Monday, March 31, 2014

Exchanges and Moving and Transfers, oh my!


So, first off, we had exchanges Monday night/Tuesday day.  While Sis Rob stayed up here in Emmett, I went down to Nampa and was with Sister Clark!  How awesome is that?!  I love Sister Clark!  We had a lot of fun.  They're over a YSA ward down there, and since it was Spring Break, we went around, trying to contact some of the less actives.  We had no luck, but it was still sorta fun, driving around and trying to find them.  We also taught a couple of lessons.

And while we were driving around, we get a text from Sis Rob and Nick (Clark's companion): "We're moving out tomorrow."

Apparently, Elder.... oh, I'm going to slaughter the last name.... Scholegel, the housing coordinator for our mission, called Tuesday and was like, "Can you move out today?!"  And Sis Robinson was like "Uh..... we're on exchanges right now...."

So, we moved the next day.

We had both sets of Elders come over to help pack up, clean up, and move out.  We started at 10 and were finished by 12:30.  It was crazy!  (Have you noticed that that's the word of the week yet?)  Anyways, we moved out of Bro. Standers apartment and we're now living with a member named Gale Puente.  She's super nice!  Her husband lives in a local assisted living place, and she's been really lonely.  It will be good for both us and for her.  Like I said last week, she's a returned missionary herself, having served in Bolivia back in the 70's I think.  Anyways, super sweet.

And then we had transfer calls Saturday!  Saturday was actually a lot of fun.  In the morning, we went up to go visit Sis. Clegg and Johnston and went to Zumba with them.  (yes, they go to Zumba every Saturday.  With Horseshoe Bend being such a small community, they've been able to use that class to get investigators. It's sorta cool actually.)  It was tons of fun!  Anyways, the call came while we were there, so we went off and listened to the voice mail.

Both Sis. Johnston and I are staying in this area, and both Sis Clegg and Sis Robinson are leaving for Nampa!

I was sorta sad to see Sis Robinson leave this morning, but that's okay-- I have a totally awesome new companion.  Her name is Sister Anderson, and she's from South Carolina.  She came out with Sis Rob too-- she's been out for 6 months now.  And it's totally crazy!  So, Jessica Bird, from the 7th ward, one of my old YW leaders, is Sis Anderson's cousin!  How awesome is that?!  It's totally awesome and crazy that we both know her!  Like, seriously, awesome.

... I'm actually sorta sad I'm not training.  But, you know, whatever.  Kind of glad too.

Anyways, I'll send some pictures soon.  Hope you all are doing well!


Sis. Empey

Monday, March 24, 2014

Baptism! And moving! GASP!

Seriously, what else can I say?  It seems like this has been the most normal week thus far.  I suppose that I'm just getting more used to the routine of missionary life, yeah?

So...... obviously, the biggest news is that Destinee was baptized Saturday!

.... yeah.  We're pretty happy. :D

It was a really nice service.  Her dad said a really neat prayer about how we were all there that day because of Destinee's agency.  And then the person who was supposed to give the talk on baptism wasn't there, so guess who got volunteered to do it?  Yup.  Me.  It wasn't too bad, really.  I feel like I could have done better, but, you know, there's always room for improvement, right?

Anyways, it was really nice, and she was pretty happy.  We're both excited and happy that she went through with the decision.  And her whole family was there for the baptism and for her confirmation the next day!  I really hope we can get the whole family active.  There's no doubt that the parents have a testimony.  They obviously do.  We're really hoping that we can help the whole family now, especially with Destinee being a new member who is very active already with Church and in Young Womens.



WE HAVE A BAPTISM DATE FOR MARY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!   So happy!   She's going to be baptized May 10th!  I'm so excited for her!  So excited!  Words cannot express my joy in the fact that we finally have a date for her to work towards!  And she's happy about it too.  She is planning to quit smoking, and we'll just review some of the lessons with her until that date.  Needless to say, this is kind of a big deal.

Also, we'll be moving soon.

Yup, it's official-- Brother Stander, who owns our apartment, called Brother West, who in turn called us to let us know that we have to be out within 60 days.

CRAZY, RIGHT?!?!?!  We've tried to call Brother Stander for a few weeks to try to figure out what's going on, but his phone was disconnected.  And then apparently, he's shown up in town within the last couple of weeks, and now we have to move.  

So, after transfers, the housing department will move us somewhere new.  We think that we'll be moving into a member's home.  Her name is Gale Puente.  She's really nice, and apparently the housing coordinator has already been to her home to check it out!  About a month ago, we felt like we needed to go see her, and while we were there, we mentioned that we were probably going to need to move.  And holy cow, was she all over it.  She was like "Could you live with me?  I have 2 spare rooms!"  She loves the missionaries-- she served a mission in... Bolivia I think.  Anyways, we told her that we would give her information to the housing coordinator, and the day after we told him that we had to move out, he went over to see her house.  Well, the day after he stopped by, I felt really strongly impressed to stop by her house, and oh my goodness, she was so excited!  She was just all bubbly and was like "Look!  I already cleared out the two bedrooms for you and a cupboard and here's where you'll do your laundry and I'm planning to move the tv into my room and..." It was really cute and sweet. :)  And so after she gave us (another) tour of the house, we helped her dig up some of her tulips and trees so that Brother Carroll could spray her yard for weeds.  (She didn't and her plants to die from the chemicals)  So!  We helped her dig them up, in our skirts.  Yeah, totally went Duggar girl and did yard work in my skirt.  Hope you're proud.   It was pretty fun.

So, long story short, we'll probably be moving in with Sister Puente.

And because a good handful of you are asking, next week I'll take pictures of the apartment this next week.  Especially since we won't be in it for much longer.

(Speaking of the apartment, for the last three nights there's been this one lone chicken sleeping on the steps up to our apartment.  And it keeps pooping on our stairs.  It sucks.  But is kind of funny at the same time.)

And... yeah.  We'll get transfer calls at the end of this week.  I'm getting excited and nervous!  Everyone keeps asking me if I'm ready to train, including the Zone Leaders. YIKES!  (It's never a good sign when it's the Zone Leaders asking you a question like that.)  Sister Robinson is like "yeah, you're totally ready", while I'm like "DON'T LEAVE ME!!!!!!"  ... and yeah.  So, you'll get to hear what's going on next week.  Exciting, yeah? (sarcasm is to be implied with the last sentence.  I know, I know, it'll go over fine, but still... it's the unknown.)

Anyways, love y'all, and hope you're all doing well!  I just love Emmett!  It's so nice!  Yeah, I could totally spend my entire mission here, no problem.  Heck, I could even move back here and totally be fine with living here!  But that's besides the point.  The point is that I love it here, and I love the people here.  They are truly wonderful people.

Stay strong!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, March 18, 2014

March 17, 2014 - Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!!!!

Happy St. Patrick's Day!!!!!!!!!!

Well, now that I have that  out of the way....

This week was like.... crazy.

I went to my first Zone Conference!!!  Talk about crazy.  There were so many people!  SO MANY.  There were like...... 6 zones there.  And considering that each zone has approximately 16 people in it..... yeah.  A lot of people.  So, we left at 7:30 to get there at 9 AM, and the meeting didn't finish until 4:30 PM.

I think it was the longest day of my mission so far.

Not that it was bad!   It was actually really good!  There was this talk from Elder Holland that we read, about Teaching the Atonement, and it was SO GOOD!  I loved it!  But being around that many people for that amount of time is a lot.  Especially when it's all the same people.  Even though it was like a semi-MTC district reunion (along with Sister Johnston and I, Sister Clemons, and Elders Sorenson, Horne, and Sulka were there too), which was awesome to see them again, I was done by the end of the day.   I was tired!  It was kind of nice to go back to teaching people for the second half of the night.

And then the next morning, we had District meeting.  Good golly Moses.  In my book, not fair.  But the night before was sort of fun.  So, the Horseshoe Bend Sisters, didn't want to back up to.... Sweet.... yeah, Sweet.  They didn't want to drive back up to Sweet after Zone Conference only to turn around the next morning to come down for District meeting, so they just spent the night with us!  Since we were already going on Splits with the South Slope Ward on Thurday night, we just included them with us.  So Sister Clegg came with me on splits, and we taught Destinee her last lesson-- tithing.  Ooh!  I'm so excited for her!  She's being baptized next week!  YAY!  Anyways, after splits, we all met back up and went to Sister Bennett's home, because she needed some help.  It was a lot of fun to be at her house!  She had the other three sisters work on cooking a meal that she needed to make for someone, and I rubbed her feet.

Can I just say that it was so nice to be able to do service like that?  Just to rub someones feet?  And all four of us sisters agreed she needed that.  She seemed so over stressed, that I could literally watch the stress melt off of her as I rubbed her feet.  I know that doing things like cooking meals and cleaning houses and raking leaves is important service, and it is lots of fun to do that, but sometimes I have a hard time really seeing the effect of doing that.  It was nice to really see the effect of my service for someone.

Oh, and also, I have a namesake at her home now.  She breeds Chihuahuas, and she named the newest puppy that she's keeping after me.  :D  I totally fell in love with that puppy when I first went over to her house-- I seriously held it for about 3/4ths of the time I was there.  And she comes to me first when Sis. Rob and I go over.   Feeling pretty proud of myself.

And she now says that whenever I come over, I'm going to have to rub her feet.  Nice to know I haven't lost the touch yet!

So, District meeting was good, and we had a bbq after for lunch.  And there's a good story to go along with why we had a bbq for our district lunch.

Last Sunday, both Sister Robinson and I really wanted to go on a picnic.  So, we basically nagged everyone to join us on one last Monday.   So, despite the fact that it was raining, we packed up our little charcoal grill and met the Sisters and Elders Olsen and Ross at the Stake pavilion.  (For some reason, the Soup Elders couldn't/wouldn't join us.)

WELL..............  we forgot to bring plates and utensils, and we couldn't get the charcoal to light up.  So, it sort of ended up being a junk food fest where we played with tennis balls.  It was still super fun though!

So, the Elders promised us that we would have grilled chicken for district lunch this week.  Since we couldn't have it on Monday.

Anyways, end of that story.

Saturday was actually a pretty fun day too.  We went over to Connie Draper's home to clean and rearrange her living room (yay!  PANTS!), and then afterward, South Slope had a spring carnival going on, so we went to that to eat dinner and see if any less actives or investigators would come.  Sadly, there were no less actives or investigators, but there was lots of grilled food.  And cotton candy.  LOTS OF IT.

... yeah.  It was fun. :)

We also gained a new investigator Sunday!   The Letha Elders (Olsen and Ross), gave us a couple of referrals.  This one has a cool story to go with it.  Sherri Haskins car broke down, and Brother Walker (one of the many Walkers in Emmett), stopped to help her.  He gave her a Book of Mormon to read with his number, telling her that if she ever wanted to know more, she could give him a call.  Well, she called him, and the Walkers had her over to dinner with the Elders.  And when the Elders told her that there were Sister missionaries, she asked if we could go visit her!  And so the Elders gave her our number, and we got to meet her last night.  And it was AWESOME.  Both she and her son, Isaiah, were reading the Book of Mormon, and praying to know if it was true!  So, we went over the Restoration a little bit.  It was so neat to see how the conversation went.  Sister Robinson felt really prompted to talk to her about the priesthood, so we talked about how the gospel needed to be restored because we lost the priesthood power on the earth.  And then I felt really strongly impressed to invite her to baptism.  Like, the words were pressed against my teeth and I needed to invite her in that moment kind of impression.  So, I took a deep breath in, said a little prayer for courage in my heart, and asked her.  At first, she said that she had been baptized twice, and she was worried about it because you should only need to be baptized once.  Sister Robinson gave this amazing answer to her worry, which was how she needed the priesthood authority for the baptism to be authentic.  And then Sherri said that if that was what God wanted her to, that she would be baptized!  It was so amazing!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  She is so willing to learn, and wants to please God so bad!  I just love her!!!!!

Also, Mary came to church again yesterday.  We're hoping to set a baptism date for her next week.  Cross your fingers!

Anyways, it's been a busy week out here.  But it's been a good week.  I'm so grateful that both Sister Robinson and I have the same desire to be out here, and to make this mission all that we can make it, because I know that if we didn't, we would not have the kind of experiences we have had.  If we weren't constantly reminding each other to be exactly obedient, to listen to the Spirit, and to lift each other up and remind each other of how amazing we are, and that we are here to do the Lords work, that we would not make a good companionship.  I love it out here in Emmett, and I love the people out here.  And I'm so grateful that I have the opportunity to bring my greatest joy into the homes of others.  And that joy is the gospel.

I love you all, and I'll see you before you know it!


Sister Empey

PS-- I PROMISE that there will be pictures next week!  After all, there is a baptism. :)

Monday, March 10, 2014

March 10, 2014 - FIVE!!!!

I can't believe it-- 5 people!!  5 people were at sacrament meeting yesterday!  Holy snot!  I'm so excited!!!!!!!!! :D

About these five people--

Destinee.  Sadly, she wasn't baptized this week.  We sort of saw it coming.  While her mom wanted it this week, her dad didn't want the baptism to happen until the 22nd.  Yup.  The baptism was moved to the 22nd.  But that's okay.  Just the fact that her parents are okay with her getting baptized is enough.  And she's still super excited.  Her faith is incredible to me.  AND!  We were talking to the Ward Mission Leader, Brother McConkie, and he's going to work on bringing the dad and her two brothers back to church!  Awesome, right?!  We could possibly get the whole family back to church!  Or... at least, that's the ideal, right?

Then there's the Halls.  Brittany is a less active, with two kids-- Heather, who is nine; and Joshua, who is eight.  Both Heather and Josh really want to be baptized, and they are loving the lessons so far.  Out of the two, only Heather can be considered an "investigator" (with Josh still being 8, he can't be considered one), but both of the kids and the mom were at church.  Both kids are super sweet, and are totally ready to be baptized; we just have to teach them. :)

And Genevive Clark.  She's 95 years old!  It's crazy.  She just goes to the little sacrament meeting that the old folk home Serenity holds every week, and she's recently been calling us over every once in a while to ask questions.  She says that she's not going to convert or anything, after all, she is 95 years old.  But it's still a blessing to be able to teach her.


We also started teaching the Hansens the lessons.  Remember Lucy Hansen, who I talked about a few weeks ago?  Well, her daughter hasn't been baptized yet, and is really starting to want to.  But as she hasn't been in primary for a couple of years, we are going to give her, and her mom and sister, the lessons again.  Sadly, she doesn't count as an investigator, as she's 8 as well, but I'm so happy that she's making this choice to be baptized.  And Lucy is really starting to want to come to church again.  She didn't come to church this week, as she had to work, but she did come last week.  We are so happy that we have this opportunity to teach them.

And..... yeah.  Um..... we keep getting referrals.  It's difficult to keep up with them sometimes!  But I'm very grateful for them-- it keeps us busy, and it keeps us ingrained in the work of the Lord.

Anyways, the work is going good.  I am loving this opportunity to serve the Lord, and I cannot believe how much the mission has helped me.  And I just love it.  I love it out here.  I love the work.  I love the people.  And I love this Gospel.  I love it more than I ever thought I would.  And I love the Savior.  Just on these past few weeks alone, I can't tell you how many times I have had to rely on Him, and on the Atonement, which he has provided for us.  I am so grateful for it.  I cannot wait for the day that I can feel the nailprints in his hands and thank him for all that he has done for me.  For I know I could not do this work without him.

I love you all, and Keep your Faith strong.  And thank you for all of the support you have given me.


Sister Empey

Monday, March 3, 2014

March 3, 2014 - The dog ate my shoe!!

I'm sorry!  I didn't take a lot of pictures this week!  I should have!  And you'll see why.  Or read why.  You get the idea.

So, this week has been AMAZING.  Both Sister Robinson and I have been studying about obedience this week.  And as we've been striving to be more obedient, we have been very blessed in several ways.

We officially picked up the Halls as a new investigator this week!  Their names are Heather and Joshua.  Sadly, Joshua doesn't count as an investigator because he's 8, but they're both are like "let's get baptized now!".  So, we're going to go teach them every Tuesday and Thursday and get them baptized soon.  They're both super sweet kids.  Heather is 9, super involved in Girl Scouts, and when we asked her why she wanted to get baptized, she just simply replied "A lot of my family is, so why shouldn't I?"  I love it!  It's not even a thought to NOT get baptized!  I can't wait to work with them a little more.  The mom, Brittany, is nice too, and wants to be active in the church again.  But it doesn't sound like the dad is really interested at the moment.  I'm not quite sure if he's a member or not, but with the rest of his family wanting to go to church, he's bound to become interested at some point, yeah?

But sadly, Mary is not progressing.... she started smoking again, and she fell down her stairs, so she's had a hard time getting out of bed, which means it's been hard to get to church.  When we went to go visit with her, she just asked us to pray with her, and she wanted me to say the prayer.  As I said the prayer, I was filled so strongly with the Spirit.  By the end of it, I think all three of us were almost in tears.  And as we left, we knew that we gave Mary what she needed to hear in that moment.  Then Sister Alder, who was going to give Mary a ride to church, told us of the conversation she had with Mary before she came to church.  Sister Alder had stopped by before church to see how Mary was doing, and through out the conversation, she kept saying "I should have gotten up to go to church.  I've been wanting to meet new people and friends so bad."  While she couldn't make it to church this week, she's not going to let her smoking hold her back anymore.  And she said that she was really going to commit to quitting smoking again.  I have complete faith in her-- she's been desiring to change her life for good for so long; I know that she will be able to do so.

And Destinee-- her baptism date is being moved up!  When she realized that she had softball clinics on the fifteenth, she knew that the date had to be moved.  She started looking at later dates, but between softball and lacross and school, nothing was going to be open.  SO!  We're going to have her baptism THIS SATURDAY!  HOLY SNOT!  SO EXCITING!!!!  I just love her desire to be baptized. The ward has been so good about fellowshipping her and making sure she's involved in YW, and I think that has really helped.  

Also, we got to feed baby lambs this week.

..... I bet you're wishing for photos, but.........

I forgot to bring my camera with me that day.  Bummer.

There's a lady in the South Slope ward, Sister Bennett, and she has a little farm full of goats, sheep, and Chihuahuas. (No, seriously, she has 15+ Chihuahuas.  She breeds them, so there's at least 15 of them at a time.)  When we ate dinner at her house the other night, there was a couple from Jerome, ID that came and bought 6 of the baby lambs for a petting zoo, so dinner ran a little long.  Poor Sister Bennett hadn't even had a chance to sit down and eat dinner and it was time to feed some of the lambs she keeps in the house!  (She keeps some of them in the house to nurse them back to health.)  So, we offered to feed the lambs while she ate.  It was super fun!  We told her that she could call for our help anytime, so maybe at some point you'll have pictures of us feeding baby lambs or goats (coming soon!).

And.... my shoes.

...... yup.  A puppy got them.   It wasn't one of Sister Bennett's though.  There's this family, called the Earls, and they have this puppy named Jake.  And I was stupid enough to take off my shoes last night when we were there to send progress records to our ward mission leaders.

...... need I say more?  Jake now will have some new chew toys.  Soon.  Very soon.  It was sweet-- Sister Earl felt so bad and was like "We owe you new shoes!"

.... but, strangely enough, it doesn't matter.  I don't care that Jake chewed up the one shoe-- even though they were expensive.  It's just like, "Eh, I have other shoes to wear.  I'll just make sure he doesn't chew those ones up too."  It's so interesting-- things that would have mattered before, like a chewed up pair of 100 dollar shoes-- they don't matter anymore.  And it's because I'm doing His work.  I understand that it's not going to interfere with what I'm trying to do out here.  I understand that those shoes aren't my entire life and that it represents who-knows-what.  All they are is a pair of shoes.

By the ways, do you know how weird it is to say that your brother chewed up your shoes?  Just saying.

Anyways, I love y'all, and I just want to let you know that I'm doing well.  I still love it out here, and I'm working as hard as ever.

Hope you guys are doing well too!


Sister Empey