Monday, April 28, 2014

"My yoke is easy and my burden is light" (Matt 11:30

Happy Monday!
This week has been extremely good:) Had some awesome storms and tornado warnings (Kearney is tornado central) But nothing to worry about, they pass by just as quick as they come! So many miracles this week! 
First off, I'd like to take a moment of silence to mourn the loss of my puppy and love, Sophie... my parents informed me that she passed away this last week, she was almost 11 years old, so in doggy years that's about 77 years old, and she is VERY much missed :( I love that pooch. I have the comforting feeling though that all dogs go to heaven! :) It's humorous how often we actually get asked that question! Anyway, I love and miss her!
So last p-day was way cool! After emailing, I had time to jump onto family search and take a look at my ancestors again since I love reading about them so much! Turns out I have a Pioneer ancestor who is talked about on the movie Ephraim's Rescue! Her family crossed the Platte river, and guess what? Kearney is right on the Platte river!! I was reading through some past notes this morning when I cam across my notes on Elder Robbins, who is in the quorum of the 70 when he came to visit our mission a while ago. He said to be aware of things that lead us to believe that Heavenly Father knew that we would be serving in this mission right now from centuries ago!! I believe that finding out my ancestors were in all the very spots I am, is sign enough that this is where I am supposed to be and that Heavenly Father has always known that I would be right here, at this time. It's soooo cool :)
We had a strange man come into town this last week and visit all of the members of our branch. He claimed to be a member of the church coming through to check out the university and wanted to visit all the members. Well he didn't treat any of them too nicely and they all did what they could to reach out to him. Some bought him clothes because he claimed his luggage was stolen and others let him stay in their apartments for a night. When they all heard each others stories, nothing really fit right and we've come to believe that he was coming through just trying mooch off of the members... Sister Muasau gave him one of her coats. We met with him for like an hour because he wanted someone to talk to, and it's hard looking back because we loved visiting with him! But it was a little strange.. So how do we love those who we know are trying to use us? It's something I've prayed a lot about this last week. We just need to do all we can to show love and give them the knowledge that we are here to help, and then whatever they decided to do with it is on their heads. Anyway, it was interesting to have him here for a few days.
There is a girl in our branch, Kylee who is leaving tomorrow for her mission! So this last week has been a little crazy for her! She needed us to talk to this last week to help us reassure her that what she is doing is right. It led me to remember the anticipation I felt days before I was leaving on my mission. Crazy stuff! It's a hard time full of LOTS of emotions. We got to talk to her for a good while and I just love her so much and am so excited for her. Reflecting on how I felt, I'm soooo soooo glad to be out here. It was a hard time to leave, but I wouldn't trade it for anything.
We had FHE Tuesday night. LOTS of the YSA attended! We played soccer and football out on the lawn of one of their apartments. Everyone is stressing about finals so it was good for them to let loose! We had one of our less-active members, Sarah, come to the activity! It was SO good to see her there!!!!!! She's reaching out more and making friends! (She's SUPER shy). We had a good time and these kids are becoming such good friends of mine:) They all have their quirks, but we spend a lot of time together and I love them all more than words! It's crazy how fast you can get to love someone!!
On Tuesday, we were driving around trying to see if some less-actives were home. We drove past this apartment complex and I saw two YSA aged people, a girl and guy standing out by his car. He had a liquor bottle out on the hood and without even thinking about it, I pulled over and decided we should talk to them. You could tell they were in a pretty deep conversation, so now thinking about it, it was probably pretty awkward, and I don't even remember how we started the conversation, but the spirit was SO strong! The man wasn't very talkative, he is the one that had the liquor bottle, but we asked her if she believed in God and she said yes, but ever since she had her little boy out of wedlock, she hasn't been able to step foot in a church without crying. Right there on the sidewalk we testified of the power of the atonement. We told her that relief can come to her, and forgiveness! Muasau testified really boldy and the girl started crying. It was powerful. I asked her if she would like to take the lessons and we stood in silence for about a minute until she quietly said "yes". They guy was still standing there silent. She said we could come back the next day at 12:30, we gave her a Book of Mormon and left. WHAT? It was cool.
So we went back on Friday, right at 12:30 knocked the door and for the first time, doubt came in my mind that she might not be home. But the door opened and she had a smile on her face inviting us in. It was kinda awkward at first, but we sat down and she said that she was going to try to read the Book of Mormon, but she didn't know if she was supposed to pray before, and she didn't know how she should read it. We gave her the restoration that day and she asked SO many questions. She recently had a friend that joined the church and moved to Utah, but she was too scared to ask anything about it. She had seen a total change in her friend though. When we got to the end of the lesson and invited her to read Moroni 10:3-5, she stopped at the end and said "woah.. I've heard that before! Only verse 5, but I've heard it before! But I don't know where.... I have this voice in my head, I think it's a mans voice, and I can here him saying it to me, but I don't know where I heard it!" I smiled and told her that that was the Holy Ghost :) Ahhhh it was the coolest thing ever. Her name is Rocio and she told us that when she had walked up to her and her HUSBAND the day before, they were basically having an argument about religion, and then RIGHT then and there we showed up. She has been weighed down SO much by guilt from having her son and it is getting so hard to carry. She told us that after talking to us the day before, she already felt lighter, and that meeting with her this day, she had hope! She knew she could be forgiven if she just kept following us and this church. We invited her to be baptized and she said yes! :):)
Sad thing though... because here and the guy we met are married, we have to turn her over to the family ward sisters. I'm so excited for her and I know she is soooo prepared, but it's sad to turn her over! In a way I feel like that is what I have done my whole mission, turn people over to others, and I've seen them take my people into the waters of baptism, and I've seen them come back to church, AFTER I leave. So it's a great feeling, but it's hard at the same time. But I KNOW the Lord will bless us with someone to build up the branch. I know it will happen!
We "ran into" another LA member that we haven't been able to find this last week too. We were trying an investigator and these two guys were at the park across the street and yelled out "are you Mormons??" So we went over to talk to them and it was Mike! We met him at the PERFECT time, cause he is having a hard time, and the friend that was with him is a new investigator of ours! The Lord's timing-- no one else's timing is better <3
Institute was fun this last week! It started POURING in the middle of institute, so us on the other like 4-5 branch members that were there went out dancing in the rain:) I LOVE THE RAIN!!!!
We had a lesson with our 86 year old investigator Arlys again this last week (We know she wouldn't technically be in YSA, but we have been given permission to work with her) The time that we saw her before we invited her to start reading the Book of Mormon. She is SUPER faithful and reads A BOOK in the bible everyday. So we knew she could do the Book of Mormon. We first helped her out with vacuuming and cleaning when we got there because she was SUPER weak. She has good days and bad days. So we helped her clean and in the middle of sentences, she stops to pray and thank God for our fellowship. We were able to teach her the restoration this last week and half of the plan of salvation. She loved it and is sooo open. It was INCREDIBLE and we know her husband is on the other side helping her along. I have never seen two people so in love. She adores him and talks about him as if he were still here and he's passed a year or so ago. We explained the priesthood to her and offered a priesthood blessing. She is super curious and really wants to know more and said she would love to receive a blessing. I love her <3
Mission prep was INCREDIBLE this last week!! There are 3 branch members preparing to go on their missions within the next few months and so we love working with them:) Sister Muasau and I taught it this week and the weather was again nice enough that we got to hold it outside. We taught the bullet point of "repentance" and then asked them to role play with us. I role played with Bryan and Sister Call and they were the missionaries teaching ME. I pretended I was myself, after my mission, and they found out that I had fallen away after my mission. We figured it would help to bring out the true love and charity that we need to have towards the people we teach. It was so hard and good! While role playing, I pondered myself and where my testimony would be if I came home and had fallen away from the church. I acted as if I came home from my mission, and didn't feel as though I grew as much as I wanted to on my mission, and because of that, I slowly fell away. Sister Call and I were bawling during the role play, it was SO SPIRITUAL and the whole time the thought just kept coming to me that "if I just remember the miracles and feelings I am having right now on my mission, that I will NEVER desire or end up falling away from the church" I believe that was Heavenly Father sending me those thoughts. My testimony has grown so much since I've come out and nothing can shake it. Bryan taught SO WELL. He is going to make an amazing missionary!! It was the coolest experience!
We did lots of service this week! Helped a member in the family ward, Sister Hall paint her kitchen a cool celery green, Helped on of our less-active member Laurie move out of her home because she's moving into a new apartment in a weekish (AND LAURIE CAME TO CHURCH YESTERDAY!!) and we've been making muddy buddy's for "finals treats" to hand out to our investigators and members while they study. It's going to be tougher these next two weeks cause everyone is busy.
We practiced the song that us 4 sisters are singing in stake conference next weekend. I hope it turns out well! It's been a while since I've sung like this before and it's scary how much you can lose if you don't practice your talents :(:(
Game night was sooo fun! The guys in the branch are really trying to teach me some skills!!
Church was the BEST EVER. Our branch president is a pretty well known and prestigious Back Doctor and every sunday we have a branch luncheon. Well his good friend who is a hand doctor and literally sews peoples hands back on (we made a lot of Ammon slaying arm jokes) isn't a member and is also like a gourmet bbqer. So he helped President out and made us the best bbq I've tasted yet for our luncheon yesterday. It was so much fun:) We're spoiled!
I was asked this last week if I could speak in Sacrament yesterday, so I did! It was Kylee's farewell. She got set apart last night (sunday) and flys to the MTC on Wednesday. CRAZY!!! So I got to speak with her and her dad at her farewell. I got to pick my topic and it was hard to pick, but I decided to speak on CHANGES. Cause it feels like in all of their lives, there are so many changes going on right now. It was sooooooo cool to be able to speak because I found out that Kylee is related to the Denkers-- members in my FIRST area back in Omaha  that we lived with for a week or so and reactivated their son and his wife and so they were at our branch yesterday and I got to see them again! I LOVE AND MISS THEM!!! They are doing soooo well:) They were excited to see me too and as soon as Louise saw me, she came up and gave me a hug and said that I was just beaming! They wanted to email my parents and tell them how proud they were of me! I told them that I had been worrying if I was "growing spiritually" lately and they said that I didn't need to worry, because I am. They said my spirit has matured so much. And it meant a lot to me. They answered a prayer of mine. I hope I am changing.
Then after they heard my talk, they said it wasn't a coincidence that I spoke on change, because I had changed so much. I love them.
I got a text right after that asking if I would give a training on Wednesday. Muasau and I just laughed because I'm constantly getting asked to do things. It's weird! But I'm humbly grateful because by doing so, I'm noticing my growth and I'm able to help and reach out to others.
My training is on Member and Missionaries (M&M's) and I had the BEST study today getting ready for it. I LOVE Alma 8.
It's been a great great week. I love it. Soooo excited to see the Weston's at stake conference on Saturday and Sunday!!
Mission life is the best. And my testimony of my Savior continues to strengthen each and every day out here.
Elder Park returns from his mission in a week and a half and it's super causing me to think about how FAST time goes by.... It's scary!!
Have a terrific week! Read your scriptures! Know that I love you! Just keep swimming and know that even dogs go to heaven, and that change ISN'T the only constant like famous quote says, but that THE GOSPEL, OUR SAVIOR, OUR FATHER IN HEAVEN, THE CHURCH OF JESUS CHRIST OF LATTER-DAY SAINTS and THE ANSWERS TO OUR PRAYERS ARE ALWAYS CONSTANT!!!!! And the Holy Ghost is our constant companion. We are all on missions-- so share the gospel so your friends burdens can be lifted off of them, just like Rocio's. <3
I love you all!
-Sister Checketts
(sorry no pictures, I have to get a new picture thingy)

Monday, April 21, 2014

"I Have Overcome the World"

I have to apologize....
I typed up a big email last week, but then being the space case that I am sometimes, I forgot to push SEND.
So today is your lucky day!! 2 big emails in one week:) ENJOY!!
This week has been so good! Easter Week-- nothing you like my sweater? (.. sorry "Sadie Hawkins Dance" song...) Okay, that was lame.
ANYWHOOOOO. It's been a week of miracles-- they are ALWAYS weeks of miracles.
So, MONDAY. We meet a cool dude. All of our appointments had fallen through and so we decided to go out tracting. We pulled up to this apartment complex and saw a young kid with a GIANT fro and a pick sticking out of his hair. We quickly said a prayer and jumped out of the car. He was walking away so I yelled "HEY, we have a question for you!" And he stopped and waited for us as we ran to him.... I had no idea what I was going to ask him, I just wanted him to stop walking, so a question just kinda fell out... "Do you know anyone your age that lives around here?" He looked at us all confused and said "Well how old do you think I am?". DUH... I felt stupid. Sister Muasau said "18?"... He said he was 19, so close! He just moved to Kearney about a month and a half ago, didn't have his phone or car here yet, and was looking for a church to go to on Sundays. He grew up Lutheran. We told him about our game nights that we have every Saturday night and got super excited cause he loves to play basketball. His name is Brian. So all throughout the week we would stop by to remind him about game night and Saturday day we stopped by to make sure he was still planning on it. We had one of the YSA members go to pick him up, but he never answered the door. So we know he is interested, but we'll keep trying:) It was a bummer he didn't come... Game night was still a blast though! The YSA members are trying to teach me skills in volleyball and basketball. I'm HORRIBLE at double dribbling (my bros would be ashamed ;)) But I'm getting better! Hahah
So cool thing about YSA? We get to do cool activities most missionaries don't get to do. For Family Home Evening on Tuesday, we had a really good lesson at our Relief Society Presidents house, then we got to go BOWLING!!! yaya!!! I was rocking it at first and then I totally lost.... but it's cool:) The members here are great fun!
We went over to one of our VERY shy less-active members this last week and she loves our company but doesn't like to talk about the gospel as much. But we've convinced Sarah to help us build a Book of Mormon board game because she loves creating board games! So that's fun!
We had Zone Training this last week--- ahhhhhh Zone stuff and District Meetings are my favorite part of the week. Having all our fellow missionaries get up and tell their miracles that they have seen within the last week, it's the best thing ever:) We're helping our Heavenly Father to change lives out here in NOM:) I love my missionaries!!
The Kearney Elders taught our mission prep class this last week. And it was nice enough weather that we held it outside on the grass of the church. SO BEAUTIFUL!! It's getting to the point now when we get to see the sunsets again and the sunrises when we go walking in the morning. Nebraska sky-- it's one of a kind! Mission prep was really cool though because we helped 2 of the girls planning to go on missions role-play with the elders:) It was so fun to see them and remember how I felt before I came out. It's crazy how fast we grow and how much confidence and love we have in talking to anyone and everyone.
UNK, the university does this cool thing every week for their international students. It's called "Conversation Tables" Many international students come to gather at the lunch room and they just talk with anyone who volunteers so that they can learn English better. It's really cool! So we volunteered and got to talk with a guy and girl from Brazil. They asked what we were doing in Kearney and he looked at our name tags and was like "oh, are you from that church? I had some guys with those tags on talk to me when I was back home in Brazil one time!" SO COOL!! It's amazing to feel the influence of our other missionaries across the world. We really are all on the Lord's team!! One GIANT, worldwide team!! We invited them to game-night since we can't really proselyte on campus at all.
On Wednesday after zone training in Grand Island, we were SO determined that we were going to give away a copy of the Book of Mormon. It was getting late, about 8:45 and we needed to be home at 9 and we still hadn't given one away. We could have EASILY been like, no, we'll just try again tomorrow and lazily driven home, but NO we were determined. Sister Muasua followed the spirit in leading me to this street. Silence in the car except for "right, left, right, that house!" (She is amazing at following the spirit) and when we parked the car, a lady in the house by us came out on her porch. HER! We felt we had to talk to her. We went up to her, her name is Sarah, her roommates name is Megan, and they are both on the woman's basketball team at UNK. Sarah committed to taking the lessons and we found out that Megan had been on a tour of our church building with the family ward's bishop and she has family that lives in Clinton & Sunset, Utah!!!!!! SO COOL. They headed home for Easter this last weekend, so we'll get in touch with them this week, but PERSERVERANCE!! That is something that has been on my mind a lot lately.
We went to visit and sing to a couple ladies in the church while they have been at the hospital this last week, one of them got her leg amputated... :( It's been SO GREAT to get to know them <3 <3
We're singing in stake conference in two weeks with the other two sisters! SO EXCITED!! It's been great to get to sing again:) I LOVE being around Sister Call and Sister Dumont all the time now too! It's great serving in the same area as them, and our Elders are the best, too!!
We took a trip to Lexington on Friday to try to find some of our LA's that live out there. MIRACLE DAY!! We talked to SO many people and I truly realized that day the power of SISTER missionaries. There are 2 sets of elders in that area, and we knocked on a couple doors that were all "oh, we saw the guys come by a couple days ago, but I told them to go away, but you can come in!" We truly need more sisters to serve missions!! We make a difference:) The elders do amazing work too, and I look up to them in so many ways, but sisters ARE important. They were the nicest people! We committed one man to meet with the Lexington elders and were able to get into a LA's house. A 25 year old woman with 5 kids-- the oldest being 10. CUTEST FAMILY I EVER SAW!!! She hadn't been to church in about 10 years and said that she should start going again-- and committed her to meet with the elders too. GOOD DAY.
We AGAIN did service at the Robinsons farm this last week, with the other sisters, the elders, and a bunch of those from the family ward. We helped TRY to put in like 250 trees at their farm. SO FUN:) I love the farms!
Anyway, it's been a great week. And Easter made it THAT much better!
Sunday = "Son Day" What a super special day. If you haven't had the chance to watch the church's Easter video, DO IT. That is my commitment to you this day. And I promise you that if you do, you will realize why He is so important. He IS our Savior. He has saved us and He is everything. We need to turn to Him because He has "overcome the world" and with His help, we can too.
Yesterday, while watching this video at our dinner appointment, I felt Christ's STRENGTH, POWER, INDEPENDENCE, and UNBREAKABLE relationship between Him and our Father in Heaven. I can't even comprehend Christ strength. And He gained His strength because of His love for YOU. Just image the strength that we can have as a people and an individual if we take the time to get to know one another, to understand one another, and to have our love for one another grow. I believe that the more we love our fellow men, the more we will realize the love Heavenly Father and Christ have for us, and the more love we have for Them.
LOVE.... "Love is all you need."
I KNOW that my Redeemer Lives. <---- what comfort that sweet sentence gives.
I hope you all know that Some "Bunny" in Nebraska loves you!! Have a great week!
-Sister Checketts
Sorry about no picture in this one... my device isn't really working on this computer :P

The Lord is My Strength

I just love you more than the birds-- and that's saying something<3
This has been the greatest week! I hope all is well with you.
I LOVE MY COMPANION!!!! We have the greatest fun together and laugh constantly-- I'm sure Heavenly Father just shakes his head at us sometimes... hahah:) It's the best:)
SO MUCH GOOD this week. Always.
So funny story, we had Jehovah witnesses knocking at our door this week. We had just finished studies and were heading towards the door. Bowing our heads to pray before we headed out when we heard knocking at our door... We looked at each other so confused. I mean who knocks on a missionaries door? When we have a picture Christ on the outside? We opened it and this dad and his kid were standing there inviting us to their church. Jdubbs.... it happened. We very much thanked them talked for a wee bit, then closed the door and giggled our heads off, Then continued to bow our heads and pray for them on our way out. LOVE IT.
I love YSA... more than words.... SO MANY ACTIVITES going on!! We got to walk around campus a lot this last week teaching a LA in the music building and such... Guess who came to perform at the college this week? Scotty McCreery... yes.... We got a picture of his bus. WHAT? Cool stuff:)
We taught FHE to the YSA branch this last week--- seriously some of the coolest cats of college kids I've met:) They are super fun. GO YSA. It was a super cool experience sittin on the floor of their apartment and watching the restoration DVD. There are multiple return missionaries and many preparing to go, so it's the best:)
had interviews with Pres this week! I LOVE THAT MAN. He is so inspired and us and the other sisters that serve in the Kearney Family ward learned so much:) It scared me though talking to president because he made me realize how super SHORT of time I have on my mission left:(:( Never again after 9 months will I ever be a set apart missionary in this body in this life until I go with my hubby one day. How sad is that?!?! I never want to leave.
He also made me realize how special it is to be serving in this YSA branch. Our mission only has 3 YSA branches/wards and ours is the only one with sisters. Not many sisters in this mission will get this opportunity. And it's funny because usually when I see him, he prepares me that I'll be moving on to a new area soon... sorta. But this time he said not to expect movement anytime soon. So I hope I'm here for a good CHUNK of the mission. (yes, my friends reading this, I'm getting over many of my strange fear of words).
Our district is the best too.... it's going to be the best fun! I can't believe how fast even this week has gone by!!
Hump day was exciting! We went back to our apartment to eat lunch. I'm sitting on the couch taking a bit of my wrap when there was another knock at our door. HELLO PACKAGE!! YAY! Thanks Mom and Dad:)
We have ants invading our apartment though-- no biggie:)
We had an intense lesson with the kid- Andrew that invited us to his Lutheran service last week. Man, it was a toughy. It's hard teaching those our own age cause it's intimidating but our strength is in the lord and with Him on our side we can be bold. All Andrew wants to do is compare our church with his and this week I just flat out told him "You're missing some things" And he got real taken back by that. But we were meeting with him in a loudish café and the spirit just slammed when I said it. But then I got all sheepish and tried to cushion and comfort what I'd just said--- gah.... I don't know why I did that, but hopefully it got him to think. He's still cool with us and we'll see him sometime this week hopefully.
I know we're YSA... but we have this cool cool investigator named Arlys... she's 86. Her husband passed away 2 years ago and I have never seen a couple so in love.... she still loves him SO MUCH. She is such a Christian lady and LOVES Mormons!!! We had the coolest lesson with her-- she's reading the Book of Mormon. She is the most active 86 year old ever!! Still does yoga and  everything!! Anyway, yesterday we had a hecka blizzard out of NO WHERE!! (I haven't worn a coat all week and then during church BAM--- there were wrecks all over the place cause you couldn't seen anything outside!! So after it stopped we went to shovel her driveway. She's the best and it's sooooo sad because yesterday she was type writing her own obituary :( LOVE HER.
WE DID SO MUCH SERVICE ON THE FARM THIS WEEK!! There is a family in the family ward that lives on this farm in the BEAUTIFUL middle of no where (Nebraska is seriously sooooo gorgeous:):)) And so they called us up and we got to feed their new baby calves, till their HUGE garden, and chase all their chickens and pigs around. I seriously want to spend a Summer on a farm... I love it so much! Reminded me of spending time on grandma and grandpas farm. needless to say, I'm so sore!
It didn't help that that same night we had GAME NIGHT!! Every Saturday the branch and  the members invite a ton of friends come to the church for game night! We played volleyball and basketball and soccer. I love YSA cause we get to do all these fun fun activities!! But yes, I'm sore:) And my sport skillz are improving:)
Yesterday after the branch block at church, on of the branch leaders put on a Passover dinner... bitter herbs--- I'm tellin ya. DON'T TRY THEM!!!! I almost couldn't breathe... haha They got a video of all of us eating them at the same time.. OWWWW!!!!! Hahah It was so fun:)
We have a blast and we have a lot of work to do this week!:):) All the students are stressin about finals-- so GOOD LUCK TO ALL THOSE IN WHOM IT APPLIES!!!!! The Holy Ghost will "bring all things to your remembrance" All the info is in your brains--- you can do it:)
Favorite scripture we memorized this week:
2 Nephi 22:2 "Behold, God is my salvation. I will trust and not not be afraid; for the Lord Jehovah is my strength and my song; he also has become my salvation."
The Lord is our strength-- whether he gives us strength to life giant railroad ties, or till a garden, or push cars out of the snowbanks, or killing a goal in soccer, or making it through finals..... if we do what He asks and beyond, He will be our strength, our added strength, and He is our grace. <3 We are saved by WORKS AND GRACE  Our works show our love for the Lord our God. <3
Have a great week! Give the missionaries a referral for me:)
-Sister Checketts
Us, Cornell, and Jose <3

Monday, April 7, 2014

New Address:

Sister Megan Elise Checketts
1601 W. 39th St. Apt #2
Kearney, NE 68847

And my nine-month pictures with my favorite lady, AMY <3 <3 <3

Alofa Oe!!

For those of you that don't speak Samoan.... ^^^^ That is Samoan for "I LOVE YOU!"

THIS WEEK HAS BEEN THE BEST THING EVER!!!! Where in the world do I start........

So found out some fun stuff this week!
There was this lady that we met in Yankee Hill who was a lost sheep! She had been a member forever but hadn't been to church in years and we found her and gave her information to the Pioneer Ward because that is what boundaries she lives in... I found out this week that all her kids are getting baptized!! YAY! If I wouldn't have taken down her info-- it wouldn't be happening! HAPPY DAY!!! .... not that IIIIII had anything to do with it, it was all the Lord's plan <3 He's the best.

So I'm not sure if any of you have heard of the popular "Polar Bear Plunge" videos that are going viral-- at least out here they are. I know it's going across the country too-- but they are all an effort of raising money for a sweet little 5 month old boy named Landon Shaw who has a brain tumor. People challenge others to go swim in ice cold water and film it and they donate money if they share the videos-- well Landon Shaw happens to be the members that we lived with in Mahoney's grand nephew. So she was telling us all about it and it's SO COOL how many people are stepping up to help. We've been praying lots for little Landon Shaw. We told Sister Flack that we can't get in the water, but that we would totally film ourselves jumping in an ice cold shower! hahah:)

So I got a fun letter in the mail this week!! From a wonderful 14 year-old named Allie who is from Des Moines, Iowa. SHOUT-OUT TO ALLIE!! She found this blog on pinterest and sent me the cutest letter and picture, telling me her sweet sweet conversion story of her at girls camp. THANK YOU, ALLIE!! It meant a lot:)

Weber and I had a fun and excited week! The Ferguson's took us out to eat a couple more times because they knew transfers were coming up. We went to this AMAZING sandwich place of which Steve calls it the "Sandwich Nazi".... like off of Sienfield? hahaha so funny. The owner is super passionate about his sandwiches. He's a member and it was fun:) Then later in the week they took us to this fancy place called Misty's. I will forever love these people <3 We have tons of fun.

Now, a long time ago, Weber and I were having a difficult day and we decided to go on a "Come to Jesus" walk. We walked by all these apartments and just chatted with each other about how we were feeling, and while we were walking, I saw this guy out on his porch smoking and I did a double take and totally just walked straight up to him. His name was Diego. We had a good conversation with him that day, got his phone number and that was all. That was about a month ago and since then we text and invite him to things, trying to set up appointments every so often. Well this last week he texted us and wanted to meet with us again. So we took a woman in our ward who speaks Spanish to come with us on a team-up and we taught him this week! HE IS SOOOO GOING TO GET BAPTIZED!!!! He is the most open person I have taught yet on my mission. He is ready to accept and learn everything and is reading the Book of Mormon and is just soaking it all in!! I left BEAMING and we just know that it's going to happen. Well the next morning I got the transfer call...

Now, to get to the point of where I'm at....

I'VE BEEN TRANSFERRED TO THE KEARNEY YSA BRANCH!! Yes, I'm in the Young Single Adult branch by the university! Weber stayed in Mahoney and I, again, got moved to a new area. President sure wasn't kidding. This is my 5th area in my 9 months. And I wouldn't trade any of it for ANYTHING!!!

It was hard saying goodbye to those in Mahoney, super sad that RIGHT when we get an investigators with a baptism date and right after we teach Diego, and right after we get this weekly scripture study all set up.. I have to leave:(:( It was hard to say goodbye ESPECIALLY TO AMY!!! I had to say goodbye to Amy:( There were lots of tears. She is my new adopted grandma. Forever&Always. Saying goodbye to her and her next door neighbor, Kim, was soooooo heartbreaking. They have both changed my life. But we'll always keep in touch and...

I LOVE THE YSA BRANCH!!!!! So I can't complain:) My new companion is Sister Muasau!! She's 22 from Midvale, Utah and she's Samoan! I LOVE HER TO PIECES!!! She came out the same time as Sister Weber, and we are already doing soooooo amazing! Her insights on the gospel and her drive of missionary work is so much fun! I feel the spirit with us so strong and she is seriously an answer to so many prayers!!

It blows my mind how Father answers our prayers-- prayers that we don't even know we offer. I have been missing music SO MUCH lately-- my last few comps haven't really had a huge interest in music and I could really share my passions of it with them, well, Sister Muasau has the MOST AMAZING voice!!!! She's a tadddd shy about it, but I'll make sure we fix that:) Not that my voice is ANYTHING spectacular, but that has been an answer to prayers. She is also just so chill and such a hard worker. She's lovingly bold with everyone (YAY) and it's so great to be with her. There is this LA that has the most amazing voice here too, it's the best!

It's crazy getting to teach and work with those around my same age. The sisters before us have set up SO MANY activites! We have something going every night! Whether it's institute, mission prep, any activities going on at the university (YES WE GET TO GO!!) or the weekly "Game night" at the church on Saturdays where we get to play basketball, volleyball or ANYTHING and invite ANY students to it. IT IS SO MUCH FUN!!!! It's like living in the college town again, but getting to preach the gospel. I couldn't ask for anything more. I know I am going to find myself here in the YSA branch-- not needing to act formally or whatever for meals and stuff. We don't get fed too often either, so it's seriously like college life. We live in a crappy cute apartment-- elders were here before :P but it's way fun! SURROUNDED by college students.

So crazy story, our Kearney YSA boundaries covers the LARGEST area in the whole United States for a set of missionaries to be in. For real. :) I'm in the largest geographic region!

I drove over a grass field my first day here--- I didn't want to have Muasau back me up, so I just drove over the grass.. hope no one saw.. haha

There are another set of sisters, my FAVORITE sisters-- Sisters Call and Dumont(she came out with me-- was my first mission friend) who serve in the family ward here. IT IS SO FUN. We get to see them like every day. Everyone here speaks spanish-- lots of diversity! SO FUN. I'm going to learn spanish one day.

UMM WASN'T CONFERENCE AMAZING?!?!?! We watched it on Saturday with a cute family from the family ward and then on Sunday watched it in the chapel with other young single adults. Richard G. Scott never ceases to amazing me. It's always HIM that answers most of my questions that I come to conference with. Isn't it amazing that we have a living prophet on the earth today to know what our Father, and creator wants us to do with our every day life?? SO GOOD!!!!

To live part of Elder Ballards talk-- I'm deciding to send y'all a quote from out wonderful "Preach My Gospel":
"Help people recognize that the church is not just another religion, nor is it an American church. Rather, it is a restoration of the "fullness of [the] gospel" (D&C 1:23) the same as was revealed and taught from the beginning"

After conference yesterday, we were invited by one of our potential investigators to attend his Lutheran church service. So we did! It was over on the campus and it was a great realization to me. A lot of what they do is the same as other Catholic services that I have attended in the past, just more casual. They talked a lot about the rising of Lazarus and it was all good, but the whole time as we listened and sang their hymns, it just felt EMPTY. It felt like there was no SUBSTANCE. And they tried to fill that void with gorgeous ornate decorations of crosses and with incense burning, and it just still felt like it was lacking something--- the WHOLE truth. Like this quote from PMG says, our church, The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day saints. Isn't just a church. It isn't just something we live by, but it's A WAY OF LIFE. It's WHO WE ARE. We, as members, know our purpose and know that we have a personal and sacred relationship with our Father who lives in Heaven. He knows everything that goes on and plays an acitve part in our lives.

I know that because of this last transfer-- prayers were answered that I didn't even know I was asking. As I've been here, I see who I am going to become from this area and what aspects of my life are going to grow from being here.

Don't just listen to conference-- DO SOMETHING ABOUT IT!! <3 It was amazing because soooooo many things that were talked about in the 5 sessions of conference, were things that Sister Muasau and I discussed in companionship study that morning. Coincidence? There are no such things!

Anyway, I'm so excited to be here. And to get you in the mood for Easter, here is a link that was showed to us at Christmas time that has changed my life. Enjoy <3
Me and Sister Muasau!!

My half-way mark this week..... WOAH WOAH WOAH. I'M HALFWAY THERE!!!

-Much love!!, Sister Checketts