Monday, March 30, 2015

Five!!! FIVE!!!!! o_O

Holy Snot you guys!!!!!  FIVE BAPTISMAL DATES FOR NEXT TRANSFER!!!!!! O_O  FIVE!!!!  Can you believe that?!  *happy dancing*  TOTALLY AWESOME!!!

Um.... yeah.... anyways.....

So, I woke up TOTALLY sick on Tuesday.  I had a headache, an earache, and it took all of my energy just to go from the bedroom to the kitchen.  Turns out I had the flu. Blech.  Needless to say, I spent my day at home, trying to stay alive.  That night, our Ward Mission Leader and his Assistant, Brother Garner and Brother Anderson, came and gave me a Priesthood Blessing, where it was commanded that I should be healed.  I was kind of like "woah, commanded to be healed?!"  Needless to say, I had to have a little prayer in my heart as well to have the faith to be healed in such a way.

Wednesday was better.  I still was sick, but I was able to at least move around, and my fever was gone.  So there was some things that we still had to do, so I was member hopping homes while Sister Longhurst went with other members to appointments and meetings.  It was fun-- I hung out with Brother Andersons wife and helped her take care of her chickens.  And then later that night I went over to the Colletts and entertained their gaggle of girls with different stories from my life (who knew that my life was so entertaining?).  So, while I was having fun, Sister Longhurst was hard at work, and got Nicole Hunsaker to commit to a solid baptismal date of May 23!  YAY!!!!  I was sad that I couldn't be there, but I'm glad that we now have a firm baptismal date with her.

On Thursday, I was finally well enough to go out and work a little bit.  (haha finally?  I act like I had been out for a week rather than just a couple of days)  So we went and finished Lesson 2 with the Williams (Amanda and Gary).  Um.... I don't remember how it went, I just remember that it went really well.  Oh!  And that they bought CTR rings for themselves!  Seriously, how much cooler can they get?!  They saw CTR rings at Walmart and were like "Oh!  Let's buy some!"  Crazy, right?!  But totally awesome. :)

Friday.  Um.... Friday..... OH!  We went and helped this lady, Julie Eggleston, clean off her patio furniture.  Her husband is a less-active member, and she has expressed interest in learning more about the church.  We shared a message with her afterwards about the Living Christ, and she really loved that.  She said that she will be busy until the middle of May or so as she wraps up the school year (she works as a teacher in an alternative class for Elementary School), and then she wants us to come back and help her more!  Super exciting. :)

Then Saturday... the General Women's Conference.  Wasn't it amazing?! :)  I loved it. :)  I loved how everyone talked about the family, and how important the family unit is, and that it must be protected at all costs.  How true it is!  Well, after the Women's Conference, we went to have dinner at the Insleys, a less active couple.  They're super fun. :)  After dinner with them, even though we were cutting close to curfew at this point, we decided to show the "Because He Lives" Easter initiative to them.  It ended up being perfect-- you could tell that Sister Insley was really feeling the Spirit, and she started crying when we gave a prayer!  It was so sweet.  I think at least she will be coming back to church soon.

And then Sunday.  WOW.  Sunday.

So, we were really hoping that Gary and Amanda would make it to chruch, and they didn't.  But halfway through church, Amanda texted us and was like "I'm so sorry, I have been so sick this weekend."  We asked if there was anything we could do for them, and she mentioned that they wouldn't be able to get any food until Wednesday, so we gathered all of the misc. food that we could find at our home and went over to their house to give it to them.  They were so touched that we were so giving!  We ended up staying at their home for 2 hours, teaching them the first discussion, and about how their lives have changed since they've started coming to the LDS church.  And their son, Tim, who's 9, sat in, and was like "Yeah, last time when you came, I was in my bedroom listening, and when you prayed, I bowed my head and put my hands together like this!"  And then he said that he wanted to be baptized with his parents!  We were like, "Um, YEAH you can be baptized with your parents!"

Needless to say, we have 5 baptism dates now.  Gary, Amanda, Tim, Sarah, and Nicole.  This is so exciting.  The ward really needs a good pick-me-up like this.  It's so exciting to see how the Lord has prepared each of these individuals to receive the Gospel.  It makes me so happy. :)

So, on my last note, BECAUSE HE LIVES.

Have you seen it yet?  If not, GO SEE IT.

SO AMAZING!  I love this video, the Spirit is so strong in it.  Don't ever forget-- the Savior knows all of your pains and all of your trials, but as a result, he knows all of your triumphs and joy, and He is cheering you on and helping you out every step of the way because He wants to see you succeed.  I love it. :)

Well, I love all of you, and I hope you're having an amazing week thus far!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, March 24, 2015

3 baptism dates and an investigator - March 23, 2015

HOLY COW!!! :D  Hello!!!  I can't believe it's been another week!!!  So much has happened! :D

So, as you know, St Patricks Day is one of my favorites. :)  So I made a traditional Irish meal for lunch!  We had this HUGE random chicken sitting in our fridge, so I cut off the breasts and thighs and made some roasted chicken with a mustard sauce and made some Haggarty (a dish with bacon, potatoes, onions, and cheese.  It was pretty darn good.).  I'm pretty darn proud of myself--it was pretty good.

(see--here's me with the chicken--halfway cut up. :)  That was a new experience.  Totally fun. :) I was going to cut off the wings too, but then I decided that it would be too much work.)

Later on that day, we went to go visit this little old lady named Edna.  honestly, one of the oddest visits I've ever made.  The entire time we visited with her she kept talking about how she was going to get into trouble with her son because we were there!  And then she kept changing the names of all of her kids.  Well, we visited with her, shared a message, and asked if we could come back, and she was like "that would be lovely!  Why don't you give me a call?"  So, obviously, we asked for her number.  Her reply? "Oh, well, I don't give out my number."

.... wait?  What was that?  You want us to call you but guess what your number is? .... that's a wee bit difficult.

So we tried another route.  We offered her one of our pass-along cards with our number on it, and pointed out the picture of the Savior on front, and she loved that.  So, we told her to give us a call when she wanted us to come by.

she smiled, flipping the card back and forth, and her smile started fading.  She then handed it back to us and said "No thank you, I don't want this."

.... totally awkward.

So we left with a hug and wished her good luck and headed out for the rest of our day.

On Wednesday I finally got to meet the Hunsakers-- Doug is coming back into activity and Nicole is going to be baptized in May!  We're trying to set an actual date, because she wants her daughter to be there for the baptism, but we're thinking it will be the week of the 10th!  So exciting!  Anyways, we had a lesson with them on the Law of Chastity, Tithing, and Fasting.  It went really well.  And then they made Chicken Enchiladas for us for dinner.  They were so good! :)  MmmmmMmmm!  I'm starting to think that Mexican food is what feeds the soul. :)  haha

Thursday was.... WOW.  Amazing.

So, back up to Monday.  Sister Longhurst had a prompting to text Amanda and Gary Williams, investigators of ours that she hadn't seen for a while, and we were able to set up an appointment with them for Thursday afternoon after a couple of days.

Now, going back to Thursday.  We go to meet with them, and Gary shares this experience he had where he talked about feeling bogged down, so he grabbed his phone and opened up the LDS scripture app and started reading the scriptures and felt almost immediately better!  He said that he didn't remember what he read, but he remembered thinking that it was time for him to change and start living what he was teaching his kids, and asked Amanda when we would be stopping by next.  Well, lo and behold, we texted the very next day!  So they talked about how they missed the Spirit we brought with us, and how they want it, and how they want to be more involved with the church!  After a little bit of talking, I felt super impressed to invite them to be baptized, and they accepted!  So after some discussion, we decided on April 25, the same day that we have for Sarah Sheeter!  SO EXCITING!! :D

And then on Friday we had our Sister's Conference!  It was really good-- the theme was about how we are always growing and learning in life.  It was really good and lots of fun. :)  President and Sister Cannon's daughter Mary, and niece Anne, came down and talked with us about their missions.  It was super awesome. :)

Um... Saturday.... oh!  We had dinner with Sarah and her grandparents, the Fergusens.  Then we taught Sarah about baptism a little bit because we really didn't have time to teach a full lesson.  But that's okay, because we got to teach her the Plan of Salvation on Sunday.  It went really good :)  She doesn't always focus well and tends to jump around, but she gets it, and there are times that you can tell that the Spirit is working with her, and it's a precious moment to see that. :)

And my last piece of news... we got a new investigator today!!!! :D   YAY!!!  So there's this lady named Linda Symms, and she asked us if we could come over and help us with her garden this morning, so we did.  Afterwards, we had lunch with her, and asked if she would like to take the lessons, and she said yes!!!  How awesome is that?!  so, we now have a new investigator. :)

Well, that's it for this week!  keep your faith strong, and know all is going well in my little area of the world!


Sister Empey

​(Sisters Lyman, Longhurst, Fox, myself, and Djikwell)

​(Sister Colby and I at Sisters conference.)

​(Sister Hurst, Mama Rob, Sister Longhurst, and me :) )

Monday, March 16, 2015

Monday, March 16, 2105

Well Hello my dear family and friends. :)

Well, this week.  WOW.  This week.

so, we started off with a really good Zone meeting about prayer and faith, and how we can use it to find people.  It was one of the most amazing Zone meetings I've been to yet!  It is really helping Sister Longhurst and I re-evaluate our area and see how we can improve the work that's being done here and come up with ideas of how to find people in such a vast area.  So yeah.  We're excited to see how this will help us. :)

On Wednesday, we were going to try some homes on a street called Ila Lane, and noticed a do Not contact there.  So, we called up Bishop McIntyre (whose name I have a terrible time remembering), and asked what he knew about it.  he told us that he didn't know, so of course we were going to go contact it and see why.  (Let's face it-- you can't escape the Church.  Once we meet you, you'll always be on somebody's list, and there will always be somebody brave enough to go contact you.)  Well, we knock on the door, and the wife, Jodie McAbee, answers it and lets us in!  We talk for a while, and she explains that while she's not a member, her husband is, and had been talking about starting to come back to church with his son Andrew!  We were like "AWESOME!  Can we come back to visit y'all sometime?"  And she said yes!  So, we set up an appointment to visit on Friday evening.  The rest of the story will continue in a little bit.

And Thursday was exciting-- Sister Longhurst hit her halfway point, so she got to go to the temple!  Isn't that super exciting?!  :D   SO EXCITING!!! :D  So I got to spend my day with the Sister Training Leaders, Sister Lyman and Sister Dijkwell.  It was super fun!  I have never had so much fun being in a trio. :)  We were super busy all afternoon and evening, and 9:00 PM came before I knew what happened.  And Sister Longhurst had an amazing time at the temple.  Eek!  I can't wait until I get to go back! :D

Friday was a day of food.  We started off the morning by meeting Rosie, a less-active member who wants to go to the temple, but her work schedule prohibits her from getting to church on Sundays.  Well, we saw her last week, and I had a really strong prompting to invite her to take the time to walk the temple grounds and to feel the Spirit there.  She flatly turned it down, saying that she didn't have time and that it was too far away.  Needless to say, it was a little crushing to hear after feeling so strongly to ask her to go.  Well, we met up with her this Friday at this place called "The Orchard House" for breakfast, and to read out of the temple magazine like we usually do, and guess what?!?!  SHE WENT AND WALKED AROUND THE TEMPLE GROUNDS!!!!!  Holy cow, this was HUGE progress for her!  According to Sister Longhurst, she has never kept a commitment, so to follow through with a commitment that she didn't even promise to keep is BIG.  We asked her what it was like to walk the grounds, and she told us about the peace she felt, and how she noticed how many people were coming in and out.  We answered that one day, that will be her.  One day, she will be one of the people walking in and out of the temple.  It was a very sweet and tender moment.  After that, we went home to study, then went off to lunch with Sister Lamar, who is a convert of 10 years, but is just coming out of almost 9 years of inactivity.  And she just adopted a brand-new little baby, Nora (long story, don't ask).  As we were there, we tried to answer a question of hers about the Godhead (she was really confused with that when we had dinner with her last week), but we don't really know if we were able to answer it or not.  But at least we tried!  But we're going to start going through Preach My Gospel with her, so maybe that will help her with all of her questions... hopefully.  And then that night, we had dinner with a less-active lady, Jewel Black.  it was good, but it was fast-- because we had to go visit the McAbees on Ila Street!

Talk about one of the most awkward visits I've ever had.  So, we go over, and Brother McAbee was like "yeah, I'm kind of thinking of coming back, but the rest of the family except Andrew are Jehovah's Witness and not interested and there's really nothing you can do to help us."  And we were like ".... oh."  AND THEN, he's like "Oh, excuse me, I gotta go out and help my wife out real fast."  HIS WIFE WASN'T EVEN IN THE HOUSE!!!  O_O  Missionary mode totally kicked in and we were like "AH!!!!  We're breaking rules here!!!"  But it ended up being okay-- she came into the house, we shared a scripture, and got out. 

... yeah.  We aren't sure where to go now with that.  We'll find something to do though.

And on a last note, guess what?!  WE GOT A NEW INVESTIGATOR YESTERDAY!!!! :D  Sarah Sheeter is 9, and the granddaughter of an active couple.  So her grandparents asked her mom if she could take the lessons, and her mom said yes!  So we went over Sunday, taught her the first lesson, and set a baptism date for her!  We aren't sure if she'll be able to make it, because of doctors appointments and stuff, but we're really excited. :)  Her mom agreed to let Sarah take the lessons, because she said that it wouldn't be fair to Sarah if she couldn't return to Heavenly Father because she died of her heart condition and hadn't been saved yet.  When her mom was telling us that, it was a very tender moment.  You can see how much the mom, Mandy, loves Sarah.  And Sarah is super sweet and totally prepared to have the Gospel.

Well, that's it for this week!  I love y'all, and keep the faith!


Sister Empey

Monday, March 9, 2015

March 9, 2015 - The Land of Misfit Toys

Hello everyone!

So, Marsing!  ... which really isn't Marsing.

Aewsome story: so, we cover Marsing 2nd ward, yeah?  We cover all of that.  Marsing 2nd ward is comprised of Caldwell, Nampa, Greenleaf, Wilder, and Houston.  Ironically enough, it actually doesn't cover any part of Marsing itself.  Sister Longhurst calls it the Land of Misfit toys.  haha  I love it!

Anyways, this week has been super fun!  :)  The adventures have started!  I'm learning what it's like to live on a farm.  And in the middle of nowhere.  Totally loving it. :)

On Wednesday, we went to the Lambsons, a recently re-activated family.  Their son, Korbin, just got baptized, and they recently went to the temple to be sealed as a family!  Anyways, we went over to their home and helped her with some of the farm chores, like milking the cows and filling the silohs.  It was so much fun! :)  Afterwards, we had a lesson with Sister Lambson and Korbin about tithing and fast offering.  He was super cute. :)

Let's see.... um... who else....

Oh!  On Saturday I met two of our investigators: Kristie and Laura.  Kristie Crawford is the daughter-in-law of Sue Church, a member of the ward.  She's married to a less-active man (whom I have not had the pleasure of meeting yet), and they have the cutest little boy named Christopher, who is 2.  She's so awesome! :D  We were thinking about sharing the Restoration with her, but when we sat down to share our message, Sister Longhurst felt like we needed to talk about prayer instead, and it was exactly what Kristie needed to hear!  I'm so glad that we havethe Spirit to help us and guide us!  It helps SO much!  We can't do the work without it!  Anyways, Laura is a single lady in her... 70s, I think she said.  Anyways, super nice lady, and she loves our Relief Society President (who came with us).  She was investigating the church, but has stopped because she wants baptism without joining a church.  We decided to share a message on being able to trust in the Lord, and she really appreciated that. :)

Anyways, Sunday was really good too-- we had 3 investigators at church!  Kristie was there, as well as a lady named Nicole Hunsaker (who apparantly is GOLDEN, we're just waiting for her to set an official baptism date), and Andy (whose last name I can't remember, but he's a bee keeper.  Hmmm.... fresh honey, anyone? :D ).

... yup!  That's the going-ons of Marsing 2nd ward this week!  It's SO nice to be back to having one ward-- and we're busy enough for it too. :)

I hope y'all are doing well.... keep up whatever good you are doing, and keep building your faith!  I love all of y'all!


Sister Empey

Tuesday, March 3, 2015

March 2, 2015 - Photos from Kuna

The Taylors
Carol Anne Bader
Kim Lawrence
The Chestnuts
The entire Martin Clan.  Sadly, we're still waiting for permission to baptize the girls.  Yup.  Didn't get it. :(
Sister Lawrence.  I'll miss her so much!
Holly, Sis Lawrence's granddaughter
The Marsalas-- with adorable baby Carlee!
The Woods
Sometimes it takes too much work to crawl into bed when you're packing!
I finally got to teach Brady on the side of the van!

The new home!  With the new companion!

March 2, 2015 - Moving On- letter

So, our week. Um..... I really don't remember a whole lot. This week started last month I think.
On Wednesday, we got to teach Amanda about the Restoration. It was pretty good, (from what I remember--I really don't remember a lot). I mostly just remember that the Spirit was really strong in the home, and that she was really receptive and was excited to watch the Restoration video later. It was good.
Then on Thursday night, for our splits night for third ward, we went tracting with the Ward missionaries (seriously--who's ward is cool enough that the members will go tracting with you?! AWESOME!!). It was a really good experience! I met a girl who has read part of the Book of Mormon and wants us to come back, and we tracted into Mariah! But that meant that I aslo ran into her anti-grandfather. That was interesting. But I solidly stood my ground, testified of truth, and encouraged him to keep building his faith. We were able to leave on decent terms. I was grateful that we could, and I hope this doesn't affect Mariah too much.
My mind is completely blank reguarding Friday.... yup.
And now Saturday. Wow.
Started off the morning with a TRANSFER CALL! Holy cow, after spending 7 1/2 months in Kuna, I finally get to move on to MARSING!!! Marsing is outside of Caldwell, just north of Nampa. And I get to be with the lovely Sister Longhurst!!! :D This will be super fun and exciting. I'm ready for some new scenery. :) But sad to leave Kuna behind. I have put a lot of work into the area, and I hope that it will continue.
Anyways, later on in the day, we all gathered around for a Mission Conference. That's right-- we had the ENTIRE MISSION together in one spot! How crazy is that?! So, Elder Neilson, Sister Marriott, and Elder L Tom Perry came and spoke to us! And we got to shake their hands! Wow, talk about the highlight of the mision! it was really neat. Elder Neilson talked about how impartant it is to commit our investigators to acting upon what we're teaching them, and how we need to teach them as individuals. Sister Marriott talked about her conversion process, and pointed out how impartant it is to ask inspired questions, to commit your investigators, and to not give up on people. And then Elder Perry talked about companionships, and how we need to be friends and have charity towards our companions in order to get the work done.
It suffices me to say that it was 2 1/2 hours of bliss and spiritual upliftment.
The rest of Saturday and Sunday were spent saying goodbye to people (plus a couple of others scattered throughout the week).
Um... yeah. That's it for the week. I'm now in Marsing, and I love it already. :) And so we go into the next 6 weeks, with new adventures in a new land with a new companion.
Love y'all! Sorry it's not really detailed this week!

Sister Empey