Monday, June 23, 2014

June 22, 2014 - A brain like scrambled eggs

Oh boy.... mom and dad, please don't punish me.... today's email will be really short.  It's currently 4 o'clock and the Family History Center closes at 5.

So.  Transfers.  This week.

I have now been moved to Nampa South (YUS!  Back in the city... sort of.), and my new companions name is Sister Keyser.  (She's from Florida-- another southener!.... minus the accent.)  No picture of her this week.... next week, I promise.  But I get to drive again!  (EEK!!!!)  I don't know how long we'll be driving, as we only get a car since Sister Keyser tore her... ACL (I think?), but we have a car!  Yay!

Wow, never want to email this late ever again... I feel like my brain is fried after today.....

So, last week in Emmett.  Pretty awesome.  If only I could show you the pictures... but I don't have my card reader with me.  (What can I say?  It's been one of those days.)

Monday, we put sticky notes all over Andi Earls truck.  Like I said, I wish I had the picture to show you.  We got all the neighborhood kids to join in on it.  It turned out pretty awesome.

And the rest of the week.... it was pretty much just saying goodbye to people.  We really didn't get to teach any lessons this week, since Mary is taking care of her parents (both of them are currently in poor health.), and Will is out of town..... I'm sad we didn't get to see him before I left.  And Mary was so scattered that we didn't get to really say a proper goodbye.

And... yeah.  Today has been LONG.  Got up at 5:30 so that we could get to the transfer spot in Caldwell at 7:15, said goodbye to Sister Anderson at about 8, just chilled around until 12, got on the transfer van at 12:30 and got to Nampa around 12:50, and then sat around for like, 2 hours until Sister Clegg brought our car back (apparently, it was their car before, so she didn't know the car was being given to us.)

And.... that's it.  That's all I can think of for now.... next weeks email will be better.  I promise.

Anyways, I love all of you, and hope everything is going awesome!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, June 17, 2014

June 16, 2014 - The slowest week in EVER

Once upon a time, I loved city festivals.  I loved the parades, the carnival rides, the excuse to eat as much fatty food as I wanted to.

However, when you're on your mission; they're horrible.  The work is SLOW. 

Seriously, I have nothing to report.  All of our investigators were gone, or cancelled their appointments with us.  We tried to do some contacting at the carnival (which wasn't all that successful), but we did get a picture in "the lil' grave digger", which is owned by someone in one of our wards.

However, on an upside, it did give us some extra study time, so let me share with you what I have been learning in Exodus:

So, for the past four days, I've been reading about the story of Moses.  And reading it this time around, I found that Pharaoh was sort of the focus in my reading, and... I've actually have learned a lot from him.  Or been reminded of a lot.  You get what I mean.

1) Surround yourself with good people.  In the court, Pharaoh is surrounded by his magicians and wise men, who discourage him from believing in Moses's divine calling as a Prophet.  So, make sure the majority of people you interact with the most are lifting you up, and helping you be a better person.  And make sure you're doing the same for them.

2) Study your history.  The whole story of Moses wouldn't have needed to happen if Pharaoh would have just paid attention to his history class and heard the story of Joseph.  (In retrospect, however, it is good he didn't, or else we would have lost a huge chunk of the Old Testament.)

3) Your choices are your choices.  The Lord wasn't the one that "hardened" Pharaoh's heart-- that was his choice alone.  Granted, the Lord knew Pharaoh well enough that he could tell what his choice was going to be, but in the end, Pharaoh could have chosen at anytime to let the Israelites go.  He just chose not to.

4) Gratitude and humility will protect you.  Seriously; it takes Aaron's rod becoming a serpent; having all your water being turned into blood; 4 plagues of frogs, lice, flies, and locusts; destroying all of their cattle; having boils cover the Egyptians entire bodies; having a mighty hail storm that kills people and livestock; having darkness for 3 days; killing off all the first born; and drowning his armies in the Red Sea before Pharaoh finally lets the Israelites go.  And yet, he could have stopped this at anytime.  Many times, Pharaoh asked Moses to stop these things.  And if Pharaoh had stopped in real humility and showed gratitude for Moses asking God to stop these things, I think things would have gone a little smoother and a lot less chaotic.  However, on the opposite end, because the Israelites were humble and listened to Moses, they were protected from all of this, and they continually showed their gratitude to the Lord.

So, yes, it isn't a good idea to follow Pharaoh's example.

And the last thing that really stuck out to me: When Pharaoh sends his chariots after the Israelites, they start to lose their faith.  To them, they have no hope of escaping-- they're trapped along the borders of the Red Sea.  And what Moses says to them really stood out to me: "And Moses said unto the people, Fear ye not, stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which he will shew to you today: for the Egyptians whom ye have seen today, ye shall see them no more forever.  The LORD shall fight for you, and ye shall hold your peace."

How neat is that?  How often do we sometimes get sucked into the whirlwind of affliction, and get caught up in all the chaos of it, and forget that He will help us through it?  If you just stand still for a moment, when you're struggling, and put your focus on Christ and his Atonement, you can feel his grace and mercy, and he can and will help you through whatever you're going through.

Anyways, I love you all.  Hope all is going well!  Be safe, stand still, and keep your faith strong!


Sister Empey

Monday, June 9, 2014

June 9, 2014 - It's a Monday

Well, it's Monday again.  It's amazing how the weeks always circle back to Monday, don't ya' think?

So!  On Thursday, we taught the Babbs the Gospel of Christ.  It went really well!  Will asked tons of good questions, as always.  And at the end of the lesson, we invited him to be baptized.

The verdict?

Well.... it wasn't exactly a yes.  He talked about his friend, and as much as he loved this friend, he was LDS and a little pushy sometimes.  So he basically said "give me time."  So it wasn't a "no" either.

He'll eventually say yes.  I know it.  He just needs time.

However!  We do have a baptism date. :)

Guess who it is?  Just guess.

It's MARY!!!!!!!!  :D :D :D :D :D :D :D :D 

I can't even BEGIN to tell you how excited I am to have a bap date for Mary!!!!!

So, here's what's been going on with Mary.  It really is nothing short of a miracle.  She had tried to quit smoking, but ended up relapsing, right?  Well, about a month and a half ago, she was pulled over for a DUI and was put in jail, and we had no idea when she was going to come out, we just knew that her court date was going to be June 4.

Well, on the 6th, we get a call from Mary, saying that she was home, and that she wanted to talk to us.  So, we set an appointment to see her at 2:30, and even skipped lunch for zone meeting to get back to Emmett in time to see her.

I have never seen her so happy.  And she gave us the whole story.  She had no idea why she was drinking that day- she just was. And so she got arrested and went to jail.  While there, she completely quit smoking, and she said that when she left, she tried a cigarette, and that it tasted awful to her!  But that's not all-- when she went to court, the system couldn't find her past records, which could have put her in jail for another 6 months.  With firm determination, she said that she never wanted to go back to jail.  She feels too old to be in and out of it, is tired of how dirty they are, and hates that there was nothing religious for her to read-- not even a bible for her.  And she told us-- "I'm really ready for baptism".  So, we went over the baptismal questions with her, and set a tentative date for June 28 (which could change due to family trips and Bishop Bevan wanting to be there, but we have something set!).  I am just so excited for her!  Like I said, I have never seen her this happy, this sound, and this determined.  It's like our faith in her is finally starting to pay off.  I'm really hoping for the best for her.  She even came to church on Sunday!  (Will apparently was too, but they went up to Horseshoe Bend, so we didn't actually see him.)

Trying to think of anything else really noteworthy....


Nope.  Not this week.

Sorry, I know this one is short, but it was a good week; an uplifting one.  Many, many, prayers have been said over Mary, and it's a blessing to finally see her at this stage.

Next week might be more exciting though- the Cherry Festival is this week, so this could be a really busy week or a really slow week. We'll see.

And food for thought: I've been studying Genesis, and have been reading the story of Abraham.  There's this interesting story the chapter before he has to sacrifice Issac where the Lord commands him to cast out his son, Ishmael.  And Abraham does that.  It sort of made the sacrifice of Issac even.... bigger to me.  I am continually amazed by how much Abraham was willing to sacrifice for the Lord, and I hope to be the same.

Anyways, I love you all, and keep moving on!


Sister Empey

Monday, June 2, 2014

June 2, 2014 - Birthday Week


SO!  Let's just start from the top and work our way down, yeah?  (sorry.... this might be a long one due to pictures...)

Monday was awesome.  We went to the park, played badminton and tennis, and ate food.  It was pretty fun. :)

Sister Earl and her kids were there and she made one of the kids go around and take pictures with my camera.  I certainly wasn't going to complain. :)

So yeah, that's (last) Monday in a nutshell.  It was nice to get out and play.  As it is every Monday.

On Tuesday, we met Ashlee Carpenter.  She lives by Sister Larsen, one of our ward missionaries, and just went up to her and asked if she could take the discussions!  And she wants to be baptized!  When we were talking to her, she told us that she wanted to take our "studies" because she desires to be a part of Christs fold, and have Christ be her Shepard, and is trying to find that "fold".  How awesome is that?!  So we started teaching the first lesson to her, but we've stopped at the Great Apostasy for now.  She's really struggling with the idea of a modern-day prophet, and why we need one.  But she told us that she learns best through literature and music (sound familiar?  Totally up my alley!), so we plan to give her music about what we teach her every week.  She's really sweet, and seems to have a sincere desire to learn.  She was taking notes and asking questions and everything!  It's also a learning experience for me, because she grew up around a lot of Baptists, and isn't afraid to question what we teach her because of her own beliefs.  It's strange to have someone question us so much, but I'm really loving it.  It makes me feel like we're going to make good progress with her. :)  Yeah, love her.  She's super sweet. :)

So..... Wednesday.  My birthday.

Sister Anderson banished me into the bedroom Tuesday night and wouldn't let me out.  I found out why the next morning.

She created a zoo for me.  (Pictures of the animals not included because apparently that would be too many pictures in the email.  Go figure.)

We then went out and weeded for a less-active we met the night before, and then went to Sister Atwoods to have cupcakes, lunch, watched Ephraim's Rescue, and opened presents.  (Sister Anderson got me my favorite pen, some bubbles, a tractor, and a lego set.  My favorite was the lego set.  Probably the best birthday present ever.  What can I say?  I love legos!  And it was a Star Wars lego set!  Can't get much better than that.  Just sayin'.)

After that, we went home to pick up a package that had been left for me.  Mom had ordered me a vase of flowers through one of the ward members!  It was great.

So, went to put them in our bedroom, and the bedroom is full of balloons.  It was interesting to try to maneuver around.

And that's about it for Wednesday.  We went to the McConkies for dinner (chicken fajitas. YUM!)  And at that point, we were so stuffed, we sort of just gave up for the night and turned in after visiting the Dingeldiens (a family of recent converts of about 2 1/2 years.).

Yeah, Wednesday was fun.

Oh!  And I colored my hair red that evening.  What can I say?  I haven't colored my hair in a year, I can't figure out if I'm blonde or brown, I did a good job singing a couple of weeks ago, and hair color was half off at Walgreens.  


The rest of the week was pretty chill.  Just the usual pop-in and chat kind of stuff.  But Connie Draper was at church this week!  She's a less-active that we've been working with, and she finally came to church so that she can get on her way to go to the temple!  YEAH!  I was SO HAPPY to see her there!  It just ended the week on a good note. :)

Well, I love you all!  Don't ever forget how much the Lord blesses you!


Sister Empey