Wednesday, February 12, 2014

One final time (Week 74)

Hello, hello!

     So, today this email is going to be super short because things have gotten all switched up and changed around here. I was supposed to go down on the transfer train tomorrow morning to Charleston for the transfer meeting and then go to the mission home and meetings from there... But, because of the big storm I guess that is coming on thursday I think, they have moved the transfer meeting to friday, so all of us missionaries going home will miss it. They want to get us few to the mission home before it hits though, so they called us late yesterday afternoon and said that they are getting all of us today (Wednesday). I am going to have to meet at the church at 2 then a member couple will take me over to Parkersburg, WV where I will meet up with an elder going home and the AP's and then will ride down with them to Charleston today. Then I guess we will just hang out or something til we leave friday. Sister Searle is having to meet the Buckhannon sisters at the church and then will go down with them until transfers friday afternoon. So, all of our plans for today were shot for saying goodbye and stuff. We were running around all last night to try and get things done and have been going all day today as well. I couldn't sleep last night either because I had so much on my mind about life here, what I had to do, and just trying to figure everything out. I am so exhausted but that's ok. What a way to end my mission...with a whirlwind. I love it though!! They moved p-day to tomorrow as well but I don't think I will be able to get one so I just had to write one last one. I only have a couple minutes left so I just want to leave my testimony with you.

     I know that God, our loving Heavenly Father, and His son Jesus Christ live!!! They love us so much and only want the best for us! They are in every detail of our lives and know exactly what we need to grow and become better, and will place those things in our paths to help us. We are given trials and challenges for a reason- to improve and overcome our faults and weaknesses. I know that as I have been out here, it seems that all of my faults and weaknesses have come out at different times and it's been so hard, but I have been able to refine them because of the experiences that I have gone through. I testify that Heavenly Father is completely aware of us and never ever leaves us alone!! He loves us with an infinite love and will guide us through the Holy Ghost to safer and higher paths. I know that as we turn to Him in humble and earnest prayer, seeking righteous desires and help, He will answer our prayers!!! Every prayer that we say is heard and answered, but in His own time and way. It won't always be in the time and way that we are wanting things but it is the time and way that will help us grow the most. I testify that the Book of Mormon is true and that it is another testament of Jesus Christ! There is no other book with so much power and purity in it and that will change your life as much as this book. As I've had the opportunity to study and learn from it and apply it into my life I have gained such a stronger testimony of my Savior, who He is, and that this gospel in its fulness is true. I love the Book of Mormon so much and am soooo grateful for it! I encourage everyone to read from it with a sincere desire to learn and then ask Heavenly Father if it's true because He knows what is true and right. I know that we have the priesthood power of God on the earth today and that this power is real! I have seen miracles because of it!! I know without a doubt that The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints is the Lord's true church on the earth today!!! It is amazing what we can learn and how we can change because of this church! I am so incredibly grateful to be a member of this church. I have absolutely loved being a missionary for these 18 months and have learned so many things that I will never forget. This experience has truly changed my life and I will be forever grateful for it because the experiences that I have been a part of here can never be replaced!! I love being a missionary and representing my Savior because I have truly felt His love for His children out here and I love it! This work is true and we all need to be a part of it!!

                                                      Love, Sister Jenna Higgins  

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I officially hate snow! (Week 73)

Hello family!!

       So, let me just tell you that it is a very weird feeling that I have right now knowing that this is my very last pday that is a monday. I remember when I first came out into the field and had my monday pday and it was so exciting. 
      This week was a kind of crazy week and I don't even know what all happened because it went by soooo fast. We had President interviews and that was super great! I love President so much and he is just so wonderful! Our interview wasn't very long because he said that we would just have our longer interview in a short time. As I was coming to shake his hand he was like, 'how's my short timer??' So sad! 

      Well, we had quite the interesting lesson with one of our investigators this week and I'm pretty sure that it will be our last lesson with him. We were on the porch because the member that we had canceled on us. So it just kept getting weirder and then it was just awkward. He basically then just proposed to me while in the lesson and it was super weird. Then he kept referencing to it the entire rest of the lesson and I just felt so awkward. At the end of the lesson, I bore my testimony and he was just like, 'oh, you've got to do better than that if you want me to say yes.' Uh...yeah. Then as we were leaving he asked if we were coming back, we said ok, and Sister Searle was like, 'she only has two weeks left..' Then he was like, 'what? You can't leave me, we're practically engaged. I need to hire a lawyer or something so you can't leave.' So bad! He also said earlier on that I could still be a missionary but just had to be home by dark so I could cook him food! haha Oh my goodness, one of the most awkwardest and weirdest moments of my life!! It's a good thing that I will be leaving this area soon! 

      So, best miracle of the week!!!! Sister Richards and I had been trying to get a hold of a less active and he was super excited and happy to see us but we could never get a set time to see him. We went by this week to see if we could meet with him and we talked to him and set up a lesson on sunday. His dad is active in the ward so we went to his house to meet Pxxx Pxxx and his wife Gxxx!! They are amazing and I love them so much!! He said that he has been less active for a while but has felt the Lord knocking on his door and that he has been feeling the Lord lately. His wife is catholic but is not practicing either, but she is SO elect!! Oh my heavens, it was just like the best lesson that we had. We got to know them, talked about their life and what they are thinking, and then we showed them the mormon message, Lifting Burdens- The Atonement of Jesus Christ. The spirit in the room was so strong and it was so amazing!! Pxxx was crying and everything and Gxxx loved it! That is one of my favorite mormon messages because it talks all about how through this gospel we can become better and overcome all of our trials! I felt so much peace and the feeling that it was all going to be ok. And, I felt so much love for both of them! It was the best feeling ever because the entire time that we were talking with them I just felt so many emotions from our Heavenly Father for them. He wants to come back to church but doesn't quite feel ready, his wife really wants to learn more, and says she will go with whatever her husband wants....and they have two boys!!! They are such a great family and we both really feel that she will get baptized soon!! Such an amazing miracle!!!! I love being a missionary!!!

     Well, so much is happening here and I feel like time is going by so quickly! Yesterday we finally had church and it was the best! I bore my testimony and I hope that it was good! The Lord helped me through it and I didn't really cry at all...just at the beginning! I can't even tell you how many emotions I was feeling as I was up there! I love you all so much and hope that you have a wonderful week!!! Talk to you on wednesday!!
                                         Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, January 27, 2014

Get me out of this winter craziness!!! (Week 72)

Hello family!!

     How is it already monday?? This week went by super fast, but also slow. It's been weird. It's all just weird now because I'm just on a countdown and I feel like my life is going to be over, and so I don't want it to go so fast!! Maybe I should pray that time will slow down!!
     So, I guess I will just start by talking about last pday. After we emailed we then had a nerf gun war with all of us missionaries in the gym. We were trying to find something fun to do and that's what we came up with. Oh the life of a missionary! :) The elders set up tables all around in the gym for different barricades and then we started running around, shooting each other, and trying to get the other team's flag. It was so much fun and so crazy! Then I decided to run to the other side and get a teammate out of jail. I was on a dead run to get them and someone was behind me who was going to shoot me. I was kind of falling too and so I tried to do a dive thing, hit the ground, did a flip thing, and then my head slammed into the rack of chairs...and then I stopped!! It was awesome!! The only thing I got annoyed at though was I didn't even get my teammate!! I got shot right before I got there! lame! It was so cool though! All of the elders were impressed but super worried about me and immediately came over. It was ok though. I just sat there for a minute and then I was ok. Then later that night when we were out working I had a really big headache from hitting my head. Sister Searle demanded we call the mission nurse to see if it was a concussion. I didn't think it was though because I didn't hit it hard enough. We called and it was so funny. Sister Searle was like, 'well, my companion has a headache cause she ran into some chairs.' ha! Then I had to talk to her and it was so funny. Yes, I ran into some chairs with my head and now it hurts! haha We decided it wasn't a concussion, but she was like 'I bet you have a headache' and just laughed at me! Yep, I'm cool! I got a blessing from the elders and that was really good, just to help me feel better! I just love the power of the priesthood and knowing that it is the power of God on earth today! We went home and I just had to sit there with a pack of frozen peas on my head and not go out and work. It was terrible but so funny! Every time I laughed my head, be careful of chairs out there! They can be hazardous! :p
     Basically this week has been just one huge storm of TONS of snow, super HARD wind, and COLD weather... it has been awesome!!! haha Tuesday, we were advised to not go out at all because it was going to be so bad. We were not supposed to go out unless we had an appointment that we had to be at. All of our appointments called and canceled on us, so we just hunkered down and studied! I studied so much that my brain hurt so we just took some breaks and watched the snow going crazy outside! That night we still weren't able to go out and I was so tired of studying, so we decided to do something on my bucket list and see if sledding on trash bags really does work. We found out that it does not work at all on the grass! We got stuck every time! We tried it on the cement of the parking lot in the funeral home and we found one spot where it actually worked quite well!! It was awesome and we did it until I slid right into a huge pile of snow and got super cold! Then we ran inside to warm up because it was so cold outside. It was super fun though and a good way to end the day! I hate being stuck inside though because I just wanted to get out and find people to teach them the gospel!! Maybe I should get a dog sled team out here! That would be good so then I could go out on the roads and not have to worry about the car when we start sliding all over the place! That's one thing that has been crazy this week. We have been sliding all over the place and it is crazy! Sister Searle has been scared a lot and doesn't want to go out on the roads sometimes because the roads are so bad. But, I kind of am just like, 'let's go.' I just want to go out and find people and teach them! I wouldn't be so frustrated with all this snow and it slowing down our progress, but it's my last transfer and I'm on a countdown here. I only have a limited time and I just want to go out and do all I can right now and it's killing me to have all this snow! I guess the Lord is just throwing me one more big piece of humble pie before I go home! I need to learn patience and humility and know that it all goes how He needs it to go! Church was canceled again and I was so sad!! I was so excited for church because I love learning, feeling the spirit, and seeing all of the members! You get to renew your baptismal covenants and remember all that Christ has done for each of us! I just love church so much and was sad to miss it again! Next week!! My last fast and testimony meeting out here. So sad!!
     I love it out here so much and am grateful to be serving!! I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!!! I love you!!!
                                           Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, January 20, 2014

Sick week! (Week 71)

Hello family!!!

     Thanks for the emails and pictures! I love seeing them cause it makes me so happy!! Well daddy, I know who Marilyn Monroe is and what happened so that's why I said it cause my skirt flew up just like that! 

     So, nothing too exciting happened this week because Sister Searle was sick basically tuesday night to saturday morning. You would be amazed though at how much studying I got done!! haha I finished the Book of Mormon, read almost all of True to the Faith, some ensigns, and I don't know what else! I thought I was going to go crazy staying in the apartment that long, but we survived! :) It's interesting how my perspective has changed out here though. I know journal writing is super important but I have not been the best at writing in mine cause there is just so much to be done. I could have caught up on it when we were inside but I just didn't want to. All I wanted to do was study and learn as much as I could during that time, because I just love the gospel soooo much!! It's amazing how much I have been learning out here and experiencing. This really is such a good foundation to learn about the gospel because I am so excited to come home and have even more time to just study and learn about all that we can! The things we can learn are endless and it is awesome!! 

     We had one lesson on tuesday that was awesome! We have a member who introduced us to her friend so we have been meeting with her and she is great! We taught her the plan of salvation and it went great and our member participated a lot which helped her learn more too! Lxxxx (investigator) said she had been very confused about a lot of things with life and death and she just didn't like it and didn't know what to do. We had that lesson though and it was so cool, because we asked her at the end of the lesson what she thought and what she had learned from the lesson, and she was so amazed!! She said that she felt so much comfort and felt so much better now that we talked to her about everything and explained things better than anyone else ever had. She felt that way because what we taught her is true and she was feeling the spirit testifying to her that it is true and it is from God to her! I bore a final testimony to her and it was amazing! It was definitely not me talking but the Lord because I had so many thoughts coming to mind and words were just flying out of my mouth! It was so neat because I just felt so empowered and used by the Lord and it was just awesome!! I love having a testimony of this work and then sharing it with others because I know how much it will bless their life! Afterwards, our member was talking to us and said that when she looked over at me while I was bearing testimony I was so bright. She said I just had a huge, bright glow around me and that I just looked so happy, and that it was just like I had a halo over my head because I am just such an angel!! That was so nice of her and made me feel so happy! I love feeling the spirit and knowing that the Lord is right there with me because He is helping guide me to help His children! What an amazing thing!!

     We had another lesson as well and that one was really neat too! Kxxxx has been coming to institute for a while with a member and has been to church now 4 times and loves it. We showed her the restoration video and then were able to talk with her so openly about it all. She said that learning all of this is overwhelming because it is different than what she has grown up with, but that it is good and she really likes learning about it. She recognizes things make her happy, that people love her, and that when she reads she likes it. She had some really good questions for us and again the Lord was using me because I was getting scriptures coming to my mind and I was able to explain things in simple but direct ways that made sense to her. It was really neat as well! I love her!

     Yesterday, church was canceled cause we had a snowstorm...lame!! So, we had more time to work. We ended up doing a little get together where the missionaries came, and some members and investigators came and we all ate food and then watched 17 Miracles. It was AWESOME because we had a good time, people there, and the spirit was there!!! I absolutely love that movie and it makes me cry every time! I was sitting there watching the movie and I had so many thoughts and emotions running through me that I just started crying! Of course, you're thinking! ;) I have such a deep gratitude, respect, and love for the pioneers and all they went through for me! I can't even imagine all that they had to endure, but they kept going with their faith strong in the Lord. All of a sudden it just hit me so hard while watching the movie that I only have a few weeks left, and I was so sad. I cried about that because I love being a missionary so much!! It is the hardest thing I have ever done, but absolutely the best thing because I am learning and experiencing soooo much!! You can never replace this experience! I love it though and I love serving my Heavenly Father and learning more about my relationship with my Savior Jesus Christ and also more about who I am!!! I don't want it to end because it is so amazing!!! I am just so thankful for it all!!! I hope that you all have a wonderful week though and that you get all that you need to done!! Remember the Savior and all that He has done and is doing for you because He loves you so much!!! And, so do I!!!         

                                         Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, January 13, 2014

Hi!! (Week 70)

Hello again!

     Mom- I don't need any more foot warmers right now. Thanks though. I want to see Saratov (movie) sometime. Yes, we got an email from president talking about how there will be a new president and a little about them. But they won't give us more details until like june so I won't really hear any of it. Dad- Sister Searle is on her outbound. Sisters that go to a visitors center have an outbound mission where they go to a stateside mission and learn how to do missionary work more out in the field. With her, they send all the sisters out for the winter cause like noone comes to Nauvoo during that time so they send them out here for four transfers. She didn't know about it until she left a little before to go to Nauvoo.

     So this week was a crazy week and I feel like we got a lot done but at the same time not a ton because the days just flew by. It was weird! On tuesday it was soooo cold!!! We went out for a district meeting that morning and it was -4!!! I wanted to go curl up in my bed again! ha Our pipes luckily didn't freeze so that was good. A couple people had their pipes freeze so I'm glad that we didn't have ours. Our landlord said we didn't have to have a faucet drip but I did it anyway cause it took a minute and then went. Crazy! Our car almost didn't start either because it was so cold. That was a very fun day but we survived it. Sister Pitt had called us and said to not sacrifice our bodies for the work..aka don't be outside all day. We couldn't be out longer than like 20 minutes or else it would harm our skin. What a crazy day! ha 
      Our meeting with Elder Neilsen was soooo amazing!! Holy moly, it was so overwhelming because I had answers coming at me right and left and answers to things that I wasn't even thinking about. We had a wonderful meeting with him and he talked all about missionary work, but also about keeping covenants and how they all work together. I learned so much and the spirit was there so strongly!! I had so many moments where it was just tangible to me. It was crazy because I ended up reflecting a lot on my mission and all that I have gone through and experienced and all that I have learned. It was so amazing and I just really felt like the Lord is proud of me and that He is watching out for me!! It was a neat experience! I also saw a couple different members from past areas and that was so fun to see them. I loved talking to them and they were so excited to talk to me too! :p I love how I've made so many wonderful relationships out here. Hopefully I have been able to touch the lives of people around and influenced them in a positive way! I saw all my missionary friends and that was fun and then I was able to have a meeting with him for MLC with just a few of us and that was really cool! With the water chemical thing (water supply contaminated due to chemical spill) we couldn't wash our hands and couldn't drink from the water fountains either. Everything was blocked off with signs and stuff. It was crazy! We got one water bottle for lunch and that was it!

     So, for a funny experience we were going to see a less active and it was really windy out and I was wearing a skirt that liked to blow in the wind. As we were on the porch of a less active's house he opened up the door and right then the wind blew up and my skirt flew up. We were laughing so hard and trying to get my skirt down so we could talk to our less active! It was so funny but embarassing! Got to love all those wonderful moments out here! haha Sister Searle couldn't laugh too hard though cause her skirt got stuck in the door on saturday

     Well that's it for now because we are going bowling with the elders and they are all standing over me waiting for me to finish. So, I love you and hope that you are doing well!! I am loving it here and know that the church is true!!! Have a wonderful day!

                                 Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, January 6, 2014

Why is it still snowing??? (Week 69)

Hello, hello!!

      So this may be another short email again :( The elders were determined to get us to go out with them today for lunch and that is at 12, so I will try to type fast. Mom- glad you got my package (of excess mission stuff that won't fit in the suitcases). I may be sending another one sometime. I am fine wherever I sleep (when everyone is here for her sister's wedding) as long as I can just crash and get sleep. If I have to sleep in your room then I have to go to bed before dad so that I can get to sleep before he starts snoring!! ha but really! I need my beauty sleep for the wedding! :p  Who are your RS Counselors? No worries. I have already been thinking of things that I can try to help you with so don't stress about it. I will help you! That's so exciting about the Panters! Yay missions! If you could get those quotes from Bro Christensen I would love that! There are some people here that could benefit from it and I would love them too! Thanks! 

      As for sleep, I am getting eight hours a night and I have never been more tired in my life! I am just so exhausted right now (hope I don't get sick!), but that's ok. I am pushing through to the end because that's what I need to do! It's amazing though to see how the Lord really does sustain us and how He gives us energy and keeps us going even when we don't think we can. Sometimes I think my eyes are just being held open but it works!!! haha I love it though and this is the best work that I have ever done and I am just so, so grateful for the opportunity to be out here!!! 

      So, it has been so cold here lately and it is snowing so much!!! Since thursday we have had two big snow storms...lame! I thought I was going to get transferred, but Sister Richards went to Virginia and has like no snow and we are just getting so much! I want to get transferred so I wouldn't have to be up here for all the storms! ha Tonight it is supposed to get down to like -20 or -30 with the cold and wind chill, and we are supposed to get ice and snow. This is the coldest it has been here in like 20 years...yay!!! Of course that happens the winter that I am here! I thought I was going to miss it, but I'm not! It should be interesting. A member was showing us the forecast yesterday and they said not to be out longer than like ten minutes or you could get frostbite or hypothermia or even die...tomorrow should be awesome!!! Just pray for our safety and that we will be ok! Thanks!

    Transfers happened on thursday and Sister Searle got up here in the snow from sunny and warm Roanoke, VA and she was soooo cold!! haha She is from the thriving metropolis of Spanish Fork, Utah (next door to Mapleton, UT). haha She has been out 10 months but has only been in our mission for three months. She is serving in the Nauvoo Illinois Mission and is just on her outbound here for 6 months. She serves in the city of Nauvoo and at Carthage Jail as well. They are just there for the summer and then go somewhere else until the next summer. She is really cool, and is now starting to open up a little more since we have been together a few days. She is pretty quiet though and I have taught most of the lessons because of that. It will be ok though because I have learned a lot from her and I think she is just trying to get used to everything. She didn't want to get transferred here so she is trying to love it. She is great though and I love her a lot! I will learn a lot from her and know that she will keep me going this last transfer!

      I just want to share my great appreciation and gratitude to the pioneers, especially the Martin and Willie Handcart Companies. On friday, when there was a ton of snow and it was really cold, I found out that in one pair of my boots both of the feet had holes in them... So, I then soaked up a lot of water and snow in my shoe and had to go the entire day like that with cold, wet feet. It sucked, but I learned a lesson of humility. Think of the pioneers who had to travel across the plains in the snow with maybe no shoes at all, with their feet bleeding and numb, but they kept going. They kept going because they knew that what they were walking towards was Zion, safety, peace, and what they knew was true. They knew the Lord would provide a way for them and was watching out for them even though they were going through trials. For me, I was walking because I know the message that I bear is true and that it will bring us to an everlasting happiness with a strong faith in our Savior. I know that it will help these people come to their own Zion because they will have the restored gospel in their lives. So I kept walking because I want to find these people who need the truth! It was a hard and cold day but such a good experience because it taught me even more about the pioneers and how I am so grateful for them and all that they did for us!! 

     Thanks for all that you do!! I love you all and hope that you have a wonderful week!!! Stay warm and keep your feet dry! :)   

                                               Love, Sister Higgins

Thursday, January 2, 2014

Super Short this week! (Week 68)

Hello, hello!

      Alright this is going to be super, super short today so I am sorry about that!! (She raided Sis. Richards' memory card and sent lots of photos though!) I didn't realize that Kellie and Steve would be coming to see Grandma and everyone! That is awesome! I'm glad that they all liked him and everything! Aunt Linda and family are coming to the wedding?!?!?! Holy moly, that is so exciting to hear!!! I never would have guessed that so that is super cool!!! 

     So, transfers are tomorrow and I am not to excited for them cause Sister Richards and I are being split apart! :( We talked to President yesterday and it was so funny. He was just like, "I know this is hard for you two because you love each other so much and have such a good relationship, but we need to share the wealth with the rest of the mission." hahaha I love it! People are so sad here that they are splitting us up because they all think that we are just the power companionship. Someone was like 'you're just beasts in your area!' ha It's kind of true though because I think that we really do have a lot of power in our companionship, but now after two transfers they are splitting us up :( So.....Sister Richards is going down to Blacksburg, VA to greenie break a girl that just got trained. She will be a solo STL down there. I will be staying here in Bridgeport and will be companions with Sister Searle who was an STL down in Roanoke. I am excited but so sad to see Sister Richards go. We have had so much fun together and so many amazing experiences that I will never forget!!! I will be starting my fifth transfer here in Bridgeport which is so weird! I have been here since July! It will be so hard to leave here cause I love the people so much! I really thought I was leaving so I was preparing myself, but the Lord still needs me here in Bridgeport. It should be good though! Super weird and sad though to think I am starting my last transfer tomorrow! AHHHH!!!!! 

     Anyways, I don't really have like anymore time to write cause I did all the pictures and we don't have a ton of time cause we have SOOO much to do today. I will try to write a better email next time! We had an amazing week though and I absolutely loved it!!! :) Love you lots!!!
                                                       Love, Sister Higgins  

 Jenna has not changed!!  Very expressive face still!  This is in their apartment, I believe.