Monday, September 30, 2013

Happy October!! (Week 55)

Well hello family!!

     Can you believe that it is almost October??!! Holy moly!! So, first off, Happy Birthday Mom!!!! Yay!!! You are what now? 30? :p Thanks for the emails!! It was good to read and hear about how you guys are doing! This week went by super fast but at the same time I feel like I haven't heard from you guys in a while! I didn't know that Lindsey got a new car! It sounds good! Mom- I remember our fhe's. I loved that game! Now I want to do it here! Also, that is so cool about you and Kellie going to Women's conference and that you were so close!! I love conference and am so excited for it!! Woot! What were your favorite talks? (Mom, Kellie, Lindsey) I loved Sister Reese and President Monson's talk! I really liked the conference but I agree, I felt like it was really short. Dad- I hope you do know that I am working hard out here and doing all I can. I have learned soooo much out here and will never be able to replace this experience because I am so much more bold. *****Oh also, mom, I need more contacts please!!! My last pair I will put in tomorrow for october! It's the O2 Optix with my left eye at -1.50 and my right eye at -2.25. Thank you!!!******

     So, this is going to be shorter. Today is crazy. Yes, transfers are next week on October 10th (thursday) so no email until wednesday. Long haul week. This past week was really good and we saw so many different miracles and blessings come and it was just a testament to me that the Lord is mindful of us right now! Last transfer Sister Jang and I got into a less active home and it was good, but the wife was not the most warm to us. We then were never able to get into their home  again, but then towards the end of last week they were really on my mind. Then we saw them in walmart last monday and we talked again. They were on my mind even more. So, one night we planned that the next day we would go over at 5 pm to their house. We went at 5 pm and the husband was home and we were able to talk for 45 minutes with him. They invited to have dinner so friday we went over for dinner and it was amazing!! They were wonderful and wouldn't let us leave because they kept talking to us. We were even able to show them a mormon message and the spirit was there so strong. They talked about church as well. He walked us outside, told us they would have us over again, and said we were welcome to come over anytime. We have an open invitation over there!!! It was amazing and such a miracle!! It was awesome!! I loved it!!

     Also, forgot to tell you about our lesson in gospel principles. It was wonderful!!! People commented, and really loved it!! Sister Peck didn't really have a lot to say and so she just didn't talk that much. I just kept having things come to my mind and I was able to teach the entire time! It was so cool! I love it because when you prepare and try to do what the Lord wants you to He will put things into your mouth at the right time! :)

     We played basketball again this week and it was awesome!!! I was making some awesome plays and shots! I made this really cool steal by jumping into the air and grabbing the ball and making a layup on the other side. It was neat. And I swished the game winning shot in one of our games! yay! We have also been running in the mornings and it has been great! 

     So, I know this is a very short and lame email, but we have got to get headed out. I love you all though and am just so happy to be a missionary!! I am learning so much and know that this is where I need to be!! The Lord is in control and knows what I need!! Thank you all for being so much and for supporting me! I can't believe that time is going by so quickly!! I love you all!!!

                                                           Love, Sister Higgins

Wednesday, September 25, 2013

I'm alive! (Week 54)

Hello, hello!
     Thanks for the emails! I loved them and I absolutely loved seeing all the pictures!! Holy cow! I miss those kids so much!(niece and nephews) One of my favorites was the one where they are outside on the pallet (bridge) and Asher is holding Emry's hand. I loved them sitting on their chairs in their church clothes too! Lindsey- are you teaching your children modeling. Asher especially! It was so cute because it was like every picture Asher was striking a pose! ha I love it. Emry is so big and so cute! Wow, I don't even recognize her and feel like I don't even know her :( Hopefully, she will at least talk to me a little bit when I get home! ha I'm so jealous that you went to the temple!! Grrrrrr! I hope you take full advantage of the temple and realize just how lucky you are to have a temple by you! I am dying out here and just want to go to the temple! That's one of the priorities when I get home (besides the wedding (for Kellie)!!!), ok?? The bridal expo sounds so fun and really cool! Tell me how that is cause that sounds cool. Too bad I am missing all this! If I get any wedding inspiration out here I will let you know...since you know I have the gift of the spirit out here! haha And, you could tell by my title that I survived being sick and am still alive! Can I just tell you how miserable that was!? I still have to blow my nose at times, but it's not really runny though. That and I think the flu bug is going around, and  a lot of people have it. It's just wonderful! Stay healthy!
      As for my week, it was a pretty good week I would say. Last monday, we went to a member's home for dinner and that was wonderful! Her name is (xxxxx) and I love her so much! She is a convert to the church and has gone through a lot during the years, but had fallen away from the church years ago. She has told us like her life story! Crazy!! Recently, she wanted to come back to church because she realized how much she loved church and how much she needed it in her life because it really does bless you when you are active and living it! So, I think it was my second or third sunday I was here, she was counted as saved (or re-activated) and has been to church every week since. She is stellar! Her husband is not a member and at this time is not that interested, but they are in our area so we'll get him! ha She is working so hard to get everything restored back to her and to know that the Lord has forgiven her and to be an active part in this church. We went to dinner there and then shared a mormon message with her (thanks to my handy dandy dvd's! Thank you!!!!) and she loved it so much!! I had just felt that we needed to share that one with her. The first time we watched it and it finished she was absolutely speechless because it was spot on with what she needed. We watched it again...she started tearing up. We watched it a third time, and she was able to talk more and was so grateful to us for showing that to her because it was so beautiful and it made me realize even more that this gospel is true. She wanted to watch a few more messages and then she wanted to watch that video for the fourth time before we left because she loved it so much! She said that Satan had been working hard on her and that she was having a really hard day and just felt like she was in a funk or something, but immediantly when we walked through her door she knew that it was going to be ok. After our message, she said that she knew without a doubt that we needed to be there at that time with her to help her through this struggle. She said, 'you are in the right place at the right time because you have helped me sooooo much tonight!' It was so neat and so spiritual there! Talking to her yesterday at church she said she struggled more last week, but always would revert back to the video and remember the lines especially 'He can heal us.' and she would be ok. I just love her so much because she is amazing and has been such a big example to me!!
      On thursday, we went to dinner at a member's house. The wife was baptized last June and the husband is going to be baptized sometime.  I love them so much because they are so strong and amazing! I met her when I came to Morgantown last year cause they drive the north transfer train, and she knew things that went on with the sisters there after I left, and knew about my situation. President and Sister Pitt love her and are close with her. We had a wonderful dinner, but at the same time it was interesting. I don't know how to phrase this but she kind of got on us and called us to repentance in a way. The zone leaders are close with her and I guess they thought that we were slacking off a bit. (Uh, we were both sooo sick!) But, she was saying all this stuff at dinner, but basically that we needed to change how we did things and that we needed to step it up.  I love her so much and respect her, but that lit something within me because if people think I am a missionary like that, then I am going to work even harder to show them that I am not like that! I was just like I will prove them wrong if that's what they think of me. It made me want to just do even more, so we pushed hard these last couple of days because I am not a crappy missionary!  So, that was an interesting dinner, but it helped me because it fueled my fire more to work harder out here. She did it out of love and just wants the best for me, so that's fine with me! I know we can all be better!
      On a wonderful note though, yesterday (Sunday) was amazing!!! We found out friday night that we had to teach gospel principles and I was not to excited about it but it turned out that it was great! Sister Peck really didn't teach much so it was basically me, and I surprised myself because I kept going and going and it all made sense!! ha Everyone really enjoyed the lesson! We had dinner at our relief society president's house and it was like thanksgiving, but in september!! There was so much food there!! We were soooo full!! We went and tried to contact a referral and they told us to come back and were excited which was exciting for us! Then I felt that we needed to knock on the neighbor's door and she talked to us for a while. I felt like I needed to give her a pamphlet on family history and it turns out she loves family history. It was really cool. Then we tried another referral and they weren't there, but the Lord needed us in that area for a different reason. I kept turning and looking at this house behind us and I kept feeling that we needed to go there!! No one looked home at all, but it kept coming- we needed to go there. So, we walked over and a woman answered and we started talking. She is baptist, but talked with us. She told us her husband had just had a stroke and she was needing help with things around the house. We told her we could help her, and then I just started saying things, not really sure what all I said, but the next thing I knew, I had her crying on the doorstep. She said she just felt so loved and cared for and she really appreciated us! So, we are hoping that we get a call soon to help her!! It was really neat and was a testimony builder to me that the Lord is mindful of each one of His children and has us in places for things that we don't even realize at the time. It was a good way to end the week too because I know that the Lord is watching out for me and is using me to help His children here!! I love it!!! This area will come, I know it!! We're just helping build a foundation of love right now!!
      Oh, fall has come! It is cold here! 57 today! Ahhh! It is definitely not like last year. When I flew in on october 2 it was still super hot and humid! We'll see what this winter brings, but I have a feeling that I am going to freeze! ha I love you guys and am so grateful to be a part of our family!! Thank you all for supporting me, uplifting me and teaching me! You help me when I need a pick me up and help remind me that I am helping me and doing the work of the Lord! It's true and I need to be here! I love you all and miss you!! Thanks for being wonderful! Have a great week!
                                                       Love, Sister Higgins
It's your lucky day! You get pictures today! yay!
We made applesauce, apple pie filling, and apple juice! Yummy!
We had real mexican food from a member!! Soooo good!
This was last monday and we were sick. We felt terrible, but don't you just love these pictures?! Especially my double chin?! ha
This is how I survived when I got sick! We had so much stuff but we survived!! :)
We found a turtle!! I almost stepped on him! He's so cute! After we made him famous, we took him back to the river!


Monday, September 16, 2013

Hello! (Week 53)

Well hello there family!!
 This email may not be the longest because we don't have a lot of time today and I am not feeling well at all, so I'm sorry for the short email. I can't believe that I have been out for over a year already! That is nuts! Time is flying by so fast, and I have less than five months left!! Weird! I have a feeling that these 3 1/2 transfers that I have left are going to go by fast! So, first off, Congratulations Kellie and Steve!! Woot!! I am soooo excited for you all and for the wedding!! What a wonderful time!! The ring is so pretty and I loved how he proposed! Cute story and cute couple!! I am sad that I am missing out on all the action and the planning, so you all will just have to keep me in the loop so I know somewhat about what is going on!! Thanks! Dad- great job with saying that Oregon State would beat Utah! You made me so proud!! Please send me that snail mail letter about those ideas and everything! It's true- with so many missionaries coming out the members really need to step it up and help us with this work because we can't do it alone. It isn't just a work of the missionaries. It's the work of salvation where each one of us, members and missionaries, have to play a part to have things happen. Mom- If you have time I would love some fruit leathers. Thanks! I am so jealous that you did the dirty dash! I have wanted to do that race for a while!!! I'm glad that you had a good time with it!! :) Next year for me!!
 So, basically nothing to exciting happened this week. I was feeling really good about this week and was excited for it because our mission is pushing for greater faith and trying to convert more people. I was excited for what our week had in store. We did exchanges on monday night and I was excited for them because the sister I was with had just come out and had a ton of fire about everything so she pumped me up. Tuesday I woke up and we had some wonderful studies together where I learned sooo much! It was wonderful! We headed out and worked throughout the day, but all of a sudden I got a massive headache. Sister Maddox gave me a pill and I felt somewhat better but still had a really bad headache and couldn't really put my thoughts together. We then had to head straight over to a lesson with an investigator and it was one of the most amazing lessons that I have had out here. The spirit there was so strong! It was amazing because even though my head was pounding and I couldn't think the Lord was right there with me. I was so bold in that lesson and was saying things that I didn't think I would say and was bearing fervent testimony of what I KNOW to be true! It was super cool, because when we are down and at our weakest and humblest the Lord will help us. He knew that we needed that lesson and He helped me through it and helped me to be an instrument in His hands. It was so neat!
 Other than that, this week has not been that great. It seemed that everything was falling through and working against us. Investigators weren't interested anymore, we didn't get any referrals, didn't find anyone new, and we were both sick the entire week. It was so bad on Saturday and Sunday that after a few hours out on Saturday, and some very rude people, we went in. Sunday we missed church because it was so bad. The members are watching out for us though and are helping us in anyway. We felt like recluses in our apartment yesterday because it was dark and we were in our sweats when people dropped by. It was a good chance to watch some church movies though. If you haven't seen 17 Miracles watch it! It always makes me cry and as we were watching it I actually got a ton of answers that I was seeking. Blessing in disguise! So, yeah, that's about where we are right now! I know the Lord is watching out for us though and will get us through! I love you all and am praying for you!! Have a wonderful week!! And, from personal experience, please don't get's not fun!! ha
                                          Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, September 9, 2013

Happy 9th of September! (I have no clever title!) (Week 52!)

Well hello there family!

     Thanks for the emails! It was good to hear from you and to see pictures! I love pictures and I will try to send pictures of me today! Hopefully it will work! :)  I do remember Jay Lessley (ward member who was killed in plane accident this past week.) That is so sad. Hopefully they are doing ok. I love you guys too! I have come to see out here just how blessed I am and how much family means to me because so many families out here are just so broken and torn apart. So, I like you guys!! (These next few comments are in reference to a trip we took this past weekend) That's funny but sad about your (bicycle) crash! haha I'm glad you are ok! So, you like (the movie) safe haven then? I've heard it's good; it's one I want to watch when I get back, ok?! Raquetball?! I'm jealous! Can we please play when I get back? I love raquetball! Yes, I remember the monastery (near Huntsville, UT). It was cool and we got honey I think! I am excited for Taylor (friend who is newly engaged)
     So, really, this week seriously just flew by soooo fast!! It was like it was tuesday and then we were waking up and it was already sunday!! It was really weird! Weekly planning on friday was weird cause we were already planning for the middle of september! What!! This week was pretty busy though with service, meetings, some lessons, and finding. It was nice to finally get to do some service for people cause we don't get to do a lot here cause everyone always calls on the elders! Lame! We moved a family though and that was good cause I showed the elders that I actually could lift and move things! I felt good! :p Then we helped a nonmember older woman organize her house cause she has tons of stuff crammed into her house. Not quite a hoarder but she needs help! At first she didn't want us to come to help and her son (who knows a member) kind of just made her do it, but while we were there we had such a good time. The member told us that she loved having us there, and we are going back this week! :) One thing I love about being a missionary is seeing how people have their walls go up when they meet you, but as you talk you can usually see their walls start to come down, and that was exactly what I saw in her! We didn't really even talk about ourselves except for at the very beginning. I kept firing questions at her about herself, and I think she really liked that because she saw that we really did care about her! It was fun, and we ended up getting a lot of different stuff from her for our apartment. So, I'd say it was a win win.

     Oh, fun story. You know that guy that I told you about a while ago who really liked the church for polygamy? Did I tell you about him? Anyways, super nice guy who has gone through a lot and loves the church because we practiced polygamy. He doesn't understand why we stopped polygamy, and says that we should bring it back again...uh, no! So, I made cookies one day to give to a lot of different people to like us more (yay, for bribery!) and he about died because they were so good. So, apparently I'm a semi good cook after all! haha! He kept raving about it and wanted to know if I was available because he likes it so much! haha! He's in his 50's. We had a member with us and she was just hilarious and put a stop to that right there, along with what I told him as well. That was a funny lesson. Then last time we visited with him again Sister Peck was with us and he was still raving about the cookies. Interesting man! It's cool to watch him feel the spirit though and to see things make a little more sense to him. We have actually had some really spiritual moments with him, so we are definitely helping him see that God really is a part of his life, and helping him to see a greater light! I love it!

     We played basketball on tuesday night at the church with the elders and some nonmembers and that was such a blessing! It was so wonderful and so fun! We have gone a couple times and I love it! The first time we went no one passed to me, cause I'm a girl. But, finally the next game everything was falling for me and so they were impressed with me and started passing it to me. It was a lot of fun! So, we go every now and then. Tuesday my shot wasn't the best, but I had some great defense skills and steals. One time the ball was going out and everyone just kind of gave up on it and started to stand around. I jumped after the ball, tossed it back onto the court, where it hit an elders leg and then bounced out, so then we had the ball again! haha They were all so surprised at that but thought it was soooo awesome! They all had to give high fives cause it was such a good play! I felt good! :)

     Thursday we had zone meeting and it was really good! Our mission has been struggling lately, and so we are as a mission focusing on raising our faith and improving. We are shooting for 50 baptisms this month as a mission because usually we have like 17-18 a month, which is pretty low for a mission. Our meeting was all about faith and it was so wonderful! I felt like I was furiously scribbling notes the entire meeting because I kept having things come to me and answers to things that I was needing. It was the best! But, because I had such a spiritual high there had to be an opposition, and boy did it come. Friday I woke up and I just felt wrong. My body physically hurt, but more than that I didn't feel spiritual at all and I had no motivation at all! The entire day was such a struggle because I just didn't feel like doing things and I felt like I was somewhere else. It was so frustrating because I was doing all I could to get out of that, but I couldn't shake that feeling. Satan is such a jerk! So, that was just a hard day. Yesterday was stake conference and it was amazing!! I learned so much again and saw so many people that I knew. There are so many missionaries in our stake too! I got a blessing from President because he was there to speak. It was a great blessing and gave me more insight and council about how I can improve and shake this feeling off.  Satan knows how good I can be and he is just hitting me with so much so that it hinders my progress. President talked about that some and how I can stop it. He said that this gospel is such a good thing and it's worth fighting for, and Satan is going to do all he can to stop us from achieving such happiness. And, since I'm a good missionary he is going to try to stop me too. I don't think I have ever studied as much as I have or prayed as hard as I have in the last few days! I am learning though and am definitely coming closer to my Savior as I try to understand even more about the gospel. I love my Savior though and know that He lives. I know that He knows exactly what we are going through and that He is always with us. He never leaves our side or forsakes us, but is there to lift us up and help us when there is nothing else to help us. I am just so grateful for my Savior!! Why are you grateful for your Savior?? I'm doing well though and am learning and experiencing so much out here! Thank you for supporting me and helping me through this amazing journey. I can't ask for a better opportunity than to serve my Lord! I love being a missionary even with all my challenges because I know it is shaping me into something even better than I can imagine! The Lord truly is hastening His work at this time, and we all need to be and can be a part of it!
                                   I love you!!!!
                                           Love, Sister Higgins

                                                            I put our vacuum together!!

                                                       We like Bridgeport at night!
                                             Sis. Jang and Sis. Higgins in Bridgeport, WV
                                                              A pretty lake!  I like it!
This is probably one of my favorite pictures so far. This was when we walked to the library and we about died from the humidity and heat! It was so bad! haha This just makes me laugh every time though! We are so pretty and cool!
Waiting to find out what was happening with transfers! I hate these nights!
 Saturday night at the mexican restaurant for my bday! When they sang to me! My fried ice cream and sombraro!
                                                     :D Flowers from our R.S. Pres!

                                                           My wonderful cake!!
                                                       I got 'inched' on our members wall!!
                                 If they like the missionary then you get measured on their wall! haha
  hahaha Oh you know, just hanging out with my new found friend! Maybe he will listen to my message! :p
 A rope swing at a members that is awesome!! I flew out so far!! Maybe I can send the video next time! It was soooo fun!
                                                       Before we survived our 'fun run!'

Saturday, September 7, 2013

Photos that Jenna sent home - in totally random order (sorry)

 We took care of the Bikman's avocado plant while they were gone from the end of May to the end of July (we kept him till we got transferred). Meet "Avi" He grew SO much with us!  :)
 Buffalo!  We went to a restaurant that served buffalo and then you could go see the buffalo farm!
 Not a good picture of me, but this is Judy! - one of the main reasons why I was in White Sulphur Springs.  She loves us and knows we were sent from God.  We're "her angels"! It was so neat to see the spirit work on her even though she didn't join!
Purple wall that Sister Patchett was obsessed with.  I let her take pictures of it on our last day in that city!
 We are only a little crazy!  I love her! She's so funny!  (Sister Jang)
 Matching!  This is when we had to sing our song at zone conference! ha
 This basically sums up our companionship :) We love each other!
 Country!  At Pearl S. Buck's museum & birthplace (she's an author and I love some of her books).
 Just a little companion bonding in the middle of nowhere! It took forever to get pictures of us both in the air!
 On the Greenbrier River Trail!  So pretty, but not a very successful proselyting place. :/
 Beekeeping!  I got to extinguish the "smoker". You had to pump it till flames were coming out & then throw the flame ball on the ground!  It was awesome!
 Uh...we found goats instead of turtles when turtle hunting!  They surrounded us 'cause we had bread & they would get so close to you!  Sis Jang was freaking out!  haha
 Hmmm... we just thought this was funny!  Notice our "" sign on the back windshield.  Sister Patchett made it!
 I'm missing the state fair!  Aurgh! It's in Fairlea which is near Lewisburg. Lame!  Next year!
We went Turtle hunting!!  It was so fun even though we didn't catch any.  The elders were so excited!

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Hello!! (Week 51, part B)

Hi everyone!!!
     Holy moly thanks for all of the emails!!! I had soooo many when I opened up my inbox...and I loved it!! Sounds like you all have been busy and that life is just marching on,and going crazy there! I heard a bit about the byu game. Dumb! Sounds like you had a good trip too! Thank you sooo much for all of the birthday presents and cards!!! I loved them so much!! I love the sister missionary post it notes. That is brilliant! I love the cardigan too!! It is so cute! I already had a white one, but I like this one a lot better! :) I love everything that I got! THank you!!
     Let's see. My birthday was awesome, but so different out here! I loved it though because I wanted to focus more on other people instead of myself, and that made me even more happy! Saturday a member (our relief society pres) called and took us out to dinner since we didn't have a dinner appointment. She took us out to a mexican place and it was really good. Then as we were finishing up some of the workers came out and threw a huge, heavy sombraro on my head, gave me a bowl of fried ice cream, and sang to me! As they were singing one of the workers took a big spoonful of the whipped cream and put it on my nose and cheek!! It was awesome and so funny!!! Sis. Hamrick was laughing so hard and was enjoying the whole thing. It was totally unexpected, but so great! I have no idea how she found out because no one knew except for Sis. Jang. She's a sneaky one! That was so nice of her and made my day! On sunday, the relief society gave me a candy bar and little note pad, Sis. Peck sang to me and decorated our apratment, and Sis Hamrick brought me flowers, a card, and made me a big red velvet cake. Yummy!! Another member came by and brought us brownies and a card. It was a wonderful day and made me feel so loved!! :) I have pictures but probably won't be able to send them until next week. Sorry!!
     Sister Peck is great and is teaching me a lot of things. She is 19 and from Riverton, Utah and has been out for 6 months. She has gone through some similar experiences of what I've gone through and has struggled with it. I really thought I was going to train this transfer and was confused why I was not, but now I know exactly why. I am here to teach her, love her and get her back on her feet again. We have already had some really good conversations about what we've gone through and I've been able to give her insight about getting through things. I love how the Lord really does work in mysterious ways. I didn't know why I went through so many different challenges on my mission, but when we started talking I know more now. I am here to help her right now. The Lord doesn't need my ability to train a new missionary right now, but He needs me to use my strength of loving people and helping them to remember that they have power. President knew that she needed some love, and so he knew where to turn. That made me feel good. (I definitely see things we can work on though, but I will tell you more about that later.)
     We went to an italian festival and that was fun! There were tons of people, food, beer, and music! It was cool to be able to just go around and talk to people, and to get our faces out in that way. We talked to a Catholic Priest forever and that was fun. I asked him what catholics believed because I wanted him to start talking and I was curious. I ended up just getting a ton of different pamphlets on what catholics believe. haha Awesome! It was really fun though and a good experience. Oh, for some reason up here I have gotten like eaten  alive up there lately. My legs are covered in bites. It sucks!
     We've had some really cool, spiritual experiences lately and it has strengthened my testimony. The Lord is really in control. When we don't focus on the numbers they just start to come. Things are starting to pick up here more, and it is exciting! I know this area has potential and we are starting to see  bits and pieces of it every now and then. We have some really good potential investigators that I am really excited about. Keep us in your prayers! Also, our ward had a ward labor day fun run yesterday! Running a 5K yesterday was not that fun for me since I am in such awesome shape, but that's ok. It was nice to just get out there and do that with our ward and to have a fun time. I finished at least!! :) I was able to talk to some of our less actives and a part member family, so no complaints. Hope you had a good holiday!! I love you all and am doing well!! Have a wonderful week!!!!   
   Love, Sister Higgins

Monday, September 2, 2013

Family!! (Week 51 - Part A)

Hello, hello!
 Happy labor day! Just wanted to write a quick email. We have had a crazy day today and just barely got our laundry done. The library is closed and a lot of members were busy today. So, we just have time to write this email to say that I am alive!!!!! And old!!! haha We are going to the library tomorrow morning at 10 so I will email you then! Thanks! Love you!!