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 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 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!

Monday, December 1, 2014

Count your Blessings!

So, I am very much out of time, but I sent lots of pictures, so hopefully that gives you an idea of what our week was like! It was pretty awesome! All is well. Justin and Hayleigh came to church yesterday, hoooooraaaayyy!!!!! Sister Heathcock and I were so happy we could've cried. Please keep praying for them, as well as Shaquasia. I love these people so so much!

We really did have a great thanksgiving. I continually feel so very blessed. I am beyond excited to continue serving heavenly father in this capacity for 6 more weeks- the blessings that come into the lives of others, not to mention the ones I receive, are immeasurable.

Today is transfer call day, wednesday will be p-day. We are like 98% sure that we will stay together, you know, since we're six weeks into a 12 week training program and I only have 6 weeks left. :)

Sorry for the wimpy e-mail. I love you all, I love my mission, and I CAN('t) wait to see you all again. Haha.
Have an amazing week!
- Sister Monroe

 Justin and Hayleigh had to cancel on Monday, but they came over for just
a minute because the Evans wanted to surprise Sister Heathcock (her birthday was last week) with cheesecake and a little gift. We all sang and she blew out candles,
it was awesome. (Hayleigh and Justin are on the end of the couch.)

 Someone (a member of our ward- who is very sneaky) ding dong ditched us
at 6:40 AM on Tuesday, leaving behind this box with a 17 POUND TURKEY in it,
plus other thanksgiving fixings! Wow- we are loved. The turkey is in our freezer for now,
we will cook it someday. haha. Thanks whoever you are!!! We know that
multiple families were involved, but the actual culprit remains a mystery.

 Sister Heathcock took her hair down after having it in a bun all day,
and it looked pretty sweet. Haha!

 Our sweet sweet district- plus the zone leaders. I love them so much. One of our Zone leaders, Elder Bell (on the ground, purple sweater) and Sister Browne (pointing at elder bell) go home on Thursday/Friday. So crazy! All my friends are "dying"!!!

 My sweet friend Sister Browne. Good thing I'll see her in like 6ish weeks!

As part of her training, Sister Heathcock was senior companion this week, and therefore
got to drive. She's not actually angry, she just barely saw me take this out
of the corner of her eye. We thought it turned out pretty funny.

 Hmm, where did the little ones go? We spent Thanksgiving mostly with the Raisors,
who are basically my adopted family- I love them. They invited us to go eat at the
Higleys with them, and it was a great time. This is Kennady Raisor and Declan Higley,
they snuck away with Sister Higley's iPhone while we were all just sitting around talking.

 In honor of Thanksgiving, we ate a quick lunch and then went on the carthage jail tour
on Saturday. I am very grateful for the restoration of the Gospel of Jesus Christ,
and especially at this time for the Prophet Joseph Smith.


Monday, November 24, 2014

Praise God from whom all blessings flow

This morning as we were cleaning and getting ready for the day, I put in Christmas music and my heart was just brim with joy. I have been so happy this last few days, just overwhelmed with gratitude and joy. I have been thinking a lot about the blessings that I have received and growth that I've experienced on my mission, and to run through it all in my mind brings me to tears. I cannot believe it. I can't believe what a miracle it is that I am on a mission, and that I have experienced so many wonderful things, even if a good portion of them came through trials. I am finally really feeling the thing that "dying" missionaries always describe. I do not want to come home. I do not want my mission to end. I know that there are blessings and miracles and joy to be had after the mission, but I just want to be a missionary forever. It's so strange. I am exhausted, and given the choice, I probably wouldn't extend because I know that there is much for me to do after this. I jut love this. Nothing else I do in this life will ever be quite like my mission. I am just blown away.

Justin and Haley are doing well. I absolutely love Them. We taught the plan of Salvation this week, and it was so peaceful. The spirit was strong, and they understood so clearly what we were teaching. I love teaching the plan of Salvation because as we teach, the light of Christ just illuminates within the soul of the learner, it's beautiful. I know it's because this is not the first time they've heard this. They aren't really learning it, they are remembering it. Each of us knew the plan and the gospel before we came to earth, and as we learn it on earth, we find so much peace and clarity. We understand who we truly are. Ah, I just love it. So yeah, Justin and Haley are awesome. I feel like they are just friends I've known forever. :) Please pray for them that everything will continue to go well, and most of all that they will receive answers to their prayers.

Things are the same with Shaquasia, please pray for her and her family. We love hem a whole bunch.

We have a wonderful week planned, including what I'm sure will be a fantastic thanksgiving. I promise to send pictures next week!

I love you all so much!
-Sister Monroe

Monday, November 17, 2014

I'll be homeward bound in time...

(The title is from this song, I have no idea what its from, but it's called "homeward bound" and the motab does this really gorgeous version of it that has taken on a ton of meaning for me about my mission. Y'all should look it up. )

Wow. nine weeks, is that all?? Not that I'm counting, because I'm really not, but wow! I cannot believe it!

Not a lot has happened here this week. I still just love this area and my companion. The temple opens back up this week, so that's really exciting! Shaquasia is doing awesome, she has been reading the book of mormon and praying and she feels really good about it. It's just sad, because Julie hasn't read anything, not that she doesn't want to, she just hasn't, and her husband is still not okay with Shaquasia being baptized. We could really use your prayers on this one. We are really hoping and praying for Julie and Donny's hearts to soften. Shaquasia is so excited about the gospel, and she really wants to be baptized,but it's confusing for her that her parents say no.

Justin and Haley are well. We couldn't see them this week, they went to Iowa City on Monday to meet Justin's new Nephew. We are meeting with them tonight though, and are praying that it will go well. They really need to be reading from the Book of Mormon and praying about it, and they need to come to church, which they haven't yet. Please pray that they will keep their commitments and progress!

This week was fun. On Thursday, we went to a Mission Tour in Iowa City. Elder Craig Cardon of the Seventy and his wife came to speak to our mission. It was really incredible. I received a lot of revelation, as I always seem to at mission meetings- I will seriously miss that. At lunch, President and Sister Jensen sat at our table. I love them, they are so sweet and funny. I feel so blessed to serve with them.

A pretty wonderful thing did happen this week. About a month ago while Sister jensen and I were painting old ladies nails, I met this less- active fairly recent convert who just moved to Carthage. She was interviewing for a job at the nursing home. I chatted with her but then she got whisked away for her interview before I could get any of her information, or even her name. Anyway, She showed up to church on Sunday. So awesome!!!
We are excited to start working with her, she is really sweet.

That's it for us. Hopefully I'll have more good news for you all next week.
Love you so much!
-Sister Monroe

Mission Tour with Elder Cardon! We are on the left side, second row. :)

Monday, November 10, 2014


What an eventful week! We've had lots of miracles, and lots of meetings! Today is supposed to be the last warm day like, forever. Goodbye bare legs, hello bazillion layers, tall boots and big coat.

Well, I am so excited to update you all on our investigators. They are doing well!
Last monday night we taught Justin and Haley about the Book of Mormon, and it went really well. At the end of the lesson, we set a baptismal date with them for January 10th! They are both willing to work toward it. They would have to make a few changes, so it's really important that they read, pray, and come to church. Please pray that they will do those things so that they can feel the spirit and grow! I love them a lot, and am really hoping and praying that they will be baptized on Jan 10th, especially since I leave the next week! Ah!!

Tuesday we had interviews with President and Sister Jensen, which I always love, but these ones were especially great. I felt very loved. It is absolutely crazy to think that my next interview will be my last. That night, we were finally able to meet with Julie and Shaquasia again! We asked Bro. Raisor and their 10 year old, Charity to come and teach with us. We also taught them about the Book of Mormon, and it was great. Shaquasia is very prepared to receive the gospel. While Julie hadn't read the pamphlet or given it much thought, Shaquasia had read it, prayed about it, and really feels good. She wants very much to be baptized. We extended a baptismal date to her for December 20th, which she accepted. Julie loves us, and what we teach, but she's not interested in being baptized. The hardest thing is that to get Shaquasia to church, and for her to be baptized, her parents need to be supportive of it. Julie is okay with it, but Dad isn't on board as of right now. Please pray that Shaquasia's parents hearts will be softened and that they will allow her to be baptized on December 20th. She is such a sweet little girl, and has true desire to be baptized.

Thursday we went to Iowa City for a new Trainers and Trainees meeting. It was fun. President and Sister Jensen just trained and counseled us. They talked a lot about companionship unity, and how it makes such a difference in our work. I am grateful for Sister Heathcock. We are really enjoying being together, and it helps everything go so smoothly. I am definitely blessed.

Yesterday we taught relief society. The lesson was on missionary work, so they decided it would be good for us to teach. I just loved it. I realized yesterday that I have a passion for teaching, and if it wasn't for my mission, I never would have understood that. My mission has done infinitely more for me than I ever could've anticipated.

That's it for me this week. I love you all so much!
-Sister Monroe

Monday, October 27, 2014

More, Savior, Like thee

It has been a really good week. As usual, we worked hard, and did lots of service.
Our investigators have been tricky to get a hold of, but we are still hopeful that we can see them soon. Jesse has been working a ton, and cancelled our last appointment, we haven't talked to him since :( Pray that we will get in contact with him soon! Julie called us back this week and told us she had been in the hospital last week, but she is doing much better now. She also mentioned that Shaquasia has been asking for us to come over again. That little girl is so so prepared. We are planning to see them at least once this week! Pray that it will happen and go well!

This week was fun- on Saturday night, Nauvoo had its annual "Boo-tiful Nauvoo Pumpkin Walk". I didn't get any pictures, because it was dark and crazy crowded- but it's a fun event where they have pumpkins that were carved by volunteers lining the main street on either side. It kicks off with a cool Halloween parade, and then everybody walks around. There's food, games for the kids, etc.  I saw a family from my area in Cedar Falls, and a family from my area in Davenport, so that was fun. :)

Anyway, I have been learning a ton about consecration this week. It has been the focus of my studies and prayers, without me really trying to make it that way. I've been doing my best- especially since I have so little time left- to give myself completely to the work. I want to do my Savior, and Heavenly Father's will in all things- and it's quite beautiful to see the fruits of that effort. I understand now that the more consecrated I am, the happier I am, with the work and with everything else. My favorite scripture about consecration has been this one, it's Doctrine and Covenants 88:67-68

"And if your eye be single to my glory, your whole bodies shall be filled with light, and there shall be no darkness in you; and that body which is filled with light comprehendeth all things Therefore, sanctify yourselves that your minds become single to God, and the days will come that you shall see him;for he will unveil his face unto you, and it shall be in his own time, and in his own way, and according to his own will."

I am so happy and blessed to be serving. I feel so much joy every single day as I do the work of my Savior, and follow the Spirit. The blessings I am receiving equal, and most always exceed the challenges I am experiencing.
I love you all so much.
-Sister Monroe

 My joy and my privilege to serve as a proselyting missionary
in Nauvoo, Carthage, and Hamilton Illinois. Pretty much the greatest thing ever!!

 Last week our district got together in Nauvoo. We went on the "Joseph Smith memorial carriage ride" It was beautiful. This is Sis. Browne, Sis. Nye, me, and Sis. Heathcock.

 This is "Inspiration Point"

 Bet ya didn't know they had horse missionaries in the Nauvoo mission. :)

 A cute Halloween package from my cute mom and her
cute friend, Deanna Pennock- thanks sister pennock! So cute! Haha!

 The sunsets here just keep blowing me away.

Beautiful Nauvoo in the fall is just about my favorite thing.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Be Not Moved

What a week, we had transfers! This week I said goodbye to Sister Jensen. I will miss her, We had a lot of fun together. Plus, I learned a ton while we were together, we both grew a lot in our time here together. Don't worry though, I am the trainer of an awesome brand new missionary, Sister Heathcock! She is almost 20, from Salem, Oregon, really sweet, and I love her. We are doing really well, I am so excited to be her trainer, I feel really blessed. I am very excited for the growth and miracles that both of us will see in the next 3 months.

The work is moving like molasses- slow, but good! Haha. Before Sister Jensen left, we had a lesson with Jesse and we set a baptismal date for November 30th! He said he'd try, so pray for him! Our other investigators and potentials have been tricky to get a hold of- we are hopeful that we can see them soon!

We had a really good stake conference this weekend, I received a lot of revelation that I needed. The Nauvoo stake is awesome. The Iowa Des Moines Mission is awesome. I am just really blessed.

Sorry for the short e-mail, but I didn't have too much to report. Hopefully I'll have more to tell you next week! Love you all so much!
-Sister Monroe

 A gorgeous rainbow we saw in Nauvoo.

 Our last temple trip together. I love this girl.

 This is the bridge from "Joseph Smith: Prophet of the Restoration" it's
just off of river road in Nauvoo. :)

 "Posterity" picture! 3 generations of IDMM sisters. :) My trainer went
home, along with a ton of my other favorite sisters...

 Sister Boone!


 Sister Hill!!

 Sister Stahle!

We went to the temple one last time before it closes for 3 weeks!
Such a wonderful morning!

Monday, October 13, 2014

Transfers and such

Wow! What a week! The work has been  s    l   o   w, but the blessings have been many.
We were not able to meet with Julie and Shaquasia- their family had the flu this week, or Jesse, he was pretty busy. Don't worry though, we'll see them soon, and they will progress. We actually have an appointment to teach him tonight, and we are planning to set a baptismal date. Pray that he will progress toward baptism! :)

We had a really great experience this week, President gave us one-time approval to help clean the temple. It was absolutely incredible. The spirit was just so strong, and there was only faint vacuuming noise. :) I had the incredible opportunity to vacuum the Celestial room, all by myself. It was simply so peaceful, and I could feel so strongly the love of my Heavenly Father as I served him by cleaning his Holy house. When we were done vacuuming that floor, they let us walk through the rooms by ourselves- the same feeling of love, plus an overwhelming feeling of joy came over us both. Also, before we even started cleaning, one of the sisters who works there each night took us all the way up in the tower. I touched the inside of the top metal dome, and the pole where the angel Moroni is attached. I can't fully explain why, but it was just such a profound experience for me.

We had gotten up an hour early that morning and helped at a 5k/10k/half marathon, so we were completely exhausted by the time we got home at 11:30, but it was so so worth it.

I am thoroughly enjoying the fall here, and I am happy to report that we got our call early this morning, from President instead of the assistants, because Sister Jensen is transferring and I have been called to be a trainer. What a wonderful way to spend my last two transfers. I feel extremely trusted of the Lord. How great is my calling! :)

So much peace, so much joy. I am nervous, but mostly excited for the challenges and blessings that will come with being a trainer. I can't wait to help a new missionary get excited and acclimated to this marvelous work, mission, and area. Pray for me!

Love you all so much.
-Sister Monroe

 A sweet little package from my Evvie. :)

 Sometimes when you're a missionary, you sleep really hard,
and you get crazy bedhead. Yup.

 There is something so magical about the temple against a pitch black sky.

I was on cloud nine when we left, see?!

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Leap of Faith

This has been such an eventful week, and I have so much to tell you- but so little time!!!!
We dropped Herb and Carolyn for the time being. Sad, but totally necessary. We love them a lot, and they are just not ready right now. They've been taught for like 2 years without ever being dropped, so we're really hoping their hearts will soften and they'll realize how much they are missing when we don't come or call for a while. But.. because we took this leap of faith and committed to use the Lord's time more wisely, he immediately blessed us.
The next night, we were able to finally teach a potential who we met a couple of weeks ago. His name is Jesse, and he is awesome. We met him while checking on a different investigator- the timing of both of our lives was just such that he was grabbing his groceries out of his car as we were walking to our car to leave. I did the hard thing, I went out of my way to open my mouth and start talking with him, my companion was awesome, she invited him to learn. Long story short, we taught him at a members on Tuesday, and he accepted the invitation to be baptized. Please pray for him. :)

It was a really good week, we've had lots of fun. General Conference was absolutely incredible! If you didn't watch it, or just not all of it- do! I loved how the talks in each session flowed together. It's amazing how revelation through living Prophets and Apostles works. What an incredible blessing. I felt the Spirit so strong, and I received a lot of revelation for our area, and especially for my self. If only I'd appreciated conference this much when I was a youth!! Anyway, I am just really grateful for conference. It's so bittersweet that that was the last one I'll watch on my mission.

On Saturday night, we were blessed with another miracle. We taught a woman, Julie who we had met tracting a few weeks ago and tried to see multiple times, we finally were able to teach her, and her ten year old daughter, Shaquasia. They are awesome, and both accepted the invitation to be baptized.

3 New investigators in one week. it is a miracle. The work has a reputation of being slow here, because it kind of is, but as we rely on the Lord, and give up our wills to do His, we are receiving so many blessings, seen and unseen.

Well, this week is going to be wonderful too. Fun thing: President Jensen received a copy of the movie "Meet the Mormons" that comes out on the 10th, from the missionary department, and was instructed to show it to all of us before it comes out. We get to watch it here in Nauvoo at the stake center tomorrow morning with all the missionaries serving in the stake. So awesome, I am excited!

Love you all so so so much!
-Sister Monroe

 President approved the Keokuk sisters to join us at the temple this morning. :)

Yeah we did. So happy!

Monday, September 29, 2014

The Family is of God!

It was an incredible, exhausting week, as per usual. Except, this time it was topped of by an amazing general women's meeting and then the primary program- plus, we did a mission fast!
I want to tell you all just a couple of the things I learned this week as I studied exclusively from the Book of Mormon and Chapter 5 of Preach My Gospel (You all had better be studying both of those!). The first thing that I realized was that just about everything I understand about my relationship with my Savior I have learned, from my infancy, through the Book of Mormon. I absolutely love the New Testament, and it teaches me who the Savior is, what He did, but the Book of Mormon tells me what I am supposed to do with that wonderful knowledge- how it all applies to me. The other thing that I realized is that you simply cannot have a firm- or really any sort of lasting testimony of the restored gospel without reading and praying about the Book of Mormon. It truly is the keystone of our religion, and "it contains the fullness of the everlasting gospel."- BofM Intro page. This is why so many people, member and non-member struggle so hard with their testimonies! It doesn't matter what you are struggling with, be it the principle of grace, or the commandments, or how the spirit works, or why the Priesthood or the temple are so important- it ALL comes back to the Book of Mormon. If you read it, pray about it, and receive an answer that it is true- everything else will fall into place, your questions and struggles will be resolved. I promise! Do me a favor- I'm serious about this, Read the introduction, and then moroni 10 from the Book of Mormon, then take the time to heed moroni's promise. Pray to know if the Book of Mormon, the gospel, the church, Jesus being the Savior, the Priesthood being on the earth today, are true. He will answer you, and you will have a stronger testimony all around.

Okay, now I'll tell you how people are doing. :)
Herb and Carolyn are... well, they're are Herb and Carolyn. I love them, and they are doing good- not great, but good. We continue to have really powerful lessons with them, and they say they will do things, and then they fail to act. It is sad. There is always something in the way. This week they left on Sunday morning to visit their daughter in Michigan, so they obviously weren't able to come to church. On the up side, however, Carolyn did come with us to the General Women's Meeting, and she seemed to really enjoy it. We are really really hoping and praying that they come to church this week.
That broadcast was incredible for me, exactly what I needed to hear. I especially loved President Uchtdorf's talk. The spirit washed over me as he testified of Heavenly Father's perfect love for us- and for me.

We had exchanges, and I got to work with my beloved Sister Nye. She is awesome, and we had a lot of fun. I have sure missed her since we parted ways after the MTC. It was a blast to have her as my companion for a day. So much Joy. Later this week (Sunday) Sister Browne and Sister Nye had a family get baptized, and we got to go because I've taught them twice on exchanges and Sister Jensen and I taught them last week. Sister Barker had come down from Des Moines with her companion, Sister Whipple! Remember her? We served together in Dubuque. :) Let me tell you, we were so happy to see each other. I didn't get a picture with her, but it was seriously great to see her, and talk with her.

Lastly, I just want to share how grateful I am for my family. Yesterday, to close the primary program, they sang the new song "The Family is of God," and I was just overcome. NO, mine is not perfect, but I am eternally grateful to have had such a great upbringing in my incredible family. These words really hit me- and not just because the children were yell- singing them at me. :) "God gave us families to help us become what He wants us to be—This is how He shares His love, for the fam’ly is of God." I am just grateful. So grateful. I am who I am because of my family, and someday I will have a little family of my own to love and teach the gospel.

I love my mission so so so so much. I am learning more than I ever thought I could or would each day! I cannot believe that I will be home in 3 and a half months. I am both excited and terrified. I never want this to end.

I love you all so much.
-Sister Monroe

 Same as last year, the missionary department in salt lake requires that we get a flu shot. We forced ourselves to just get it over with on Tuesday, and rewarded ourselves afterward with blizzards. :) We got a text from Sister Jensen the next day telling us that we won the prize for most obedient missionaries, we were the first to get them and report it! High five.

 I am slowly growing an addiction to blizzards and orange julius.
That happens when it's literally one of 2 fast food establishments in your area.

 Sister Nye came to our area on exchanges with me, and our companions worked in their area- it was awesome! Sister Nye got to meet and teach the infamous Shallenbergers. :)

 Elder and sister Warner went home yesterday morning! :( We made sure to stop in
and say goodbye on Saturday night. I love them so much, I will miss them!
The couple that replaced them is wonderful too though!

My companion. She's a goob, and I love her.