Friday, June 28, 2013

5 weeks in Houston Texas!!

Hey ya'll!
This week has been the week of meetings. I always think of the 13th article of faith.. (changed a little)
We believe in all meetings, we hope for all meetings, we have endured may meetings and hope to be able to endure all meetings. If there is any sort of meeting, meeting, meetings.. we seek after these things.
haha A speaker at the MTC shared that and I thought it was hilarious. Sometimes we truely have a ton of meetings, but I testify that God would not make us have so many meetings unless is was absolutely needed. As humans we make mistakes and we need correction. We need guidence or we tend to disregard the things we know for the things that seem better at the time. I know that the better way is always the way that involves the will of God and that is how it will always be.
Anyway, we have had some meetings lately and they have been the most inspiring things! On Thursday we had a Sisters Training Meeting. We had all the sisters from around our area meet together and the mission president gave us some intruction and counsel. We talked about a lot of things, but one of my favorite talks was about Personal Revelation.
In The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints we believe that we can have a personal relationship with God. He can help us with all the troubles and things that we have in our lives if we let him. With our investigators we really stress that we want them to gain a personal testimony of the things we are teaching. I know that my Savior lives and that He died for us because I prayed to God to know if that really happened. Every single person can have a person witness of the reality of God. The Book of Mormon contains a promise that we all need in our lives.. it says,
"3 Behold I would exhort you that when ye shall read these things, if it be wisdom in God that ye should read them, than ye would remember how merciful the Lord hath been unto the children of men, from the creation of Adam even down until the time that ye shall receie these things, and ponder it in your hearts.
4 And when ye shall receice thse things I would exhort you that ye would ask God, the Eternal Father in the name of Christ if these things are not true and if ye shall ask with a sincere heart, with real intent having faith in Christ he will manifest the truth of it unto you by the power of the Holy Ghost."
Moroni 10:3-4
God will answer your sincere prayers. He will confirm your desire to know if you sincerely ask Him. God promises this to us and we know that "he is the same yesterday, today, and forever." Never doubt the influence God has in your life. He will always be there for all of us.
We talked a little about how God will grant us according to our desires. (Alma 29:4) In life we have hard things that come up. Sometimes they are a result of a choice we made and sometimes they seem to come out of nowhere. The issue is not the trial. The issue is our desire. Do we want to learn from this experience? We choose everything in this life except the consequences of our actions. Good or bad; everything has a consequence. We can choose to follow God.. or we can choose to follow Satan. (2 Nephi 2:27)
It was a very enlightening meeting actually.
Then this Sunday we had a Training on missionary work! Those inspired men are such a blessing to the church. We know that they recieve direct revelation from God and they are guiding all of our efforts so we stay on the right path.
This week we have been able to talk to a lot of very wonderful people from all sorts of backgrounds. We met a lady who has been Baptist her entire life (50+ years) and she is so excited to hear that we have another witness of Jesus Christ. We talked to a man from Jamaca who has wanted to talk to the missionaries for a couple months, but just didn't know how to approach someone. We talked to a Less active sister who wants so badly to be sealed to her family in the temple so we are working with her and her family. We are so excited for the work here in Texas. I know that we are helping people and giving them more hope for their lives. I am so happy to be doing the Lords work. :)
Sending my love from Texas!
Sister Earl

Friday, June 21, 2013

Houston Temple
Evacuation Drill...72 hour kits


We love this stuff!!

Well all of you are probably wondering why I am emailing on a Tuesday instead of a Monday. Well the answer to the question resides in the subject of this email.
Yesturday we recieved a text message at 6:20 AM that read, "Emergency Evacuation. Please make your way to the safe haven as quickly as possible. Follow the evacuation proceedure." Yep, Hurricane Season has begun.
We then proceeded to move everything to rooms with no windows and move all the food into the freezer which was then put on the highest setting. We packed a bag with a bunch of clothes (dresses and service clothes), we grabbed water, we got our 72 hour kits, and hit the road.
Now nobody has to worry. hah We got to the safe haven (which was the church) and we were informed it was just a drill. :P hah Believe me, Sister Howard and I did not have any idea it was only a drill. In fact, we were all thinking we would have to stay at the church for days and blah blah. Haha, Looking back, I don't know why we didn't figure it out when we called the bishop and he said, "Well have fun!" (Yes, the evacuation paper said we needed to call the bishop) haha Or maybe we should have figured it out when nobody else outside seemed to be worried in the slightest. Every one was just going about regular life.. Or maybe we should have figured it out when we got to the church and the young women were leaving for Girls Camp.... but nope. We had no idea until we were standing in front of Elder Nielson and he said "If this were a real evacuation.... "  hah duh.
Despite all of that you will be proud to know I didn't really feel scared. I knew everything would work out how it was suppose to work out.
So actually the real reason I am emailing on Tuesday is because we got our P-day moved this week so we could go to the temple!!!! Yes! We went to the temple this morning with the Kroskop family in our ward! The Houston Temple is gorgeous! The windows are filled with tinted glass. Pink, green, blue, and yellow!! It was just wonderful we loved every second of it. :)
This past week was filled with miracles at every turn.
Early in the week we had an appointment fall through and so we were trying to pick which person to go see next. We were not entirely sure and so we said a short prayer and right afterward I had the name "Akon" go screaming through my mind. Akon is a guy who we just happened to talk to the week before because he was a neighbor of one our our investigators. Acting on the impression we went over to his house. We ended up giving him the first lesson and I have never seen anyone so excited to recieve knowledge about the Book of Mormon. He was elated at the thought that there was actually another book of scripture to help us in our lives. That was just incredible.
Also this last week we had a myterious phone call. It turns out a guy found a card on the ground that had our number on it. The called it because he wanted to learn more about Mormons. He had spoken to a guy on a plane about it and was really interested!! hah! We set up a church tour and he is probably going to be baptized in a couple weeks!
I can't even express how much I love this work. I am so priviledged to even get to help people! I know that if the Lord wanted to he could do his own work. He just lets us participate because it is the most rewarding thing I have ever done. I wish that people could see how happy this gospel makes me. I wish everyone could understand how much their Father in Heaven loves them. Never before have a felt so much love for people. It is because I really understand that all of us are brothers and sisters and we are all on the same team!
Sister Howard and I are doing our best to "Keep giving em Heaven" here in Texas. I know that this gospel truely is the only way by which we can live with our Heavenly Father forever. He loves us. He gave us happiness. He gave us the way to Him! I can't say how grateful I am.
Eu amo voces!
Sister Earl

Monday, June 10, 2013

very short letter from a very busy sister.....with a few pictures

Hey lovely people!
This week has been a little tough. We are on the search of more and more investigators and are trying everything we can think of. This week we plan on doing a service project or two and then just talking to every single person we see. Even if we get scared we are going to say something. That way God can place someone in our path that really wants to hear us.
Sister Howard is great. We have so much fun together and both sincerely love being missionaries.
I know this church is true. I love my Savior.
Sorry we have Zone activity today! (capture the flag) I promise to be more entertaining next week!!
All the missionaries got to go to a Skeeters baseball game.  They took all investigators with them.  It was so much fun and something that very rarely if ever happens.

These taco trucks are everywhere....she is loving the Tortas!!!

letter from last pday Monday June 3

Texas = Awesome
Humidity = Sweaty Sister Earl
Sleeping = None
I still love it here in Texas, but I don't have any idea what to think when everyone keeps telling me that it will only get hotter from here. The weather now is just a teaser compared to what it is suppose to be. Luckily since I am a Visa waiter I don't have a bike so we get to ride around in the car everywhere! Wooo!
This week was an interesting week. We had a lot of great things happen, but also some plain weird things.
On Thursday we met Margaret. Margaret was the perfect investigator. She was standing outside her house when we came out of an appointment with her neighbor and she was so very nice. We walked up and introduced ourselves. We talked about Jesus Christ and how he is our Savior. She talked about the bible and we invited her to read the Book of Mormon. As we were talking about the Book of Mormon she stopped us and said, "What y'all is sayin is true." We were soooo excited!! YES MARGARET, yes this is true! Thank you! haha
So the next day we go back to talk to her. We knock on the door and a man comes to the door. We ask for Margaret and he goes, "Psh, are you sure?" We were like "Yes!" We couldn't understand why he seemed so amused... (but we soon would)
Margaret comes outside carrying her bible and smiling from ear to ear. We could not believe how awesome this situation seemed. We taught her the first lesson. We taught her everything and kept asking questions to check for understanding. She understood everything and she was so excited about it. Then the big moment came. Sister Howard asked, "Do you believe that there could be a prophet on the earth today?"
And Margaret said, "Yes maam, you are looking at one"
(Imagine our faces half amused and half confused. We were completely floored)
Margaret the prophet then went on to tell us how God wanted to tell us something today and that she would find it in her bible. She acting all weird and kept saying how the wind was speaking to her. haha. It was the single weirdest thing I have ever encountered.
She then went on to tell us all sorts of things like.. "you only live 72 years. If you die before 72 then them sins done took you out!"
haha, good times.
In my area of Houston you meet all sorts of people. A sister is here from Brazil and she said that our area reminds her of Brazil because of the poverty and sketchy roads. Nobody needs to worry about me, because we are super safe. I just think I was sent here to get me ready for Brazil.
Even though the area is a little tough we are seeing miracles everyday. We got a referral for a guy by the name of Ira. He is 24 and just wanted to know more about the Book of Mormon. We went over there and met his family as well. The family is so nice and we are so excited to teach them. Then at church the other day the son of a less active member of the ward showed up at church. We talked to him and got 2 appointments set up for this next week. There are people everywhere who want to know their Father in Heaven. We just have to be open to finding them.
The best way to do missionary work is through the members. If you have anyone that you think would benefit from the missionaries please let them know. I promise that we are on the Lords work and you will be blessed for the efforts in helping others.
I know this church is true. I know that this gospel gives me the greatest happiness. I know that one day I will be with my family and Father in Heaven again. I know that Joseph Smith was a prophet of God. I know he was an imperfect man, but with the help of God he was able to do incredible things. He translated a Book from Ancient Egyptian to English and that book is vital to our lives today. The Book of Mormon is the word of God. Read it. and ask God if it is true. I know it is and it is changing lives here in Texas.
Stay awesome!
Love Sister Earl
write me!