Monday, May 25, 2015


Hey everybody! 
Wouldn't you know it but right now I'm typing this message from my iPad which makes me feel super legit.
I am the proud owner of an iPad that I will readily admit I'm not entirely sure how to use... 
Someone pray for me. 

(Okay so like... Since its Memorial Day, the libraries are closed so I legit have to type this whole thing from my iPad which is super dumb because I totally don't even like typing on this..
So I hope no one feels bad this week if I just send a really short response or don't send a response at all! Because technology is... Too advanced for this simple little sister. 
I forgot to charge my iPad last night so it's almost out of battery haha... #awkward)

The all mission meeting in Cranberry was legitimately the best thing of my entire life. It was so incredible to be able to be there and to see all of my friends and past companions and whatnot. I was happy as a little clam.  
It was a really long day though, I'm not going to lie to you. Our logistics were a little bit crazy... We were in charge of picking up the elders in Dover and then we went to the chapel in Harrisburg (which was fine by me because that is my old stomping grounds) and we picked up Elder Whitby (what was also fine by me since he was in my first district and we came out together) and then we headed to Cranberry. It was a long drive and we had to wake up at 4:30 in the morning to pick everyone up and get there on time. Haha it was worth it though!
We got there about fifteen minutes before the meeting started which was just about enough time to say hi to a couple of people and situate myself right next to Hermana Landa:) I was so happy to see her!!
The meeting was really incredible and fun. The mission department does such a good job. We were supposed to have a brother from the quorum of the seventy come to teach us, but he ended up getting sick and so that didn't happen. But the brothers that did come were so fun. It was such a spiritual meeting. They talked about why the first presidency and the quorum of the twelve feels like it's a good idea to give missionaries iPads and how it really is a tool that the Lord allowed to be created so that He could hasten His work. They also talked about helping our generation develop better skills and habits working with technology as an everyday part of our life. It was very uplifting to be a part of.
Afterward we were able to get a picture with everyone which is the coolest thing ever because how many people get to have a picture with their entire mission!??!? No, really. Like is that a common thing? Because I don't really know how other missions work... 

Anyway, I thought it was pretty legit. I hope my eyes are open in at least one of them. President Johnson said that he'd send the picture out of all of us so hopefully I'll be able to forward that on. 
It was such a good day. It was hard when it came to an end. You could tell that nobody wanted to leave. We were able to go out to dinner with a couple of people which was awesome. Elder George and elder Mann and elder miller and elder Baxter and sister Landa and sister Wadsworth and a senior couple and elder Wadsworth and elder foster and elder Whitby were all there. I think I got everyone...
But dinner was really short because we had to get on the road to get home. It was really rainy on the way home and I don't really enjoy driving on the turn pike between all the cement walls and giant semis... I always feel like I'm gonna die.  
Luckily, we didn't die. We made it to Harrisburg. We had to wait for elder Whitby's companion to show up so we started setting up our iPads. Then, they finally arrived and we were able to head home.
At this point it's like 11 and I've been awake for like 18 emotional hours and it's all I can do to stay awake as I drive through the winding backwoods of Pennsylvania... Haha, good times. We made it home alive at about 12 and then zonked out as soon as we were there.
So yeah, it was definitely a long trip, but it was such a good day. And, of course, we got iPads! So I can't really complain. :) 

Other than that... We had a funeral this week for a member in our ward. That was a little bit hard for me. I didn't know him super well but I knew him and he was a friend. They had this dumb little slideshow video of pictures of him and "when I get where I'm going" playing on the background haha everyone was like bawling... But it was really great. The spirit was super strong. I'm so grateful for the plan of salvation in times like those.

We also went on an exchange this week with the sisters in lewisberry. It was really awesome. I got to spend 24 hours with an angel named Sister Purcell. She rocks. 

We also had a good day today, it was the Memorial Day picnic. Both the Hanover and Gettysburg wards combined and it was a great turnout. We also saw a snake eating a fish!!!!! 🌾🌊🐟🐍🌊🌾
We played horseshoes and I was awful. Then our investigators Levi and Shauna taught me how to play lacrosse and I was awful. Then Sister Talbot tried to teach me how to do a cartwheel and I was awful. 
So... At this point I'm wondering if I have any talents ;) I can't even breathe right anymore! I blame the humidity.

Well anywhoo. I am really sick of typing on this iPad... 
I love you all! I hope you had a great Memorial Day weekend, and a special thanks to all of those wonderful people in my life who have fought or who are currently serving to defend our rights and freedoms. Thank you all for all that you do.
God bless America.

Sent from my iPad

Monday, May 18, 2015

A Smashing Week in the Field!

This was probably the longest week of my whole life but somehow at the same time it went so fast. Tons of stuff happened! I don't even know where to begin...

We went on two exchanges this week. This first was Monday-Tuesday with the Carlisle sisters. I was able to spend 24 hours serving in Carlisle with Sister Wilson which was great. She is a wonderful sister. She's just starting her mission - been out for about 9 weeks now. I wish I was back in her place... I told President Johnson that I wanted a restart on my mission, but for some reason he wouldn't let me. I'm not sure why. He must be in cahoots with my mom. 
We had a really good time in Carlisle. We were able to find a couple of people that they could potentially start teaching which was awesome. Then we picked up a new investigator named Teresa. She is so incredible and her life circumstances have seriously prepared her for the gospel. She actually had meant to be baptized a few years ago but ended up having to move away and she could never find out how to get in contact with the missionaries until the elders tracted into her! Which was a miracle... 
Something...interesting... that happened...
So as missionaries we do this thing called "backing", right? I don't know if I've ever written about it. But we have to stand outside of the car whenever someone is driving in reverse and direct them. So this is what I was doing for Sister Wilson, I was trying to help her parallel park. So I was trying to direct her, but... well, basically what happened was she wasn't watching me as I was backing her and so when I lifted up my hand to tell her to stop... she didn't stop. So I had to act really quickly. I knew that if she didn't stop, she was going to run into the car behind her and there was going to be a dumb little accident that I just wasn't ready to deal with. I've never been involved in an accident on my mission and I wasn't going to start now! So... logically... I just placed myself in between the two cars and hit the back window and yelled, "STOP THE CAR!" So, she stopped just as I felt her car push me back into the other car... and then I knew I was pinned. Well, for some reason she just wasn't moving. I didn't know why. But I felt like pain shooting down in my legs cause the blood flow had stopped and I started to panic. So I started hitting the back window and yelling "Go go go!!" 
It was the scariest 30 seconds of my whole mission hahaha. But as soon as it was over I just doubled over and started laughing cause of how funny it probably looked. 
So we got a kick out of that :) 
And I think Sister Wilson learned a valuable lesson ;) If you don't watch your companion, you're probably going to run her over. hahaha

Our second exchange went well. Definitely less eventful than the first, but just as fun. I spent the day in Greencastle with Sister Bennett. It was awesome. We taught a few lessons Wednesday evening and then we were doing service all day on Thursday. We helped an older lady clean out her house which was awesome. They rewarded us by taking us to lunch and letting us play with some baby kitties. They were so cute! Then we mowed the lawn for another disabled lady. I had no idea that mowing lawns was so relaxing. I should start my own business or something! I'd be tan, buff, and relaxed all of the time! What a life! I smelled really grassy though. And I was still in my dirty service clothes cause we had just barely finished up when Sister Talbot showed up with Sister Thompson to exchange back. And we were running late so we had to go straight to our dinner appointment at the Shearers... and on the way there Sister Talbot told me that our investigators were coming to dinner so we were going to have a lesson! I was so embarrassed when we showed up and I was all grassy and in my basketball shorts. I had to change at their house and they were all laughing at me :) Hahaha it was so great. 
It ended up being a super awesome evening! We've been trying for a LONG time to get Lauryn and Brady to be able to come out to dinner at the Shearer's and it finally happened! And they were even able to come to church for the first time this Sunday! It was so amazing. They're going to be getting baptized on June 20th and we are seriously so excited for them! It was a really big blessing. 

Friday was a long day. We spent most of the day doing weekly planning... which is basically where you sit down for 5 hours and plan out your upcoming week... like who you're going to see and what you're going to teach and when you're going to see them and who you're going to bring with you and all that jazz. It was really good. I appreciate Sister Talbot as my companion always. I love going on exchanges and learning from others but it is so good to be back with Sister Talbot. She is so wonderful and we are growing so much together. I love serving with her. I hope we get another transfer together!! 

Saturday was LEGIT! We helped two people move! It was the funnest thing ever. The first one wasn't too bad. Just taking some stuff from a storage unit and carrying it up two flights of stairs. Most of it was pretty light. The super heavy lifting we left to the men ;) haha. The hardest part was the couch... because of the door and the stairs and everything, we couldn't get the couch into the apartment by just carrying it up the stairs and putting it through the door. Instead we had to lift it up to get it to go straight through the door... I know that description doesn't make any sense but I sent a picture so I hope that helps, haha. Anyway. That was insane. 
By the time we were done with the first move and on to the second it was like 89 degrees and REALLY humid because a storm was rolling in. 
The second move was pretty rough because we were taking things from one house to another and they were about 30 minutes apart, driving. We only took two loads though, so that wasn't so bad. In the middle of getting the second load in the U-haul, it started to rain REALLY hard! It was so awesome! So we ran around in the rain and played... okay... ran around in the rain and played by myself and everyone else made fun of me. But it was still awesome! Plus, SUPER refreshing since we had been working really hard in the heat of the day. So the cool rain felt really nice. Then I was soaking wet. By the time we finished unloading the second load, a giant storm was rolling in, so we called it quits. When we got back to our apartment, we had worked for 8 hours moving people. It. Was. Awesome. 
Then we had dinner at the Mealeys and she made us fajitas and brownies with ice cream because she's the best human being ever to live ever. 
But she's moving to Texas  So now I'm sad. 
But that means more moving!! YAY! 

Well anywhoozies. I feel really discombobulated with my thoughts today so hopefully this email made sense... haha. If not... better luck next week, I guess? :) 

The scripture that I want to share today is Mosiah 2:17 (or just all of Mosiah 2 in general ). I know that as we serve those around us, that we are truly helping to build God's kingdom on the earth. It was incredible to be helping and serving so many people this week. I feel better about myself and my relationship with my Heavenly Father. But it's all about your attitude! You either make yourself miserable, or you make yourself strong. The amount of work is the same. But people really do pay attention! The sweet lady that we helped move on Saturdaythanked us for our example and enthusiasm. She said that her inactive son had been impressed by how hard the missionaries were willing to work, and she told us that our lightheartedness and humor really helped to lighten the atmosphere and she felt like it was greatly needed throughout the day. When we put the Lord first in our minds, the needs of others naturally become our greatest priority! And as we serve others, we feel better about ourselves... naturally :) It is incredible to see the Lord's hand shape and mold our lives into something so beautiful, there's no way we could have even imagined it ourselves. I am grateful to see Him at work in my life personally, and to catch little glimpses of what He has in mind for who I am to become in time and eternity. I know that the Lord has a perfect plan for each of us and that we will learn to love His will as we wholeheartedly give our lives to Him. He will fill our hearts with joy and our minds with understanding. 
It all comes by faith. 

I love you all and encourage you each to look for the hand of the Lord in your life this week. I promise it's there. He's there.
He loves each of you. As do I. 

All my love, 
Hermana Bills

Monday, May 11, 2015

Life Doesn't Come with a Manual, it Comes with a Mother

Well, as you all know it was just mother's day yesterday and I think that is the worst holiday ever invented and that we should stop celebrating it because that was absolute torture. Sitting through the little primary children singing "Mother, I love you" during sacrament meeting and having to get up and leave halfway through the talks because you miss your mom so much. And then getting so pumped to just be able to skype her and then it's over before you even feel like you were able to say anything. Plus you can't get a hug over a skype call. Sister Missionaries need hugs. 

But I just want to shoutout to all of the wonderful women in my life who have taught me what it means to be a mother and who have helped me develop all of the positive qualities in my life. I am grateful for these strong women who are examples of righteousness and true beauty in a world that doesn't know what that word means anymore. Thank you first and foremost to my own mother who is my best friend and hero. Thank you to my step mother McKell for being such a wonderful friend and example. Thank you to my Grandma Lamoreaux and my Mamma who have taught and loved me all my life. Thanks to my mission mom Sister Johnson for being a wonderful example of Christlike leadership. Thank you to my surrogate mothers growing up and out here on my mission. To the mothers of my friends and best friends. To all of the wonderful teachers that I have learned from and loved.
Thank you to you. You are excellent. 

This week was quite a trip! We had so many things to do. We had loads of less actives that came to church yesterday! The most I've ever had show up to sacrament meeting my whole mission - Christmas and Easter included! 

The best part of my week (besides skyping home yesterday) was participating in our Zone Training in Chambersburg on Friday. It was wonderful to see President and Sister Johnson there. I love and admire them greatly. The greatest thing was to see the excitement and spark in the eyes of each of the missionaries in our zone as they caught the importance and power of what we were teaching. It was great to see that and to take part in teaching about it. I am so incredibly blessed. It will be such a powerful tool in this mission when we get our ipads in 10 days. 

More good news from zone conference! We just got told that our mission is going to pilot a program called "Just serve" which we are so excited about! It's a lot of opportunities for service in the community with members from other faiths! How legit is that? So we're pretty stoked. 

Things that have been trending in Hanover lately...
*Dinner appointments with less active members. I feel like a good portion of the less actives have either had us over for dinner or have plans to have us over for dinner. 
*Mexican food
*Investigators cancelling/not being willing to set return appointments. #problematic 
*Finding more awesome less actives to teach that are ready to get back into church
*Pollen on cars
*Weird allergies

Yeah... that's about it. 

The story of the week comes from Brother Rummel who is one of my most recent heroes. Brother Rummel is a convert of 9 years who went less active after losing his wife. Somehow he also never received the Aaronic Priesthood after getting baptized! We're still not sure how that happened. 
But we've been working with Brother Rummel for about 2 months now and he's just been reactivated officially as of yesterday, he now has the priesthood and he was able to help bless the sacrament yesterday which was one of the most legit things you will ever see a convert/reactivated member do. What an awesome guy. 
We're planning a temple trip with him hopefully sometime next month or at the end of this month. He's got lots of family names done and we're getting really excited to go with him.
We will also hopefully make a stop at Cafe Rio on the way home and that will be the icing on the cake. Somebody go eat a pork salad in my memory. 

Well, that's about it for this week. There are some good things that are happening here in Hanover, they're just moving along a little bit slower than we would like. There are little disappointments here and there, but overall we are just drenched with the outpour of blessings that the Lord is sending our way. He is so wonderful and we are really enjoying our time here. Sister Talbot and I have so much fun together. She is a great blessing to me. 

This should be a really busy week so hopefully my email next week will be a little bit longer. We have a lot of big things coming up! 
May 11-12 Exchange with Carlisle sisters
May 12 Broadcast with Elder Bednar
May 13 District meeting in Fairview
May 13-14 Exchange with Greencastle Sisters
May 19-20 Exchange with Lewisberry Sisters
May 21 All mission meeting in Cranberry to get IPADS
May 25 Ward memorial day picnic
May 26 PAL LUNCH (my favorite!)
May 27 District Meeting 

So we have a couple of seriously crazy weeks coming up! I'm so excited! Like I said, big things are happening! Big things!! 

Thanks again to everyone for all the love and support. I appreciate it more than you will ever know. You are in my prayers, and I know God is sending angels to watch over you.

Hermana Bills

Monday, May 4, 2015

Roadtrips, Exchanges, New Friends, old Faces, and A NEW CAR! :D

Where do I even begin. There is so much to write about.

I'll start from the beginning. Pday last Monday was great. We got tons of stuff done, and we ended the night having a family home evening at the Shearers and learning how to play Chinese Checkers. I lost. 

Tuesday we went on an exchange with the sisters in Fairview. This is something that I have been looking forward to for WEEKS because there is a member there who is a chiropractor and he gives free adjustments to missionaries. I felt like a new person. I hope our investigators feel half as good as that when they enter into the waters of baptism. (joke).
But I got to stay in Fairview with sister Zaugg. It was so great. They were out of miles on their car so we walked around for 5 hours and I really felt like I got the full mission experience. Now I am stressing out because I worry that the Lord was secretly trying to prepare me to go into a walk area. Not okay! 
I guess that way I could get back in shape... 
Oh! Did I mention that I cut down my mile to 10 minutes? Anyone impressed yet? ;) 
Neither am I...
Ah well. 
Anyway. While I was on the exchange we went to a Relief Society activity and I won a cheesecake and it was awesome... hands down best activity of my life! Also Sis Zaugg got peanut butter fudge which was epic. (Anyone still wondering why my mile takes me 10 minutes? )
Then we exchanged back on Wednesday after district meeting and Sister Talbot and I headed to Chambersburg to go to MLC. The road trip was great. We have a new Zone Leader - Elder Stallings - and he's really awesome. So we spent the car ride asking deep soul searching questions and talking about life and how we can help improve the zone. It was grand. 
Wednesday was ALSO my favorite day because we got to see the Clarksons. I couldn't even wait to see them. I pounded and pounded on their door and they answered and I just hugged and hugged and hugged those wonderful people because I just miss them so much. 
Then they took us to the mission office and we got...


it was... the single greatest moment... of... okay I couldn't figure out how to end this statement and keep it true. ;) It was a great moment. But I've definitely experienced greater.
It is a really nice car though. :) It makes a really nice vroooom noise. 
Well anyway we stayed Wednesday night with the Clarksons and had breaky with them the next morning before going to MLC. Guess who was there!? SISTER LANDA. And like a billion other people that I know and love. It was so great! So I got to sit by her and it was wonderful. And I decided once and for all that I'm going to USU and rooming with that wonderful woman. 

The next item of business is the fact that we had people visiting from the missionary department and it was the greatest training of my ENTIRE mission. No overstatement. It not only changed my mission, but changed my life. They answered SO MANY of my prayers, and straight up... just by applying the principles that they taught at that training over the last 3 days, we have already seen miracles and blessings from it. 
That's crazy. 
That. Is. Crazy. 
So yeah. To say the least, it was an incredible meeting. I feel bad for all of the people that didn't get to attend. But I still am happy that I got to be there with Sister Talbot and Sister Landa.
It was a really good time. 

Unfortunately, some good things have to come to their end... and so we headed back to Hanover with the Chambersburg Zone Leaders. On the way home, we were able to stop and help someone in the pouring rain. She was so awesome. She was stuck on the freeway and we said this prayer with her and this powerful spirit was there... It was a great experience. We gave her our phone number... but she never texted or called (at least not yet). We're still waiting!

Friday was really awesome. We got to do some weekly planning and teach a couple great lessons. Then Saturday was incredible. We picked up a family of new investigators and they accepted to be baptized. We didn't set them with a date yet, though, because we felt that the mom had a concern. We tried to ask questions, but it didn't seem like she trusted us enough yet to bring it up. So we're going to try and get to know them and serve them a little more. They are incredible and even came to church yesterday. The ward just loves them. 
That evening, we were able to meet with Lauryn and Brady (now Brother and Sister Hinton ) two of our other INCREDIBLE investigators. They're theee coolest people. We were able to give them a new baptismal date of May 30 and they seem really excited about it. We went to get Ritas afterward. It was my first time and I got Vanilla mixed with Horchata and I was on a sugar high for like 3 hours afterward and I think I woke up with a hangover the next day ;) hahaha
Sunday was also awesome. We got tons of referrals and we're excited to go contact them and hopefully pick up some new investigators and man alive this area is seriously just booming with people to teach lately. We never have enough time. It's so great! I'm exhausted! I love it! 
Sunday evening we were able to have dinner with an awesome family! Three of them are nonmembers and we watched meet the mormons and they had lots of great questions and we set a return appointment to come and teach them about the restoration, which we're really excited about!! 

Lastly bot not leastly... Today was the biggest blessing. There is an incredible couple living in the Gettysburg ward and they have been here for about 20 years. The Sister is so wonderful and she was a tour guide for Gettysburg for many years and she volunteered to take us and show us around the battlefields. So this morning we were able to go and the spirit was wonderful and she walked us through all 3 days of the battle of Gettysburg and told us a lot of historical facts about the civil war and then they took us out to get Mexican food and they are angels. 
But yeah, so basically I'm a civil war buff and I'm bringing every single one of you back to Gettysburg so I can show off my impressive knowledge. Or maybe I'll just call up this couple and rent a tour bus and they'll just take us around because she seriously knows EVERYTHING about the Civil War.
What. You think I'm joking?
You don't even know. 

Alrighty. Well that was my week. So many other wonderful things happened that I just don't have time to write about because we spent too long touring Gettysburg. But... #sorrynotsorry

I just want to thank you guys, seriously, all of you, for all of the love and support I get. For the cards, emails, packages, the help that I receive in funding for my mission, the prayers, the good vibes that are constantly being sent my way... Thank you. From the bottom of my heart. I know there are other missionaries out there that don't have the amazing support group that I have and I am grateful every day for each of you... 

I love you!! 

Happy Summer!! (Since it was 87 degrees today in Hanover... yikes!)

Hermana Bills