Tuesday, March 17, 2015

I have not only returned home, but I have returned to my pre-mission blog!
If you wish to continue to follow me as I journey through life, just follow this link.
Mind you, that blog needs a serious re-design. I'll get there. :)
Love you all!
(AKA Sister Monroe)

Monday, January 12, 2015

Called to know the richness of His blessings

I cannot accurately or eloquently express the feelings of my heart at this time, but I will share with all of you some of my thoughts and feelings.
My mission is literally the best thing that has ever happened to me. I can honestly say that this has been not only the best 18 months of my life, but the best 18 months for my life.
As I sat entered the Nauvoo temple for our departing temple trip, I was completely overwhelmed with a feeling of peace. It has continued through this week as I've began to say goodbyes, as I've left my testimony with our investigators, and especially today as I began packing my bags. I know that while I am imperfect, I was called here by my loving Father in Heaven, and that I have fulfilled my calling. I know that in a couple days, I will have finished all that He sent me here to do.
In the time that I have been on my mission, I have learned so much. I have come to understand true service, true love, and true joy. I have come to know my Savior, and seen and felt his atonement take full effect in my life as I strive to help and teach others to do the same. I have come to know the reality of Heavenly Father's hand being in the very details of our everyday lives. I have learned how to listen to the Spirit of the Holy Ghost, and seen the miracles both big and small that come as I follow its quiet promptings.
I could go on and on. I feel so full, so changed, and so happy. I have truly been blessed in ways that I could never have anticipated, and for that I am eternally grateful to my Father in Heaven.

I love each of you so much. Thank you for helping me get here and stay here.

I close with my mission scripture:
Alma 29: 9
 I know that which the Lord hath commanded me, and I glory in it. I do not glory of myself, but I glory in that which the Lord hath commanded me; yea, and this is my glory, that perhaps I may be an instrument in the hands of God to bring some soul to repentance; and this is my joy.
 And behold, when I see many of my brethren truly penitent, and coming to the Lord their God, then is my soul filled with joy; then do I remember what the Lord has done for me, yea, even that he hath heard my prayer; yea, then do I remember his merciful arm which he extended towards me.

How great is my calling! How great is my joy!
-Sister Alex Monroe

My incredible mission President and his incredible wife. I love them so very much.

Monday, January 5, 2015

I love this place so much!!!

This week sure was eventful! Let me just tell you some of the things that happened;
Sister Heathcock hit her 3 month click day! My baby girl is growing up so fast! I love her so much!
We spent new years eve with, guess who.. the Raisors. Cory, who is a physical therapist had actually had his torn meniscus operated on the day before, so he was not doing so well. Basically we spent the evening with Crystal and the kids. Cory is doing a ton better now, but has a long way to go and is still in plenty of pain, so if you wouldn't mind praying for him, he would sure appreciate it. :) Anyway, It was a fun night. No, we did not stay up, we were in bed by 10:30.  Missionaries gotta sleep!
Thursday we had a good district meeting, and later that night we had dinner with this couple in our ward, the Zieglers. brother Ziegler is a chef, and made us PRIME RIB for dinner. OH, and dessert was served in chocolate bowls, topped with chocolate pearls. So awesome. We felt very loved- and full!
Friday night we met Justin and Hayleigh for a late dinner. It was good. I love Them. Unfortunately, they will not be getting baptized this week, and it doesn't look like it'll be anytime too soon. They need to get married, and satan is trying to make that as difficult as possible. They just need some time to grow in faith. We will keep working with them for the time being, and try to help them! Please pray for them.
Saturday, I HIT MY 18 MONTH MARK!!! What!?!? We had dinner with our landlord's family, the Morgans. They are so sweet. They are catholic, and always tell us what an incredible thing we are doing, and how much they admire us. Again, I felt so loved.After dinner, we went to a members house, the Saints, to teach their grandson, Quinnell. He is the sweetest, most intelligent, most prepared 9 year old boy I've ever met. He is living with his "Nana and Papa" right now, and has been coming to church and reading scriptures everyday for 2 months. He is like a little sponge, it's amazing, he retains everything he's learning- and he believes all of it. We taught the restoration, and when we asked him if he would be baptized, he said "Yup!" Haha, kids are the best! They are so close to the spirit. We also set a tentative date for valentine's day. :) Pray for him!

I love you all so much. I can't believe how this time is flying by. I feel so blessed every day.
See you all in a week and a half!
-Sister Monroe

 Fried alligator! It tastes like chicken and fish together. Pretty interesting!

 Prayed, went to the bathroom, and came back to this on my bed. My companion is so cute.
She got me a sunstone necklace for my 18 month click day. :)

 We woke up to this beautiful sight on Sunday morning.
Luckily we made it to church without any trouble!

This is what it looks like right now. The snow went for about 5 hours
this afternoon, and left a thick, slippery blanket on everything.

Monday, December 29, 2014

O, Holy Night

Merriest Christmas and Happiest New Year everyone!!

I hope each of you had a wonderful Christmas. I sure did. We spent the day with some of our favorite families. We got to sleep until 8:00!!! We had a crepe and waffle breakfast at the Evans with Justin and Hayleigh, spent some time playing games with some of our friends from the first ward, Skyped our sweet families, ate lunch at the Petersen's, stopped by the Saunders, then ended the day with dinner and games at the Raisor's. It was so merry and wonderful. There was zero snow, but in my heart it was a beautiful white Christmas. I am just so happy, and so loved and so blessed.

Things are going well for us otherwise. Justin and Hayleigh are doing well. They are reading praying, and working on getting married. Hayleigh received a really incredible answer to prayer, just after our lesson on Monday, during which she had expressed genuine frustration about not receiving answers to her prayers. It was really incredible. There are some things standing in their way, but I know that with faith and action, they will be able to overcome the stumbling blocks that satan has placed in their path.
Please pray for them, that they will be able to get married and be baptized as soon as possible. We are still shooting for the 10th of January.

It is so strange to be at the end of my mission. I love it so much.
I also love all of you, my sweet family and friends. It won't be long until I am home and can se and hug all of you!

Have a wonderful week and New Year celebration.
All my love,
Sister Alex Monroe

 Sister Boone (aka Sharon- she's been home for two months) sent me this. So many inside jokes.
I love her. I laughed so hard I cried when I opened it.

 Justin and Hayleigh made us this candy santa sleigh. So cool and cute and delicious!
 My Christmas morning gifts. I felt so loved. Thank you to the various angels
who sent me things. Not pictured is a really cute scarf/cowl and snowflake
headband that Abby sent me. (I was wearing them. Haha.)

 This picture was taken at the Petersens. Merry Christmas!

 That's mama Petersen. She's not looking. :)
We spent the the evening with the Raisors. When we got there and walked into the kitchen, baby Robby (aka icepawn) was fast asleep like this on the kitchen counter. Isn't he so cute?

Monday, December 22, 2014

He is the Gift

Wow, what a week. Christmas has come so fast! This week I get to talk to my sweet family face to face- well, as close as we'll get to face to face for a few weeks! :)

Not to much has happened this week. Coolest thing though- Justin and Hayleigh's lesson on Monday was so awesome. We taught them the law of chastity, which is important for them because they are not married. It went really well, and then they really wanted to know what the other things were that they would need to change before being baptized, so we taught them about the word of wisdom and the law of tithing also. We taught all three big commandments in ONE LESSON- and they were totally fine with it! They committed to live all them! Wooooooo!!! We were so happy. They are so prepared! Please pray that they will be able to get married soon so that they can get baptized on January 10th.

We had a really great Christmas sacrament meeting yesterday, followed in the evening by a wonderful Christmas concert presentation put on by the Nauvoo mission. President and Sister Jensen are in town, and came to that. I love getting to see them randomly when they are in Nauvoo.

I've been especially touched this week by the miracle of Christ's birth and life. I love Christmas as a missionary, because while a lot of people seldom think of Christ through the year, basically the entire world thinks about and celebrates Him for this holiday season. Not everyone understands that He is "the reason for the season," but they are celebrating Him nonetheless. The spirit of Christmas is really just the spirit of Christ, and to feel that so often and from all around is such an incredible thing. As a missionary, it means even more to me, because I spend all the time thinking about and loving my Savior, and this week I get to show that love by helping others find it.
What an amazing gift I have been given. It is such a privilege to serve as a missionary, a representative of my Savior.

I love you all so much! Do me a favor, and even if you've seen it multiple times, go to christmas.mormon.org and watch "He is the Gift"
Have a wonderful CHRISTmas!!!
-Sister Monroe

 A sweet Christmas package from Ev. So awesome!

 This is my absolute favorite thing. Confession- I actually love everything about winter,
all except driving on ice, but beside that, I thrive on Winter weather. Anyway,
this is my very favorite, when it snows actual little delicate, gorgeous snowflakes.
It only falls like this every once in a while. It blows me away how pretty it is every time.


 A cute Christmas package from my sweet cousin Jen! How happy!

Monday, December 15, 2014

Silent Night, Holy Night

I cannot believe this. I come home a month from tomorrow.
This week had a lot of happiness in it, and also a lot of bitter sweetness.
I attended my last zone conference- my last one. How crazy is that? It was our Christmas zone conference, which I loved. We had a session of training as usual, but then we had a Christmas style meal- turkey, potatoes, stuffing, cranberry sauce. It was followed by each district in the two zones in attendance doing a Christmas and/or Book of Mormon skit, they were all really funny.  Then we watched the movie Ephraim's Rescue, and afterward sang a few Christmas hymns. I was totally happy and fine until we closed with Silent Night. As we sang the first verse, it hit me that this was my last zone conference, and Christmas as a missionary. Tears ran down my cheeks as I thought of last Christmas in Cedar Falls, and how it felt like I had an eternity left on my mission, and as I reflected on how much I've been tested, tried, and grown in this year and a half. It was such a tender moment for me. It ended with us opening little gift bags from President and Sister Jensen- so sweet.
It was a good day.

Justin and Hayleigh are doing well, they came to church yesterday! This week we taught about the ten commandments, and then later in the week we went on a tour of Carthage jail with them, just the 4 of us. It was wonderful. They are still struggling to receive answers to prayers, please pray that they will recognize their answers!

We taught seminary today, and are teaching it again tomorrow, and we will end p-day early today so we can go to the temple this week. (It's closed on Mondays) It is pretty exciting. :)

I love you all so so much. See you in one month!
-Sister Monroe
 Did you know that the temple is extra incredible looking at Christmas time?
Such gorgeous decorations.

Sometimes we just like to take random selfies. :)

Monday, December 8, 2014


Hello all! Is it all Christmas cheery where you are yet, because it sure is here, and I LOVE this time of year. My heart is just so happy! This week was fun, we had a lot of random things going on.

Monday was not p-day, but we did find out that we are in fact staying together for my last six weeks, finishing Sister Heathcock's training. We were basically sure of that anyway, but it was happy news. We also had a good lesson with Justin and Hayleigh that night. They are doing so good. Please continue to pray for them. We will begin teaching them about the commandments this week. Don't get me wrong- I love the commandments, but they require quite a bit of faith and repentance , so pray extra that they will be willing to change, and that they'll recognize the blessings they receive as they do.

Wednesday we went to the temple with our district, and said goodbye to Sister Browne and Elder Bell. So weird that they are gone. We have an awesome new zone leader and an awesome new sister training leader though, so that's exciting.

Thursday was the Carthage Christmas open house (see pictures). We just showed the amazing new video "He Is The Gift" and gave out flyers for Nauvoo Christmas events, pictures of Christ, He is the gift cards, oh, and popcorn. :) It was a lot of fun, and quite a few people came in. Oh, and if you haven't watched the video, go to christmas.mormon.org and watch it ASAP it is incredible.

Friday night was Christmas in Old Nauvoo, which we also went to and that was really fun. They had a great live nativity, and I ran into 3 families from my other areas.

Saturday we got to see a concert of selections from Handel's Messiah. It was beautiful.

Yesterday was actually really rough, but it turned out alright. Morning was strange, I just felt sad. Then, before church started, we had a really sad interaction with a sister who the sisters reactivated this summer. At the start of sacrament meeting I felt overwhelmed, burdened down. Even after the sacrament- which has come to mean everything to me, I was still just struggling. I cried through the whole hour- like three tissues worth. It was weird though, as soon as we got up and left the chapel I was fine. I felt a good bit better. I feel like I was able to just hand it over to my Savior. It took some tears and sorrow, but then I was done. So, one of the most life changing principles I've learned on my mission became real to me again. The principle: put it on the altar. It doesn't matter what it is, if we are suffering in any way, physically, emotionally, or spiritually, it has already been covered by the atonement of Jesus Christ, and if we put it on the spiritual altar of sacrifice- give it to Him, and submit our will to His, He will take it. He will comfort, uplift, and help us. My duty is to help others come unto Christ, so they can experience this same thing.
How great is my calling.

Have a wonderful, Christ- centered week.
All my love, Sister Monroe

 Thanks to one of our awesome members, Sister Saunders who owns a music/ dance studio on Carthage town square, and the empty space next to it, we got to participate in the annual Carthage Christmas open house- it's a huge deal here. Over 1,500 people usually come, and everyone just walks around to the businesses on the square for free food and Christmas activities, santa comes, there's a drawing, the whole bit... We were so happy. 

 Meet the Raisor kids! Pink coat- Charity, cute little boy- Michael, Pink hat- Kaylie, little pink polka dot coat- Kennady. Baby Robby (who we call icepawn- it's a random story) is not pictured.

 He is the Gift. Bonus- that's Crystal and Cory Raisor. No, Sister Raisor is not picking her nose- we thought that timing was pretty funny though.

An awesome package from my sweet friend who I met in Dubuque. I love you Sheri!