Monday, March 19, 2018

Week 64 - "money can't buy happiness, but it can fake your death."

The subject of this email would be because N said that. Referring to how Elvis faked his death.
Well folks, this was a great week. I'm going to try and make this email not as lame as my motivation to write it is. Just know that I am doing this for YOU. Because my desire to write is at a low.
Monday was a good day. We had a district PDay because Elder W was being transferred. We played volleyball and I am happy to report that I am not as terrible at it as I once was. Definitely not ready to spike it down anyone's throat yet, but I am slowly improving. Also, the elders are pretty hilarious. We also made some gluten-free brownies for Sister I and N because Sister I has celiac disease. Sister Hamilton made peanut butter frosting for them and they weren't even bad. When we went over there, we went for a walk with N and talked about some things, and I sang a song for her. It was a good little get-together for us, because she had been feeling pretty overwhelmed with all the requirements for baptism.
Tuesday was also good. We had a mini-DDM that morning to sign Elder W's airplane journal and get things squared away for the new guy, Elder B. Who happened to be coming from Boiling Springs which is right next to Inman. So that has been exciting for me, because he knows all the people there and I can talk to him about them and it's bomb. After the mini-DDM we went out to eat with Sister T & Sister S. I realized this day that I was still feeling pretty depressed from the week before, since probably N's lesson the previous Saturday, so that was hard. I decided to ask for a priesthood blessing from Brother G in the ward. We went to see the Vs and then went to ASL class, which is going pretty well by the way. I'm understanding a lot better now. And then we went to the Gs and he gave me a really good blessing that brought a lot of comfort to my heart. The priesthood is real. Straight up.
Wednesday we did service at Habitat for Humanity for a really long time. They have lots of very interesting things there. Lots of really awesome sewing patterns that I might need to buy and learn how to make. :) But anyways, the lady we work with is this super grumpy hilarious lady named K. We are pretty sure that if we were allowed to swear at Habitat, she'd light the place on fire with the heat of her language. Anyways, after we did that, we actually tried finding on Facebook, with some pretty good results. Our mission is about to roll out a new way to actually initiate gospel conversations online, and it has worked pretty well for us so far! So that has been really good. And then we taught N again. She took herself off date and was pretty sad about it, but we believe it's for the best because we want her to be baptized because she is really committed. We taught her a little bit about the Plan of Salvation and it went pretty well.
Thursday morning we got to have sign language lessons from my MTC teacher Brother Elg! It was way good to see him again and meet his wife and also to learn how we can better teach R. We weren't able to go see her this week but we want to this week. We also went to the old folks home. We also went to the chiropractor to fix my injuries from Gravitopia that I sustained so long ago. I feel lots better now! :) And then we went to this member lady's house for dinner. She is so funny and has a pet Siberian lynx. It's basically a cat that I'm not allergic to so you can bet I was all about that. AAAAAND she fed us steak, so that was a wonderful time. She is really really funny. Did I already mention that? She's hilarious. And then that night we watched the Testaments with N. I laughed and cried. Following are some of my favorite lines: "You should savor the good things in life" -Kohor "You are a specter from the gods" -Kohor "When I return I would speak to you of..." *smooches the lady and then leaves* -Jacob But in all seriousness, when the Savior comes at the end, we could all just feel the Spirit so powerfully. It was just like, "YES, YES, this is all true, this really happened! Jesus Christ REALLY came and He is coming again!" N was crying, I was crying, Sister Hamilton was crying, Sister I was crying. When the movie finished N was quiet (which she really isn't very often). Then she softly said, "That is a very important movie." I know the Spirit bore witness to her spirit that what we had been teaching her was true. I can't wait until she fully comprehends how true her statement is.
Friday we weekly planned, we went and did service for the Ms, and we delivered cookies to Elder B because he had surgery. We also went to see a family in the ward and they're the best. 
Saturday we went out with Sister G, a saint and an angel, who took us to the far reaches of our huge area to try and find some folks. We ended up at a former investigator's house. She wasn't home, but the whole county 4H was there, so that was great! Everyone was really nice and they offered to let us come back and work on their farm...which we may take them up on, because I miss the Ws'. :) After that Sister G drove us to a member no one's ever even heard of. Turns out no one knows her because she hasn't lived in the house for 15 years, but the lady who was there told us she was going to shoot us until she realized we were church people. Her name was J and she talked our ears off, which is pretty standard, but she was telling us some wack-o stories and Sister G literally was like, "OKAY WELL WE HAVE TO GO BYE" and drove away. Bless her. Afterwards she took us to Taco Bell, and I tried Cinnabon Delights for the first time, which ruined my life. They are so good. SO good. I'm tearing up thinking about them. ALSO, Sister Hamilton saw an alligator in the wild for the first time. It was very exciting for her. That night we had our Facebook live event, which will continue because of how positive the response was. So next week, everyone, Sister Hamilton and I will be coming back live to talk about something else. If you have any suggestions, we'd love to hear them!
Yesterday was great. We had a wonderful discussion on the Spirit, led by Brother T, and we had a meeting about our MLC tomorrow with the Zone Leaders.
Today we went to Colonial Dorchester -- settled in like the 1630s!! I took a couple pictures. Tonight we drive to Columbia and tomorrow is my second MLC! It should be a wondrous time. I am excited.
I know that the Book of Mormon makes the mission of the Savior more clear for us to understand. I know it testifies of the Atonement of the Savior and the love God has for all His children. It is for that reason that a man will get nearer to God by abiding by its precepts than by any other book. Jesus Christ is the only way we could make it back to live with God again, and I love Him so dearly. I know this is all true.
I love y'all!
Don't let the muggles get you down!
Love, Sister Pew

OOOOH I also forgot to mention that last night I found out that my good friend T from Inman got baptized into the YSA-Young Single Adult branch and I am SO PROUD and SO HAPPY. :) Just wanted to let y'all know that.

YouTube videos that she sent: Sister Pew singing time in Primary

Colonial Dorchester 

Someone they taught that was baptized, her last companion (her greenie)

Sunday, March 11, 2018

Week 63 - 3 Months Until Life Begins

Friends, Romans, countrymen,
Well, I just entered my second to last transfer on my mission. That is really, really weird. I only have 11 group emails after this one. Wow. Time literally has gone by so fast!
This week was a harder week for us. There's a lot of reasons for that. But this letter might be a little brief because I don't really want to relive the entirety of it.

Monday: We went to Charleston! That was really fun. I filmed some stuff that I'll send to y'all, but it might have to be next week because it'll take 5ever to upload. We went with the other S sisters and the Charleston sisters. We ate pizza and walked around the city. I finally got to swing on the Battery (pictures included) and I got a whole bunch of crap for my family. That night we took Nora to the singles FHE AND I GOT TO SEE MY MOM V. She adopted me while I was serving in Moncks Corner and then moved to the Summerville 2nd ward. We haven't seen each other in 6 months so it was really wonderful to be able to see her.

Tuesday: Went on exchanges with Sister Clement from Charleston. We stayed in SV and went to see a man who is ill in our ward. Also we cleaned our car because we had inspections and the fabled "yellow snow" of Charleston is falling thick and fast. That's pollen, folks. My nose is pretty itchy like 24/7. We also went to ASL class and it's good because I'm understanding more than I was before. #grateful Also, Elder W our district leader is a punk and occasionally will do this thing at the end of our call ins where he'll be like, "Oh hey guess what?" And we'll be like, "What?" and he'll hang up on us. But Tuesday night he called us and I GOT HIM BACK. So, it was great.

Wednesday: We went to Habitat for Humanity, unexchanged with Charleston, and then I went on exchanges with the one and only SISTER TERRY!!!! Sister Terry was trained in Inman so it was really fun to be able to talk to someone about all my Inman family. The nostalgia was REAL tho. Hey, if you're in Inman right now and you're reading this, I LOVE YOU and I MISS YOU!!! But Sister Terry is a boss missionary. We did some finding and went to see a less active family. While I was gone, Sister Hamilton and Sister Simons went and taught R, the deaf lady. Apparently it went well and we have another lesson with her this Wednesday.

Thursday: We went to sing at the nursing home, and Sister Hamilton started My Plan...AHHHH. Also we did some Facebook contacting. We also walked around and tried to find people to teach for a good while. That night we had ward coordination and a Facebook messenger meeting with the West Columbia zone leaders, Elder E and my good friend Elder B, because Elder E is also an ASL missionary and he was giving us some tips. 

Friday: We went to see S, our less active buddy, and mainly he told us a pretty incomprehensible story, but it was still a pretty good visit. We also saw our bedridden friend Sister M and sang her some hymns. We planned for our week and went to see K that night. K is my BFF. It was a good spiritual discussion about lots of different things.

Saturday: What a wild day. We started with service at the United Methodist Church of Knightsville. They are renovating so we helped them paint their basement. It was pretty fun, except they tried to feed me hot dogs. Also, paint smell gives me migraines! So that was not my favorite. Afterward we taught N the law of chastity...which went about the way we anticipated it going. Which was not very good. Please pray for her!! After that we had a less active call us and ask us to come over. She was in a panic about a lot of pretty easy things, which we talked through with her. Her mom was pretty impressed with the advice we gave her, and her mom isn't a member, so maybe we can baptize her...ahahaha. But it was a pretty eventful day from start to finish.

Yesterday: N cried all the way through church. She said the Holy Spirit was working on her. So that was good! And, I got to be the chorister for Primary!!! That was basically the best thing of my life. My companion videoed me, thank heavens. Oh my gosh I love children. Anyways, yeah, really good day yesterday.

Our mission is doing a pushup challenge today, so I did 200 pushups this morning and I can no longer use my arms. But I feel pretty accomplished - and I think most people who know me understand why. My arms are little noodles.

Anyways, that's basically everything. The stuff I left out was the bad stuff:) But I do love being a missionary! I love the gospel! I love repenting! And I love church! Life is good, fam. Even when it's bad, it's good. Or it's for our good. :)
K bye!
Don't let the muggles get you down!

Love, Sister Pew

Trying Okra chips

P-day in Charleston

P-day in Charleston

Elders wore the ties they made them


Watching Sister Pew in the Face2Face she was in

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

Week 62-The Happy Hands Club

This week we actually became language missionaries, which is where the subject of today's email comes from. Yes, ladies and gents, you are talking to one of South Carolina's newest ASL missionaries! And I will tell you about it in a sec.
So last Monday, we went to Moncks Corner for P-day. We met U there and she took us to a Mexican restaurant, which was pretty fun because there was another whole district of missionaries that were there celebrating one of the elders' birthdays. AND THEN WE WENT TO MEPKIN. It was great to be there again. Sister Hamilton loved it! And so did I. And we went out for ice cream after. Just like old times. Afterwards, we went to Palmetto Moon which is a touristy shop and I got some souvenirs for mi familia! Which they should be excited about. After that we went and taught N, which was a little intense. We were talking about baptism and she was like, "wait. Do y'all want me to be baptized again?" and we were like..."well yeah." And she thought that was super lame and that we thought that her being baptized didn't mean anything. But we ended all on good terms and we're still friends and she wants to get baptized, so that's good.
Tuesday we had DDM which was productive. We also went on exchanges with the YSA sisters. I stayed in my area with Sister Rice and Sister Hamilton went to the YSA. Sister Rice is a convert from Idaho and she served in this mission for 5 months 3 years ago but had to go home because of a foot issue, but she's back now. It was pretty fun -- we just happened to stumble upon a YSA-aged friend of a less active member in our ward, so that was really cool to see how God puts us where we need to be. Also we went to ASL class.
Wednesday after Sister Hamilton and I got back together, we went and taught N again. She was happier this time around and she just talked and talked and talked to us. It was really good. Really not much happened on Wednesday except that I just was reminded how grateful I am for my cute companion. She is super wonderful and I always miss her when she leaves. It's going to be hard when she goes home. :(
Thursday was a fun day! We went to an old folks home and had lunch with a recent convert named C. She is hilarious. One memorable quote from this excursion: "Sometimes you just have to be reminded that you're a jerk." HAHAHAHAHA it was great. Also we went to Staples with her because she drove us, and she needed to buy a printer, and so we just kind of wandered around in the store, and all of a sudden we hear her yell, "MADI, EMILY" and we were like, "what the heck???" she literally yelled our first names in the store. What the heck. after that we did a lot of finding. It has been so nice here! Like 80 degrees or more! And so there were people outside and we just did our best to walk around and talk to them. That night we saw K. That lady. I love her. She had a bunch of hard questions about sealings and stuff, and we felt bad we didn't really have definitive answers to them. But she said, "You may not know every single answer, but you bring what I need." And that means a lot coming from an investigator, people. I felt warm and fuzzy the whole rest of the day.
Friday we had interviews with President. It was great! I love that man. He is just hilarious and also so full of the spirit. Also we shoveled lots of dirt for this lady and we found a little mole. He was pretty weird looking and kind of cute and the lady wanted us to kill it. Nobody would though. So she threw it over the fence. Into the neighbor's yard. Welcome to South Carolina. We also went to see N that night and that was fun. It always is. That was also the day we found out we were becoming ASL missionaries. The Spanish elders found a deaf lady and our ward is the only ward with ASL interpreters because of our deaf member, so we are her missionaries. It's been a great time practicing every day and texting R, our new deaf friend who is investigating the church. She doesn't text in English grammar, she texts in ASL grammar, which is NOT the same at all. So we get to decipher that :) It is such an adventure to be a missionary, y'all. It just really is.
Saturday was a day full of service. First we went to a baptismal service, at which I was the pianist. Why does that always happen to me? Anyways, afterward we went to the Ms and cleaned their house for them and they fed us again. After that we went to help the Bs with our district leader Elder W and his companion Elder B. Those two are hysterical. They are so, so funny. The issue is, we were hauling a bunch of bricks, and that job requires muscles. Which they both had, and also Sister Hamilton. So then there's me. I don't have muscles like that. So I felt super useless the whole time. Luckily they all kept me laughing through the whole thing. Then we cleaned up and went to stake conference with N, which was awesome, except two of the speakers didn't show up so the stake president called us up on the fly to have us bear our testimonies. Brother R in our ward was kind enough to point out that I can safely go home because I correctly used the phrase "all y'all" in my testimony. But aside from that fiasco (it actually went really well, the Spirit definitely controlled my mouth and that is what we are after here, ladies and gents) it was great. It was wonderful to see some of my favorite people from the Moncks Corner ward. And N got to meet President Innes. So that was great.
Yesterday we had R, our deaf investigator, come to church with us. Afterward we had lunch at a member's house and had a great time trying to figure out ASL with her. We sort of taught her a little bit about Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon but that's about all we got. 
Y'all, the church is true. I'm serious. I love it and I love the Lord.
Don't let the muggles get you down!
Sister Pew
Mexican food on P-day in Mepkin

Trees in Mepkin

In Mepkin, again

Cool street sign

Interesting yard art

Sunday, February 25, 2018

Week 61 - "If you utter so much as one syllable I'LL HUNT YOU DOWN AND GUT YOU LIKE A FISH. If you'd like to fax me, press the star key."

I just really could not think of a good subject for this email so enjoy another Grinch quote.
On Monday, we had mostly a chill day. We made lots of ties. It was a good time. Then we went to the I and taught N, their friend they brought to church. We had a little family home evening with them and taught about the Book of Mormon and read Alma 36. N enjoyed it and we set up another appointment for Wednesday night.
Tuesday we went to Moncks Corner to exchange with the sisters at DDM! I went back to Moncks Corner and that was a blast. I loved seeing all my folks; and I got to talk to R and Sister G on the phone and that was wonderful. I was with Sister Landon from Idaho Falls. She is in her second transfer of training and is very sweet. We had some good discussions about the Savior.
Wednesday Sister Landon and I got Valentines for our companions before we unexchanged. I got Sister Hamilton some Lindt truffles and a plant. She got me some Sour Patch Watermelons and a little thing of raspberries. And she wrote me a nice card. After we were back in our own countries we did some companionship study and planned for our lesson with N. We then baked cookies, made dinner, ate it, and taught N. We taught her the Restoration and she loved it. When we were leaving, she asked us to come back and visit her on Friday
Thursday we went to the eye doctor to get Sister Hamilton new glasses because I broke the ones she had... When we went to Walmart to pick up frames, though, the lady that was helping us  and tried to go see J, the blind guy who I dreamt about. I knew he was going to let us in when we went over there. Aaaaand...his wife answered and didn't let us in. Didn't even invite us back. That was discouraging. I'm still wondering what I was supposed to learn from that experience. We then went to a Relief Society yoga night activity. One of the ladies in our ward just got certified as a yoga instructor so she taught it and it was really fun. 
Friday we did some service for the Ms, this cute nonmember couple. Brother M used to be married to a member but has never joined the church and his wife now is not interested, but they love Family History and they love the missionaries. We are trying to work on them with the Family History thing. They have a lot of good questions and they're in a geneaological society. So that's cool. But anyways, we swept up their back pool area. And Sister Hamilton and I were mightily entertained by the pool vacuum. Sister Hamilton especially. That night we taught K with Sister G. We read 2 Nephi 4 with her and we could tell she really felt the Spirit. Afterward she opened up to us a whole bunch and told us how nice that chapter was to read. That was a major step up from where we've been with K. So that was great. And then afterward we saw N...again. Which is always delightful. We read in 1 Nephi 1 with her. She enjoyed it a lot.
The next day we did some service for the Bs again. Afterward, they took us out to eat at a Vietnamese restaurant with their son who is leaving for the Navy soon and their daughter who leaves in June for her mission to Vietnam. The food was good but expensive! We also saw a bedridden sister, did some family history and went to see a couple.
Yesterday was a great day at church. And we had stake coordination where we talked with the stake president about the missionary efforts in the stake. He really wants us to emphasize family history. That has been way fun to get into.
I love y'all! It was a harder week for me, mainly just with the mental health, but all is well that ends well, I say. 
Don't let the muggles get you down!
Love, Sister Pew

Visiting old friends while on exchanges


Valentine's Day

Ties they made

Sunday, February 18, 2018


I don't even know what my life is. I really just don't. Missionary life. It's just. I can't. I don't even know. 
This week alone could be one of those Mormon movies. I think it'd be great. I'm getting bored after this 60TH GROUP EMAIL so I will just write it to you in story form I think. I might leave out a lot. But it's fine. Okay. Here goes.
Monday morning, the alarm goes off at 6:30. "It's P-day!" croaks Sister Pew in morning voice, and Sister Hamilton groans. The two roll out of bed, one of them uses the bathroom, and then they pray. "WE HAVE TO CLEAN OUR APARTMENT TODAY," Sister Pew tells Sister Hamilton after they've breakfasted, gotten ready and have read their emails from their family. "Tomorrow is the Shumates' last zone conference and we cannot let them down." Sister Hamilton nods, and the two get to work. Sister Pew has to sit on the counter to wipe the mirror in the bathroom. After they're finished, they go to refill their shocking and appalling fridge, which is low on everything except useless Spicy Hummus which nobody likes.
After shopping and emailing, the companionship heads to the church for district P-day, headed up by Elder W, fearless district leader. The elders are already inside playing ball when the sisters get there. They hurriedly change and join in. Sister Hamilton is a pretty good volleyball player, but Sister Pew sticks to basketball and learns a few lacrosse moves from Elder W. Then Elder W commands the district to divide into teams for District Olympics in honor of the approaching games. After several hilarious and ridiculous rounds of "events" such as skittle toss, piggy back racing, and a truly horrendous relay obstacle course thing, they decide to play chair soccer. Elder W wins 2 times and Sister Terry soundly beats him the 3rd. Then they play knockout, Sister Pew only just losing to Elder W once, only just losing to Elder B once, and only just losing to both of them once. But not bad!
After this the two are very sore. They try to deliver a Bible but to their chagrin forgot the Bible at their house, and so after a few other failed contact attempts they return home to finish weekly planning and coordinate for zone conference in the morning.
It's bright and early the next day, and revelation begins to flow as President Innes stands and, in normal, loving fashion addresses us on the importance of personal conversion and commitment to Jesus. We roleplay. We eat. And Sister Pew and Sister Kim sing a musical number. After that, it is the STL and zone leaders' turn to address the zone and share the zone vision, which is to purify our desires (Mosiah 28:3). It goes well, despite some nerves from Elder E and Sister Pew, who are first-timers at all this.
Afterward, Sister Pew and Sister Hamilton say goodbye for a time -- Sister Pew is going on exchanges with the hermanas, Hermana Bechtold and Hermana Jones. It goes really well -- Sister Pew gets to meet the fabled recent convert M the bullfighter, who commits to read the Book of Mormon and tells Sister Pew her Spanish is pretty good, even though it really isn't. Also, Sister Pew learns how to pray in Spanish and actually does it! And the hermanas are very complimentary, which is good. It is around this time that Sister Pew starts to feel very ill. But she says nothing and the 2 hermanas plus their gringa comrade go to English class. They weren't expecting much, but their potential investigator O brought 4 friends with him! The class was very busy and fun. They talked about how to tell people what they do in the morning, like brush your teeth or say your prayers.
Upon returning home, Sister Pew succumbed to illness, and the hermanas did a fabulous job of taking care of her. (The hermanas are just fabulous in general.) The next morning, feeling "good, not great", the 3 head out to teach Z, a wonderful mother who is very open to the Spirit of the Lord. After the lesson, they wrap up their exchange and use the opportunity of her absence to purchase a birthday surprise for Sister Hamilton - cotton candy, her favorite.
After this they go to sing at a nursing home. Here Sister Pew also gets to meet the legendary S and sing a solo for all the old people, which they were very appreciative of. It was very cute. After this the two reunited - Sister Hamilton and Sister Pew were happy to be together again, because they love each other. Together they returned to the Bible referral's house, this time with an actual Bible, and delivered it and a powerful message about Jesus Christ. The Spirit was strong, but when asked if she'd mind them coming by again, she seemed to pull back from the Spirit and said, "well, I'm really busy." Then she added, "Also, I want the full Bible." And the sisters went, "Uhhh...pretty sure that is the full Bible." She's like, "no, a thick one, with tabs." So they went home feeling vaguely discouraged.
Thursday Sister Pew awoke feeling no bueno. The two went to see a member who was recently baptized named C, and though C is hilarious and somehow ended up talking about the Donner Party and cannibalism a lot, through the whole lesson Sister Pew was just feeling worse and worse until finally, afterward, she requested some time to go home and nap. Sister Hamilton heartily agreed, having noticed her companion's schlump and her lack of the usual pizzazz and also remembering that there was, in fact, a flu epidemic circulating around South Carolina. So, in and out of sleep, Sister Pew has an odd dream. She can very vividly picture a house with a black door, and when she knocks on it, a cute African American man whom she knows is named J is inside. And J NEEDS a Book of Mormon. Upon waking, Sister Pew writes down the dream. And immediately is almost entirely healed from her illness. "WE HAVE TO GO FIND J." they both decide. But how? They settle for some knocking. Nobody named John was found, but it was still good. And then the two went to visit a member named R. 
Friday they awoke and Sister Hamilton was thrilled to discover the cotton candy she had been purchased. That morning they did some service and saw a member in the hospital, then did some weekly planning. President Innes called to wish Sister Hamilton a happy birthday, and then some members threw Sister Hamilton a dinner party at the church where they played the "how well do you know Sister Hamilton" game and Sister Pew won by a roaring landslide, but Bishop W's answers were by far the most entertaining. Not to mention, the YSA sisters heart attacked the door, and the Summerville 3rd sisters got Sister Hamilton Zebra Cakes, flowers and balloons. To top it all off, Elder W gave Sister Hamilton a rock that said "suck on this" which sounds really rude, but it's actually a reference to the Office, which Sister Hamilton loves. So she thought it was sweet. All in all, it was a very wonderful day.
Unfortunately, it was not to last. The only redemption Saturday had for itself was that right at the tail end of the day, the forlorn sisters visited a member who gave Sister Pew a sweater. Every door knocked either did not respond or was less than friendly. Every plan made fell through. Luckily though, the sisters did not lose hope. "Tomorrow is going to be wonderful," they vowed.
And they were right. Two different members brought an investigator/family to church. One was named N and she came last week as well, and the sisters have planned to see her today. But the most jaw-dropping miracle was the other family. As the sisters went to leave the church building they ran into an African American family. Sister Pew stuck out her hand to greet the man, who didn't see her and continued on. As he left, Brother S called the sisters over. "Did you get to meet J, Brother C's friend?" he asked. "I gave him a Book of Mormon. Large print. He's legally blind."
The wheels in Sister Pew's head started turning. "J...Book of Mormon," she thought. "Those two things sound familiar together." And then, the memory of the dream, and the face of the man she had just seen, came colliding into her brain with astonishing force. "J?" she said weakly. Sister Hamilton looked at her, confused. "Yeah, that's his name," she said. And then Sister Pew said, "Sister Hamilton, J." And Sister Hamilton went, "Ye- oh." And then Sister Pew's eyes filled with tears. Brother S looked on in complete confusion, but the sisters knew they had just witnessed a miracle. BECAUSE REMEMBER THAT DREAM ABOUT THAT AFRICAN AMERICAN GUY NAMED J WHO NEEDED A BOOK OF MORMON? Yeah. (They also explained to Brother S, who went, "FREAKY. THAT IS A FREAKY STORY.")
The end.
Hahahaha, no not really. But yeah, that actually happened. This week I witnessed the promises of God be fulfilled. We got J's address from his member friend yesterday and felt inspired to try him on Wednesday. I am excited. It was just so perfect, after the bad day, to have something so wonderful happen. So if you're going through a rough patch, hang on. You never know what sort of miracle God has in place for you as the days roll on.
Don't let the muggles get you down!

Sister Pew

Goofy elder

Happy Birthday Sister Hamilton!

Sunday, February 11, 2018

Week 59 - "It's time to turn up the music."

Welcome to the new recipients of Sister Pew's weekly emails, including Elder Shumate and my Inman family <3
It's been a pretty great week!
Monday was a good day. We mostly just took care of some stuff. Buying groceries was rough because transfers always deplete your missionary savings fund, and also it was the very tail-end of the month, so that was stressful. But $5 of personal funds later, we had some (not lots, but some) food in the fridge, which is much better than when I first arrived. This week we have enjoyed chicken and broccoli, plus some much-needed member meals :) Anyways, so after we went shopping I made cupcakes and Sister Hamilton did something else. I really actually don't know what she was doing. And then I real quick cleaned the apartment while she showered, and then we made the long trek up to Columbia so we could stay the night before our morning session of Missionary Leadership Council! We spent the night with the Columbia sisters, Sister Mock and Hermana Chappell, and the Florence sisters, Sister Ranada and Sister Janke (who was my MTC companion, yoohellooo!). It was lots of fun, except that we had to sleep together on an absolutely atrocious air mattress, and so anytime either Sister Hamilton or I moved, we both woke up because it made a very loud noise that sounded like an elephant having a bowel movement. I'm serious. It was terrible. Also the Columbia apartment is pretty old, and it gets FREEZING in the nighttime. And all I brought was a little thin blanket. *siiigggh* so neither of us slept super great, but that is okay!
Because MLC was so great!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! MAN it just was a really awesome experience for me. I learned a couple things there:
1. Obedience is important. Like super duper important. But also, it is not part of God's plan that we are commanded in all things. We should be in tune with the Spirit enough to know what God would ask us to do.
3. We as missionaries are too focused on the little technicalities of the gospel (the dance steps) and not focused enough on the beautiful doctrines and applications thereof (the music). President Innes said that it's time for us to "turn up the music". And I couldn't agree more.
Man, it was just such a good meeting. Halfway through we roleplayed a couple different finding scenarios, and we were supposed to just sit down randomly in groups of 3, and my companion and I were the first two in the room, so I just sat down in a chair. And who decides to come sit by me? Why, Elder B of course. Elder B, formerly of Boiling Springs, who is now in West Columbia, who is the greatest ever in the whole world. And then who joined us? Why, Elder P of course. Elder P, formerly of the Ridge Rage district, AKA the ringleader of the KungPao Buckaroos, AKA ALSO the greatest ever in the whole world. So I got to roleplay with 2 of my favorite people in the mission and that was lovely. I felt the Spirit super strong. It's just so nice to get to learn from other (better) missionaries and take their teaching skills into my area. After MLC we went to the mission office to pick up mail and stuff. We also saw the Shumates (who are my absolute favorites) and I was confronted by Elder Shumate about why he was not added to my email list. Right as I responded, "because I'm a fetchhead!" the whole room went silent. Like all of MLC was there. And they heard me tell Elder Shumate that I'm a fetchhead. It was pretty awkward, but Elder B and Elder E thought it was really funny. After that we went out to eat at a place called Groucho's. It was pretty good.
Wednesday we had a great district leader meeting in the morning. We basically caught the district leaders up to speed on what went down at MLC. It went really well. Then we had DDM. My new district leader is Elder W and he's a real homie. We basically talked about why numbers are important and the core of missionary work, which is Christlike love spreading to our brothers and sisters everywhere. After DDM we went to see a member named C. She's active but her husband is not a member. She is super sweet though and has 3  young boys. The oldest, M, is 6 and he is HILARIOUS. He's one of those kids who knows waaaaay too much for his age. Like, he asked his mom if their neighbors attended the Church of Christ. It was just cute. And then N, the second oldest, spent the duration of our visit in a Chewbacca suit, so I knew we were going to get along just fine. He was really sweet. And the youngest is R and he was wearing Christmas pants with a Minions shirt. So that was wonderful. We had a short lesson with the boys about how we can follow Jesus better, but they don't have the largest attention span so we mainly just talked to their mom about her experiences in the church. That evening we had a lesson with our investigator K. She is so beautiful! We taught her the Restoration and after we talked about living prophets, she asked, "Well, how do you know that this Nelson guy is a prophet?" Sister Hamilton and I were able to just bear our testimonies to her about how the Spirit confirmed to us that he is a prophet of God. She was super impressed and said something like, "That's a really good answer because no one can tell you differently if the Spirit told you it was true." She wants to know for herself. After that we had ward coord and we were super hyped up about our lesson so it went pretty well.
Thursday was one of those days where you work super hard and nothing happens. HAHAHAHAHAHA. But it's okay. We started our day by singing at a nursing home, which was my favorite. Then we went out to the middle of nowhere and tried to see some people. But everywhere we tried was a dead end, literally like there was no houses there. It was just crazy! Luckily we had a great member meal that night with a family named the Gs. They are super sweet. Brother G is a convert and his wife brought him into the church. Both had opportunities to bear their testimonies to us about the Restoration, and they wept. It strengthened my faith in a latter-day prophet and that God directs His church.
Friday we did some service at Habitat for Humanity. We hung up some very stylish clothes and stuff and put them on the racks for people to look at. We also got to plan Zone Conference, which is next week, over Messenger with the zone leaders, Elder E and Elder H. For your information, those two have long been said to be the sweetest elders that have ever walked on planet earth, and it is not a lie. They are probably 2 of the most Christlike people I've ever met. And now they're companions and it is wonderful. I'm serious. We asked Elder H if anything makes him angry, and he thought for a minute, and then just goes, very seriously, "sin." I just really am not worthy. Anyways, so that was an experience from start to finish. They are both very concerned with making sure the Spirit is with us at all times, so it was really good and we got a lot done. We then planned for our week. After that we went to see the V, a family whom I actually visited multiple times when I was in Moncks Corner and would come here on exchanges. So that was super awesome. WE ARE GONNA GET THEM BACK TO CHURCH. Mark my words.
Saturday we started out the day serving one of our members, the Bs. Brother B is less active, Sister B is active, and their daughter E just got her mission call to Vietnam! They are in the midst of redoing their house so we were mainly packing up a lot of kitchen stuff. The elders came with and helped out, and afterwards they fed us really good sandwiches. Except I may have spilled avocado all down my front. But hey, they were good. I'm just happy we had avocado to spill on my front. After that we went and sang for a bedridden member in the ward, and then we went and tried to do some finding with no success, but possibly I did one of the most awkward door approaches ever my whole life. We were like, "Okay sweet have a nice day" and then got in the car and laughed our heads off. We also had a great lesson with K, the investigator who drove us down to our area. Basically she told us that if she were to be baptized now it would be for other people and not because she has a testimony of what we're teaching her. She also doesn't know why we would ever need to know all the things that we know about the Plan of Salvation. She just trusts that God will work it out. Which is good, but it does answer some major faith questions like "What happens to people who never get the chance to hear the gospel" and "what is our personal responsibility as God's children". Anyways, we were able to just discuss stuff. I'm pretty sure K and I would have hung out with each other in high school. She is my type of person.
Yesterday we fasted for the finding efforts of the missionaries here. We are all struggling to find people to teach. K came to church all by herself, and the ward is so good about being welcoming and kind. They treat her like a member, and that's great. We did a lot of study, practiced an upcoming zone conference musical number and coordinated our stuff for zone conference with President and the ZLs. 
I just love being a missionary! I love it so much! There is literally nothing better.
Don't let the muggles get you down!

Sister Pew

From MLC (Mission Leadership Conference) with the Shumates

MLC-President is in the middle Sister Pew far right

Goofy picture

Sisters they stayed with

Elder Shumate--he helps with mission things

New friend

Sunday, February 4, 2018

Week 58 - "OKAY"

HI !!!
Yep, I'm back in the southern part of the mission! I'm SO PUMPED. YOU DON'T EVEN KNOW.
So my new companion is Sister Hamilton. She might be the funniest human bean ever in the whole universe. My abs are actually sore because I have just laughed so hard. Oh my goodness. It's been so fun.
So, most of Monday-Wednesday was spent saying goodbye to people. I LOVE the INMAN WARD. OH MY GOODNESS. And my district -- that was rough.  And then we got to sleep at the Hermanas because Sister Larsen was staying with them while Sister R and I went down to transfers. So we had a really fun sleepover, briefly interrupted Elder E and Elder B while Elder B packed, got a plant, told a bedtime story, and didn't really sleep all night because I was FREAKING OUT.
So the next morning was uuuuuber sad. We got all my stuff out of the car and just waited outside for Sister R for a little bit. The saddest thing in the world was watching Elder E and Elder B say goodbye to each other. I couldn't even. It was too much. It was also hard hugging Sister Larsen goodbye. That little missionary is going places. As we were leaving Inman I said a little prayer of thanks that I got to serve in that beautiful place. Oh my goodness. Sister R and I talked the whole way and I'm glad she was there or I'd probably have just cried for the whole 1.5 hours it took to get to the Irmo building. 
So I showed up to transfers and we had a new STL and ZL meeting with the assistants. They were basically like, "be obedient, be cheerful, have faith and baptize everybody" and we were like, "alrighty sounds like a plan stan" and then they let us go into transfer meeting. I slowly watched while everyone got their transfer calls. They did my zone last. So I was like, one of the last people called. And it was pretty anti-climactic because my companion wasn't even there. But it took me forever to get out of transfers, because 1) SISTER HAWS WAS GOING HOME AND I HAD TO LOVE ON HER 2) so was Elder R and I had to say goodbye, 3) SISTER GOETTSCHE WAS THERE AND GOING TO TRAIN IN SENECA 4) I just know this whole freaking mission now because I GO TO ALL THE TRANSFER MEETINGS and 5) there were 2 of us riding home in a tiny little Sonata with 6 suitcases between the 2 of us and 4 people in the car. Our ride home was one of my new investigators, K, and her member RM husband T, who are the cutest ever. Yep. So then I got down here and it's just been hectic and wonderful since then. A couple of things I felt like I should note:
-one of our sisters got put in the hospital. What a great way to start my new assignment. She had a kidney stone. Which she passed. With no pain meds. We went to see her in the hospital and it's a good thing she's fetching hilarious or I probably would have started crying.
-I BROKE SISTER HAMILTON'S GLASSES IN HALF ON ACCIDENT. I was trying to look at her pictures by her bed and did not notice that she had put them down there...
-We have been listening religiously to Hank Smith, who always says the word "okay" really funny.
-Sister Hamilton LAUGHS AT EVERYTHING. I feel like I'm really hilarious. It's great.
-Sister Hamilton is additionally my soulmate and everything I've ever wanted in a companion, so that's the best. 
-I have been taking pictures of trucks and stuff like crazy. Shoutout to Sister Larsen and Elder H and Elder C
-I met a dude yesterday at church who knows Sister Larsen's sister because they served in the same mission. I don't remember his name but I'll take a picture with him the next time I see him.
-We got to go to R and E's baptism, who are Portuguese investigators that the hermanas down here have been working with. In fact, when I met E and showed him a picture of Hermana Crofts, he said, "SHE IS MY DAUGHTER IN THE HOLY SPIRIT." He was so excited and it was adorable. He also saw Elder C in the same photo and said, "C!" really loud. He then proceeded to add me to the legendary Language Class group chat on Facebook. Also, apparently my last name in Portuguese means "shut up" or something, and E tried to tell me this soooo many times and I couldn't even understand. And I haven't stopped laughing about it. 
-Also, there is this LEGENDARY member of the Spanish branch down here named J. Everyone who has served in the zone knows J because J is the best. I'm serious. I love this guy. I got to meet him at the baptism and I showed him a picture of Hna. Crofts and Hna. Jensen and he went, "ah yes, Seester Crofts and Seester Jensen." I used some of my paltry Spanish to somewhat communicate and he got really excited for me, but I had to explain that I'm not actually a hermana and I can't really speak Spanish, and Sister Hamilton just thought the entire conversation was hilarious. It was a really great experience. Man, I love these Spanish people, and I can see what the Spartanburg hermanas were talking about when they said it was the promised land!
-We had a couple really good lessons this week. I found my new 5 or 6 year old boyfriend (I have at least one, maybe more in every area). His name is A and he is A's son.
-THIS WARD IS GREAT TOO. I am just blessed I swear.
This is kind of a weird email because I don't know enough about this place or my job to tell y'all all about it, but I promise when I get more in the swing of things these emails will get better. We did have call-ins with the zone leaders, call-ins with President and the APs, and call-ins with the sisters in the zone. We'll have missionary leadership conference (MLC) tomorrow, I'm totally singing for it. And I go on my first exchange next week after zone conference!
I love my life, I love the gospel, I love being a missionary, and most of all I love my Savior!
As a last, quick note -- I was sad to hear that my good friend Cameron Keetch's dad, Von Keetch (who was a general authority) passed away this week. Cam is still on his mission in South Africa and I know he would appreciate your prayers for his family as he is trying to help his family come closer to Christ during this difficult time. 
Don't let the muggles get you down!

Sister Pew
last time with district 

on her way to the new area

New companion

broken glasses, oops!

New companion

visiting a sister in the hospital