Monday, April 27, 2015

The Miracle of Baptisms

Hello everyone!  I hope y'all had an awesome week this week. :)

The work is picking up!  Thank goodness!  :)  Still don't have a lot to talk about, but I think I have more than what I had last week. :)

So, on Wednesday, we were out member tracting, and we ran into this Catholic lady, Terri.  At first, she was a little brash and rude, quickly proclaiming that she was happily Catholic.  We were all like "That's awesome!  Are you active in the Catholic church?" and she responded yes, and then talked about her Irish heritage (SCORE!).  Obviously, we started talking.  She soon after apologized for sounding so rude, and she agreed to let us visit her later!  And she agreed to try to read a little bit of the Book of Mormon!  Whoohoo!  That was pretty exciting. :)  We also contacted a 12 year old girl, Taylor Babneau, who wants to be baptized!  How exciting is that?!  So we're hoping to get a hold of her parents and getting them involved too, because we know that Brother Babneau for sure is less-active, and we think his wife isn't a member.  So it would be awesome if we could get them involved in the discussions as well. :)  We also met a Recent Convert named Sue Pierce, and she's super sweet. :)  She's getting ready to go to the temple soon!

Thursday through Saturday was sort of a blur.  I finally got the music I needed for the Williams baptism Thursday evening, and when I looked over it, I think my eyes grew to the size of baseballs as I realized that the notes were going to be too high for me.  I was praying for a miracle (or, more like I was praying for my mother who just automatically plays songs in a key I can sing).

So, I was in panic mode, thinking "OH MY GOODNESS!!!  What am I going to do?!?!  I'm not going to be able to have this prepared by the day of the baptism!!!  I have no one to play, and I can't sing these notes!!" o_O

So the Holy Ghost prodded the back of my head to go see the Hansens, who we had eaten with a couple of days before.  I figured it was at least a decent start-- Faith, the oldest daughter, can play the piano, so off we went.

Thankfully, when we reached the house and asked Faith, she agreed to play for us, and we starting running through.  Turned out I could barely hit the notes, but it was definitely out of my range.  Well, her dad, Brother Hansen, heard me screeching out the notes, and was like "oh no!  We are NOT killing your voice!"  So he comes over to the piano, tests out my vocal range, and then instructs me on how to transpose my music to the key of C!  MIRACLE!!!!!!!!!!  I was SO happy!!!  

So I spent a lot of time on Friday and Saturday practicing for the baptism. But we had some breaks-- we had Zone Meeting (where I received revelation and rebuking as to how to make the last three months the best yet on my mission), we had a High Priest social where a guy came to talk about the different instruments used for bluegrass music (which was super cool--it was really enjoyable), and we helped Sister Trumayne weed out her front yard.

But it all boiled down to Saturday, 4:30 PM, when Sister Longhurst and I left our companions behind to go to Caldwell. 


​(ignore my closed eyes)
Isn't it so exciting?! :D  I'm so proud of them all!!!  The baptism went great, and it was a beautiful service.  And even President and Sister Cannon came to see it! :D  And I was able to sing my song well, and they all loved it.  Thank goodness!  Since they were the ones that asked for that particular song.  On the way home, I almost cried--I could visualize them all going to the temple, dressed in white, to be sealed as a family.  They have come so far, and they will continue to progress and grow.  They are a little miracle family, and it will take them far in the gospel.

On a last note, we got one new investigator Sunday.  Her name is Courtny Hauge.  She has a friend how is on their mission right now, and he sends her little reading assignments.  But she doesn't always understand what he sends her, so she wants our help in teaching her!  We're going to go see her this Saturday. :)  We're really excited. :)

Anyways, that's it for this week.  It's been crazy, but it's been wonderful.  I am so grateful for the time I had to teach the Williams, and that I could serve them for their baptismal service.  And I'm grateful that they are on the path to return home to their Heavenly Father, and that Heavenly Father has allowed me to be a part of their return home.

I love you all, and keep building your faith!


Sister Empey

​(PS-- This is me and Sister Osburn, my companion. :)  Thought you might enjoy a picture. :) )

Tuesday, April 21, 2015

April 20, 2015

Ummm..... wow.  I really don't know what to say.

This week had been CRAZY.  We didn't get to work like we normally do, because we had to clean out EVERYTHING.  But it was good. It looks like we have a lot of work to do, because we're basically starting from scratch.

Um.... due to the fact that we had to start a burn pile and be reborn from the ashes, there wasn't a whole lot that happened this week.  A big part of what we're doing is earning member trust right now.  We've really been trying to work with the bishops and ward mission leaders especially.  We're starting to map out ward mission plans for both wards.

OH!  But we had a totally cool experience on Sunday. :)  So, it was after both wards were finished, we were by the bishops office, and someone (whose name I can't remember), said "how old do youth have to be to teach lessons to?"

Thinking he meant us missionaries teaching a youth class, I replied that we would have to have a third female in order to teach any youth class.

And he was like "Oh, well, Ezekiel here is 15 and wants to take the discussions...."

O_O  My thoughts: wait, WHAT?!?!

So I quickly corrected myself: "OH!  Anyone can take the discussions!"

Yup.  We got a new investigator.  :D  He's been coming to mutual and had come to church for a couple of weeks and wants to learn more!  WHOOHOO!!!!

Anyways, that's all.  The lady we live with, Sister Trumayne, is awesome.  She has 2 dogs (Scooby and Bella), 1 cat (whose name  I don't remember-- she hides from us), two baby ragdoll kitties (Sis Osburn and I have dubbed them Sushi and Geronomo), and a rabbitt (Hunter).  Love it! :D  But you know me--I love animals. :)

Love all of you!  Keep being awesome!


Sister Empey

Monday, April 13, 2015

Come and Gone

Um..... well...... TRANSFER DAY!!!!

Do you know what that means?!  It means that I have NO idea what happened because my planner is packed away randomly somewhere!

But we'll get to that in a moment.

Um..... yeah.  I seriously can't remember what has happened this week..... we saw Gary and Amanda like.... 4 times this week.  Seriously.  We did a LOT of teaching.  After all, we gotta get them prepared for baptism!  Goodness, I feel like they take up all of my spare time!  I love it though!  It's so great to work with such amazing people! :)

Um... yeah.  It's already been 6 weeks!  Can you believe it?!  I've spent a whole 6 weeks in Marsing, ID!  But, apparently, it's time for me to move on.  And guess where I'm moving to?  Nampa East!  I'm in 2 wards again-- 30th and 34th.  And it will be nice, because Sister Longhurst is in the same zone as me. :)  So my companion is Sister Osborn, and she's from Rigby, ID, serving a mini mission. :)  I get to finish training her before she heads home.  I'm super excited for this opportunity. :)  So.... yeah.  That's about it.

Um... yeah.  Gary and Amanda were super bummed that we were both moving out, but that's okay-- they want me to sing at their baptism!!!  How crazy is that?!  I'm so excited!  They want me to sing "I Can Only Imagine"-- I just hope my voice will be in good condition for it!  haha

Well.... yeah.  I'm sorry that this is all I have to say!  I'll write more next week!  Love all of you, and remember how much the Lord loves you!


Sister Empey
 Cool Road.  You just.... well... have to be cool.  End of story.

Lizard Butte.... it kinda looks like a lizard.  Thus the name of the butte. 
Sadly, never got to hike it.

Sis Longhurst and I, as always. :)

Monday, April 6, 2015

Easter Conference? Yes please!

Satan isn't happy with us.  He's trying with all his might to keep us from teaching.  Between Ssiter Longhurst getting sick with what I got (but worse), and cancelled appointments, there isn't a whole lot to report on, but we still found progress and found some work to do.

So, on Tuesday, Sister Longhurst woke up where I was a week ago: completely and totally miserable.  I know I did some cleaning and studying and watched some of the Life of Christ videos (the Bairs in our ward kindly bought each of us a "Life of Christ" DVD), but that's all I really remember.

However, Sister Longhurst was feeling a tad bit better, so we went out to help a less-active, Leslie Wright, brush down her horses.  That was a miracle in and of itself.  Sister Longhurst had been teaching Leslie's daughter and granddaughter, Heather and Alice, but they had stopped responding to the missionaries back towards the end of January.  Well, we heard that Alice's birthday was coming up, so we decided to give Alice a little goodie bag for her birthday.  On Sunday, we went to drop it off, and Leslie was outside!  So we stopped by, offered to help her brush down her horses, and she agreed!  So we set up the service project for Wednesday.  Thus the reason why Sister Longhurst had to be better for at least this appointment.  So, we brushed down the horses, and Leslie's daughter, Heather, made us some chicken noodle soup, which was very appreciated since it was cold and windy outside.  Well, to finish off our visit there, we showed them the "Because He Lives" video, and they both LOVED it!  I felt impressed then to ask them to read 3 Nephi 11 as a family, and they agreed, and they wrote it on the little sicky pad that we had given to Alice for her birthday!  YAY!!!  They like us!!! :D  haha Anyways, we'll get to see them this coming Wednesday, and I'll actually get to meet Alice. :)  But I love these people already.  They're awesome. :)

Thursday was another sick day.  More studying, more cleaning, more Church-approved DVDs.

Friday we had a district meeting on Charity, and how all of the Christ-like attributes are connected together through charity.  It was very neat.

Then Conference.  OH MY GOODNESS CONFERENCE!!!!!  It makes me so happy!!  :D  Wasn't it so good y'all?!  OH!  So good!!!  I think what stood out the most to me was President Uchtdorf during the sustaining of the Church Officers.  He didn't let that shake him.  He calmly accepted it, mentioned that their vote had been noted and left it at that.  What I loved about it was that he didn't make a big deal out of it.  He calmly accepted it, and moved on.  Sometimes, when people oppose your beliefs, it's so easy to get fired up and immediately defend yourself.  But more often than not, the best thing is to accept their opinion, and try to leave on the best note possible.  I have found this more and more often on my mission-- the more people argue with me about my beliefs, the more I simply just move on to someone willing to listen to the message of the gospel.  So yes, that was probably the most important part of conference to me.

After Conference on Sunday, we went and got to visit with Sarah for a little bit, which was awesome because we hadn't seen her at all last week (because she was sick too).  We taught a short lesson about obedience and following the prophet, and then showed her the "Because He Lives" video.  Little Sarah, who is super scatter-brained and all over the place, sat in awe for a few minutes after the video.  You could tell that she was very touched by the spirit, which we explained to her.  She really is prepared to receive the Gospel.  It was very nice.

And to round out the week, we had a beautiful Easter fireside, put on by all of the missionaries in the stake and the ward members.  We read "The Living Christ", and had a musical number for each paragraph.  It was very beautiful, and the Spirit was strong.  What a wonderful way to wrap up such a beautiful day!

Well, that's all for this week.  I love all of you, and I know that the Savior lives for each and every one of us.  What a blessed opportunity we had to celebrate His Resurrection yesterday, but let us always Remember Him and His sacrifice for us in our hearts, so that we may have everlasting joy.


Sister Empey

Happy Easter from the Caldwell Crew!!!