Monday, August 14, 2017

Week 34-Ew 8 months

Dearest loved ones,
Oh my goodness, I've been gone 8 months! That is so hard for me to believe. I am so surprised at how quick it's gone by and how normal it all seems. In 2 weeks, I'll be officially halfway done with my mission (because my mission is actually 17 months instead of 18??? Basically that's the worst)
Anyways, this week was fun. Let's take it from the top! *cue music*
Monday! We went to Summerville and met a less active member that Sister Haws worked with when she served in Charleston. He took us out to eat at Cracker Barrel and it was good to talk to him. I think Sister Haws really needed to see him. That night we saw R and it was wonderful, she is so great. Keep her in your prayers, though, because she keeps having health things that make it hard for her to come to church.
Tuesday! We saw P and it was great. He is also doing really well, and it was good to go over the Restoration and see how it made sense for him. That night we played volleyball and it was so fun! I am slowly improving. 
Wednesday! We went to P's with Sister C and she is great at teaching 9 year olds what the scriptures mean, let me tell ya. It was so good. She is the best. She also took us to R's, and we discussed his various issues, mainly that he doesn't feel the Spirit at church, so please pray for him because he still doesn't show up most of the time.
Thursday! We went to Mepkin. We also went gator hunting at Mepkin. It was a great time. Then we went home and cleared out the area book, which was so nice, because we needed it. Then we did the family history booth, and we actually got to be under the main pavilion so we got a lot more success. It was so fun to talk to everyone - we started to just ask them what the most important thing in the world was to them, and instantly most people either said God or their families. I love the South.
Friday! We weekly planned and then went and tried to play soccer but no one showed up and also I temporarily went blind in one eye so that was weird, and then we went finding on the big highway 17 and didn't really find anyone new but we got to see this really nice lady M who offered to let us watch movies at her house, lol. *obedience brings blessings*
Saturday! We went to a horse rescue and cleaned out their troughs. It was way fun and prepared me for the future when I marry me a handsome farmer boy and stuff. Also, we went finding in Cane Bay. Not much success there. That night we had a great lesson with a member family, the Ws. They have 3 kids. Notable quotes:
Me: O (who is 7) what can you do to be a missionary?
O: Oh, I actually already do that all the time.
Sister Haws: See you Sunday!
R (5): (horrified) Is there going to be 2 Sundays in a row? (apparently he was under the impression that it had already been Sunday since we came over and did a little family home evening lesson)

Yesterday we gave talks in church about Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our religion. It was an awesome topic, and something that has really stuck out to me is how Jesus Christ always did the will of His Father in all things, and we should too. I loved the reminder. Sister Haws and I made a goal this week to align our wills with the Father's will. It's tough to not do what you want sometimes, but when we do what God wants, it works out better for us in the end anyway.
I love you all!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew
Sister Pew teaching this little guy how to be a ninja

She sent her talk, here it is:

HI. I'm Sister Pew. I'm from Cedar Hills, Utah, and I've been here in the ward for about 6 months. Don't let the nametag fool you - I'm a permanent resident here. And I'm grateful to be able to address you today.
So when we found out today's topic, Jesus Christ, the cornerstone of our religion, I immediately realised 2 things. 1) I have no idea what a cornerstone even is. 2) I therefore had no idea what to speak on. Luckily I did do some research, and I learned is a stone in the exterior of a large building and is important to the building's foundation. But a more intangible definition of the word is the fundamental assumption from which something is developed, begun, calculated or explained. In essence, the cornerstone of a belief or practice is an important or necessary element of its foundation, the why hiding behind all whats and whens and hows. So how is Jesus Christ our cornerstone as Latter-day Saints?
Keep this definition in mind, and then listen the words of Paul in Ephesians 2:
12 That at that time ye were without Christ, being aliens from the commonwealth of Israel, and strangers from the covenants of promise, having no hope, and without God in the world:
13 But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ.
14 For he is our peace, who hath made both one, and hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us;
15 Having abolished in his flesh the enmity, even the law of commandments contained in ordinances; for to make in himself of twain one new man, so making peace;
16 And that he might reconcile both unto God in one body by the cross, having slain the enmity thereby:
17 And came and preached peace to you which were afar off, and to them that were nigh.
18 For through him we both have access by one Spirit unto the Father.
19 Now therefore ye are no more strangers and foreigners, but fellowcitizens with the saints, and of the household of God;
20 And are built upon the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Jesus Christ himself being the chief corner stone;
And then again, in Helaman 5:12:
12 And now, my sons, remember, remember that it is upon the rock of our Redeemer, who is Christ, the Son of God, that ye must build your foundation; that when the devil shall send forth his mighty winds, yea, his shafts in the whirlwind, yea, when all his hail and his mighty storm shall beat upon you, it shall have no power over you to drag you down to the gulf of misery and endless wo, because of the rock upon which ye are built, which is a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall.
I like these scriptural passages because I am very much a scientist at heart. My natural curiosity and a little impertinence on my part require a process of cause and effect to build up my knowledge. Both Paul and Helaman describe the effects - or in a less secular term, the consequences - of building upon the Lord Jesus Christ. 
At the beginning of Paul's address here, he talks a little about man's state without God - uneasy terms like "aliens from the commonwealth of Israel", "strangers from the covenant of promise" and "having no hope". Those are very biblical phrases, but the simple translation is that when one is not built upon Jesus Christ, life is lacking. Aliens and strangers are both words used to describe those isolated, unfamiliar, and in many cases, unknown. And then, add being an alien and a stranger to the covenants of God to hopeless and that sounds to me like a deplorable equation for living. How awful it would be to feel so cut off, to be floating with no direction, tossed about by every wind of doctrine, confused, alone and afraid.
This is the state of every man not built upon Jesus Christ. But that condition can be remedied. It is possible to renovate even the crumbling foundation of the natural man so that it becomes a sure foundation, a foundation whereon if men build they cannot fall. Paul says that even those of us who are for times or at seasons "Far off", for those of us who feel we have traveled so far from the gospel, there is hope through the blood of Christ.
So what can we do? How can we rebuild our lives if we find ourselves caught in the mighty whirlwind of the adversary?
First we can repent. We can come to ourselves, like the fabled prodigal son. We can recognize that we have built our foundations of faith upon things that will not hold. We must become aware of our spiritual peril. Paul calls this a form of self-division, a recognition that our spiritual self and our mortal body are at odds with each other and require some form of resolution to make in ourselves of twain a new man or woman. Once you've recognized, how can you begin to reconcile? Again, let's imagine a house due for renovation. Most if not all of the time it takes some demolition to turn the house into the edifice it has the potential to be, so it follows that it's needful to demolish those habits or practices that are not important to the building of yourself, your home, and your family. You cannot accomplish this without the master builder, Jesus Christ - but with His help, no matter how high or how strong or how insurmountable your walls are, you can bring them down. Paul tells us in our passage from earlier that "he hath broken down the middle wall of partition between us" and God, and he means it. Nothing is impossible with Him. You can repent and be forgiven. Additionally, forsake your sins; as Jeffrey R. Holland puts it, "don't leave [sin] with a forwarding address." Take out what you need to take out, but don't hold on to the fragments of brick and mortar for sentimental reasons. Clean it out so that you can build up a home without any obstruction.
So we've demolished, and we've cleaned out, and we're ready to build. How do we strengthen our homes and build upon our chief cornerstone?
We need to learn of Him. Anyone who has studied the life of the Savior can tell you of the many mighty miracles He performed, of the lessons He taught and the lives He touched. But I am rather partial to Paul these days, and I believe he nailed it on the nose when he said in his epistle to the Romans, "who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or peril, or nakedness, or sword?...Nay, in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him that loved us." I am of the opinion that the defining characteristic of Jesus Christ was His perfect love, that love which transcends all time, all places, and all trial. That is where He differs from us; though He was mortal, and He too lived among imperfect conditions and people in an imperfect time, He never let the flaws that surrounded Him distract Him from our true potential and from the work and glory of God; to bring to pass the immortality and eternal life of us, His children. In that way, He is our foundation, and love of God is His foundation. So to build upon Him, our reason for everything should be love - His love for us, our love for Him, and the love we feel for one another as brothers and sisters. 
And what are the consequences for building upon the rock of His love? I know from experience that the love of Christ in us can conquer anything, including fear, doubt and pain. Paul tells us that we can come closer to Christ, and that we can have peace, which is a gift that nearly all of humanity seeks. As we share the love of Christ with our fellowmen, He gives us gifts and blessings we cannot imagine. Helaman says that if we build upon Christ and His love, we will be protected from the hail and the storm and the whirlwind. He says that we cannot fall. That doesn't sound particularly wishy-washy to me! If we build upon Christ, we come closer to Him and our brothers and sisters, we grow spiritually, and we are freed from our sorrows and sins. We receive peace in this life, the peace which passeth all understanding, the peace which comes from knowing what you're built on, and knowing that that foundation cannot fall.
I know this because of my inner scientist. Anytime I have experimented upon the word, like in Alma 32, or on any of the promises and covenants of the gospel, I have repeatedly come to the same conclusion: God loves us. He speaks to us through revelation and through a prophet. If we keep the commandments, we will be blessed. What began as a collection of ideas and hypotheses for me have been tested and examined and have been proven facts again and again. The seed of faith has sprouted and planted, and though I don't have all the answers, I do have some. I know that Jesus Christ is the Savior of the world. I know He lives and that by building upon Him, we shall live also.
Brothers and sisters, let's all remember Moroni's invitation: 32 Yea, come unto Christ, and be perfected in him, and deny yourselves of all ungodliness; and if ye shall deny yourselves of all ungodliness, and love God with all your might, mind and strength, then is his grace sufficient for you, that by his grace ye may be perfect in Christ. Let's all repent and renew, and let's all be witnesses of His love for us and all of God's family here on earth.  Bear testimony and cry

Sunday, August 13, 2017

Week 33 Another day in paradise

Hello, everyone! How are y'all? Transfer calls are in and I AM STAYING HERE. Man. I might as well accept a ward calling. Anyway, the subject of today's email is because that's what U's husband W says whenever U asks him how golfing was. And I'm staying another transfer in the promised land, so that's a good time if you ask me.
THIS WEEK WAS AMAZING. Before all of you die of suspense, yes, P got baptized <3 We were so happy! But more on that later.
Sad news: S dropped us, it was the worst. But hopefully someday she'll be ready, and she is still on good terms with us. So that's good.
Monday! Sister Haws slept allllllllllllllllll day! And I made snitch cupcakes, as promised. I didn't know it was cheesecake day or I would have made that too. After that we went to R's house. And I still love her so freakin much. She is the cutest. 
Tuesday was P's interview. It all turned out okay and it turns out that ELDER W WAS ONE OF THE ELDERS THAT FOUND P AND REFERRED HIM TO THE SISTERS NEARLY TWO YEARS AGO. So that was cool for Elder W to get to interview him. He said he was amazingly prepared. It was awesome.
Wednesday we got to go back to see S.Then we knocked doors around their area and then went and did comp study and then went to P's (not the one that got baptized a lady) house with Sister W. It was lots of fun and P opened up a lot to us and it was awesome. I'm glad it happened.
Thursday Mepkin got cancelled because of the rain! How terrible is that? Especially because I wasn't sure if I would be transferred or not, so I'm excited that I didn't so I can go back because I love that place. So instead we prepped for P's baptism. It was awesome. Then we did the family history booth for not very long and I didn't get to take pictures. Next week though. (I hope.) Then we went over to see the Rs (who are members). We love the Rs. They have a bunch of adopted kids.
Friday we went to zone service at Lowcountry Food Bank. It was good to see the zone. I got to know a Spanish speaking elder who is going home next transfer who I've never talked to before. He wants to design and produce jewelry or be an FBI agent. Then we went and played soccer with the elders and K and M (of aforementioned R family). It was lots of fun and we discussed M's mission because he served in Orem Utah (at one point he was serving in Highland, so straight up he knows where I live) and he just got back. He's dating a girl in the ward named S.
Saturday P got baptized AND IT WAS AMAZING. I sang I Stand All Amazed, Sister Haws took a video but I'm not sure she can send it. The song went well though. P had to get dipped 3 times because the first two times Brother E said the words wrong and then the third time P hit his head on the side of the font. Never a dull moment. We are excited though. We also went out finding with Sister C and it was such a fun time!
Sunday P was confirmed and he looked so good! He looked super happy. We are so proud of him. He is the coolest. Also we got a visit from the first sister missionaries that went over to teach P (Sister A & Sister D) and they were so surprised that we "got him". (which of course, we didn't "get him" at all. The Spirit got him.) It was just the perfect timing. God is good.
Today we waited with baited breath for a transfer call, and we were much pleased to learn that nobody here is leaving. Sister Kniffen will be getting a new companion though, so we will have a different sister in our district :) Also, CRAZY thing that happened: we were in Walmart and I was ordering some pictures when I heard a familiar voice. I looked up and I saw two familiar faces, but I wasn't sure if I could be seeing things or if I was actually seeing who I thought I was seeing. So I walked by them, SUPER awkwardly, and they tried to ask me where I was from but I didn't hear them, and so they caught Sister Haws and were like, "where is your companion from?" And I turned around and said, "I'm from Utah!" And they said, "Which high school did you go to?" And I said, "Lone Peak." And they were like, that's why you look familiar. Turns out I graduated with both of them. And we just happened to be in the same little podunk town, in the same little podunk Walmart, at the same little podunk time. WHAT. (picture on the blog. Their names are Megan and Shaquell. They're here visiting Shaquell's family before they get married.)
I love y'all!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew
Beautiful Sister Haws with the flowers they made for a lady.

Couple from Sister Pew's high school, small world!

Sunday, August 6, 2017

Week 32 - "It's LeviOHsa, not LevioSAH." (July 31st, 2017)

Happy Birthday Harry!
And hello loved ones. This week's subject comes from Harry Potter because it's his birthday today. I may be a missionary, but I am also still a nerd. 
Kay, folks, this week was literally nuts. There were so many weird things that went down.
Monday was cool! We had a lesson with P about the Word of Wisdom AND HE DOESN'T SMOKE!!! So if all goes well with his interview tomorrow, he is gettin' baptized this Saturday, wahoo. We had the lesson at the Es' house and I tried catfish for the first time. The Es' house is like something out of Gone with the Wind. Also, we have a conspiracy that P is in love with the Es' daughter T, and they're totally going to go to the temple after he gets baptized ;)
The next day we had DDM. The zone leaders were there. At the end, Sister Kniffen, Elder W and I were talking to each other and looked over to see the elders all crowded around Sister Haws and Sister Kenney, and I said something about how us ugly people were all congregating and letting the attractive people mingle among themselves (which was a joke, because neither of the 3 of us are actually ugly. All is well.) Elder W sternly remarked, "Sister Pew, missionaries don't have gender, remember that." To which I shot back, "That doesn't mean they can't be ugly." And Elder W almost died from laughter. Sister Pew strikes again. We taught P later that day and it was great, we talked about the Law of Chastity. I barely even get uncomfortable with that lesson anymore, because I have had to teach it literally so many times.
Wednesday we went over to our new investigator R's house and taught her the Restoration. She was pretty excited to find out where the Native Americans came from. Then we made vegetable soup and cornbread for F and C and brought it over to their house. We tried to teach them but it did not work very well. After that we visited the Fs and followed up with their missionary commitments and invited their son B to soccer night (which is this Friday, pray for my soul). That night we taught P and her family. Her son went to Palmyra with the youth over the weekend and he loved it. It kind of kicked him into gear. If he comes to church every Sunday for 6 months, he can get the priesthood and baptize J! 6 months is a long time, but hopefully it all works out. We also went over and read the Book of Mormon with S and talked to her about goals and plans.
Thursday we went to Mepkin, and then we went to Pruitt Health and sang for them. We had a good time. Elder W is very talented and also knows old country tunes that the people know, so he had them singing along. It was sweet. I just played hymns on Elder Gs' ukelele. Then we had the Family History booth, which was much more successful this time around thanks to my fabulous mom and all her ideas. We forgot to take pictures, but we will do it next week! Then we had Book of Mormon class. It was fun.
Friday we went to interviews with President Innes. I love that guy. He is my favorite guy. He is the most genuine, loving person and he BELIEVES THE HECK OUT OF US. It is amazing. Sister Haws and I were talking in the car and we just know that he is exactly what the mission needs. So I trust President Innes with my entire soul, basically; and if you're on a mission, or you're going on a mission, you should too, because I can testify that these men & their wives are called of God. So anyways, after interviews we went over to a potential investigator's house, S. She is a lady who asked us a few weeks ago to help her with the flowers for her sister in law's wedding. BUT, a few days ago, she called us and told us that her sister in law backed out of the wedding, and then said, "but my husband and I are going to renew our vows so you should still help us with the flowers." We had gone over before and told them what to get to make floral arrangements, but when we got there, they had 843577387263874563874629378465374 fabric flowers and a little bit of ribbon, and NONE of the other stuff that we needed to make bouquets. So I used that little bit of ribbon, safety pins, and the Kragle (Krazy Glue). IT WAS HILARIOUS. I didn't take pictures, but I wish I had. They were so ugly, but hey, she loved them, and that's what matters. After that we went to dinner at the Cs' house with S. She brought her baby boy. There is a video that I will send. He is the cutest ever.
Saturday we went to Mepkin for the volunteer banquet. We had to be there because we (meaning us missionaries) were receiving an award on behalf of all the elders and sisters that have served at Mepkin for 1000 hours of cumulative service. We were presented the award by Abbott Stan. The monks are all very sweet and they fed us so that was also cool. We enjoyed that very much. Then we weekly planned and went to the ward activity to set up a mini golf hole. It was not very fun. Then we went to R's and we actually set a goal (for him to feel happiness and peace) and made a plan (read his scriptures every day and say a prayer of just gratitude before bed). Hopefully that helps him make some actual progress instead of just thinking and talking about progress.
Yesterday we had church, and R actually showed up, which was great. We read the Book of Mormon with U afterwards. Then we planned because we had no time for the rest of the week.
Y'all, today I am making snitch cupcakes. I'm going to feed them to my district, but little do they know that it is purely because today is Harry Potter's birthday. But I just want y'all to know that this time of year at home was one of my favorite times. Nothin' like a little HP to bring the family together. You are my happy thoughts that I use to make my patronus :)
Deep thought from B: "We all have cracks in us, but that's how the light comes in."
And today, more than ever,
Don't let the muggles get you down!
All my love,
Sister Pew

1,000 hours award the missionaries received from the Abbey in Mepkin (see video above of some of the grounds they help with)

Sister Pew in her raincoat

Friday, July 28, 2017

Week 31- Pink Pajamas Penguins on the Bottom

Hello hello!
Okay! So Monday! We didn't really do anything, just relaxed. That night we were going to teach R but she canceled on us and now we can't get ahold of her and she didn't come to church. So everyone please pray for her.
Tuesday was awesome, we taught P with Sister E and then we were going to play volleyball and we were sure no one would come, but lots of people actually showed up, and it was awesome. I got a lot better! I'm not injuring people anymore.
Wednesday we went to serve at a horse rescue place and then went on exchanges with the STLs, Sister Fowkes (who was half-trained by my half-sister which makes her my half-niece) came with me and Sister Haws went to Summerville for the day. We taught the S Family and made S a bouquet because she was struggling. We had to take her off date because of her struggles, so please pray for her.
Thursday was really fun! The assistants brought us new mattresses in the morning before Mepkin, and they came to Mepkin with the zone leaders and the elders. We did a lot of stuff and I got to drive one of the new big Gators. We also got to show the visitors around. Sister Fowkes is Jasmine ;) it was quite fun. Then we went to the old folks home and sang there for awhile. Then we went and had dinner and contacted some bible referrals and went to Book of Mormon class.
Friday we weekly planned and then we went out to find people. We met this really nice lady named A and she became a new investigator. Then we taught S and she told us a little bit about what's going on. She's mostly okay now, just facing some big doubts. Please, y'all. She needs your prayers.
Saturday we cleaned the church, practiced my song .We get 1 hour of media time every week and so I got to see a little bit of the Pioneer Day concert.See concert here! It was so good. And my daddy looks great. The subject of today's email comes from the song "Circle of Life". That's what the chanty part the choir sings sounds like at the beginning.
Sunday we had church and I sang and everyone told me it was good so that was nice. The talks were on love in the home. It was nice. The lessons were on service. Service brings us great joy!
I love you! 
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew

Sunday, July 23, 2017

Week 30-College, Corn and CATastrophe

Howdy y'all!
This week was so wild. So many crazy things happened.
Monday: We went fishing and caught some fish! Also, a cat got into our apartment and I have become SEVERELY allergic to cats and Sister Haws is afraid of them so we couldn't get her out, so we called the elders and they became little cat wranglers for a second and we were so proud. We were going to go to a baseball game that night but our ride bailed because she "heard thunder" lololol so we taught R her first new member lesson and visited a new member of the ward named Sister C. She was awesome and served her mission in the Phillipines and told us all about it. I am living a good life here in the States #blessed 
Tuesday we had DDM and it was pretty fun. Our district is cuuuute. Then we went to an old folks home and performed music. We also taught P and we brought Brother E who has decided to make him his son basically and taking him hunting and fishing and bring him under his wing.  That night we had a Relief Society activity and R came with her friend and V brought her roommate. Also, they gave us the best barbecue we'd ever had and we learned about America and the military from some guys in our ward who served in the Army - one for 9 years and one for 25. Also, they let us take the leftover barbecue. SO GOOD. We gave some to the elders.
Wednesday we went finding and met this guy named M. He was way chill and said we could come back and teach him and his wife. <3 We also had a lesson with P which she cancelled and then we taught S the Word of Wisdom (which she has been living since before she's met with the missionaries!!! who even is this woman. She's amazing.) That night, we were making some calls and planning some stuff when there was a knock at our door. No one ever knocks at the missionaries' door, so we were really intrigued. We opened the door to find the elders outside. They performed a truly ridiculous improvised song and then left. We were very confused and they told us later that they were really proud of it and just wanted to show someone. And we were the closest. Serving around elders is like having children. Sometimes you are so proud, and other times you are so confused. But it was pretty funny. Also, Sister Haws received some pretty powerful revelation that she needs to go to school and study nursing, but she has a hard time reading and doesn't know how to apply for college. But guess who totally is great at reading and has applied for the very school Sister Haws is applying to? Me. It's funny how Heavenly Father works. So, Sister Haws and I started reading lessons, and her college application process with permission from President. He was so excited for her.
Thursday was Mepkin again, and Sister Haws got some corn. We also went to the really lame family history booth and talked about ways to make it not super lame. And then that night was Book of Mormon class which was fun.
Friday things got reaaaaaal crazy and they just kept being crazy for the rest of the week. So we went to do weekly planning and Sister Haws put her corn on the stove to cook it. Around lunchtime it still wasn't done, so we continued weekly planning and then Sister R showed up at 2 to take us out finding. So we went to visit the Bs, a super nice family, and we had a nice visit with them. We were headed off to the next family we were to visit, when we passed a corn field. Now, you've got to understand that Sister Haws loves corn so much that every time we pass a corn field, she goes, "*gasp* Corn!" So we pass this corn field and Sister Haws gasps and says, "Corn!" and then goes, "OH MY GOSH SISTER I LEFT THE STOVE ON!" And I was like, "Sister R, we're gonna need to put this car in reverse." So we high tail it back to our apartment, book it up the stairs, and Sister Haws is like, "I can smell the corn burning" as she's trying to unlock the door. And when we opened the door, there was black smoke everywhere. We had to air out our apartment. And IT STILL SMELLS LIKE BURNT CORN. But, our apartment didn't burn to the ground! So that is a definite plus. I'd rather have a musty burnt corn smelling apartment than be homeless. After that we went back to the old folks home and saw a member who lives there. 
Saturday we had the old folks home again, but we were way better prepared to sing this time. Also, we have permission and are encouraged at this particular nursing home to sing songs that are not necessarily gospel-related, and their favorite genre over there is MOTOWN MUSIC so if any of y'all have any Motown hits that you like that we could learn to play for them, that'd be swell (please include the chords if you actually send me ideas) (also please don't send any of the super romantic ones, because we are still missionaries). Then, we went to R's.  Then we went to U's for dinner and played her some music. About half an hour after we got there my eyes started itching and getting swollen. And then we remembered Ursula has a cat. And by the end of the night, I was dying.
BUT, we ended up at Ursula's house again after church yesterday (which P and S came to, by the way). BECAUSE SHE LET US TEACH HER THE RESTORATION. And she promised to read the Book of Mormon, and pray about it. Ugh we just love her so much. After that we went to see a family, the Ws, who are amazing and want to have us over to teach their neighbors and also cook Sister Haws some Ethiopian food because Sister W is from Trinidad and a lot of their foods are oddly's cool, though, because then I might get to try Ethiopian food and we might get to teach the Ws' Jamaican neighbors which would be awesome.
*Sigh*. I have been out seven months. I can't. What is this. I am not okay with this. Everything needs to STOP RIGHT NOW thanks.
I love y'all!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew

A lady and her baby that they are teaching
Singing for her supper.

After eating the fish they caught and cooked and ate, she said they were delicious!

Friday, July 14, 2017

Week 29-God Bless the newest Mormon

Hello loved ones!
In answer to the many inquiries, I am doing good health-wise. There were no more significant incidents that happened. So that's good. #prayerworks
Last Monday we played soccer and basketball! It was fun but really hot. Then we had a lesson and follow-up interview with R, who was super pumped to be baptized. She is my favorite person.
Tuesday was America Day. If you've ever been to a very redneck part of the world, you know that Independence Day is a ridiculously big deal. As in, people are STILL shooting off fireworks. (Rednecks also like to blow stuff up.) So, we proselyted until 6 pm and got to see C again! It was actually really cool because we went over there and she BEGGED us to teach her (which was heartbreakingly cute) and then her grouchy looking great-grandma came out and said we couldn't. But then Sister Haws just started talking to her. As we took an interest in her, she totally softened right up. Her name is F and she said we could come back! So that's awesome and we're totally going to do that tomorrow. Anyways, after 6 we had to be back in our apartment for lock-down, so we ordered the elders a pizza anonymously (they totally knew it was from us, but it was still REALLY funny) and read "More Than the Tattooed Mormon" which R lent to us. Then the mission nurse called me and we had a conversation that caused me unnecessary panic because she asked me if all my pain was gone and made it sound like I'd probably need an operation, so here I am thinking, "HOLY COW I MIGHT HAVE TO GO HOME SKJDBSJDYFUSYGEBURBSE" and that was not okay.
So the next morning we headed back to the emergency room to get the results from the CT scan and send them to the mission doctor. After he had a look at those, he told me that I actually don't need to get surgery, I just need to take some pills. Which I have been doing. That was a relief, because I love being a missionary. After this whole ordeal, U came and took us out to lunch at Burger King, where she enjoyed watching this really awkward lady spill all over herself. That night we taught the S family and got to know them better.
Thursday we went to Mepkin and Heidi (Sister Haws) got to drive the Gator. We weeded some flowerbeds. We also did the family history booth and this time we brought a soccer ball to try and draw more interest. We did talk to more people. We have lots of cool ideas. Do you? Anyone got any thoughts on how to get people interested in family history? PLEASE let me know what ya think. Then we had Book of Mormon class and R didn't show up and we were like NOOOOOOOOOOOOO what the heck!?!?!?! and so we called her. All was well, but it was still scary. 
Friday we had Zone Conference! Y'all, President Innes is so freakin' funny. I am so excited that he's the mission president. He and his wife took a lot of time to see how I was doing and it was really nice but it was even better what he said his focus is going to be when he addressed us. He said his priorities are 1) the Lord, 2) His family, and 3) our conversion. He told us he is here to invite us to come unto Christ. His job is not to make missionaries out of us; we're already missionaries. His job is to make disciples of us. Gosh, he's just so cool. Also he might let the members start feeding us again, which would be very bad for my waistline. That night we taught S, and her little boy is so cute! We put her on date for August 4th! She swanned on by without even freaking out. It was so awesome! She is the cutest. Also, I got the package that Granny sent, so thank you so much to my lovely Granny Davis because that was the most helpful package I have ever received. Particularly the dress. That is the perfect dress for missionaries in the South. (Pictures attached:))
Saturday was the BAPTISM WAHOOOOOOOOOOOOO. R got baptized, y'all! She was so excited to be a "Mormon". I sang for her. Bishop baptized her. She said she felt lighter, like she did the right thing! AND her nonmember friends and husband showed up! It was so fun! There were lots of people in the ward who were there to support her. This ward is the best ever. I'll be sending lots of pictures of the baptism, do not worry.Yesterday,  S came to church with her member boyfriend for all 3 hours, and R received the gift of  the Holy Ghost! It was just a beautiful day! Y'all, the church is true and God loves us all so much. We taught Gospel Principles on sacrifice and it was a good topic to study if anyone wants to do that.
Also, guess who went fishin' today and caught 4 fish?
I love y'all!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew
R's baptism, with a friend

R's baptism, with her husband


Sister Haws ready to fish
 R's baptism, with Sister Haws and Sister Pew
Sister Pew cool fisherwoman

Both sisters caught fish!

Wearing mens boots 

Saturday, July 8, 2017

Week 28: The Sister Soldiers

Hello! God bless America! Happy anniversary to my lovely parents! They are the greatest!
So. This week. Was literally crazy. There's no way I can tell you everything, but let's get into it.
Monday: We went to see R, and we planned her whole baptism. It's really happening folks. It really is. Keep praying for her! Satan works hardest on you when you're doing the right thing.
Tuesday we had DDM and it was great. Then we went to see P and put him on date to be baptized on August 5th. Never did I ever think P would agree to be baptized. Here we are.
Wednesday we went to see a member in a rest home and accidentally offered to come by and perform once a week. Elder W, the new elder in town, plays the guitar "like the wind blows" (which is how Elder W described it) and so he's going to come play while I sing. Hahaha. Then we went to see the S Family. J is officially 9 so she has to be taught all the missionary discussions before she gets baptized. We basically had her teach us the Plan of Salvation and she did a great job. Then Sister C took us out "stalking" (which is finding, but she calls it stalking lol) and then took us to Chick Fil A which is where you got that picture of me.
Thursday we went to Mepkin and then we went out finding and then we went to the family history booth and then we went to teach a MEMBER REFERRAL and her name is S and she has the cutest baby named B who is in love with Sister Haws and it was so cute. We went over the Plan of Salvation because the North Charleston missionaries had already taught her the Restoration. She said it made a lot of sense and agreed to come to church! Pray for her and her baby.
Friday we weekly planned, we helped the elders move into our apartment complex, and then we went out to the middle of nowhere to find people to teach. Not much luck but still fun. 
Saturday we went finding with Sister A. She's very nice and took us down many muddy roads which was kinda fun. We got to see B and B for the first time in literally 5ever. Then we went to a little kid named K's baptism. Then we went to the annual 4th of July party at Sister M's house. There were many nonmembers there and we had lots of fun. The little kids and the missionaries united to play capture the flag and do a singing competition and it was so fun.
This is where things get so crazy. Saturday night I went to bed feeling kind of sick. I woke up at about midnight with intense abdominal pain. I tried for about an hour and a half to get rid of it, but nothing was making a dent. So I woke up my companion and we called the elders (who, tender mercies, had literally JUST MOVED into our apartment complex on Friday) and had them give me a blessing. At 1:30 in the morning. It was very sweet to hear them running up the stairs. So anyway, they gave me a blessing and immediately after the blessing I felt like we needed to go to the emergency room. So we did! And that is the story of the first (maybe second) time I have ever gone to the emergency room. They did some blood tests and a CT scan and figured out the problem, which I won't share (but I will it was an ovarian cyst), but suffice it to say it's very painful but not dangerous. They gave me some pain medication and sent me on my merry way at about 5 AM
Now, there were many blessings that came from this. The xray technician who gave me the CT scan was actually a less active member, and I was able to invite him back to church and point out what any normal person could recognize as a sign from God. I never go the the emergency room. But God needed me to meet that cute man. He politely refused, but I think that the Spirit touched his heart as we spoke. Also, one of my nurses was incredibly sweet and wanted to retire to work with the American Red Cross. I explained how our church does lots of work with them and she was very impressed. She told us we give her hope for the young people of the world, which was very nice of her.
The next day was church. We had to go because S was going to be there and she needed friends. So we went. And we also taught gospel principles running on 2-3 hours of sleep. It was probably not the greatest lesson anyone has ever given, but the fact that we were standing was really a miracle. And then we went home and went to bed until we had to go teach R. He's doing okay. Keep praying for him. Also, we received "how is Sister Pew doing" phone calls from the zone leaders and our new mission president, President Innes. He seems absolutely terrific and I am so excited to meet him in person.
I am feeling much better today. I'm mostly just tired -- it was such an ordeal, my goodness. But the Lord takes care of us. R thought she wouldn't make it to church and showed up anyway. S came to sacrament meeting. Everyone is so kind and concerned. Don't worry, everyone! Life is good. It is always good with God.
Stay safe! I love you!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
-Sister Pew

Note from Sister Pew's mom: I talked with the mission nurse on Friday, she called to let me know Sister Pew is doing well and they have her on medication to shrink the cyst.I feel like it was a tender mercy. 

Here are some videos she sent this week first is the ER visit and the second is of her new companion