Monday, October 28, 2013

"The Mornonites are Here!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail & Pictures 
October 28, 2013 
Serving in Puyallup, Washington 
Companion: Sister Dudek 

Entertainment during our weekly planning 

Time for my week I guess. 

We had district meeting on Tuesday and talked about weekly planning, and also did two truths and a lie to get to know the district better. We went over to talk to Martha after and gave her a large print bom so that she can actually read it. We haven't been able to get over there since. Later that night we went and talked to a less-active that we knocked into.
Party Hat for Zone Planning Meeting 

Party Hat for Zone Planning Meeting 

Funny story about that: So when we first met her she told us her name, we completely forgot it, and all we could remember was that she was from Cambodia. Naturally, as we talked about her, she was the Cambodian Lady. Somehow, over the past few times that we visited her, we switched her to the Cantonese lady, don't know how or when. So, when we went over there the other night, we were reminded that she's from Cambodia, and found out that her name is actually Souin (I have no idea how to actually spell it, but it sounds like Sue-in). Success! She told us to come over on Halloween and have a party with her as she hands out candy haha. 

Wednesday we taught some less-actives, Debby and Chris. They're both super sweet ladies, and just need some help getting to church and a stronger testimony. We've been going through the missionary discussions with both of them, and it's been awesome to see them progress and come unto Christ more and more. 

WE FINALLY SAW ALTHEA!!!!!! Prayers are answered!!! We went over and she told us all about her trip to Arizona, and then we went over the Restoration with her again, and tried to focus on the apostasy like President Eaton wants us to. It went well, but we think that she thinks the Mormon church is a "new" church, so we're gonna focus on how it's the same church since the beginning of time. 

Awesome story. So Althea took her Book of Mormon to Arizona with her and had been reading it! That never happens! Anyways, her daughter Samia had been telling her family over and over that the "mornonite sisters" were coming over and reading scriptures with her mom and that her mom made fried chicken for the "mornonite sisters." So now whenever we go over Samia runs to the door and yells, "the mornonites are here!"

I love five year-olds. 

Oh! Althea has already picked out mine and Sister Dudek's husband's! She says it's her goal to have us look at her at the end of our mission, and then say we know who we're gonna marry. Hahaha! 

Sister Dudek has also picked out my husband (a different guy). 

And so has my District Leader (different from both). 

None of them are right. 

Thursday we had our weekly planning party topped off with our mormon party hats that we made to make it more fun to do. It was still boring, but we got some funny pictures!

On Friday and Saturday we knocked all day because we're out of miles. So, we walked everywhere, and we decided that you don't realize how far everything is until you have to walk around your whole area. It was fun though, definitely got some good laughs and stories out of those two days. 

Sunday we had ward council and church and the normal stuff. A family in our ward hosted an open house to get to know the new families in the ward, which means we got to go and talk to the Reine's! Words cannot express how much I love that family. 

I hope you all have an awesome week, and a great Halloween (even you mom)! Sister Dudek and I have a good costume planned, so we'll send you pictures of it for sure next week.

Sister VerHoef

Shoutouts this week go to:
Everyone with a birthday (too much family to remember)
Grams for being a rockstar after surgery!
Amanda and my mom for actually emailing me (guilt tripp!)
Jo for sending me pictures

Monday, October 21, 2013

So We Have Been Teaching...

Jordyn's weekly e-mail & Pictures  
October 21, 2013 
Serving in Puyallup, Washington 
Companion: Sister Dudek

So we've been teaching Martha still. She was committed to be baptized, but she hasn't been progressing lately so we're gonna try one more thing with the Book of Mormon. But if she keeps not keeping her commitments, we're gonna have to drop her unfortunately. keep praying. faith and hope.

We've been working more with less-actives this week per instruction from President Eaton and the Prophet. The first one's name is Sister Bostic--who is super sweet, just doesn't make it to church very often. She came up to the sisters before I got here and asked them for the missionary discussions so we went over to meet her. Hopefully we'll be able to get teaching her again and have her go to the temple soon!

There's also another man in our ward named Jim. He was sealed in the temple when he got married, but shortly after that started working on Sundays so he hasn't been able to make it to church more than once every few months for the past twenty years. His daughter's planning on leaving on her mission in March, so he is wanting to get back to the temple so he can go through with her and our mission leader suggested that he start with the missionary discussions. We read the Joseph Smith History account of the first vision, and it was an awesome experience. Each of us talked about our conversion stories (even though three of us were born in the church), and talked about how you can't go into a prayer without faith that your prayer will be answered. He's an awesome guy, and I can't wait to see him back at the temple with his family. 

Althea is home! She said she was going to call us, but we decided to drop by her apartment on Friday and she opened the door! She was leaving right then to go do some stuff, but said that we could come back, and we're going over tonight :) I'll keep you posted on what happens (and by that I mean I'll write about what happens in my letter next week).

There is a part member family in our ward that hasn't ever really been interested (like most of them are). But, through many miracles, we started teaching one this week (and this is why the members are so essential in missionary work). So Lavae Jennings was a member, and then she married Robert. Her dad started shoving the missionaries down his throat the minute they got married, and he hasn't been interested in the church since. Their family has had an awesome home teacher for the past twenty years, and through his diligence and dedication Robert's heart was slowly softened toward the church. While he was at the home teacher's house one night, our mission leader went over and he and Robert clicked instantly. Through their friendship, he invited Robert to hear the missionary discussions, and on Saturday we taught him and Lavae the restoration. There was no way we would have been able to do that without the members--they're absolutely key to all of this, and can get into doors and hearts that missionaries may not be able to initially. 

That's about all the news we have investigator-wise! The work is going forward, more slowly than I want it to, but it is moving forward. 

And finally, a funny knocking story from this week.

So we're knocking doors the other night, and we come to our last door. There's this big guy with these two huge dogs behind him looking like they're ready to attack us any second. He asks us what's up, so we tell him that we're missionaries for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints and continue on. We ask him if he's ever spoken with missionaries before and he says no. So Sister Dudek asks him if that's something he'd be interested in, and he says he didn't know, turns around and yells to his family, "Hey! Any of you wanna be missionaries? ...for Jesus Christ?" Hahaha, unfortunately none of them wanted to be missionaries, but we got a good laugh out of it. 

I hope you all have an awesome week!
Sister VerHoef

 So this is the Spider that lives outside of our apartment. We named him Maher-shalal-hash-baz (Hash for short) because he is huge and slightly terrifying. But we have an agreement that we won't kill him if he stays out of our apartment, so we're good for now. 
So some members sent us home with a whole bunch of food, and to make sure it didn't fly everywhere while we were driving it home Sister Dudek buckled it into the car. hahaha! Love my companion :)

Friday, October 18, 2013

Fall Has Hit Washington State

Pictures of Jordyn
Sent October 15, 2013

Fall has hit Washington!!  
Now that is one BIG leaf 

Halloween Package from Jordyn's Family
Missionaries love packages..Jordyn's family sent her a Halloween package..She sure loved it!!

Happy Five Months To Me!!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
October 15, 2013
Serving in Puyallup, Washington 
Companion: Sister Dudek

So I forgot to write last week that transfer calls were gonna be coming on Sunday night. 

True to my past, I will be staying in Ridgecrest for another six weeks :) Which is awesome, I love it here, and apparently there's someone that I need to find before I leave. Next transfer is November 26, so I'll keep ya'll posted. 

Even though I'm not getting transferred, I did leave my area this week for the first time! We went on exchanges with some sisters and I went out to the Elk Plain ward for a day. It was honestly really weird to not be in my area, but it was fun to see somewhere besides Puyallup. It felt even better to come back to my area, so it'll definitely be interesting when I actually leave my area for good. 

Oh, news with Althea, that's right. Sister Dudek and Sister Hills went over last Tuesday while we
were on exchanges, and I guess her uncle died and she took off for Arizona and will hopefully call us when she gets back so we can get her baptized! :)

We had zone meeting this last week which was awesome as always. We talked about how important the apostasy is, and how we can teach it more powerfully as missionaries. Once you set the bleak stage that is the apostasy, the restoration is more powerful, and the people see why it was necessary. Then we go into questions like "So what does that mean?" "What would you be willing to do to know that God and Christ appeared to Joseph Smith in 1820?" "We know that it is true, we know that you can find out that it is true, and once you know these things are true will you follow the example of Jesus Christ and be baptized by someone holding the priesthood authority of God?" It's awesome! I can already feel my teaching improving, and it was so fun to go over the Restoration again because it's my favorite lesson to teach.  

Sunday was also really weird! I had a dream that I was done with my mission and getting ready to come home which really freaked me out, so when I woke up I was really excited to be on my mission still :) But then we went to church and sacrament meeting was someone's homecoming! So that threw me off, and then in sunday school our class kept giving Sister Dudek and me marriage advice, which freaked us both out. 

Sorry this letter is so scatterbrained and short, we're working on getting more exciting stories and more importantly, investigators. But I hope everyone has a good week, and go out and invite someone to learn about the restored gospel! It's all about your invitation--not the answer that you get.


Monday, October 7, 2013

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
October 7, 2013
Companion: Sister Dudek 
Serving in Puyallup, Washington

 don't feel like doing the "journal email" home this week, so instead you're gonna get "What Sister VerHoef learned or realized this week." Be prepared for some profound insights into life everyone!

Haha, that was a total lie. I don't have a profound bone in my body. But I did learn quite a lot this week.

I really miss the temple
This insight came about as we were teaching the Reine's on Monday about the temple, and then again as they went to do baptisms in the temple(!) on Tuesday. It totally broke my heart that I couldn't go up with them, but it was a huge tender mercy as well. This is why I'm on a mission. So that families can be united together forever. Amazing.

Every past prophet has known they're going to end in apostasy, and look at everything they did. We know that we won't end in apostasy. Are we working as hard as Alma and Amulek, or Abraham, or Paul? Or are we slacking off because we know we'll have success?
This came about in district meeting on Tuesday. We were talking about how short of a time we have on our missions, and my district leader actually said this. Brought about some interesting conversations and thoughts. 

The world needs the Book of Mormon
I have always been a HUGE advocate of the Book of Mormon because (like many others) that's where my testimony really started. It was after I read it, prayed about it, and received an answer that I really knew the church was true. In addition to the wonderful testimony that you gain from it, it also restores the plain and precious truths that have been lost. For example: I talked with a Jdubb this week. Tried to explain why the fall of Adam and Eve was a good thing, but the only resource I could refer to was the Genesis account. Unfortunately, that only treats the fall as an event, and doesn't discuss the doctrine of the fall like the Book of Mormon does. Which means, if we want to understand things in the bible like the fall, we need the Book of Mormon. Made me realize how grateful I am for the Book of Mormon and Joseph Smith. 

"Always go to the bathroom when your companion does"
Words of wisdom from Sister Dudek

My investigator (Althea) will find me a husband
So Althea came to church last week(!) and during Sunday School was pairing Sister Dudek and me up with people she thought we should marry! Haha, I love her so much. We still haven't figured out exactly who they are, so she's coming back on Sunday to show us who she picked out (a clever way to get someone to church don't you think;). And she's praying for us too! She said the closing prayer the other day and said, "please bless these girls that when they get home from their missions that they will have beautiful husbands waiting for them to make beautiful children with." Thank you Althea. Sister Dudek and I need all the prayers we can get. :) :)

I don't like my interviews cut short
We had interviews with President this week, and mine got cut short because President was running behind. Our WML told us that it was a good thing because it means he's not worried about us, but we also didn't get to get the amount of time that everyone else got, and I was only able to ask him four of my questions. Bummer deal.

The Lord's tender mercies are the best
Just when your hands feel like they're about to fall off from knocking so many doors, when your feet are so tired you think you can't take another step, and you knock on one more door before you go in for the night, you're blessed with a miracle. And her name is Meeca. And she's completely open to learning about the gospel, and wants to come to conference and have her kids go to primary next Sunday. Just when you're ready to give up. 

Best quotes from the sessions that I wrote down:
"faith is always pointed to the future"
"significant but subtle blessings from tithing"
"doubt your doubts before you doubt your faith"
"missionaries cannot do this alone"
"it will take the help of God, and time to polish us for eternal life"
"you won't gain a testimony of tithing if you never fill out a tithing slip"
"you have the primary responsibility for your own conversion"
"you are never too young to learn, you are never too old to change"

If you go over to Althea's house and say you've never had homemade fried chicken, she will make you eat some
So we went over after conference to talk about it, while she was making homemade fried chicken. We were talking about that when I mentioned that I hadn't ever had homemade fried chicken so she gets up, runs to the kitchen, and brings Sister Dudek and me a plate of fried chicken with cornbread and collared greens or something. The chicken was good though! The greens were weird, and the cornbread was awesome. #southernfood

Althea will also freak out if you tell her you have no idea how to cook
So I also told Althea that I have no idea how to cook and she went, "didn't your mom ever make you help her in the kitchen!!" And I kind of didn't say anything (sorry mom), so she said that we're gonna come over to her house, and she's gonna teach us how to cook so that we can make our husbands happy and talk about the gospel while we cook. For those of you who know me, you now know how desperate I am to teach people if I'll do it while cooking. #sacrifice

That's about all for my week! It was a lot of fun, and I love being a missionary. 

Stay classy Federal Way,

Picture that came this week
A cat that won't leave the Sisters alone! Sister VerHoef named him Cain