Monday, June 30, 2014

HAPPY day, ALL is well!

It will be a short, but wonderful e-mail this week.
I received a lot of love through e-mail which needs my attention too!

It was an absolutely SPLENDID, SPECTACULAR, INCREDIBLE week!!!
even without the car, the week went well, we had fun, and on Saturday, I had the best birthday of my life.
Dominique was baptized. I am so so happy. It was a great baptismal service, with so much support for her. We have a truly remarkable ward as far as missionary work goes. They have really reached out and welcomed her, her baptism was no exception- so much love.
Dominique has been really excited, and hardly nervous at all. She was so happy to be baptized. As we sang the closing hymn , I'll Go Where You Want Me to Go, she had tears in her eyes, and looked over and smiled at me.
Probably the most remarkable moment of the weekend was actually her confirmation. The blessing she was given was beautiful, just what she needed. As she went back to her seat, she looked at me and mouthed, "wow!" with the biggest smile radiating from her face. She told us after sacrament that she had felt so strongly and distinctly, the Holy Ghost come over her.
I am so blessed to be a part of her teaching process. We are such good, close friends, partially because she is only six months older than me. I love her so much. I am so excited to continue to see her grow and make covenants in the gospel, and be there for her every step of the way!
Also, what an incredible tender mercy of the Lord to have her baptism be on my birthday. A missionary could not ask for any better gift. She even brought me a balloon- sweet girl.
I am so overwhelmed with how blessed I am to be here, on a mission, in Davenport, Iowa.
This work is the most incredible thing I have ever been a part of. I am actively participating in the salvation of souls! What a blessing, how great a calling, what a miracle with which to be so closely connected each and every day.
These last couple months have been trying to say the least, with all that has gone on at home, but I am beyond words to explain how happy and blessed I am, how much peace and joy are in my soul. I echo the words of the prophet, Alma,

" 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.
 10 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."

I am helping heal and change not just the souls of those around me, but my own and my family's as well. I cannot imagine anything better.
I know that my Savior, Our redeemer, lives. He and our Father in Heaven, our creator, love us so much, and actively wait to help, inspire, bless, and comfort us. That never ever goes away. Their arms are always extended. I have felt them more in the last year of my life than ever before. They are available to each of us, and all we need do is seek them.
Thank you all, so much, for helping me get here, and stay here. I feel your love and prayers so often. I hope that you feel mine also.

Love you so much!

Sister Monroe
 A package from my sweet cousin, Melanie! Thank you!!!

 Mom's Birthday/4thof July/1 year mark package. Yay!! 

 A super happy, perfect birthday package from my sister Abby.
I was definitely in happy tears over this one. :)

 Look at this mug! Are you kidding me?!

 A gorgeous necklace from my sweet companion!

 A lovely adorable package from my sweet cousin Jen! Thank you so much!

 Brother Ramos (Andy) and Dominique! So happy!

 That's my girl!!! We love her!

Best Friends for eternity!!! Yay! :)

Tuesday, June 24, 2014

The windows of heaven

The windows of heaven were opened, both to plenty of rain and plenty of blessings this week.
Dominique is doing incredible. She had her interview on Friday, and passed with flying colors. She is feeling really excited for her baptism this Saturday, and of course we are too.
I feel so blessed to be able to celebrate her on my birthday. What a fun tender mercy Heavenly Father has given me, after all the trials I've had over the past two months, to have a baptism on my birthday. It will be so wonderful. Pray for her that all will continue to go well! :)

On Thursday, something really awesome happened as well. Sister Stahle and I didn't transfer, obviously. That morning-afternoon we had service and lunch at Paula and Tera's house. When we got done and back to our phone, we had a ton of texts and a couple missed calls. Sister Jensen had sent one, letting me know that Sister Sumsion, my beloved past companion, transferred into my zone!!!!!! Everyone else had called/texted for the same reason. I am so happy!!! I will now get to actually see and talk to and hug her every 2-3 weeks. What another huge tender mercy from the Lord. I am so blessed.

Sis. Stahle and I have been working hard, and with this new transfer, we have set goals to improve as individuals and as a companionship. I feel so peaceful, and also hopeful. I am excited for the miracles, blessings, and lessons that this transfer will hold for me. I have truly been so strengthened and changed as a missionary, and as an individual through all of this trial. I know this will continue to happen as I rely on my Savior and my Father in Heaven, and give everything to this beautiful, difficult, miraculous work.

Thank you so much for all of your love and prayers and support, they truly mean the world to me.

Love you all!
-Sister Monroe
 We had zone p-day on wednesday, before everyone transferred. I love the Davenport zone!

 One of my zone leaders, Elder Brown. He is so funny. 

 Is that a dandelion as big as my face? Yes, yes it is. 

 Iowa- where even the weeds are beautiful. So much happiness to be found.

 I am pretty proud of this letter I sent off this week. :)

Sometimes, when you live in Iowa, it's so humid that the pouring rain soaks through your raincoat. See the spot of light pink over the pocket of my shirt? Yeah, that's the color it is when it's dry. We were soaked from head to toe. I love 3 hours of tracting with no car!!! Haha. :)

 I love the rain!!!

 Sister Stahle loves the rain too. Sometimes, so much that she tries to fly off the balcony. :)

Monday, June 16, 2014

What a wonderful week

It was a long, sometimes really hot week, but I say again that it was a great week.
I really feel like I have healed a lot over this month. Every week has its peaks and shadows, both in the work, and in my own emotional state,  but more often than not I am able to be happy. It is beautiful how much my Father in Heaven is blessing me, and how often I can feel the strength and love of my Savior lifting, guiding, and empowering me.

Dominique is doing incredible. We are pretty much done teaching, and she will be interviewed for baptism this week. She has been able to receive a lot of peace and answers to prayers. She is very excited for her baptism, and of course we are too. Her transformation has been extraordinary to see. She hasn't had to change hardly anything- she was already living her life in such a way that the gospel has come naturally. She was just waiting and looking for something more. She now feels like she has purpose, her life has meaning, she has peace.

On Saturday, we went to the temple. It was absolutely incredible, just what I needed. This was my last allotted trip before the departing trip the week before I go home in January. I was a little worried about it, seeing as there will be such a long gap of time before I go again. I am so glad I went now though. It was perfect. I feel so at peace about everything, and I know that Father in Heaven will give me the strength that I need to work hard and love the rest of my time here.

Sister Stahle is sick, poor girl. I think I am safe though! Say a prayer for us. :)
Hopefully she will get better and we can have another awesome week.

Love you all, so much.
-Sister Monroe
 A gorgeous Iowa sunset

 Doug being a little ridiculous. I love them.

 We went down with the Westwoods. Many of you may remember Laurel (used to be Eades)
It has been such a blessing to have her in my area!

 Our district! I love them!

 Sweet artsy shot!

 We ran into Elders Gray and Kircher on our way into the temple. We share our car with them, and they are great. Elder Gray was in my Cedar Falls district.
 Sister Stahle and I at the temple

 Sister Graham and Sister Reynolds came again!!!

 Mama reynolds!! (It was really windy and sunny)

Monday, June 9, 2014

Abide with me!

Hello all.

It has been a good week here. (Pretty sure that I say that almost every week, but it's true, even if a week is just awful and nothing goes right, it's still good, because I am doing the Lord's work, and that is an incredible thing. The blessings are far more than the sacrifice.)

Dominique is still doing well! She has some questions and doubts, but that is very normal for anyone who's learning the gospel, especially when they are doing it alone. The Ramoses have been an incredible blessing though, they help her so much, and she loves them.
I seriously can't tell you how different it is to teach someone who was introduced by members who are already their friends. It makes the process even more beautiful- which I didn't think was possible!
Sarah is doing well also, but has been tough to meet with. She's been pretty busy. However, she is still excited and wants to be baptized. Hopefully we'll be able to meet with her again this week.

This week we had zone training meeting, and a couple days before it, the zone leaders were like, "Sisters, we think it would be so awesome if you two did a musical number!" We told them we'd do it, and by some miracle, we had secured a violin for sister Stahle to play, and found a hymn that would be good just violin and vocal. We practiced for a collective couple of hours, and on Friday, I did the first musical number of my mission. I sang the hymn "Abide With Me!" which if you don't know it, is one of the most beautiful hymns in the hymnbook. I love it. It went really well. The spirit was really strong. I was grateful for the invitation and opportunity to sing.

Early this week, I got a priesthood blessing from our ward mission leader, Bro. Sandford. It was absolutely incredible. I know that my Father in Heaven loves me and is aware of me and my family. He is blessing us more than I can even understand. I am so grateful for my knowledge of him, and of my Savior. I am so privileged to share that with others.

Love you all,
Sister Monroe

Monday, June 2, 2014

I believe in Christ

Well, it'll be a short e-mail this week, but I want you all to know that Heavenly Father is so mindful of each of us.
He has been letting the blessings pour out here.

We've had an incredible couple of lessons with Dominique. We set a baptismal date with her for June 28th. As we prayed leading up to it, Sister Stahle and I both felt that she doesn't need much time- Heavenly father was clear about what her date should be. She accepted, and we are working toward it. She texted us just this morning and told us about how she received her answer about Joseph Smith through the Book of Mormon. She is so incredible. I am so excited to continue to see her change and grow. The gospel of Jesus Christ taking affect in a persons life is the most incredible, beautiful process I've ever been a part of.

Sarah is doing well. She is still looking great for July 19th. We are working on getting her reading and praying more, so that she becomes converted for herself.

Sister Stahle and I are having lots of fun together. I am glad to have her. :)
I am just loving Davenport- hopefully I'll be here another transfer.
Heavenly Father is supporting me each day, and I feel it.

I truly appreciate the love and prayers that I feel from all of you, they make a huge difference.
Have a wonderful week!
Sister Monroe
 So, Sister Sumsion (yes, my incredible past companion) asked her mom to send me a little pick-me-up package, and I about died laughing when I opened it. We searched
for blue gummi sharks everywhere for a whole transfer while we were together.

 An adorable sunshine package from Allison Browning. So happy! 

Sister Stahle and I found the coolest old bell tower I've ever seen at a memorial park in our area! It was awesome. We are both weird and loved it. Pretty sure we'll be spending some lunch hours there.

It was all deteriorated inside. Love!