Wednesday, July 25, 2012

Blessed, Honored, Pioneer!

I feel like I have so much to talk about this week. So many things happened, so I'm sorry if you have to read a lot.. Haha

So last week at the Visitor's Center, the cutest older couple from Utah came through- Johnna and Dennis. They were amazing. We probably talked for a good 2 or 3 hours. Brother Dennis told me all these super neat stories about his life, and how he met his wife. And then his wife told me about her conversion story and how much the gospel has blessed her life and changed generations. It honestly was the most powerful couple of hours at the Visitor Center. The spirit was so strong, and I knew I was supposed to meet this couple. We became pretty close friends within those couple hours and just before they left they said, "We'd love to come to your wedding, whenever that may be.." Ha it was pretty funny.

Also, a couple days ago, Lee, Ashley, and Kenzie, a family Sis Stoker and I were teaching out in Platte City, came to the Visitors Center with a family from the Platte City ward and with the sisters there now. It honestly was such a tender mercy from the Lord to see all of them. I miss the people in that place like crazy! It was so neat to see how much further along this family had come. Lee stopped drinking coffee, and he's down to 1 cigarette a day. I was so impressed! He came up to me, shook my hand, and said, "Sis Conrow thank you so much for all that you and Sis Stoker did for my family. You girls really got us going." It was so cool to hear that! And then even cooler when I found out they're planning to be baptized on Aug 25th! Ah, I love the gospel! The next day, the Platte City Branch came in for a family home evening activity, so I even got to see my sweet little Beth. It was just a Platte city weekend. I was extremely grateful I got to see everyone from my old area. It made my whole week. 

So do you remember the story about my first recent convert, Tina who was supposed to be getting sealed in the temple next month? Well... the sisters in 1st ward lost contact with her and hadn't seen her at church for months. I have been heart broken, and asking the sisters everyday, "have you seen Tina yet? how is she?" And they always say no.. Well the other day, one of the sisters came up to me and said, "you'll never believe who we saw today?! TINA!" I was sooo excited to hear that.. Apparently she had been struggling with some things, but really wants to feel the spirit again in her life and come back to church, and then when she found out I was back at the Visitors Center she told the sisters she missed me so much and wanted to come visit. I was pretty excited. Well then, she called their phone, so I answered it and said, "Tina, it's sis Conrow!" and she said, "Conrow?! I miss you so much..!" I told her to come visit me and that everything would be ok.. and we hung up. About a minute later, I see their phone light up and it's Tina again.. So I answer, and Tina says in her cute little Samoan accent, "Sis Conrow I just have something I want to tell you...every time I hear your voice it makes me cry because I miss you so much.." It was so precious... she went on to say that she had written me back in April, but I never received her letter. She was shocked, and all this time she had thought that I received her letter but never wrote back, when I never had. So hopefully on Sunday she'll come into the Visitors Center so we can visit and get her family back on goal to get to the temple! I love them so much! 

Saturday, our ward had a pioneer day, and so we got permission from our mission president to be able to watch "17 Miracles." It changed my entire perspective on serving in this mission where there is so much history because of the saints. I couldn't help but feel such immense gratitude for those saints and for all the sacrifices that they made in behalf of us. How lucky we are that we didn't have to walk all those miles in such horrible weather conditions. We are so blessed in this day and age. 

Oh yes, one last story. Yesterday, at the Visitors Center 2 men walked in and they looked so nice and bright that me and the other sister I was with thought they were members of the church. Well, then they say, "well we're craddle catholics, but sure we'd like to see this presentation." Ha it totally threw me off. It ended up being the most awesome presentation.. We talked all about how the church came to be, the Book of Mormon, eternal families. It was great! The spirit was so powerful, and Andy, the older one, talked about how he had no idea that the Book of Mormon was an ancient set of records and he was pretty excited to read from it. So we're going to call him in a couple weeks to see what he thinks. Just as they were leaving, Andy said, "well I'm really happy that we just happened to walk in here today.." SO COOL!     

With time getting shorter and shorter each day, I have been thinking a lot about how I can continue to stay motivated, not just on my mission, but throughout the rest of my life. I read a talk by Elder Wirthlin called the Abundant Life that was just so great! The Abundant Life-Elder Joseph B Wirthlin  It talks all about our potential in this life. He tells a story about this older horse that didn't look like it had very much to offer, but a man saw potential in him and purchased him and then he ended up being horse of the year and winning all these jumping races. I don't know, something along those lines, but the moral of the story was, you're never too old to fulfill your potential as a son or daughter of God and that it's never too late! I loved it, and it was exactly what I needed to hear. Sometimes, as missionaries, we look at what we've done while serving and think, "Man, if only I knew then what I know now, how much further along I would be!" But, unfortunately it doesn't work that way.. the Lord teaches us line upon line, precept upon precept, and we all enter the mission field at different levels.

I love this gospel, and I feel so honored to be able to share my testimony of how I know this gospel is true with hundreds of people the come through the Visitor's Center, and with all those that we meet on the streets of Independence. Everyday, I thank my Heavenly Father for allowing me to have this opportunity to serve. There is no greater call. I love all of ya! Never forget the potential that is within each of you as a child of God. 
Love, Hermana Conrow 

P.S. Fausto is now getting baptized August 4th, for reals this time! Haha, he's still going strong!  

Wednesday, July 18, 2012

Having Fun While Serving

If you don't know how much I love being a missionary by now- then you haven't been reading my blog! Ha Ha- I love my mission! I love being a missionary, if I haven't said it enough.
It is honestly just the best thing ever. EVERYONE SHOULD SERVE A MISSION.. if they can!  

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Yesterday I was at the Visitors Center on shift, waiting for people to come in when this family walks in and they look slightly familiar to me. Then they said they were from South Jordan, and so I looked again, and realized it was the KanKamp family! I hadn't seen them since we lived down the street from them when I was 5 years old and I totally recognized them. It was crazy! My first best friend Rachel was there, only 22, and still as shy as I had remembered when I was 5. It was hilarious. What are the odds of that.. 17 years later and I still remembered them. It was pretty fun taking them through, talking about all of our memories that we had when we would all play together. It's funny how much you can remember at such a young age. The Visitor Center is the best, I get to see people I know all the time. I'm pretty lucky to be serving here. 
Rachael & me

Rachael, me, & Alyssa

Rachael, me, Alyssa, Lauren, & Brandon

Me & Alyssa

Ok, so Fausto is doing awesome! We changed his baptismal date to Thursday July 26. We are so stoked for him. Last time we were there he insisted on having us over for dinner 2 times a week, every week. We said, "Oh no, no esta bien Fausto.." and he just went on to say how much he appreciated us and for the spirit we brought into his home for his children and how feeding us was the least thing he could do. So last night when we went over, he had prepared a nice authentic Dominican meal for us once again. He joked about how he hoped the food wouldn't make me sick again.. luckily it didn't. They even bought a Mexican cake for sis Caudel's birthday, on Sunday, and sang to her the traditional Dominican birthday song. It was pretty awesome. I love all of the culture that is surprisingly here in Missouri. Who would have ever thought that I would teach people from Africa, Pakistan, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, the list goes on and on. It's so great. Last night when we finished up teaching Fausto and the kids, I asked him if he would read a certain chapter in the Book of Mormon and he said, "you are so smart. How do you know the Book of Mormon so well?" Haha I just laughed, if he only  knew how helpful Preach My Gospel is when you're teaching. :) I love Fausto and his family so much. When he was saying the closing prayer last night, my heart just felt so full and I couldn't help but feel immense gratitude to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to be serving here and to be teaching such humble, amazing people. Time honestly is slipping through my fingers, and people remind me daily how I only have about 100 days left in the mission field. It's terrifying, but also motivating. It makes me want to work harder and strive to change that much more.

Oh yes, yesterday we were able to have a little mini missionary come out with us. The Stakes in the area select certain young women around the age of 18 to come and live mission rules with the sisters for the weekend. And so we got to have Brie with us yesterday. It's funny because her older brother was actually in the Platte City branch that I served in, so we already kind of knew each other. Anyway, Brie came out with us and I could tell she was so exhausted. I forget how I felt at the beginning of my mission, always sooo tired because your days are so long and exhausting. Brie got to experience it all yesterday, rejection, walking/sweating in the heat, talking to random people on the street, sitting in a lesson where everyone is speaking Spanish and you're totally lost, eating food that you have no idea what it is, all that good stuff.. She was pretty quiet most of the day, but it helped me to see that wow, I really have grown a little bit on my mission, and props to this girl for sticking it out so well. She never complained once! I was very impressed. What a good example to me. 

So many other great things happened this week, but I forget about a lot by the time we get to email. All I know is that Sis Caudel and I have so much fun. We are always laughing. I love having companions that work hard, but have fun while they're doing it. Missionary work would be so tedious if we were serious all the time. This work is true, and I love it with all my heart. I've got to make every second count because I know it'll be over before I can even catch my breath. 

Love you all! 
Love, Hermana Conrow :)    

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

The Spirit Speaks

This past week has been a blast! I LOVE HERMANA CAUDEL. She is so amazing! It's fun being able to serve with someone that has been out the same time as you because I feel like we are both on the same page as far as goals and we both really just want to work hard and see the miracles that will come.
Me and Hermana Caudel
Our first day together we went to visit Fausto.  
Hermana Caudel was pretty excited because this is her first somewhat Spanish area her whole mission. So it was her first time speaking in Spanish for 14 months. Well, long story short we had an AMAZING lesson! Fausto set a baptismal date for July 21st! It was honestly such a powerful lesson, even though I couldn't understand every little word, whenever I wanted to speak it was just like the words would come to my mind, literally right before I would speak.. AHHH it was the greatest thing ever! He's getting baptized, and he knows it's true! We are seriously so excited for him. He is such a good guy, and has the best kids. Every time we come over they sit quietly on the couch and have their scriptures open and participate in the lesson. They're just so good and innocent and sweet. Saturday we stopped by to say hi because it was his youngest kids birthday.. and they had been waiting patiently for us to come so they could sing happy birthday to him when we were there. We then enjoyed homemade Dominican cake. I loved it, even though I was already stuffed from our dinner appointment. That's one thing I can now say I have learned on my mission- how to really eat. haha.  
Me and Sister stoker who was on her way home! :(

The Visitor's Center has been crazy busy. Everyone has been coming in to see all the church history sites. My favorites groups to take are the youth groups. They always teach me so much and are so willing to participate on presentations and make their experience meaningful. Something I have realized as I take people through the Visitors Center is that they are the ones that make the experience good, not me. So I love it when people come in wanting to have a spiritual experience and they make it that way. On Friday, during our Visitors Center weekly training, the sister leaders talked a lot about how we shouldn't just go through the motions, but really love what we do. I have to admit, there have been times on my mission when I've just gone through the motions, and it's been miserable. But every time I really try to give something my all, I am so much happier and love what I am doing. It definitely takes effort, just like with all things in life, but it's always worth it! Life takes work. Once we realize that and get to work, we will enjoy life. Simply put. 

OK enough of my rambling.. the whole reason why I was telling you about the Visitors Center was because I had a girl that came in the other day with a Young Single Adult group from Ogden and she asked me, "Why did you come on a mission?" So I told her my story, and then she said, "This whole time I've been out here on this trip I keep thinking I should go on a mission, and now after seeing other sisters and hearing your story.. I really think I am going to go." It was pretty awesome. Of course I enforced that decision and told her it was the BEST decision I had ever made and that I would never go back on it! Earlier in the week, I also took a younger youth group through and one of the girls asked me the same question.. by the end of the tour I felt like we had become pretty good friends and she came up to me and said, "Can I take a picture with you?" Before I know it, all these other girls are asking if they can take a picture with me. It was so cute, haha I felt like I was a royalty or something.. All the sisters and I agreed that the youth truly do look to missionaries as their heroes and it made me realize that I need to be worthy of that praise. It made me think, "what am I doing each and everyday to set that example for those youth?" It's just so important that as missionaries we remember that... that people are looking to US! Who would've thought. ;)

Sunday I had the opportunity of speaking in church on Alma 37:6-7 which talks all about the small and simple things and how great things come to pass. Honestly, that chapter is one of my favorites in Alma and especially those verses because as I look back on my life.. I've never done anything super grand and great, but I have done small, little things that have brought me to where I am today. I know it really is the small and simple things that matter most in life. What are we doing today to get us to our tomorrow? Leading up to my talk though, I was really nervous for some reason, I couldn't figure out what exactly I wanted to say to the ward members, and it wasn't until I was on the stand that I felt impressed to talk about how the ward members are the small and simple means that can bring about something great. When I got up to speak, my talk was not the one at all that I had written down. The spirit definitely guided me and I couldn't really tell everything that I said, but I do know that I said what the Lord wanted me to say because there weren't my words. A couple days later, the Raytown ward sisters came up to me and said, "Do you realize what you've done?!" Staring at them blankly I said, "No, what are you talking about?" They then went on to tell me that they had an investigator (who has been debating baptism for months) that came to our ward because she couldn't make their ward time and that after she heard my talk she really felt like she needed to be baptized... So ya, that was pretty awesome to hear. You just never know what the spirit will do. The church is true! 
Well everyone, I love you all. Thanks for all your support and encouraging words. I love this work, I wouldn't trade it for the stars above! 
Love, Hermana Conrow  

Wednesday, July 4, 2012


HAPPY 4TH OF JULY EVERYONE! It's a grand and glorious day to spend my freedom in Independence, Missouri. 
Well oh my goodness this has honestly been the most random/craziest week! HahaTransfers came and went last night. My new companion is Hermana Caudel from California. We actually came out to the mission together, but she is Spanish speaking so we were in a different district at the Missionary Training Center. I love Sister Caudel. She is my favorite little Mexican sista! We have been saying our entire missions that one day we would be companions... and now here we are. I'm super stoked to finally be able to use my Spanish and learn it from a pro. I'm still in the same area in Independence, and Sis Sibbett is just transferring to another ward here in Indy. So it's going to be a fun six weeks. Hermana Caudel and I are going to work like crazy and have fun doing it! 

Ok so as all of you know, it has been crazy hot in this nation and especially here in Indy land. Not only has it been hot, but it's been humid.. Anyways... a couple days ago we were eating dinner at our investigators house. He made us authentic Dominican food and oh my gosh it was so good, but his house was super hot and we were dying of heat. Well after we ate dinner we taught him another lesson and halfway through the lesson, my stomach started killing me, so I just prayed and prayed, "Heavenly Father we have to teach this man and I have to teach in Spanish, please just let my stomach feel ok until the end of the lesson." Sure enough, the pain went away, but right after we said amen, it came back 10 fold! Haha. I was dying and everyone was taking so long to say goodbye. When we walked outside the member we brought with us was wanting to talk and talk, and I felt so bad. Finally I said, "I'm so sorry but if we don't go now, I'm going to pass out.. " So we start walking to our car and then all of the sudden I just feel all the color leave my face. Sis Sibbett turns to me and says, "Sis, you are turning green, lets go back to Fausto's before you pass out.." At that point, I thought I was dying and agreed to walk back. Well before I knew it, I could barely hear anything and my eyes blacked out. I felt like I was in a completely different world. Somehow, we made it back to our investigators home where I crashed in his bathroom for about 20 minutes. It was the most embarrassing moment of my life. I was so sick. I think he thought it was his food, like my stomach couldn't handle it or something, but I knew it was just dehydration. I guess I just got so busy that day I had completely forgotten to drink hardly any water. Ha, my bad. Alright, now for the crazy story that happened last night.. 

After transfer calls all of us sisters were up talking (there are 6 sisters that live in one house, it's awesome) so we're up talking and all of the sudden Sister Coplan and Minall come upstairs and they're all, "Sisters get down on the floor now! We heard a lady outside screaming that there was a guy right out on the side of our house with a gun, and he's trying to get into their house.." Then we all hear this loud scraping sound on the side of the house.. So we all get down and turn out the lights and are like, "Ok what do we do?" Haha. So Sis Coplan calls 911 while I'm calling the Assistants and another sister is calling one of the senior couples.. The assistants are like, "K, we're coming over.." Then the cops show up and then the senior couple shows up. It was madness.. At this point the sound was gone and the guy with the gun is no where to be found. So the cops go over and talk to these 2 guys that are standing outside of their house next to us and they say, "Oh it was just a dog that ran down the alley.." which we all knew that wasn't true and so the cops just left it at that like it was nothing.. I couldn't believe it. The AP's were just standing there helpless haha, I think they just wanted to know what was going on and they feel like brothers to us- just wanting to protect their poor helpless little sisters. Haha. Sister Sibbett, Mendez and I were way freaked out the rest of the night, we could hardly sleep. We kept thinking up the worst scenarios possible. We're still pretty sure something fishy was going on at that house next to us... but I guess we'll never know.. for now. Good thing we're missionaries and the Lord watches over us! Haha- it was such a crazy night. Oh good ole' Independence. 

This morning we had transfer breakfast- where we sing made up songs to all those who are going home and then we took a bunch of pictures so I'll try to send those over. Tomorrow I get my new comp- she's coming from Liberty Jail. Here's to a new transfer! I hope you all have a wonderful 4th of July and have lots of fun! I love being out here- it is so much fun, even with all the crazy things that happen. Gotta love the mission!

 Love, Hermana Conrow 

(By the way Bryan- a kid came through the Visitors Center yesterday that served in your mission, he's going to find you on Face Book- oh and don't drink the water there, you'll get sick and have to come home early. That happened to another kid that came to the Visitors Center a couple weeks ago. Love you!) 


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