Monday, April 7, 2014

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

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