Monday, August 4, 2014

08/04/14 - Week 77-Final Week! {Week 6 of Transfer 13} "Goodbyes"

Hi family and friends :D

I am overwhelmed with feelings about thinking that this week is my last week as a full-time missionary here in the Ohio Cincinnati mission. Time has gone by so quickly, but also slowly. I think that time is pleated. It looks short from behind, but when you think of all that has happened, it opens up and you realize how long it has been. I have changed and grown so much on my mission. My mission president says that I really have been "born again." I have relied so much on my Savior through every day and hour. He has truly become my best friend. I call out to Him each day so many times, that I can't number it. I know He loves me and all of you so much.

This week we pushed and pushed. We didn't have some crazy numbers to end my mission, but we worked as hard as we could. We had some really neat things happen through God's grace. There was one evening that we needed to find another new investigator to reach our goals. We were going to contact a referral, and were walking down the street. I saw a lady outside smoking, (as missionaries, you talk to everyone) so I said a little prayer and told Heavenly Father that I would talk to her if he kept her outside. And sure enough, she stayed out. We went up and started a conversation that turned out really good. We are going back to teach her this week! {well...the sisters who will be here....}.

Then last night, we again needed one more new investigator to meet our weekly goal of 7 new investigators. It was 8:48pm and we didn't have any idea where to go. We had the thought to go see a family, so we drove over to the area. As we were driving by, I saw a few people outside that we had talked to briefly before, but never had much of a gospel conversation. We drove past the house of the family we were going to see, and all of the cars were gone. So we thought, "Okay Heavenly Father, you sent us over here to find someone, but who is it?" I thought again of the people I saw outside, so we decided to park and walk over. It was a really good conversation! It flowed really well, and it wasn't awkward!! How awesome is that?? [It doesn't happen too often as a missionary]. We have an appointment to see them this week too! God blessed us with 2 new investigators instead of just 1 new. He is amazing. I have learned that He is always in control. If you will just follow what He asks you to do, then He will provide the way to do it. Just like it says in 1 Nephi 3:7. The Lord doesn't give you a commandment without providing a way that you can accomplish it.

Deanna is doing great! She came to church last week with her two little boys and we were nervous she didn't like it because it was hectic with all of the kids. But she told us that she really enjoyed it! We invited her to be baptized at the end of this month and she is working to quit smoking. She got a priesthood blessing last night, so it shouldn't be a problem :) She is such an amazing lady! She went to brunch by herself to a members home with some other members. {again, that doesn't happen very often}. It was great! Then she had another lesson and dinner at the same members home last night. And we will have a lesson tonight at their home. She is so excited about everything, and so am I! :D She prayed for someone to come talk to her, and we showed up. God is amazing. That's all I can say.

Well that is all the time I have. :( But, this is my final testimony that I emailed in for our mission newsletter:

~~My mission has changed me in ways that I never thought were possible. I know that this is the Lord's work and He is in charge. I am privileged to have been able to serve Him. We are changing eternities as we share what we know with our brothers and sisters. Never give up and never look back. Move forward with your face towards the Son, and the shadows will fall behind you. This is the Lord's kingdom. We have all of the truth. We have a living prophet today and as we listen to him and our leaders, we will never go astray. I love this church and this gospel. I have become a more dedicated disciple of Jesus Christ and I will continue that discipleship the rest of my life. All that you have to do is do your best, the Lord will always take care of you. Let Him mold you and change you. Just like my Dad always told me, "Winds of adversity that snuff out a match, only make a torch burn brighter." So let your torch burn within you and we will light up the world!~~

I love you all so much! I will see you soon :D

Lots of Love,
Sister Farr

07/28/14 - Week 76! {Week 5 of Transfer 13} " ~ ~ Fish~~"

Hey :D

It was a good week! It was full of obstacles to overcome (which is to be expected since we had a baptism), but we made it!! :D So we went fishing this 10am...for was a great adventure! We caught some blue gill fish, then 2 huge bass, and a snapping turtle!!! It was quite the experience. I will have some videos to show you that are too big to email. It was tons of fun. Sister Diana Anderson has a pond in her backyard and let us come and fish in it. We had hot dogs we were using and then we used some crawdads that we caught in the stream. I thought Dad would be proud of that :) haha. It really was fun though.

 But also, for the past year and a half I have been fishing the whole time. Just being a fisher of men. I am so privileged to have been in the service of our Heavenly Father. This work is amazing. It is the most rewarding work in the world. I am excited to finish off this last week and then to continue serving him for the rest of my life. There is still so much to be done before our Savior comes again. We need to "catch" as many of our brothers and sisters as we can. Our Father in Heaven wants them to be able to return home to Him.
As you were all wondering....yes, Janet got baptized this weekend! And it was amazing. It was stressful to get everything done. We had a mix up with the interview and spent most of Thursday calling people and stressing out.  But God worked it all out, and she is a member of the Kingdom of God now! Her husband came to the baptism and it was amazing. After she was baptized she looked up, clapped her hands, and said, "Thank you Jesus!" She has been so excited all week for this day. She was beaming all day at church after her confirmation. She is so excited to be a part of this gospel. Her husband talked with us a little bit after the baptism and told us that it probably wouldn't be long before he was coming around. {And at the beginning of this journey, he told Janet he didn't want any part in it.} He came to church yesterday with her for her confirmation, and we have an appointment with them on Saturday! I am so excited for her and her husband. They will be sealed in the temple in no time.

We also had a neat experience finding a new investigator. We saw her for the first time last Sunday taking in groceries as we were talking with her neighbor. We offered to help, but she declined. She looked so tired and worn out. It stuck with me. The next day, I saw her driving down the street, and thought, "We have to go talk to her." So on Monday evening, one of our appointments fell through, and so we went to her apartment. We knocked, and she let us right in. When we explained how we felt lead to go and talk to her, she teared up. During our next appointment, she told us that she had prayed that someone would come and talk to her.....and then we showed up. God is soooooo amazing! She is a single mom of two little boys, and is so sweet. Her older boy is so sweet! And he likes me too :) I guess he likes girls with long hair, and so since the first day, he has been my bud. On Sunday morning, people were falling through to come to church. We had the thought to stop by her home. We did, and she accepted to come. We picked her up and she came! Within a week of finding her, she came!!!! Maybe that doesn't seem crazy to any of you, but in Hebron, that is a rare happening. She is amazing. It was a stressful experience in some of the meetings with her kids, but the ladies in the ward were so sweet to help her. I can definitely tell she has lots of potential in the gospel. Keep praying for her too! :D

Other than that, we had a pretty normal week. We stopped by lots of people, talked with lots of people, went on Exchanges with Sister Webb and Jenkins, mowed a lawn, made cookies for know, the normal every day missionary life. There is still lots to do here before I go. We are having another mission leadership council on Friday, and I am sooo happy I get to be here for another one of them. You are just so inspired and uplifted. I again am so grateful for my mission. I am a different person because of it. I am still my quiet, quirky self, but I have a much stronger testimony and desire to follow our Savior.

Keep your faith strong! Walk forward, and don't look back.

I love you all!
 - Sister Farr

07/21/14 - Week 75! {Week 4 of Transfer 13} "FROG"

Hello :)

So I held a little frog this week! It was like those cute tree frogs that you see on all of the was bright lime green! I loved it! We were on exchanges (I was with Sister Blackburn) and we were following up with a former investigator. As we talked, she said that there was a frog stuck to her outside brick wall! So Sister Blackburn climbed up some steps and poked it. It flew right off! And we caught it :D It was slimy and so cute! Her kids came out and we got to let it go in their garden. I have never held a frog like that before. Her family was so sweet, they aren't interested in learning more right now, but one day they will be, I can tell! :D

The OTHER reason why Frog was the title was because the other week we met "Brother FROG" But as he put it, F.R.O.G = Fully Rely on God. That is exactly what we have had to do all week this week! But we are seeing so many blessings come. We found 12 new investigators and had 3 people at church. It has been hard to get people to come to church in this area, but God is helping us to change that pattern. Slowly, but surely!

We are so excited for this upcoming weekend. Our investigator, Janet, is getting baptized! She moved in the day I got here 2.5 months ago and she is so prepared. We met her when she was moving in and offered to help her. We had some brief chats with her for a few weeks and then one week she stopped us. She talked about how she has noticed that the people in our congregation are very much different than any other she has met. She had been to lots of different churches, but since moving here she has had a lot of contact with our church and noticed a difference. SHE asked US if she could learn. (!!) Within 6 weeks of starting to teach her, she is getting baptized! Her husband was very against it at first. He said he would never get baptized or convert. He told her she better not convert either. But this past week at church she talked to us about how his heart is softening. She talked to him about wanting to get baptized, and he was actually okay with it! He has been asking her questions about church and things. He said, as long as they don't worship that prophet guy, then I am okay with it. She then asked him if he would like to watch a movie about Joseph Smith so he could understand him better. So she showed him the "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" movie on YouTube. He is being prepared. We have been praying for him and we are excited to see how he starts to progress. He is going to come to her baptism and confirmation next week also! God has softened his heart in amazing ways! So.......... he should be joining the church soon too. :) The Lord worked miracles for her and her family. She told us at church yesterday that she has complete peace about the whole thing. No matter what we teach or she learns, she accepts it. She said that this church is the missing piece she has needed her whole life. She loves the Book of Mormon and all it teaches. She is the most prepared person I have ever taught. I feel so privileged to be able to teach her more and be a part of her conversion process. :D

We had a crazy cool thing happen on Friday of this last week. It was the day I was with Sister Blackburn and we were trying to reach our goal to find a new investigator that day. The night before, when I was going to sleep, a name popped into my head of a lady we met earlier in the week that we should see the next day. As we were driving around I remembered her, so we headed over. She had offered to cut our hair (since she is going through hair school) and we decided to take her up on it. We went by, and she just pulled up from school. We talked with her for a while and set up an appointment for next Monday to come and get our hair trimmed, but I wasn't sure how to bring up the church again in a smooth way. So I said a prayer and asked Heavenly Father for something to come up. As we talked with her, her daughter came up and started chatting with us too. She had at T-shirt on....and there was just something about it that kept drawing my eye. the top of it said "Need Answers? Ask God!" So we commented on the shirt, and she said "I don't even know where I got it. I just threw it on today." As I kept reading, the scripture reference at the bottom was...........................James 1:5. (<---no way!!). Heavenly Father is so amazing! So it was an easy transition into the restoration of the gospel. We explained that it was because of that scripture that our church was started. We went on to explain the first vision, and it was an incredible experience! Both her and her daughter were glued. She is excited to learn more and so is her daughter! I am really excited about their family :)

We are also really excited about Camill and Alyssa and their Dad. They are the two girls who got baptized a month or so ago. Their dad was learning for a while, but then messaged us and said he didn't want to learn anymore. Well, this week, he saw us outside and stopped us. He said that he has noticed the difference since he hasn't been praying and reading. Everything has gotten hectic for them. He told us that he wants to learn again, because he knows it is what he needs :) We are beyond excited! He is such a sweet dad to them and he is prepared to hear the gospel. Keep praying for them! And for their mom's heart to be softened :)

This work is incredible! I love being able to share this gospel with people each day. My mission has taught me so many amazing lessons. Things that would have taken me years to learn, you learn in 6 weeks out here. I am so thankful to my Heavenly Father for allowing me to serve for him at this time. This is not just a church. This is the Kingdom of God on earth. And He is the King. I love this church. I know that it is true. No matter what doubts I have, He clears them up, every time. I hope you all have a wonderful week full of joy and happiness! 

Sister Farr 

p.s. We ran out of paper we took our goodies to people in old pizza boxes :) When you are a missionary, sometimes you have to be creative ;)

07/14/14 - Week 74! {Week 3 of Transfer 13} "People Can Change!"

Hi :D
So today it hit me that I will be home in about 3 weeks. I don't even know what has happened to this transfer. It has just flown by! Time is running out. I just want to shove everyone in our car and make them all get baptized and take them to the temple! haha just kidding. I know I can't do that. I just love this gospel and I know how much it is going to change people's lives!

We are working with our neighbor to be baptized on the 26th of this month! She is so prepared! She has been to church 3 times, has read up to 1 Nephi 17, has a testimony of the prophet Joseph Smith... :D Each time that we come over to teach her, she is just so open. She came to church yesterday and we had a really deep lesson on the priesthood in Relief Society. I was really nervous about it and if she would understand. A lot of deep doctrine came up and I wasn't sure how she would take it. But I kept reminding myself that God knew she would be there that day and he would take care of it. And sure enough, when we followed up, she was just fine with it all. She loves coming to church and all of the people there. She is just so prepared. She has such an open mind and heart. She has gone through so much in her life, and it has all prepared her to accept the gospel. We just have to teach her everything and she is ready! We are so excited for her. We just have to win the heart of her husband. He isn't as excited about it all. But she has talked about how the more that she has learned and come to church, he has been getting curious about it and has asked her questions. So hopefully we can slowly win him over!

We saw a crazy change in this father that we are teaching. The first time that we went over, he was pretty argumentative about the Book of Mormon. He had read some of it before and had some missionaries over...which he pretty much scared off. He asked questions about why certain things were the way they were in the Book of Mormon. For example why it says "the lamanites had a skin of blackness" verses a skin of darkness. He backed up his opinion with lots of things and when you would try to explain that it could mean different things, he wouldn't accept it. So we were worried to go back and teach him more. We rescheduled appointments for multiple weeks, and were about to give up. But this past week, we finally got in. We had been doing a lot of research on the word black and everything, and so we tried to have a simple, non-argumentative answer. When we went in, we started to explain that black would be representative because black means "no light" and Christ is the light of the world, so they had no Christ in them. We talked about how the word black in Hebrew means confusion. And some more. But he still was having a hard time. So I decided to say a prayer and ask God to help us out. I knew nothing would happen if the spirit was driven away. I thought of the scripture where it said that you shall not be confounded before men...and I felt pretty confounded. And as we sat there, I had ideas start coming into my head. Eventually it lead to a discussion about how the people knew Hebrew, but wrote in Egyptian because it was more condensed. And for some reason, that just clicked...and his whole demeanor changed. The spirit touched him and he knew that was true. It was so crazy! We saw them again this week and in his prayer at the end he thanked God for sending us and helping his family come closer to Him. Sister Bowers and I have been blown away from how it has changed. Just like it says in Preach My Gospel, "when the Spirit touches hearts, hearts are changed." God has changed Him. :)

This week has been a wonderful one. We have met a lot of neat people and seen many miracles as always. We met some drunk people, held an adorable little dog, got caught in the rain again (but not as bad), crawled through know, the usual missionary stuff. It was lots of fun. We are working hard and expecting miracles! God has been blessing us so much and all we can do is follow what he asks us to do. We were able to meet almost every single one of our goals this week! Every one!! It was so neat. His grace is sufficient, and he will deliver you. I love the people here in Kentucky and Indiana. I love my mission! I am eternally grateful to God for allowing me to serve. I will see you all so soon. I can't believe I am almost done, but I am going to work as hard as I can.
This gospel is so true, I can't even handle it! :D

I send my love,
Sister Emilee Farr