Tuesday, July 20, 2010

May and June and Part of July!

May 10th -
hey friends. how art thou. i hope well. so the past two weeks have been something else. last week we set a baptism date with our golden investigator ramona. she's so awesome we're so grateful that we were shown the way to her and her to us. she has been ever so prepared to receive this gospel. her baptism will be on the 29th of may..that's is at least the goal she set. her husband is not a religiously minded person but is accepting of the decisions she makes for herself. he wants her to be sure that this is what she wants to do and keeps mentioning to her apparently that this is all just going really fast. she is facing a lot of opposition but she is just knocking it all out of her way. she reads outrageous amounts in the Book of Mormon a day and is already just so strong in the gospel. her faith is such an example to us. everytime she tells us a story about something she has had problems with she says....i prayed to God "please help me (with whatever she needs help with)" and she ALWAYS receives that answer in a short period of time. she reminds me of the brother of jared who pleaded witht he Lord and saved his friends and family from the confounding of the languages. who then because of his faith saw the finger of God Himself...whew! yesterday ramona came to church for the first time...her grandson was staying with her and had been begging her to be able to go to church with her. ramona's husband was a little concerned because their grandson wanted to go so badly but he didn't have any appropriate clothes. ramona prayed and asked Heavenly Father for guidance. she tried to convince tommy to wait until next week to go with her. after breakfast sunday morning(mother's day) ramona's husband took tommy and said they would be right back...ramona assumed they were going to get her something for mothers day but when they returned..tommy was in a newly purchased suit and tie with new shoes and the whole shabang. ramona got very teary eyed while relating this story to me. it touched my heart and i can see that the Lord has prepared This righteous woman to receive the gospel and is now softening the heart of her husband. one day their family will be able to be united in the gospel and be together forever. oh my word....how beautiful is that?!? the gratitude i feel for being able to show ramona the path she has been looking for cannot be put into words. this gospel, this church, the Book of Mormon, the Atonement of Jesus Christ are all wonder to be beheld and when seriously considered and pondered upon will show us the true loving nature of our Father in Heaven. That same Father in Heaven that we are to emmulate to the best of our ability while in this failed and mortal state. i love the saying...two people can accomplish anything when one of them is Heavenly Father. man we are so totally blessed. well ramona is the best thing that is happening here in the upland third ward. we are very excited for her and we are very grateful for all the other miracle we are experiencing from or gracious and loving Heavenly Father. people that get to hear the gospel are so dang lucky! well i'm grateful for everyone and their love and support to me. which love and support allows me to see the enjoy the blessings of being amissionary. something i know i will never regret doing. i love you all and hope you're doing well. remember what you're here for and where you're going after this:) i love you...love molly

May 17 - Had a sister's activity and couldn't write!

May 24 -
ok drumroll please........................................................................................................................................................................
.....................................................................i ......................am...................................................................................
sing praises and shout horray
yes yes yes, i'm staying in upland..and with sister morgan, it is very very good. i'm ever so grateful. i've come to dearly adore this ward and it would have been a heartbroken departing to have to leave. so yay! finally:) if you still feel the overwhelming need to call president sanchez, do it now and tell him thank you because this is his last transfer! well this week seems to have been overwhelmingly miraculous and happy:) erin getting things together for school, pete and his new job, dad and his new calling. we having been teaching a less active 16 year old boy who for the past month or so has been prepared to be ordained a priest but refused to come to church consistantly and refused to go out and buy a white shirt to go to church in and this week HE CAME! and in a white shirt. it was one of the happiest days ever. so over all we have all been blessed...lets all be very happy and praise the Lord by following Him diligently!:) i love the gospel...i wonder sometime if Heavenly Father is just watching us blunder around in our fallen and sinful ways just shaking His head thinking...if you would just listen to me like i asked you to you would get a really cool blessing and life would be fine haha. i feel that way sometimes about people we teach and then i think well now i know how God feels about us:). well i'm just really really happy for our little family here...:) yay families! besides our less active young chap, we didn't really have anything outrageously miraculous this week...well i guess besides transfer calls as well. so unfortunately this letter is going to be very short. i love this gospel and our loving Heavenly Father. there is no two ways about it...if we strive to follow Him we Will be blessed and we WILL be happy. following Him includes being patient and waiting just a Little bit longer for the blessings we are promised..but if we obey and we look for them...they will be there. i'm so grateful for the plan He has for us, we would be so hopelessly lost without it. that is why i choose to serve, to help those who are hopelessly lost. i'm bursting with joy right now and i don't know how to express it:) just know i love you all.   love sister molly
May 31st - Memorial day couldn't write.

June 7th - Again didn't write ( a group letter I mean).

June 14th -
Heyllo! how art thou dear familia. sounds like everyone is doing ok. this week was pretty good here in upland california. we had a baptism!!! ramona our investigator got baptized along with two other people from another ward. the two other people were a woman named valarie and her son dillon. they have friends in our ward who are kind of less active but invited them to church. after that valerie just loved church and it was only a short time later that she was baptized..yesterday...?.... so that was really awesome. ramona's husband who is basically agnostic came which was really great. i don't know waht more i can say about it. i love being a missionary and i love it when people accept the restored gospel through being baptized...a.fter of course having exercised faith unto repentance of their sins...anyone who knows the purpose of a missionary will understand that. ha. ok anyway sooo. another outrageously miraculous thing happened this week. we've been teaching this young boy named jake..i don't know if i told you about him but the gist is...he just turned 9 and he has a twin brother with aspberger's. his mom is less active but he goes to church with his very active grandma. he wants to get baptized but his mom didn't want him to get baptized without his brother but because of his brother's aspbergers he just wasnt interested in being baptized. but hallelujah...he can get baptized now!!! we were so excited to get the call from the bishop friday night. he talked to jake's mom and worked out some things with her. we were very excited...so we have another baptism next week woo!! it's funny because friday am when we were weekly planning we were setting our goals and the first goal is baptized and confirmed...we said zero zero...should be one and one cuz jake should get baptized....then we discussed for a brief moment how we COULD put a goal of one and one and exercise our faith in seeing a miracle of him being baptized. we did not exercise such faith but it's still happening! i just need to listen to the spirit better but i guess that is an eternal struggle. we met a man a few weeks ago named benjamin. we met him tracting and talked to him for about an hour and all the concerns he had in his life and questions he was seeking answers for were just...of course answered by the restored gospel and the book of mormon. we set up an appt with him and he wasnt there but we saw him yesterday and he's still just golden as can be...he'll get baptized one day. i love seeing miracles and seeing the fruits of being used as an instrument in the Lord's hand. we are so blessed to have this gospel in our lives and that is the reason i strive to share it with the people of san bernardino. i'm grateful beyond expression to be able to serve this way. i love you all and hope you have a fantastic week. love sister molly

June 21st -
i'm so sad, when i will come home...sad as i can be....:)
jk jk jk, i won't be sad, that was just a little play on that father's day song i'm so glad when daddy comes home. speaking of father's day..how was all of your father's days? i hope all went well. i thought of you much my dear father. i hope you had a good day. we had kinda a weird week. we saw a lot of people but we didn't get much done haha. we had a big service thing we did this week. apparently there is an international competition at this raceway in fontana. the company that sponsors it is called formula sae. it's all these college students who are doing like engineering and stuff liek taht and that make this little formula racing cars and then..race them? i guess i'm not actually sure. but there were people there from all over the world. japan, italy, canada haha, m.i.t. it was pretty much a waste of time though...we because we're sisters i assume were stationed at the registration desk and pretty much did literally nothing ALL day. well not all day but for like 8 hours straight. i wanted to die. oh well. it's done and over with so i'll repent for being a slothful servant and move on with my life. saturday was awesome possum. i don't know if any of you rememeber me mentioning our investigator who want to get bapitzed but his mom wouldn't let him and then she decided to give him permission. well that was this saturday. the baptism went beautifully. sister morgan and i got the chance to speak together about baptism it was fun!:) the spirit was very strong there and you can tell that the strength and courage and faith of that little boy will bless his life and the life of his family so so much. we were so pleased that he was able to get baptized but at the same time very sad for them. they are going through a tremendous amount of difficulty. the grandma is very active and is the one who always brings jake to church. well apparently the lady they were renting their house from was pocketing the rent they were paying and now their house is being forclosed on and they are being kicked out. they have known about it for about a month or so but jake's mom is on disability and vicky the grandma has been searching for a job and a house to move to for the longest time. since no one is working and they have bad credit and such it's hard for them to find somewhere to rent. well the bank who bought back the house is offering them liek 6 grand to move out by saturday. they signed the contract and now of course...have to be out of their house by saturday....a litle hard to do when they have no where to go. so they are have a lot of issues. there are things on top of that that i won't go into but we are very very worried about them and because of all the drama that is happening to them the baptism almost didnt' happen. satan is a very sneaky and sometimes effective spirit. we fasted for them yesterday and the ward came up with some good plans to get them moved and out of the house on saturday so we have faith that it will all work out the way it needs to. President sanchez gave us permission to give more than 4 hours of service this week for them so that is one way we can help. our perspective as a missionary is an awful one since the only thing we know how to do is teach the gospel. that won't help these people at all! this is a very affluent ward though with lots of big houses so.......things will work out that's all i know and have to say. so that was our week. lots of bitter and one really big sweet. oh funny thing that happened. saturday after the baptism bishop frandsen came up to us and said well ladies what do you have lined up for next week? because we had a baptism two weeks in a row. so he said that and we were like well....we dont' really have anyone that has fulfilled the requirements to be baptized...so anyway we talked and kinda chuckled about that then yesterday in ward council we finally got around to missionary work and bishop frandsen said ok let's talk about missionary work.....we have a baptism this saturday...!!! sister morgan and i were thinking....is he joking?? apparently a lady that had come to our ward quite a few times but was being taught by the ap's was being baptized and he wanted to let the ward know since a lot of them knew her haha it was so cool and hilarious..i can justimagine the looks on our faces...bah he probably thought he was so funny. pulled a fast one on the missionaries. anyway that was pretty funny.  so that's all i have for this week...the gospel is true, the book of mormon is the word of God and President Monson is the prophet of God on the earth today and i know that missionary work brings Heavenly blessings upon us and those we influence for good. i love you all thank you for your support and letters...ahem...your LETTERS:). i hope you have a good week!!! love love love...sister molly

June 28th -
well it sounds like we all had very eventful weeks! mom and sara and erin in san diego, even though it wasn't QUITE what you had planned it sounds like it was a lot of fun! that's too bad about the temple, i hear it really is gorgeous,we saw a picture of it in church news with all the scaffolding that's too bad. sounds like lake powell was a blast as usual for the boys. i'm super jealous..i love that place. people are always asking me how on earth i made it 21 years living in utah without seeing things like zion's or bryce canyon or other things like that and i just say...i've been to lake powell more times than i can count! haha. it holds a special place in my soul..i love it dearly and can't wait to live there someday..it will happen. i bet hole in the rock was fun..we haven't been there in a while. this week was a lot of up and a lot of down! we got a two week missionary on thursday and because of the family i told you about last week that had to move because their house was being forclosed, we did service thursday friday and saturday. it was crazy. we saw so many miracles and met some reallycool people this week. we talked to this guy that we have visited a few times before this. he is a super methodical thinker and because of that he has needed some time and patience while he researched our religion. we gave him the website and warned him of all the anti literature to be found but he wouldn't accept the book of mormon. well when we visited him on friday he started asking us a bunch of kind of obscure questions. we tried to answer him to the best of our ability and eventually he opened up about something that he has had a problem with in his life since he was in his twenties. he's now probably in his fifties or so. as the problem he had unfolded before us i did and i'm sure sister morgan did as well, prayed fervently for guidance to help this child of our Heavenly Father. of course, that help came. It was a testament to me of the love that is had for everyone we meet. he had expressed how he knows he needs to develop faith in his life and how that will help him overcome this problem so i shared a part from alma 32 with him and emphasized the fact that because he WANTS to have faith in christ that he CAN develop that mountain moving faith. sister morgan then in her always inspired ways, shared a story in the ook of mormon that related so perfectly to his situation. he finally admitted that the things we had shared with him had opened new ideas in his mind and that he would now accept a book of mormon. he couldn't promise that he could ever be a mormon haha but he would take the book of mormon. it was really great. we were able to help and comfort this man using the word of God. such an amazing blessing to have been a part of that. ah- missionary work. that is not the only miracle we experienced obviously because we are missionaries! but i won't bore you with all the details:) the family that we had to help pack and move still doesn't have a house so one part of them is living in a hotel..the grandma..i'm not sure where she's staying. the bank i think gave them an extension on when they had to be out of the house so until that time i think she's staying in the house. i really didnt' understand that things like that happened and it makes me  so heartbroken to see these individuals that i have grown to love so dearly in such a situation and i cannot help them. i see from my vantage point so many people in just this ward with resources to help them out if only for a short time and while i understand i cannot in any way persuade any of those individuals to depart of their substance as I think they should...one thing this has taught me is that whenever i am in the situation of having the ability to help others monetarily or otherwise..i will not hesitate. at least that is my hope for the future me. there is a scripture in the book of mormon that talks about if you seek for the kingdom of god then you will be given riches if you have a desire to use them in a righteous way. that is paraphrasing and probably totally butchered it but i think that is an amazing promise from our Father in Heaven. i hope one day i can recieve that blessing. i guess it really would just be another way to be used by heavenly Father to bless the lives of others so it really wouldn't be a blessing that you were given. anyway. we have faith that they will find a place to live and soon. i guess this also shows me WHY the white handbook says don't ask your family to donate to causes in the area you're serving. well so that was our week in a nut shell. sister piutau is our two week friend. it's really cool they let the youth age boys and girls 18 and over serve missions for two weeks. they are set apart as missionaries and everything. i'm super jealous i woul dhave loved to do that. except when i was 18 i had no desire to serve a mission so i probably wouldn't have done it even if i could haha. well i love you all and i have to get going.. thank you so much for all your support and love and letters. i know that this is the Lords work and i know that we can all take part in it if we want to and when we do, the Lord will bless us beyond our current comprehension. I love this gospel and i'm grateful more than words can say for the blessings it has brought to myself and those that i love. i hope you have a good week! love sister molly

July 5 - No letter due to Holiday here in Cali since the 4th was a Sunday everyone decided to take Monday off. 

July 12 -busiest week of my ENtire life. period.
hello friends and family alike. how are you all doing? i hope well. well well well. this has been hands down the busiest week of my entire life ever. let me first answer some questions and make comments to all your letters so i don't forget. mom- the shirt i was wearing in those pictures isn't new and i as well like this watch a great deal. sister taber is the stinkin coolest lady ever i love her to death. she commented once on one of her relatives naming their child it was something like ellie and she said i don't like that name it's like a name for a cow like..bessy or molly. haha it made me laugh. someone in the bishopric of our new ward's dog is named molly and we have to feed her this week for them while they are out of town. if you ever email sister taber back tell her not to feel bad cuz i get stuff liek that all the time. haha. so yes i was transferred again but you must be a little confused cuz it was time for transferrs. tiem is just going by so swiftly that it seems like we just had transfers. i agree with dad, i will be an excellent packer when i go home haha. i HAVE served with sister liston before, she was with me when we whitewashed the ward in san b. and yes she worked at the rec center, she's from ogden area but she is a figure skater and there aren't very many rinks so she skated there. my actual half way point was july 7th. sara you asked for alist of recent converts. here goes. jake halczak-june19,2010. ramona dougherty-june 12th, 2010. christine duran-jan 16, 2010. vicky anderson-march 27th,2010(but she doesn't really count, i only taught her for a transfer). p.s. do the robbins have family that live in upland? jay and pamela? ask them...get back to me on that. yes mom i got your letter both times. SO. onto better news. yes here i am in lake arrowhead. it's an awesome place...first i need to tell you something from my letter last week that i lost...for the frist time in almost nine months...i'm not wearing nylons haha. they made that not a rule anymore yay! oh yeah one more thing, our new pres arrived yesterday and i haven't even met him,,,you all know just about as much about him as i do and all i know about him is from the little bio they had in the church news. SO lake arrowhead is the bomb.com yo! it's gorgeous up here..Super dry but still awesome. tracie and adam were right...i don't want to leave and i haven't even been here a week yet. this first week was insane busy busy busy busy. the elders that have been here previously i guess were not very good at keeping up the area book or making notes or anything like that and so it seemed like there was no work to be done, ya know no one to be visited or taught etc etc but tha tis just not the case at all. the members are amazing!!! i had kinda given up hope on elderly people sharing the gospel but we had tons of people sayin...hey i want to start something with my neighbor and stuff liek that. we went to dinner yesterday and this brother i swear is like 100 and he just said hey! i have a boy  that comes to work with me everyday and he's been asking a lot of questions...i want to set up lunch with you all and have you come over and answer his questions and show him that video you just showed us. oh man people...they just GET IT. the ward just sincerely UNDERSTANDS the gospel. they get that when you have a sincere testimony of the atonement that you will want to serve and to share it. ah...i don't know how to explian it other than they get it. sister liston and have i have had the conversation  alot about the difference between being active in church and being an active member of the gospel. i dont' knwo if that makes sense to anyone else but like ya know there are people who are active in church but for whatever reason, they are just going through the motions. then there are people who sincerely strive to use the atonement and the gospel to improve their own lives and the lives of those around them. that is like the entirety of the active members of the lake arrowhead ward. we walked out of ward council with our heads just buzzing of people we could go see and try and teach. whitewashing is sometimes a daunting task because it means usually that for wahtever reason, Heavenly Father thinks or expects you to bring new life into an area...but that wasnt' even needed in this area. all they needed were some missionaries who would take time fromt heir busy schedules to do some stinkin missionary work! sister liston and i are just very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very very blessed to be serving inthis ward. beside the fact that it's been DECADES since sister missionaries have been allowed to serve in the mountains like here and big bear and such because in the winter time the elders spend a lot of time digging people out and shoveling driveways. so this is a super rare opportunity. i doubt they will leave us up here in the winter time, unless they bring elders up to be here with us but i doubt that will happen. so here we are. in lake arrowhead. we were reading in our white handbook the other day and realized something...lake arrowhead is kind of a famous place...people drink water from here EVERYDAY. TOOOOONZ of famous people have lived here like...pricilla presley, michelle kwan lots lots lots more that i can't remember, , doris day filmed here with rock hudson, american president was filmed her in part...the part they go to camp david. the original parent trap was filmed at a camp that is up here. wicked cool right? so anyway...this is a really cool place but sister liston and myself have been entrusted with the responsibility of building up the kindgdom of God here. how awesome is that! ah! it's kinda super hard to find our way around here cuz of all the windey mountain roads and such but other than that, this is pretty much the ward all missionaries dream of being in. there is a talk by elder perry a few conferences ago and he talks about how missionaries are underutilized and should be teaching more than we do and how the members should be primarily our finding tools like they should have referrals for us, which is totally true because people are much mroe likely to realize the truthfulness of the gospel when introduced to it by friends instead of being like tracked into. and that is THIS ward. first off we can't really tract that easily anyway because most houses are just vacation or weekend homes and they are all built on the side of a mountain so there are stairs galor! it makes me feel super out of shape cuz of the altitude difference, you get winded just walking up some stairs! not that those things make tracting or finding impossible, just a lot more difficult. so we need to work with the memebers a LOT but hello, they already want to work with us. ah....it's soo cool. i feel way to blessed to be here and i don't know what sister liston or i did to deserve this! plus we get to be companions again so rad!! we wanted to serve together not in a threesome when we were together last time but that didn't happen. but here we are! so we're going to work our butts off and the people of lake arrowhead are going to be blessed for it. yikes. it's powerful. so since the elders didn't really keep the records very well and because of a few other things we had to deal with, we basically spent last week and yesterday organizing our thoughts and all the materials and names and things we wanted to do and people we wanted to see. we had to go down the hill to take our two week friend back and so all in all it was just exHAUSTING. i'm glad it's over and we're on to a new week and a new transfer of awesomeness. if there was any question in anyone's mind let it be known that i love with all i have being a misisonary and serving the Lord. this IS His work, and whether you wear a black tag or not we CAN be guided by Him to find those lost souls, those Elect of God who have been lovingly prepared by Him. it happens. all the time it happens. and whether someone is prepared right this second or not, we can still be led in this work because we will be used to prepare someone for the future when they will accept this glad message. and when someone does, we will feel joy beyond measure in our eternal home and in this life as well. well dears, that's what i have to say today. i love you all so much and i'm grateful for all the support an sacrifice that has brought me to the point i am right now. words cannot express the thanks i feel. i hope you all have a good week. love love love. love your sister, molly

July 19th -
oh boy family...i think i went on and on and on about how awesome this place is last week so i'll just say...i feel that way time's ten. it's so hilarious...we had to go down the hill a few times this week. once to meet our new president who is totally awesome and once for a dr appt for my comp and it was like 100+ degrees each time. up here it's been a tiny bit humid and like 85...maybe 86 and oh boy, everyone up here is like oh my gosh its soooooo hoooooot!!!!!!! everyone we talk to is like oh my gosh i can't believe it's so warm. in church yesterday it ws ...probably 75...78 maybe and everyone had the air blasting. oh man...sister liston and i were just laughing our heads off. it's so not hot!!! it's like the perfect temperature but EVERyone is just throwing a fit for how "warm" it is haha. how is it in palmdale and utah? so adam and bryce were up here that's awesome! did they have a blast? do they have a boat? dad i think you would love it up here. apparently it's a private lake so i don't know if you can get on it even but..i guess since adam came up you probably can. it's so cool...it's kinda small, i'm sure there are a lot of wakeless areas but you still see people skiing and stuff ilke that. way cool. and they have a bunch of cute little shops. so cool. but anywho...enough about the scenery...we had tonz of miracles this week. i'll just tell you about one...family, friends, i exhort you to take note of this one and if you don't already(i'm sure most of you do) try to exemplify this kind of christlike love in your life and service. we met an inactive woman who hasn't been to church in years and years and years. she agreed to let us come over and teach her so we did. we brought the rs pres with us and when we got there we were asking the woman about how her brother was doing(he had just recently gotten his tonsils removed). she said he wasn't good he was in the hospital. she then was telling us what had happened and in the midst of her story she said she felt bad because her two sons, 4 and 5 had been shushed and kinda ignored in the hustle and bustle of things. she said she wished she had someone who could watch them. this is the shortened version but sister rs pres jumped to action! she called a family in the ward who had little kids and they agreed to take the boys for the day so the family could have some time to figure things out. within the hour we at the boys loaded into sister pres's car on the way to the family's home. the boys hadn't eaten lunch yet and it was like 2 in the afternoon. so what did she do? took them to macdonalds! the boys were very worried about their uncle and their mom was very worried about her brother. sister pres is "coincidentally" a nurse and was therefore able to explain to the boys that their uncle was fine. and in some detail explain to thier mom and grandma what would probably happen to him and that chances are he would be just fine. she calmed nerves and satisfied needs. without bliking an eye. later that night she went and picked up their mother and took her to the house that they had played at to introduce her to the parents. Hello! this woman hasn't EVER been to church in this ward. nobody knows her and she doesn't know anyone. does that matter? no. this is something i will never forget for as long as i live. sister telmos(the pres) didn't hesitate to do all she could to help this woman who is a daughter of our Loving Heavenly Father. that is exactly what Christ would have done had He been there in the situation. he would have calmed fears. sympathized. and solved the problem. even if it takes sacrifice on our part of time talents, monetary funds or just simple convenience, when something needs to be done and we have the capacity to do it. we should. oh boy. it was truly a miracle for if sister telmos had not come with us that day, us missionaries would have been Helpless. i'm so grateful for the chance to see that love in action. i just want everyone to ponder that situation. understand how truly miraculous that was. it humbles me. i am surrounded by people like that...not only in lake arrowhead but in my life in general. you never know the good you can do. you simply have to strive to do your best and you WILL be used as Heavenly Father wants you to be. and in the process you will be shaped, refined, and you will become a truer follower of the Lord Jesus Christ and as such you will become LIKE Him. i'm inexplicably grateful for this time in my life and for all of who you put me her. i loev you all and hope you're doing well. miracles happen everyday if we have the faith to recognize them. Love love love love and some more love love, sister molly

Til next time!!!