Monday, September 30, 2013

September 30th 2013, Silverdale: Rural Roots Urban Flare

Hello family, this week was really great! I went on an exchange to the Silverdale 6th ward and met some interesting people. 1. Jennifer, she is the daughter of the ex-Mormon that wrote the "Godmakers" book, she has had her records removed but is now meeting with the missionaries again. She wasn't really progressing so I was curious why the sisters were still going over there but when I went we had a good chat and she commented on my CTR ring, she said that “choose the right” meant so much more to her now than it did when she was young and she thought it was great that I wore the ring. I told her I wore two and I gave her one of mine, she cried and willingly accepted it and promised to wear it, it was a really sweet experience! Then we talked and got her committed to read the first 14 pages of the Book of Mormon before the sisters went back two days later for their next appointment. She promised to read them and said that she wants to better understand them so she would probably read them twice! It was really cool to see her make commitments and begin progressing. 2. Old Farmer Jensen. This man is the Real Deal with a capital R and a capital D. He is 95 years old and is a former prisoner of war from WW2. He still manages to maintain a farm at his age and not only that, he has a corn maze that he keeps up that is in the shape of a B-17 aircraft, it is a replica of the one he flew in the war. His corn maze is in the newspaper and people drop by to see it all the time. He said he always tells them his war stories and then tells them that after he served his mission in the war, he served a mission for the church and then he always invites them to church! Haha he is such a cute old man! He gave us a tour of the maze and told lots of cool stories and then he gave us an ear of corn and we were on our way! The rest of the exchange went well, I was with Sister Casey from my MTC district. She is fun and we had a good time together. The Relief Society broadcast was awesome right??? I loved it! Funny story... we had a baptism on Saturday, it was Jacob Pickard, he is the brightest kid!!! We have had a lot of fun teaching him. His mom is a member and his dad is not, but his dad came to the baptism and helped Jacob change into his church clothes after and was very nice, he is just a really quiet guy! One day he will accept this message! :] butttt, after the baptism we were all having our treats and the power at the Stake Center went out. There was a terrible rain and wind storm and a tree fell on the wires and took out the power. People finished there treats and headed home. As we were locking up and getting out, we saw the crew that was making the dinner for the Relief Society broadcast in the kitchen, they seemed a bit flustered and unsure what to do. We knew the power wouldn't be on for at least two hours and the dinner was in 3 hours. We loaded up all the food in our car and took it to our church building, so they could cook it there. We had to make tons of calls to get everyone to the right building and then we got the elders over and we got all the tables and chairs set up within like 10 minutes. It was so awesome! The dinner and broadcast worked out great and we had a huge turn out! Very exciting day, Saturday night we also got our transfer calls. God is granting me the desires of my heart and letting Sister Young and I see the fruits of our labors! I get 6 more weeks in the this wonderful ward!! :] Church yesterday was unreal! So this week we had a special training about hastening the work, the area authority, Elder Bussey came and spoke to the Ward Councils about hastening the work it was really awesome!! (D&C 88;73) so that's what we talked about it church and it was so cool! I felt like I was in a zone training or something! The ward here is getting pumped to help us out and they are already setting up dinners with us and their friends and inviting them to activities! I am so glad I get to stay and be a part of it and see what comes of all this “ward relations” I have been doing! This week in my studies I read Jacob 5. It's an incredible chapter and I feel like I could read it a million times and still learn and pull something out of it. This week I read it and what I got out of it was so incredible! In this chapter the Lord is pruning His vineyard, they work and work and work to prune this vineyard and they don't get as far as they like so they decide to prune it one last time and this time He tells his servant to go gather MORE SERVANTS to prune the vineyard with Him because the end is nigh. This happens in verse 70 and in verse 71 the Lord says He will work with his servants in the vineyard! I love it so much and it applies so well to the age change for missionaries, the Lord is hastening his work and he is working with us. I love what I am doing, I love being a missionary and I am happy as can be to be staying in Silverdale. :] I love you all dearly!!! Love, Sister Falkner. p.s. I go back to the doctor tomorrow morning to get my foot ex-rayed again. Please pray that it will heal fast(er)!!!!

Monday, September 23, 2013

September 23rd 2013

I will come up with a catchier subject line. I feel as though my letters are boring in comparison to my sweet cousin Sister Jensen. I will try to make them interesting. Good Monday to all! This week has been so blessed! We got to go to Zions camp with the mission and that was really fun! We got to see everyone do the ropes coarse and help them apply it to missionary work and it was a really great spiritual experience. Friday we went on an exchange to Bainbridge Island, it was really fun. We were with Sister Baird and Sister Rea, they are doing so well out there and everything is good, it is a beautiful area! On the exchange I talked with them a lot about how to work with members and helped them get that started. Working with members is soooo important in missionary work, you cant expect anyone to totally change and give there life to the church if they don't even have friends there. So I encourage you all to be a friend to ANYONE the missionaries might bring to church! Cindy Askren was baptized yesterday! She is such a sweet lady!! her birthday is actually today! Yay! Her baptism went so well and she is so happy! She loves the church, she loves us, and she loves God. Its incredible, I have loved working with her! She is just a doll! Our mission is reading the Book of Mormon all together and we are right around Jacob, its been really cool, I am reading there and where I was before in the middle of Alma, I have learned a lot from my studies and its been really great for me. My favorite verse I read this week was 2 Nephi 33:4 Read it Apply it It will bless you! I love being a missionary, the joy I find is so incomparable to anything I have found. I miss worldly things sometimes but it's silly. I've found true joy in my life here in Washington and I have gained a greater appreciation for the scriptures, the word of God. :] I have gained a HUGE appreciation for my parents and for all the wonderful support and love I receive from friends and family! I love you all so much! Have a super marvelous week! Love, Sister Falkner

Monday, September 16, 2013

September 16th 2013

Hey everyone! This week was incredible! I love being a missionary! So yesterday at church we had a family that came with the Johnson's, they stayed for all three hours of church and they want to learn more, so we are really excited about that and beginning to teach them! It will be great! We also had another girl there for her first time, she came with her friend Madi, her name is Taylor and she is 16 and loved church, she is going to the young woman's activity this week and just really likes all the girls in the ward and the organization of the church, so we will probably start teaching her soon too! The Johnson's fed us dinner on Thursday and we had a family with 2 unbaptized daughters come, we were able to teach them and they invited the families home teachers over so that they could get to know one another better, it went really well, then we made a cake for a recent converts birthday and while we were decorating it we found out that sister Johnson is the visiting teacher for the family we were making the cake for, so she was able to deliver it with is and meet the family. She said she was having a really hard time meeting them and we were able to help her with that, so it was great! Then on Saturday there was a baptism in a different ward and we took Cindy to it so she would feel more comfortable for her own baptism, Cindy cant drive so we had a member drive us all there and then she also drove us to our dinner appointment after where we had the Chamberlin's (recent converts) and their Home teachers and us and Cindy and the Powell's, the ones feeding us. It was a big group but it was really great to have that much fellowship for Cindy and the Chamberlin's! We also were able to teach the commandments to Cindy to help her prepare for her baptism! The lesson went so well and we had lots of good imput from the members there! I loved it! I hope that all makes sense! Haha the ward is getting really involved in the work and helps us out so much! I love it! I love this ward! Transfers are at the end of the month and I am kind of hoping to stay another transfer, but who knows! STL's only stay in the position for a few transfers and I have already had 3 so I am pretty sure I will get pulled out soon enough. We also went to Zions camp this week which is a church run camp with a ropes course and what not so we went with all the zone leaders and other STL's and we tested the course and yada yada, I did it all with my foot, so I'm pretty sure everyone can do it, the whole mission is going back later this week and we will be running it and making sure everyone is safe! Its really fun! We had a blast! We have Cindy's baptism this Sunday and she is so awesome! I love her so much! We asked her what led her to asking for a ride to church from a member in the ward, she said she doesn't really know and that God just kind of put the words into her mouth! Haha then we talked for a bit and she explained that she told God she wanted to go back to church but that she would need some guidance and help and she said, he just guided me right to where I'm at and its all been relatively easy since then. It was so fun to talk with her about it and to know that God really did answer her prayers! I love Cindy so much! We may have another baptism this week too, it will be Jacob Pickard, we have been working with him for a little over a week now but he wants it and is ready, so if we can finish the lessons, he will join Cindy on Sunday, if not then we will continue to teach him and plan for next Saturday! I am doing well, my foot is feeling better and I am happy as can be! :] I love you all! Love, Sister Falkner!

Monday, September 9, 2013

September 9th 2013

Hello everyone! This week was a good one! We had stake conference, and zone conference! Zone conference was really good, Sister Young and I did a training on how to plan effectively and use time wisely, it went really well! At stake conference in the Adult session it was really interesting, they had a non member speak! Haha he talked about his experiences with going to girls camp and cooking for all of the girls! It was pretty cool, then for the Sunday part of it we had a broadcast from SLC. It was really cool and they talked about a lot of good stuff! One of my favorite was L.Tom Perry said something about how we need to let our spirits control our bodies, I really liked the image of that and how we sometimes just let our bodies take over and our spirits have no choice but to follow, but if we are really doing the will of the Father of our spirits, we can and will let our spirit guide us because our spirit has to be much more in tune with the Holy Spirit than our body is. Such a simple concept, yet it is so often ignored. I know I am very guilty of it! So that's my thought for you today, I hope it makes sense. This week we had some awesome things happen! Last Sunday Cindy (a former investigator) came to church with her friend Sherry. She really enjoyed it and we set up a time to meet up again, we met and taught the first lesson and she is on date to be baptized on September 21st :] we have met with her again since and she is still preparing for that day and is really excited! So its awesome! We also had another miracle, our ward mission leader Brother Laing was at Home Depot with his son Mason and they ran into someone in our ward that has been working on coming back to church, she has a son that is the same age as Mason (9) and Mason mentioned something about being baptized and found that his friend Jacob was not baptized, so he exclaimed that Jacob needed that and now Jacob wants to be baptized so we will begin teaching him tomorrow! It will be awesome! We are being so blessed, especially since we cant go out knocking on doors. I hope you all are doing well this week and loving life! Much love, Sister Falkner

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

September 3rd 2013

Hey Everyone! So this week was really good! i went to the foot doctor in Tacoma and found out that I have a stress fracture in my ankle so I have to wear a boot and use crutches (I don't really use them though, I'm just supposed to) my foot should heal in 3-5 weeks and if it does not then there is a risk of me having to go home to recover but that wont happen. Please keep me in your prayers :] the doctors in Salt Lake want me to go home right now but President and Sister Weaver said that we don't need to do that, so I am considering myself lucky to be here! :] So with my foot, I cant go tracting and we are having to rely completely on the members for finding new people to teach, it will be interesting but I am excited and this is a great ward to be in for this! I know they can help us out a lot! :] We got to go on an exchange to Port Angeles on Friday and it was so fun to be back up there with the people I was working with. It is about an hour and a half to get there so we just doubled the area and both stayed up there for the day! I got to see Liz, she is awesome! She was baptized the week after I left PA and she is doing great! She is fully active and much happier and healthier since her baptism! Its awesome!!! :] I also got to see the Vaitkus family, Lindsey is a member and her husband Joey is not. Joey works a lot and was never available while I was there but he did agree to take the lessons when his boat was docked in June/July. But I found out that Lindsey had some issues with her pregnancy and while he was docked they had to spend a lot of time in Seattle at the doctors, so he was unable to get the lessons. BUT while I was there I was really pushing getting them to church and when I went to check up on them Lindsey said that they went to church the week after I left and joey was looking for me! Haha her mom was there helping her with the baby and she said that they had just been talking about me and wondering how I was doing, so that was cool! Joey was asleep but she went and woke him up and we talked about him taking the lessons again and he said he wanted to still but he will be off to sea for a while, but the sisters up there will work with him and I told him I want to be there when he gets baptized and he said that he would make sure I was! So I am excited for him! It was fun to see them again! I have recently acquired a liking for the taste of almonds, something I hated before, so that's cool! That's all the news I got for today! Love you all! Love Sister Falkner.