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