Sep 28, 2015

Keep Moving Forward

While we were over at Tatiana's apartment this past week, we were able to talk with Erika for a little bit. Erika is a friend of Tatiana's who has been staying with her for the past month, so we have seen her the last couple of times we have been over. But on Wednesday, she started asking us questions about the church and said that Tatiana has been inviting her to come. Right before we were about to ask her if she wanted a copy, Erika asked us, "Is there any way that I could get a Book of Mormon?" The Spirit is working so hard on her! We could see it and are excited to see what happens.

Unfortunately, Mary Ann wasn't able to be baptized this week because she let Satan get to her a little bit and had some coffee and cigarettes. President Gardner has told us that investigators must follow the Word of Wisdom for at least 3 weeks before baptism, so that pushed Mary Ann out to being set for October 10. It is so hard to see somebody get so close to the finish line only to trip and fall, but that is exactly what the Atonement is for. Christ is there to pick us up and help us finish. We know that everything will work out for her good.

The General Women's Conference on Saturday was so good! I absolutely loved the parable that President Uchtdorf shared with us and it definitely taught me how I can keep enduring through life: by moving forward and upward. Life is a crazy adventure, and even though every moment isn't going to be exciting and fun, we can always choose to be happy no matter what occurs and look at how we can learn from even the boring moments we go through. We have to learn to embrace the now because "now is part of eternity" and we are never going to get this time back. When we can learn to do that, we will be able to always find joy in the little things and get an idea of the perfect plan that our loving Father in Heaven has created for us.

I cannot begin to tell you how excited I am for General Conference this weekend. I wanted to thank Elder Scott for his years of service and wisdom that he shared with us. It breaks my heart to see three of our beloved apostles return back to our Heavenly Father, but they will always be loved and remembered.
This is Judy. We call her Grandmother Willow and she calls us her minions. She takes such great care of us!

 Why not camp out on your driveway to watch the eclipse?

It didn't get very red, but it was still so fun to watch!​

Sep 21, 2015

Lead Me, Guide Me

This week we were able to meet with Mary Ann. She is an investigator that we have been seeing for the last month or so and she is set to be baptized on the 26th! We are hoping and praying that she will be able to make that date. I have to be honest, I wasn't quite sure what to think of her when I first met her, but she really does have a sweet spirit. She has been trying her very hardest to quit smoking and drinking coffee and has been keeping the commitments we give. We are excited for her!

We also were able to find and meet with a new investigator this week. Her name is Denise and she is a single mom of nine kids, so her life is pretty crazy. She was actually a referral to us from a member in our ward and Denise told us that she has been trying to research and find a belief that she can hold on to. She has gone through a lot in her life, and we were able to have an incredible lesson with her on the Plan of Salvation and about how Christ is always there for her. We could all feel the spirit so strongly and she seemed really excited about what we were teaching her. She is such a miracle!

This weekend we had stake conference and we were visited by Elder Rulon Stacey of the Seventy. It honestly was one of the most amazing conferences I have been to. During the Saturday session, Elder Stacey talked to us about how we can know we are in the right place in our lives. That is a question that I have been asking for a while: How can we know we are where our Heavenly Father wants and needs us to be? Elder Stacey's answer was simple. If you are doing the things that you are supposed to do, then our Heavenly Father won't let you make a wrong decision. But we have to do our part and make sure that we are following His commandments and doing what He has asked of us. Elder Stacey also talked about how God gives us commandments so that He can give us blessings. We can't just expect Him to give us blessings for the fun of it, as much as He wants to. We need to earn them and we can do that by being obedient. "Rules" aren't there to be a burden, they are there so that we can have the opportunity to receive all that our Heavenly Father is so eager to give us. How amazing is that? Our Father in Heaven really does love us so much more than we could ever know.

I love you all and hope you have a great week!  
 How cute is this gazebo we found?

 Sometimes we try looking cute...

And then sometimes we go a little crazy.

Sep 14, 2015

Trust In The Lord With All Thine Heart

Bob and Lucy were kind enough to spend their day off with us on Labor Day. They took us to the Lauritzen Gardens and they were absolutely beautiful! Sister Smith and I then did a little bit of shopping and had a home cooked meal for dinner with our "mission parents". I don't know how I got so lucky to be living with such amazing people. I love them so much!

On Wednesday as we were coming out of Tatiana's apartment, there was a man standing there who stopped us to ask for directions. He tried asking us for a ride, which raised a little red flag, and we told him that we are missionaries and that we aren't allowed to give people rides in our car. He then told us "I'm lost. Not just right now, but in my life." We told him that we could definitely help him out with that! We ended up giving him a Book of Mormon and the address to our church building. We will probably let the elders take him, but we wish him all the best! 

We were also able to teach a new investigator this week. His name is JayBreon and he is 8 years old. His grandmother, Lanell, is in our ward and even though his parents aren't members, he has been coming to church with her for the past couple of years. He has really been wanting to be baptized and Lanell has really been wanting it to happen on the September 12, so we ended up teaching him all 5 lessons in an hour. That was definitely a record.

His baptism went so well! You could tell that he was so excited to be baptized and Lanell had the biggest grin on her face the entire time. It was so sweet to see how proud she was of him. No matter how old somebody is, it is such an incredible experience to see them take that next step to come closer to Christ.

Although there were some great moments this week, there were definitely a few bumps in the road as well. But you would never learn anything if life was just smooth sailing all of the time. So all that we can do is trust in our Heavenly Father and know that He will help us through those roadblocks. Sometimes it can be hard in the moment to see the eternal perspective of how things are going to work out, but as long we stay positive, the Lord can help us do anything.  

P.S. I need to send a congratulations out to Linsey and Dallin for getting hitched and to Stephanie, Kevan and Kate for welcoming little Emily! I love you all so much!
 This is the Rose Garden. It was so pretty!

 Sometimes I like to try out my photography skills.

 This is JayBreon. I guess that eight year olds think that they are too cool to smile in pictures. Kids 
these days!!

Happy 7 months! Also, we have a Quilt Show going on downstairs. So that's been fun!

Sep 8, 2015

True Blue Through and Through

It's getting harder and harder to remember what goes on throughout the week. All of the days just seem to blur together. But I do remember that we had a great start to the week!

We were able to see Stephanie, which was a huge miracle. She is an investigator who we haven't been able to see for a few months and she has been investigating the church for years. We talked with her about the Book of Mormon and she asked us why we believe it to be "the most correct book of any book on earth." We explained to her that by saying that, we aren't putting the bible down. But there are so many different versions of the bible and some truths have been lost because of that. But with the Book of Mormon, it has only been translated once and it was by the power of God, so we know that those words come directly from Him. She said that made sense and out of the blue, she sighed and said "I know that I need to be baptized." Those are probably the most magical words that a missionary could hear! We are hoping that everything will work out for her and that she will be able to overcome her fears so that she can take that next step.

Friday was absolutely crazy at the Trail Center! In that day alone, we had 615 people come in and took 115 tours. On Sunday we had 720 people and 150 tours. We are pretty sure that is a record for the Trail Center. But I guess that is what happens when Nebraska is playing BYU in football. I even got to see my Grandpa Marv and Uncle Brad! It was so fun to see them as they headed towards the game.

And what a game that was. My amazing mom sent us banners and treats to help us celebrate and we did our best to try to enjoy every moment of watching football. When the clock counted down to one second left in the game, BYU was still halfway down the field and were one point down. We held our breath as we watched the last play and screamed when that ball landed. TOUCHDOWN COUGARS! It was such a miracle! We kept teasing in saying that the only reason they won was because of the missionaries, which is probably true. We were so thankful for a great game! I do have to say that I have become a Nebraska fan myself, just not when they are playing the Cougars. I will forever be true blue through and through.

This was probably one of the most tiring weekends I have had, but it was also one of the most exciting! Being a missionary really is the best.
 We kept asking ourselves "Is this real life?"

GO COUGARS! Sister Gray is a Ute fan. Figures.
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