Monday, June 22, 2015

THE CHURCH IS TRUE, 
THE BOOK IS BLUE, 
BUT IT SHOULD BE READ! 
GET IT? ;)

Some fun Southern stuff:
-The air here smells like dead armadillo, mix in the humidity and thick air = Yum. We get all sorts of scents on bike week.
- Since most people are religious, we can ride by on our bikes and call out "do you want to talk about Jesus?" and then that turns into a lesson or new investigator! ha kinda fun
- They also love to hold hands during prayers. When we ask if we can pray with them they automatically grab our hands.
- I don't need lotion. Ever. My skin is so smooth down here.
-Rain happens like in the movies, where one second it’s not raining and the next it’s down pouring. You don't even have half a second to realize it’s raining and take cover. And it pours HARD. It’s really like taking a shower. We get soaked so quick.

There is also this thing called missionary amnesia, and I thought I could avoid it but I can't. We spent a good hour trying to decipher between Jamie Lee Curtis, Jamie Lyn Spears, Julia Roberts, and Julie/a?? Andrews. We still aren't certain if that's right. It has been driving us up the wall. Please email me and correct me if those names are wrong..we are forgetting lyrics to songs too and it’s so odd. I didn't think that would happen. Missionary Amnesia is most definitely real.

Also funniest thing of the week. We had to bike up this huge hill, and it was easily the hardest thing I've done in months. I thought I was going to have to get off and walk. Once we got to the top we just looked at each other with our bright red faces, dripping in sweat, and just burst into laughter ha haha. We thought our legs were going to explode. We just sat on the side of the road peeing our pants laughing. I wish y’all could have seen it. Ha ha ha I'm cracking up right now just remembering it. Ha ha ha

MADDY GOT BAPTIZED THIS WEEK! The turnout was so great too! We had so many ward members come and support her! She was confirmed yesterday in church and is soo so happy! Yay!!  

Saturday night we had a Father’s Day party with the Spanish ward. The ninos had water balloons and were playing around with them, I couldn't help myself so I grabbed cups of water and we all started a big water fight. Ha ha Closest we will get to swimming on the mish. The whole ward was chasing each other with water balloons. It was a blast. Of course we enjoyed amazing food (I had tinga for the first time this week =HEAVEN) and then we played soccer for sports night afterwards. SO MUCH FUN.  

So here is a fun little story I want to compare to the Brother of Jared. Last night we had just got dropped off from our dinner appointment and it was 8:30. We wanted to get 1 new investigator before we went in for the night, but since we were on bikes we knew it may take more time. So we said a prayer, asked for help to find a new investigator, and told Him that we were going to be out till 9:30 tonight. We asked that we could be safe riding around on bikes in the dark and that we had faith we could make our goal. Similar to how the Brother of Jared needed help, and went to the Lord in prayer with a plan and with Faith. Then comes the work. The Brother of Jared did his part by gathering the stones and preparing them. We had to work and ride around town and talk with people and "do all that we can do" with a lot of urgency.  Then comes the miracles. Just like the Lord touched the 16 stones for the Brother of Jared, it was as if His hands and fingers were maneuvering everything just perfectly for us, so that we could make it where we needed to be safely and led us to the right people at the right time.  (No the veil was not taken from us, I wish ha ha) But we truly saw Him making a way for us to make our goal, placing people outside at the right time, clearing busy roads for us to cross. And after 45 minutes of riding from opposite ends of Russellville we ended up with not 1 but 4 new investigators! 4! That's more than we had all week! And we got them all in 45 minutes! MIRACLES I TELL YOU.   It all boils down to our FAITH in what He can do, and our willingness to WORK and rely on Him. Moroni 7:33

Right now our board is exploding with names of people we are teaching or people we have found. We are super stretched thin right now and it’s AWESOME.  So much work to be done. This could possibly be our last week in Russellville so we have really high goals set this week and we are determined to make it a good one! 

Also HAPPY FATHER’S DAY (ESPECIALLY TO MINE, I LOVE YOU DAD) to all the papas out there. I was watching a Mormon Message called "Earthly Father, Heavenly Father" and at the end it showed this quote and I LOVE IT.  "Of all the titles of respect and honor and admiration that are given to deity, He asked us to address Him as Father."  How cool is that! 

 Also I was reading in 1 Nephi 8 this morning. It talks about Lehi's vision. And in verses 14-17 (your gonna have to look it up, sorry I'm not typing any more than I have to, go ahead dust off your scriptures and open ‘em up, or this won't make sense and my story will be in vain) Anyways, it's never really stood out to me how Lehi, being the father of his family takes the lead in inviting and encouraging his family to "partake of the fruit." In vs 14 it talks about Nephi, Sam and Sariah didn't know which way to go, so Lehi called after them and wanted to make sure they weren't lost.  Which is exactly what the church encourages today. The fathers of each family should have that strong testimony and direction to be able to guide the rest of their families in the right direction. Man Church is True, Book is blue, but it should be read ;) ..get it? 


Love y’all.  
HIKE TO THE WATER FALL - PETITE JEAN
SINCE WE CAN'T CARRY KEYS TO THE CHURCH AND THE ELDERS ARE ALWAYS LATE, THIS IS HOW WE END UP EMAILING. HA HA 
AND NO I'M NOT PICKING MY NOSE!

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

"IF YOU CAN'T BE A NEPHI, BE A SAM!"

Pits n peaches of the week.

Peach: We went on exchanges this week and I drove for the first time since February! A little terrifying I'll be honest but it felt good to finally drive again! (And not have to be the backer for a day;)

Pit: We locked the keys in the car Saturday night. And I left the light on in the car. So we had to call the elders and they broke into the car for us. Dumb sisters. The poor elders always have to help us with dumb things like that. ha ha

Peach: 6 INVESTIGATORS TO CHURCH THIS SUNDAY!

Peach: I spent $2 on 3 shirts at a yard sale in preparation for....

Pit: ... Bike week. Heaven help us.

Peach: We taught a drug dealer how to pray and he loves "tha sistas" ha ha

Peach: The Spanish elders had a baptism Saturday!
OMAR'S BAPTISM!
Peach: I understand Spanish a million times better now!

Pit: I just can't speak it as well as I can understand it.

Peach: We had sports night outside this week and played soccer. We bring investigators and everyone just gets along so well and we have so much fun. I know it doesn't sound that exciting but it really is a blast.
video

Pit: We sleep with 19283849 fruit flies. We've spent a ridiculous amount of time killing flies in our apartment this week.

Peach: We got together with the whole mish on Friday with Elder Kopischke! One of the coolest meetings I've had on my mish so far. More on him later.

video


Pit: I'm having too much fun, and so I have a feeling I’ll be getting transferred this transfer. Really though, I'm so in love with Lewis and Russellville.
WE MATCHED SO WE HAD TO TAKE A CHEESY PIC!
Peach: My comp during exchanges was an English sister so I had to do Spanish lessons on my own. I wasn't sure how well they'd go but I totally could do it! Gift of Tongues <--- yep that's real!

EXCHANGES WITH SISTER TRAINING LEADERS (MASON'S GIRLFRIEND, SISTER ARCE)
Pit: My legs are one big bug bite.

Peach: If all goes according to plan we will have 3 baptisms by the end of the month:)

Another Peach: I had dinner last night with a guy that looked like Si Robertson’s twin from duck dynasty. I was too nervous to ask for a picture so next time I'll have to!

So I wanna share a little about what happened at the training with Elder Kopischke. The whole mission was together again! He started off with a spiritual thought about coming ready to learn and letting the spirit teach us. Then he had us right down questions that we had about anything. And he promised us that by the end of the training we would
have answers. And oh man was he right. This training was from 10:00-4:00 so we were bracing ourselves for a long day but it didn't feel that long because it was so cool and we learned so much! (They also fed us Jimmy Johns for lunch, that helped too) ha ha no but really it was such a great day and I got an answer to everyone of my questions.
So on to what he taught us: he didn't come with an agenda at all. He demonstrated what it says in D&C 84:8111:21 and 100:5 As missionaries we have to apply this a ton. We have to obtain all the knowledge we can and when we need it in a lesson or to answer
someone's question the spirit will bring it back to remembrance.  So he opened it all up to us and asked for questions we had about anything and said he would answer it the best he could. All sorts of questions were being asked and he gave perfect answers! The spirit was definitely the teacher and I certainly learned a ton! Here were some
of my favorites:

The opposite of the power of God is the form of God. Nephi, Sam, Laman and Lemuel were the first missionary district! Ha ha, how funny is that! They all were called on a mission, all of them went, except one companionship had the power of God while the other only had the form. Laman and Lemuel weren't wicked at first, they still agreed to go on the mission but eventually they became wicked because they denied the power of God.

One of my favorite lines he gave us was "If you can't be a Nephi, be a Sam." Ha ha I love it and I love this comparison. I don't want to be a form of a missionary I want to be a powerful one.

Also we talked a lot about the sacrament. It's easy to overlook the importance of this repetitive ordinance, but really how cool is it that we get to perform this ordinance over and over again! Baptism, endowments, sealings we only do once for ourselves but the sacrament we get to do every week FOR OURSELVES! We are so lucky it's repetitive! To be able to personally show our commitment to ALWAYS REMEMBER Him. Also we talked a little bit about people who fall away from the church. He asked why we think people fall away? Because they forget. And how do we help them not forget? By helping them REMEMBER. And how we remember... Sacrament! We have a weekly opportunity to REMEMBER our Savior to REMEMBER our covenants we made to REMEMBER what Christ did for us, to REMEMBER the blessings and miracles we've seen in our lives. So if we aren't taking the sacrament every week then eventually we will forget and fall away.  Helaman 5

Gosh dang I wish I could just tell you all about the notes I took! It was so cool but one final thing that I loved he said "Everyone will see the face of God, but only some will stay." And it all boils down
to the choices we make every day. Whether we choose to forget or choose to remember. It's completely up to us.

Love y’all
Wish us luck on bike week.
WE CELEBRATED THANKSGIVING LAST WEEK...HAHA! WH HAD TO MIX IT UP A LITTLE BIT. WE USED THE MICROWAVE FOR EVERYTHING, BUT IT ACTUALLY WAS SUPER GOOD =)



MADDY!
SHE GET'S BAPTIZED THURSDAY! SHE WAS AT SPORT'S NIGHT WITH US AND THE BALL GOT KICKED IN HER FACE SO SHE HAS AN EYE PATCH FOR A WHILE! THE ELDER WHO KICKED THE BALL IS ALSO THE ELDER WHO WILL BE BAPTIZING HER. HAHA KINDA FUNNY!


Monday, June 8, 2015

WE NOW HAVE OUR IPADS!
WOOT! WOOT! FOR HAVING TECHNOLOGY 
BACK IN OUR LIVES!
It's bloody humid. Everything we buy is off brand/Great Value stuff because we're POOR but we have to spend the big bucks on deodorant and shower stuff because we are so sticky and sweaty...and this is only the beginning...

So we now have our IPADS woot woot! We are pretty limited on what we can do right now, basically just the gospel library app, but this Friday we have another meeting for the second step of this whole process and will gradually get into more stuff. But it's already helped out our teaching a ton! We have access to Mormon messages and all that good stuff which has enhanced our lessons a ton! Yee for technology back in our lives! (We still love our planners though, we are sad to give those up)

So some crazy things... Earlier this week…Friday I believe, we had some things we needed to download for a lesson so we went to Katie's to use her wifi. When we pulled in we noticed across the street two people fighting. At first we thought it was 2 men going at it but then realized it was actually a women getting beat up really bad. I don't want to go into details, it gives me a yucky feeling. I haven't ever seen something like that before. We both were just frozen. He finally let her go and slammed the door and she sat on the curb out front. At first we were nervous to go over immediately, worried that he would come back out and get mad at us, but we went over anyway and sat down and talked with her. Come to find out it was her fiancĂ©. She was super quiet at first and was scared to talk to us. We showed her the “Because He Lives” video. I've watched that video probably 50 times in the last couple months and every time I still get chills. While watching the video I got this overwhelming feeling of safety, and a huge reminder of how important this calling is, to represent Christ and bring hope to people who don't know where to find it. In that moment I could have cared less if that guy came out and freaked out at us, I just wanted to be there with this lady and make sure she was ok and safe and that she knew that she was not alone. It was a really cool experience; to be someone’s "savior" even if it’s just for a minute. I think Christ wants us to know what that feels like. Not to the extent that he knows of course, but it’s the happiest feeling in the world.
The Whole ALRM!

We have a good friend going through a hard time right now, and so she almost moved home to Texas, BUT yesterday she came to church and right before leaving, a member came up and offered to help her find a job. She told us that if she could find a job here then she would stay. Cool thing is we hadn't told anyone about this! This member had no idea she was looking for a job! (good thing the man upstairs knew). She was so excited! On our way out of the church we invited her to be baptized this Saturday and she said YES! Ahhhh! It’s real quick but it’s certainly possible and she is definitely ready! So for now she is staying. We've been with her and her family a lot this week which has been real fun. We love them to pieces.

There was an art walk in the tinsy "down town" area in Russellville Friday night so we walked around and found a ton of cool opportunities to share the gospel and show the “Because He Lives” video with people. I love being a missionary guys, it’s too fun. Just walking up to whoever, asking them if they want to talk about Jesus Christ. haha nothing like it. I feel like I'm hitting that point where my mind is really in mission mode. I can't even picture the day I'm coming home anymore because I can't fathom the thought of taking off my nametag and not being considered a "missionary" anymore. 

Some fun things: Diamond and I sing Disney songs together and it’s the closest I can get to Disneyland here...apart of the Spanish Disney we blast in the car..haha but Frozen is her favorite and so we sing “Let It Go” over and over again and it makes me so happy. Also some of these kids lose their innocence young. It makes me sad. Disney brings her back to 6 years old again and I love it. 
Diamond!
Daysha's kids always have friends over so we taught all of them about keeping the Sabbath day holy, afterwards all of them started running to our car yelling "I want a Book of Mormon." Such a cool moment… needless to say we have to place another media order and get some more Books of Mormon. haha

We had 15 minutes before curfew so we stopped at Quiznos and asked if we could help them clean up. They were so confused but ended up letting us wipe of tables and put up chairs. Small acts of service is good for the soul, I highly recommend y’all try it. 
More Service!
I bore my testimony in espanol during sacrament meeting for the first time yesterday. I sounded like a nino. haha It’s real cool because although lately the majority of our investigators are in English and we are using English a lot, whenever we need to speak Spanish we can, and it really is getting so much better! 
LOVE LOVE LOVE Y’ALL. 

The Carnathans fed us and then showed us their baby goats!

Last week's P-Day!

Veronica's Mexican food is dangerously amazing!

Miss Arkansas University
(She's going to compete for Miss Arkansas in a few weeks!)

Monday, June 1, 2015

HOPE Y'ALL AREN'T EXPECTING THE SAME TAYLOR WHEN I GET HOME,
BECAUSE SHE WON'T BE THERE!
Paul and Daysha -My favorite place is sitting on this front porch with this family teaching them! They are super good to us! They call us their angels!

Here's an update coming at ya live from RUSS VEGAS!

Storms. Monday night we had a tornado touch down real close to us. Some of the ward members had trees in their living rooms. Luckily it didn't come into town where we were but some places got it pretty bad. At one point Katie had us in her bathtub-I guess that’s the safest place during a tornado? But it’s crazy the bad weather comes on so fast! The sky was so creepy. President called our district leader and told us that we need to get inside and stay put for the night so we almost had to stay the night at Katie’s. It ended up clearing up so we were able to go home late that night. It was pretty scary but luckily we were with some of her non member neighbors so we made the most of it ;) We got to teach a bit and we watched Saratov Approach with them. 




We get our Ipads tomorrow! We have been doing a lot of training and preparing for this. Elder Zwick of the Seventy came and spoke to us on Wednesday and we were given a lot of instruction. I'll be using Facebook in a couple weeks and I can be "friends" with family and friends on FB as well! It's actually pretty cool because family and friends are allowed to comment and even help us teach through comments. It's all acceptable as long as it’s missionary related. But I still can only message through emails on Mondays. Anyways there is a lot to it but that'll be kind of fun! You all can help me with the work! It's also pretty smart because they are preparing us to use technology after our missions too. To make facebook a tool to access people and teach, rather than a place to tell people what you had for lunch. Ya know how missionaries aren't allowed to preach in some areas of the world? Well using Facebook we can reach them =) At first we were a little hesitant with the change, and it’s a little odd for us to be combining our mission life with our home life like this, but it really will help is in the work in every way. 


All the Spanish speakers in the mission!
(For the Ipad training, the whole mission got together which normally never happens. For transfers we have  Little Rock side and a Memphis side, so it was cool to all be together!)

English Elders had a baptism Saturday! Woot Woot Russ Vegas District!

We had a return appointment with April. She's a minister for another church but wanted us to come teach, so we did…and it went well at first but then it slowly starting turning into them trying to prove us wrong and trying (and failing) to stump us. We realized where this was going so we just bore testimony and left them with the invitation to read and pray. She then went on to tell us that if God needed her to have more knowledge and if God wanted her to have another book then he would give her a sign or tell her she needed more...I think my jaw dropped. The missionaries of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints are literally sitting on your couch right now. I don't know how much more of a sign God could possibly give then sending representatives of his son, Jesus Christ to your living room. 

Another cool experience: teaching a family, the wife and husband both had different religious views. The husband kind of took over and attempted to explain his religious views. He used a lot of big words that didn't make sense but we just went with it. We slowly tried getting through the lesson but he kept objecting etc, etc...at one point of the lesson I explained "that through the Restoration we now have the fullness of the gospel, and although all churches are good, and contain correct pieces, they still are missing the fullness etc, etc. But the Church of Jesus Christ has every piece of Christ’s original church." Using his big words he basically told me that since we believe that we are the only true church that he can no longer sit and listen to us and stormed out. I'm a people pleaser and my initial reaction was to try to stop him and to clarify or maybe reword what I said in hopes that he would continue to listen. But the coolest thing happened. I felt the spirit just burn inside me telling me to "stand your ground" "don't you dare budge because what you just said is 100% true and you do not owe him an explanation." It was so clear to me and that burning feeling in me is something I will not forget. We sat there in silence, watched him throw his little tantrum, and then turned to his wife and finished the lesson with her. Jacob 4:13 (I think that’s the right reference) talks about the spirit testifying of truth. And that is exactly what happened. We are the only true church on the earth and we have the fullness of the gospel. Jesus Christ established one church, and he gave us one way to salvation. And that one way is found in the Church of Jesus Christ. They can throw all the tantrums they want but that will not change. 

Rest Home yesterday: I may have mentioned this before but we go see Fredda every week. She has Alzheimer’s real bad. Like in our 15 minute conversations we have the same conversation 6 or 7 times. She forgets who her roommate is sometimes, just everything. But every time we go in there without fail she gives us big hugs and calls us by name and says over and over again "you girls are the best girls I've ever known" haha she is such a sweetheart. After her telling us this we told her it’s because of the church we go to. And since she doesn't remember what church that is she always asks and we tell her again, "the church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints" and then she said "oh yes that church is the greatest church in the whole wide world." haha we definitely agree with her on that one. Last night we sat around a table with 5 of them and they told us all the things they did on date nights when they were teenagers...Yes that’s all we talked about for 15 minutes..over and over and over again. haha love them. 

We set a goal to have 5 to church yesterday. By Saturday night we were only planning on 2 actually following through. But since Heavenly Father is CLUTCH we went to pick up Daysha Sunday morning for church and out comes all 3 of her kids and 2 of the neighbors kids! What’s up 6 TO CHURCH. Ahh, such a good Sunday. I had to talk in English church..feels good to have that over with yeee. 

I'm learning so much. We are working with a lot of people currently. Sometimes we feel a little stretched thin because there is so much work to be done. God's work is hard work but man nothing is more rewarding.    

I hope y'all aren't expecting the same Taylor when I get home because she won't be there.

Love Y'all.  



Also #blessed because we have the car back. 


Last Week's P-Day
Mount Magazine!





Oh what's up tropical rain forest, I mean ARKANSAS. ha ha! But really it's gorgeous.  Who knew, right???



The Smith's took us to the Old Mill. 
If I remember right, there was a scene form "Gone With the Wind" where they show this place.  It's super pretty and green as always!
Bishops daughter, Sydnee and Sam Smith
Sydnee graduated so we stopped by for lunch. Sam is heading to BYU! We LOVE these girls!

Katie's new puppy!