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