much love for her. I knew that I was supposed to be there. I wouldn't say that "only I could have taught her," but I knew that the Lord had allowed me, silly little me, to be involved in this lady's conversion process. I felt so blessed, and I felt so grateful that God loved me enough to place me in her life at this time. There are no such things as coincidences, only divine signatures from our Heavenly Father. I know that she felt it as well because she was crying and she looked at me and said, "I don't know why I'm even crying, I just am." We then invited her for baptism, and she said YES! I am so so happy for her, and I pray that I will be here long enough to be able to see her be baptized and to be able to see her cute little family come together as one. How exciting, right?!!! 
Another cool story- so I think I've told you about our one investigator who we've been meeting with for months. He's awesome! He knows the church is true, but his wife is very Catholic and isn't too happy with him coming to our church. He loves his wife so much, and he doesn't want to upset her or his family (which I can understand) but he knows that this is what he wants for his family. Sunday he came to the Christmas Devotional that was given by the First Presidency. At the very end of it when they sang Silent Night, he was crying. I knew that the spirit really touched his heart. And when it ended, he turned to us and said, "That was just amazing. Everything they did and said rang true with what I believe." He went on and on about how much he loved how well everything was presented and how he had never seen a "minister of God show so much emotion and love." Ha, when he said that I said, "Ya, isn't it nice to know that this man truly is called of God and that he extends his love to literally everyone." Ah man, it was just so cool, I was soooo glad he came. He told us that he was going to go home and tell his wife exactly how he felt while he watched it. Ha, I pray that she might have a desire to at least come to the Visitors Center and feel of the spirit that is so ever present there.
Besides those awesome stories, this week I've really been thinking a lot about how grateful I am for all those that I have been so blessed to serve around these past 6 months. (crazy, time is slipping through my fingers). I thought about how mad I was when I first got my call to the Visitors Center (you know me, stubborn as ever sometimes) but since being here, I couldn't have picked a better place for myself. The Lord really just knows me so much better than I know myself. I thought about how much I love my ward mission leader and his family and how they will always be my family too. Monday we went to their family home evening and got to listen to them sing "We Thank Thee O God for a Prophet" in Samoan. Oh my goodness, I wanted to cry I just loved it sooo
Man, everyone, I hope you don't forget what Christmas is really about. Our Savior, and nothing else. He is the Prince of Peace and He is our Redeemer. I can't think of a better way to celebrate Christmas this year than to be on my mission and to be serving Him. There's just nothing greater, really there's not. I would invite all of you to go out of your way this Christmas to serve someone, and to pray for an opportunity to share the gospel with those that the Lord is preparing because they are truly out there, I promise. I love you, I love the Gospel, I love Missouri, I love my mission, and most importantly, I love my Savior, I know that He lives! This is His work! 
Love, Sister Conrow :)  


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