Monday, October 26, 2015

Cheers to the Beers, and look out for Deers!


First off, the title is because I met the Beer family this week and
they're the absolute best and also it's hunting season so there are
deer everywhere in this city, just running around. And there was no
deer emoji so I used a cow because I can.

Moving on.

So...this week was super lame.

Last week we went to visit one of our investigators, and it was super
cold that day, but he's a single guy and we didn't have any woman who
could come with us and so we had to sit outside on his porch. While we
were sitting and talking to him, we found out that he was really sick
and I felt really bad and so we tried to have a quick lesson with him.
A couple hours after the lesson I started feeling pretty crappy but I
just thought, " ain't nobody got time fo dis" and so I pushed through
it for about three or four days until my body finally just crashed.

Just goes to show you that if you don't take time to rest you'll take
time later to be sick.
Which is what we did.

And let me tell you, we took a lot of dang time.

It started Tuesday - just cold and chills and stuff, we went out a
little, but I slept a lot. Wednesday we had zone training so obviously
we went to that and I just sat out for all of the activities and
stuff. When we got home I tried to tell myself that I was feeling
better, so I pushed myself too hard again and we went out to our
dinner appointment and to our meetings at the church and to try a
couple of people. When we got home that night, I was just exhausted
and miserable, so Thursday we spent the entire day inside which made
me really sad because it meant that we had to miss working at Katie's
which is the best part of every week. At this point m symptoms has
escalated beyond the fever and achy and now included nausea,
dizziness, congestion... I didn't have any appetite at all, and when I
tried to eat, I couldn't keep it down. Sister Welch felt really bad
and she tried to find me some medicine and she ended up giving me this
pill that totally knocked me out, so I don't remember anything about
Thursday because I was unconscious.

Friday was a little bit better, we were able to go out and see some
people and get a couple things done. A member of our ward passed away
this week and we were able to attend his funeral and to comfort his
wife and daughter, they're both less actives that we've been working
with, and they were really happy to see us. They told us how much Joe
loved the sisters and how we were like family to him.

Death is so weird. It was just a couple of days before, maybe like 8
or 9 days, that we were over at his house for a dinner appointment. He
had made us grilled cheese sandwiches with pickles on them and orange
jello on the side, and we were sitting there, laughing, telling jokes
and cool stories, he showed us his photo albums and shared his
testimony with us, and we shared a spiritual message and said that
we'd see him later...

But the next time we saw him he was just laying there in his coffin,
no color in his cheeks and no big grin on his face.

It definitely wasn't an expected thing by any stretch of the
imagination. He was the primary care taker of his wife Roberta, who
has been sick for a really long time, but Joe was healthy as a horse.
Just had a heart attack one morning and died before the ambulance
could get there, so I guess God must have really needed him up in

So anyway. That was really sad. I think it was harder for Sister
Welch, cause I didn't know Joe as well as she did. The hardest thing
for me was to watch the people's reactions and how sad they were and
just to wish that there was something that I could do to help them, or
some words I could offer to take their pain away, but all I could do
was just cry with them and hold their hands or just sit and hug them.

Anyway... There have been fourth deaths in this ward since I got to
this area three weeks ago, so I think I'm bad luck. But it's caused me
to reflect a lot on how grateful I am for the knowledge I have of the
plan of salvation. It's also been weird, two of the people that passed
away had requested that there be no viewing, no funeral service,
nothing. Just a graveside prayer and some short words and that's all.
And our bishop was taking about the importance of a funeral and the
respect that we show for our body as we lay it to rest in preparation
for the resurrection, etc. and I guess I never thought about it that
way... I love that idea, that you're just laying your body down and
keeping it safe until your spirit can be reunited with it again.
Especially that we get to be all dressed in our temple clothes, that's
the coolest part for me, all ready to stand for judgement and be
welcomed home into the celestial kingdom to live forever with Christ
and our Heavenly Father!! That's the dream, right?

But yeah. Enough about that.

Saturday and Sunday was back to business.

We had some really great lessons on Saturday. My favorite was with our
new investigator Ashley, she is so cool. She has had the absolute
hardest life I've ever heard, but she's just decided that she wants a
life with the Savior on her side again and so she was trying to find
the right way to go and that's when we found her. She said she is
going to work toward baptism on December 5 and we are so excited for
her! This week we got to teach her the plan of salvation and she just
ate it up, she had a big smile on her face. We asked her if she felt
that our message was true and she said yes. Then we talked about how
to recognize the spirit and committed her to read and pray more and to
come to church with us. She couldn't come this week because there were
some family members that were in town, but she said she would
definitely be there next week. So that was awesome!

We also saw our investigator Bill, who has a baptismal date in
November and is trying to quit smoking. We had a great lesson with him
and talked about what he thought it would take to have the willpower
to quit smoking, and he committed right then and there to quit
smoking, we shared some scriptures that would help him and we have
been texting him every since, just about every other hour or so to
check up on him and make sure he's doing okay and giving him
encouragement. He says he knows he can do it which is awesome, we know
he can do it, too. Please keep Bill in your prayers! He has the
strongest testimony ever and he knows these things are true, he wants
to get baptized so bad! He is so amazing and I know that he can do it,
he has a real love for the Savior and the gospel, he knows the Book of
Mormon better than anyone else I've ever taught... He rocks! We really
want him to make it through this week!

Then we had a lesson with Brother Zajacs, he's an excommunicated
member who is working toward getting re-baptized and has recently
(like just within these last two weeks) lost both his mother and his
father. I'm telling you people, everyone in all of Butler county is
gonna be done for by the time I leave!! Anyway, it's caused him to
think about what really matters in life. We talked about the plan of
salvation with him as well and about the sanctity of life, and why
it's important to keep ourselves close to the Savior throughout our
lives... And, just like every other lesson I've had with him, we
committed him to come to church.

But guess what.


It was amazing! We walk into church yesterday, and there he is sitting
in his little pew with his brother.

It was Amazing. Everyone was going over and talking to
him, just welcomed him back with wide open arms and it was the
sweetest thing to see. We have a great ward here.

They also know how to party! We had our ward trunk or treat this week
as well, and that was a huge success. Even though it was raining, tons
of people came out. Even our investigator Perry came out, he was so
funny he said he felt like a creep walking in since he didn't have any
kids haha. But he seemed to have a good time.

Anyway, now for the two highlights of my week.

First, was last Monday when we took our pday trip to Pittsburgh and I
was probably just about the happiest person in the whole city because
dang flabbit, Pittsburgh is amazing. We met up with Sister Welch's
grandparents who are also serving in our mission, and they took us and
4 other missionaries to the Carnegie science center which was probably
the coolest building (besides the temple) that I have ever set foot
in, literally ever. I think I probably could have spent hours in
there, they had everything you could have ever wanted. They had zero
gravity astronaut training and microscopes for looking at dead bugs
and robots that you could play air hockey against and a fake tornado
which was absolutely amazing for me and they had a human yoyo thing
and a roller coaster simulator and a giant trampoline where I did my
first successful back flip and a gift store and friendly people and
tons of kids, the most excited of all of them being myself. It was the
greatest party ever. I was so happy.

Then Elder and Sister Butler (grape juice's grandparents) treated us
to Peppi's, it's like a Pittsburgh restaurant which is super cool, and
I guess the elders go there all the time so when we walked in they
said, "Ah! It's the eldettes!" Haha πŸ˜‚ he was the funniest guy.

After that, we went and walked along the strip and I was sooo happy,
saying hello to everyone and I wanted to stop and look at everything
and I even got a pirates t-shirt and Grapejuice got a cats in space
calendar and the Butlers got some Pittsburgh popcorn and wow. It was
the best pday ever. I literally could not have been more happy. Even
the bus ride to and from Pittsburgh was amazing (except that I wasn't
feeling super good and so that wasn't fun) but other than that, it was
the most perfect pday I ever could have imagined.

And then the best highlight of all was meeting the Beers.
Mind you, I had already heard a ton about the Beers from Hermana
Tolman and Hermana Davis since they both served here in Butler. But I
had no idea how amazing they were going to be.

Here's the thing. I just came from my favorite area that I have ever
served in, and I don't think I will ever feel more like I belong
anywhere than I did in Lancaster serving in that branch, that was
literally my home! I miss it so much. And to make things harder, I
really haven't felt like I've been able to really connect with very
many people here. Like, I love a lot of people, don't get me wrong,
they're amazing. But I haven't really felt like I'm here for anyone,
if that makes any sense. Except for Perry, there was like that instant
friendship with him. But other than that... I kind of just thought
maybe Perry was the only reason I was serving in Butler.

And then we went to the Beers last night.

They literally had that spark in them from the moment we sat down, and
I never wanted to leave their living room ever for anything. I kept
just asking them question after question, sitting on the edge of my
seat and hanging on absolutely every single word that they said. My
love for that couple was instantaneous, I could have listened to them
all day long. When 9 o clock finally rolled around I was devastated
because I knew it meant we had to leave, and it had been so hard to
set the first appointment with them, I was worried it would be like a
million years before I saw them again. But, to my great astonishment,
they invited us over TUESDAY.

Like, tomorrow, people!

So we left their house and I was just like so happy and excited, and
flying on cloud nine because I finally felt like I had found someone
other than Perry that I could connect with and I finally had my moment
where I felt like I found out why I was sent to Butler, and that is
just a great feeling.

So basically I'm super stoked for this week is all.

Finally feeling a little bit better, still gonna keep the diet simple
this week though, try not to push myself too hard. Got my purpose, got
my motivation, got my Savior... Everything I need.

How could I ever fail? :)

Hermana Bills

Monday, October 19, 2015


Wow! What a week!

I can say that things are getting better and better! Slowly, surely I
stop worrying about the people I left in Lancaster and just realize
how inspired it is that I'm here in Butler.
But, like I said, it's a slow process. I'm a slow learner :)

But! I have a lot to write about and a short time to do it, so here we
go. On Monday we had an AWESOME dinner with our Puerto Rican
investigator Ivan. He made this amazing spicy rice with like salad, I
don't even know. But it was amazing. It made me so happy! It felt like
being back in the branch again...almost πŸ˜‰

On Tuesday we had an amazing lesson with our incredible investigator
Perry! He's probably my favorite person out of all the people that we
teach, he's just amazing! He's been having some issues with his Jdubb
girlfriend who doesn't want him to come to our church, and I was just
feeling super passionate and I looked at him and said, "Perry, there
are some things in this life that are worth compromising with and that
are worth working around. This is not one of those things. Your
salvation is not worth compromising." And I was just like crying and
it was super embarrassing because it was like the first lesson I've
ever had with this guy and I already cared so much about the choice he
made and how it was going to effect his happiness and GUESS WHAT! He
came to church yesterday!!! He just like waltzes in and we're like,
"Geez, Perry! What are you doing here?" And he looks at us like we're
idiots and says, "Well I'm coming to church, duh!" Haha. It was
amazing though, he's only come one other time and he's been taking the
lessons for like 3 months! So it was a huge deal and we were just
grinning from ear to ear. So cool.

On Wednesday we had our district meeting which was super awesome. Our
district leader is really good, his name is Elder Perry and he's from
Canada so that's nice. We learned about getting referrals and the
spirit was really strong! I felt super motivated!
After distinct meeting we will usually go and play revenge in the gym
since we all like basketball. It's pretty funny. This time we played
"bump" so you could hit each other's balls around and stuff. We were
laughing so hard. There's this elder - Elder Klima (he was in my zone
back when I was serving in Hanover) but anyway he's like one of the
funniest people in this mission and he's just... If you've ever seen
brother bear, he's like the moose on that movie and it just cracks me
up. He's from Canada, too. πŸ‡¨πŸ‡¦
Anyway, so he's just the big, goofy kid and he was like flailing all
around, throwing the balls everywhere and dunking the ball or like
smacking it away from the net and it was the funniest thing ever.
I hope someone else gets a kick out of that, but maybe it's just one
of those things you had to be there for...

But anywhoozies.

Thursday was amazing. It's like my absolute favorite day of the week!
First off, we had an awesome lesson with out investigator Jonathan. He
was set to be baptized and then kind of fell off the grid for a while,
until a couple days when he texted out of nowhere saying he wanted to
meet up. We called and invited one of the boys in the ward who just
got his mission call to California and he got all dressed up and was
all nervous and it was really sweet. They got along really well and
the lesson went great and Jonathan said he wanted to get baptized! So
we set him with a date.
But then yesterday morning he said he wasn't coming to church because
he had a runny nose and I was like, "Well that's the lamest excuse
ever." So (in nice, patient, sister missionary words) we told him that
he'd better get his hiney to church and hahaha he was there!
I'm telling you, the excuses that people come up with... It's ridiculous.
And then THE BEST PART OF EVERY THURSDAY we went to Katie's kitchen to
do service 😍😍 I know it's only my second time, but I love that place
to death. The people there are literally the best. Jean and Larry and
Barb and grumpy Bob are my favorites. It was Jean's birthday, so Barb
made her this multi-flavored pie which was awesome, and we sang to her
and had pie and told jokes and laughed and cooked food for the
homeless people in Butler. Then, during our break time, Sister Welch
took me up to the sanctuary in the church (cause the service is at an
old Lutheran church) and it was breathtaking, there were all of these
stained glass windows that basically told Christ's life story as you
went around the room, and this GIANT organ, and there was even holy
water and a tithing box or whatever and !!! It was sooooo amazing.
But yeah so then when we were serving dinner, this youth group from
another church came in to help out and there were a couple people that
were super nice to us and were talking and laughing, but then I don't
think the other girls liked us very much. Hm. #theirloss
Oh...hold up. I realize now that the dinner with Ivan that I said was
on Monday was actually in Thursday, so now I don't remember what
happened Monday... I know we had pday and it got a little cray... We
bought onesies and I'll send some pictures for you all to enjoy from
that adventure. It was hilarious.

Moving on.

Friday we did weekly planning and one of the people in Sister Welch's
ward in St. George ordered pizza for us and had it delivered to our
house! Like they called the Dominos here in Butler and paid for it! It
was so nice! I didn't even know people did that! When I get home, I'm
gonna order chicken wings for every missionary I know on weekly
planning day and send it to them hahaha. Don't ask me how I'm gonna
fund that. But it has to happen.
So while we were enjoying that, we got this call from one of the less
actives in our ward and she was calling to confirm dinner and we asked
her how she was doing and she said she wasn't doing well and we asked
why and then she went off for like 15 minutes about how her fish had
died and how the other one was sick and she didn't know what she was
gonna do... I was looking at Grape Juice, trying to figure out if this
was a for real thing that was actually happening to us. Well we asked
if there was anything that we could do, and she ended up asking us to
come over to keep her company and so we went over and we vacuumed and
did the dishes and talked to her and she sang to her fish and I was
just trying to wrap my head around what was happening... It was so
awkward and random and funny but also sad, because you could tell that
it was really affecting her. So on the one hand, I was happy that we
could be there to help her out and to cheer her up. But on the other
hand I was kind of like, "Come on. It's literally a fish." I don't
know. It must have been really important to her, and I know it would
be hard for me like if my dog died or something. So I guess I can feel
for her. Just kind of...random.

We had some other good lessons. One with an investigator named Kristie
who said she'd like to be baptized, but she's got some pretty big
things to work through before that can happen, but she said she knows
our message is true, so I think we'll get there!
Then we had a lesson with Ken, who is probably one of the most
mentally "there" people in the whole town of Butler. It was kind of a
nice refresher. He asked tons of good questions and basically came to
the conclusion that our church had to be true, it made sense. There is
only one God, one truth, etc. It was cool to watch him pretty much
work it out for himself in his mind. He also said he'd like to be
baptized, but wasn't ready to set a date.
I also met Bill for the first time. He's awesome! He reeeaallly wants
to be baptized but he's got this bad addiction to smoking. He said he
knows he just needs to throw his cigarettes away, they don't make him
happy or healthy. He couldn't come to church because he was puking his
guts out, so hopefully he gets feeling better. He's such and awesome
guy, totally knows the church is true, loves God, willing to do
anything... Just needs help overcoming this addiction, but we know he
can do it!

Anyway! Yeah! It was an amazing week, and to top it off, yesterday was
the primary program which was adorable and today we are going to
This is for real, guys.

This is Bills in the Burgh.