Monday, November 25, 2013

I Love to See the Temple!

Hello friends and family! This week was an exciting one. I am grateful to be serving in Cedar Falls with Sister Boone, and today starts six more weeks here together! We are continuing to see miracles, and I feel so blessed to be even a tiny part of Heavenly Father's plan for so many of His precious children.

One of this week's miracles was that we were finally able to see Mick again, after a month! The lesson went so great. We taught the Plan of Salvation, and as we did there was such an incredible spirit there with us. It is such a gift to bear your testimony, and be able to see it affect someone as you speak. We invited him to be baptized on December 21st, which he accepted! So exciting! He did express a concern about not knowing what he wants in life, and not being 100% sure or ready about baptism. I took the opportunity to bear my testimony, and for a moment I could feel the spirit helping me say the words that would touch his heart, and see him receiving them with joy. When I was finished speaking, he said, "Sister Monroe, is it?" - yes "I'm gonna hire you to sell RVs." Oh man, it was funny, and so sweet. I told him that I don't have a testimony of RVs, so I probably wouldn't be good at it! Mick is such a cool guy. I am so excited for him. He has been through so much, and come out an honorable, humble person. I know the gospel will bless him so much. He is calling his friend who introduced him to the sisters in Boise this week to see if he would be able to come baptize him. Please pray for Mick, that he will read the Book of Mormon, pray about it and baptism, and receive answers to his prayers. Oh, and be baptized on December 21st.

We have not been able to see Brandy this week, but have been texting her a lot. She is doing well, and still on track to be baptized on the 21st of Dec. as well. Pray that she will!

Angie is also doing well, still praying about and working toward baptism on December 28th. This week, we challenged her to quit coffee. We were able to get her some Pero to replace it, so hopefully that will help! We will be teaching tithing this week, which she doesn't have a good understanding of, so we pray that she will have a soft heart and open mind as we teach. She is still reading the Book of Mormon, which is great! Please pray that she will be baptized on Dec. 28th.

On Saturday, we got up at 4:20, went to a member's house, and got a 3-hour ride to Nauvoo! We were blessed with this opportunity to join our ward on the ward temple trip. We attended the 9 am session, with our members, and it was so wonderful. It was so nice to be there with people we knew, and the session was just incredible. We had a short outdoor fireside with the temple president and his wife, and a luncheon at the nearby stake center. Despite the 12 degree weather with a nasty cold wind, it was a gorgeous day. The Nauvoo temple has such a special, incredible spirit, and is so gorgeous. I am so grateful for the temple, and will miss it for 6 more months until I can go again!

We have a dinner appointment for thanksgiving with the Willsons, who are incredible. I love them. So, it should be a great day, and week. Hopefully I just don't freeze in this snow!  I love you and miss you all, especially my sweet new niece Adelaide. :) Congratulations, Abby and Jesse!!!

-Sister Monroe

(alex sent this below in addition- for all you who read this and are thinking of a christmas missionary package)

Here is some info that came in the e-mail from President this week. Feel free to tack it on to my post! Oh, and please tell Shawna I got her package this morning, and I am so grateful.

 Christmas Packages: TODAY IS THE DAY!!!!!  Email your parents with this information regarding Christmas Packages! Since there are no transfers during the month of December, please have your family and friends send your Christmas packages directly to your apartment.  On November 25th, inform your family of your current address and tell them to send your packages to that address.  We strongly recommend using Priority Mail, as there is always a chance of an emergency transfer.  Again, we remind you that packages sent Priority Mail or 1st Class are the only packages that can be forwarded.  Packages sent “Standard Post” or “Parcel Post” cannot be forwarded, and UPS and FedEx do NOT offer forwarding service.  Remember that most items ordered on line are sent via UPS or Fed Ex.  Zone Conferences start on December 10th, and that is the last chance a package has to get to you before Christmas if we cannot forward it.  Any package that arrives at the Mission Office after December 9th that cannot be forwarded will not get to you until Transfers on January 2, 2014.  We know how important your packages are to you, and we try our best to get them to you as quickly as possible.  However, the number of packages that cannot be forwarded is becoming difficult to manage.  PLEASE, PLEASE tell your family and friends to use Priority Mail and follow the instructions provided above.

Again, our apt. is: 2610 College st. #2 Cedar Falls, IA 50613


 During one of our visits with Sister Dunigan this week, I gave her a chapter to
read written on a mustache post-it. She put it on, so I did too, and we
took a picture. She is SO funny, and loves us so much.

 House of the Lord, Holiness to the Lord.

 Joseph and Hyrum's last ride. This is such a cool statue.
The spirit of the prophet is so incredible here.

 So gorgeous.

 The beautiful Nauvoo temple, you can see me if you just zoom in! :)

 I love the sunstones.

Famous Nauvoo fudge, it was delicious.

Monday, November 18, 2013

A little snow, a lot of blessings!

Wow- SO many miracles this week! Sister Boone and I were blessed to find not one, but 2 new investigators. I feel so blessed to be a part of this work, and especially to be in this area!

The first new investigator was definitely unexpected. Wayne has been in the hospital, unfortunately, but is okay, and headed home today or tomorrow. Because of this, his sister, Julie has been helping and staying with Angie. We went over the day after Wayne went to the hospital, met Julie, and got talking. Before we knew it, she was pouring her heart out to us and weeping as we shared the plan of salvation. I can't express how strong the spirit was- wow! She said she'd read the book of mormon, and Angie volunteered to read from the beginning with her- So awesome! We met with her a second time, taught the restoration, and extended the invitation to be baptized. She accepted without delay. She is such a sweet, humble lady. She has had a hard life, but has come out of it with an earnest desire to know and understand God, and follow Jesus Christ. Toward the end of the second lesson, Julie asked Angie when she was getting baptized, and Angie told her, "Well, if everything turns out alright with Wayne, I'll be getting baptized on Dec. (she looked at me because she had forgotten the  exact date- haha) 28th, and if you want to get baptized with me, then hey, go right ahead!" Sister Boone and I were just grinning ear to ear. Julie said she doesn't think she'd be ready by then, which is interesting, because that is the baptismal date we've felt like we need to extend to her. We plan to re- extend it next time we teach. It still feels right, and hopefully after we teach about baptism, she'll feel the spirit confirm it to her. It was such a great lesson! Sis. Boone and I looked at each other as we left, like what just happened? One of our investigators just invited our other investigator to be baptized on a date! Haha. We were so happy. I love our investigators so much. They are such characters, and wonderful children of God! Please pray for Julie, that she will receive an answer about baptism, and be prepared to accept a date. Please also pray for Wayne- that he will continue to recover, and Angie that she will continue to prepare for her baptism on Dec. 28th!

We were also blessed  to meet an incredible woman, also at the home of a less-active member. She is Sister Dunigan's cousin. Sister Dunigan is the sweet lady we tracted into and found out she was actually a member. Anyway, She and her cousin both came to church, and her cousin loved it! Her name is Queenola, she is moving to Cedar Falls from Chicago. We were able to go see her and Sis. Dunigan last night, and taught her the restoration. She seemed to love that too, and said she would get baptized if she knew it was true. Pray for her, that she will read and pray about the book of mormon!

Oh! We taught the plan of Salvation to Brandy, she LOVED it. She accepted the invitation, and is preparing to be baptized on December 21st! We are so excited for her!

All of our other investigators are doing well. We also had zone training meeting this week, and are anxiously awaiting our transfer calls. It has been such a busy, exciting, eventful week!

I am so truly blessed, and happy- exhausted- but happy! Please pray for me, I appreciate and need it each day. I love you all!
-Sister Monroe

 the Cedar Rapids zone of the Iowa Des Moines Mission. :)

 Our district

An incredible thanksgiving package. I was so happy to come home to
our little apartment with it waiting for me. Thank you mom!

Monday, November 11, 2013

Exchanges, a birthday, interviews, and stake conference!

It was quite an eventful week! First, updates on all the wonderful people you are praying for:

Angie & Wayne- They are doing well. We saw Angie twice this week, and she is feeling very good about baptism, and her date! She has also been reading continually- she's just over half done with the Book of Mormon, which is huge for her. In all the years she has been taught, she has never kept the commitment to read like this.Please pray for them to have health, and for her to continue to be excited about baptism.

Gabriel- He is doing well. We had a really good lesson this week, and he is loving everything we teach. We asked him how it was going, praying about baptism on Nov. 23rd, and he said that he thinks next year would be good for him to get baptized. He has no obvious concerns, and has been honest about some pretty big ones in the past, so we feel like that's not it. We are pretty sure that because of the rigorous training that a person must go through in his country (Togo, Africa), something that he himself did, that he thinks he needs to have a ton of knowledge about the gospel and church before he is baptized. We are planning to teach about the Gift of the Holy Ghost, and why he needs it. Please pray for Gabriel, that he will understand, and commit to baptism THIS year.

Mick- Remember him? So, he has been so busy, but we text him fairly often and have an appointment for Tuesday (finally!) Pray that he will be able to continually meet with us, and that we will be able to set a baptismal date with him.

Well, this week we had exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders AND Sister Egbert- she was in my MTC district! They are in a tri-panionship, so that was really fun. Also, squeezing five of us into one room to sleep in our little apartment was a hoot. Two of them slept in our recliners!  My Sister Training Leaders are Sister Tucker and Sister Cannon. They are so sweet. This is Sister Tucker's last transfer! Exchanges went well, and we learned a lot.

Friday was Sister Boone's 20th birthday! Sister Willson, who is incredible, had us for dinner, after I sneakily told her on Sunday. :) She e-mailed Sis. Boone's mom and made her favorite meal, and I make a cake. We sang and Sis. Boone blew out a match! Haha. It was great fun.

Saturday we had interviews with President and Sister Jensen. They are so sweet. It was such a blessing to see and talk with them, and receive encouragement and council. They also spoke at our stake conference that night, and were in attendance on Sunday as well. Stake conference was an hour away in Cedar Rapids, but we were able to get rides with members for both sessions.

Sunday night we were blessed with another miracle. We had an appointment to drive an hour out to lincoln, and teach a referral we recieved from a less active there. After our appointment with Angie, we had a voicemail saying that the two of them were in Iowa City, and would love to stop and meet us at the church in Cedar Falls instead. We did- and it was great. Brandy is a single mother of 4, and she is dating a less active- but awesome- member who was baptized just a couple years ago himself. The lesson was so wonderful, Brandy is definitely prepared to receive the Gospel, and is very excited to be baptized. We will be meeting with her again this week, and will set a baptismal date with her. Please pray that she will read and pray, and be able to set a baptismal date!

Thank you so much, family and friends, for all the love and support. I feel so blessed to be serving, and am grateful for all the prayers offered in behalf of me and those who we teach. I love you all so much!
-Sister Monroe

 Exchanges! Me, Sis. Boone, Sis. Egbert, Sis. Cannon, and Sis. Tucker.
We're all pretty shabby looking, but it was the only picture we had time for!

 We raked so many leaves one morning for a member! I LOVE fall!

We have this adorable cupcakery in town , and got one last p-day!

 UNI dome! It's pretty cool. This was during our tour of the athletic dept last p-day.

 MTC friends! See our cool hand symbols?! Haha.

Sister Boone's B-day at the Willson's. :)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Four Months, and four miracles!

I have some pretty exciting news for y'all, but I'll save it for later. ;)

This week was sure fun! We had zone p-day last week, Sister Boone and I are the only Sisters, so we sat and wrote letters while the elders played basketball. They invited us to play, but can you imagine how ridiculous it would be and look? We aren't supposed to make physical contact! Haha. It was a fun afternoon. Today, we'll be taking a tour of UNI with our district and the district closest, so that will be fun as well!

Halloween was very interesting as a missionary- we were "locked in" for not one, but two nights. It wasn't the case in Cedar Falls- but in many areas of Iowa, they celebrate halloween for two nights, the 30th, they call beggars night, and that is when children trick-or-treat, and then the adults celebrate on the 31st. So, just to be safe, President Jensen had us be in by 6 both nights. The exception is that if you were with members, and they were your ride, you could be with them, or go to teaching appointments, but absolutely no proselyting. We didn't have any appointments besides a dinner, so we were in for about all 3 hours both days.

Now for the good stuff! Drumroll please...

We set not one, but two baptismal dates this week!!!!!
The first was with Gabriel, who I told you about my first week here, I believe. He has had some doubts, but loves the Book of Mormon. We were teaching a lesson on the book of mormon, and toward the end we asked how praying about Joseph Smith, and Baptism were going. He said he felt good. Then, the member we brought with us asked a random question, about if he had been sprinkled or immersed for his catholic baptism in Togo. (miracle#1) He said that he had been sprinkled, and then explained that he had been thinking about it, and immersion in how Jesus was baptized , so "I think I will be baptized." You cannot imagine the spirit that came into the room, and the joy we felt. I felt the spirit prompt me very strongly to extend a baptismal date, and I did. He accepted, and is praying to know if November 23rd is the right date for him! Sis. Boone told me afterward that as I spoke, she was thinking the exact words that came out of my mouth, and she felt everything confirmed to her so strongly, and was so proud of me. It was such an amazing experience, one I will never forget. Please pray for Gabriel to receive his answer, and be baptized on November 23rd! :) (miracle #2)

On Friday, we saw Angie and Wayne, and read with them, we also invited Angie to ask Heavenly Father about baptism. We saw her again on Saturday, and had a great appointment, also just reading. Then, after attending a convert baptism the elders in our ward had, we had a couple missed calls from her. One of the messages was from Wayne, and he said he had a deal for us that he knew we couldn't pass us. We called them back, and they said that if we went with them to the musical they had tickets for that night, Wayne would come to church on Sunday. We got approval from our district leader, (turns out we are allowed to go to things like that anytime we're invited, they qualify as "cultural events") and told them we'd come. It was a fun doo-wop/ acapella choir performance. They sang sweet hour of prayer, and white christmas among many others. I really enjoyed it. Guess what everyone...Angie AND Wayne came to church!!!!! The man who has refused invitations to church for 6 years (with the exception of ward parties.) came to 2 hours of church, and said it wasn't too bad, and that he MIGHT come next week! (miracle #3). Angie invited us for dinner that night, and we had a lesson afterward on the gift of the Holy Ghost. We asked her how her prtayers about baptism were going, she said good, and that she was still thinking, but that she thinks she could get baptized in a couple of months. I felt that similar feeling from our appointment with Gabriel, and invited her to set a date to work towards. I asked her if we could plan on December 28th, and she said yes! (miracle#4) She is still praying to be sure that is the right time, and that this is what Father in Heaven wants for her, but this is huge, 6 years in the making! Please pray for her that she will get and understand an answer, and be baptized on December 28th.

Mick got a promotion at work, and had to cancel our appointment this week, and was out of town for church, but he is still excited, and told us to call him today, to figure something out. I will keep you posted on him!

I love you all so much, and hope you had a great halloween week!
Love, Sister Monroe

 Elder Weilenmann, (my district leader) writing a letter on zone p-day. :)

 Our halloween dinner at a member's house- we roasted hot dogs!

 We used part of our lock-in time to bake 90 cookies,
which we delivered to less-actives on halloween day. :)

 Some of the elders at our ward's fall carnival/chili and soup cook-off
the day after halloween, it was so fun, we worked the little prize booth.

Wayne and Angie at church!!