Monday, December 29, 2014

December 29, 2014 - Christmas Time!!!

Hello friends and family!  How are all of you this week?!

With this week being Christmas, we were busy with many Christmas activities.  I should have taken pictures, but I didn't.  Oops.

So, anyways, Monday.  We went and started having Family Home Evenings with the Higleys.  They are so awesome!  And it was fun-- we just talked about the "He is the Gift" video.  And the best part is that Sister Higley is starting to understand English better, so we're all able to communicate better!  And Selina, Brother Higley's daughter, joined us for the first time for the lesson!  How awesome is that?!  That was super exciting. :)  We're really hoping that by holding FHE with the family that it will bring them closer together.

Then Tuesday night we went over to the Chestnuts, where we gave a similar lesson.  It went over pretty well I think.  Nothing too crazy was said though.  I love that family. :)  They're awesome.

On Wednesday, we did a Secret Santa exchange for our district.  And the name I drew last week for Secret Santa was.........

Sister Stevens.  

When I drew her name, I was like, "Are you kidding me?!  Not only do I have to buy presents for Sister Stevens, but I have to get a SECRET present for her?!"

But I am basically the best Secret Santa EVER.  I had the other sisters buy the present for me.  Once they gave it to me, I wrapped it up, then wrapped it up in another box to be given to someone else.  At our district meeting, we placed our presents in another room.  So when the other Sisters got to the meeting, I went into the room with the presents with one of the other sisters, unwrapped the doubled-up present, and hid her gift in another part of the room.  By the time she opened up the gift, she had no idea it was me who bought her the gift.  :D  She really loved it too-- it was a necklace with an anchor on it (she loves ships and wants to be a Boat Pilot).  I of course told her afterwards that it was me, since everyone was revealing anyways. I got a Celtic Christmas CD from Elder Horne.  :)  Needless to say that I love that CD.

We spent our Christmas Eve with bishop Trautman and his family in 10th ward.  It was a lot of fun-- they had us judge the different types of pudding they made to determine who would be the "Holiday Cheermeister"-- with a crown and everything!  We determined that the dirt-in-a-cup won-- Cody & Carsen.  It was tons of fun. :)  Also, it turns out that Mallory, their daughter who came home from her mission early, was in the MTC at the same time as I was!  So we spent some time talking about Christmas last year.  After that, we went to go pile in the Trautmans cars to go the chapel and sing songs.... AND IT WAS SNOWING OUTSIDE!!!  It had already snowed, like, half a foot outside!  We had a white Christmas!  YAY!!!!  Everyone was super excited, and started throwing snowballs.  I don't think Bishop Trautman was too thrilled with all of us tracking in extra snow into the church with what was clinging onto our coats and such, but it was fun. :)  It was really nice to sit in the chapel and sing Christmas songs on Christmas Eve.  I think it's something that ought to be done more often.  After that, we went and caroled to a couple of houses, then retired back to our home, where we went to rest for the next morning.

So, Christmas Day.

First off, we got up at 6 to open presents and read Luke 2.  I don't think I have ever really read it all the way through.  There is a really special spirit that comes with reading it.  To me, it's the beginning of everything.  Without his birth, the Atonement would have never taken place, and the Atonement is everything for me.  It's how I make it through every day.  That's what I'm helping others find every day.  It was very nice to start out our day with reading Luke 2.

Anyways, after opening presents, we went to the Carrolls in 3rd ward and had breakfast.  It was French Toast.  Do you know how long it's been since I've had French Toast?!  I can't tell you the last time I had it it's been so long!!!  It was yummy. :)  We then went and made phone calls at Bishop Dunns to family, I called dad, which was super nice. :)  After that, we went home and rested a little bit before we went to the Merideths.  They had Sister Stevens and I compete to see who could make the better gingerbread house.  I won. :)  We then had a late lunch with them, and went back to the Dunns so that I could make my call to mom, and we had dinner with them.  We then spent the rest of our evening at the Assisted Living Center, visiting those who were alone Christmas day.  We then finally retired back to our beds.  That's the short version.  Christmas was such a blur that I can't do a long version.  But it was a great day. :)

Anyways, that's really it for this week.  I'm so tired I don't remember anything that's happened from Friday on.  Oh, except yesterday.  We gave talks yesterday at the Assisted Living Center.  That's always fun. :)

I love y'all!  Keep the faith!

Sister Empey

Tuesday, December 23, 2014

December 22, 2014 - MERRY CHRISTMAS

Short email this week.  I keep getting distracted.  Sorry.

So, to start off, we had a CHRISTMAS ZONE CONFERENCE!!!!!! It was super nice and chill-- we mostly just watched short movies like "Mr. Krugers Christmas" and sang songs and listened to people sing songs.  Our Zone actually sang "Still, Still, Still" for it.  It's Sister Cannon's favorite Christmas song, and she was crying afterwards.  It was really sweet.  You always know if you did a good job if Sister Cannon is crying.  I love her very much.  And it was a very nice Zone Conference.

Let's see what else....  we saw Carol Anne this week. :)  We read 3 Nephi 11 with her, and she really enjoyed it. We then committed her to be baptized.  She said maybe.  But that's better than a no, so we're running with it. :)

We also saw Zach and Tony Schwab this week and taught them Lesson 1.  It went really well, and had a good discussion about the Book of Mormon at the end.  They're going to Las Vegas this week for Christmas, but when they get back, we plan to invite Zach to be baptized. :)  he cracks us up!!!  While we were talking to Tony about his job, Zach was doing summersalts in the background!  Or treating his cat like a gun.  Or just being a typical 12-year old boy.  he makes us happy. :)  And we love the fact that he wants to come to church on his own when his dad can't make it. :)  And he said that we were his best friends at church.  He just is so stinking adorable!  Love that kid. :)

We also saw the Taylors this week.  Oh my goodness, Brother Taylor is AWESOME!!!  We talked about Tithing and Fasting this week.  Of course, it was a great discussion.  But the great part about it was when we talked about the upcoming fast Sunday, when we invited him to fast with us to help him return to church.  He may not have cried, but you could tell that both he and Sister Taylor were really touched by it, and he accepted that commitment.  it was a very nice, tender moment.  And then they gave us Christmas gifts.  We can't wait to open them this week. :)

Anyways, that's all really.  I love you all. :)

Merry Christmas!!!! :D  I love all of y'all!  Please enjoy your Christmas and spread the joy of it to those in need of it!!!


Sister Empey

#HeistheGift :)

Monday, December 15, 2014

December 15, 2014 - ONE YEAR PEOPLES!!!!

Have I ever mentioned how much I HATE being sick?

Well.... now you know.  This week has been a little slow, because I'm trying to shake off another cold, but we worked as hard as we could!  (Well, as hard as I could, to my dismay.  I'm afraid I'm a wee bit of a workaholic when I get working.)

Anyways, Karisma.  So much progression, and yet so much.... frustration?!  I dunno.  Anyways, so we're getting her all prepped for her baptism, so we're having lessons with her twice a week, right?  Well, lesson number 1 this week was the 10 commandments.  Quick, simple, to the point, yeah?  She enjoyed that.  Then we taught her about the Law of Chastity, which was also good.  We talked about the baptismal questions (which she did really good on), and she informed us that she got through the 2nd chapter or First Nephi!  Wahoo!  And then the entire family came for the Ward Christmas Party!  Brother Wood had to play for the party, and he is AMAZING!!!!

But after such an awesome week.....

Karisma didn't show up for church. :(

Oh well, hopefully next week, yeah? :)

We also got to teach Carol again this week.  This time, we taught about the Plan of Salvation.  She actually really likes the idea of the Kingdoms of Glory!  She also appreciates how we use both the Bible and the Book of Mormon to teach.  She still isn't praying about what we teach her though. :(  Hopefully soon.  At least she doesn't disbelieve us.  But the Spirit is really strong.  I love teaching her. :)

Um... yeah.  That's really all of the exciting news this week.  There's not much to report.  Tomorrow is Zone Conference, which we're singing at (again), so that's been taking up a lot of our time too. 

Oh, and so y'all know.... my official one-year mark is THIS THURSDAY!!!!!!!!  EEEEEKKKKK!!!!  I can't believe I've been out for a whole year!!!!  How exciting is that?!?!?!  I'm so grateful that I've been able to stay out so long, and for all the experiences I have had thus far.  And I can't wait to see what the next 6 1/2 months bring. :)  (Yes, only 6 1/2 more months!!!  how crazy is that?!) 

I love y'all, and I hope you're enjoying your Christmas season!!!  Keep the Faith strong!!!


Sister Empey

Monday, December 8, 2014

December 8, 2014 - Christmas is coming!!

Oh my goodness people, Christmas is coming!! :D  I'm so stinking EXCITED!!!!!!!!!! :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D 

*cough cough* Anyways..... it's been an awesome week folks.

Monday night was filled with the comments of primary kids, as we had lessons with both the Martins and with the Chestnuts.  We taught the Martins about Family History, their last lesson!  (Officially.  I think I've written that before.  This is their official last lesson.)  They were actually really interested in family history, and want to start!  Oh, those girls are super cute. :)  And then we taught the Chestnuts about CPR (Church, pray, read scriptures).  As we were teaching about prayer, we compared it to calling someone.  So, of course, Quin, the youngest at 6, asked what Heavenly Father's phone number was!  So we told them that Heavenly Fathers number was kneeling on your knees, folding your arms, bowing your head, and closing your eyes, and he just ate that up.  He made everyone kneel for the closing prayer.  It was really cute. :)

then on Tuesday, we gained a new investigator!  So, we've been trying to get to know Tony Schwab, a less-active who wants to become active again, and his son, Zach, who is not a member.  Zach is awesome-- because Tony has military duty, Zach comes to church on his own with the neighbors, the Wolters.  Anyways, we went and visited them Tuesday, and showed them both the "He is the Gift" video.  We then asked if we could help them both come closer to Christ by teaching them the lessons, and both agreed!  We're super excited to start teaching them soon. :)  Speaking of new investigators, we also taught Carol Bader the first lesson on Tuesday.  That was so exciting!  She loved what we taught her, and committed her to pray to know if what we taught her was true.  She said that for sure that she doesn't disbelieve what we teach, so that's always good news. :)  Now we just need to help her believe. :)

On Wednesday, we went and taught Karisma about Obedience and following the Prophets.  It was a really good, quick, lesson.  Nothing complicated about that.  After that, we watched "He is the Gift" with the entire family, and then we played a round of "Life" with her.  We had fun. :)  And then after, we went on splits, and Sister Jepsen and I went and saw Kim.  And while we were there, we also got to meet her son, Dennis.  He's a super cute kid.  he's in 7th grade and plays a bary sax.  He's super proud of his saxophone-playing skills, and his saxophone in general.  Anyways, we showed them the "He is the Gift" video, and Kim was really impressed by it.  We still aren't really at a point where we can invite her to the lessons again, but I love that we have a friendship with her.  :)  We plan to keep going over, just because we love her. :)

Thursday, we had splits in the other ward, and so I went with Sister Morrill and Sister Johnson to the Chestnuts again, so that we could invite them to the ward Christmas Party next week.  As we sat and visited, Sister Chestnut made a comment about how Quin was going to be upset when he realized I was there and didn't get a crazy handshake from me, and we all laughed and continued on with the conversation.  We talked about The Chestnut's land on the other side of town, Sister Chestnuts conversion story, and other stuff, and I wrapped up our conversation with a spiritual thought.  And as soon as I finished and asked about a closing prayer, Sister Chestnut told me to look up the stairs, and there's little Quin, jaw gaping at me!  And then came the real kicker-- he whines "I didn't get a crazy handshake from you!"  Oh my goodness, little Quin just KNOWS how to make my night!  We all started laughing, and I promised him a crazy handshake after the prayer.  But he had to show me how to telephone God first.  And he remembered. :)  He's super cute.  And he got his crazy handshake.

On Friday, it was... slow.  Cancelled appointments and what-not.  We did see Glenda at the Assisted Living, and gave a short lesson on Obeying the Law of the Land.  But more than anything, we were nervous about the next morning.....

Because Saturday morning was the DREADED TRANSFER CALLS..... O_O

So, Saturday morning, we went to go help clean the church building, and we got the call as we were cleaning the windows.  I believe it's safe to say I had a little party when I heard that not only was Sister Stevens staying in Kuna, but that I am too!!!!! :D  YEAH!!!!  Transfer 4 in Kuna, and transfer 3 with Sister Stevens coming up!  :D  I'm so stinking happy that I get to spend Christmas in KUNA with SISTER STEVENS!!!!!  :D  We're going to have lots of fun. :)

Anyways, we had a lesson with the Taylors about the Word of Wisdom, which turned into a conversation about moderation in everything.  It was a great lesson, as usual, but nothing too exciting this time.  And then we ate with Shawn and Shannon Renyolds that night, and they fed us Elk steaks.  Oh my goodness, they were so good!!!! :D  They were almost as good as the buffalo burgers they fed us the first time.  Almost. :)  But I'm sort of sad, because they're moving to Middleton Christmas Day. :(  Isn't that sad?!  Ugh, I'm gonna miss them!  They're such an awesome family!  I'm kinda hoping that one day I'll get transferred to Middleton, and they'll be in my area. :)  That would be awesome, not gonna lie.  And it would be awesome because they're awesome, not me.

And... yeah.  Sunday, we ate with the Morrills, and they made us Chicken Enchiladas.  Oh, they were so good!  But I couldn't taste it half of the time because I burnt my tongue when I took too big of a bite!  I was so upset because they had made them for me in case I was transferred!  But yeah.  They were still good.  I just couldn't taste them half of the time.  The other half was awesome though. :)

Well, that's it for now!  I love y'all, and I hope you are enjoying your Christmas holidays so far!


Sister Empey

PS-- Be jealous of my cup of hot coco there-- it had sprinkles. ;)

Monday, December 1, 2014

December 1, 2014 - THANKSGIVING MIRACLES!!!!!

So, in case you didn't know.... counting your blessings really does bring Miracles into your life. :)  And this week was full of blessings and miracles!  Lemme tell ya:

So, the church came out with a new video, "He is the Gift", yeah? :)  First off, go watch it...

He is the Gift

Amazing video, right?  I can't help but cry when I watch it!  SO BEAUTIFUL!!!  Now, go share it with someone, and then come back to reading this. :)

On Tuesday, we were on exchanges, and I was here in Kuna with Sister Arbarca (super awesome missionary).  As part of our day, we went to go help out Sister Ritter take some stuff out to her storage shed, and, as it always goes when we go help her, we got a little distracted.  This time it was going over to visit her neighbor, Carol Bader.  She's this really nice, older lady who is recovering from surgery.  Well, we shared the "He is the Gift" video with her, and she was really impressed!  She wanted to watch more Bible videos!  So, we watched a couple more, and then she started talking about how she had heard somewhere that there was a record about Jesus Christ coming to the Americas!  And, of course, we were all like, "Why yes, yes there is.  May we interest you in a Book of Mormon?"  (except we sounded a lot more professional), and she said yes!!!  Ooh!  EXCITING!!!!! :D  so we ordered her a large-print Book of Mormon that afternoon.

Wednesday, we went and saw Karisma, and taught her about going to church, praying, and reading her scriptures.  We were then able to set a baptism date for January 10!  YAY!  And then the Woods invited us over for dinner, and we politely accepted.

So, Thanksgiving day.

We started with visiting the Ritters (again), and helping them prepare their Thanksgiving dinner.  It was tons of fun, since both of her sons were home.  So we also stopped by Carols' home to drop off the Book of Mormon.  We talked about the Book of Mormon, showing her where Christ came to visit the Americas, who's in the chapter, how the record of the Nephites started, and she was really excited about it all!  And she invited us back to teach her more about the Book of Mormon!!!  WHOOHOOO!!!!!!!!  So, we're going to go back on Tuesday to finish the last of the first lesson. :)  I'm super excited! :D

After that, we ate with the Fishers in 10th ward around 1:00 PM (they're missionaries for the Bishops storehouse), and then we took separate naps back at Sister Lawrences, and had pie in between the naps.  And then we had dinner with the Woods.  Mmmm... :)  They had ribs.  Talk about good. :)  We had a lot of fun with the Woods.  We love them. :)

Friday, we went to contact a referral, who asked for a.... Bible.  Awkward, right?  When we got the referral from Church Headquarters, we were like ".... who goes to to ask for a Bible?  You can get those at the Dollar Store for crying out loud!"  But, we complied.  We retrieved a Bible and went to contact this referral.  So, we knocked at his door and braced ourselves.  Turns out the man was trying to find a free Bible to download onto his tablet.  I'm not really sure how he sent in a referral, but oh well.  Good story to tell. :)

Saturday, we had dinner with the Taylors. :)  It was nice and simple, just pizza and salad.  But the pizza was super good.  They went to Nampa to get it. :)  You know it's quality pizza when you willingly go to another city to bring it back home to eat.  :)  Anyways, after we ate we taught the Law of Chastity, which ended up being a really good lesson.

And now we're to Sunday.  Beautiful, Blessed, Sunday.

CHRIS TAYLOR MADE IT TO SACRAMENT MEETING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Oh my goodness, I'm so super excited!!!!!!  We of course pinned him down before he left Sacrament Meeting and talked to him.  He told us that he really wasn't planning on coming and did not feel up to it, but after his wife left for church he just had a completely overwhelming feeling that he needed to go, and he was glad he did go. :)  And Sister Taylor was really happy too. :)  She came up to us and told us what a wonderful surprise it was for her when her husband came and sat down by her. :)  It was really such a wonderful moment to see him walk into Sacrament meeting and sit down by her.  A complete and total blessing.  It really is one of the highlights of my mission, and I'm really grateful that I've had the opportunity to help him take these steps to return back to church. :)

Anyways, that is it for this week.  Needless to say, this week has been full of blessings and miracles, and I cannot wait to see what the rest of this Christmas season brings. :)

Oh, also, transfer calls are next week.  I'm expecting to leave Kuna.  It'll be another miracle if I don't. :)

I love y'all!  Keep the faith!


Sister Empey 

Monday, November 24, 2014

November 24, 2014 - Fast and Feast

Greetings from Chilly Kuna! :D

So, Monday night, we had dinner with the Higleys, and it was very interesting.  We had fried rice, wanton soup, chicken, and pizza with fried shrimp on it.  It was really good, actually. :)  And actually, each slice had one fried shrimp on it.  The rest of the shrimp on the pizza was covered by the cheese.  Like I said, it was pretty good. :)

We had another Meet the Mormons activity this Tuesday, and the 10th ward was in charge of it.  It was actually one of the best Meet the Mormons programs I have ever seen!  The displays stayed up for the whole hour, and the chapel was reasonably full this time!  So Sister Stevens and I wrote down all the members from our ward that came, and we're going to go to each family and ask them to invite someone to Meet the Mormons by the end of February.  We're excited to do this. :)

Wednesday was sort of a sick day.  We had a choir practice for Zone Meeting, and then I went home and totally slept for 2 hours in between lunch and dinner.  And then after dinner I slept more.  But dinner was fun. :)  We ate with Sister Angel, who is this awesome lady in the ward.  We just ate sandwiches in the front room, and just talked about life.  We also had fun comparing missions now to when she served her mission (she served in Harrisburg, PA).  She is totally awesome.  She's gone through a lot, the kind of stuff that shakes faith, but she's stayed faithful to the church the entire time.  We really love her. :)

Thursday was an incredible day!  We had Zone Conference on Thursday, and it was incredible!  We were all fasting, and by the time we reached our testimony meeting, the spirit was incredibly strong in the room.  Our song sounded beautiful as well. :)  Anyways, Zone Conference was an amazing experience.  I wish I knew what to include in the email to help you understand what a spiritually uplifting experience it was!  But I suppose it will satisfy me to let y'all know that I received many blessings from the messages shared and the experiences I had on Thursday, and I am very grateful that I felt well enough to go.

Saturday was crazy.  We get a call from our Zone Leaders, asking us if we could help someone move into our ward boundaries.  And we were like "Uh.... duh.  Of course!"  They're names are Amanda and David Todd, and they have 4 kids.  The Zone Leaders have been helping them out a lot, and they're impressed with how much we're willing to help.  Anyways, we hope to keep helping them out and eventually invite them to take the lessons.

We also saw Brother Taylor and taught about Church, Praying, and Reading Scriptures.  We had a great discussion about how each of them blesses us individually when we do one or two.  But then we talked about how much greater the blessings would be if you are actively trying to participate in all 3.  And the best thing was that at the end of the lesson, he committed to come to church!  We were so happy!  Especially since it was the Primary Program, and Sister Taylor is the Primary President, so we were really hoping that he would be willing to go. :)

After that, we went to Kims house and got to talk to her.  We asked if she would like to take the lessons again, and while she didn't really give us a straight no, she didn't say yes.  And she still wants us to come by!  We ended up having a really good discussion about the 3 kingdoms of Glory though, and we talked about how everyone is going to feel comfortable where they're at, that no one is going to be "punished" and sent to Hell.  She was really grateful for our explanation, and she said that it made a lot more sense than what the Elders had told her a few years before.  We also got her to commit to pray about what we talked about, to ask Heavenly Father if what we taught her was true.  And she said she would!  How exciting is that?!  Anyways, we really love her. :)  And she's going to teach us how to make little bowling pin dolls one day.  We're super excited for that. :)

As for Sunday.

The Primary Program was great.  It would have been a thousand times better if Brother Taylor had shown up. :(  Oh, it was so heartbreaking!  He seemed so sure that he could make it for just that one hour of Sacrament Meeting the day before!  But it's okay-- at least we know that he wants to come back, and we know that he's working hard towards it.  I know that he will make it back one day, and I know that it will bless his life.

Well, that's it for this week!  I love all of you, and I hope that you have a beautiful and blessed Thanksgiving!  And don't forget to show a little extra bit of gratitude towards your Heavenly Father this upcoming week!


Sister Empey

Monday, November 17, 2014

November 17, 2014 - Single-Digit Weather

 You guys, it snowed!  O_O  
Look at how much it snowed!!!!

... Sister Stevens had to comfort me.  She was a little more excited about the snow than I was.

Okay, really, it didn't snow THAT much.  Sister Lawrence, who we live with, had us kneel in the snow to make it look deeper.  But it did snow enough for the kids to have a Snow Day.  We weren't so lucky.  We still had work to do.

But that's the middle of the week.  Let's start at the beginning, yeah?

I love the Chestnuts.  I seriously do.  They are so awesome!  :D  The lesson went good on Monday-- not too many crazy questions this time around.  But the family has been trying to pray and read their scriptures, which is exciting. :)  I'm so happy we get to teach them. :)

And then Tuesday came, with drool, snot, and a headache.

Needless to say, I spent the day inside that day.  I tried to keep myself occupied as best as I could.  So, while Sister Stevens set up different splits throughout the day so that some work could be done, I finished up the last 15 chapters of Isaiah, took a nap (or two), finished a few word searches, and tried out a Chicken noodle soup using Top Ramen Noodles (which, by the ways, was really good).  But yeah, I don't like being sick.  Especially sick enough that you can't go out and work.  Every time Sister Stevens came home I would bombard her with questions of what happened while she was out.  Needless to say, I don't make a very good sick person.  I'm not good with sitting down and resting because I have to.

But it payed off, because I was able to go to Wednesday night's activity. :D

So, if y'all remember, last week I was talking about how we were going to be in charge of a Mutual night, and it will be all missionary themed, with companionship's and districts and everything.

Well, it went AMAZING!!!!!!  Everyone really seemed to enjoy it, we even had some of the older kids say that it was the best activity they have had in a long time!  It was a great opportunity I think for them all to see that while it's important to prepare for a mission, that the best way to prepare is to be a missionary now.  And by the end of the night, there was a really strong spirit as Sister Stevens and I bore our testimony about our missions, and how it's changed our outlook for our lives when we go home.  It was really amazing, and I'm really grateful that I got to be a part of that. :)

Thursday.  Thursday morning, I was in my own little bubble, preparing for the day, when Sister Stevens ran upstairs, grabbed my camera, and threw open the curtains.

This is what she was taking a picture of:

It had snowed.  All night.

Of course, my lovely companion, who is from Texas, was extra bubbly and excited.  And then there's me: "Great.  It's cold, and there's gonna be ice."  But it's fun to see her all excited about the snow.  At least one of us is, yeah? :)

Anyways, that night we were able to visit a less-active member that we had been trying to visit forever, named Tony Schwab.  He had joined the church when he was first in the Military, but has gone inactive since, but really wants to come back, and he wants his son to take the lessons eventually!  We mostly just talked to him about cars, since he's like, super knowledgeable about them, shared a thought, and left, but he wants us to come back!  His son, Zach, is a pretty nice kid too.  He's 12, and was mostly in his room doing homework, but he came to church on Sunday, even though Tony couldn't come because he had Military Duty this weekend.  Awesome, yeah?

Anyways, on Friday, we got a call from Sister Ritter, a lady we've been helping in the ward, asking us if we could round up a couple of other missionaries to help her shovel both her and heir neighbors driveway, and take down her tramp.  So we got our District Leaders and the other Sisters in our district to come join us.

Check me out, on a tramp, sweeping off snow:

yeah, I swept off like, 2 feet of snow off that tramp.  It was pretty legit.

So, I can now check these three things off my [non-existent] bucket list: put up a trampoline (we had put this tramp up back in September for her to sell), sweep snow off the trampoline, and then take down the trampoline in the snow.  I feel pretty accomplished. :D

After that, we all went to the Avalon church building to practice a song for Zone Conference coming up this week.  It's a super pretty rendition of "All Creatures of Our God and King".  I really love this song!  It's so great. :)  I'm really excited to sing it on Thursday!  We have six of us singing (I've been placed as a Soprano this time.), and it's sounding really good.  Like I said, I'm excited. :)

And to round out our night, we had a potluck with the 3rd ward.  People kind of just came in and out as they pleased, as it was meant to be a missionary tool for the ward.  We didn't really meet anybody new, but it was a pretty good turnout for doing this for the first time.  Brother Grigg, our Ward Mission Leader, hopes to continue this so that people can invite their friends and get them acquainted with the church.

Saturday was surprisingly busy.

We first saw the Taylor's and we were thinking that it would be a fairly short lesson, since it was just about the 10 commandments.  

But, of course, it wouldn't be that way.  This is Brother Taylor we're talking about.  The guy that asks fantastic questions.  So, what would have been a 10 minute lesson turned into an hour discussion about the difference between the Letter of the Law and the Spirit of the Law, and how both are needed in our lives, we cannot live by one or the other.  Again, incredible.  I'm so grateful for the time we get to spend with the Taylor's. We're really hoping that Brother Taylor will come to church next Sunday since it's the Primary Program and his wife is the Primary President.  And if he did, that would be an awesomely huge step. :D

We then had a lesson with David and Sister Pitt about Temples and Family History, and it went well.  Nothing too exciting to report with that lesson.

We then had dinner and a lesson with the Martin girls.  That was.... interesting.  The lesson was about Eternal marriage, and they had to ask all the hard questions, like what happens when parents get divorced.  Which we did not prepare for.  And we should have known that we would need to prepare for those ones.  But we were able to (somewhat) answer their questions.  

So, we closed out our lesson, and just in time, because we got a call from Sister Wasden and Branham right after, asking us to help out one of their investigators who needed to move her stuff into a moving truck.  So, for a last time, members of the zone gathered to help Kristie out.  And oh my goodness, it was cold outside!  Like, every time you walked outside your snot would freeze kind of cold.  It was disgusting.  But we were able to pack away a lot of her stuff and get it into the truck, so I'm glad that we were able to help her out that one last time.

And last of all, Sunday.  

So, a few Sundays ago, we were walking, and we saw a moving truck pull up to a house.  We thought we would offer our services.  They turned it down, because they had professional movers coming, but thanked us and took our number.

Well, their fantastic neighbors invited them to church to attend a baby blessing!  Her name is Jennifer, and she has a 5 year old daughter named Natalie.  She's divorced, and was looking for a good place to raise her daughter, and Boise is ranked #1 for raising kids.  Anyways, she was impressed with the meeting, and they might come back for the primary program next week.  Super exciting. :)

Anyways, that's it, I think.  I love y'all!  Keep the faith!


Sister Empey

Monday, November 10, 2014

November 10, 2104 - Ice Cream!

Because the picture didn't come until after I finished emailing last week.....

Yeah.  one of the best moments of my life. :D


so, Monday night.  We had FHE with the Chestnuts again, and we talked about the Plan of Salvation.  Owen, the oldest boy, who is.... about 9 I think, was cute.  He kept going off on tangents that didn't fully relate to what we were talking about, so we had to ask him to hold off all questions until the end of the lesson.  So, we finished the lesson, and he's about ready to burst with a question.  So we opened the lesson up to questions, and he asks "What happens when there's a really mean guy that comes in and kills all of your family and all you want to do is take revenge?"

There was this part of me that wanted to laugh, and another part of me that was touched by the sincerity of his question.  So we carefully explained that the Atonement of Christ can help us with everything, including getting over wanting to take revenge to a mean guy that kills your entire family.  We then asked him to pray about it to see if what we taught him was true, and he said he would.  It'll be interesting to see what he says about his experience tonight.  :)

Thursday was awesome!

We started out with going to the Blanchards.  We serve them every Thursday, because Sister Blanchard has some health problems and needs help keeping up with her kids.  So, sometimes we help clean or organize.  Or there's weeks like this week where we do this:

(Yes, I found a Lion King shirt at Wally World last week.  It's pretty awesome. :D)

These are the really fun weeks, where we just need to distract the kids so that Sister Blanchard can get something done (They're 11, 9, 5, and 3).  This week we swept up the patio, then played with the kids.  It was pretty fun. :)

After playing.... I mean... working with the Blanchards, we went home, changed, and walked down to Kims house to have dinner with her.  She made this really yummy sauce with tomato sauce, Cream of mushroom soup, mushrooms, and shrimp.   And it was all on top of noodles.  Mmmmmm.... so good! :D  And guess what, guess what?!?!  When I walked in, I looked at her little table thing that was by the door, and on the bottom shelf of it, there was a Book of Mormon! :D  She wants us to keep coming back too, so Sister Stevens and I plan to invite her to give the church a second chance and take the lessons again.

We then had splits on Thursday night, so that Sister Stevens could go see James Klemmons while I went and saw Karisma Woods.  And oh my goodness, can I just say that I love splits?!  It means that we actually have work to do! :D  Anyways, so I went to the Woods home with Sister Moral, and we went over the first three lessons with her to see how much she understood.  She actually remembered a lot!  I was pretty impressed!  I think having the visual aids we made for her this past week helped her remember more.  Anyways, we have to push her baptismal date back, just because there is so much information in the last two lessons, but we're hoping that she'll be baptized around the end of December.

Oh!  And I forgot, when we were walking home from the Blanchards, we started talking to this guy outside who was restoring a Mustang.  His name is Blaine, and he's a retired cop.  He doesn't really believe in God-- he pointed out how in law enforcement you either don't believe in Him because of all the things you see or your belief is the only thing that can keep you rooted and same.  But he was really friendly, and said that he might come to the stakes "Meet the Mormons" program just to see.  Anyways, he was super nice and cool, and has the sweetest pit bull. :)  We're hoping to see him again soon.

After Zone Meeting on Friday, which was awesome, we went to this older less-active couple, the Hellyers, and started re-teaching them the lessons.  It was really good-- there was a nice spirit, and we got to learn about Sister Hellyer's conversion story.  But I made the mistake of singing them a song when we saw them Tuesday, so now I think I'm going to have to find a song for every lesson.  Oops.  Oh well, they're just a super sweet couple.  I wish they could come to church, but I don't think their health would permit that. :(

We also saw the Pitts on Friday, like we always do.  Well, sort of.  It moved from Wednesday to Friday.  Anyways, we taught David about Missionary work, and he's super excited!  He wants to be a missionary so bad!  He cracks me up.  He's so stinking cute.  And he was happy that he can be a missionary NOW.

We also saw the Higleys on Friday and talked about what it was like living in China.  It was really interesting to hear about school there, because most kids go to private schools and have dorms for middle school and high school.  Also, Sister Higley is an awesome baker!  She LOVES to bake, which is sort of odd because most Chinese people don't have ovens (can you imagine that?  No homemade cookies, no homemade cakes!).  But yeah, the Higleys are great. :)

Saturday was.... interesting.  So, this upcoming Wednesday, we're in charge of Mutual for the 10th ward.  So, we spent pretty much all day preparing for that.  We got the lists of all of the Young Men and Women (after much begging through the entire week), separated them all into Companions, Districts, and Zones, complete with District and Zone Leaders, and typed up mini mission calls for everyone.  And it was a miracle that we had all day to do all of this, because we needed all day to do so.  Every single one of our Saturday appointments, except for dinner, cancelled.  Every single one of them.  It was crazy.  The whole all appointments cancelling and trying to put the youth into companionships.  I can't even imagine the stress President Cannon goes through when transfers come!  It was fun, but a little stressful.  But still fun. :)

And on Sunday, we gained a new Bishopric for 10th Ward.  Which means that Brother Jepsen is no longer the 2nd counselor.  I'm kind of sad about it.  But our new bishopric will be pretty awesome. :)  The new bishop, Bishop Trautman, used to be a Ward Mission Leader (from what I've understood), and both of his counselors, Brothers Higbee and Patterson, are great men to work with.  I'm excited for this change. :)  But I'll miss Brother Jepsens comments in Ward Council Meeting.

And to round out the week, I have a great story to tell you.

So, Sisters Branham and Wasden sent us a text during church, asking if we were going to go.  And we were like "go where?"  Well, through 3 hours of phone tag, we learned that our District Leader had sent a text to them, saying that President Cannon had invited the entire district over to have ice cream at their house that night!  And we were like "Uh..... we never got that."  So the sisters freaked out, thinking that it was the Elders pranking them, so they called President Cannon.  Well, turns out that it was no joke, so we all went over to President Cannon's and had ice cream at his house.  It was pretty fun to spend the last hour of our Sunday with President and Sister Cannon, eating ice cream, with the rest of our District. :)  Apparantly, we're the first District to be invited over by President Cannon to have ice cream with them.  They were talking about how they wanted to have their missionaries over to their home more often, so we were kind of the guinea pigs for this.  Pretty awesome, yeah? :)

Anyways, I love y'all!  As you can tell, things here in Kuna are going great.  I love it here, and I'll be sad when I have to leave it behind.  :(

Hope y'all's week is going good!  Keep the Faith everyone!


Sister Empey

Monday, November 3, 2014

November 3, 2104 - Conversion Stories!

I think it's official: my favorite meal I have been fed on my mission is Grilled Cheese and Tomato Soup.  What can I say?  Simple Minds, Simple Pleasures.

yeah.  So, on Monday night we ate with the Pitts.  And that's what we had for dinner.  It was AWESOME!!!!  Sometimes it's super nice to have something so nice and simple to eat for dinner. :)  We've actually have had a lot of soup this week.  It's been super nice, since the weather is changing. (talk about gross.  I really dislike snow.  And cold.  And winter.  With a very strong passion.)  Anyways, it's been nice to have a lot of soups and stews.  :)  I love soups.  That is a good thing about winter-- is all the nice, warm, soups.  Love it. :)

Anyways, on Monday, we went to the Chestnuts, a less-active family that we're going to teach the lessons to.  So we taught them Lesson 1 last week, and it went great!  The kids are all willing to read the Book of Mormon too, so I can't wait to see how that goes. :)

We had a special "Meet the Mormons" presentation on Tuesday night.  (No, not the movie.)  So, every other Tuesday, the stake puts on a little presentation for the members to invite people to, that just gives some basics about the church, and this last Tuesday was one specially designed for the Youth.  This is the first time I've seen the chapel not just full, but they opened the overflow too!  Usually, the chapel isn't even half full, and it's mostly just members of the ward there that is hosting that night.  It was so great to see the youth take charge and invite their friends and take this seriously. :)  It was great. :)  The Spirit there was great too. :)

And we've continued to teach Karisma, which means that we're on track to have her baptized in November!  We taught her the Gospel of Jesus Christ this week.  We're really excited for her.  But in order to teach her everything we have to start teaching her twice a week now, or push back the baptism date.  We'll have to see. *shrug*  We'll figure it out.

We had to be in by 6 on Halloween night.  And since we wouldn't have anything to do, we asked the Zone Leaders if we could go to the store that morning and buy pumpkins.  And we told them we would carve their face into the pumpkins.  So they agreed.  And we carved their faces in the pumpkins.  But we have no pictures of said pumpkins.  So y'all will just have to be left to wonder. >:)

And we're still teaching the Taylors.  They're so awesome!!!!  We talked about obedience and following the prophet, and ended up having a really good discussion on following the promptings of the Spirit and about forgiving oneself.  He really is an amazing person with such a strong spirit about him.  (And Sister Taylor is great too.  She fills in with some great thoughts herself.)  Anyways, it was great.  As always.  And this lesson was a little cooler than usual..... he pulled out his Jedi robes and lightsabers and we got to play with them. Yeah, we became Jedi Knights for a couple of minutes.  BEST.  DAY.  EVER!!!!!  :D (we're talking in the non-spiritual sense here.)  The geek inside of me is super happy. :D  I really think this is one of the reasons that we are teaching Chris right now, is because both Sister Stevens and I can form a really good connection with him.  I just love seeing the Lords timing on things, and teaching Chris Taylor is one of those times I can see it. :)

(pictures of said event will be coming... eventually.  Courtesy of Sister Taylor.)

We also went to see Sister Meyers, a less-active, in 3rd ward on Saturday, and her completely inactive son was home!  So we got to know him a little bit too.  He was kicked out of school a couple of years ago, so he went into the construction industry, and basically knows how to put together an entire house.  He was fun to listen to.  Anyways, Sister Stevens shared a scripture from Alma, about how Alma helped out Amulek in his times of need, and I tied that to Michael (the son), and Sister Meyers, since Michael is working hard to help his mom pay her bills.  It was a really neat moment, to see Michael realize that he's being blessed because he's helping out his mom.  Just, one of those tender moments that helped me remember why I'm out here.

And then we had Stake Conference, which was amazing!

The Saturday Evening session was all about Nick and Stephanie Marsala, and their conversion story.  It was really neat to hear the whole story.  And as we sat there, I realized that I had never asked Brother Marsala about his conversion story!  It was really neat.  He talked about how when he was 10, he walked out of the Christian school that he was attending because he didn't agree with the doctrine they were teaching.  How great of an example is that?  That a 10-year old could stand up of his beliefs and opinions like that?  And Nick hasn't changed a bit.  Even though he's a fairly new convert of 3 months, he is SOLID.  And the same goes to Stephanie.  She wanted to find a religion where God seemed believable and real, because that was a struggle for her as she was growing up.  And then Brother Jepson talked about being their friend and fellowshipper.  (Seriously, I have never seen better fellowshipping in my life.  Nick and Bro. Jepsen are like, the coolest duo ever.  They're like, the closest thing we have to a Mormon Mafia.)  And then President Francis had all three of them come to the stand, and had a open discussion with the entire congregation about what it takes to bring people into the church, and the answer was the same: love, friendship, service.  It doesn't take grandiose actions to bring people to the church.  It's all simple, everyday things.  It was an incredible meeting.

Sunday morning was good too.  It was all about how faith can carry you through all of your trials.  Or at least that's what I got out of it.  Other than that, nothing really noteworthy from that session.  But it was still good.

And to round out our week, we visited James Klemmons again.  He's going to be gone next week, because he's going to Thailand to visit his father, who's in the military.  But it was nice to visit him.  He totally cracks us up!  We're going to visit him one more time before he leaves, and we committed him to read about the Stripling Warriors.  I hope he does. :)  That would be awesome. :)

Anyways, that's all for this week.  :)  I hope that y'all are doing good!  Y'all are the best!  Keep the faith! :D


Sister Empey

Monday, October 27, 2014

October 27, 2014 - I (seriously) met a Jedi Knight

So, this week.

I really don't even know where to begin.

So I guess I'll just start at the beginning. :)

On Monday, we went to Linder Farms as a Zone, a place sort of like Thanksgiving Point, but smaller.  It was fun.  We were running around in the corn maze and played with the animals in the petting zoo and just relaxed and had a good ole' time being crazy kids. :)  It was great.

Tuesday.  On Tuesday we saw the Whiteheads, the first time we have seen them in 5 weeks!  We talked a lot about commandments, and why we need to follow them.  The whole family was interested, and they all showed up for church on Sunday!  WOOT!  So happy they came.  We're hoping that we can keep visiting them.  All the kids are great. :)

So on Wednesday, I had a feeling that we needed to tract out a certain neighborhood, and Sister Stevens agreed with me.  So we did and met this lady named Kim.  As we started talking to her, she had told us before how she had been taking the lessons up in John Day, OR!  We were sitting there like "what?!"  And then she told us about how one of the Elders had offended her, so she excused them out of her home and they had never been back.  We of course apologized for what had happened, and she said that it was fine, but wasn't 'interested in letting more missionaries in, and talked a little more.  Well, I don't remember how we got to the subject of hair, but it did.  And I offered to cut her hair for her.  AND SHE SAID YES.  This lady, who 5 minutes before wasn't willing to let any more missionaries in her home, agreed to let us come in so that I could cut her hair!  To make a long story short, what normally probably would have been a 2 minute discussion ended up being a 30 minute porch discussion.  It was awesome. :)

BUT IT GETS BETTER.  So, we went over on Friday so that I can cut her hair.  (That's right, she didn't cancel.  We actually got inside the house!)  And while we're there talking, she offered to feed us dinner.  DINNER.  And we're like "uh.... we're booked, but we'll get back to you when we have a free spot."  I am so happy!  And she wants us to keep visiting her!  So, before we left (what had started out as a half-hour haircut turned into an hour-and-a-half discussion :) ), we left her with a scripture in Isaiah 63:9, where it talks about how the Atonement was done out of love, and there was a very powerful spirit in the room as we discussed that verse.  I am really excited to be able to go back there and visit more with her.  She's a super sweet lady. :)

We also taught Karisma Wood on Wednesday night.  The lesson went really well.  I like Karisma because she'll ask questions when she doesn't get it, like she did when we taught the Kingdoms of Glory.  She wants to make sure she understands what she's learning, and it's great.  And she showed up for Sacrament meeting too this Sunday!  We're thinking that we actually might make the date of November 22 for her baptism.  We're super excited for her. :)

We also went to the Pitts home for a lesson on Tithing and Fasting on Friday.  David is the sweetest 7-year old EVER.  Like, seriously.  So stinking cute!  Before we got to teach our lesson, he had to ask us some questions first, like if Lehi was a prophet and if Joseph Smith went to church.  And he loves reading the Book of Mormon.  :)  The rest of the lesson went well too, and we willingly agreed to live the law of tithing and fasting.  Then on Sunday they came to church!  So many church goers! :D  So we sat with them during Sacrament Meeting.  Apparently David really likes Primary. :)  Which of course makes us happy. :)  They're going to feed us tonight-- "payment" for me giving both of them haircuts-- and we're super excited.  BRING ON THE GRILLED CHEESES AND POTATO SOUP!!!  (yes, that is what we requested for dinner.  What can I say?  We're kids at heart.)

Saturday was BUSY.  We started out by helping clean the church, then we went to 3rd Wards Super Saturday, which was fun.  We made little necklaces and talked to the ladies making tortillas.  And then guess who showed up for Lunch?!  Suzanne and Shanna Pfieffer!!!  (Suzanne is Susan, by the way.)  So they stayed around and ate lunch, got to know a couple of the Sisters in the ward, and we set up an appointment so that I could cut Shanna's hair later. (Yup.  Hair skills.   They get you into doors.  Who knew?)  So, we went over later that day, cut Shanna's hair, and talked about the Book of Mormon a little bit.  it went well. :)  But sadly, they weren't at Sacrament meeting yesterday. :(  Oh well, maybe next week. 

In between the two visits with the Pfieffers, we went over to the Taylors home and shared the Prophet of the Restoration movie with them.  Chris really enjoyed it, and was glad to know more about Joseph Smiths life.  We then directed the conversation to how it relates to us.  We talked about how we are like Joseph Smith; How we each have a divine purpose and potential, and that as we follow the Lord, we can be clear about the path we need to take, no matter what happens to us.  It was an amazing lesson.

So, after all of that, we went to dinner with the Neals, an awesome missionary family.  We had fun teaching them how faith is like bubbles and sunglasses.  Don't ask me to repeat the lesson though.  It was so awesome that it cannot be repeated.

.... actually, I just can't remember it.


At the end of the night, we had a Halloween carnival for 10th ward.  And guess who came to the carnival?  CHRIS TAYLOR!!!!  In all of his Jedi Knight glory!!!!! (Seriously though, he is like, the most legit-looking Jedi I have ever seen in my life.  It was awesome.)  He didn't stay the whole time, probably around 45 minutes or so.  We were just super happy that he actually came.  This was a huge step for him, so we're excited. :)  (Also, for those who were wondering, there was a little haunted walkway.  I'm pretty sure Sister Stevens and I squealed more than the primary kids.)

And to round out the week, we had a lesson with the Martin Girls on Sunday.  We talked about service and how they could serve others.  It was nice. :)  Their dad had the day off yesterday, so he was able to come to church.  he was talking about it and was like "Yeah, Sundays like today makes me want to go to my manager and tell him that I'm no longer working Sundays and tough darts if he doesn't like it.  Just to ruffle his feathers.  At least."  It was a good lesson though.

... oh.  Did I forget to mention that we had transfer calls this Saturday?  Well, in case you were wondering, I am staying another transfer in Kuna with Sister Stevens!  I'm so happy that I get another six weeks with her. :)  It's going to be awesome. :)

Well, that's it for this week!  Have a Happy Halloween for those of you that get to celebrate it!  I love y'all!  Keep the faith!


Sister Empey

Monday, October 20, 2014

October 20, 2014 - Miracles do happen!

I went Spanish-speaking for a day. :)

We went on exchanges on Monday/Tuesday, so Sister Stevens stayed in Kuna while I went to Nampa with one of the Spanish-speaking Sisters.  It was kind of fun, minus that whole I-have-no-idea-what-y'all-are-saying part of it. :)  But for a part of my time in Nampa, we went and helped with a English class, which was lots of fun.  It's amazing to see how some of these people have caught on to speaking English.  All in all, Tuesday was kind of fun. :)  it was almost relaxing, not really having to teach because I don't know the language.  But it's also really neat because I could still feel the Spirit while Sister Cole was teaching the people we visited.  I love how universal the Gospel is.  It's a real blessing how the Gospel can reach anyone and everyone.

On Wednesday, Sister Stevens and I prepared the training for District Meeting!  It was sort of weird, and a little scary, but it ended up being a really good experience.  We did the training on making commitments and following up with them, and we both learned a lot from it, so we're trying to follow up better on the commitments we leave for people.

And we had a miracle happen on Thursday!!!!!!!!!!!  So, there's the Cox family, where the husband is not a member, and has been known to display some anti-like behavior towards the church.  Well, the other day, we felt prompted to go to their house and just ask for some water, and not only did Tim (the husband) get us water, but he invited us inside their home!  and we were able to share a message with Sister Cox with him in the room!  We were so excited!

So, on Saturday, we were supposed to meet with the Pfieffers, but Suzanne ended up cancelling because her fibromyalgia flared up, and she said that she would bring Shanna to church, but that she probably wouldn't come.

Well, guess who was a church?  Both Shanna and Suzanne!  We are so happy that they both came, and Shanna made it through church without complaining this week!

Anyways, that's all I can think of right now.  Transfer calls are this week, so pray that I get to stay in Kuna!

Love y'all!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, October 14, 2014

October 13, 2014 - SUCCESS!!!!

WOW.  This week has been AWESOME!!!

So, to start off the week, we met with Kristy Boswell again!  She hasn't read the Book of Mormon, but we got to know her background a little better.  It turns out that her father is a completely inactive member of the church, but her grandma is really active.  Her mom is Catholic though.  So she's grown up around religion all her life.  We also talked about hell, and about the Kingdoms of Glory, which the Elders taught, but she was having a hard time understanding.  I think we helped clear that up a bit.  I hope so.

We then went to do service for the Blanchards, a less active family.  After that, we were riding back through the neighborhood, and Sister Stevens bike slid out from underneath her!  The poor girl had a goose egg on her foot, and it was super swollen.  But thankfully, that was the only injury she got.  It was kind of funny to watch all the Elders that night give her advice about her foot though at the "Meet the Mormons" program.  She was all like, "I'm not a football player!  I'm just a Sister!  I'm not sticking my foot in a bucket of ice!"

The Pitts are still doing great.  Still on track to get baptized come January when David turns 8.

And we were able to have a lesson with Karisma Woods Wednesday night.  We taught her the first lesson, and we committed her to a baptismal date!  We're aiming for November 22, and as long as she comes to church.  But she didn't come this Sunday. :(

We also talked about Joseph Smith a little more with Jacob and Evan Stinchcomb on Thursday.  The Spirit was actually really strong, and again, both boys were very involved.  Sadly, their mom won't let them come to church, but they still want us to come over.  I just applaud the dad for even being willing to ask his wife if they could go! :)  And who knows, maybe one day she will let them. :)  Until then, we're excited to teach them about the Plan of Salvation next Thursday.

We also taught some Jehovah Witnesses. :P  It was a great experience actually.  They were tracting out the neighborhood we live in, so we answered the door when they got to us.  They talked about the Kingdom of God, and after respectfully listening to their beliefs and taking their Watchtower, we asked if we could give them one of our pamphlets about the Kingdom of God, and Denise, the wife of the due, agreed!  So, we gave them a Plan of Salvation pamphlet, talked about how neat it will be to return to Heavenly Father again, and let them go for the day.  It was pretty awesome. :)

We also finally met this family named the Pfiffers on Saturday!  They're potential investigators.  Susan Pfiffer adopted Shanna about 6 years ago, who is a sweet but challenged 14-year old.  You can see that both of them are lacking happiness, and are searching for more, and I know that the Gospel can bring it to them. :)

And what's more?!  The Pfiffers came to church yesterday!  EEK!!!  That's so awesome!  Susan felt a little bad for being the only woman wearing pants, but we reassured her that it was okay-- what mattered was that she was at church, and that she would be spiritually fed.  Sister Stevens and I switched off with each other-- I went to Sunday school with Shanna (who was really bored, but made it through :) ), and then I went to Relief Society with Susan.  It was a really neat and unique experience as I sat in Relief Society and explained to Susan about all of the different things we were talking about.  And it seemed like, in the end, both of them had a good experience. :)  I can't wait to see them next Saturday!

Well, that's all for now folks! :D  I love you, and keep your faith strong!


Sister Empey

Monday, October 6, 2014

October 6, 2014 - Missionary Blockbuster!

OH, I love conference weekend!

But first, the rest of the week.  :)

We had dinner with the Renyolds again this week.  Nothing too exciting to report.  They released their raccoon.  Sister Renyolds was sick, and we didn't get our dutch oven dinner because it was raining.  But we got chicken roll-ups, and they were pretty good. :)  They also made a peach cobbler in the oven which was good too. :)

We also met the Dosher family this week, and talked to Amanda.  The Elders had been teaching them a little bit, so we've been trying to meet them.  They're Catholic, went through the lessons and everything to join the Catholic church.  So, apparently, Amanda has been reading the Book of Mormon, and she's just hung up on little things like steel not being created and horses not existing and stuff like that.  And I'm just like "really?!  REALLY?!"  And it's not bad-- it will help us only gain a stronger testimony about the Book of Morrnon.  But it's the fact that she doesn't pray to know the truth.  And she's really smart, so it makes us look stupid.  But whatever.  It'll be interesting to see how our next conversation goes.  So we encouraged her to pray before she read the Book of Mormon, and we would check up in a couple of weeks.

On Tuesday, we got to watch the new "Meet the Mormons" movie!  YOU GUYS IT'S SO GOOD!!!!!  When it comes out, you should really see it.  More than anything it will strengthen your testimony of Christ and his Gospel.  I loved it. :)  And it will be nice to be able to talk about it with other people instead of being like ".... what is that?"  Yup.  I loved it.  It was great.

Other than that, the middle of the week was pretty slow.  We didn't get into a lot of homes this week.

So, onto Conference!  

We were able to watch the Saturday Afternoon session with the Taylors, and it was really good.  We also ate lunch with them, and just got to be friends with them.  I really love the Taylors, they're so awesome! :)

We also got to watch the Saturday morning session with the Pitts.  I love them!  David is the cutest 7-year old I have ever met! :)

We also taught the Martins and the Higleys this week.  Both lessons went well.

And... that's it.  Sorry that it's short this week.  I can't think of what to write.  Please forgive me!  I love you all!  Stay strong in your faith!

Sister Empey

Monday, September 29, 2014

September 29, 2014 - Lessons at a Grocery Store


Let's see.... so, on Monday, we played Zombies in the Avalon building, an older church building with lots of adding on. :)  Needless to say, tons of fun. :)  Until I injured my toe (blood blister.  That popped.).  But still tons of fun.  Just, you know, running around the halls of the church, trying not to be tagged by one of the "Zombies".... the point is to be the last one tagged.  Yup, lots of fun. :)

Tuesday was a good day.  We picked up a new investigator!  Her name is Karisma Woods, and her dad is a member, but her mom is not.  Karisma wants to be baptized, but hasn't been able to take the lessons really because of basketball, apparently.  Well, anyways, we set up an appointment to start teaching her the lessons on Wednesday!  We're super excited. :)

We also got back into the Stinchcombs home!  We finished the whole first lesson this time, and it went really well.  Even the oldest, Jacob, was involved this time, and payed attention and seemed interested. :)  The spirit was really good there, and I really think they're both going to progress. :)

Then we went and visited Kristie Boswell that night.  Previously, we had left her and her husband to read the first chapter of the Book of Mormon.  When we went to visit them, she was home with two of her kids (husband was at work), and she had told us that she didn't read it.  So we read it with her, and her daughter, Melissa I think, followed along with us.  The spirit in the home was incredible!  She was almost in tears when we wrapped up.  She then told us that she was going to take the Book of Mormon with her that weekend to work and read it all!  EEK!  I can't wait to hear how it goes tomorrow!  :D

We taught David and Terra Pitts on Wednesday.  David is seriously one of the stinking cutest 7 year-olds I have ever met.  He said that he had prayed about the Plan of Salvation, which we had taught him last time, and that he got an answer back that it was true!  And then he got after his mom because she got up late on Sunday and they didn't make it to church.  So, this week, we taught them about the Gospel of Christ, and both Terra and David asked good questions. :)  It's so awesome to see these two have the desire to learn and to come back to church. :)

We also had an actual sit-down conversation with the Marsalas on Wednesday and re-taught the first lesson!  It went really well, and it helped us know better where they were standing spiritually.  So this week, to help them with their testimony of Joseph Smith, we're going to watch the Prophet of the Restoration movie with them.  I hope it helps. :)

We had a very interesting lesson on Thursday night... so, on Tuesday, Brother Grigg in the 3rd ward called us up and told us that we had an appointment to meet with this potential investigator named Lino, and that he was going to bring a friend with him.

So, the first odd thing was that we were meeting in the Kaveman lounge above Ridleys.  Nothing up there but tables, but still very interesting.  So the meeting was Sister Stevens and I, Brother Grigg, Sister Neal, and then Lino and Doug, his friend.

So, we started out just by laying out some of both of our basic, core beliefs.  And Lino and Doug started asking questions.  And they were good questions.  At first, Lino seemed to want to understand, and it was Doug that seemed a little more... attacking.  Well, like I said, they had good questions, almost a little too good.  As in deep doctrine questions.  And we were starting to lose control.  So, I turned to Doug, who's in charge of the kids ministry at his church, and made a connection with him.  I mentioned that I've taught kids about Christ as well, and so we've had similar experiences.  Then I asked him if, when kids come to him with deep questions, if he laid out the basics of their beliefs before he told them any deeper stuff.  When he replied yes, I explained how we were in the same situation now.  We would love to be able to explain and answer his questions, but that we had not had a chance to lay out the basics of the Gospel yet.

There was a very visible change in that moment.  It was suddenly Doug who was wanting to hear more what we had to say, and Lino was the one attacking us, even though we may of had the same belief as he did.  It was very hard to keep calm and not argue back, but I am very grateful that I have the gift of the Holy Ghost to guide me to what to say.  

It seemed like our conversation was 2 hours long, but Brother Grigg neatly wrapped up the discussion at 8 o'clock, nearly 50 minutes after we started.  We ended with a prayer, and offered both Lino and Doug a Book of Mormon (we, having previously, explained that the Book of Mormon was another testament of Jesus Christ).  Lino flat out refused, saying that all we need is the bible, but Doug took it!  I don't know if he'll really read it or not, or if we'll hear from him again.  We saw him talking with Lino outside afterwards, and Lino seemed upset.  But we feel like we have planted the seed in Doug, and that maybe, one day, he'll be ready to accept the full truth.

It was a hard lesson/discussion to go through, but I am very grateful for it.  It was an experience I will never forget, for sure.

On Saturday, we met with the Taylors again, and had another fantastic lesson with Brother Taylor.  He again was very active in the conversation, and you can tell that he really wants to know.  I think that he already knows, he just doesn't realize it yet.  I love the Taylors!  They're such an amazing family!

On Sunday, we spoke in 3rd ward (again), and my talk was on agency.  There was one part where I almost cried.  I was talking about how I don't need to see the news every day to see Satan trying to pull us down, trying to make us make the wrong decisions.  I just needed to see the people who I visit and love to see Satan trying to work against us, and I was hit with an overloading sense of love for everyone in the congregation.  I found myself pleading with them to make those right choices so that they could be happy.  It was a very special and spiritual experience for me.

We had another lesson with the Martin girls last night, and I think it was the best lesson we've had with them.  They were all very quiet, took turns answering questions, and even Chloee, who usually is the disruptor, was really quiet and was involved.  They're excited for General conference to come up.

We also taught the Higleys about Missionary work.  Sister Higley is so sweet!  She made some cookies for the first time (as to first time ever or first time in the oven or first time here in the US I wasn't quite sure about), but they were really good. :)  Some sort of like, macaroonish cookie or something.  Very yummy. :)

We spent the rest of our Sunday night with one of 3rd ward families, the Jensens.  We played some sort of number game with them (they would read a question, and you would have to guess the answer.  For example "How much did the biggest pumpkin weigh?", and then we would guess who was the closest in answer.), and just had fun with them.  They're an awesome family. :)

Well, that's all for this week!  It was a really great week, and I just love being here in Kuna.  It's the best. :)

Love y'all!  Keep the Faith Strong!


Sister Empey

Monday, September 22, 2014

September 22, 2014 - New Transfer, New Companion, New ward, new investigators!

Ah, a week of new things!  It feels great! :)

So, lots has been going on!  Like I said last week, it was transfers, and Sister Ketring got swapped out with Sister Stevens, one of the sweetest Sister missionaries in the mission field.  Not only that, but we picked up a new ward to work in too!  (not that our last ward wasn't enough work-- oh, we already had plenty!)  But we now cover both Kuna 10th and Kuna 3rd wards.  I'm pretty excited about it too.  There's lots of work to be done in the 3rd ward too. :)  It's great.  

Sister Stevens was thrown right into the work when she got here, since we had a FHE with the Jepsons and the Whiteheads again Monday night.  It ended up being a really good lesson.  We did it on how families love each other, even when some things don't go so well.  The spirit was really strong in the room, and the Whitehead kids participated this time.  It was great.  It's like they realized that despite the bickering and the fighting and all that, they still loved each other.  And then we had fun playing pictionary afterwards, and I think that's the least they have fought during one of the games.  It was a great night. :)

We also almost immediately dived into the 3rd ward, since we had a new member discussion with the Higleys on Wednesday.  Sister Higley and her daughter, Lucy, actually lived in China, and have only moved here recently since she married Brother Higley, who was already a member.  So, since Lucy knows a English a little better, she translates for her mom for us.  They're both super sweet.  We taught the lesson on the Priesthood and Auxiliaries, and it went really great. :)  We also went and met some potential investigators, the Boswells.  They're great too.  They currently go to a non-denominational church, and loved to talk with the Elders.  Well, while we were there, we committed them to take the lessons!  So we're going to start teaching them tomorrow.  Super excited! :)

On Thursday, we got to meet Teressa Nova, who is a recent convert who has gone inactive due to some recent events in her life.  She's super sweet and charitable. :)  And she wants to start coming back to church too-- she says that she really misses it, and plans to come back after her trip to New York (where her husband works.  We got to meet him too since it was his week off.  He's happily Catholic.).  She's hoping that as she comes back to church that her life will start  to smooth out again.  But yes, super nice Sister.  We also met Sister Meyers, who is a less active, who has a non-member daughter and granddaughter.  She's awesome.  Just says it like it is.  :)  She's glad to have Sisters who can come in now.  She didn't like porch visits with the Elders.  haha  But she's sweet.  Told us we could stop by at anytime.

We also went and saw the ladies in the Assisted Living Center on Friday.  I miss those ladies!  They're so sweet!  Glenda is so sweet and cute, and I love her cat, Thor.  She calls him a "monster", but she loves him none-the-less.  :)

Saturday was really busy for us!  We started out with visiting Stephanie Marsalas, and seeing how she was doing.  Then we had lunch, updated progress records and worked on our area book (which was in the process of sorting through old papers, adding in 3rd wards information, and updating other records we have), and then went to the Taylors.  Sister Taylor is the Primary President (and is phenomenal-- I have never seen a lady single-handedly control jr. primary like she did last Sunday), but her husband is completely inactive.  BUT!  He wants to be active again, and wants to take the lessons.  So we started with the Plan of Salvation, and we had a really good conversation about that and Temples.  We also talked a little bit about Star Wars, since both of them are fans. :)  But, anyways, the discussion went really well.  He was really involved with us, asking all sorts of questions and putting in his input and thoughts.  I'm pretty sure he'll come back to the church.  Positive. :)

Then, as we left their house, we started talking to this lady that was outside washing her car.  Her name is Cheryl, and her father was Mormon and her mother was Catholic.  So she grew up going to both churches.  She believes in God, but doesn't really go to church.  But she invited us to come back over any time!  And she said she would give us a call if she needed service. :)  That always makes a missionary happy. :)

After talking with her, we booked it over to the church, where they were having their "Fire and Ice" ward party.  It was a competition, to see who could make the best chili and the best ice cream.  There were lots of less actives there and potential investigators, so it was a good time had by all.  And I swear there was this one ice cream that was lavender and garlic and it was SO GOOD!!!!!  It probably wasn't, but that's what I thought it was, and it was YUMMY.  I need to find out who made it and find out how to make it. :)

We then rounded off the night to a visit with the Hellyers, who are less active because of their health, and I felt like we really needed to go see them.  It was a really good visit.  We later learned that they had been feeling very forgotten, because no one had been visiting them, and they hadn't received the sacrament for a couple of weeks.  I'm very grateful we followed through with the prompting. :)

On Sunday, we went to the Assisted Living Center for one of our sacraments, because the Higbees wanted me to sing "More Holiness Give Me" for the sacrament meeting they hold there.  It was a very sweet and tender moment, just because I knew almost all of the people there, and they're all very close to my heart.  I'm very grateful that I was able to sing for them, and they were grateful to hear me sing.

That night, we had two lessons-- one with the Martin girls, and another one with the Higleys.  We taught the Martin girls about their baptism covenants, and what a covenant is.  The girls really enjoyed the lesson.  And then we taught the Higleys about Temples, and about Family History.  (fun fact-- there are Higleys in the Empey line.  It was sort of cool. :)  Just sort of. ;P)  Both lesson went well.

And that brings us to today-- one week later.  Yes, it's been a busy week.  And I've really enjoyed it. :)  And Sister Stevens and I will be a great companionship. :)  It will just be interesting to see how this transfer will end.  She only has three transfers left, so it's possible that she'll jump ship, or that I'll leave Kuna, or.... well... there's a multitude of things that could happen.  We could stay together one more transfer!

.... but I suppose it's a little too early to speculate now, huh?  It's a little too early to be doing that.  Point is, we work great together, and I know that I'm going to learn a lot from her.

Well, I love you all, and I'll be seeing you again in 9 months!


Sister Empey