Thursday, May 30, 2013

05/27/13-Week 16 in Indiana [Week 6 of Transfer 3]

I am doing very well! I am struggling to remember what has even happened this week..haha. Good thing we have nifty planners that spell out what has happened. Otherwise, I would have nothing to say.
First things, first. I forgot to tell you about Cheryl and Zach coming to church last week! Well, I don't know if you remember them from the past, but they were the people who were suuuper prepared...she was the one who asked US if WE wanted to start studying with her. They loved the story of Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon. They are truly golden. But then, they got really sick. They kept on cancelling appointments and we were having a very rough time getting in touch with them. But then Sister Buckles in our ward started visiting them and working with them using DoTerra oils. And last week, they came to church!!! Ah! It was sooo exciting. Everything in church was just directed to them. The speakers, the lessons in classes, everything! In Sunday School, Sister Cordner and I were teaching about the restoration of the gospel and started to talk about when Joseph Smith saw God the Father and Jesus Christ. We recited the first vision and when we said personages, Cheryl asked us what we meant. We told her that God has a body of flesh and bones....and she was taken a back. She gasped and put her hand over her mouth and tears started coming to her eyes. She said something about it confirming an experience that she had that week. It was a very cool experience. You could tell that they both felt the spirit so very strongly. It was incredible. They are so prepared! At the end, we bore our testimonies and there were tears in the room. I have such a firm testimony of the restoration of this gospel! I know that we are the only true church on the earth. I know that we have the fullness of the gospel. I know that we have a living prophet who speaks to Jesus Christ.This church is just so true! I can't even handle it. :D
We had another cool experience this week. We taught Carol and Charlie (potentials from the past) about the restoration of the Gospel. Charlie was more closed than Carol was, but it was cool to see them change as we taught them. When I recited the first vision to Carol, tears literally came to her eyes. You could tell that the spirit spoke to her so strongly that she couldn't deny what she felt. We asked her how she felt and she said "different" (in a good way). It was incredible! We have not had someone react to the first vision that way before. But Charlie asked us 'what we were trying to do..' and we told him that we were trying to bring him closer to Jesus Christ. Throughout most of the lesson he was kind of stand-offish and would not accept much of it. But at the end, I bore my testimony of the restored gospel, and you could see him change. At the end he said "I am sorry for what I said. I can tell that you know more about things than I do." (and he is probably in his 70's). We gave them the Book of Mormon to start reading and they accepted it. It was such a great lesson! I love the power of the spirit. It can truly soften hearts and change people. Sometimes when others will not accept the message of the restored gospel, all you can do is bare a simple but powerful testimony, and the spirit can enter into their heart and change them. It is amazing!! I just love this work!
We had a funny experience the other day...we were sitting outside of Manor Care (a nursing home where we volunteer playing Bingo) and this old man walks past to go inside. A few minutes later he walks out and says "hello. What are you ladies doing here?" We told him that we were missionaries and that we volunteered playing Bingo with the old folks. Then he says "Oh! Well, I am a retired minister." He chats for just a minute, and then walks out to his car. A few minutes later, he walks back up to us and says " I just want to say one thing." Sister Cordner and I were bracing ourselves for a lot of anti-Mormon stuff, or some type of a bashing situation. But instead this old man starts to tell us a little bit of a story. He tells us that "there was this lady who is currently married to a funeral director and was talking to her friend about all of her past marriages. She said that first she was married to a banker, then she married a ring master for a circus, then she was married to a Pastor, and now she is married to a funeral director (or something along those lines). Then the friend says, wait a minute.... that sounds like... one for the money, two for the show, three to get ready, and four to go!!" Sister Cordner and I just crack up laughing. Then he says, "Well! Have a good day!!" and walks back to his car. Sister Cordner and I are laughing quite hard at this point and thinking 'what just happened?' We were not expecting that at all! Then the man drove up to us in his car and says, "most of all, Good luck with your ministry!" and drives away. We could not stop laughing....It was very funny...and very unexpected. Later that night, after we had turned out the lights for bed I whispered "one for the money.." and we both laughed and laughed. It has been quite the joke for the past couple of days. You have gotta love the people here in Indiana! They are just a hoot.
I didn't tell you about Dawnitta and Jay last week I don't think. But I was on an exchange with Sister Fullmer last week and we had a really cool experience! We were trying to contact a former investigator, and when we knocked on the door a woman came to the door and had a very confused look on her face at first, but was very friendly and invited us right in! She had a 10 year old son who came in and was going to get a ball to play with outside. She told him that he was welcome to go outside and play with his ball, but we were ladies from a church and we were going to talk about church stuff. He then decided that he wanted to stay and listen to us! (what 10 year old boy would rather listen to missionaries than play with a ball? I don't know, but he was an amazing boy!) He sat through the entire restoration quietly and very respectfully! Dawnitta was so sweet! Her and her son loved hearing about our message and were so open to it! They accepted it all. When we finished the restoration, I asked her how she was feeling, and she said "Where can I get a Book of Mormon?!" And we said, "You can have this one!" and handed ours over. It was amazing. She told us that we could definitely come back! She even told us that we could come back every day if we wanted to! When we were leaving, I committed Sister Fullmer to inviting them to baptism the next time, and yesterday I followed up with her, and Dawnitta and Jay have a baptismal date!! Dawnitta was even telling us how she wanted to be a missionary just like we were and do what we do. I don't know if any of that makes sense, but they are just amazing! Soooo prepared! :D
Then I went on two more exchanges this week. One with Sister McDowell (from Gilbert, AZ) and another with Sister Saunders from Utah. We had a lot of fun! We had some great experiences! Sister McDowell and I got lost numerous times on random dirt roads in the country, but we eventually found our way! It has been a blast getting to know all of the sisters! I have loved going on all of these exchanges..even though it is completely exhausting!!
Other than that, this week has been great! Our numbers are soaring and we are just having so much fun! I wish I had more time to tell you about other things, but time is limited. I love you all! Thank you for your help and prayers! I definitely need them.
With Love,
Sister Emilee Farr

Monday, May 20, 2013

05/20/13-Week 15 in Indiana [Week 5 of Transfer 3]

Hi and friends!

This week has been wonderful!! I love it here in the Indy 1st ward! I am learning so much from each of the people that I meet! I can't believe that I am already nearing the end of this transfer, it has just flown by! I love all of the people who we are meeting and talking with! Yesterday we were knocking on doors on Miracle Rd (cool name,huh?) and we met the nicest Catholic lady ever! -- Not saying Catholics aren't nice! They just don't usually talk to us. -- She opened the door, and we talked to her for quite a while. She told us about her family and we read a little bit out of the Family Proclamation to her. Then she talked to us about how she believed she was part of the one true church. Then we told her about Joseph Smith's first vision and the Book of Mormon all on her door step. You could tell that she felt the spirit. She said that she felt good as we talked to her, and I invited her to pray and ask God if what we shared could bless her family. She told us that she would. When we left she prayed for us and called us "Soldiers of Christ" and asked Christ to help us as we "taught the truths of Jesus Christ." It was just great! I love the people who we have met recently! The work here in Indiana is really so amazing!!

Wanda and Andrew are still progressing so quickly towards their baptismal date on June 8th! Last week we taught them about Tithing and did a fun object lesson for Andrew and Carter. We gave them 10 jelly beans in a cup and asked them to give us their "tithing" on the jelly beans. So they gave us one back. Then we read with them the scripture in Malachi where the verse talks about how there will be so many blessings that "there won't be room enough to receive it," and then we poured a bunch of jelly beans in their cup. They got really excited! haha, it was adorable. Then when we asked Wanda if she would pay her tithing, she said "Of course!" She is just too amazing! She pretty much teaches us and her children. I am so excited for her to be a member!! They are a wonderful family. We have another lesson with them tonight!

We had another cool experience following up with a guy who we met a couple of weeks ago. We went back to his house and asked him if he was able to talk with his girlfriend about having us over. He told us that he had decided that at this time, it wasn't right for him (the girlfriend had an ex-husband who was a it was a touchy subject). So, instead of just saying "Oh...okay! Well, bye!" I decided to give him the Restoration pamphlet. So I gave him the pamphlet and told him briefly about what was inside. I told him about Joseph Smith and about the Priesthood authority of God, and as I talked about it he started to flip through the pages of the pamphlet. Then I bore strong testimony about the truth of our message and he was just silent. The spirit was sooooo strong. He was just looking down at the pamphlet, and you could see that the spirit was speaking to him. We invited him to pray and to look at and we said a prayer with him, and left. It was amazing!!! When someone feels the spirit after the testimony at the end, you have to pray and get out so the spirit can continue to teach them. Oh man! It was just soo cool! It was really bold...and scary....but with Heavenly Father and the spirit guiding me, I was able to plant a seed in his heart. Ah! I just love this work!!

I gained a strong testimony about how Heavenly Father answers prayers!! Out here in Indiana, you get A LOT of anti-mormon stuff thrown at you. There are specials on TV, and series about things we do that are just not true! So the other day, someone told me that the things that they do in the Masonic temples are similar to what happens in our temple....and that Joseph Smith was a free mason. At first, that really weirded me out. I was confused and doubted a lot. I kept going back to how I knew that the Book of Mormon was true, but I just kept wondering. The way it was said made it sound like Joseph Smith just copied the Masons and started his own religion. I prayed a lot. I searched the scriptures a lot. I asked a lot of questions. And then the next day on our exchange in North Vernon, I was talking to one of the Sisters and we had both been wondering about the same thing! We had a big discussion, but couldn't figure it out. That night, I really prayed hard. I wanted to have a reconfirmation that Joseph Smith was a true prophet. That he really did restore the true church of Christ to the earth. And I didn't feel anything...I didn't have a voice come into my head..I didn't become overwhelmed with the spirit...I just kind of felt a "wait." So I tried to be patient and continue to look for his answer. Then the next day we had a correlation meeting with the ward mission leader. He is a convert of about 4 years and so before joining, he did a lot of research. Somehow the topic of free masons came up. I asked him if he knew about who they were and how they started, etc. And then he answered my prayer! The free masons started back in the time of Christ. When the priests in the temple were starting to become corrupt, the free masons climbed up the temple and would look in the windows and write down everything that they saw. Then they went and started their own practice of the things. When he explained that, it was just so much MORE of a testimony to me that Joseph Smith was and is a true prophet. The things we do in the temple have been done since the beginning of time. God IS the same yesterday, today, and forever. I know that Joseph Smith is a prophet of God. I know that he restored the truth to the earth. I know that he brought to pass the dispensation of the fullness of times in these the last days. I know that we have a living prophet today who does talk to God and Jesus Christ and receives revelation for our day and time. I am so grateful for the opportunity I have to share this gospel with so many people! Even though the majority of them reject it, I am still grateful to be a representative of my Savior Jesus Christ who died for me. 

I attached a picture of the Book of Mormon that belongs to Sister Pfieffer. I told you about her story a while back, but I actually got a picture of it! 
She had a house fire and everything around the Book was burnt to a crisp, but her Book of Mormon was barely touched. This church is just SO true!! I can't even handle it. haha. 

Anyways, this week has been great as always! I am loving the work! It is by far the hardest thing I have ever done in my life, but I know that it will be worth it. I am grateful for the experiences I will be able to share with my future children and family.

Thank you for all of your love and support! I can feel the strength of heaven all around me. Keep on reading your scriptures, having family prayer and scripture study, and going to the temple regularly! I know that as we are obedient to ALL of God's commandments, we will be blessed. God can't bless us unless we are obedient..D&C 58:21. We have to have faith to allow God to work in our life...just as it says in Ether 12: 12. God loves us and cares about each of us. I know that this gospel is true. If you aren't sure, ask God yourself! As a representative of Jesus Christ, I can promise you that He will ALWAYS answer you. But you must ask with faith and real intent (meaning you will act on your answer). Thank you all again!! I love you!

Sister Emilee Farr

Sunday, May 19, 2013

05/13/13-Week 14 in Indiana [Week 4 of Transfer 3]

Hello, all!

Sister Farr & Sister Cordner
I can't believe that I have already almost been out 4 months..that is crazy! It seems like I just barely got out here, but it also feels like I have been out here forever! Weird how time does that. The days go by slow, but the weeks go by fast. Each day feels like 3 in one. From morning to lunch feels like a day, then lunch to dinner feels like a day, and dinner to bed feels like a 3rd day! As a missionary you do so much just in one day! 
This week has been great! I went on two exchanges. My first was with Sister Howard (from Idaho) and she came to Indy 1st with me while Sister Cordner went to Bloomington with her companion. Sister Howard has only been out 2 weeks and we had lots of fun! 

However...Sister Cordner's and my exchanges always seem to start out with giant rain storms! I don't know if I told all of you about our exchange in Seymour, but it was crazy. I will tell you about Seymour first. You see, since we go on sooo many exchanges this transfer, the assistants gave us what they call "racecar mattresses." They are pretty much like the pippy-long stocking mattresses that we have in our trailer for when we go camping. They gave us that so that we don't have to sleep on the ground when we both go to an area and blitz it. So! We pulled up into the sisters' apartment in Seymour, it was lightly sprinkling. It looked like it was about to pour, so we were trying to hurry as fast as we could! We both had little suitcases, blankets, and were trying to balance the mattresses on ourselves (kind of like an umbrella from the rain) to get everything in one trip. But it starts POURing and thundering and lightening. And dear Sister Cordner is scared of thunder and lightening.... So she lets go of her suitcases and books it for the apartment complex with the mattress. So I grab her suitcase (mind you, I am now carrying 2 suitcases, a mattress, and other belongings) and try to walk as fast as I can to get inside. I will just say that we both looked like drowned rats by the time that we got inside. Aaaand, the mattresses were soaked so we ended up sleeping on the floor anyways. We pretty much failed!

So, back to this exchange with Sister Howard. We exchanged right after our 7 hour Zone Conference. And because we had been inside for 7 hours, none of us knew that there was a giant rain storm happening outside. But when we all go to the back doors to get in our cars, to our pleasant surprise, our cars are parked on the farthest side of the parking lot (a good 1/4 mile away) and it is crazy pouring outside. All of the other missionaries are standing by the door unsure of how to attack this new challenge. But Sister Howard and I look at each other and just book it across the parking lot as fast as we could! It would be an understatement to say that we were wet. When we got to the cars finally, Sister Howard went to her car and grabbed her suitcase out of the back seat...however, she had forgotten to zip it up before she flung it out.. SO everything in her suitcase came flying out all over the sopping wet ground. hahahaha. We picked it all up and finally were safe in car. We just laughed and laughed..and so did all of the other missionaries from the cover of the church building. 
Then we went tracting..yes in the rain..yes looking like drowned rats. And it was fun! We found some success and I gained some confidence in my abilities as a missionary. Maybe I can talk more than I thought I could ;) But we had lots of fun together and found some really amazing new investigators. 

Then on Saturday I went on an exchange with Sister Hansen (from Provo) and we had more fun! She has been out as long as I have and we were able to relate a lot to each other. It was cool to see her progress and mine as well. It is also interesting to see that two missionaries in the same mission can have completely different experiences. But we had an interesting lesson with a lady named Sister Osborn. They taught her a couple times, but hadn't been able to contact her, so we stopped by. We saw her outside and after asking her multiple questions, she finally let us in. We asked her about her religious beliefs and that is where the crazy started! I guess that she believes in reincarnation and she told us, "I don't want to be a tree! That would be so would just stand there. I would rather be a dolphin or something." Lets just say it was a very interesting lesson. But I love the people here in Indiana! They are lots different than Utah, but I love them soooo much!

This morning I saw my first millipede...or centipede...I don't know which one is which. But it was crawling on our wall and I was in our room wiping down our dressers and looked up and screamed bloody murder. Those things are disgusting!! Sister Carter (my 1st companion) warned me about those. Sister Cordner had to kill it...I am a wimp when it comes to bugs. But hey, that one was all hairy and nasty...and big. 

Wanda and Andrew are still doing well! They came to church yesterday and they had lots of fun! Carter is still hilarious! We were in Relief Society having a Visiting Teaching conference, and at the end the Bishop got up and said that he felt out numbered because he was the only male in the room. Then Carter stood up from the back corner and said "Hey, I am here too!" hahaha. Everyone was laughing pretty hard. He is still too scared to go to primary, but we are hoping that he will soon. Wanda has committed to live the Word of Wisdom and she is just progressing so quickly! She knows that the church is true, and she is so dedicated! I am so proud of her! :) :) I love watching her change into the person Heavenly Father has created her to be. 

Jennifer (one of our investigators we haven't been able to meet with in a while) now has a baptismal date of June 29th!! Wahoo! When she first heard the story of Joseph Smith, she said that she felt "free" like butterflies. And when she first read the Book of Mormon she said that she felt "power" and "strength" come from it. Ah! She gained her testimony so quickly!! I just love the people here! They are all so wonderful.

I attached a picture of my is getting pretty long!! I thought since Jessica and Stacy are pregnant, and they will probably send "watch me grow" pictures, I would send you pictures of my hair randomly and say "watch my hair grow." haha..yes I am a dork. But what can you say??

Then I sent pictures of more cute little goslings. 

And of Sumner and Charley the little boy and little girl whose house we do our laundry at. They are so sweet!

Well I am all out of time! I love you all! Thank you for your support!!

Sister Emilee Farr

Wednesday, May 8, 2013

05/06/13-Week 13 in Indiana [Week 3 of Transfer 3]

Happy May everyone!

This week has been realllly long and realllly fast all at once! It is weird how time can do that. I can't believe that it is already May. It seems like it should only be March...but at the same time I feel like I have been here for a really long time! I am trying to remember what happened this week. Oh! We met a man named Patrick this week. That is an experience I will never forget.

We tracted into this guy on Thursday and when he opened the door he already looked upset to see us. As we introduced ourselves and told him that we had a unique message about Jesus Christ, he looked very skeptical. Then he asked us who WE thought Jesus was. And we told him that He is our Savior and Redeemer. He is the son of God and truly the person who has done everything for us. He then drilled us on the whole Godhead/trinity thing. We told him from the very beginning that we respect the differences that he has with our beliefs, and we were going to leave. But he would not let us go, until we understood how wrong we were. From there, he rejected everything that we told him about. He bashed on Joseph Smith and the Book of Mormon....We asked him if he had ever read the Book of Mormon and he told us no. So we told him, "you know, you really can't tell us that our church is false, if you haven't even read the Book of Mormon. You may have done your research online about our beliefs, but if you have never read the actual book yourself, you can't make that claim" (something like that, but simpler and probably more polite). He alluded to the fact that he thought we were worshiping the devil and have been seriously mislead. Then Sister Cordner asked him straight-up, "So do you think we are going to hell??" and He said "Yes." Ouch. Yup, this week, I was told by a gentleman that I was going to hell because I believed in a twisted picture of the gospel. I bore my testimony to him at the end, but he just ripped it apart. It was a very hard hour. He told us that we needed to go home and read a Psalms a day and pray for God to reveal the truth to us as we read. Then when we had done that, he wanted us to come back and tell him our experiences. After walking away from his house, I have to admit I cried a little bit. It hurts pretty bad for someone to say something like that to you. I prayed a lot to Heavenly Father to strengthen me. But, I took Patrick's challenge. 

I read a Psalms the next day in my personal study. I read the first chapter of Psalms. And it talked about how the righteous are blessed. That they will bring forth fruit..kind of like "by their fruits ye shall know them." and I thought about our church, and the fruits that come from us. And not to be prideful...but we do pretty darn good! We help a lot of people. Then I prayed very fervently to my Heavenly Father that he would let me know if I was truly serving him. If I belonged to His kingdom on the earth. I decided to look for my answer in the Bible, so that I could share it with this man when we go back. And as I flipped through the pages, my eyes were caught by a verse in Matthew 10:22. It reads "And ye shall be hated of all men for my name's sake: but he that endureth to the end shall be saved." When I read that, i knew that Heavenly Father was telling me that I was on His team. I am preaching the gospel for Him. Then I read from verse 11-22 and it comforted me. It let me know that even though people will reject me and tell me that I am going to hell and essentially hate me, as long as I continue with faith, relying wholly on Him, no one can tear me down.

Lets see..other than that, this week has been pretty good! I went on an exchange in Seymour, Indiana and had some fun with Sister Mayberry. We met with some less active people and a person who has been meeting with missionaries for over 40 years (Sister Malone). When we were at her house, I ended up just boldly asking her, "Sister Malone, why aren't you a Mormon??" She then said to us, "I don't feel worthy to be one of you." We asked her why, and she explained that she drank Coffee and she knew that we didn't. So we mentioned the Word of Wisdom. She said that she knows that body is a temple and that we need to take care of it, but she didn't understand why we would eat sugar, fat, cholesterol, and such, if we can't have bad stuff. But I just told her that really what it comes down to is if Joseph Smith is a prophet. Then she paused and said..."Well, I struggle with that too." Bingo!! Sometimes you just have to be bold as a missionary to find the concern as quickly. Asking inspired questions is key to being a missionary.

We also had a really amazing turning point with a part-member family here. I was on exchanges with two sisters here in my area, while Sister Cordner was at a meeting. The husband is not a member, and the other day I stopped by on an exchange with other sisters. We talked with him for a little bit. I testified to him that the reason we keep coming back is that we know that the gospel can bless him and his family. I testified to him about eternal families and the sealing power. He told us that he really admired what we do and that he loves us..but he just doesn't know if he is ready. I asked him what he thought he needed to do to be ready. Then he paused...and thought about it for a second...and then said "I don't know." Then I invited him to pray with his wife and ask Heavenly Father if the message that we share could bless his family and if this is the right time. Then he went inside and got his wife to come out and pray with us. You could see that he felt the spirit when we were testifying, and the spirit was softening his heart. I told him that they could pray privately together, or we could pray together now. He asked me if I would say a prayer for them together now. So we all held hands and we bowed our heads in prayer. After the prayer, he was crying a little bit. I could tell that he felt the spirit, but he just said that it had been a rough week in their family. They said that they didn't know if they wanted the lessons now, but I know that it was a very big turning point in their family progression. I am so grateful for the power of the spirit! Without it, missionary work would be pretty much impossible.

A tradition that Sister Cordner and I have started is playing the ABC game as we drive to exchanges (as each area is over an hour away). But we play it that you have to think of a principle from the Restoration, or Plan of Salvation that starts with that letter. For example, the Plan of Salvation could be A-Adam, B-Baptism, C-Creation, D-Death, etc. It is lots of fun! It reminds me of when I was a little kid and would do that on road trips. But now it is gospel centered! Yes, we are nerds. 

Also, it is finally spring here in Indiana!! And the Geese are having cute little goslings!! I have attached a picture of them crossing the street :) 

 They are the CUTEST things ever. We see them almost daily, and we still slow down and oogle over them. They bring us so much joy inside! Also, I attached a beautiful picture of the green scenery here.

Anyways, I have to go, I am out of time! I love you all! I appreciate all of your prayers and help. I can definitely feel them strengthening me! I wouldn't be able to do any of this work without my Savior Jesus Christ and his Atonement. I know that He loves me and that he is always watching out for me. He knows my struggles, and he is always reaching out to help. I just love this gospel!!! :D

With love,
Sister Emilee Farr