Tuesday, April 29, 2014

And they just keep getting younger...

So, we had Stake Conference yesterday.

The Emmett Stake has a new stake president!  After 14+ years of serving in the Stake Presidency, President Walker was finally released!  It was a bitter-sweet Stake Conference.  Everyone really loves President Walker, and he was really active with the youth and getting mission work done here in the area.

And our new stake president?  President Kelsey Peterson from East Valley Ward.  And he is young.

And I'm not kidding.

His oldest kid is 8 years old.  His youngest was just born at the end of February.  He's never been in the bishopric, or on the high council, and he's only been the executive secretary for the old stake president for like.... 4 or 5 months.  But he is an incredible person, and has an enlightening and strong spirit about him.  I remember when we had dinner a few weeks ago with his family, just thinking that we would probably work with him a bit.  I thought that because he asked us to give him a pile of pass-along cards for him, and his family, to pass out.  

Apparently, not so.  Heavenly Father had something bigger in store.

I can't wait to see where he'll take the stake.  He's going to be amazing.

Anyways, as for the rest of the week, it was pretty average I suppose.

So, we started teaching the Babbs family on Thursday.  It was such an awesome lesson!  We taught them about families, and about the Proclamation, and they were both really involved in the conversation!  It helped to have Sis Grover there too.  She sort of just did the work for us.  She was all like "Yeah!  You should read the Proclamation together, and come out for stake conference, and oh!  Date night!  Come help us chaperon a dance for the youth!"  But really, it's a good thing that Sister Grover was there, because it's obvious that the Babbs really trust her.  (I suppose they should-- Bro... President Grover is Will Babb's boss. (Sorry, forgot-- President Grover is the second counselor in the Stake Presidency.  He's another awesome person.  Like, totally awesome.  There's no other way to describe it.))  But yeah.  They're still totally open to having the discussions, and Will seems genuinely interested in learning.  They're a really sweet couple-- you can really tell that they are really doing their best to make their marriage work, and that they love and care for their little kids (whose names and ages escape me at the moment-- but they're both nursery age.)  I'm really excited for them.

We also went to the Puccios and showed them the Restoration video.  Brother Puccio enjoyed it so much that he had us watch it again with him!  And then he watched it 5 more times after we left!  And on top of that, he's already been studying the Book of Mormon and is in Mormon!  So, we did that on Friday, and then went and visited them again on Sunday.  When we asked him what he thought of the video, he said "Honestly, I don't know if it's all true, but I don't see why it couldn't be true."  And then he told us that his only big hang up was how Moroni took the plates and we don't know where they are!  It was a bitter sweet moment!  We were like "Yay!  Only one hangup!.... No!  It's one that has to be dealt with in faith!.... Yay!  Thank goodness he understands the concept of faith!"  Anyways, we're going to start officially teaching them the lessons on Wednesday, which I'm super excited for.  And it means that Nancy's friend, Sister Saxton, should be able to join us for their lessons.  But we told them we'd still pop by for chit-chats in between the lessons.  I just love being at their house!  There is already a strong spirit within their home, because they really want to live a Christ-centered life.  I can just imagine how much stronger the Spirit will be when they accept the Gospel and Dan can have the preisthood.  Yeah, love the Puccios.  We've even took on the habit of calling them Grandma and Grandpa.  They're like, our adoptive grandparents for while we're out here.  How can we not call them our grandparents?!  When Dan prays for us before he leaves, he calls us "my girls".  And Sis Puccio offered to go buy us anything we need at Deseret Book since we can't go there ourselves. I'm sorry-- I keep calling them different names.  They just make me so excited and I just love them so much!  But really-- how can you not love them?  We can just see them going to the temple, dressed all in white, getting ready to be sealed.  We want to see Grandpa Puccio become a temple president, or a patriarch, or an area 70, or something like that.  And we want to see Sis Puccio be like, the Relief Society President for the stake.  Anyways, Brother/Grandpa Dan Puccio and Sister/Grandma Nancy Puccio are totally golden.  And we want to see them reach that higher plane of their relationship with Christ.  SO BAD we want to see them reach that.

Other than that there isn't much going on..... we might have to drop Mary sadly due to the fact that she's spending a lot of time in Boise and are unable to reach her... I just hope that all is okay with her, and that if we do end up having to drop her, that someone else will be able to pick her up again later.  I really don't want to drop her, but the situation is presenting itself other wise. :(

But other than that, all is going well!

Don't forget!  Psalms 112:4!  Be that light!

Oh, and I've been studying Joseph Smith's account this past week.  Can I say, there is such a strong spirit within his words?  I have never noticed how strong, how powerful his words were.  Reading Joseph Smith-History has really helped strengthen and solidify my testimony of Joseph Smith, of how he was called of God in the pre-mortal life to bring Christ's church back to the earth, how he saw a vision of God the Father and his Son, Jesus Christ, and how he was truly an instrument in the Lords hands.  It is truly incredible.  Again, it makes me so grateful to be out here on a mission.  It makes me grateful and humble to progress the work that Joseph Smith brought back to the earth, to bring that knowledge and light to others.  I love it out here.  I love serving my Heavenly Father.  And I would not trade this experience for anything.

I love you all, and hope you're doing well!


Sister Empey

(.... yeah.... only in Emmett will you find graffiti that says "God Bless and He cares".... I love it.  This is more than likely my favorite spot in Emmett.  Just sayin'.)

So, check out the view from the edge of town

Isn't it pretty?  I love it here. :)

And one last picture for the road.... 

Sun is in our eyes, but we're happy. :)

Love you! And miss you!  Keep doing good!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, April 22, 2014

April 21, 2014

Why HELLO!!!  Isn't it just a beautiful day after Easter?  And don't you just love Easter?  Ah!  I just LOVE Easter!

Anyhow, this week has been pretty fun. :)  And eventful.

On Wednesday and Thursday, we were painting apartments for a couple in our ward, the Nicholls.  They're both older, and not in the best of health, but the apartments really needed some painting.  So, along with a couple of other sets of missionaries in the area and their daughter, we got the apartments painted so that they can start renting them out.  It was a lot of fun. :)  There was plenty of fighting with the paint and tape, as well as actual work.  The Nicholls and their daughter really appreciated the help.

And.... we have a few new investigators!!!!!! YEAH!

So, on Thursday nights, we do splits with the South Slope ward.  So, Sister Anderson went over to the Babbs home, a home with a less-active member who's husband is not a member.  Well, Sister Grover, who went with Sister Anderson, is the wife of Will Babb's boss, so the Grovers and the Babbs are actually really good friends.  Heather Babbs has previously expressed to us that she wants to be active again, but doesn't want to be active without her husband.  Well, I guess on Thursday night, Heather expressed that she really wants to be sealed to her husband and kids, and so her husband agreed to take the lessons!  Yay!  So Exciting!!!!!  So, we now get to see them every Thursday night at 7:30.  It does mean that we have to change our split time with South Slope, but it's totally worth it!

And then on Friday, the Puccios to agree to take the lessons!  WOOT!  So, the Puccios are nonmembers who we started visiting like... at the beginning of March, I think.  They are so awesome!  They're both very spiritual-- Dan has been a youth minister before, and studies from probably 5 different versions of the Bible daily, and already is studying the Book of Mormon.  And Nancy is totally involved with all of her little church groups and heads up a couple of prayer circles and such.  We totally love the Puccios, because they have always been so willing to talk religion with us. And so, when we went to go visit them Friday night, before we left, we asked if we could give them the lessons, to practice if nothing else, and they were all like "well, of course you can!  We just love you girls and want to help any way we can!" 

So, on the way home, we were all like "Sweet!  They're totally gonna be baptized and Brother Puccio is going to become Meridian Temple's first Temple President!"

Yeah. We're totally stoked that they're going to take the lessons.

And then on Saturday, we went to Sis Andersons old area, Kuna, so that she could go see the baptism of someone she taught.  It was a really sweet baptism.  He's from a less active family, who literally has no desire to come back to the church.  So it's really great to see him take those steps to be a member of the church, and even though he's only 9, he really seems like he wants to stay active in the church, and set the example for his younger brothers.

And on Saturday night, we went and dyed Easter Eggs with the Earls.

And can I just say, I wanna be like the Earls when I grow up?  Like.... I wanna be one of those families that the missionaries go visit all the time just because they want to and feel so comfortable visiting with that they just walk into my home.  I freaking love the Earls.  LOVE THEM.  And they now set out puzzles all the time for me.  It's pretty fun. :)

Also, have y'all seen the "Because of Him" video on Youtube that the church put out.  Isn't it amazing?!  Love it so much!

Anyways, I think that's about it.



Mary was at church again!  We haven't been able to see her for a couple of weeks because she was in Boise taking care of some stuff, but she's back!  And when we saw her on Sunday, she was all teary and said "I'm ready to be baptized now.  I really am."  And we're all like "Well of course you are ready!  We've been saying that for weeks!"  And we're just super excited for her.  Holy snot, I can't wait to see her tomorrow!

And that's really it.  This week has really been an incredible week.  Three new investigators, two apartments painted, a baptism done and a baptism on the way, and a week focused on the Atonement and the Resurrection of our Savior.  How much better could it really get?

Love y'all!


Sister Empey

Monday, April 14, 2014

Sunburn season has begun

It's obvious I haven't seen the sun for 2 years.  I wasn't outside for more than half an hour before my skin started glowing ruby red.  And it was one of the most wonderful feelings of my life.

Lemme back up-- this week was a week of service.  On Tuesday, we went to a house and stripped the walls of wallpaper, and painted the rooms.  It was lots of fun.  The Elders and the other set of Sisters in Emmett were there as well, so I'm not quite sure if there was more paint on us or on the walls, but.... it was fun.  And then on Thursday we went to Sister Dingeldien's home and weeded out her flower bed (thus my now hardly-there sunburn..... it was sort of bad on Friday.  And of course we had District Meeting that day so everyone was like "hahaha! Look at Sister Empey!  She's sunburned!", and I was sitting there thinking "Thank you for pointing out the obvious.")  And then on Saturday, we went and helped Jaymee Adams (a recent convert from last... September I think) go dig up her old flower beds at her old home that she's trying to sell.  And then right after that we went over to another lady's home to help her pack up and move to North Carolina.

Can I just say I'm going to miss that woman?  Her name is Karin, and she was originally from Brazil. (How sweet is that?!  It's totally awesome to hear her speak Portuguese.)  She's been a potential investigator we've been working with, and she's been really impressed with how much the church serves other people.  And she paints on silk.  She does GORGEOUS work on silk.  I'll miss talking about art with her!  And about service!  And about Brazil!  And Florida!  And everything else!  So, we helped her pack Saturday, and went to say final good-byes and get pictures yesterday.

Totally amazing woman.  I hope the missionaries keep in contact with her in North Carolina.  If not, Sister Anderson plans to find her when she returns home.

Oh, also, check out this view:

We took a wrong turn trying to find a former investigator's home, but we both had to stop and take a look around here.  Picture doesn't do it justice, of course; you always lose some color.  But it was so beautiful up there!  We did end up finding the lady's home-- she was still sort of interested in the church, but her husband.... well.... wasn't so happy to have is wife be taught.  But she agreed to let us come over every other week to just talk and see how she's doing.  And it's certainly a start!  You can really tell that she wants more-- that she can sense that there is something lacking in her life.  She has this beautiful huge home on the top of the hill-- it's probably the highest house in Emmett-- but it feels so empty and.... cold.  I really hope that we can help her home feel more welcoming as we visit her.

And, of course, we had Heather and Josh's baptism on Saturday morning!  (Saturday was just plain eventful.)  I'm so happy and proud of them!  Josh has a really bad fear of water; he was almost hyperventilating as he shakily stepped into the font.  But everything went okay, and as he came out after he changed, he blurted out "That wasn't half so bad!".  It was pretty cute. :)

We forgot to take pictures of the posters we made for them, using candy and toys to describe how special their baptism is, but they really liked those, and Sis. Hall was impressed that we remembered that Josh can't have sugar.  It was really sweet to see their eyes widen as we gave the posters to them.

As explained before, after the baptism, we headed straight to Jaymee's home to dig up her flower beds, and then to Karin's to help her pack up her home.  And then that night we went and had dinner at the Digeldiens, and they had non-member friends there with us. It turns out that Christina, the friend, is interested in learning more about the church!  So we're going to start teaching her this next week.  Her husband doesn't seem too interested in changing his ways, but he was at least reverent when they went to church the next day (which is more than what I can say about his talk at dinner.  And the music he was playing.  Both Sis. Anderson and I wanted to start singing along because it was all music from the 70's and 80's, but we couldn't because we were trying to have a conversation with Christina and Sis. Dingeldien about the church.  That, and we shouldn't sing along irregardless. Very frustrating.  But, it happens. And who knows, he could be more willing to hear more now that he went to church.)

And we had the opportunity to talk with the Laurels last night about missionary work!  It was really fun, and I'm super impressed with how much the youth want to get involved in the work!  So, Sister Anderson and I are going to start working with the Young Men and Women's leaders to try to set up a mini MTC night for mutual. I'm super pumped to do this!  It's going to be so exciting!!!

Anyways, on the sad side, Sherri dropped us, saying that she missed her own church.  She said that if she wanted to study with us again, that she would call us, and I hope that she does.  She was so sweet and kind.  But that's life as a missionary.  I suppose it happens.

Anyways, that's all for this week!  I love you all, and I hope you are all doing well!


Sister Empey

PS-- here's a random picture of a dog.  He was totally just chilling out on the bench.  Sister Anderson really wanted to teach him the Gospel, but we were running kind of late.  So we just took a picture as we drove by instead.

Thursday, April 10, 2014

Time?! What's that?!

Seriously, even WITH General Conference, it feels like there's no such thing as "time" anymore.  I suppose it's a good thing though-- it means that I'm doing the Lords work!

Um... where to start.....

Heather and Josh Hall are going to be baptized this week!  I'm so excited for them!  It's so neat to see them progress the way that they have.  I'm so happy and excited for them!

And seriously... that's really it.  It's just been visit after visit after visit.  We have like, an extra 5-6 hours to go visit people now that I'm finally out of my first 12 weeks (how crazy is that?!  I've already been here for 12 weeks!  No extra hour of study every day!  YUS!!!).  So... yeah.  This week, more than anything, has just been introducing my new companion to the area and the people we usually see.  And we've been contacting a lot of former investigators, in an attempt to fill in some time.  (And can I say how awkward that is? "HI!  You know who we are, and what we want, so if you could call us when you're interested again, that would be fantastic, mmmkay? Bye~!"..... yup.  Life as a missionary.  The most spiritually awkward but awesome time of your life.  Gotta love it.)


General Conference!!

How could I FORGET?!?!

(Can you tell it's been one of those scatterbrained weeks?)

Wasn't Elder Holland's talk a freaking awesome way to start out Conference?!  Oh my goodness!  Talk about AWESOME and just exactly what I needed!  A good dose of tough love!  LOVED IT!  And the rest of Conference was good too-- we just house hopped for each of the sessions.  It was sort of weird to go to people's homes to watch conference and be wearing skirts and all while the rest of the family is still chilling in their pjs.  But it was still fun.  And all four sessions were just amazing!  I learned so much from all four sessions!  And you know, there is such a different spirit to be able to watch Conference while it is airing, rather than trying to catch up with it later.  It's really incredible, what that small difference can make, watching it while it's airing rather than watching it later so that you could do other stuff now.  I hope I can always have a job flexible enough that I can watch Conference when it's showing.

Anyways, that's seriously it for this week.  Love you all!


Sister Empey