Monday, August 25, 2014

I stand all amazed

Wow! What a crazy week!
This week we had exchanges in Keokuk, our usual ton of service, a few awesome miracles, and I got sick- still am! I am running so low on e-mail time! Aaah!

Okay, so our big miracle this week:
After 2 years, Carolyn Shallenberger said that she knows Joseph Smith was a Prophet, and that the church is true!!!! I cannot tell you what a miracle this is. Heavenly Father has been working with her so much this week. This week we want to set a baptismal date, because with Carolyn on board, her and Herb are both just about ready. So amazing. I wish that y'all could've felt the spirit we did during that lesson, it was astounding.

Exchanges were really good, I love our STLs. We had a ton of fun and laughs this week, partially in an effort to fight the exhaustion my sickness has caused.  I have actually been struggling quite a bit this week, emotionally as well. This is such a sacred area, and the spirit is so prevalent. With that, satan pushes extra hard, especially on us as missionaries here. he knows the good we can do, and he exploits our every weakness- namely mine these last few weeks. However, Heavenly Father is stronger. I got a blessing this week, and it was incredible. As He always does, Heavenly Father is teaching and shaping me in my trials. I know that Satan only has power over me if I let him. I know that I am a servant of my Heavenly Father, and that He and my Savior are the ultimate source of strength, support, and love. I am truly, so very grateful to be here. I could not have anticipated how hard my mission would be, but I will forever be thanking my Heavenly Father for it. This is the most important thing that I have ever done. It will affect the rest of my life, here and in eternity. I am so grateful for this- all of it. I wouldn't trade my mission for anything.
Sorry for the short e-mail. I will tell you more next week!
Love you all!
-Sister Monroe
 We do service at City Hall here in Hamilton, we found
these glasses in the lost and found. :)

 Sunsets on the Mississippi are just the best. This is my favorite drive- to and
from Nauvoo on River Rd.

 This is the view from the Sister training leaders apartment- they are in
Keokuk, Iowa, just across the river from Nauvoo. So pretty.

 This horse is outside of one of our investigators houses in Carthage.
We call him willy, sea willy. :)

 The corn is getting really tall again!!!!

So is the soy! :)

Monday, August 18, 2014

Come, Let Us Anew..

Hello all!
Well, guess where we spent our morning! I'll give you a hint, it's the happiest place on earth... the temple. It was so wonderful! I am still so excited to be serving here. Then, bonus, we were walking over here to the Family search center to e-mail, and President and Sister Jensen were just leaving it, so we got to chat for a minute. I love them so much, that was fun. :)

Anyway, It was a really good week. Things are pretty much the same, we had a couple really great lessons with Herb and Carolyn- and Herb is and has been ready to go for quite sometime, it's just Carolyn, she is so stubborn. Don't get me wrong, I love her to pieces, she is just so resistant to the spirit. You can pray for her heart to be softened. I love them so much.

We got a new investigator in Carthage, Jenny! She's been taught before, and she is awesome. She's got a lot of questions, and she knows the scriptures well! We are working to help her gain a testimony of the restoration, because she's just not sure. But, when we asked her, "when you receive an answer about the gospel, will you be baptized?" she said, "I would have to. I mean, I would have to." I love her already. Pray that she'll gain a testimony of the restored gospel!

I've been learning a lot about love lately. One of my favorite scriptures is 1 John chapter 4. I am learning more and more that feeling love is one of the ways I most feel the Spirit. Heavenly Father works through me, and helps me feel his love for me, and his other children. It's amazing. I've never understood so clearly how He communicates with me.

Something really amazing- Dominique got her Patriarchal Blessing in Davenport this week. I didn't go-  but she e-mailed me all about it. I am so proud of and happy for her. She is doing wonderful.

Another thing I'm learning over and over again, and finally grasped this week is that "to struggle is to know God." When I am struggling, I am so near to Him, always seeking Him, relying on Him for strength and help. Yesterday, I was just having a rough time. My studies and prayers have been okay- but not what they should and have been, since I got transferred here. We had started companion study and we were prepping for a lesson, when Sister Jensen just said, "I feel like something is missing, are you okay? Heavenly Father is telling me to listen." I was in serious need of a good talk, and I hadn't realized it. I just talked about everything I was feeling and thinking, struggling with, and Sister Jensen listened and occasionally asked and told me things. I felt so loved,so refreshed, and so much better, like a weight was lifted. Heavenly Father is so great to me. He loves me so much. I am truly so happy.

Love you all so much. have a wonderful week!
-Sister Monroe
So gorgeous.

Tuesday, August 12, 2014

All things bright and beautiful

Well, I am super out of time this week, but there are a couple of really fun things I want to tell you all about!!
First though, I am doing great. I love this area so much, and Sister Jensen. We are working really hard. We have a few investigators, none of whom are progressing at the moment, but many of them are so close!
You can pray for Herb and Carolyn Shallenberger. They have been taught for 2 1/12 years, and I love them to pieces. They are the funniest old couple. They just really need to know that this is the true church and be baptized, it would bring them so much peace! They are so so close, they just need to act.
You can also pray for Betty. She is also an old lady, who I love. She really likes and agrees with everything we teach, but she is scared to leave the church she goes to now- not that she actually goes to church there or with us. So, pray that she will come to church and also receive an answer to prayer about Joseph Smith. (That is a really tough point of doctrine for most people here, because they hear the lies and rumors about him that originated here in Warsaw- also in our area- back when the saints were in Nauvoo. There are a lot of hard hearts here.)

Pray that we will find people to teach, who are ready to hear this glorious message. We are working our tails off over here, so I know we will see miracles!
Now, for a really fun story:

So.... On Wednesday, Sister Jensen and I had the giggles so bad. It was really fun. We were in Carthage for the day, and we were in our car praying before we went to visit one of our less-actives. I was praying, when all of a sudden, the biggest burp I ever heard escaped Sister jensen's mouth. We both started laughing. I was trying really hard not to lose it and just crack up, but she did, so then I did.. we finally both pulled it together, and I finished our prayer. When we're done, Sister Jensen and I are just red in the face, tears of laughter , and she tells me, "I seriously think I might have just peed a little bit!" Well, she got out of the car and sure enough.. she had. I have never laughed so much in my life on one day. After that appointment was over, we went to the Raisors to dry off Sister Jensen's skirt. The Raisors are my favorite, they feed us all the time, and have the cutest kids. It's only been 10 days, but they already call me family. basically they are the best.. so nobody was home, but their door was open, so we went in. We texted them to let them know we were there, and then Sister Jensen laid on the floor, and I blow- dried her skirt. Seriously, so much laughing. As we were leaving, Bro. Raisor called and told us that the reason nobody was there was because they were at the hospital, and Sister Raisor was having her baby!
Woooooo! (His name is Robert Joseph Raisor) in Bro. Raisor's words "Joseph, because he began his life in the place where the prophet gave his." So amazing. It's been a good week.

In all seriousness, I know that this gospel is true. I love this church, this work, my mission, and my companion. I am so happy and blessed to be here.
Love you all!
-Sister Monroe
 A missionary's still gotta have her "pop" once in a while! :)

 There's an amazing mexican food place in Carthage- we ate lunch there
just before the skirt- peeing incident. Haha.

 I just love her. 

Our zone after Zone training meeting. This is just where we like to take our zone picture. :)

Monday, August 4, 2014


Holy cow, I am still just in awe that this happened. This week, I transferred from Davenport, IA to Hamilton, ill. Guess what all is in the Hamilton area? NAUVOO AND CARTHAGE. That is where I am serving now. Are you kidding me???? I feel so incredibly blessed. I cannot express how much trust I can feel the Lord placing in me. There are so many incredible blessings of serving here. We can go to the temple, like any p-day we want, because it's only like 15 minutes from our house in Hamilton, so we can just do that instead of studies. We didn't go today, but next week, you better believe we're going. And, so cool, when I got here there were still 3 nights of pageant left, so we got to go to the nauvoo pageant for it's last two nights. To think I was so worried about getting down to see it! Haha. So amazing. I am so so excited to be here. OH, and my companion... Sister Gabby Jensen! Sister Jensen and I met on facebook about a month before I left, we just already loved each other, and she came out 6 weeks after me. We are just two peas in a pod- she's 20, from Utah, also a loving aunt, and I love her. We have wanted to serve together since before our missions, and that's happening! I was crying the happiest tears as we sang the closing hymn at transfers. I am just overjoyed. This is so perfect, so perfect. Heavenly Father's plan for me is so much better than any plan I hoped for. He loves and trusts me so much.

ANYWAY, I loved serving in Davenport so much, and I got to say goodbye to some of my favorite people this week:

 The famous Paula and Tera. I will miss them. 

 This is Sarah, a recent convert who we see pretty often. She hits her year mark
this summer! We love each other, obviously.

 Doug and Laurel Westwood. They were such a tender mercy to me, I will
miss them dearly. (but not for long, because they move to provo this month!)

 Caleb and Kathy Sandford. Holy cow, I love these people so much. Bro. Caleb (as he likes to be called) is our ward mission leader- best in the world I'm pretty sure. Sister Kathy has been such a friend to me. They both just do so much to help us. Cool fact, Sister Kathy was in the orchestra at temple square until a year ago when their daughter (she was in bed by picture time) was born, so she's on like all of my motab cd's :).

 This is Jen and Andy Ramoses, the ones who introduced us to Dominique. They are so sweet.

 Dr./Bro. Bennion!!!! He is so awesome. I will definitely miss having a chiropractor, not to mention one who adjusts me regularly, free of charge. He helped me so much!

 This is Amanda, she's from the other ward, but she would come teach with us and take us out for food now and then. She is super hilarious, and I love her.

 Amanda's daughter, MaKenna. She is also hilarious.

 Sister DeSpain took us down to the John Deere plant to see the tractors. Coree is their daughter who just came home after graduating cosmetology school, and she's awesome. 

 I'm driving a harvester!!! This thing is massive, and super fun to sit in. :)

 Sister DeSpain insisted on this one. :)

 I just love John Deere, I'm officially Iowan.

 Sister DeSpain, Coree and I, oh and Ruby. I was sad to leave them!

 This is Marianne, one of the recent converts we saw a lot, I love her to pieces.

 Leslie (and little Ben) Green. I love them. I actually ended up seeing them
when we were working pageant the next night! :)

Dominique. Oh, how I love her. She came and sat by our door and visited while I packed. She's my best friend, I miss her already!

Love you all so much! I look forward to sharing my adventures in Hamilton, Carthage and Nauvoo with you!
-Sister Monroe

 My sweet Sister Stahle.

 Wooooo! Sister Jensen!!! My new companion :)

 Sister Murphy!! She went home this week. So crazy!

 Sister England also went home!

 I'm just so excited about transfers, I couldn't contain it! Hahaha. :)

 Sister NYE! We roomed together in the mtc, and love each other, a lot.

 Just making some calls mid-day. Are you kidding me? 

 The Nauvoo Pageant!!

The end of the pageant is amazing beyond words. So incredible.

Saturday, August 2, 2014

Truth Will Prevail!

Hello all!
This was an interesting week! We found a new investigator, well via the elders. They found this girl and felt like it would be better if we taught her. So, we did! Her name is Molly, she is 18, and she is about to go through chemo for brain cancer for the 3rd time in 9 years. She doesn't have too long to live, especially if treatment doesn't go well this time. Needless to say, I felt a lot of pressure and urgency to help her accept the gospel. We started with the plan of salvation- since she had a lot of questions about it. It went beautifully. I really hope that we are able to continue teaching and that she is baptized soon. I want to just give her my testimony of the gospel so she can have the same peace I do, but if that was how it worked, missionary work would be too easy for everyone involved.

Dominique is doing amazing. I just love her so much. We've been trying to prepare emotionally for the possibility of me transferring this week. She scheduled her Patriarchal blessing for August 13th, and I'm so excited for her. Patriarchal blessings are the best!

On Friday, Sister Stahle and I got to go down to Nauvoo and see the british pageant "Truth Will Prevail" and it was incredible!! We went with the DeSpains, they were so sweet and bought us dinner down there. We got there with time to eat, pull handcarts, and see a bunch of our favorite missionaries who also happened to be there. We saw Sister Geiger from my MTC zone, who I love, and Sister Stahle trained her, so that was awesome. We saw Elder Kay who was in my mtc district, and was Sister Stahle's district leader in Dubuque. I got to see and talk to Sister Boone, my 1st Cedar Falls companion! It was basically a mini mission conference, so awesome.
Anyway, the pageant was fantastic. I loved it so much, AND the coolest part was that the missionaries got to be in the pageant! The whole thing was basically about when the first missionaries went to Great Britain, all the way up to the time that the saints there were called to join the saints in Nauvoo. At the end, all of us missionaries lined up, and as the narrator made a statement about how we still have missionaries today, we all walked up onto the stage, singing "Called to Serve" then the cast and nauvoo zone missionaries sang a short "truth will prevail" song, and we ended it with the first verse of "Redeemer of Israel."
I know I can't explain it very well, but it was one of the most remarkable experiences of my mission.
Such an incredible opportunity. I was overwhelmed by the spirit as we walked up, and as we sang both times. I felt confirmed to me so strongly that I am a representative of my Savior, a messenger of His restored gospel. I am so blessed.

We have transfers this week, and I'm pretty sure I'll be leaving Davenport. I'm excited to see what lies ahead. 6 more months of this beautiful journey. I love every minute.

Have a great week. Love you.
-Sister Monroe
We got "barged" on the way to the pageant. They had to open the bridge, so we were waiting for a little bit. :)
Pulling a handcart with the DeSpain girls. So much fun!

Truth Will Prevail!

One of our YSAs made this and brought it to us last night. We were so happy!