Monday, January 27, 2014

And the work continues!

Well, after last week, can I just say that I am so glad to be like..... healthy (somewhat) again?  The cold is still ever so slightly there, but it's a lot better than it was.

So, we have now officially started teaching Tasha!  She's come to church a few times, but we only just met up with her on Tuesday. (Can I tell you how excited I was to write my name on her teaching record?!  I was bouncing out of my seat as I wrote it.)  She's really nice-- her daughter, April, is a member.  She's also has taken the discussions before, but wasn't really interested for various reasons.  But when the South Slope ward helped her get furniture and a new apartment, she was touched by the kindness, and agreed to try the lessons again.  So, here we are, Sis. Robinson and I, teaching her!  We're going to take it nice and slow with her (the last set of missionaries shoved it all down her throat with no mercy apparently), so we're hoping that we can help her see how good the Gospel really is, and the love and friendship the ward has to offer... which will involve keeping her daughter active.  So!  We have lots of work just with her.  But I'm just so excited to teach her!  I feel like there's so much I can give to her.

... have I mentioned how weird I think it is that they name their wards out here?  I'm just used to numbers.

Anyways!  We also had an investigator at church.  His name is Walt.  And he's hard to get a hold of.  But we were able to this past week, and we got him to agree to come to church!  So, he was there for Sacrament meeting and Gospel Principles (you know, I never had any idea what that class was?  I hardly went to church in Salt Lake and I was put in Primary almost as soon as I moved into the 6th ward.)  But he was the only one this week.  We were really hoping that Dorian, Traiden, and Stephanie would be there, but none of them were.  And Mary still won't come because her teeth aren't ready yet.  It's so sad!  Mary is like, TOTALLY ready to be baptized and everything, we just can't get her to church!  But she wants to be baptized, and she's looking at being baptized in March, so.... hopefully next week!  She told us that next Tuesday for sure that she'll have her teeth, and that she would call us when she does.  And when she does... we're going to throw her a little mini party!  Whoot whoot!

AND..... what else.....

Oh!  The work in South Slope ward is starting to pick up.  We just had a new Ward Mission Leader called, named Brother McConkie.  Both he and his wife are awesome!  They're both so excited to get the ward involved in the work, and Sister McConkie has even come with us to a couple of our less-active visits!  It's so nice to have help from the ward-- we certainly need it!  We're working on setting up a specific night to go on splits with that ward, and also discussing a ward activity that we can invite less-actives and investigators too, and maybe get some referrals out of it too!  They're great to work with.

But sadly, we lost an investigator.  Her name was Sierra.  She is 16, and her mom was a less-active.  When we taught her the plan of salvation, she seemed really engaged, and wanted to learn more. But over the past couple of weeks, it's been hard to get a hold of he, and then on... Wednesday, I think, her mom said that Sierra didn't want to be pressured into a religion or anything like that!  It's so sad!  And so frustrating since we don't know if it was Sierra that actually said that or if it was just her mom not wanting us over there anymore... if that made sense.  Anyways, I'm really sad about that.

And... yeah!  I'm still working as hard as ever.  The work has seemed harder this week, but it makes it so much better when we have moments to celebrate.

Speaking of celebrating, the highlight of my week?  Getting pictures from my primary class!!!!!!!!  The pictures are hanging on the fridge, as shown.  

Oh, I love Jarom and Kyler.  I miss them so much!!!

Anyways, I'm doing great!  Like I said, it's harder, but it makes it that much more worth it.  I love it here; I sort of wish I could spend my whole mission out here.  I have a feeling I'll say that about every area I go to though.

Love you all, and I'll see you..... in what?  A year and 5 months?  Something like that.


Sister Empey

Monday, January 20, 2014

January 20, 2014


I'm sick.

My immune system finally caved Thursday night and I got a cold.  Can I just say that not being able to teach because of a stupid COLD sucks?!  I stayed home all day Saturday to recover, which seems to have helped, but.... there's still a hint of it there.

But it recovered enough to sing on Sunday!  One of the High Councilmen last Sunday asked us to sing yesterday during his talk, and it was amazing how many people were touched by it!  And before he invited us up to sing, he called us "ministering angels"... my soul practically jumped for joy, recognizing being called that before... it made me so happy; it was a reminder that I am where I need to be right now.

The work is progressing here!  Sister Valdez, a less active, came to church yesterday, and we were so excited!  And we finally got around to teaching Connie Draper, another less active, who wants to be sealed to her now dead husband.  And... who else....  While we have Dorian and Trayden (Dorians' little brother) committed to baptism, they aren't coming to church, which is SO frustrating..... they know so much, but they would understand so much MORE if they would just COME.... and Mary should have her teeth by Wednesday, which means no more smoking and coming to church!  

So... we have this... condition?.... weather condition.... here, called freezing fog, which is basically where the fog gets so cold, it freezes onto everything!  It's so pretty!  I love it!

You know, once I actually get around to emailing.... I never know what to write.  Pretty much, everyone was sick this week.  We didn't have the opportunity of visiting a lot of people this week because of that, but I'll keep chugging along, working hard, and growing closer to Christ!  Loves to y'all!

Sister Empey

PS-- This should be a short one.  I'm actually going to attach a photo!   It's of my current zone-- my companion, Sis. Robinson is right behind me.

Another picture of my MTC district. They're weird, and I love them all!

Monday, January 13, 2014

First week in the field-- survived and thriving!

So... I made a mistake in my last email-- My trainers name is Sister Robinson, not Robertson.

Well, can you blame me? Tuesday was BUSY!!!! You can't expect me to remember everything perfectly! There were meetings and tracking and more meetings and food and lots of people. But we did give away 3 Book of Mormons, Sister Robinson and I. And that was before we were an official companionship! (We did tracking, then we got our trainers. I was one of the few lucky ones where my tracking partner ended up being my companion.)

SO! On to more important matters.

The mission field is AWESOME. I'm so super excited to be serving out here!!!!! Emmett is lovely and cute-- it reminds me a lot of Mapleton or Spanish Fork. Smaller town with local business and lots of farmland. The people are SUPER sweet and kind. And The East Valley ward, like, WORSHIPS it's missionaries (aka me and Sister Robinson). They want to work so much with us! It really helps with the work.

We had two people commit to baptism this week! It's just a matter of setting a date. They're both over-aged youth, which we work with A LOT out here. One is Stephanie, who is a twelve year old girl, and the other is Dorian, who is a twelve year old boy. It makes me so happy! There is also Mary, who wants to be baptized, but she doesn't feel ready to yet (she won't come to church until she quits smoking, which is a little frustrating, but she's planning on quitting by next weekend so hopefully she'll be coming on SUNDAY!! *fingers crossed*). And we have Destinee, who's... 11 I think, and we're just waiting to hear from her uncle to set a baptism date.

We also had Tasha, an investigator, come to church on Sunday. YAY!

Erm... what else.... I feel like there's so much to write, but I can't remember what I need to write! haha

Sister Robinson and I get along really well. She's from Provo originally, and we actually know some of the same people, so it's sort of fun. She's also a total nerd, so every once in a while, we get off on nerdy topics like Doctor Who and music, but we pull ourselves back together. She's also an amazing singer. I love singing with her!

We live in a little rooftop apartment (that's at least what I call it-- Sis. Robinson calls it the treehouse. I'll send pictures next week.) above a garage. It's just cute, small, and dainty. I love it there! And we walk out to chickens every morning-- I'm not quite sure if they're the landlords chickens, or the neighbors, or the people living in the main house's chickens, but they're kind of fun to watch. I just love the little place we're living at!

We do a lot of less active visits here. Like, A LOT. We do that way more than actual investigators I think. But they're all super sweet. I think it's a matter of teaching them how to feel the spirit again rather than relying on what we bring in. It's kind of sad to me to see all of the inactive members out here. The Gospel brings such JOY! Why you would EVER want to leave it is just.... beyond me. I guess they just never really understood all that could come of it?..... I dunno. Anyways, they're all super nice.

There's just so many people to teach here! I'm so excited! Our days are FULL with people we need to visit. I'm so grateful that I'm out here, and I'm already seeing ways and reasons as to why the Lord needs me out here. So many people are starving for the Gospel and it's blessing here, and are getting little nibbles here and there, and now it's time to teach them how to invite it fully into their lives.

Um...... I guess that will be all for now? I think next weeks email will be better as I get more settled into the life as a missionary. Maybe then I can tell you more about my investigators and life here.

OH! And I'm super happy because my MTC companion Sister Johnston is in my district! And Elder Sulka is in my zone! It's nice to have part of my MTC district/family in the Middleton area with me. (Ah, right. I'm in the Emmett District. Probably ought to mention that.) God is good, He is good indeed.

Um.... and yeah. Can I say it's so nice to FINALLY be out here?! I love doing his work, and I can feel His blessing upon me. I hope that I serve Him well.


Sister Empey

Thursday, January 9, 2014

I made it to ID safely!


I just wanted to let you know that I made it safely here to Nampa.  I'm currently serving in Emmett, about an hour away from Nampa.  My companions name is Sister Robertson.  She's been out here for 12 weeks and is super nice. :)

The Mission president has asked to send all hand written letters and packages to the mission home and they forward it.  But to forward packages, it has to be sent through the post office, and nothing else like UPS.  Um.... yeah.  Think that's it.  

Well, that's all for now, think I've said everything I need to say. I'll tell you more on Monday!  Love you guys!  Happy New Year!

Sister Empey

Friday, January 3, 2014

Week 2 in the MTC - January 2, 2014

Hello. :)

So, lots to tell!  Let's just see if I can remember everything.

We have 2 new districts in our zone, as of yesterday.  And one is an ASL district.  Do you know how AWESOME it is to watch them sign to each other over like.... food and stuff?  I'm totally fascinated by it.  I don't really know any of them yet, as they just came into the MTC yesterday, but it's just..... fantastic. :)  I hope to get to know them a little bit before I leave on Tuesday!

It was sort of sad though, because one of our districts left Monday, the one with the other trio of Sisters.  We really loved them, but they're going to be great missionaries.

So, we're getting a new counselor in the Branch Presidency for our zone, and guess who it is?  It's Brother McLay, my old Seminary teacher!  Do you know how EXCITING that is?!?!  It makes me SO happy!  It's just sort of sad that I'll only get to see him Sunday, but I'm so STOKED to get to say hello to him!  And speaking of Sunday, I'm like, actually, super excited about it, since it will be fast Sunday, and our last Sunday here.  I'm sure it will be a great testimony meeting, and the districts that are leaving (which is mine and one other district) usually sing the closing song.  We might be doing the EFY medley (if it's approved, that is), which means I'll be the only Alto for the song, which I find sort of exciting.  (The other district that's leaving is all Elders.  They're all awesome.)  And can I just say that I LOVE my District?  We're like a family; we all get along so well!  And us Sisters have no idea what we're going to do when we have to split up and be in a companionship.  We're so used to being a trio!  Seriously, last Friday, we did splits, and Sister Johnston went to the other District with Sisters.  Poor Sister Clemons and I were like, "How are we supposed to teach with just 2 of us?!"  But I love them both, and I'm so happy that we're all going to the same mission; same with the Elders.

This week has been going well.    It's kind of been interesting; in both class and in my personal studies, there have been 3 words that keep popping up: Atonement, joy, and compassion.  As I've tried to apply these three into my roleplays, lessons, and life in general, I feel a greater and stronger Spirit around me.  The Spirit here is just awe-inspiring, and I'm super grateful that I was given the opportunity to spend three weeks here instead of just 10 or 12 days, whatever it is.  It's only really been this week where I feel like, yes, I may be inadequate, but the Lord will make me an adequate instrument in his hands.

However, despite my time in the MTC, I'm SO excited to be heading out to Nampa next Tuesday!.... even if I'm not so excited for the riding a plane part of the journey.  And the fact that I'm getting up at 4 in the morning to go. (How gross is that?)  So..... just so you know.... there may not be an email next week.... I'm not totally sure how that's going to work out.  But that's okay!  I'm just super excited to get out there and invite others to Christ!  AHHHH!!!!!

Sorry, my brain feels SO scattered right now.

Ooh!  I saw Adam at the MTC.  he's working in the cafeteria.  I also saw Scott James from high school; he's teaching Portuguese here.  I've seen a girl from Institute (whose name currently slips me), and another girl from high school.  It's crazy how many people I know here.  It's just a little weird sometimes; everyone in my district sees missionaries they know, and I'm all like ".... I know the workers."  Makes me feel a little old sometimes.  and way too local.  But it's still fun.

And there's another Empey serving here right now!  I just met him the other day, and he's serving in South Korea!  I'm so jealous!  But it's okay, I know that I'm supposed to go to Nampa, Idaho, so that jealousy isn't like... bad?  I dunno.  Anyways, it was pretty sweet.  We don't quite know how we're related though, other than knowing it's through the Empey line.  Maybe we'll figure out if we run into each other again (which I highly doubt.)

And...... that's all I can think of for now.  I love you all!  I know that I'm here, in the right place, at the right time, serving Heavenly Father how I need to serve Him.  I'm SO grateful for this opportunity, and I WILL see it to the end!

And..... yeah.  I think that's it.  I can't think of anything else.  Loves and hugs!  I'm really am doing great.  There's been a couple of times I've felt a little overwhelmed, but between prayer, lavender, a freaking awesome district, and loving companions I'm doing well.  Have I mentioned how much I love my companions?  I LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!

Okay, I'm seriously going to finish up now.  Love you and miss you, and I'll be seeing you before you know it. :)

Love, Sister Empey