Tuesday, May 27, 2014

Count your blessings!

Well, it has been a WONDERFUL week for me here in Iowa.
We had a lot of fun happenings.

On Thursday, we had exchanges with Sister England and Sister Cannon. It was awesome. We spent the morning doing service at Paula and Tera's house. They are a really sweet less active mother and daughter, they feed us like once a week, and love us a lot. So, we worked for a few hours, while they made us an amazing lunch over the fire. The great day continued... That evening we all had dinner with the sweetest members, the Despains. (They are the family who had us over on Easter, she's stake RS president) Then, Sister England and I taught the most amazing first lesson I've ever been a part of in my entire life. There is an awesome younger couple in our ward, both RMs, who have been really trying to share the gospel. Brother Ramos has been talking to one of his classmates, Dominique, about the gospel quite a bit, she's had a lot of questions. Well, this week, he invited her to be taught by the missionaries in their home, and she said yes. So, Sister Ramos made dinner, they had her over, and afterward we came and taught the restoration. it was absolutely incredible. Dominique is so very prepared. At the end of the lesson, after she said that she really wants to be baptized, she asked, "So, what do I need to do before I can get baptized? " Are you kidding me?! I was on cloud nine! Investigators don't just ask that! She is so awesome, I am so excited to be teaching her. We're going to set a baptismal date with her tonight!!! Sister England and I were so overjoyed that we definitely cried a little bit on the way home.
This is what missionaries live for, and this is what happens when members listen to the spirit and share the gospel!

On Friday we had zone conference! Woohoo! It was wonderful. There were so many things said that hit me so hard. I love how the spirit can teach each person in a room so many different things from one training. Father in Heaven gives us exactly what we need, all we have to do is seek him.

We taught Sarah again last night- she is doing awesome! We are still working towards July 19th, and everything is going really well. She is so sweet.

I know the Lord is blessing me so much for continuing to work hard despite personal adversity. he is making so many miracles happen, big and small each day, so that I can be happy, and not only that, but so that I can help Him move this work forward. I love being a missionary so much. I cannot believe I've only got 7 more months to be here serving like this. I am just so blessed.

Love you all!
-Sister Monroe
  This is the picture from zone conference. I am just a few heads over from Pres and Sis Jensen, on the left, tucked behind Sister Stahle.

Paula and Tera don't mess around when they feed us. This lunch was so good!
 Sometimes Sister Stahle just makes carpet angels! :)

 Birthday bread! At zone conference they call down everyone who has a birthday between now and the next zone conference, sing to us, and give us cute little bread. :)

 I showed Sis. Stahle where we sometimes take dinner down by the Mississippi- it was even more flooded. So crazy, and gorgeous!

Tuesday, May 20, 2014

Be Still, My Soul

It has been a good week. I was really sick for a couple of days- probably a combination of allergies and stress- which of course turned into a nasty cold and cough. But, we worked really hard, and saw lots of blessings, big and small throughout the week. 
I have been doing my best to throw myself into the work when I am feeling overwhelmed- which is usually fairly successful. There are, of course, still minutes and hours that are hard, but that is good. It's gonna take a while to heal from all the craziness.  
Sister Stahle and I are working great together and get along well! She's a little quirky, in a great way, but so am I, so it's fun. We laugh a lot.

We are teaching a girl, probably in her late twenties, named Sarah. She is so sweet, and so prepared for the gospel. She was basically a self-referrral. 
This week, we had the privilege of taking Sister Jensen out with us for a few hours on Friday night, it was great, and great fun. President was out with the Zone leaders, and we are the closest sisters, so she came to us. (After buying us ice cream and chatting with us for a little bit, ) She went with us to teach Sarah, and it was a really good lesson. We taught about the Plan Of Salvation, and Sister Jensen was able to testify, as a mother, that this knowledge will help Sarah as she raises her little boy.  So awesome. At the end of the lesson, we set a baptismal date with Sarah, she's working toward July 19th!
We are very excited, and she is too! :)

I wish I had more to tell, but it's been a rough couple of weeks. I know the Lord is strengthening me so that I can keep going each day. I am so aware of the love that He and my Heavenly Father have for me. I am also really blessed to have the support of such wonderful family and friends- I appreciate the letters, love, and prayers more than you know. 

Love you so much!
-Sister Monroe

Saturday, May 17, 2014

A fresh start!

This week was transfers, and I said goodbye to Sister King, and hello to Sister Stahle (Stay-lee)!
She is so so sweet. We've been laughing and having fun since the night of transfers. Not to mention, she is so compassionate, without being at all overbearing. I know that this will be a healing, relaxing, fun, but hard working, incredible transfer, or too. :)

I loved talking to my mom and sisters yesterday- thanks for not loosing faith when my call failed for a minute. Haha.

This week was good. We went to Clinton for a day and did exchanges with our Sister Training Leaders, who I love. They have been so supportive and great the last six weeks. One of them, my mission "grandma" Sister Dixon, transferred out, but guess who transferred in?? Sister Cannon!!! She was my Sister Training Leader in Cedar Falls, and I absolutely love her. So exciting.

Sister Jensen has been my rock through all of this. I am so blessed to have such a wonderful mission presidents wife- and of course mission president. if I don't text or call her for a couple days, she calls to see how I'm doing, and talk. Seriously, so wonderful.

I am SO grateful for this new companion, and the opportunity to heal, grow, and sort of start over. my perspective of the area and ward have changed so much in the last couple of weeks. I know that Heavenly Father will continue to bless me as I work hard. He has already blessed me so much.
Thank you for your prayers, I sure have needed them. Love you all!
-Sister Monroe
 Service and lunch in Clinton! Such a good day.
Sister England, me, Sister Dixon, and Sister King

 The Clinton Arboretum

 My super sweet Sister Jensen. I love her so much.

Sister Stahle and I, Hooray!!!

Tuesday, May 13, 2014

The fourth watch

So, this has been the hardest transfer, and week of my life. I, and my family, are facing trials that I NEVER expected. I am out of patience, exhausted, shocked, and my heart is heavy with sorrow. "Nevertheless, I know in whom I have trusted." (2 Nephi 4)
The crazy thing in all of this, and "all of this" is a lot of very difficult things right now, is that my testimony is unshaken. I am still 10000% that this gospel is true, and that this is the only true church on the earth, guided and directed by the Savior himself, through a living prophet.
I know that Satan is real, and that he sneaks into our lives and hearts as sneakily and quickly, and with as much power as he possibly can, just so that we will not be happy in this life, or the next one. He opposes everything I do as a missionary- sometimes through the very means and people that I expect to be able to turn to for support and repose. Well, it will not work. I will not give in. I have so much hope and love through my Savior, and those close to me who also have faith in Him.

Even when it seems like all is lost, He has not forsaken us:
 45 And straightway he constrained his disciples to get into the ship, and to go to the other side before unto Bethsaida, while he sent away the people.

 46 And when he had sent them away, he departed into a mountain to pray.

 47 And when even was come, the ship was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land.

 48 And he saw them toiling in rowing; [He watched them struggling at their oars] for the wind was contrary unto them: and about the fourth watch of the night [Between 4 and 6 in the morning] he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. [He came with haste]

 49 But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out:

 50 For they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer: it is I; be not afraid.

 51 And he went up unto them into the ship; and the wind ceased: and they were sore amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered.

My family and I will be okay, we will get through this, and for the next 8 months, I will struggle at my oars, I will serve with all that I've got. This is exactly where I need to be. Nothing changes that. He will come and calm the storm, soon. I know, because things have gotten harder so suddenly, that He is on his way. He has not forsaken me, or my sweet family. He is allowing us to grow, and for that I am grateful.

Love you all. I'll let you know what happens with transfers.
-Sister Monroe