Monday, September 24, 2012

The Lord Will Provide

Holy Cow! TRANSFERS are this week :( I cannot believe I will be starting my very last transfer as a missionary this Thursday. I'm quite sad that my Sister Graff will be leaving me, but all is well- we will be eternal friends. Haha. I have loved every minute of serving with her. She has taught me more than I can say! I will most likely be serving in a trio companionship because of the number of sisters coming in this transfer.. Our little house of 6 sisters with 2 bathrooms will soon be a house of 8 sisters with 2 bathrooms.. Haha. Gotta love it!  
I'm trying to endure to the end with my emails because I'm really tired of typing so much so I will do my best to make this email detailed and eventful.
Regardless of my lazy attitude... many things have happened this week! Lots of miracles all around..
Sunday we received a referral of this man who took himself to church. Haha, apparently he has friends who are members of the church, and he actually went through the temple open house and his friends have been telling him for awhile now to check it out.. so Sunday he decided that he would look up a place and time and went all by himself.. The sisters in that ward found him and started talking to him and he said, "Ya, I would love to learn more my wife and I are looking for a stable church to attend.." So, we contacted him the next day and set up a time to meet with him later that week. Well Thursday was the day we had planned to meet with him and we decided that we would take him through the church that he would be attending (aka in his ward boundaries). I have to admit, I was pretty nervous to meet with him because we hadn't met him yet.. So I went into a room and prayed for a miracle. I prayed that we would be able to say the right thing at the right time, and that he would see the need to be baptized. Little did I know that the Lord would answer my prayer for a miracle so quickly. It was the most amazing appointment ever. He shows up, his name is Eric, and he is SUPER friendly! Apparently he knew one of the ladies in the church that was setting up for a wedding reception that day. Ha, what are the odds?! Then, right off the bat he talked about his experience on Sunday and said how awesome he felt the minute he walked through the doors. He told us over and over again how welcomed and loved he felt by all the brethren. It was a great start to our appointment! We taught him all about the Restoration of the Gospel and he was like, "Ya, that totally makes sense that the authority was gone from the earth.." We then talked about baptism and how important it is because that is the way we come closer to Christ, and when we invited him he said, "Yes. This is right," and set to be baptized on October 12. Ahh man he is just soo prepared for the gospel.. When we showed him the chapel and talked about the sacrament, I knew he felt the spirit. He told us that he has been researching the church and found out about the Word of Wisdom and said, "At first I didn't know how I felt about giving up coffee and alcohol, but now it's not a big deal to me and I'll start now to stay away from those things.." Ha how cool is that? He's already committed to living that law which is SO hard for so many people to do! Basically, this guy is legit.. and ready to make covenants. I love when people like this come into the gospel- they make such great members and do so much for the Lord because they want to! When we called him the next day to check up on his Book of Mormon reading he said he had already been reading and was planning on reading more that night. It was like music to my ears. Sadly, he had to go out of town this week so he wasn't able to come to church, but he's very excited to meet with us when he comes back. The Lord truly does answer our prayers... and he blesses those who strive to do what he asks.. even if it's not in the way that we thought it would be answered.
Ok also this week, Sister Graff and I had a pretty neat experience. We were able to go to a Catholic Bible study group. I guess a lady in our ward is friends with the head of the study group. Anyway, one day they were talking about "Mormons" and decided they would just invite the Mormons themselves to help them understand our religion and clear up some misconceptions they had.. So the lady in our ward asked if we could come and they said sure! To be honest, I had no idea what to expect- but I figured they had to be pretty nice if they were willing to allow us into their church to teach about our church. Sure enough, they were very sweet and very respectful.. They had a lot of good questions.. but as I was answering all of their questions I just kept thinking, "all of this information doesn't mean a whole lot if you don't take it to Heavenly Father and ask for yourself.. the spirit is the one who confirms truth, and that spirit comes as we seek for it.." But I know that this wasn't necessarily a teaching appointment, it was merely an opportunity for these people to gain a better understanding of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints, and in the process I was able to learn A LOT about their religion too. It was a really cool experience. It made me appreciate the truths that I treasure and appreciate the freedom of religion that we enjoy in this country. I really loved talking with those people, and I was so grateful to them for letting us in to learn more about them.
So I realized that I haven't been writing a lot about the Liberty Jail, so I will do better at telling you about it. Basically, it's the best. And I am thrilled every day to be serving there. I have already had so many special and tender experiences. It just doesn't get any better than serving at a place where the Prophet Joseph Smith himself endured so much and received such sacred revelations. I love taking people through who have powerfully insightful comments. I learn so much more from them than I'm sure they do from me. Their testimonies of the gospel always amaze me and I feel like I gain such great relationships with them because of the spirit that is there as we talk with one another. Just recently I took a girl through who was actually in my college ward before the mission for like 2 months... And from the minute she walked in the door, to the very end, the spirit kept telling me to talk about her serving a mission.. And then before I could say anything, she said, "I started my mission papers last October but never put them in because of this and this..." and then I knew at that point that those feelings I was having were real.. It was sooooo cool! So we started talking about missions for the next 30 minutes and I felt very grateful that I was able to help her a little bit more on making such an important decision to serve. Its things like that, that make me just so thankful to be serving in a Visitor Center..
Oh ok, one more thing.. I found out last week that I took some guy through the Visitors Center in Independence that was a reporter from St. Louis and he quoted me and the other sister I was with in his newspaper article.. ha funny.. Never thought I would be quoted in a newspaper as a missionary.. Anyway, I hope this email was more sufficient and fulfilling compared to last weeks email.. haha.
I love all of you very much! Don't get too trunky for me ;) 
Love, Hermana Conrow   

Monday, September 17, 2012

So Short!

Well.........I am pretty much out of time!

This week we found a family from Kenya and so we're pretty excited to start teaching them. We also found out that Gladys Knight is coming to our mission to do some performances and bear her testimony of how she came to know the Church is true on October 13. We're pretty stoked to take our investigators.
I love being a missionary. I'm sad that the days are dwindling fast :( but esta bien! I WILL KEEP MOVING FORWARD!
Love Hermana Conrow

Monday, September 10, 2012

Thanks Be To God

I'm not feeling too good today, I finally caught the fever bug that's going around here so I'm sorry if this email is kind of lame, but I will try my best to tell you all about how great this past week has been for me!
My last zone conference

Sis Graff, me, Brother and Sister Adams

First off, a few weeks ago I had my last Zone Conference as a missionary, which is always a depressing time... No one wants to get up their and bear their testimony because then it makes a reality that you really are an old timer in the mission and have to go home soon... Anyway, zc was all about the Book of Mormon and how we really need to gain a deeper testimony of it and testify about it to all those that we meet. So Sister Graff and I have really taken the initiative to read the Book of Mormon all the way through by the end of the transfer. It's been quite the task, but I have loved every minute of it. I've noticed that since I've made this concentrated effort to really read from it, I feel the spirit so much more, I'm happier, and most of all I feel like I have so much more gratitude. So much so that words cannot even express to you how thankful I feel to be serving and to be in this area. There's a great scripture in Mosiah 4:19-20 that talk exactly about how I'm feeling. You should read it. Ah I just love it! The Book of Mormon has strengthened me through the challenges that have come from serving in a very affluent area.

This week we were able to meet with Ola, our sweet investigator from Africa who is a NICU Dr. We had the most amazing lesson with him and he is now getting baptized in November. Even though I secretly hope it's before I leave, I'm Ok with whenever, just as long as he is getting baptized. That's all that's important! Then, last night- after we had been out all day and hadn't had any success, we met with Missy (the lady we found last week) and we taught her about how the gospel has been restored to the earth and shared more with her about the Book of Mormon. Missy has just been so prepared for the gospel. She already has a solid testimony of the power of prayer and a love for Jesus Christ. The spirit was so powerful, especially as Sister Graff and I sang, "I Believe in Christ" before we left. We love singing for people. It's such a great way to bring the spirit quickly. We were also able to meet with another lady this week, Wesley... we just knocked on her door and she stepped outside and was more than happy to talk to us. She told us about how she belongs to the Catholic church but doesn't really agree with everything and doesn't know what to teach her daughter. It was so neat because we had a member from our ward with us, and she was able to help Wesley see how the church has strengthened her family and her children. I love the members! They really are so great, and we cannot do this work without them!  
Kansas City Temple
So even though all those things I just wrote about were amazing, the most amazing event of this entire week was Saturday-

Saturday, Sister Graff and I were able to go to the KANSAS CITY TEMPLE!!!!!! We actually got to go inside to do a session. It has been over a year since the last time I went inside a temple. Once again, words cannot express the joy, love, peace, happiness, and gratitude I felt as she and I sat in the celestial room. We stayed in there for probably a good hour just feeling the spirit, reading the scriptures, and pouring out our hearts to the Lord for allowing us to be there. Such a tender mercy after all the challenges we've been facing these past couple weeks. Well, it gets better. After we left the celestial room, a worker in the temple came up to us and asked if we would help with some sealings.. so of course we said yes. So we walk in the doors, and low and behold, the sealer was a man from Independence 3rd ward (where sis Graff and I have both served) so he knew our names and welcomed us into the room. Then, I looked around and the couple who were doing the sealings were the Cashins! A family I served around in Platte City. It was just too good to be true!!!!!! There is no coincidence though, I knew we were supposed to be there. Needless to say, that was a very, very special experience for me to be able to be apart of that. After we finished the sealings, we went to the baptistry where we met my sweet little recent convert, Beth. I felt like a proud mom again, as I watched her be baptized for those who have passed on. One of the workers that was helping us in the baptistry was from the Dominican Republic and so it reminded me of Fausto and all the cool experiences I had in Indy 3rd ward. I love that culture and those people so much! Then as we were walking back to change, we ran into one of the temple matron assistants and she allowed us to see the bride's room! It was so BEAUTIFUL! Sister Graff and I felt like little girls, we were so excited to see it haha. It was just such a sweet, tender experience all around. We got to spend a good 5 hours inside the temple and it couldn't have been any better. When we finished at the temple, we were able to go to lunch with Beth and just sit and talk. I just love her so much! I can't wait for all of you to meet her.
Beth and I in front of the Temple

Sister Graff, me and sweet Beth!
Life is good, life is great, and it's even better when you're a missionary! Love your guts!

Love, Hermana Conrow :)   

Monday, September 3, 2012

The 11th Hour!

So this week was definitely a continuation of the test of my faith. It was HARD. Ha I will be honest. We could not find anyone that wanted to listen to us, or had time to meet with us. It was just like, "come on, really? You don't have time for Jesus?" Sometimes, I just don't understand. But I know that the Lord has a plan for all things.

This weekend, was our miracle weekend. Saturday morning we received a referral of this lady who had come into the Visitor's Center in Indy and was interested in learning more. We haven't been able to contact her yet, but we're excited to meet her. Then a couple hours later, while I was serving at the Jail, this man called from Kansas and told me about how he met this lady on the plane the other night and he invited her to come to church. I won't lie, in my head I was thinking, "ya, I don't know if she'll actually show up, but sweet." I know, such little faith right. Well then, he went on to tell me how spiritual their conversation was and how sincere she was about wanting to come to church because she hadn't been to church in 7 years. He said that she was from Argentina and didn't seem to know a whole lot of English (which scared me because my Spanish has been dropping since we haven't been teaching in Spanish). Long story short, she texted him again Saturday and told him that she was planning on coming to church. So we're thrilled to death. Then we go out into our area that night, and all night we had no luck! So we're sitting in our car at 8:30, have to be home soon, and we see these 2 ladies sitting outside talking so I turned to Sister Graff and said, "Let's go talk to them.." With a little hesitation, she agreed. Boy was I so glad we talked to them! Turns out one of the ladies, Missy, had gone to the temple open house in April, and LOVED it! She said how good she felt and how symbolic everything was and how much she loved it. We started teaching her about the Book of Mormon and how it came to be and how it can change her life, and she said- "Oh my goodness, I would love a copy!" So now we have a return appointment with her and are so excited to start teaching her more!
 THEN- on Sunday morning we're waiting anxiously for this lady, Lorena (the one from Argentina) to show up, and 9:00 comes around and nothing.. So I checked our phone, and low and behold she was calling the minute I looked, so we got out into the foyer and she tells us she's on her way. I was so shocked, I couldn't believe she was actually coming. Well when she walked in the doors, she was with her boyfriend, and their 2 kids! So now we have a whole family at church, and they were just the nicest people! After sacrament was over, the boyfriend said, "I have a few questions for you girls.." So we start talking to him and he tells us how much he loved church and how he used to go to a baptist church but hasn't gone for a couple years.. He talked about how good he felt inside, and just how welcomed he felt. They both loved it so much and invited us to come over and teach them more, and they even said they'd feed us dinner! Haha, that's always a good sign! Man, it was just the best day ever at church. So many miracles had come our way.
Sister Graff and I were talking about how because this week has been so hard, we've felt a lot more gratitude for the little blessings Heavenly Father gives us. We also talked about how this has been one of the hardest weeks of our mission, but also one of the most miraculous because of those tender mercies at the very end of the week. I know the Lord truly does show forth His hand, AFTER the trial of our faith. He's just blessed us so much, I could hardly believe it, and I'm sure we didn't even deserve half of what He gave us. I couldn't help but think about the Prophet Joseph Smith in Liberty Jail and how the answers to his prayers did not come until after he had been imprisoned for 3 horrible months in that freezing cold jail. The Lord loves us, and that's why he allows us to go through certain trials. I definitely have felt a closer relationship to my Heavenly Father and Savior this last week, and have felt more gratitude as well. I just love being a missionary. When my sweet aunt and uncle came through the Jail the other day, I just realized how words cannot express or even come close to explaining how much I love being a missionary, and love serving out here in this incredible mission. My life has been changed. And I honestly will forever be indebted to Him for allowing me to serve a mission. This work is amazing, I love the Book of Mormon. That book is the word of God and it has also changed my life and carried me through some of my hardest trials. I promise if you read it everyday you will be filled with the spirit and grow closer to your Savior. I love you all! 
Love, Hermana Conrow  

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