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.