Monday, December 1, 2014

Dead Men Tell No Tales‏

First and foremost, I need to publicly apologize to Sister Choi for all the crap I gave her (and helped the members giver her) when she went home. Karma really does come back to bite you.

Second, anyone else shocked/mindblown that my mission is almost over?? Anyone else feel like I just left?? Those are my only thoughts today. I remember at the beginning of my mission all I wanted was for time to fly by. Now, like most missionaries in my spot, there isn't a lot I wouldn't give to make time stop. Unfortunately "this too shall pass" applies equally to good and bad times. To avoid getting sappy or dramatic or crying at the library (that last one was a joke) I decided to share with you all a couple of things I have learned on my mission. I call it 10 things I've learned/been reminded of on my mission. Some are dumb, others are cool, and they are in no particular order.

1. If something is important to you, you'll make time for it. If not, you'll make an excuse
I can't even begin to describe how many people I've taught who would say that going to church was important to them, but then would never come. They would say that reading the scriptures is important, yet we would always get an excuse for why they didn't read or pray or come to church. I have also been blessed to meet people throughout my mission who say something is important, and they show it too because they actually do it. As Sister Sonasi always says, "we need to throw all of our excuses out the window" because in all honesty, they really aren't that good.

2. The little things are the big things
I started collecting change fairly early on in my mission. Reactions from people were various. I had some companions think I was weird, some helped me out, and one started competing with me. Whenever I told someone though, I always seemed to find someone who would tell me I was wasting my time and my efforts wouldn't add up to anything. As of when I counted last, I have collected $40.41 in change over the last 18 months. Diligent effort in the little things adds up. Spiritually speaking, weekly church attendance, daily scripture study, and daily prayer seem like little things that don't matter, but over time and in the end they add up to a very significant result.

3. The Spirit is the same in every language
This one I learned most powerfully in the Korean Branch (who would've guessed right?) In a language and culture I didn't understand even a little bit, I was still able to feel God's love and the Holy Ghost testify to me. On the flip side, I have also taught a lot of people who's first language isn't English. The Spirit still testifies. "Proficency in [the language of the Spirit] permits one to breach barriers, overcome obstacles, and touch the human heart." (Thomas S. Monson Preach My Gospel p. 133) I may not have mastered Korean or Marshallese or Samoan or Tongan or Arabic; but I do know when the Spirit is there. And when the Spirit is in a place hearts are touched and lives are changed.

4. There is no comfort in the growth zone, and there is no growth in the comfort zone
A mission doesn't just push you gently out of your comfort zone, it throws you outside and then locks the door so you can't come back inside. It's painful and uncomfortable, but those times in my mission were the times I look back and see the most growth in myself. I'm pretty sure part of the reason they make missionaries go home is because you get comfortable with all of this and need to grow again.

5. There's life after Ridgecrest
Credit for this one goes to Sister Bryan who told me when she was released from teaching seminary she learned that there's life after seminary. When I left Ridgecrest my world seemed to be shattered and I KNEW for a fact that I would never love an area as much as I loved it there. Life continued on, and I fell in love with Federal Way and then Kent. It was just another opportunity to grow.

6. The power of prayer
I have spent more time on my knees in the past 18 months than I have ever before, and there is a difference. Through those hours and conversations with Heavenly Father personal revelation has come. Testimony has been solidified. Comfort has been given, and perhaps most importantly I've come to truly know for certain that I am a daughter of Heavenly Father whom I can converse with at any time, and in any place. And an answer will come.

7. "VerHoef" is hard to say
I'm pretty sure it's the "hoef" part that throws everybody off. I have had maybe ten people my entire mission say my name right on the first try without me helping. My first zone leaders said I was "greenie" on their board for my first transfer until they finally learned how to say my name. The best part about my name though: It has lead to a TON of conversations about family history. The conversation usually starts out with "where is your name from?" or "Is it German?" And we proceed from there. Cash flow money.

8. I have never regretted following a prompting of the Spirit, and I have always regretted not
The first part of my mission was me learning how the Spirit works/is this prompting coming from the Spirit or myself? Once I understood those, it turned into working up the courage to follow those promptings. I'm nowhere near perfect at it, but the confirmation I get each time I follow one is one of the sweetest things I've felt my entire mission.

9. Men in Kent got no game
'nuff said. The pickup lines guys tried to use were the best in Ridgecrest. Fedway was decent. Kent is just sad and gross.

10. The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints is Christ's church once again established on the earth
This one I knew before my mission--I wouldn't waste a year and a half of my life talking about it if I didn't know it. But I've had it reaffirmed to me over and over as I have taught the restoration hundreds of times. I'm all out of doubts; it's true. I've got a TON of questions all the time, but my doubts about everything have run out. Jesus Christ is the head of this church. We have a prophet and apostles who lead us today and point the way to Christ. The Book of Mormon and Bible are true, and combined with sincere prayer is how each of us can come to know these truths for ourselves.

I love my mission. Alma 28 describes in one sentence the best description that I've ever heard. "And this is the account of Ammon and his brethren, their journeyings in the land of Nephi, their sufferings in the land, their sorrows, and their afflictions, and their incomprehensible joy . . . ." You love big and you hurt big on a mission. I've never had my heart broken so many times or experienced so many sorrows, but all of that can't even compare to the joy that has come to my life as well. I've seen miracles day in and day out, and I've come to truly know who my heavenly Father and Savior are--which I would say is the crowning event of my entire mission.

Thank you to everyone who has supported me in any way the past 18 months--especially my parents. I wouldn't be here without you two!

I've gotta sign off now (this is the really weird part). I love you all. I'll be seeing some of you soon.

For the final time over email,

Sister VerHoef

p.s. for missionaries still out, my home email is

So once upon a time there was a ward in Kent named Clark Lake.
And there were 8 missionaries serving in it.
At the same time.
Sister Peterson, Sister Henderson, Elder Graham, Elder John, Elder Ludlow, Elder Wilcox,
Sister Sonasi, Sister VerHoef
 Okay. This one deserves an explination.
So Sis Sonasi makes this face ALL THE TIME in almost every picture she's in.
We were taking a zone picture after (my last) zone meeting and someone said,
"we should make Sister Sonasi's face!!"
Elder: Hilton, Alcazar, Tavo, John, Graham, Wilcox, Ludlow, Garr, Patchett, Anderson, Oliphant
Sister: Sonasi, Frischnecht, Biggs, Peacock, Baxter, Halford, Henderson, Peterson, Kirschner, VerHoef
This is Sister Lee.
She is from Korea.
They keep showing up in my life.
I love it.

Some people in Clark Lake that I was blessed to work with for 3 transfers:

I finally got the Anthony's to take a picture with me!

Namin Akeang & myself

I know John from Fedway but I kept seeing him in Kent
like once a week.

Agnes would always call me a Samoan at heart
has a husband picked out for me


Monday, November 24, 2014

"We grew our own turkey for Thanksgiving. And we named him Dinner."‏


In all honesty I have no idea what to say about this week. I was mostly focused on my talk so I slacked on journal and prep for today (don't hate). This week was good though. We had some highs, we had some lows, we had some rain, we had some sun. And through it all we did missionary work with smiles on our faces :)

I went on an exchange to Renton last Tuesday. I'd call it mas o menos. I wasn't really feeling Renton while I was there, and it felt really good to come back to Clark Lake. And that was when I realized that Kent has become home to me. And so has Federal Way and Puyallup. Which is CRAZY!!! I remember my very first day in Washington when I was sitting in the Del Solar's home. I looked out the window in their kitchen and saw all of the trees and had this overwhelming feeling of "what did I just get myself in to?" combined with "this place will never feel like home to me." My mission prep teacher said once that we would find ourselves and personality traits in cities we've never even heard of, and I can testify to that. I've learned so much about myself here and I have loved everywhere that I've served. Each of these cities will hold a place in my heart forever. 

Enough of the sappy stuff. I'm pretty sure Brother Ortega was inspired to ask me to speak on gratitude because it was something that I needed to study and learn more about. I'm not going to send my talk, but I did want to share a few things that I learned while preparing. 

There are a TON of commands to be grateful all throughout the scriptures. I started to ponder why, and then started to think about my perspective of gratitude. If I do something for someone and get a less-than-thankful reaction from them, I'm less inclined to do something for them the next time. I had a hard time believing that God was like that though, because He's perfect, and I'm not. President Uchtdorf in his talk Grateful in Any Circumstances said, "All of His commandments are given to make blessings available to us. Commandments are opportunities to exercise our agency and to receive blessings. Our loving Heavenly Father knows that choosing to develop a spirit of gratitude will bring us true joy and great happiness." I can't believe I never realized that! We're commanded to be grateful JUST BECAUSE Heavenly Father knows that it will make us happy. He is so great! 

I was talking to another missionary about gratitude and she shared something interesting she learned in a communications class. Apparently if you want to build a relationship with someone, the fastest emotion to do that with is waitforit . . . gratitude. When you show gratitude you're telling the person that you notice and appreciate what they do, and they feel that you actually care about them and what they do. And thus a relationship forms between two people. That brought a new light to me as to why we should express sincere thanks in our prayers, because as we do that a stronger relationship is forged between us and God. 

To finish off, I found a quote this morning during my personal study that I fell in love with. The Spirit prompted me to share it with yall and I know someone needs to hear it because it has nothing to do with what I have been talking about even a little bit. 

"If you have determined to live righteously, don't become discouraged. Life may seem difficult now, but hold on tightly to that iron rod of truth. You are making better progress than you realize. Your struggles are defining character, discipline, and confidence in the promises of your Father in Heaven and the Savior as you consistently obey Their commandments."
-Richard G. Scott
The Transforming Power of Faith and Character
Ensign, Nov. 2010

I love you all! I hope each of you notice this week all the little blessings we receive daily and express gratitude for them. 

Sister VerHoef

My last exchange
Justina: You want to try on my mumu?
Me: Absolutely. 
Sonasi: Eh . . .
And thus we see:

Monday, November 17, 2014

"The Book of Mormon is blue, but it's meant to be read"‏

Yokwe! It feels like I just emailed you all on Wednesday . . . wait.

The last four days have been pretty great! A few highlights from my week:

Yes our power finally came back on
Yes it's still freezing up here

Sister Sonasi tried to throw me under the bus at a member's house by volunteering me to sing for an old lady. I was having none of that, so I made her sing with me and . . . it was pathetic. We all felt awkward and I made the mistake of looking at Sister Sonasi during the song which made me start laughing, which made her forget the words. So we both just stopped and promised that we would send the classically trained elder serving in our ward over to sing. And then we left.

We also had a cool experience with a member this week! We went to an appointment, but it ended up falling through. As we were walking back to our car there was a guy outside that we talked to briefly and shared the gospel with. When we were driving Sister Coleman home she started asking questions about how she could do that in a normal conversation during her day, we practiced some ways with her, and then when we were passing through security with her to drop her off at home, she talked to the security guard and gave him a card! It was awesome! The coolest part of that whole thing was that missionaries had stopped by his house a couple of times in Tacoma.

We stopped at a bus stop while contacting to talk to the people there (bus stops are my favorite because people can't leave). Sister Sonasi talked to a really nice and prepared kid from Guam, while I got a person who is Seventh-day Adventist, and yelled at me for going to church on Sundays and being white. Fortunately, Sister Sonasi was able to pull the "I'm colored and a mormon" card and got that guy to be quiet. And that is why we have companions on missions.

We also had a ward talent show and they made all the missionaries sing. Fortunately there are eight full-time missionaries in Clark Lake so you couldn't really hear any specific person, but they still haven't learned apparently that we don't sing. Maybe next time.

I made it to 18 months! To celebrate we did missionary work.

We had the usual meetings and church, but this Sunday I went to my last mission devotional. Which is crazy! I feel like it was just last month that I was going to my first one. Time flies.

I've got to get running though, places to go and people to see during my limited time left here in Washington. I love you all and hope you have an awesome week!

Bar lo yuk!
Sis VerHoef


Wednesday, November 12, 2014

I feel like I should make a wednesday/windsday pun today.‏


(Look at how great my marshallese has gotten!)

I will just apologize in advance, I have like zero time to write today.

Mission tour with Elder Hamula was FANTASTIC!! My list of things to improve on is a long one, but I'm excited to get working on it.

I got cornered by a member of the bishopric to speak in 2 weeks on gratitude. I can't bring myself to be grateful for it, but if anyone has any thoughts on gratitude email me and I will be forever grateful to you.

We were blessed with a bunch of amazing miracles this week, but I don't have time to write them all. Actually any of them, but know that the work of salvation is pressing forward in Kent. I am so blessed to be a part of it all.

There was a gigantic windstorm last night and the power is out at our apartment currently. We got to plan with flashlights last night (I felt like I was at girl's camp), and we also got to freeze with the heater not working. I kept thinking about emergency prepardness during the night. I'm grateful for the supplies that our apartment did have, but there were some things that we wished we had. My lecture of the week: prep for emergencies. You will be glad you did.

The library has been absolutely insane this morning, and I'm sick of writing. So I'll be signing off. I hope you all have an awesome week!

Bar lo yuk!
Sister VerHoef

Monday, November 3, 2014

"I always wonder if a black cat is a person under a spell"‏


You know you've been in Washington too long when someone says "you'll never become a good mariner by sailing calm water" and your first thought is "what does water have to do with the baseball team?" #fail

And then if that wasn't bad enough I saw a license plate frame this week that said "and on the 12th day, God created the seahawks"

Oh seattle, you kill me.

A miracle:
We met with our bishop last Tuesday and got a name of a family whose records moved into our ward but bishop wanted verification that they were actually there. We went there Wednesday morning and found out that they weren't actually there, but as we talked to the guy there he told us that he was catholic, but didn't feel like he ever got his questions answered there. He started going to a christian church with his wife and felt like he got more of the questions answered, but still not all of them. He also said we could come back and teach his family and see if they can finally get all of their questions answered. Miracles!

Halloween was great! We had a lot of fun, and saw a lot of miracles as well. Our ward had a halloween party which consisted of a chili cook-off, so. much. food., trick-or treating, carnival games, and a MIRACLE!!!
Our goal for this week was to really push the Halloween party with the members here--since it's the greatest and easiest missionary opportunity. I relearned a powerful lesson this week as we did that: less-actives are not exempt from doing missionary work even a little bit.

A less-active family ended up inviting their neighbor to the party on Halloween. It was a miracle they came in and of itself, but the neighbor that they invited is one of the most prepared people I've ever met. She went to church from age 5-15, but never got baptized. One of her parents and two of her siblings are members (less-active now), and she told me that she absolutely loves the church. Bye the end of the night, she asked us when we could come over and talk to her and her family!!

Fact: I've really grown to hate cats on my mission. And they love me. We were in a lesson with a less-active member and her cat kept bugging me so when she turned her head I gave her cat a light tap/push to get it away from me. Sister Sonasi will say that I punched it, but it was more of a backhand swat because my fist wasn't technically closed.
. . . I feel bad that I don't feel bad about it. #sorrynotsorry?

A dog also peed on me this week. Let's just say with this wasn't my favorite week where animals were involved.

On a logistical note, next pday will be on the 12th for us because Elder Hamula of the seventy is coming to our mission.

I gotta run, have an awesome week!

Sister VerHoef

Tuesday, October 28, 2014

And to think I could have flown home yesterday

sure dodged a bullet on that one!

I started getting a little anxious about transfers on Sunday night so I went and brushed my teeth and was comforted by a box of bandaids.

Thanks Heavenly Father, I appreciate it.

And the verdict for my final transfer is: I'M STAYING IN KENT!!!! WOOOOOO!!!!!! Sister Sonasi will be killing me off too!!!!! Wooooo!!!!! I was so excited to find out on Sunday night that I started dancing around and accidentally kicked a door frame.
So now I have a bruised toe but it's totally fine because I'm dying in Kent.

So many amazing miracles happened this week, but I only have the time (and memory) to tell you about one.

We were going to see a bunch of former investigators in an apartment complex on Wednesday and saw basically nothing come from it. We were going to start heading up the hill so we would be on time for our dinner appointment, but decided to try a few more in one last building before we headed up. That thought obviously came from the Spirit because we knocked into a less-active who wants to come back to church. She told us that she tried to come to church last Sunday but wasn't able to get a hold of anybody to find out the time, and lost the missionaries phone numbers so she couldn't call them either. Then she told us that she prayed that missionaries would come by so she and her family could start coming back to church, and then God led us there.

Moments like those are why I get sick to my stomach every time someone mentions how long I've been out. I love this so much.

And of course, what's a week without something awkward or hilarious happening to me or my companion? Some of the humorous highlights included:

A guy complimenting my on my kid.

The story: A little girl was scootering down a hill and I was laughing because her face was pure and UTTER JOY. A guy walking the other direction yelled, "hey! I love your kid!"

"Thanks! She's not mine though!"

". . . oh."

I didn't want him to keep feeling dumb so we shared the gospel with him and his friend.

(This one just about killed me)

We were eating dinner at a recent convert's house and we were trying to figure out who her visiting teachers were. She gave us a vague description and we thought we knew who it was, but Ruth didn't know the name. Sister Sonasi was asking a bunch of descriptive questions and finally went "Is she black? Oh wait--sorry you're color blind." Ruth gave her the most confused look I have ever seen a person give, and I almost fell out of my seat laughing. In between breaths I had to tell Sister Sonasi what color blind actually meant, and for the first time since we've been companions I saw her face go red ha ha ha ha!

I love you all! I hope you have an awesome week!


Sister VerHoef

Some of Sister VerHoef's Marshalles Friends 

Tuesday, September 16, 2014

I'm not even getting transferred and I still have to move apartments. This is bogus!‏

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
September 16, 2014 
Serving in: Kent Washington 
Companion:  "We will get the deets next week" 

Sister VerHoef
Kent, Washington
September 2014

I remember way back when Elder Piper came and toured our mission last June. To show how old I am, this was back when I was still in the Tacoma mission. But once upon a time he told an elder who was heading into his last two transfers that the last two transfers of your mission show what kind of life you want to have or something like that. At the time, little greenie sister verhoef thought that day would never, ever come in a million years and now I'm basically in shock. I have 12 weeks left? Those numbers have obviously been reversed. I really have 21 weeks left. No? Ah!!!!! It's time to go ham!! (shoutout to sister dudek)

Sister Keele is getting transferred unfortunately :( But I guess people down in Enumclaw need her more than in Kent. I'm staying, but they're having us move . . . so I still have to pack. I just unpacked 6 weeks ago. And 11 weeks before that. This is bogus. But it'll be fine. On to more important things. 

Sister Keele & Sister VerHoef 

I'm excited to stay! I really like Kent and this ward. I'll give ya all the deets on my new companion next Monday. 

.....Like I said....
I really like Kent!!!
{you have to love Harry Potter to understand this}

This last week together was a fun one! We got to do a lot of service. On Wednesday our zone went to a baseball field and pulled weeds to prep for little league. Claim to fame: We were told that if you check out the "kent little league" facebook page there's a post or a shoutout or something about us. :) share it, like it, do whatever people are doing these days. 
We also had our day of service on Saturday and cleaned up Kentlake high school. More weed pulling and using of the clipper things definitely brought joy to the lives of the missionaries in Kent that day. I'll send the picture to prove it.

Day of Service 
Not the whole district...
just those who stayed to take a picture 

Our ward had an activity on Friday night--we played a bunch of "minute to win it" games. I have to say the highlight was our zone leader trying to shake ping-pong balls out of a kleenex box tied around his waist. 

Bobble Head Competition

That and the bobble head competition. You would think watching 10 people with pedometers on their foreheads seeing how many times they can shake their head up and down in a minute would get boring at some point, but it doesn't. It still cracked Sister Keele and me up the 4th time haha. 

GREATEST THING OF MY LIFE!!! Okay, a little dramatic, but I do have a cool story. So once upon a time in high school I went on a choir tour to Seattle. We did all the touristy things and went to a Thunderbirds game. When I first got to Clark Lake we were driving down the hill to go see someone in an apartment, and we drove by a stadium that looked 

strangely familiar. Yes friends, the Thunderbirds hockey stadium is not only in my mission, it's in my area. I came to my mission a good 3 years before I even knew I was going to come here! Crazy! I definitely was meant to come to Washington. I love it here!

I've gotta get running, but I hope you all have a great week! 
-sis verhoef
p.s. the service picture isn't our whole zone . . . just the people leftover who wanted to take the picture. 

 More pictures that came with her e-mail


Monday, September 8, 2014

Another email from your favorite missionary‏

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
September 8, 2014
Serving in Kent, Washington
Companion: Sister Keele 

I feel like I just sent an email less than a week ago . . . oh wait. 

Man, the weeks sure do fly by. 
Well, here's the happs of my week here up in Kent:
-I had someone ask me if the scars on my knees are from surgery . . . I wish I could draw what her face looked like when I told her they were from me serving in a YSA branch and skinning them on the gym floor. It was something like this :O
-While on exchanges we talked to some drunk guys. I feel like because we survived our conversation with them we were blessed with a family to talk to right after. God is good. 
-Also while on exchanges we had dinner with some members here and they told us that their daughter got a Ken doll recently. They had always taught her that she could never have any boys in her room so the first night Ken slept on her dad's nightstand until he and Barbie were married the next day (in the temple). And now he's free to sleep in the barbie house. Ken and Barbie now have a child on the way. Brilliant way to teach about chastity to young children? I think yes. 
-I've been thinking a lot about the Book of Mormon this week; how much I love it, what it's done for me, and what I've seen it do in other people's lives. I asked our investigator how she is different because she's been reading it the past few weeks and she told us that she is cussing less, she's more motivated to do things, and she's able to go out and go to appointments by herself (she has really bad agoraphobia). Which is AMAZING!!! Sister Keele told me that I've only seen about half of the change in her since I've been in Kent, and I've seen a lot. I love that book! It really does work miracles! Everybody read it! 
-We finally got in contact with someone who said they wanted to be baptized like 3 months ago . . . pray that we'll stay in contact with Nicole
-A less-active family that we've been working with since I got here came to church on Sunday, and the dad even went up and shared his testimony! Miracles happen!
-Everybody lied when they told me Washington never stops raining. I don't even remember the last time I saw rain and today is the first overcast day we've had in weeks. 

That's about all I can think of! Sorry it's pretty lame, my pdays keep getting crazier and crazier the longer I'm out. I hope you all have an awesome week and see awesome miracles!
s. verhoef

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"Only in Washington could they make getting a cup of coffee something sexy"‏

Jordyn's weekly letter
September 2, 2014 
Serving in Kent, Washington
Companion; Sister Keele

This is her mother speaking...I can't for the life of me...figure out where she comes up with her titles to her letters...maybe some day she will tell us. 

First of all, can anyone else believe that it's already September?? But but--2014 just started! There is absolutely no way I only have 3 months left. 

I may cry. 

*clears throat* moving on.
So my family requested more info about my area:

Clark Lake is a great ward! They're really missionary minded, and the ward boundaries cover some ghetto-ish places so it's pretty fun as a missionary. It's really long and skinny and is kind of shaped like a hat.

Highlights of this week include:

-I made a cat meow when I knocked on a door this week

-Sister Keele turned 21 on Saturday and got a giraffe cake from one of our investigators. It was tres leches cake. muy bueno.

-I'm pretty sure a less-active family that we're working with thinks I'm married

-I learned how to sing head shoulders knees and toes in marshallese this week from one of our investigators. After our lesson was finished she went, "Okay! Now we sing it together!" So we did.

-Sister Eaton came out with us! Our area probably freaked her out though. We had a member lesson and then headed down the hill to go and contact a referral. Since we share this area with Elders we get all the female investigators/referrals so we went to go and contact someone named Cynthia. As she opened up the door we all quickly realized that she was not born a she, and is either dressing up as a girl or has had a surgery. . .

Ha ha ha ha ha! Of course we have our mission president's wife with us when we finally get in contact with her! Sister Eaton looked so shocked on the doorstep but the los angeles came out in sister keele so she jumped right on it and we were able to save ourselves from being super awkward. #blessings

-We have this amazing member in our ward named Brother Johansen. He's essentially home-bound and only ever leaves the house to go to church. His daughter takes care of him full-time, and he has a caregiver come in on Tuesdays and Thursdays to help her out so she can have a break. She is literally the only nonmember that he comes in contact with, and we taught her last week. Amazing! No one will ever have an excuse to not be a missionary ever again.

Have an awesome week!
Sister VerHoef

Monday, August 25, 2014

"You know it's a good day as a missionary when you go home dead tired and smelling like you broke a commandment"‏

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
August 25, 2014
Serving in 


This week was a really great one! So last Monday I took my 'cultural day' which is a day where you can go anywhere in the mission. Sister Dudek planned it all out, and we got special permission to go down to Ridgecrest for the day to see the Reine's!! Sister Bryan and Sister Critchfield took us down to Northwest Trek (think glorified petting zoo without the petting) to see the lions and tigers and bears oh my. It was great :)

Tuesday we had an awesome zone conference. We talked a lot about active learning. President is really big on applying to ourselves first the things we ask our investigators to do (the whole "you can't convert someone past your own conversion" type thing) so we talked about how we can do that as missionaries, how we'll do that when we're home, and then finally talked about how we can help our investigators to be more active in their learning, and take more of the burden of finding things out. It was a really great one, and we've seen that as we try and help our investigators do that, for the most part they've started to just run with it. We asked one to study and pray about baptism and the next time we went over she said "ask my daughter what she learned about baptism!" So Lorena told us what she learned about baptism, and then Davina told us as well. She remembered that we have given her a gospel of Jesus Christ pamphlet and it talked about baptism, so she studied that! It was awesome!

Our investigator that's been coming to church the past couple of weeks has really bad anxiety. A recent convert who overcame that has been her friend has been sitting with her on the bench right by the door just in case she needs to slip out she can do it without everyone noticing her. Yesterday she told the member that she would sit on the fourth pew next week, and potentially stay for all three hours!

We also have a less-active family that we've been working with. We had a great lesson with them on Saturday night about the Book of Mormon, and on Sunday we saw the dad at church! He stayed all three hours and talked with the bishop as well. It's awesome to see the miracles that are going on up here, and especially the miracles that come as we access the power that comes from the Book of Mormon.

I love you all! Have an awesome week!
Sister VerHoef

Monday, July 21, 2014

"I was just gonna have my mom pick my classes" "Are you going to have your mom pick your wife??"‏

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
July 21, 2014
Serving In: Federal Way, Washington 
Companion: Sister Hanson 

We played capture the flag for FHE last Monday (July 14, 2014)  in our stake center parking lot and the natural man in me kept saying "I will not lose!" so I was running to tag someone and ended up slipping on the gravel/dirt. At first I thought it was just dirt on my leg and then I looked down and saw blood and then two days later we realized that I actually sprained my ankle...

And now I have the saint in me saying "yeah, you lost."
No worries, as of this morning my ankle looks like this:

Sprained ankle July 14, 2014.. Picture taken one week later 

In the words of Sister Creager "it looks so much better! But still really gross. The healing process is never pretty though."

I was told to stay inside for a few hours on Tuesday after zone meeting to elevate it, then we got a brace, and now I'm good to go! Sister Hansen says I walk like a gimp, but I disagree. I was able to walk up and down PAC highway on Saturday talking to people, and we have been so blessed because of it! Because we're in ysa and we find a lot in other missionaries areas, we give out a lot of referrals; but this week we got a ton back! Heavenly Father is the greatest. It was also super hot again this week, which means that there were lots of people outside to talk to, which is the greatest thing ever. Missionary work is the best.
We unfortunately weren't able to get a hold of our investigators, so on the teaching front our week was kind of a bust.

Until Sunday!

We had another fireside and there was a choir, and Mormon messages, and recent converts bearing testimony, and it was great. I was waiting for Sister Dudek when I saw a girl with long black hair walk up by me. I was thinking it was one of the sisters I live with trying to get us to go home until I did a double take and realized that it was Reina! She pulled me to the back of the chapel where I ran into Evelyn, Regina, Raquel, David, and Sister Reine who's back from Samoa!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Such a tender mercy. It was kind of like Heavenly Father being like 'hey, you had a rough week and killed your ankle walking that much. Here's your converts to brighten your day.' I also got to see a couple of members from Ridgecrest and have my heart almost explode due to how excited I was.

Life is great, God is good, Love you all.

Sister VerHoef

P.S. to my Family 
Because Dove said SO!! 

Monday, June 2, 2014

Dumas Bay

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
June 2, 2014
Serving in Federal Way, Washington
Companion: Sister Hansen 

I have a firm testimony that God answers prayers. via Elder M. Russell Ballard, we as missionaries are asked to initiate 10 gospel conversations per missionary, per day. After our amazing zone conference I've tried my best to do that specifically. We try to talk to everyone that we see, but there are just some days that we don't see 20 people to talk to. I was worried that Sunday would be like that, and I didn't know how we were going to be able to talk to 10 people each when we were in church from 9-4, had break the fast at 4:15, and then dinner with a member at 5, where we didn't end up leaving until 6:30 because we did a lesson after. We literally did not talk to someone who wasn't mormon until 6:30pm. We had to meet up with some missionaries at 8:45 for something, which gave us a little over 2 hours to try and talk to as many people as possible.

Almost all the referrals we went to go see were home, and there were a ton of people out walking their dogs and/or kids. The coolest part. At the end of the night, we decided to talk to just one more person before we had to go, even though every other person we talked to before had said no. She wanted us back. She said that she and her family wanted to learn more about the mormon church. The 10th conversation I initiated was our miracle. We truly are blessed when we go past a little what we think we can do.

How amazing is that though?? God does care, even when it's just a missionary's prayer wanting to talk to more people.

Love ya all!
Sister VerHoef

So the tide decided to come up super fast and we ended up having to wade through like 1 1/2 feet of water..  Stories!! 

Getting free Pizza this week...Sister Hansen was actually
pretty excited despite the look on her face. 
Message for next person to pass by this area

 lft to rt. Sister Muir, Sister VerHoef (me), Sister Kirschner, Sister Hansen
Having too much fun!! P-Day 

Monday, May 19, 2014

OnE YeAr MaRk, CaN't BeLiEvE iT

Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
May 19, 2014 
Serving in Federal Way, Washington
YSA ward, H
Companion: Sister Hansen

Well, the day I swore would never come came and went this week, 

My year mark. 

I actually didn't think about it for most of the day (because my companion was dying on her bike) but I screamed and had a little freak out once I remembered. I can't believe how fast this past year has gone! I still feel like it was just yesterday that I hugged my family goodbye and had some Sister rush me off with my luggage. People aren't kidding when they say time flies.
Saying Goodbye to my family...May 15, 2013, One Year ago this last week...WOW

And members are just the worst. My least favorite question after "what do you want for dinner when you come over?" is "how long have you been out?" because when you say 10 or 11  or even 11.5 months, their reaction is "oh okay, so you've still got a little while" but the second you say a year it turns into "dude, you're basically dead. just start packing now." and I keep feeling like the guy from Monty Python and the Holy Grail that they're trying to bury and he's like "I'm not dead yet!"
In all seriousness though, I have gotten a lot of "oh you don't have much longer left!" this week.
it's terrible.
Moving on to happier news, we got our car back! When I told Sister Hansen at transfers that we were on bike she literally screamed, and I found out later it was because she didn't remember how to ride a bike. . .  After a little test drive around our parking lot, and falling over a few times, we were able to bike down to a park to meet up with our appointment.Who didn't show. She was okay for most of that but I think she was ready to kill me when I made her bike 5 miles back (uphill) to go see a less-active, who also wasn't home. [hey! nobody ever said missionary work was easy on your legs!]. So we went to see a potential, who wasn't home, until I finally decided to go and see a recent convert that Sister Choi and I had worked with a lot in the Korean Branch named Monica (they live in our ward boundaries). She's this absolutely adorable little Korean woman, and I would have totally taken a picture with her to show you all if I hadn't been biking and was covered in sweat and my hair was stuck to my head. Anyways, miracle of the week right then, her husband got baptized!!! Patrick! I was so excited! And so mad they didn't invite me to the baptism! It was really cool to see them though, they both seem so much happier now that they have the gospel 100% in their lives.
And Monica told me that she likes me more than the elders just sayin'! 

Just sayin' Sisters are better than Elders!! :)
Sister VerHoef & Sister Hansen 

So we're back on 4 wheels and loving it! We've gotten a lot more work done now that we actually have it back, and are super excited to see what miracles this week has in store for us. 

So a little about Sister Hansen:
age: 22
Hometown: Loveland, Colorado 
Been a member all her life, and has an amazing ability to endure. She's also super blunt and hilarious, so we get along great :) She's not loving YSA yet (sound familiar?) but she's excited for a change. She just came from the Graham ward (where Sis Goble went).
We had another recent convert fireside last night. I helped play the piano again, and I'm gonna play my violin at next months, which is in . .  wait for it . . . Puyallup South!! Wooo!!! I really don't think I can express how excited I am for June 22 to come :)
Love ya all! Hope you have an awesome week
Sister VerHoef

Sister VerHoef & Sister Goble transfer day
May 16, 2014 


All four of these Sisters have been companions
lft to Rght Sister Kartchner, Sister VerHoef,
Sister Dudek & Sister Goble May 2014

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

I think my mission theme should be "I'll go where you want me to go" but we should change the words to "I'll stay where you want me to stay" because I never leave. And I love it that way.‏

May 13, 2014 

Transfer Day
Jordyn ins't being transferred 
Federal Way, Washington 
New Companion:  Sister Hansen 

One of the Elders told me not to write you all this week because I just talked to you on Sunday, so . . . don't give me grief for this email. I really have no idea what to say.

Transfers are today (as you know). Sister Goble is peacing out, and my new companion's name is Sister Hansen. I don't know much about her, so you'll get news on that next week when i email . . . if I remember.
Still no car. We're now creeping on a month of Sister VerHoef on bike. Elder Bryant told me it should be done no sooner than Friday. Which means Sister Hansen is in for a little surprise haha. 

Car still in the shop :( 

Sister Goble got her wish and is going to Graham! This morning when she told a guy he went "Who did you make mad and have to get sent down there?!"
She loves the country though and is excited to go there. 
I finished Jesus The Christ! I liked it a lot.

I'm really really sorry, I can't think of anything else to say. I hope you all have an awesome week and I figured out how to get pictures, so I hope you enjoy!

Sister VerHoef

So we got a few pictures today..So fun to see

Making Cafe Rio Green Salad Dressing.....BE IMPRESSED!! 
Anyone who knows Jordyn well, knows she hates to cook and refused to learn while she was at home..she is having to learn the super hard way...without a cookbook :)  Her mom is sending her one now that she has been out a year this week!! 
Sister Goble & Sister VerHoef Post-Luau 

89 year old Sister Bernice Quick
Sister Goble & Sister VerHoef doing a day of service
Notice the chain saw in Bernice's hand..they pulled out a tree stump

Monday, May 5, 2014

89 Year Old Sister Still Doing Yard Work

May 5, 2014
Jordyn's weekly-e-mail 
Serving: Federal Way, Washington 
Companion: Sister Goble 

To be completely honest, I can't believe it's Monday again. I feel like I just wrote about my car crash and just got to Federal Way (in my mind it's still January) . . . and then I realize that this is our third week without a car. . . and I've already been in Federal Way for 4 months  My thoughts? "holy crap!" and also "we need our car back. I don't know how bike missionaries get anything done."

This week was really really fun! We played kickball last week for fhe, and my shoe only flew off once! Woo!

And I've got to throw this in here while YSA was mentioned. I love it here. Seriously, I'm so glad I got put here if only to be entertained by the singles up in Federal Way. A few examples:
-We're in our missionary coordination meeting talking about . . . well, missionary work. Sister Goble mentioned how the Relief Society is struggling from when she was here last and we need to get more of the girls active again and one of the guys in the branch goes "yeah! we need more chicks!" So our branch mission leader turns to us and the relief society president and goes "work with the sisters. It's true, we do need more chicks." Can you smell the desperation?
-We're in gospel principles on Sunday and we were talking about being the Lord's covenant people, and different covenants that we make. Baptism and ones like that had already been listed and one guy raised his hand and goes "Uh, marriage? I mean, we can't avoid the subject forever." Can you smell it now??
-We get all the drama of all the couples. When he's mad at her and she said something to him and he texted this and she told him that . . . on and on until Sister Goble and I walk out of the room with smirks on our faces thinking "Oh ysa. What are we gonna do with you?"

love it.

We got a bus pass a couple of weeks ago and decided to try it out. Sister Goble is a pro at the bus, so we were able to figure out how it all works and talked to people that we met on the bus and at the stops. We aren't allowed to actively proselyte there but the gospel came up a lot (the tag kind of gives it away). We also had/heard some really interesting conversations. The top one was definitely when Sister Goble was offered a job as a stripper and the only response she had to say was "no thanks, I'm Mormon" before the lady changed the subject and started talking about what she had experienced with Mormons before.

We did a lot of service this week. I have to say, thank you mom and dad for making me do yard work growing up (betcha never thought I'd say that!) it really came in handy, because there were people who had no clue what they were doing in a yard. We weeded on Wednesday, planted flowers and mowed a less-active's lawn on Thursday, took down wallpaper on Friday, and then later on Friday we mowed another less-actives lawn (on a sitting mower!) and also pulled out a tree stump for/with her (she's 89), and then on Saturday we weeded/mowed again. We were definitely feeling it on Sunday, but it was so worth it for the feeling you get and the look on the people's faces as well.

89 year old Sister Bernice Quick
Sister Goble & Sister VerHoef doing a day of service
Notice the chain saw in Bernice's hand..they pulled out a tree stump

To top off the week the singles branch had a HUGE luau. Like, the pig was huge, and they had a dance company from somewhere in Seattle come and perform. I was really impressed with how many nonmembers and less-actives came. I hate myself for it, but I wasn't able to get any pictures because we were busy running around all night shredding pork (why they had me in the kitchen preparing food is beyond me.), serving drinks, and trying to do a New Zeland ball/rope swing thing. Let's just say, a huge lesson I learned it that I'm white.

HAPPY MOTHER'S DAY MOM!!!!!! And to all the moms out there. But mostly mine. I'm excited to talk to you on Sunday :)

Love ya all!

Sister VerHoef

Monday, April 28, 2014

Last week sure started off with a bang . . .‏

April 28, 2014 
Jordyn's weekly e-mail 
Serving in: Federal Way, Washington 
Companion: Sister Goble 

ahahahahaha. Oh man. Sometimes, I crack myself up.

But as I'm sure most of you know, yes, I did in fact get in a car accident this week. Here's the story:

We were driving home from FHE (Family Home Evening)  at the stake center and were going through an intersection (my light was green) and an old couple was turning left on a yield on green, timed it wrong, and turned into our car. So we got out (notice how we both walked out just fine) and went to the other car to see if they were alright and they ended up being an 83 year-old Ukrainian couple who spoke no English at all. Fortunately a guy from their church pulled over and was able to translate for them. It was a little embarrassing though because all the YSAs were leaving the stake center, so we got funny looks from all the members as they drove by. Looks like "you missionaries. why'd you crash the car?"

Picture of car accident. 

Not my fault dudes.

So the police came and started doing their thing, our zone leader and an AP came (they were on an exchange) to help us out since Elder Bryant couldn't come, and then we got to stand in the rain for an hour while we waited. I lightly hit my head when we got hit and Sister Goble was worried about me (she thought I was going to die because of it) so she made me tell Elder Bradford, who made me tell Sister Nowlin, who made us go to the hospital. I told Sister Goble if I had to go, then she was getting checked out too. So Elder Cook and Elder Bradford drove us to the hospital in Auburn, we got there around 10:30, and then they left at 11 when the Nowlin's (a senior couple/she's the mission nurse) got there to sit with us. Until 3am.

in the morning.

we were both dying of boredom. and we were the last ones to be seen because we didn't look like we were on our deathbed.

We had Sister Nowlin get out her tablet so that we could watch Mormon messages on Mormon channel to pass the time. And then something cool happened around 2 a guy named Shawn came over and started talking to us, and we had a really good lesson about Jesus Christ with him. He said he would like missionaries to come over and visit him but didn't know his address. Because he wanted it so bad, he looked up his address on Elder Nowlin's computer so that we could get missionaries over there.

I have a firm testimony that God puts people in our path who are ready for the gospel, and puts us in their path as well. We both believe that we were in an accident, and taken to the auburn hospital (when there's one in fedway) so that we could talk to Shawn.

Missionary life is great.

We went back and saw the doctor at 3, and they determined I have "thoractic strain" which I think is a fancy word for "your seatbelt hurt your shoulder when you were jerked forward" and sister goble was diagnosed with "cervical sprain" which we think is a fancy word for "whiplash." So we're fine. She got x-rayed, I got 2 ibuprofen, and we were good to go. We left the hospital at 4:30, and got back to our apartment around 5.

And now that we don't have a car currently, we're on bike. . . and . . . I'm trying to make myself love it. It's definitely brought some interesting stories, and biking in the ran is actually really fun. We did get a bus pass on Saturday too, so we'll be able to use that to do mirror lake stuff while we're in limbo waiting for our car.

We get to bus around federal way!! What could be more entertaining than that?

In other bummer deal news, Mary got antied and has decided baptized. We're giving her some time, because we know that she's felt the Spirit, and she even told us that she knows Joseph Smith was a prophet. So in a few weeks we'll go back and see what she's willing to do with her testimony.

So just about everything that could have gone wrong this week did. But here's the cool thing about it: I'm okay. We were dropped by Mary about 30 minutes before I had to speak in Hylebos (the stake president was there ps) and my topic was on the fact that the Lord is preparing people to receive the gospel. I wasn't feeling it a few minutes before sacrament started, but it ended up being the perfect thing because I was able to build my faith up, and I'm really excited for this week, and we're expecting some pretty big miracles to happen.

I hope everyone's doing well though and that you all have an amazing week! Love ya!

Sister VerHoef