Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Silverlake week?...uh ya time flies!!

This week has been a whirlwind of crazy. The highlight was definitely helping Megan Aikens to get baptized. She is a 13 year old who really wanted nothing to do with us at the beginning. Slowly she warmed up and the gospel has made her one of the happiest girls I know. Before she was pretty negative and slightly mean... but now she is always smiling and giving people compliments. The gospel has completely changed her life and I have had the blessing of watching it happen. :)

Sometimes the evidence of Gods love for his children is a little overwhelming. Usually I feel it for others, but sometimes He takes the time to remind me that I am His. :) The joy that comes from this message is nothing that I can describe but when you see a beautiful Daughter of God coming to know who she really is.. well that is just about as close as you can get. 

Besides the baptism we really have not focused on many other things. 

The trunk or treat was this week. We went and dressed up as... Elders!! haha It was fun and we got a couple laughs which was what we hoped for. There were some pretty good costumes and a lot of members invited their friends to come so we got to meet a couple people. :) 

We fully decorated our door in preparation for Halloween this week. (all of it came from my momma so Thank you momma!!) And momma, when it comes to Christmas I really have no idea what I want.. Any ideas? 

Cassidy!! I finally got your letter with the bacon chapstick and gorgeous picture of you!! I don't know why it took more than a month to get here but I was so excited when I got it!! Thank you. :) As for quotes this is all I have for today.

"Ask God to put you just where he wants you, and tell you what he wants you to do, and feel that you are on hand to do it"-Brigham Young

I will gather some better ones soon I promise. :) 

In closing I just want to say that I know this gospel is true. The best indication of whether or not something is true is what comes of it. As people learn about the gospel and act on it they change for the better! There are some people who ask for a sign from God telling them which way to go. He gives us signs! They just come when we choose to act and actively ask him what we should do. 

God lives and He is a great listener. Don't forget to talk to Him. 

Have a great week all you crazy people! 
-Sister Earl
                                                       Trunk or Treat



                                                 Megan Aikin's Baptism





                                             Carving pumpkins at the Mach family home!!

 
 
Singing at Megan's baptism!!
Thanks to Jason Baum who emailed this to me!!
video

Monday, October 21, 2013

Pumpkin spiced chocolete chip cookies



This week Sister Bearnson and I decided we needed some Pumpkin spice chocolate chip cookies. Sooo last Monday when we went shopping we got the stuff and decided to make them the morning of weekly planning day so we could have something to munch on as we talk about all the people in our area.

So Thursday morning we mix it up. Little did we know that we were making enough cookies to build a house with!! We have been eating cookies for days now and trying to give them away to anyone that will take some. haha Then today just as we were down to our last 10 or so.. a member gives us a plate of snickerdootles.. and there are about 20 cookies on the plate!! haha 

And people wonder why missionaries gain weight! They get stuff from members... and they make a fair amount of sweets themselves. haha I better start learning some portion control tactics though.. :/ haha.. 

Anyway, along with the cookie explosion we have had an awesome week!! 

At church on Sunday a member ended up inviting one of her newly found friends to church. This friend was sooo excited to be there!! She was introducing herself to everyone and telling everyone how good it felt to be here. She even asked if we could come over so she could cook for us and we could share a "thought" with her. :) We are so excited!!! She is so cool and she already loves church. :) Member missionary work is the best thing ever!! 

I forgot to tell everyone that last week I went on exchange to the southern part of our mission. I went to Lake Jackson! It is essentially a swamp with a bunch of wide open spaces and broken down buildings. 

The street names are crazy there. They had a "this way" "that way" "his way" "her way" they even had a "What happened was" and "It's complicated" that intersected so they were on the same street sign...it was pretty funny. :D

While we were there a member took us to a seafood restaurant where the food was actually not expensive! I asked where the fish all came from and what was the fresh-est fish and they said that their catfish was the best... soooo I got some catfish!! It was delicious! :P 

The rest of the week has flown by so fast I really don't even know what has happened. I know it was good... just can't think of the specifics. :)

This work is the best thing I have ever taken the time to do. I love being a missionary because I see people change. I see people become what God already knows they can be. :) 

I testify that God lives and if you let Him He will help you be better than you ever thought you could be. :) 

Stay positive everyone! 
Love, Sister Earl

Monday, October 14, 2013

changes

This week as jam packed with awesome news.

First of all Elder Golden from the first Quorum of the 70 came to visit our mission. He spoke to all of us on Thursday from 8 to 1:30 with one 15 min break! Haha It was so awesome though I hardly realized what time it was besides the fact that my tummy was super hungry! 

He gave us a bunch of things to focus on and really brought the spirit to the day. He told us that our mission was one of the best missions he has visited. He was impressed with our obedience and our reverence in everything we were doing. He told us that our mission is going to baptize a ton more in the coming months because of our increased faith and dedication. :) It was a great thing to be a part of. He also took the time to shake each of our hands and talk to us for a couple seconds. :) I love the leaders of this church. They are not perfect, but everything they do points you to Christ. It is wonderful.

I also found out this week that we are going to be rolling out the Facebook/Social Media and opening the churches up for tours in the next month or so!! We are working with our wards to figure out the best things to do in the church and how to get people to "Come and see" what we are all about. I am really excited to be a part of this new way of doing things. I don't know all the details yet.. but they should be coming in the next little while. 

This week we have been teaching Haleys family a lot. Megan and Tyler both have baptismal dates in the next couple weeks and the parents are loving the gospel truths more and more. 

Last night we had a Missionary Devotional where a bunch of recent converts bear their testimony of how they came to know the church was true. We arranged it so Haley would be able to speak and her family came to watch!! She bore a beautiful testimony about how she knew this is what she was looking for. She is turning 16 next week, but her testimony sounded like one from a much more experienced member. She was really searching for the truth. She said that ever since she was 12 she was super interested in religion. If a 12 year old girl can be so concerned about the welfare of her soul then why is it so weird for a 14 year old boy to be concerned as well. Joseph Smith didn't know what church to join. Much like Haley he search for a lonnng time! He asked all sorts of preachers how to know what was right.. but they never could fully answer his questions. 

He went to the Bible trying to study it out for himself and read a verse in James 1:5 which says, "If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God; which giveth to all men liberally and upbraideth not and it shall be given him."

He realized God was the only one who could give him this answer he so desperately needed. So one morning he got up and went out into a grove of trees so he could be alone. He knelt down and offered up his first vocal prayer with all the questions that had been weighing on his mind. 

As he was praying something incredible happened. In his own words he said, "I saw a pillar of light exactly over my head, above the brightness of the sun, which descended gradually until it fell upon me. It no sooner appeared than I found myself delivered from the enemy which held me bound. When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!”

Heavenly Father and Jesus Christ came to Joseph to answer his questions. They told him that none of the churches were completely true on the earth and that he needed to bring back all the lost truths. They called him to be a prophet and gave him all the things he needed to know to bring back the same church that Christ established when He was on the earth. 

This is the blessing of the gospel! We have the truth! The full 100% of everything we need to make sure we get back to live with our Father in Heaven and become like Him. 

Haley came to know this truth by asking for herself and so can you! No matter if you have already received a witness of not God wants to let you know that this message is true. He wants you to know that He lives and He loves you. He is there for you and He has his church for you so you do not have to be confused. 

I love Him! 

In other news my brother recieved his mission call!!! He is going to the Mexico, Saltillo mission!! Reporting in February!! :) 

The way I found this out is quite funny actually. WE were at the devotional last night and President Bergeson comes up to me. (He is the 1st counselor in the mission presidency but he is also my Dads cousin. Yes I am related to everyone even outside of Moses Lake as well. haha) He said that he had gotten a text from my Dad and he found out my brother was going to Mexico!! :) I was so happy and excited I started to cry a little. I don't even know why I just couldn't help it!! I love my brother and he is going to be a fantastic missionary. I am a little sad that I won't see him for a long time, but its all for a good cause. :)

 We actually got a ride to the devotional from the Sneddons and Sister Sneddon is from Mexico. She said that Saltillo is a poor part of Mexico and the people are either really nice and humble or really mean. There is not much in the middle. haha :P So I am sure Elder Earl will be able to work with that. :P 

Missionary work is the best thing ever. :) I love all ya'll :) Have a great week

-Sister Earl

Adoro ouvir a Conferencia Geral!

Adoro ouvir a Conferencia Geral!
Conference was great right? I can't even pick a session that I liked best! It is awesome how God works. He will always give us direct revelation. We can get it ourselves and He gives it through his leaders. All we need to do is LISTEN. Listening is the key to a lot of lifes problems. 

For example, when we listen to the people we are talking to and take time to let them express how they feel then we can better understand them! Its crazy~! haha

When you listen to your companion (whether missionary or spouse) you can figure out how to work through problems and make necessary changes to yourself. 

When you listen to the teacher (whether in school or sunday school) then the information with stick and will make sense. 

When we pray and then take time to listen we can hear the things that God wants us to do. He literally can and will talk to you if you take the time to listen.

When we listen we are blessed! It doesn't matter where you are or what you are trying to accomplish. Listening is the way to understand, develop, and correctly apply things to our lives. 

For conference we had 5 of the people we are teaching watch a session in a members home! :) The spirit was there so if the people there were listening they would have felt and understood the things that God was trying to tell them. 

Earlier this week we had a really awesome experience.. and now that I think about it.. it all happened because we listened to the Spirit telling us what to do. 

Sister Hanks is a 51 year old lady who lives alone in the apartment building next to us. She was baptized in 2006, but has spent most of that time being an inactive member. We had been trying for months to talk to her, but she suffers from extreme depression and so has struggled a lot. One day she actually answered the door and let us in. We talked to her for a little while, and even set up another appointment. The next appointment she was even more depressed than the time before so we decided to challenge her to read one chapter a night from the Book of Mormon and we gave her a list of chapters to read. 

That was Sunday.. on Wednesday she texted us and said that she was being admitted to the hospital for in patient treatment. She told us she had nobody to take care of her cats so she left us a key under the doormat and asked us to go and feed them for her. 

We were happy to help her out.. but we were also sad that we were the people she had had to ask to do it. She honestly had nobody else to ask.. 

She was in the hospital for a week and when she got out she texted us and asked us to come over. We went as fast as we could and found her in much better spirits with tears of gratitude in her eyes.

We listened as she told us how when she was in the hospital she read all the chapters we had given her to read. She asked us in complete amazement how we knew to give her the chapters we did in the order we gave them. The warmest feeling came over the room and we all knew that there was higher help in this.

We are now teaching her all the things that bring joy. She is learning about the scriptures and how they really can answer the very questions in your personal soul. She is learning about prayer and how to listen for guidance. She is learning about the temple and how she can be sealed to her family for eternity. She is the only member in her family so we are teaching her how to do family history work so her ancestors can have the same joy that she is experiencing.  

This church is true, my friends. I know for a fact that God is leading me in this work. We have the true and everlasting power of the priesthood here on the earth. God has given us the blessing of having a piece of this power to seal our families together forever. We have prophets who give us the same guidance that Moses and Noah did for their people in ancient times. We have all the pieces of the puzzle to get to live with our Father again one day. The teachings will bless us then and bring real and lasting joy in this life.

Yet, he gives us the choice. Will we listen?

-Sister Earl

Wednesday, October 2, 2013

Siverlake Transfers 3

Hey ya'll!

There where some awesome days this week! Partly because missionary work is the best and partly because it was a little cooler this week! Biking around town is actually quite enjoyable when you are not an oven on wheels! Plus, Sister Bearnson and I have a lot more energy when we are not being zapped by the heat in the afternoon. 

We are grateful for the kinda-sorta-somewhat of fall weather that is happening. Just watch.. now that I said this tomorrow is going to be up in the 90's with 100% humidity again.... haha But, like I've said Texas does what it wants. 

One of the moments this week where I realized that God is looking out for his children happened on Monday. A member invited over their neighbor for Family Home Evening and we came along as well. The friends name is Christian and he is a professional clarinet player in the Houston Symphony and the Boston Symphony. Music is his entire life and he really takes it seriously! He said he could get us free tickets if we wanted to go and could get permission! (not sure if that will happen, but isn't that so nice!!) We had an awesome lesson and invited the friend to church on Sunday. Tuesday comes along and the members call us saying that Christian fell and broke his elbow! He had surgery on Friday, and STILL came to church on Sunday. This week we are going to teach him again and help him out with some chores around the house along with the members. We are really glad we could be there to help this guy out. He recently went through a divorce and now that his elbow is broken he might have troubles playing his clarinet. Look at the timing of this event.. there is no way this was just by accident. God really knows us. He knows what we need and he knows that Christian needs this. :) 

This week we also taught Haleys siblings (Haley is a recently baptized girl) Her sister Megan is very interested in the people at the church. She realized that the people care about her so we are making some progress. She even opened the Book of Mormon this week and read some! We are confident that she will feel the Holy Ghost the more she opens herself to it. 

Tyler (Haleys brother) is a big gamer. He is almost always in front of the TV playing some new game. The funny thing is even though you would never guess it Sister Bearnson is a big gamer too! :) She loves video games and has played pretty much every single one you can name. She has been relating gospel topics to video game talk so that Tyler will stay interested. It is actually working! Tyler is slowly starting to realize that we have something that is sorta interesting. :) Sister Bearnson is amazing. 

Speaking of Sister Bearnson!! It was her Birthday this week!! She turned 23 on Friday. I made sure the entire ward was aware so she got a ton of calls and texts on Friday saying Happy Birthday! :) It was a great day for her and I am glad that we got to celebrate it! I love being able to find things to celebrate. It doesn't matter what it is. I just love being happy and so Friday was an extra happy day! We are opposites in a lot of things, but we really get along really good and can use each other to relate to different people. God really is in control. I needed to meet some of these people here. :)

Today for Preparation Day we went to check out Buc-ees. It is this store where everything is covered in Beavers.. and I hear people talk about it all the time!! We were expecting a little more since we have not heard the end of his place since we got here.. but it was still pretty cool. We got a good laugh at all the Beaver things. 
                                               Sister Bearnson at Buc-ees!!!  Wall of Beavers





Talents

Ola :)

Great week this week. One of the highlights was the

Ward ARTS NIGHT!

It was a big talent show that also involved visual art like paintings and quilts. It was so much fun to see the random talents that people in our ward have. We brought some investigators so we got to see it all! Some members sang Opera (and I was actually impressed) One of them was in Italian and I thought it sounded pretty good, but if anyone has heard me try to speak Italian then you would know I have no idea. haha 

Some of the youth danced. There was a lyrical dance that was pretty good, but my favorite was one of the guys doing a hip-hop locking dance. He is a less active that we have been working with to come back to church. He mentioned a couple weeks ago that he use to dance and so of course I had to ask him what he does and why he stopped doing it. He said that he didn't know why he stopped, but it was something he missed. We had a a little conversation about it and pretty much at the end Sister Bearnson and I talked him into taking up dancing again. At this point I had never seen him dance and I totally forgot about the conversation. Then in the talent show he is called up on stage and he says in the microphone, "I love to dance and it is a talent that I have been given from God. The sisters have helped me to see that I can use my talent in good ways that uplift others. I will forever be grateful to my Father in Heaven for his gift" :D It was such a  cool looking dance and he choreographed it all himself. We were impressed and we are glad he is getting more involved with the ward. 

Other than singing and dancing there was a couple piano pieces played and there was even some stand up comedy. It wasn't the best thing I have ever heard, but it was still pretty funny. There was even a violin and viola duo by a pregnant mom (due in 3 weeks) and another lady in the ward. I was impressed at all the talent.   

At the end of that night I realized that so many people had talents that I would have never even realized. Then I thought about spiritual talents. There are a ton of people in the world who have certain talents, whether it is something they have really worked to develop or it is just something that comes naturally, God gives everyone a talent. My companion, Sister Bearnson is very good at listening. She almost always knows exactly what investigators are feeling because she can listen in a way that really allows her to understand them on a deeper level. Some people are blessed with teaching skills or people skills. There are talents of being great helpers, of always being considerate of others. All of these talents as a whole can come together and benefit all of us. 

God never intended for us to get to heaven all alone. We need each other to learn and to grow. If we were all individual people fending for ourselves then we would never have the need to be anything other than what we are. The talents and abilities of others challenge us to be better than we are. It is a wonderful system that God knew would help us out in the best way. 
 

Other than that we had our first Cottage Meeting this week! This a smaller group of members inviting their friends over and we all eat goodies and talk about the gospel. It actually was really awesome and we are planning another one in a couple weeks. 

We also got to help out at the library this week! We got to sort through book for 2 hours! haha It wasn't the most wonderful job, but we were happy to see the librarians smile when we were done. Service really is the best medicine. 
                                                                Pearland District!!
                                                                     
Don't worry...we never go over the speed limit!!!!