Tuesday, November 26, 2013

TRANSFER OR NOT IS THE QUESTION

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
Tues November 26, 2013 
Serving in Puyallup, WA 
Companion Sister Dudek 


Big Letter this week...Will she be transferred or not...Puyallup WA, Ridgecrest ward or transferring?? Read on and see what happens! 

I get two reactions whenever I tell a member how long I've been here in Ridgecrest:

1."Oh my goodness! You've been here that long?? Time sure does fly . . ."
2. "You're still here??"

Neither of those reactions really comfort me.
But within the past couple of months I have come to absolutely love and adore the entire ward here, so the thought of leaving completely broke my heart. But everyone was absolutely positive that I was leaving because I've been here six months already.

And the ward started to say peace out to both of us this past week. Sister Dudek and I said the opening/closing prayer in ward council (which hasn't happened in the entire time I've been here), we got called up to bear our testimonies in sacrament meeting because there was extra time (hasn't happened since I've been here), we got asked to visit a Sunday school class and talk to the kids there, and a bunch of other things. The whole ward came up to us and said bye after sacrament meeting, and then I was a wreck after that.

Naturally, I was a little stressed out when Elder Popp called me on Sunday night to let me know what was happening. The conversation went as follows.

Me: Hello!
Popp: Who am I talking to?
Me: Sister VerHoef
Popp: Sister VerHoef, how are you feeling right now?
Me: Let's not talk about that, I've been a basket case all day. Just give me my transfer call.
Popp: Sister Dudek will you give us a drum roll?
Me: GIVE ME MY TRANSFER CALL!!
Popp: Sister Dudek, a drum roll please.
*Sister Dudek starts a drum roll on my desk*
Popp: Sister VerHoef, you will be . . . staying in the Ridgecrest ward!
April Fools! Uh, Thanksgiving fools! I'm staying right here in the wonderful city of Puyallup and partying it up with the Ridgecrest ward for the rest of the year!

Both Sisters are STAYING in RIDGECREST WARD!! 

Fun fact: Most of my 2013 year is gonna be in Puyallup. (Did not see that one coming this time last year)

Sister Dudek is staying too! We're super pumped to be together and in RC. Love it here, love the members, love being a missionary, don't want it to end.

We had a cool miracle this week. On Thursday we had 4 or 5 set appointments with people . . . and every single one of them went through! We got to teach the restoration 3 times, feel the spirit testify to people, and testify ourselves of the restored gospel of Jesus Christ.

By the way, it's true. Don't have much more to say than that. Hope you all have wonderful Thanksgiving!

Peace,
Sister VerHoef

Shoutout to:
Mike for having a birthday! 
Everyone that's cooking thanksgiving dinner. I'm grateful I don't have to cook it :)

Monday, November 18, 2013

Rain, Rain and More Rain

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
November 18, 2013
Serving in Puyallup, Washington
Companion: Sister Dudek

Next week are transfers..so e-mail will arrive on Tues instead of Monday

Sister VerHoef & Sister Dedek walking in the rain in the dark..which is a no, no 

It rained this week! I know, I know, surprised me too. Some members told us that there's a chance of snow happenin' up here in Puyallup, so I'm pretty stoked. 

Anyways, on to the happenin' of the Ridgecrest Sisters (aka the adventures of VerHoef and Dudek):

So I told you about Jennifer and her family last week right? She didn't make it to church, so we texted her on Monday and asked if we could stop by again and meet with her. The response we got was quote "I actually got all my questions answered and need to process and think about what I want to do. Still looking to investigate other churches and keeping all my options open." Not quite the response we were expecting. So, after pondering and praying together, Sister Dudek and I decided three things.

1. Jennifer is looking for a church
2. Sister Dudek and I are trying to use the members better
3. The Wayne family in our ward has been praying for missionary experiences

So we decided to go with this, and have everything come together. We met with Sister Wayne and talked about missionary work, and how to do it boldly but simply, and how it's not scary when we have the Spirit with us. We invited her to talk to Jennifer (she knows her from their kids preschool) and invite her to church this next Sunday. Sister Wayne was super nervous, but texted us after she talked to Jennifer and said quote "It was a natural conversation and it was not hard to ask!"

And Jennifer came to church on Sunday with her kids! I believe with all of my heart that invitations from members are the most powerful ones, and ones that investigators will respond the best too. 

Like I said, we've been trying to figure out how to find better through the members of our ward. President Eaton gave us an awesome idea of simply showing the members how they can share the gospel, and not have it be scary. We've been doing 15 minute visits with families at 8:00 and 8:30 every night, and just talk about what they can do to share the gospel with the people they're already coming in contact with. It's just starting, but we'll let you know how it goes! It's been awesome to see our ward catch the spirit of missionary work a little bit more these past few months (and they've made HUGE progress in the six months I've been here).

We also went on another exchange. Sister Wolfe came out to Ridgecrest with me (I'm telling you, I'm never leaving this area) and we had an awesome day! She's been out for 5 months, but seems like she's been out for a year or longer. She's an awesome missionary, and was able to give us some good ideas for the area. 

That's about all of the exciting stuff (that I can remember). But I had a cool realization last night. 

So we're walking along this street at like 8:00 in the pouring rain. It's pitch black except for the street lights and the cars driving by, and we're both freezing. The family we had an appointment to go see wasn't there, so we trudged through the mud (because there's no sidewalks in our area) back to our car. We're walking back though, and I realized how happy I am. I've felt so much charity and love for everyone recently, and it's blown my mind. I never thought I would love this area this much, the members here so much, and the random people I come in contact with each day. But that's what's cool about a mission. I feel like I have this endless capacity to love, and then also know that it's not a love that's coming from me, it's the Savior's love being manifest through me. Amazing. 

And oh my gosh. I'm probably the worst daughter ever for this, but HAPPY BIRTHDAY DAD!!!!! . . . last week. Hope it was awesome, despite the lack of acknowledgement from your [favorite] daughter. 

Hope you all have an awesome week! 

Love,
Sister VerHoef

Shoutouts to:
Jo for personal progress (and keeping it a secret! :)
Julie! Even though I don't think I got the forwarded pictures
Mom for getting my violin out to Washington!!!


Monday, November 11, 2013

Being Creative

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
November 11, 2013 
Serving in Puyallup, Washington 
Companion: Sister Dudek 

Hey all! Since it's Veteran's Day we only have a few minutes to write, and a TON happened this week. I only have time for the coolest story though. Get ready.
Since Sister Dudek and I baptized the Reine family we haven't had too much luck with investigators. It's either been that no one is interested, or they start off interested and then drop off the face of the earth. We've been knocking a lot of doors, but out here in R-town (Ridgecrest) that isn't the most effective thing to do. So we've been trying to figure out how to better work with the members.
Last Fast Sunday I decided to fast for an investigator who is really interested, and would want us to come into their home and teach them. We had a great fast Sunday, most of the testimonies were actually about missionary work, and then kind of forgot about it. We went about our business on Monday and part of Tuesday until we got a call from our Zone Leaders. Elder Blaney called us and said that they had a referral for us (which we never get)! He said that a member in their ward had called them and given them the name, address, and phone number, but didn't say anything about her. She ended up living in our ward boundaries. We finished up what we were planning on doing, and then went and tried to contact Jennifer.
As we were driving to her house, we realized that it was on a street that we had knocked a ton, had visited a ton of people, and had no success on this road at all. Our spirits started to get a little disheartened, but we knew that we needed to come and see her regardless of our past success in this area of the ward.
OH MY GOSH! We knocked on her door, and she welcomed us in right away! Turns out, she goes to a preschool that is run by a member, and has an acquaintance that is a member that goes to the same preschool that had briefly talked about the church. Jennifer has a number of Mormon friends, and absolutely loves the welcoming feel that she gets every time she goes to a church activity. So, that morning she had called her friend, asked if she could learn more about the church, and then we got sent over.
We had an awesome lesson! She wanted to know what was different about our church. I guess she had heard for a long time that the Mormon religion was different, but she didn't know why. I cannot explain how perfect of a question that was, so we immediately jumped into . . . the Restoration! We taught it, and she said that everything made sense, she loved the one-on-one time that we gave her, and loved how clear we (tried to) make everything. It was one of those lessons that you know the Spirit was there, because Sister Dudek and I were a little rusty on our Resto and felt like we were everywhere. But that's what's cool about the spirit--we can say the most jumbled up things, but as long as we're teaching with the Spirit, he is going to testify of what we're saying and turn our "blah, blah, blah" into something they can understand. Love it.
Needless to say, we were shocked as we left Jennifer's home. Neither of us knew what to say to each other, and finally Sister Dudek went, "I can't believe it. This is what I fasted for." Which reminded me, that was the exact same thing I fasted for as well. As soon as we got to our car we freaked out a little bit, did a happy dance, and then said a prayer of gratitude to Heavenly Father for the tender mercies and miracles we've been able to see in the Ridgecrest ward.
That was such a testimony to me. It reminded me that Heavenly Father really is listening, and really does want to bless us. That he cares about the little things and will grant us miracles according to our faith. We also had zone conference this week where President Eaton talked to us about having "real faith." He said something that I really loved; that if we all had the faith of Ammon, we wouldn't necessarily baptize thousands like Ammon did, but we would baptize a lot more.
I know that Heavenly Father hears and answers prayers, and is waiting to bless us with the things that we need. The church is true, Joseph Smith restored it, and it is our opportunity and blessing to be able to share with others the things that we know.
I love you all! Hope you have an awesome week that is just filled with miracles!
Love,
Sister VerHoef


Jordyn sent a picture of Mt. Rainier..apparently it is just beautiful and is in her mission..

Mt. Rainier 


Monday, November 4, 2013

EXCITING WEEK AND GREAT NEWS!!!

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
November 4, 2013 
Serving in Puyallap, Washington
Companion: Sister Dudek 



Hey all!  

Quite the exciting week if I do say so myself. We went on exchanges on Tuesday with our Sister Leader thing or whatever it's called (it's like a girl version of a zone leader). More importantly, her name is Sister Wolfe, and her companion, Sister Gosalind came out and partied with me in Ridgecrest (I'm forever gonna stay in this area). We went and saw a less-active Tuesday night with our ward mission leader's wife and the elder's quorum president. It was awesome! He told us more of his story, and why he wasn't active and then we talked about the restoration, and how Joseph Smith's story is still applicable to him today. Super awesome lesson, super strong spirit, and now we're gonna work on getting him to come back to church. Pray for Jerry. 

Our ward had a trunk-or-treat the day before Halloween. It was really funny--Sister Dudek and I would get two reactions toward the way we were dressed (normal missionary clothes). That we either had the best costumes, or that we didn't dress up. To appease the members, we switched our tags. So for Halloween, Sister VerHoef was Sister Dudek and Sister Dudek was Sister VerHoef. (don't worry mom, I'll send pictures of it)




So the trunk or treat was a par-tay! We went around to talk to the members, and then ended up getting our bags stuffed with candy. There were even some parents who would go, "give some of your candy to the missionaries!" So we had like 9 year old boys reaching into their well-earned supply of candy and giving it to the poor missionaries. #consecration #statesidemissions

And then Halloween was just a blast on top of that (definitely different than any other one I've had before). We met with our mission leader and then tried to stop by some people. We went to go see this less-active named Cory who we met a few weeks ago and told us to come by on Halloween to see the haunted house he and his roommate were building. We went while it was still light out, but they decided to take us through it. Now, we all know that I'm the biggest baby when it comes to haunted houses, and of course I got to go through first. We're walking through, he's telling us what's gonna be where, and I turn this corner and there's this little kid with a creepy clown mask on. Scared the tar out of me. Everyone laughed, we moved on, and around the next corner there's a teenage girl who jumps out and scares me. Naturally I screamed again, and wouldn't move until I got a promise that there wasn't gonna be any more surprises. We finally made out into the light, but I did get scared on Halloween. Just like always. 

We had dinner at a member's house after that, and then tried to see a couple more people before 7:00 hit. No one opened up, and President Eaton asked us to be inside by 7 to do weekly planning. So we planned, and partied, and ate a lot of candy. Awesome day.

While I was on exchanges, Sister Gosalind and I were going to visit one of Sister Dudek and mine's investigators. We had a car pull up next to us and it ended up being an investigator we had dropped just a few days earlier. They invited us over on Friday, so Sister Dudek and I went over planning to teach a lesson, but they had a huge buffett set out and ended up feeding us a lot of food. Right after we had just come from dinner. We hadn't been that full in a longggg time haha. 

So on Saturday we tried to get a bunch of people to commit to come to church. We had dinner at a family's house last sunday and they really want us to work with their son who's really less-active and doubting his testimony. He told us if we bought him eggnog that he would come to church, so on Saturday we showed up at his house with two half gallons of eggnog, and left with a commitment to come to church! And he did come to church! We could tell he looked really uncomfortable because he hadn't been in so long, and ended up leaving after sacrament meeting, but he was still a rockstar. He's totally coming back. 

Saturday night we saw our investigator Robert and taught him the gospel. He has a lot of sin in his past, and when we talked about once you're baptized your sins are completely washed away and you can start new in God's eyes, he was amazed. He told us that he never thought he could have those burdens lifted away and have those feelings of guilt removed. It made me so grateful for Jesus Christ and his atonement. It's so powerful, and I love being able to see people change because of it. 

By the way, Robert's getting baptized on November 30th!



So daylight savings ended on Sunday. We set our microwave and oven back an hour, but our phone never changed. So we ended up waking up at 5:30 in the morning, but didn't realize it. We thought it was 6:30, we were sitting at our desks studying at what we thought was 8, but then our phone switched to 7. We were both super confused, couldn't remember what we had done with the clocks, and then had to end up calling our zone leaders to figure out what time it was. We found out it was 7:15, so we both went and slept again until 8 haha. So we did get a little bit extra sleep, but not the way we were planning on it. 

Dad this one's for you--My ward mission leader told us that Pierce county (where Puyallup is) has some of the lowest gas prices in the country right now. There's a Safeway by my apartment where gas is $2.89! But every time I see gas prices here I think of you :) 

Mom, the weather up here isn't very cold, unless you're one of the whiney people, or my companion from California who's freezing. It's been about 50 and goes down to around 40 at night, and I've heard that it doesn't usually get much colder than that during the winter. It's pretty mellow up here except for the wind. I've seen the sun twice this week! Best moment of my life! We've had like two weeks of overcast, and then the sun popped out the other day and I saw some blue sky. It was glorious. And my asthma and allergies have been good, I just try and avoid all of the dogs up here. And oddly enough, they all seem to gravitate towards me. 

That's about it for me, hope you all have an awesome week! 

Love,
Sister VerHoef

p.s. I didn't edit--sorry!
Shoutouts this week go to:
Jeremy for his birthday!
Karli for sending me Halloween pictures
JoLynn for her banner thing
Dallas on Mission papers!!! Woot!!!
Des for first place on the crossfit competition!

Pictures that came this week: 
Huge Willow Tree they found

Sister VerHoef in front of a beautiful Fall tree 


Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
November 4, 2013
Request to be sent to her 

I just found out I can have my violin! I've actually been wanting to play it for my investigators, so that was funny that you said that in your email :) Is there any way you could send it out to me, and with my music as well? (suzuki books 7, 8, 10, the solo books that I have [by like barbra barbra i think] and my church music)

And if you know where my green ipod is can you send it as well? I just learned that we can have them out here, and I have church playlists on it! 

I love you! Thanks for writing me, and being the wonderful mom that you are :) It's been awesome to hear about your mission experiences, and whenever I meet with our Relief Society president out here I think of you :)