Monday, January 27, 2014

He Does Deliver You!

Hey there!! :)
Hahahahah today has been the best p-day!! Started out REEEEAL interesting... I have the WORST luck with this mission car, I promise!
We got everything all packed up and Sister Weber was still finishing something in the basement so I went to put everything in the car. I decided to start the car so that it could warm up while I waited for her, so I went back inside. We went to leave the house, and all the car doors were locked. Shoot. It had locked, with ALL our stuff in the car. Phone, numbers, EVERYTHING. And the car was RUNNING.
I kinda panicked, and said a SUPER good prayer for help. I seriously don't know what I would do without Sister Weber.... haha she grabbed some screw drivers and tools and by some MIRACLE we ended up breaking into the car without causing any damage. My word... God is Good :) hahahah It was actually quite humorous.
We left the house earlier today because the members that we live with-- He has a BEST friend who used to be the Mayor of Lincoln!! (Kinda a big deal) So he hooked it up so that we could get a sweet tour of the capitol building!! We got to go in this morning and get the tour, (It's GORGOUS!!) and then we actually got to sit in while the legislature were passing/discussing bills! They even took down our names and announced us! It was way cool:):) We felt pretty special and got some interesting opportunities to share the gospel!
Afterwards we went to lunch at Panera Bread-- the best place ever, so it's been a good day!!
BUT an even better week!!! We taught LOTS of lessons with our dear less-active members this week.
Amy is doing tremendous!!! She attended church with us yesterday which was the best thing ever. I have never been more excited to see someone walk in those church doors. She LOVED it!!! And the ward just loves her spunky personality. I want to cry so much that she is moving on the 8th to a the Mahoney ward... The ward that we were SUPPOSED to open for sisters. But if we wouldn't have been here, Amy would never be moving to the Mahoney ward, so there is a reason for everything <3 We're working with members in that ward thought to continue to fellowship her! She's the funnest old lady I ever did meet! We always record her jokes on camera <3
Another of our less-actives was able to come to church with us yesterday too!! She's had a rough life. She has allllllll these way cool things in her apartment, all from dumpster diving! She's had a lot of harm done to her in the past, so many of the members in the ward probably thought she was high on something yesterday, but she is so ready to come back and it was a way cool experience to have them BOTH at church yesterday!
We are still living with our members! The ward is still trying to find us somewhere else to live, so we're just kinda chillin until they decide something.
That cool guy- Daryl that we met last week that his cousins dog came barking at us-- we went back to his house to help him on Saturday and he was all "wow, I didn't think you would seriously come to help". We were like, uh, YA. hahaha Turns out that he is like in his 40s and has no family, so we couldn't stay to help him because there wasn't another female there. But he stayed outside in the cold and talked with us. We gave him the whole restoration and I know that the spirit was there. He kept asking questions and at the end, he said that he really appreciated us talking, but that he didn't really need much help. He gave us a refurral for his next door neightbor who is suffering from liver cancer. BUT I KNOW HE REALLY WAS INTERESTED!! We told the elders to go show up on Daryl's door next saturday dressed in service clothes, because he truly is super amazing and he's interested, just not admitting it to himself yet. Let's hope the elders really try... haha :) They will- They're great. The whole conversation was super casual and amazing with him.
On the other hand, we had one man be really rude to us this week :( His wife had said we could come back, we had given them a DVD to watch, and when we went back to follow up, he stepped out on the porch with us, and rudely told us to never come back. Trying not to get too downhearted, we walked solemnly back to the car. That was the most rude that anyone has been to me on my mission. Sister Weber had a hard time with it and for a little while we just sat in the car and talked about how sad it is. And that one day, up in heaven, he's going to remember that very moment. Anyway, sometimes those thoughts are all that can keep us going.
Those thoughts, and then seeing people like Amy totally turn their lives around.
This gospel is sooooooo true!! And we've completely witnessed this week that if you aren't reading the Book of Mormon daily, that you aren't progressing. Amy INTESELY reads every day and she has turned her life completely around and she herself says "I'm happier than I've ever been!!" in only 2 weeks. It is possible! And the Book of Mormon is the key to understanding and growing in the truth <3 I can PROMISE you that!!
Thank you all for everything!! I love you all sooooooo very much and hope that you have an amazing week!!!! Full of adventures! Just try not to lock your keys in your cars.... haha :) But if you do, say a prayer, because He will deliver you from your burdens!! <3
-Sister Checketts

Tuesday, January 21, 2014

Package from Braytons!



Hello Everyone!:)
Due to the wonderful Martin Luther King day yesterday-- emailing was postponed to today! :)
Yesterday though, we had TONS of fun! We went into Omaha and went shopping with the members that we live with all day!! SO FUN! I seriously felt like I was out shopping with mom and dad. So that's how I celebrated that wonderful holiday! A couple new tops to spice up the -always boring and repeated- missionary wardrobe. And the BEST pizza in Omaha.
First Off, CONGRATS to my sweetest sweet niece Catie for being baptized this last week! I so wish I could have been there, but I was thinking about her and truly pondering how AMAZING this choice is that she made to follow our Savior for the rest of her life. Baptism is the first step to a lifetime of happiness and faith and miracles and blessings that our Heavenly Father is always ready to give us! The sweety even wore MY baptism dress... :) That seriously made me so happy and she looked as gorgeous as ever<3
This week has been crazy! Due to the boundary changes in our stake, we have lost WAY more people that we've been working with than I thought we would. We've had to turn them over to the other sisters and elders in the surrounding wards, and now I feel as thought we barely have anyone to work with. But that's okay! It puts us into FINDING mode. Seeking out those who have been prepared by our Father in Heaven, and through that we see many more miracles:):)
On Sunday we were walking to see one of our investigators and on the way a dog came out of nowhere barking at us. This man came chasing after the dog, come to find out hew was dog sitting for his cousin. He didn't want us to teach him, so we offered services, and at first said no, but when I asked if he knew anyone else that could use help he said "well, what kind of help?" We said anything! Painting, soup kitchens, anything! And he said "Well, I guess I could use some help. I'm gutting out my whole house." So wa-lah!! We're going back on Saturday. But the Lord always places people in our path.
We have this AMAZING less-active that we're working with- Amy. She joined the church about 15 years ago and soon after became less-active. I probably told you the last couple weeks about her. She got her grandkids taken away after she got in a car accident and then we showed up. She got a priesthood blessing, instantly started feeling better and we've been going over reading the Book of Mormon with her. She'll call us up and be like "SISTERS!! I just read 3 more chapters!!" And then start summarizing what she read- SO EXCITED about it! We love her so much and it is a MIRACLE to see who she was when we first met her, to who she is now. She's cleaning up her apartment, selling everything, she is so much BRIGHTER and .... she's looking to move out of our boundaries. She wants a fresh start so we know this will be good for her, but we're so sad! She is going to be coming with us to church this next week. She didn't this last Sunday because 3 of her ribs are still broken and it's hard for her to get around. But she made a promise to the big man upstairs that she'd go this week. And now she ALWAYS keeps those promises. She is the BEST.
We watched Finding Faith in Christ with her this last week, she was bawling and when it came to the part where the woman reaches out to touch the hem of Jesus's garment because she has faith that she will be healed. Amy reached over and touched Jesus on the television screen. She is such a miracle <3
I got some mail from all my favorite people in Red Oak this week!
THANK YOU BRAYTON'S for your awesome package! I laughed so hard when I saw the "Breaking Dawn" calendar! hahahaha :) The fruitloop candy? You weren't lying-- it's the BEST!
We were able to speak with the University Elders at a youth fireside for our stake this week. For all the Laurels and Priests! It was like a question/answer thing and we were just talking about how AWESOME missions are. I don't want to be who I was before I left because I love who I have grown into through the experiences I've had out here. I still have a LONG ways to go.... but the knowledge I have gained and the experiences I've had that have made my testimony "steadfast in immoveable" are PRICELESS BEYOND RUBIES!!
It's been a good week! Sad to say goodbye to people:( And now that the members we live with are no longer in our ward boundaries, they are searching for a new family to move us into this week. If no one can house us, we'll be moving into an apartment this week. So PLEASE SEND MAIL TO THE MISSION OFFICE!!
11027 Martha Street:)
I love you all and miss you much! :) I hope you all have a fantastic week!
God is STILL a God of miracles.
The Book of Mormon is seriously the BEST book to EVER be written. I get soooo pumped to study it-- SO STUDY IT <3
Thomas S. Monson is such a special man-- he is our prophet and he's guiding us if we just LISTEN.
Like my good friend Dory always says, Just keep swimming, (read the January Ensign)
-Sister Checketts
Picture: Us and Amy <3

Monday, January 13, 2014

6 Months Down

Can you believe it???
I hit my 6 months mark this last week. That means I only have 12 to go!! 1 more year!! Time has flown by so fast!!! Like Jacob says "our lives passed away lake as it were unto as a dream" (Jacob 7:26)-- it's soooooo true!!
Transfers happened and Sister Weber and I are still in Yankee Hill!!:):):)
Our zone leader, Elder Snell called us on transfer day and made a joke that we were both leaving and we were so mad... haha but it's all good, cause he was just kidding. STOKED to be spending another 6 weeks here!!
This week has been a tougher one! The lady that we had set for baptism, we don't think it's going to happen yet :( She's been to church, but she's coming for the social aspect now and not for the gospel. I cannot tell you how IMPORTANT it is to read the Book of Mormon!! It will seriously keep the excitement and spirit of the gospel with you.
So we don't have many investigators anymore... we're working hard to go out and find some, but getting doors slammed in the face over and over can get pretty discouraging, so we're resulting to other methods!
The members are doing good at getting us and the Elders refurrals though! 2 weeks ago we had a guy named Kyle and a 17 year old named Austin come to church with friends. Kyle is now being taught by the elders and Austin is wanting us to teach him!!! Austin is so solid!! He even got up in fast and testimony meeting and bore his testimony saying that "Baptized or not, I KNOW this church it true!" The spirit was so strong-- so we're stoked to be working with him. He is such a dry Mormon it isn't even funny :)
This weekend was crazy though and it's going to bring some more confusing weeks to come! Our whole stakes boundaries got changed yesterday and we are losing like half of our ward. Our ward went from the largest, now to the smallest.... :( So we lost LOTS of people that we're working with and we're worried that they won't be as looked after in the new ward, but with the Lord, everything happens for a reason and we KNOW this these boundaries were inspired by our Heavenly Father through the stake president. This whole stake is seriously sooooo on top of things <3
We had a pretty cool experience this last week though. We were getting super discouraged getting doors slammed in our face and so we changed gears for the day and tried to find some more less-actives. There is this one lady that we had tried over and over but she would never answer the door when she was clearly home. I kept getting lost and taking a wrong turn in the neighborhoods and we kept driving past her apartment building. So finally I was like "fine, we're here for a reason, we might as well stop again". When we got to her door, she didn't answer again. So we knocked again "once for their souls, and twice for ours". She came hobbling to the door with tears streaming down her cheeks. She had been in a car accident 2 days previous and had all her grandkids taken from her and she had no idea why. We were there just in time and we brought the spirit into her home, and actually got a smile on her face as we sung "Be still my soul". She's making changes to come back:) We talked to our Ward Mission leaders as soon as we left and that night, him and another member of our ward followed us to give her a blessing. No one in the ward had ever met her before, but she got the coolest blessing!! So that was exciting.
Also, another lost sheep that the elders found for us a couple of weeks ago is SO ready to come back. We have barely even done anything and she's reading the Book of Mormon again and preparing to return. She's nervous to come back to church though, so she didn't come yesterday because she wants to get a new dress so that she can feel comfortable there. She is the coolest lady! Has totally lived on her own not asking for anything! Her house is full of the coolest little trinkets-- ALL of which she has found in the dumpster. And she is so real and down to earth. We love her so much. Her neighbors are being horrible to her though. She lives in a sketchy part of town and her neighbors in her apartment building are always locking her out and they shut off her breaker so she doesn't have any power in her house right now. It's a mess. But we're so excited for her!!!
We also were able to get into another less-actives house that NO members have really ever been able to get into. She was super sweet and slowly opened up to us! We went and shoveled her side walks the next day.
Speaking of shoveling-- it feels like Summer today!! The car washes are PACKED!!!! :) No jacket and no boots! I think Nebraska is more bi-polar with it's weather than Utah is!
Anyway, in my mind it's been a hard week, but typing this out I'm realizing that it actually hasn't been to bad. The ward is always happy with our efforts, I just wish we could find more investigators, but I know we will!
My thoughts have been focused A LOT on my Father in Heaven this week. I love my daddy so much... and I've been pondering on my relationship with my dad at home and I can honestly say that I don't think I've ever been really angry or upset at my dad.. as I've come to think about that, I've realized that I don't think I've ever been angry or upset with my Father in Heaven. Yes, he places me in some tough situations, but I don't get upset with Him for it because I know He is here with my always to help me through it. I love him so much. He is LITERALLY our Father!!! And I am so grateful to have the dad that I do that makes it so easy to compare my relationship with my Father in Heaven. I love you daddy!!
Anyway, I know that Our Father in Heaven lives. I know that we do everything to be like our savior. We Talk of Christ, we rejoice in Christ, we strive to be like Christ, but all in all, we pray TO our Heavenly Father, THROUGH Christ. It is our FATHER that wants to hear about our day. It is our FATHER that wants to hear our struggles. He is always there for us and I hope you never forget that.
I LOVE YOU ALL!! Have a great week and thank you again for the letters and uplifting words-- they are always needed and appreciated.

Monday, January 6, 2014

Crazy Stats!!

The Lord IS hastening His work!!
A year ago, there were only 25 sisters in the Nebraska Omaha Mission-- and they were all in the trail center.
Today, there are 113 sisters and 30 of those are trail center sisters!
Our mission can usually only hold 250 missionaries, and we're capped at 275!! Needless to say, this transfer, there are NO new missionaries coming in.
IT'S SO EXCITING to be a part of the Lord's work!!!!!

Count Your Blessings!

2 Nephi 26:23-24
God Worketh NOT in darkness!!!
And this week has been one fullllllll of light!!!!!
Happy January everyone!! it has been a tremendous week! I am LOVING being a trainer and opening this area!!! I CAN'T BELIEVE TRANSFERS ARE ON FRIDAY!!!!!!! Wheeeeeeeeere did the time go?!?!?! I hope and pray that Sister Weber and I will be staying RIGHT where we are at, because honestly, we have NOTHING to complain about!!!!
It's a new year!!! New years was fun:) We went out to Famous Daves for dinner with the Elders and with 2 single sisters in our ward! It was a good time and then after, we were able to visit a less-active member who has trouble doing things because of physical problems and we were able to teach her how to pray and have her pray for the first time in a LONG time in front of us. It was so tremendous and she thanked God for US. We love her so much.
We set an alarm on our phone for midnight so that we could quickly wake up and start the new year! It went off-- Sister Weber stayed asleep. I got up, went to the restroom and went back to bed- QUITE the celebration. Let me just say I hope you guys celebrated a bit more than we did ;) It's just another day on the mission :)
New years day, we had planned SO WELL to see so many people. We went over to our ward mission leaders house for "missionary correlation" And when we arrived, JOKE we were just going to enjoy the afternoon with them! So we felt bad having canceling all the plans we had so well planned the night before, but it was FREEZING and he didn't advice us it would be very productive going out on New Years day. So we played Settlers of Catan with his fam and the Elders! Got a bit competitive, ripped some cards ;) But it was SUPER FUN!! We were also able to go out to lunch with the Trendwood sisters-- of whom we have become BEST friends with. We are actually hanging out with them today for p-day after we email to do facials and chat. I LOVE them.
New Years Day- night, we celebrated by stopping to grab some ice cream on the way home. It was a party:)
IT HAS BEEN SO COLD THESE LAST FEW DAY!!!! -30 degrees with the windchill. Public schools are actually closed today because there is a huge chance of frostbite after being outside for only 10 minutes. I thought Logan was cold... but man, this is crazy! :) Don't worry though, I'm staying super warm:)
We caught a mouse this week!! I was doing my studies one morning when I saw a TINY critter run out of S.Webers closet and under the door to our room out into the kitchen. I squeeeled! Bro. Ferguson put out traps and then before we went to bed, we realized one of the traps was missing. We peeked out the door and saw the little mouse with it's back legs stuck on the stick trap trying to escape. We got a cute little picture and then we ran upstairs to wake up Bro. Ferguson and have him take care of the mouse. It was so funny-- we were so freaked!
We got a referral from SLC this week! Apparently someone that lives in our mission boundaries went on and requested missionaries, so-- tada!! We get the letter in the mail and JUMP for joy!! We believe she is a young teenager. We met her sister, but haven't been able to get ahold of her yet.
We had exchanges this week with our sister training leaders-- Sister McMaster (from my MTC district) and Sister Youngberg. It was AWESOME!!! We found 3 new investigators and were able to teach a lot of lessons that day. It was so good to see S.McMaster again! She's a bestie! She told me that she was SO impressed by our area. She said it is a MIRACLE that in only 1 transfer an area could be SO up and running. She hugely complimented me and S.Weber, but I know this had NOTHING to do with us-- The ward was simply SO PREPARED for sister missionaries and since we've been here, (except for some MINOR things), we have had NO problems. The ward is soooooo missionary minded and we are constantly getting refurrals and meeting friends of members to teach. Our ward mission leader is SO on top of things and goes WAYYYYYY above and beyond to welcome our investigators into the ward. There hasn't been 1 week since we've been here that we haven't had an investigator or less-active at church. And the ward gets so excited to see our people and the Elders people coming back! Everyone here loves us ;) -- but again, it's not our doing. I seriously just feel like an Instrument in the Lord's hand, going about and running his errands <3 It's the coolest feeling!!
We have met SO MANY new investigators this past week!  And we committed one of our investigators to be baptized at the end of the month. Her name is Debbie. She has an autistic son who is 4 and a husband (in whom we are also working with) that has Aspergers. She has been to church 3 times now and EVERY sunday is an adventure! The first Sunday she came, her son Gavin ran up on the stand during the sacrament, and yesterday at fast and testimony meeting, he escaped again. While one of our ward members was bearing his soul at the podium, Gavin ran up on the stand and S. Weber and another lady in our ward were chasing him back and forth. He eventually found the light switches and began turning off the lights. It was sooooo funny.... We had no clue what to do! Haha. Luckily, Debbie doesn't mind attention and so she wasn't embarrassed at all and now the whole ward knows who she is and even more-so welcomed her in :) It was a fun day yesterday and this ward is seriously one big family. I love every stinking on of those families!!!!!
A family that we had dinner with this last week- the oldest daughter had her boyfriend over and we had a really good lesson with them! (We TOTALLY thought he was a member at dinner!) We committed them all to bear their testimonies at sacrament and yesterday, the boyfriend did! He got up and gave the most spiritual testimony I've heard in a long time. Saying that the world has a skewed view on what being "great" is. And that through the church, he now understands what being "great" really is.  "Baptized or not, I KNOW this church is true!!!" -- HE WASN'T A MEMBER!!! Totally blew us away! He's the coolest though and we're stoked to be friends with him!!
We have been re-teaching one of our favorite less-actives all the missionary lessons! We have taught her the restoration. And this last week, we went over to watch the Restoration DVD with her. Her husband is not a member and for a VERY long time has been really anti. But we've become good friends with him and got him to watch the DVD with us. At the end he had some questions and it was the coolest thing because his wife was able to bear testimony to him about baptism. We are SOOSOO proud of her <3
We also, last night, found a lost sheep!!! She hasn't been to church in 30 years and the elders handed her over to us. She is SO READY to come back and so we have a lot planned with her this next week including a church tour.
The Stake president has asked us and the elders to speak at a fireside for all the priests & laurels about what we wish we could have done more of before we left to prepare for our missions and to do missionary work at home. We're excited for that as well :)
I LOVE The people we live with!!!!!!!!!!! I cannot say it enough! Every night when we come home, we sit down with them and just tell everything exciting about our day! We joke so much with them:) They have never had any girls, so they LOVE catching up with us! We try to go out to dinner with them once a week. This ward is AMAZING! We haven't had 1 day since we've been here that we haven't had a dinner. Us, AND the Elders. And the Elders are the best too.
WHAT A GREAT WEEK!! This area is seriously the best. We have absolutely no problems and nothing to complain about. We pour our hear and souls into the people we are working with-- and that gets exhausting, but it is so wonderful!! When we go out and put effort into finding people-- we find them! When we need more help from members-- they come running!! THIS is every missionaries dream and I am sooooo happy right now. And my companion is like my best friend! We have so much fun. So I'm hoping and praying SO HARD that we get to finish to full 12 week training together here in this area. FINGERS CROSSED!! But if something does change, I know the Lord only has greater plans ahead.
Stick through the tough times, because the Lord ALWAYS has blessings just waiting to be POURED upon you when you make it through. I can PROMISE you that!!!!!!!!!!!! He knows me. And looking back on my mission, even through the hard times, he has given me blessings and friends that have helped me through. And sometimes only from looking BACK can you see his hand. So have faith IN THE MOMENT that one day, when you look back, you will be grateful and will notice just how much He loves you. Because He loves ALLLLLL of you!!!
Have an amazing week!!
-Sister Checketts!
We had our trainer/trainee meeting this week!! It was soooo good to see SO MANY friends!!! Sister McCalley and Sister Whipple <3