Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hello! (Week 41)

Well hello family!!
This week flew by for us as well and I don't even know what happened really because it went by so quickly! Thanks for the emails...even if they were both short. At least I got mail though! Sorry you all are so busy with everything but I'm sure your vacation was worth it! Thanks for the pictures. Looks like you guys had a wonderful time! I am jealous! haha Lindsey- it looks like you have a little thumb sucker on your hands! At least she is super cute though! I can't believe how big she is! Holy cow! She looks so different and grown up! I don't like missing the kids grow up :( The boys look so big too! Also, I loved your dress that you had on for graduation! You looked really good! Mom- I loved the picture of you holding emry and you look super skinny in the picture on your balcony! Nice work! Everyone looks good to me! 
Yes, I watched the broadcast last night too! I thought you would be crying at times mom ;) Our ward didn't announce it til yesterday, but I think people watched it in our ward. It would be such a great help to us to get the work going faster in our area because it was focused on how the members can help us as missionaries. Our ward is good, but I think they can get a lot more involved and things would pick up more. I think some people just think that we do all the work, but really we can't do anything without the members. Tracting is not as successful as talking with someone who knows a member and being there with them. So, it will definitely help. I received a lot of answers for personal questions that I was having and so that was good. I loved how they had the missionaries singing and I loved listening to the prophet and apostles. One thing that Sister Patchett and I talked about yesterday after it, is that we really loved it, but we would have liked to hear more. There was good council and a lot of inspiring words and I really liked how they did everything. But, at times I felt like it was just like 'look what can happen, now do this' and then sometimes they didn't explain how we could get to that point. But, I enjoyed it though and really liked it because the Lord knows exactly what I am thinking and feeling, and what some of the people said was in exact words of things that I was thinking and wondering about. So, I know that He is aware of me! :) Dad- yes, we go to ward council. 
So, one thing that has been really cool to see is what our cards have done to the ward! We got all the ones that came back to us and gave them to bishop yesterday and he was so excited, proud, and thankful to us for doing that because now they can figure out the roster better. So many people talk about the cards and how they are hanging up on their fridge and how that was just so wonderful! They said that even though they are not less active the card really helped their family with things that they were struggling with. So, that has been a builder for me that we needed to do that and that it was truly inspired! It's just cool how we hear little comments about how it helped this less active and now they want to come to church again, or how it helped this struggling member, or how it was just so thoughtful of us, or how smart. It has been a week of little compliments and miracles everywhere. Another thing, was that we got a referral from a bishop like two weeks ago. We couldn't catch her for a couple days. Then I just felt like we needed to get her flowers. So, we got flowers and she was again gone from work, but I just wrote a note to her and we left them there. That was last Friday. That sunday our bishop said that she had been talking to one of our members saying how nice and caring that was from us, and that maybe she ought to talk to us more. Then yesterday our bishops wife told us that this woman wants us to help her in some way (I said in the card we wanted to help her in any way that we could), so she was trying to think of things for us to do. Then she handed us a card from her which was super nice, just thanking us for everything and for the care in her time of great need. It's just so exciting for me to see this all start to happen in this last little bit because since I got to this area it's been hard, but it's coming together now and I am so happy!!!
We really wanted to teach this one guy cause he had been reading some stuff and said it was interesting, but he says with his work schedule he won't be able to meet with us. We've been texting him though and it is really good. He thinks that we are just the nicest people, and is so grateful to have met us because he says that he doesn't usually meet friendly people but we are just wonderful! We are going to try to see what we can do with him.
We also are going to a bbq on sunday with our family that we picked up last Saturday. We wanted to meet with them either yesterday or Saturday but they weren't able to, but she called us and wants us to come over, and she will have a friend there and we will teach them too. I am so excited for them because they are just so prepared...they just don't realize it all the way right now :p  
On Saturday, we had breakfast with an investigator who said that she is our spiritual mother (she's the one we went to church with.) I don't know if she is all the way prepared right now or not. We are trying to figure out the best approach to teach her because it seems like she always wants to quote the bible, one up us, and teach us. So, I don't know, but I DO know that we needed to meet her and be there for her right now. We went in and immediately I knew that something was off and that something was wrong with her. I didn't want to pry so we just went along and just loved her and didn't say anything. Then she just kind of broke down after breakfast and told us things that were going on and I felt so badly for her. She couldn't even explain how incredibly grateful she is for us because she needs us so much right now. She knows God sent us to her for a reason to love, support, and uplift her and she is so grateful to us. She calls us her two little angels! I told her I was grateful that she trusted us to tell us that stuff because I knew something was off but didn't want to ask. Then she proceeded to tell me that I was more than a missionary...that I was a prophetess as well. Er...haha that was a little interesting, but I do know that I came to White Sulphur to meet her and help her! :)
We went to a llama festival and that was fun although like no one was there! I got to get a picture with a llama though!! :) Oh, one more cool thing. We were teaching the plan of salvation to a member couple Saturday night (they fed us indian curry cause she is indian. It was super good, but so hot! I was almost crying and my nose was running, but I ate it!! :) That was the first time Sister Patchett had curry and she was struggling! haha!) So, we taught them and I was dying with laughter because they kept pulling jokes, getting into 'arguements' in the lesson, and I don't know what. It was so much fun, but it was funny because it was one of the most spiritual and best lessons we've had too! I love them! At the end I was going to just bear my testimony to them about it and we would end the lesson. We got to that point and my mind was blank. I could not pull anything out of it to say to them. All I could feel was an overpowering sense of love for them that I knew was coming from our Heavenly Father, and He was showing that love through and to me. So, I just started talking and it was so amazing because things that I didn't know I was going to say were just coming out of my mouth and the spirit that came into that room was so strong. It was testifying of the love for them from our Heavenly Father. It was so cool! We don't know what they are going through and what they are needing, but God does. As we are trying to speak for Him, He will put the words into our mouths that they need to hear to comfort them and strengthen them. That is exactly what happened then and it strengthened my testimony so much!
My testimony is growing so much and I have been feeling so good and happy the last little while! In like the past week and a half, since my blessing I have changed and am getting answers everyday to things that I need. I have been feeling confident and it shows. Sister Patchett said that too. I think some people now stare at me because I am just too happy! haha I am absolutely loving serving with Sister Patchett!!!! She is incredible and amazing and I just love her so much!!! The Lord knows exactly what we need! 
We are in Covington right now for a district pday and I do not miss the smell here. yuck! Anyways, I love you all and hope that you are doing wonderful! Have a fantastic week and know that I am doing well! Just keep praying that we will find investigators and see success in our area. It's coming though!! I love you!! Sorry this is so long!!!
                                                         Love, Sister Higgins  

Monday, June 24, 2013

Happy Monday! (Week 40)

(Once again - I am late posting this email due to a vacation without good internet access.  This was Jenna's email sent on 6/17/13.)
Hello again family!
First off, Happy Birthday Lindsey!!! Second, Congratulations Isaac!!! Wohoo!! You survived! And thirdly, Happy Anniversary tomorrow mom and dad!!! 
Ok, did this past week go by quickly to anyone else or was it just me? That week just flew by so fast! Also, I hit my 9 month mark on Wednesday! That's a scary and crazy thing! I'm more than half way done with my mission! Ah! Anyways, thanks for writing to me even though you guys were tired! It's always nice to see emails in the inbox from the family...especially since I've been going through a drought of no snail mail for over a week. It sucks! Oh well... at least every day when I open it I see that our pincher bugs are still there to tell me hello :D Glad to hear that all went well with the cruise and that you had a wonderful time! I'm jealous, especially about the zipline! The verandah sounds awesome! Thanks for the pictures too! Sounds like it was a good success then and that you had/are having a nice break...me too for six more hours! :P 
Let's see, this week was good, but it went by so quickly that I am trying to remember what even happened! Sister Patchett hit her 2 month mark on monday and I hit my 9 month mark on wednesday, so to celebrate we got ice cream on tuesday! We had to teach young women's yesterday so we planned our lesson and I learned a lot more about how young women can honor and uphold the priesthood in their lives. I learned a lot and found some wonderful talks on it. We had an awesome lesson that we had prepared, and then when we went to church yesterday not one girl showed up to church. So, we didn't get to teach our lesson. How rude! We still think that we are pretty cool though ;) 
We had specialized training (similar to zone conference) for our zone on thursday and that was really good and taught me a lot about how I can be a better missionary and trainer. It's always so wonderful to be together with other missionaries and President and Sister Pitt. I learned a lot and hopefully can apply it into my mission even more. Our role plays weren't the best because Sister Patchett had some breakdowns, but it's ok. She's getting better and stronger and everything will come together for her and she keeps enduring. She just needs a greater desire to actually teach people. We were supposed to have a crazy storm that same day like the storm that happened last year that knocked out power for a few weeks and destroyed a lot. We really only got a lot of wind and thundering, lightening, and rain. Maybe more will come though? 
We had the sisters from SVU come blitz our area thursday, friday, and saturday and that was fun. They taught me a lot and strengthened my resolve to work even harder. I learned how to tract better, talk to people better, and just figure out what more I can do in a day. It was a good learning experience and a humbling experience. The Lord has just loved doing that to me this entire time that I have been in White Sulphur, but it's good because I am learning so much. One of the sisters said that I have changed so much since when I came out and that I am just a fabulous trainer, am doing so amazing, and am so beautiful inside and out! She also said that i am just full of humility and always want to learn and help! That was super nice of her, although I am not what she says. I don't feel like a good trainer at all, but that's ok because I can always learn and improve and that's where the atonement comes in :) We had an awesome day on saturday because we went further out into our area that I haven't been to before. I had been having a feeling that we needed to go tracting out there for the past week or so, but haven't followed it. Saturday we did and we found so much success there!!! We have two potential families that are great, and we picked up another family as investigators and they are just amazing!!! AHHHH! We were all so, so excited! They are solid and are open to learning more and really want to know more. They want us to come for dinner and a lesson and they are just solid. I love it! The Lord is blessing us slowly but surely! I also, got a nice tan on my feet that day from my shoes, and I got a wonderful farmers burn/tan yesterday! We also got rained on while tracting so we are having some great times! ha That blitz though was a success and I loved it! I am so excited for this family, and hope that everything goes well!
Lastly, on wednesday we finally met a less active who I have been trying to get a hold of since march. We had been going for about an hour to less actives, formers, and potentials and no one was home. We were getting discouraged and it was towards the end of the day and we were tired. As we walked back to the car from one more unanswered door I just had this thought pop into my head that we needed to go see this woman. I kind of laughed because we have never caught her, but I went with it because we weren't seeing anyone else, and I just felt like we should. We went, pulled up to her house, and she was outside on her porch!! We ended up talking for like an hour and then she gave us fruit and it was wonderful! She said that she likes us a lot because we are so cute, and more laid back than other missionaries, and then she just said that she wanted to go to church! It was awesome! She didn't come on sunday but that's ok cause we are now working with her! It was such a miracle though and a testament that the Lord knew where we were and that we needed to go see this woman because she needed us at that moment!
Oh, last thing. The zone leaders had Sister Patchett and me sing a song at specialized training and that was terrifying! Everyone said that it was wonderful and that we did so well, but I think they are lying! One of the verses we messed up and kind of started laughing, and on my solo verse I was off key for a bit of it. But oh well! The spirit was there and that's all that mattered! At least we tried! It was good though! 
Sorry, this email kind of just dragged on. I hope that you are all doing well though and that you have a wonderful day at graduation! Congrats Isaac! I'm proud of you! :) Wish I could be there for all of these events, but I will be there in spirit and will see you in 8 months! Love to each of you!
                                                    Love, Sister Higgins
Happy Memorial Day ... and Confederate Day?!

Happy Memorial Day

I ate eel!  It was gross!

Look what I painted!

Pearl S Buck (2)

Love this!

My cut finger (not the best picture)

Our cards!!

Pearl S Buck

Secret Garden!

Some birds were attacking a squirrel so I tried to get the birds but almost hit the squirrel!

We are great at spray painting (2)

We are great at spray painting

We match!

 Memorial day- flowers I put on one of the grandma's of a member.

Sunday, June 16, 2013

Hello from West Virginia! (Week 39)

(Sorry this post is so late - Jenna sent the email to us last Monday,  but we were on vacation with very limited internet availability!)  

Hello again family!

I never have any cool titles for my emails, but today I thought this was cool! :) Maybe it's also because of lack of sleep and having a ton of other things on my mind but that's ok. Thanks for the emails! Dad- way to shaft me. What's more important a cruise or your daughter?! haha I liked your email though. Sister Gubler is still out and I think doing alright now. She was with Sister Tuckett for a transfer (she's the one who helped me out with my training.. She is an awesome missionary.)  I'm so glad that Sister Patchett came here. She is amazing!!! I love her soooo much! We have already decided that for the next 8 months we are going to stay companions (probably in white sulphur still, but we are also open to the idea of being transferred together), and then I will extend my mission so we can still be companions til Sister Patchett finishes her mission. Yep, already decided! Yes! haha It is such a joy to serve with her though because we both help and teach each other so much, and it is fun to be with her! I'm glad that you liked talking to Sister Meyer and Sister Bikman on the phone!!! I just love both of them so much, but unfortunately they are both in Utah for the next long time! Booo!! That was a lot of compliments that they gave me that I don't deserve, but I'm glad that they recognize that I am really trying! Even though we aren't having like any success here I am still trying and just loving everyone as much as I can.

Let's see, today it has been raining all day long!! So miserable but oh well. At least it's not that hot today and not that humid either so I'm not complaining! Basically all that happened this week is that I have now become a professional mover!! I helped move three families this week, painted walls, and cleaned houses! We were so incredibly exhausted, but at the same time we were so filled with happiness because we were serving people so much and they were appreciative of it. It was cool to see how grateful people were for our help. One family was just moving down the street and that move was huge, but we worked so hard and got things done for them. Sister Ott just ran out of words of how grateful she was for us because if it wasn't for us then they wouldn't have gotten it done or been ready. She said in church as well how much she appreciated our hard work. That was really neat and made me feel good. I feel like the ward is more receptive to us helping them and with others saying how much it helped it gets to others too. Things are changing here...slowly, but it's coming. I know it is. I'm not trying to brag either, but I really feel like I did most of that because when I got here it was not good. It has steadily been getting better though, and I know that this transfer is just going to be great. 

President and Sister Pitt stopped by on saturday to talk to us on their way through and that was so great to just talk to President by myself in person. He is amazing! He said I was doing a marvelous job and to just keep going and things will get better. He offered to give me a blessing as well, and it was perfect!! Things he said in there surprised me and others just comforted me and lifted me up. I know that this transfer is going to be a special one because he said things about it too! I just love it! I have never done anything so freaking hard, but it is also so rewarding and it is all a learning and preparing process!! I love representing the Savior and being a missionary to help others!

Let's see. We sent all of our cards out and are getting a lot back but we are also helping a lot of people too. All the active members loved it. I think I told you that we got a card from a less active woman expressing her love for us and thanking us for our care and concern. Yesterday our Bishop told us something about it as well. He said that a less active woman who hasn't come to church in 3-4 years (she and her husband were offended) came and talked to him at his work and said that she got a letter inviting her to come back to church. We didn't invite her in the letter but it just hit her that way because of the love that we had in the card. She said that she wants to come back to church and it was because of that card. She has never had a greater desire than now to come back to church and to be in that wonderful environment again. She is worried about what she has missed, and was so grateful for the card that we sent her. It was so amazing! That made me feel really good!

One of the most interesting things I guess though that happened was that we went to church with our investigator Judy last night. That was interesting. It was a penecostal church I think and it was an experience for both of us. There was a lot of singing, and crazy praising, and falling to the floor. I don't know. I felt so overwhelmed and did not feel the spirit at all, but I had a really cool experience there. They had a time for praying and healing and Sister Patchett and I were just sitting down and saying silent prayers to ourselves. I was praying and knew that Heavenly Father was with me, and as I was saying that I felt the spirit just encircle me and I knew that Heavenly Father was there and that He loved me. So neat. I will have to tell you more about that whole experience later, but going there only strengthened both of our testimonies that we have the true restored gospel. I am so thankful to be able to have the Holy Ghost and to have so much more knowledge! I love this gospel!! It's amazing!! I love you all and hope you are doing well! The library is really full today. I will try to send pictures today but if not then next week. Love you and have a wonderful week!     

                                   Love, Sister Higgins

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Hello (Week 38)

Well hello all!!
Sorry for the mad dash of getting your emails in...I feel like I'm someone at the byu testing center waiting for all the tests to get in on time. ha (Jenna had said P-day was Wednesday, but Tuesday afternoon she sent an email  [one post earlier than this one] saying she was online right then.  I happened to see the email and we rushed to finish writing our notes to her!) I will try to send pictures next week- my hair is doing fine. Mom- that is so exciting about you losing weight!! Keep it up...and then help me when I get home! :) Also, did you get Tom's address? I may just send a letter home and then have you get it to him. I'm so happy that he is doing well now. Dad- sorry about your ankle. I taught you well!! Although I would like to know the score of how awesome it looked when you fell. I didn't end up doing that 5k (with the med students last Saturday) cause I was helping someone move out. Ok, and ziplining and kayaking??? (on our upcoming Alaskan cruise) What the heck?! I want to do that!! No fair...want to take me when I get home?! ha 
Oh, so we are having six sisters come in this week of transfers, nine the next transfer, and nineteen the next one!!! Holy cow!!! This is nuts! Sister Patchett and I are staying together in White Sulphur for this transfer and we are both super excited about it. It will be interesting though because we are losing like half of our ward for the summer. We have med students that are moving out, and the rest of the med students are going home (all to Utah!!) for the summer, so it should be interesting. We are super sad about them going home though cause I just love them and they are so amazing! We are going to have our correlation meetings every week with our ward mission leader over the phone. ha! 
So, I don't even know where to begin. This last week though was sooooo rough for our little companionship! We are feeling much better though so that is a blessing because we really struggled last week. I'm not going to go into full detail because I don't have the time and I don't know if Sister Patchett would want me to tell you it all, but last monday she decided that she needed to go home, not because she wanted to go home but because she really felt like she needed to. She felt like the Lord really needed her to be at home to help things in her family life, but was confused because she was like why would He send me out here then? I did what I could to help her and tried to just talk it through with her and analyze it to see what she should do, but ultimately it needs to come down to her and what she is feeling. It was really hard for both of us because she was struggling with so many different feelings and the need to go home, and I was trying to help her all I could while feeling like I was again a bad trainer. Why? Because this would be the second transfer in a row that the girl I was training wanted to go home. I felt so crappy and was just questioning what I was doing wrong. These past few days I have really turned inward and tried to figure out what the heck I need to do better and to improve because I was feeling these feelings and I have been out halfway. I want to make this part of my mission even better and so I was just trying to figure out what the heck was going on and what I should change, do differently, study, pray about, anything. It just basically sucked. Sister Patchett talked to president and had a lot of little things happen that helped her to realize again that she needs to be out here. I am coming around again as well because of a lot of hard studying, praying, reflecting, and talking things out. Our ward mission leader is soooo amazing!!!!! He gave me a blessing on thursday and Sister Patchett one yesterday. We talked about it and all felt so good. He felt so happy and at peace too that he was about to cry as well (us two and his wife were crying already. haha I love his wife too!! She's amazing and just loves us so much!) He said that the blessings he gave to us were two of the most spiritual and powerful blessings that he has ever given and he knew that they came from Heavenly Father directly because he was prompted to say everything that he said. It was so neat to be a part of that last night because I was feeling so loved and known by the Lord. He knows me and knows what I am going through. And, He knows how to help me because He is the only one that has gone through exactly what I have gone through and knows all my thoughts, desires, intents, and everything. He knows me because I am His daughter. So, we both had a hard time, but after yesterday we are feeling much better and are a lot more positive about life. I know things will work out how they should and that the Lord knows what we are going through. He will bless our companionship because we are very unified and doing what we can to learn, progress, and help others. Sister Patchett is amazing and I just love serving with her. We are totally supposed to be serving with each other at this time because we have both helped each other so much already! I love it!
Let's see, the lady that knows the church is true has been an interesting adventure. We got a referral from herself from Hill Cumorah for a missionary visit. We called her saturday and talked to her and she wants to meet with us but she had just gotten back and was on her way to a wedding. She called sunday while we were at church and said that she would let us know when a good time is because her husband doesn't like how she wants to leave their church after 27 years, so yeah. At the end of the message though, she said quieter and rushed 'I still want to be baptized though.' It was awesome, and I loved hearing her conviction. I just really hope that we will be able to help her and her husband and teach them because I know that we can really touch them because of what we have together in our companionship. That's where we are at right now in that situation right now.
One thing I wanted to tell you was that we sent out our cards that we wrote for the ward and it was so fulfilling!!! We were so happy to be done with them! I think like 3 days after we sent them we got a card back from a less active just thanking us for our care and concern and for being willing to help others. It was a full card and made us soooo happy after coming home from a long, hard day. At church I don't know how many peopled just loved us even more and thought we were just amazing and were thanking us for the cards. So many people said they were going through such a rough time and when they got our card they felt so good because they knew that someone loved them and was watching out for them. We also had a couple people bear their testimonies about how that really helped them, and also just how amazing we two are and that we have such a strong spirit and that people need to invite us in more and really love us because we are so amazing!! Seeing and hearing all of that was exactly what I needed because it made me feel so good and I just wanted to start crying! I was getting frustrated in a way because I was doing so many things to try to help the ward get more excited about missionary work and to like us more, and this sunday something was different. Some people who have never fed us wanted to feed us, people were giving us hugs right and left, talking to us, and it was such a testimony builder for me. I know that the ward is changing and I really feel like the mood towards missionaries is changing. It really just takes a lot of tender loving care and helping the members in anyway so that they know that we love them and are here for them. 
So, even though it has been rough, we really are teaching only one person, and we are struggling in different things I know that it will be ok. We have faith that the Lord knows our situation and will bless us in the ways that we need as we keep trying! So, that's about it right now. Lots of service this week and helping people move. I am doing well though and am truly coming to know my Savior Jesus Christ even more. I am so beyond grateful for His sacrifice and love for me, for each of us to give everything to us. I love Him so much!! I love you all and hope that you are doing well!! Have a wonderful cruise and take pictures for me!!! :D
                                                           Love, Sister Higgins

Hi (Week 38)

I'm online right now to write emails. It's been a little crazy here. If you don't have time to write an email that's ok, just send me an extra long one for monday! ;) I will still be on for the next little bit. Just wanted to let you know. Sorry, that I'm early! Love you!