Wednesday, June 27, 2012

Power From Fasting

So many wonderful things have happened this week, I honestly don't even know where to begin...

Let's start with Fausto-

Fausto is one of our new investigators that we have been teaching. He is from the Dominican Republic and doesn't really speak any English at all. All four of his children were baptized a couple months ago and they are AMAZING! Such strong little spirits, and at such young ages. We've been taking different members from our ward over with us to help us teach him (because my Spanish isn't the best, and dominicans speak a bazillion miles an hour) Haha...needless to say, our very first appointment with him, I felt like a new missionary all over again. I couldn't say what I wanted to say or what I felt like needed to be said and I felt like I was only getting fractures of the conversation. By the end I finally just shared my testimony with him that I knew if he had faith the Lord could answer his prayers.. All of us were in tears and the spirit was so strong even though I was partially lost and my companion had NO IDEA what we were even talking about. Haha. Oh the joys of learning a language. So we invited Fausto to come to church and he said he would come. When Sunday rolled around, he was there with all four of his cute litte kids. I was thrilled to death. His oldest daughter had actually just returned from Girl's Camp and so the Bishop asked her to come up at the beginning of sacrament meeting and share her testimony.  So she goes up there and, in spanish, shares her testimony, and then looks straight at her dad and says, "I am so grateful that my dad came here today. I love him so much. He means everything to me." I looked over to see Fausto's face... He was beaming. Just glowing with joy. I couldn't have been happier in that moment. So awesome. Later, during church, we decided to go to the Spanish gospel principles class with Fausto. The entire lesson was on Alma 5- which is only like the most amazing chapter in Alma. It's just very bold, straight to the point and teaches the doctrines of Christ. Well- he loved it and wrote down the reference so that he could go home and read over the whole chapter. It was so fun to be in that class even though I couldn't really say anything, I understood and I felt the power of the spirit in that class. At the end, the teacher picked on me to give the prayer in Spanish. I won't lie, I was scared to death, I've prayed in Spanish, but never in public before.. But I got up there anyway and just opened my mouth and I kid you not, words just started coming that I didn't even know I had in there. It was a pretty special experience for me. 

Ok also on Sunday- that evening- Sister Sibbett and I were out in our area trying to contact a certain family in our ward. Well, they weren't home and we didn't feel like where we had planned to go was where we were supposed to be so we just started driving and decided to go to a certain area where we knew there were some people we hadn't tried. When we got there we met a lady who used to belong to the Restoration Branch and all she wanted to do was argue with us and tell us that what we believe wasn't true.. I was like, ok, "this is not what I came here to do.." So I just shared my testimony with her and we were on our way.. The next place we went to was frustrating too... We just weren't having any success or feeling like we were where we were supposed to be. Finally, we thought ok, lets go try to contact this referral... we get there and the husband answers the door and he's super sweet but very busy and doesn't feel like he has time to learn more about the Gospel.. Long story short, while we're talking with this guy we see this lady carrying all these heavy boxes up 3 flights of stairs so we offer our help and she says, "No, I've got this..." so we keep talking to the husband.. well he's not biting, so we start to leave and see this same lady at the bottom of the steps with only 3 boxes left. So we go up to her and say, "We don't care if we're in dresses, we are going to take these boxes upstairs for you.." She laughs and follows us up the stairs.. 

Her name is Sharon and she is leaving her husband.. That's what she tells us anyway... So she's leaving her husband but she's super positive about the whole situation and tells us her life story.. Then as we're talking- she puts her leg up to her other knee and totally starts standing like a stork! I said, "SHARON! I have never met anyone else in my life, besides family, that stands like me!!!" Haha, it was so silly to be so excited about that, but I was because I really felt so strongly that I was supposed to meet her even before she did that. Ha, it was a great bonding moment for us. We continued to talk and listen to Sharon's experiences and then we started to testify of the Gospel. That's when Sharon told us that she belonged to a break off group and knew the Book of Mormon was true but didn't agree with the church.. Next thing I know, I'm saying, "Sharon I know that the Chruch of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints contains the fulness of the Gospel and that if you want to feel peace in your life you need to be baptized by someone who holds that Priesthood Authority from God." Sharon looks at me, with tears in my eyes, and says, "I know, I know it's true." And then I said, "I know it's true too and that we have a prophet on the earth today, Thomas S. Monson who leads and guides Christ's church. What is holding you back?!" She said, "I'm running. I'm running from the truth because I'm scared." I said, "why are you scared Sharon?" She said, "Because of all the guilt I have in my life." By that point all of us were in tears. I go up to Sharon, hug her tight, and say, "Sharon, that's why there's Jesus Christ! So you don't have to hold onto that guilt. Will you allow us to teach you?" It was a pretty powerful moment and the spirit was so strong..Then she said, "I'm not ready for that yet..." Feeling a little discouraged, Sister Sibbett looked at me and we were both thinking the exact same thing. We knew right then we needed to sing to Sharon, "I Am a Child of God." So we did and sang in Samoan as well.. as we're singing we decide to sing the third verse that basically says "if I but learn to do His will, I'll live with Him once more.." When we finished singing, she was bawling and couldn't speak.. None of us could really... We gave her a pamphlet to read and invited her to read Mosiah 24 in the Book of Mormon. She said she would. She never set a follow up appointment with us but she allowed us to pray with her and said we could call her at the end of this week. I keep praying and praying that she will continue to soften her heart and see that this Gospel can and will change her life for the eternities. Stay tuned for next weeks results! Haha. 

So many other great things happened this past week because of the fast. I wish I had the time to write about all of them. We met with a family who recently joined the chruch and the mother is struggling to come to church. On Sunday we saw the dad there, but not the mom so I asked for her number, called her, and said, "Sister, I'm new, you're new, I need you here. Let's be new together. Please come. I need you to sit next to me." She had just woken up and with some hesitation said, "Ok... but I'm going to be late.." I said, "That's ok, better late than never." I'll admit I was a little doubtful at first that she'd come, but much to my surprise, after sacrament was passed, she walked in the doors and stayed for the entire meeting! It was so awesome. She even said she'd feed us dinner on Sunday. Haha. I was pretty stoked. 
That experience made me think a lot about all of those precious souls who have gone astray or feel alone. If we will just reach out and say, "I need you" and truly mean it, I know that we can help them to feel the love of the Savior and realize that their talents and gifts are unique and that they really are needed in God's kingdom. Never be afraid to reach out to those who need your help. For with God, nothing is impossible. I love Jesus Christ! He is the best! I am so thankful for the opportunities my Heavenly Father has given me to learn and to grow and to see the divine worth in every one of His Children. I love you all! 

Love, Hermana Conrow   
Me and Sister Borget-turquoise twinners!

Wednesday, June 20, 2012

Todos Milagros

Although this week has been a slightly crazy one, it's been a good one as well!

This past weekend our entire mission fasted for 24 hours. President Keyes sent out a mass message inviting all of us to participate in this mission wide fast. We fasted to be able to be lead and guided to people each week of this summer who are truly prepared and ready to receive the Restored Gospel. Not only that, but we fasted for people who would progress and desire to be baptized, as well as things that we ourselves needed and things our companionship's needed. IT WAS AMAZING! And it didn't take long to see the fruits of our fast. The very next day every single sister at the VC had some miracle to share with all of us. Sister Sibbett and I were able to actually get to our area (her stomach pains had gone) and we found this guy walking on the street and talked to him about the Gospel. His eyes lit up and he was all, "Ya, I was wondering why there are so many churches on the earth.. I want to know more about your church, where is it?" Ahhh.. it was music to my ears. I felt like a missionary again. It was so good to be about the Lord's work and to testify of the truthfulness of this Gospel. We are meeting with him and his mom and brother tonight. We are pretty excited!

Earlier this week, I was able to go to a different area with a different sister. It was an all Spanish area... I won't lie to you, I was scared to death, but as we approached our first appointment (only Spanish speaking) it was awesome! I couldn't say much at all, but I understood what they were saying to me, and the spirit that I felt as I testified of the Priesthood on the earth again was so powerful! If that's the only reason why I was switched over, was just for that day, I am completely ok with that. We were also able to talk to another man who had been recently married and hadn't gone to church since he was young. We taught him about Christ and about His Gospel and how it was restored through Joseph Smith.. When I started telling him about Joseph Smith's first vision, he leaned in so intently to be sure he didn't miss a word. The spirit was almost palpable, and as I finished, he said, "wow... just wow.." I was thinking that same thing. The sister I was on splits with was pretty excited to go back and teach he and his wife. I love being a missionary! Even if I can't always speak the language, the Lord provides a way!

Ok, also- the Visitor Center is great.. I'm finally starting to re-adjust.. I think. Haha. A couple days ago I took 4 young singles through the VC from Wichita, KS. One of the girls was getting ready to serve her mission in CA and so she was asking me all these questions about what to wear, what to study... all that good missionary stuff.. Long story short- I ended up spending about 3 hours with these people and it was so awesome. I just knew I was supposed to meet them all. 2 of the girls had some pretty rough family experiences and it was really neat to be able to open up to them about my life experiences and to share what I had learned. I really loved spending time with all of them and by the end of our visit, they didn't want to leave. And I didn't want them to leave either. It's crazy what the spirit does and how it draws everyone so much closer together.

Something I've been thinking a lot about this past transfer is ATTITUDE. Honestly, attitude determines destiny. I know that's true. This has been a different kind of transfer for me and I know Heavenly Father is wanting me to learn something through my experiences this past month. With a sick companion, it isn't always easy to do the work, or to stay happy about the situation, but- everything happens for a reason and I think the Lord has been wanting me to learn about the importance of patience, and having a bright attitude. It's like Ether 12:6- that we don't see the miracles until after the trial of our faith. So TRUE! My faith has been tested time and time again, but especially these past couple weeks- and Monday I felt like was the miracle from my faith.. It meant everything to me to finally be able to go out with my companion and to teach in unity. Companions are everything. And I know that I would be lost without one.

How grateful I am for the Lord's tender mercies and his faith and patience with me. I love this work with all my heart. I hope I can continue to be everything that my Heavenly Father needs me to be. I promise that if you don't give up when you're most discourage, our Savior will step in and carry you through. He has done it for me, and I know he can do the same for you. I love you all very, very much!

Love, Hermana Conrow

Wednesday, June 13, 2012

Hola Everyone!

I'm so sorry everyone- this email will be very short! But here we go-

My poor comp has still been out of commission for the most part! Pray for her!

Yesterday, I was able to take the cutest family through the Visitors Center from St. George, UT! They were awesome and they told me about their friend from Japan who came to STG as a foreign exchange student. I was able to email this young man from Japan and tell him a little bit more about the Gospel, so now I'm just waiting for a reply! I was also able to take a family from Mexico through.. haha they were laughing at me because I'm horrible at rolling my R's and so for about 20 mintues they kept trying to teach me. It was pretty cute/embarrassing. I loved taking them through though, they taught me a lot about humility and the importance of loving your family with all your might. At the end of our time together, the daughter asked if I could pray with them for their friend back in Mexico who was struggling. It was a very tender experience for me. I felt the spirit so powerfully as I prayed for this daughter of God whom I had never even met, but I felt the love for her as her friends did. It was awesome. Although I miss wonderful Platte City, I do love it here, and I love the people I am so blessed to serve with. 

I truly believe that we become what we think about all day long- if you want something, go for it, and you'll achieve it! The Gospel is true everyone. Follow suit! 

Love, Hermana Conrow :)  

Wednesday, June 6, 2012

I Love To Be Taught By Him

Well this past week has certainly been a different one..

My poor companion had to go to the ER on Tuesday because she was having really, really bad stomach pain. They did a bunch of tests and couldn't figure out what was wrong so they just gave her some medication until she could go see a specialist. Her pain has been pretty bad, so the medicine they gave her.... well lets just say it knocks her out. Haha. This past week I've learned a lot of patience. I've also been able to more fully utilize my telephone skills and writing skills (aka: doing lots of paperwork). One day, one of our leaders called to check up on her and she answered the phone. This is how the conversation went: "Sister have you been feeling?!" She said in a slurred like manner, "Oh Elder.. I don't feel anything at alllll..." Hahaha.. Needless to say, he strongly encouraged us not to go anywhere. We wouldn't want people thinking differently of us as representatives of Jesus Christ. We have an appointment this week though, so we're really hoping that they can figure out what's going on. Pray for my poor companera. 

Other than ER visits, we were able to hear from a General Authority, Elder Nash. He spoke at our stake conference and it was so amazing! He talked all about the importance of our families, and the things that we need to be doing in order to keep our families strong in the gospel. He mentioned how crucial it was that we have family prayers, morning and night, scripture study and family home evening every Monday. He promised us that if we will do this with our children that we will be happy and will be able to stay strong as a family, despite the pressures from the world. Ahh, it was just so good! Then after stake conference, we were on shift and he came to the Visitor's Center to take a tour. Little did we know that he's the one that's over all of the Historic Sites in the church. Haha, that's not intimidating! He did shake all of our hands though and told us how special we were, and that we were hand picked to be Visitor Center Sisters. Ha that made me feel pretty good ;) 

Ok- this week I had a way neat opportunity to sing at a Mission President's Devotional. It's a meeting they hold every 1st and 3rd Sunday for recent converts to come and share their testimonies. I sang with a few other sisters, "I am a Child of God" only we sang it in Samoan. It was soo pretty. The spirit was so powerful and I just loved it so much. Ah, I really have grown to love the Polynesian culture so much. They are so full of love and spirit. Next on my list is to learn to sing it in Spanish, since a lot of the members in our ward are from the Dominican Republic. (yes, I still have lots of learning to do con mi espanol!) 

With the few times we were able to go out this past week, I did have a very tender experience. We went to this house that we've been to before. They were referred to us from a member to go visit. The husband is from the Dominican and can barely speak any English so we've been trying to connect with the wife a lot. She's from New York, but Dominican as well. They are just the sweetest people. Her poor husband has a severe back problem though and has been bed ridden for months and is having surgery this weekend. Anywho- as we've been going over there we've tried to teach her here and there but also just show these people how much we love them and desire to serve them. After going over there about 3 times, we still had yet to meet her husband because he was always in bed- but one day when we went over and were speaking to his wife, he yelled downstairs to his wife in Spanish, not thinking I could understand, so I yelled back up to him, "Esta bien hermano, queremos ayuda!" Well then he got excited and started yelling back more really fast in spanish. And I started laughing because at that point I couldn't understand him for how fast he was speaking. His wife told us that he wanted to try to come downstairs so he could shake our hands and thank us for our willingness to help. We walked in the door and there he was, so crippled and hobbling down the long flight of stairs just to thank us. Tears just filled my eyes because of how sweet this guy was. He finally got to the bottom, his face grieved with pain, and said, "Gracias hermanas por todos hacemos." Thanks you sisters for all you do. Ahh, it was just the greatest. Then, he hobbled back upstairs, clinging to the railing. I know that is something so simple, but it meant so much to me. I know that's something Christ would do. Even though this man has nothing to do with the church, he had a whole lot of something to do with Christ and was willing to show that example. I will never forget that experience. He taught me a lot about humility that day. 

I just love being a missionary. There's nothing greater. I LOVE IT! I love all of you. Jesus is the Christ, this is His church. I know it. 

Love, Hermana Conrow :) 

ps.. here's a link to a pic of me and some other missionaries singing for the prophet! 

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