Monday, July 29, 2013

Hello! (Week 46)

Hello Family!!
Thanks for the emails!! I loved them and also the pictures!! So cute! I laughed when I read that Asher got lost...poor kid! I'm glad you all had a good time together though. Dad- thanks for the advice. I've gone early to church almost my whole mission so we can talk to people because it builds that trust and friendship. That's sad the elders (in San Francisco, where we were visiting) didn't do that. Thought I had told you but Sis Gubler is fine now I think. She gave me a run for my money, but about the end of the second transfer that she was here she had a huge change of heart. I forgot to mention in my last email but I am now a GRANDMA!!!!! hahaha She is training in her area so that makes me feel old. I have two daughters and a granddaughter for now. I'm sure it will grow even bigger before I go home. I liked your analogy about the love (milk) experience before they can get the gospel (meat). I had never thought about it in that way before but I like it. Looking back on my mission I feel like that is exactly what I have done. I really haven't taught a lot on my mission at all, but I have done so many acts of service and just loving people the whole time to help them know that someone is there for them and that they are important. I really like it. I am having a huge epiphany right now thinking through different things, so thank you!!! I am going to talk to President tomorrow about that since we have President Interviews tomorrow! Woot! Mom- no, you did not tell me about all your trips and travels. Sheesh! ha I want to go with you! Sounds fun though so I am glad that you guys are having a great time on all your adventures.
Can you believe that it is almost August already!! Holy Moly that is just crazy! Time is really going by quickly even though some days are so long. I see all these back to school things in the store already and I just laugh cause I don't have to do that again for a while! haha I probably will have forgotten like everything when I do start again but at least I will be a little smarter in the gospel which is more important! :) This past week has been hard for us again trying to get everything going so it's been a definite challenge for me, but that's ok. Sister Jang and I both feel like we are out of our groove here, so we have been trying to figure that out personally and then figure out the area and our companionship. But it will be good though and we are both learning a lot. Yesterday and this morning in studies I finally got some answers for things that I was needing so that was so good. It put me more at ease and reminded me by comforting me that everything is going to be ok and that it will all work out. The Lord is in complete control and knows exactly what we are going through. Only He knows what we need to help us find peace and strength and only He will get us through the struggles of life. I am learning more about the atonement and just how important it is. I love it and am so grateful for it because I love my Savior and all that He does for me! He loves us all infinitely and it never ceases to amaze me that we will never be able to comprehend just how much he loves us. Even when I feel a great amount of love for someone out here that is nothing to the love that He has for each one of us! The gospel is just amazing!!
One thing that I decided I wanted to be better at as well is to not complain about things that are not going right at the time or that I'm struggling with. What's the point in that?? Nothing! Although sometimes I like to talk things out cause that helps me figure it out and get answers but talking about something isn't going to help me. So, even though I am struggling right now that's ok because I know that Heavenly Father loves me and that He is looking out for me and knows exactly what I need to learn right now!
Oh, so interesting story for you. We have an investigator and she lives in a really sketchy part of our area. But, we went there the first time and they weren't home but their neighbor was. He was like why don't you want to talk to me as he's smoking a cigarette. So, we go over and talk to him. (This is where it gets interesting! haha) He starts talking about how he is not a good person and has done terrible things that we can't even imagine and that he hasn't been to church in a long time. He wants to have a better life though but he doesn't know how to get out of the life he is in right now. He then starts talking to me for like ever asking how old I am, if I can help him, and just so much stuff. Then he wanted to know if I liked tattoos and if I thought they looked good. Then did they make him look good? Did I know that he had over 150 tattoos on his body? (No, I didn't but that was exactly what I was wanting to know! :P ) Then later as Sister Jang was talking he was just like you're cute! And I go after the things I like and don't let anything get in my way. Then he wanted to know if I would be at church. Then he was like well I don't know if I want to do this then if I'm not going to be able to get with you. He kept going on and on and on. It was so awkward, funny, weird, and sad at the same time and we both were just trying to do our best to help him but to also just get out of there. We learned that he is a white supremisist or Nazi or something like that which is not good. I think the best thing though that happened that was just so funny was when Sister Jang was all serious and was talking about the atonement and reading Alma 7 about how Christ has suffered for everything. While she is reading he leans over to me and says I make a lot of money. Money is not a problem if that's what's holding you back. Oh goodness!! It was hilarious although we didn't laugh about it until we were in the car!! We gave him the elders number and finally left, and I felt so badly for him, but that was just one of the weirdest experiences I have had on my mission! The spirit was gone but at the same time I found it so easy to testify to him so strongly about the gospel and I felt the spirit so powerfully. So that was interesting though. Fun times here in Bridgeport!
Anyways, I think it will be good as we figure everything out I think. Everyone loves Sister Jang cause she is from Korea, and I will just love and do my best here. I hope everything is well for you all! I will try to send pictures. This computer is a little weird though. Love you and miss you all!!!                                    Love, Sister Higgins

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Hello from Bridgeport! (Week 45)

Wow, I feel like the past couple of days have gone by soooo slowly! sucks! Thanks for the emails! I didn't get many emails today and haven't gotten mail in a while so it was nice to hear from you. Mom-I meant to tell you thank you so much for the letter you sent before I got your package. You will never know how much I needed that and how much it helped me! And, it broke a 3 week drought of no mail! ha but thank you! Yes, accept Sister Shelton (as a facebook friend)! She is from my last area and I love her! Sister Patchett and I were able to help her a lot. She was a reason that I was there in WSS (White Sulphur Springs) cause she needed someone specific to talk to and it was us! I've seen those PMG (Preach My Gospel) clips too. They are good. Why are you guys going to San Fransisco? Sounds like you guys will have a fun 24th of July! I don't think we do anything here for the 24th so it should just be another day. Thanks for the fb updates. Crazy! That's weird that Estee is getting married. I don't know if you told her last time, but tell her congrats for me and that I an excited for her.
So, welcome to the Bridgeport area Sister Higgins! I got a little freaked out a little when I first started driving cause there were so many cars and the roads were crazy and the freeways were just huge! We are right outside of Clarksburg and it is a fairly big city so lots of people. Apparently Bridgeport is a very rich area in West Virginia and Some people have called others the Bridgeport Snobs. ha There are some huge houses here! It should be interesting. I've already had some quite rude run ins and just now in the library this lady was talking so badly about the church and it was so annoying. The elders and we are here so we are using some of the computers and so, 'the Mormons are just taking over the computers' and the librarian was joking with her. Oh, it made me so irritated to hear that. Christ like love was very hard to have at that time. ha I know she is a child of God, but when you do that to what I know is true and that I love it just irritates me. Oh well. I like this area but at the same time I don't. There are lots of people to talk to and some people are nice and our ward is big, but we are in the city now and people are just mean. They are set in their ways as well, and I don't know. I just don't know what to think right now. but, I have an Asian companion!! haha My companion Sister Jang is from South Korea and is so cute! She has been out for 14 months and is teaching me a lot. She is so sweet and has a hilarious sense of humor so we laugh a lot, but I don't know. I just loved serving with Sister Patchett in White Sulphur and this is so different and our companionship is not as good so it's been a struggle for me. So, you combine all that with the fact that we came into the area and the elders didn't give us much info on it and we don't have any investigators and it is just hard. The days have gone by so slowly and my mind seems to wander a lot then. I love our bishop and some of the other members, but then some of them have that stuck up kind of mentality and I just have a hard time loving them. I don't know. I think it will be good, but right now it's trying to get everything going and it is just hard. I only have like 5 transfers though, so not too much longer. I will be training next transfer guaranteed. haha President called me to talk about this transfer, and said we were both coming off training and to just have fun with Sister Jang and to rest. Cause we have a lot of sisters still coming in so I won't get any more rests. I am glad that I am not training this transfer though because I have been training for the last three and I think I got the sisters that were struggling the most, so it was hard, but fun. 
Since I have gotten here I have been sooo tired and I don't know why!! It's so frustrating cause we have to get this area going and are trying to figure it all out, but I just am tired and want to sleep. Hopefully that will go away so that I can focus more soon and tune in even more to what the spirit is telling me.
Sorry this comes across as a downer. I really am doing well and loving being on a mission but the past little bit has just been a huge change and I don't know if I really like it. But, that is no excuse. I know that the Lord has a certain and specific plan for each one of us and that He loves us all very much!! I am here in Bridgeport for a reason even if I never find out why. I questioned why I was going to white sulphur but looking back on it I KNOW that I needed to be there because I helped so many people there. Lots of struggling people that I helped by loving them and taking time for them.  It will all work out here though, I am just going through another challenge that the Lord needs me to go through!
I love you all!!! Have a wonderful week and have fun together!!! Oh, my address is 215 Main Street Apt. A Bridgeport, WV 26330. Did I mention I live above a funeral home?!?! haha More next time! Love you!

Thursday, July 18, 2013

Moving, moving, moving... (Week 44)

Hello all!!
Sorry I am later today with my email but it has just been crazy around here for the past few days! Thanks for the emails and pictures! I loved them!! Although, it did make me somewhat homesick when I saw you all together and having so much fun! Lame! Lindsey- you need to just make your kids stop growing ok? Thanks! Also, what happened to your car? You have a dent in the back of it :( The tramp place looked fun! I think my favorite picture was when Lindsey was on the motorcycle and everyone was watching her. Kason was crying and Asher was eating. hahaha Mom- I got your package and I loved it!! Thank you so much! The cookies were so good! I have contacts til like October I think but I will keep you posted. Also, what are you talking about we are on the downhill side now?... we've been on that for like a month and a half already. ha I actually have less than 7 months left if I still take the early transfer. Crazy! I'm glad you guys got the pictures on your phone from Bro. Ott; he was excited to send them. That's what I sacrificed part of my thumb for :) That is crazy about Estee being engaged!  I loved what Kason said about missionaries and being hero's! yes!! Oh, if I want to send a letter to them what address should I send it to? Sorry if this email is shorter- it is crazy here! you can tell by my title, I'm packing up and moving out. We've had an interesting time here for the past like 2 weeks. Since I don't have much time I will give you the short version. Sister Patchett has been really, really struggling the past little while and did just not want to be here. She had no desire to be out here, find people, teach them, etc. She decided to go home and was set on it. Lucky me, I had experience with this already so I talked with her a lot, and listened a lot and let her talk through things and then asked questions. I did what I could though but she didn't want to stay, so we went through the process of talking to President and her parents and she still wanted to leave. It wasn't til Monday night that her bishop actually called her and talked with her for a while and gave her some council. Even though she doesn't want to stay she is taking the council of those that she has talked to and is going to try out one more transfer to see if she can get her answer. Blind faith right now. So, we thought I would leave and she would stay. We got a call Saturday and found out that we were both leaving...uh, what? So, even though Sister Gubler and I only got doubled in like 4 1/2 months ago, they are doubling Sister Patchett and me out and putting elders back in here. Dumb. The ward is soooo much more receptive to sisters. So, we have been going crazy trying to pack, say goodbye, and getting everything ready for us to leave. AhHHhh!! Sister Patchett is headed to Parkersburg, WV to be in a trio in one of the most successful and happy areas of the mission now. She is like 'you are sending the most depressed missionary to the happiest area...dumb.' haha As for me, I am headed to Bridgeport, WV near Clarksburg. It is like half an hour or so away from Morgantown. ha I just go back and forth. I'm not training but will be with Sister Jung (spelling?) who is from Korea and is going home in October. We are getting doubled in and opening up the area for sisters, so neither of us are going to know anything about it. We are going to be sharing a ward with 2 sets of elders. Crazy! I am excited, nervous, and happy, but at the same time dreading it and am not happy to leave here.
Even though this has been my hardest area I have been here the longest, grown the most, learned so much, and just love the people here! Our ward is so sad and upset that they are taking us away. I felt prompted that we needed to sing a song in sacrament on sunday and then a little later we found out we were leaving, so it was perfect. We sounded so good together and it was great. I introduced it and explained that this was our farewell in a way and got a little teary. I told myself to suck it up though and we started singing 'Be Still My Soul' and it was going well. Then we hit the third verse and so many emotions overcame me. Knowing I was leaving the area, Sister Patchett, personal answers, and just peace all hit me and I just started crying and couldn't sing anymore. So there we were, Sister Patchett with her arm around me singing alone and me crying with my tissues! haha But...I made like the whole ward cry!! Success!! The spirit was so strong there and everyone loved it. So many people came up to us after and talked to us. They love us so much!! I was mad that I was leaving because I don't want to because we finally have golden and elect investigators, the ward is more missionary minded, and I feel like the area is turning a corner for good and then I leave. Arg!!! I was so frustrated with it, but I talked to President on Tuesday and I am more at peace with it all now. I can't tell you exactly what he said because it's packed, but basically that I needed to be here. He felt very strongly that Sister Patchett needed to be with me when she came in and now after two transfers that is confirmed and he knows that she needed to be with me. He said I am the strongest missionary with love, that I exude it and that it shows or something like that and that she needed to be with me during this hard time because I was the one that needed to get her through it with my love that I show. Also, I was the only one that could be here and get the area to where it is at. He said to count these two transfers as a success because they are! That's not how he worded it, but I was just very grateful for that! I love President! I have loved, loved, loved serving with Sister Patchett and hate to see us be split apart. Neither of us are thinking about it.
Wow, so much for a short email. We still have so much to do so I will close. I am doing better though and would appreciate many prayers in the next little while. Ahhh!! And, it is super, super hot and humid here! I'm dying and sweating all the time! This is the first time that I have hated the summer out here and we are half way through it. Yay! I love you all and hope you are doing well!!
 Love, Sister Higgins
 Photos sent by Bro. Ott of the food they helped prepare for a graduation party:

Monday, July 8, 2013

HI! (Week 43)

Well hello!

Thanks for the emails! Sounds like you guys had a rather boring week in a way :P I liked reading about it though because it's always good to hear how you all are doing! I've also been in a mail drought for like 2 1/2 weeks so it's just good to hear anything from people that I know! Kellie your letter was the last one I got. Thank you!! So, mom I will be awaiting that package anxiously! Also, I love raspberries! :) Mom, I know I need to clean my room just please do not do it while I am gone. I promise that we can do it together when I get home though so that I know what happens to my stuff! Thanks! Also, I love, love, love the picture of Kellie and Steve!! So cute! I almost had a heart attack though because I saw the pictures and just scanned the words at first and all that popped out to me were your sister and engaged! Needless to say I about died, so I had to reread it all and then it made sense, so I'm glad I didn't miss it yet! You look so good Kellie and you guys look so happy too...along with the wind! Sister Patchett says that you guys are definitlely going to get married! haha 
Let's see, this week what happened? Well, happy 4th of July! I didn't get to see any fireworks but we went out to a parade in Alderson which supposedly has the biggest 4th of July celebration in all of WV. The parade was interesting- so many firetrucks from towns I have never even heard of, sooooo much candy, and so many royalty from random days they have (e.g. Miss Sparkler, Miss Fireworks, Miss Dandelion, Mr Fireworks, etc. I think the best one though was Miss Roadkill!!! hahaha Oh, I love West Virginia!). So that was the parade but I'm glad I went to just have the experience! We had the Greenbrier Classic here all week as well, but all the traffic wasn't as bad as I heard that it was going to be. Lots of chartered buses taking fans from the parking lot to the tournament and lots of policemen. Other than that, nothing else except they did have a big blimpie in the air! This week has just been kind of slow for us as well and a little difficult. We had 60 people at church last week and like 52 yesterday. So sad. This is what happens when you lose all the med students and everyone goes on vacation! Hopefully it will start getting bigger again soon. We had to teach relief society and young women's yesterday because they were combined, and it went well. With us, the relief society, and young women I think we had 8 or 9 there. So sad! 
Life has been really good for me this week but has also been challenging. Sister Patchett has been really struggling the past little while with a lot of things.  She has some interesting family things going on right now, and so she is having a hard time dealing with all of that while out here. She just wants to be back home to help her family out, but knows that being on a mission is the best thing for them so they can get blessings. So, it's been a challenge. I feel so bad for her and am trying to help in anyway, but it kind of just has to come from within her. She also has been down cause she got a ticket last week! :( Such a bad day for her cause she killed a bird as well! ha
I received a lot of different answers for myself this week and that was wonderful because I had been struggling with them for the past little while. The elders down in the Covington branch had an investigator that they had taught all the lessons to and didn't know what else to do cause he wasn't making progress. So, we went down there and had a lesson with Brittney (the girl who I have helped).  That lesson was so amazing and completely directed by the spirit. Then we had a lesson with this kid and we had never met him before and had no clue who he was, so we just went with it and relied on the spirit to know what to say. It was amazing because we were so in unison and we were so on fire. I felt the spirit so much in that lesson and Sister Patchett did amazing! I had no idea what I was going to say at times but then it would just come, or I would just start talking and things would be coming out that would just astonish me, so I know the Lord was there with us in that lesson because it was awesome! We are still teaching that family who is catholic, but they are so excited to see us and just love us! They are so open to what we have to say and want to learn all that they can from us! I love us! It was such a good lesson with them yesterday and I just love them so much already! She said the only reason why she is scared to read the book of mormon is because she feels like she is going to want to be baptized again. She is just awesome and we have such a good relationship with them. Her husband just loves to tease me, Ms. Higgins, haha but he is wonderful! I can totally see them joining and I really feel like they will...but it will probably be after I leave because transfers are coming again!!
Transfers are next week so p-day is not til wednesday again. I really don't want to leave here but we are finishing training and lately I just feel like I will be the one leaving. I feel like I haven't finished my work here yet, but if the Lord needs me elsewhere then I will do it! Also, things members said yesterday just kind of confirmed it to me because there are people here who Sister Patchett needs to learn from. I will just see though! I bore my testimony yesterday and it was really neat. Other than that, nothing that exciting I feel like has happened here. I am just loving serving with Sister Patchett though because she is so amazing and is teaching me so much! I love her!! I am doing well! I love you and miss you all! Until next week,
                                                 Love, Sister Higgins

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

Happy July!! (Week 42)


 Can you believe that it is already July?!?! What the heck! I can't believe it! The days go so long here but the time is honestly going by so quickly that it just amazes me! Thanks for the emails! It's always good to hear from you all and see how you are doing! haha Sounds like you guys are dying from heat! That sucks! I don't think we are in the 100's much but we have been in the 80's and 90's at times and have that wonderful thing called humidity too, so maybe I am worse off! I hate humidity and there have been some days that I wanted to die! It is supposed to get worse though in july and august! wonderful! At least I am only here for one summer, so that's good with me! Dad- why are you guys going to san francisco and for how long???? I am so jealous! I have wanted to go there and now you are going without me. Lame!
So, I can't even really remember what happened this week because I feel like it is just kind of a blur to me. We had an awesome pday last week with the elders (we won in badminton) and then had a district meeting. I had to give the 5 minute principle before our district leader taught. I was a little nervous about it because I didn't have much time to prepare for it. It was awesome though and the spirit was there very strongly and I think everyone learned something, so I was good with that :)
We talked to one family that are active members on Friday as they fed us and they helped me a lot.  They said that they could tell that in a previous companionship I was struggling. But...they said that they were super impressed by me and how I handled it.  I never focused on that struggle but always tried to help others in anyway. They were just impressed. They said that our companionship now is awesome and that they can just tell that we are amazing and are working together great. They also said that the cards that we wrote to everyone have had a huge impact on so many people!! Bishop has a business and there a lot of people that come in there and talk to him about a letter they got in the mail. They say that they got this letter sent to them and they really needed it and that it helped them so much right then and that they are so appreciative for it, and want to just talk to him about it. That made me just feel so good, because even though I am not finding a ton of people I know that I have helped a lot of people in their time of need, so it was neat!
We had an awesome companionship study on Saturday that strengthened my testimony so much!!! We were at the church and Sister Patchett just didn't really want to study that day and so we decided to just sing hymns for our companionship study to help her feel better. I can't tell you how strong the spirit was that came into that room as we did that!! We started whispering because it was so strong that we didn't want to break through it. After we sang for a while we just talked in whispers and bore our testimonies, which was amazing!! I know even stronger now that Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ live, and that they were there with us during that time!! I know they live and that they know me and love me because I felt their power and love during that time! It was exactly what we both needed and I am sooo grateful for that experience!! I know this work is true and that I am here for a reason and that the Lord knows me! He isn't just some being...He is my Heavenly Father and He knows me exactly and knows what I need!! I am just so grateful to be serving as a missionary and love this gospel so much!! It gives us so much more and helps everything make sense!
So, it's been a slower week but also an amazing week full of wonderful experiences that have helped me to grow personally and helped our companionship grow stronger too! We are so unified and so many people notice that and comment on it! It will be a bit crazy here this week because of the 4th of July and the Greenbrier Classic Golf Tournament is happening this week here. If you feel so inclined to watch it, you will see my area! haha It should be insane with people and traffic but fun!! I may get to hear Kenny Chesney?! haha I love you all and hope that you are doing well!! Sorry this email doesn't have a lot in it and I hope it makes sense!! Have a wonderful 4th of July!!! I love you!!!!
                                       Love, Sister Higgins