Monday, November 24, 2014

My "digs" haha

Study Desk!

Rescue the Lost Sheep

Happy Thanksgiving!

Hello Dearest Family and Friends!!!
Happy Thanksgiving week!!! It's actually here and happening.. that is weird!!
This week has been great!!
First off, I cannot express how much I miss living with members..... I've been without it for like 7 months now... and we've been thinking a lot about it this week because all we want for Christmas is to live with members! There are lots of members in the ward who are able, they are just waiting till holidays, or they're still trying to get situated or whatnot.. so it isn't happening yet,  but I just wanted to say "thank you" to all those who house missionaries and especially to all those I've had the privilege to live with. They change the lives of missionaries, that is for sure!!!! Thank you to the Denkers, Nix's, Fergusons, Flacks, and Cammacks... I love you all!!!!!
We had exchanges this week! So although I've been here for only like 3 weeks.. I feel as though I know the area very well. So Sister Stiles, who goes home at the end of this transfer, came to our area with me and we spent a day and a half together. Golly, I love her! She's sweet and helped a lot! We saw MANY MIGHTY MIRACLES and tried to commit all our investigators to baptism.
We brought it up with our 84 year old investigators Carol-- and although she didn't commit, we are whole heartedly trying for her to be ready by January 3rd. She is soooo ready, just scared for the initial change and is letting a little thing like Coffee hold her back, but she is INCREDIBLE!!! We go and iron for her every week. This 84 year old is learning to play the harp and reads every book she can get her hands on. She LOVES the ward, it just nervous for the initial change. She came to the RS dinner than night and absolutely loved it, then came to church all three hours yesterday even AFTER attending her Methodist church. Said our church is MUCH different than hers, but she couldn't stop smiling the whole time and she always lingers around talking to everyone forever-- her fellowshipper, Sister Larsen, has the hardest time getting her to leave:) So that's a good thing!! She can just stay forever! She loves it when we call her Grandma.. so I have ANOTHER grandma out here in Nebraska. She'll make it to January 3rd. Everyone keeps joking with her that she "just needs to get dunked already" So keep her in your prayers:):
Sister Stiles and I had a sweet BOM handout too. We were on our way home for the night and were stopped at a stop sign. The car in front of us-- the license plate said "PRAYNOW" So we giggled and took a picture, and the car just kept sitting there. So we put our car in park, ran up to the window and the lady opened the door looking really confused. It was a crazy encounter and cars were all around us, but we gave her a Book of Mormon and a card with our number. #sweetaction
Teri-- is another one of our investigators that we talked to about baptism. She absolutely LOVES the ladies in the ward too. She has a daughter that joined the c church a couple of years ago and is now on a mission coming back in February, so sisters have worked with Teri for almost a year and a half. I finally just asked her.. "Teri.. why aren't you a member??" And she brought up some concerns. She fits RIGHT in with all the women and she has GREAT friends there. Earlier that day, we had prayed about a date to commit her to be baptized.. and we felt good about Feb 28th. So we asked her about that date and she said "... that is Sarah (her missionary daughter)'s birthday!! How cool would that be??? #NOCOINCIDENCES. She flat out turned us down still, but keep her in your prayers because I know she can make it for then too!! She reminds me SO MUCH of my moms sisters. I just love her!!
We had Zone training this week. Sister Crist, who goes home at the end of this transfer, gave such a great testimony!! She said something that meant a lot to me. She said "as long as you TRY, you ARE enough". Satan's really good at making it seem that we aren't enough. Don't ever listen to him. (easier said than done, I know, but it's true!!)
Sis T and I had dinner with the Checketts here this week! My 2nd cousins that are in our ward!! We drove out to their gorgeous house in the middle of all these fields and Laura Checketts had arranged for like 4 of the 10 siblings and their families to be there. So it was like a huge family reunion! It was sooo sweet!! Hahah:) They're hilarious:):)
I also got new this week that MY BROTHER IS A DADDY AGAIN!!!!!!!! To another one of the CUTEST little boys ever!!!! I swear.. my family just gets better looking with each one!!!!! AHHHHHHHHH I'm SOOOOOO excited! So yes, I am Aunt Sister Checketts to another beautiful child!!! It's hard to not be there, especially when ALLLLLLL  this week we have only really been focusing on families, and EVERYTHING is being tied back to Eternal Families.
I have a new baby nephew, the primary program put on our sacrament meeting yesterday, we taught Gospel Principles and the topic was "An Eternal Family". So many of my family have birthdays coming up, and the HOLIDAYS are a family affair. SO I just want to bear testimony on this lil email that FAMILIES ARE ETERNAL!!! And the GREATEST happiness in the world comes from learning and growing with our precious loved ones. They are literally my world and my rock. I love them beyond any words I could ever use to describe. And I know we will be close, and be together until forever. How BLESSED we are, family, to have the blessings of the sealing in the temple. So many people do NOT AT ALL enjoy those blessings yet, or only have partial of those blessings. My dear companion is only sealed to a portion of her family because her siblings do not yet understand the importance of the gospel. So DO NOT TAKE IT FOR GRANTED. But embrace and share the blessings we have. As a missionary, THAT knowledge is a big portion of what keeps me going. I will ALWAYS have that support from my loved ones, and I thank my Father every day for that. I serve for family. And for sharing the message of eternal families.
Anyway, I had a great study this morning all about Trust. It is SO easy for Heavenly Father to trust us. He knows His plan, knows what is going to happen, and places us in specific instances because He knows what we will do to fulfill His plan. HE TRUSTS US. The thing we need to work on is trusting HIM. You'd thing it would be the other way around since He is the ultimate creator and it should be easy for us to trust Him. But that is where FAITH comes in. We do not see him... so we act in FAITH, TRUSTING that he is there. The more we trust, and work for that knowledge, the more He will give us. Anyway, there is my 2 cents for the week!
I love you all!!! We have a TEMPLE TRIP this week! My first time going in over 7 months. How grateful I am for that.
I hope you all have a PERFECT Thanksgiving!!!!!! We'll be spending time with a single lady and her mom and children. It'll be good. Then we might be stopping at the Checketts' for desert or something too, so I can still claim to be with "family" for the holidays ;)
I miss you, YSA!!! Know how much I love you!! And thank you to all who are reading these, truly, I wish I could communicate my love and appreciation more 1 on 1, but just know that I love you sooooo much!!!
There is MUCH to be grateful for this holiday season.
Watch the "He is the Gift" video and #ShareTheGift!!
Please, SHARE with all you friends!!!
Love, Sister Checketts
My Checketts Family!!:)

Monday, November 17, 2014



Look who I found!

It's been a year since I've seen this kid!! Elder Adams! From High School.

Once there was a snowman.....

Hello on this beautiful wintery day!!
We've been receiving storms up the wazoooooo here full of wind and snow! It's already gotten to like 10 degrees.. not even counting the wind chill. WAHOO!!! It's going to be an intense winter:) It's been fun to pull out the heavy coat though! I always feel like super dedicated and hard-core missionary in my heavy coat:)
This week has been soooo full of ups and downs!!! That is seriously the sum-up of missionary life. We had Brent H. Nielsen of the Quorem of the 70 come and speak to us this week and all the sisters got together before the main conference started to meet with his wife, Sister Nielsen. Golly Jee... she's the cutest! She was saying that most people assume missionary life to be this uphill climb always getting better and easier and more knowledgeable and then reaching this point where you are unstoppable. But the reality is it is constant ups and downs-- just like normal life! And that is how we REALLY grow.
Anyway, coming into this area, there is SO MUCH to do!! And I do actually feel like there are a lot of ideas and things that I am offering here that is totally helping this area. Makes me wonder what was going on before I got here, because to me the ideas I'm bringing forth seem like common sense... but I guess they are just things I've learned and taken upon me my whole mission, and now is the chance to use them all:) YAY
We've changed our focus in this area to focusing mostly on our LA members. So this week, we've knocked on LOTS of their doors. A LOT of them, still wanting nothing to do with us, but we have gotten in a few doors that it has been MONTHS since that has happened. SO YAY. One of them-- is Sister Nichols! She's incredible!! AHHH The sisters have gotten in a LITTLE bit in the past, but we really had no information on her. Something that I am SO GRATEFUL that Sister Weber taught me-- is how to get good at asking questions. Some people just don't think to ask many questions... and it's SO IMPORTANT! So we spent a lot of time asking her questions and getting to know who she is and where she comes from. Turns out she was in the Army-- That's how she knows my family, the Checketts a lot. And about 10-15 years ago, she had a stroke and lost SO much memory. She doesn't even remember giving birth to some of her children. HOW SAD. No wonder she doesn't come to church anymore. She doesn't know anything about it! She knows she is a member, and she has tried to do some research on on her own, but she really doesn't understand any of it... So, as we talked with her, I asked her if she'd like to take the lessons that we teach to those who are just learning about the church. And with NO hesitation, she just said "YES". The wonderful woman was just waiting for someone to ask her. Golly I love her so much! People in the ward know her-- they said she used to give the most AMAZING lessons in RS, but no one knew about the stroke and figured she just stopped coming. We're so excited to teach her, and so many in the ward are excited to come with us. Just goes to show that we shouldn't assume or judge-- but we should ask questions and get to know people ourselves <3
We're teaching another LA member and she is amazing! Reminds me A LOT of Sister Muasau, and she's really trying to focus on fixing herself and aligning herself with God right now. She is an inspiration to me.
We're doing our best to go and ask all the LA if they'd like to take the lessons. Which is FUNNY, because in our conference with Elder Nielsen this week, THAT is exactly what he's asking us to do. Spend more time getting to know our LA's. INSPIRATION!! The spirit is wonderful:)
I got to use what I love and do what I love this week helping out one of our members with my graphic design skills! She's on a committee at her sons school and needed help designing a poster for their lockers, so I got to help with that for the first time in FOREVER and it was so great! She was really impressed and has asked me to help with making the invites for the ward Christmas party too... Who knew helping my mom out all those years with her little handouts and invites would come so much in handy one day and I absolutely love it!!:)
We're teaching this awesome mom named Amanda! We've met with her twice this week- had dinner at a members home with her. For the longest time, the sisters before didn't know how to help her progress. She seemed like she DESIRED to change, but wasn't WILLING. I'm telling ya... asking bold questions is the answer to everything. COMMUNICATION and humility will solve all the worlds problems. Companionship inventories with ALL those we have contention with is the best. Comp inventories is my FAVORITE time of the week <3
Amanda is the cutest though! Her fiance is deployed in Cuba and he is LA. They have 2 little boys and she's been meeting with the sisters the whole time he has been gone. She's been set for baptism a couple of times, but doesn't really know what that means. He fiancĂ© should get back in a couple of months and so we're really wanting her to understand. Well this week we figured out where she stood more and realized that she just has a lack in understanding the BASICS of the gospel. Faith, repentance, and understanding the love of God. So we've talked with her about that and then asked her if she wanted to re-take the lessons. From the beginning. She didn't even know that there were specific lessons that we taught... I'm so confused as to what those before me were doing sometimes... lol. But she is a VERY logical and organized person, and just the fact that she now knows that we have specific lessons we teach, is getting her excited and wanting to learn more. I feel good things about her progression now:)
Oh gosh though, my FAVORITE part of the week was our mission tour with Elder Nielsen!!!!!!!!!!!! I NEVER WANTED IT TO END and I literally about cried as we drove away.
The night before, we had 4 sisters staying in our apartment with us. One of them was SISTER MUASAU!!!!:):) Oh gosh, we had the opportunity to catch up and talk about EVERYTHING. We stayed up a little later than we should have... oops... but it was a rare occasion and  totally worth it!!!!! We sang our songs that we were famous for and I just love her to pieces!!! That was the best:)
Then the next day at the mission tour, we saw EVERYONE!!! I saw Elder Dano Adams!! That kid is the coolest! And Elder Lafever who was in my ward at college and we caught up! 3 of the 6 of my companions were there. I saw Sister Mahlstead-- my trail center twin, and Sister Wilding whom I hadn't really talked to since I was in Lincoln.
I LOVE MISSION REUNIONS!!!!!! Seriously, they are the best days of my life. These missionaries are the GREATEST.
The mission tour was all about the Atonement-- my all-time favorite subject. Talking not only about the REDEEMING power of the Atonement, but the part I have studied about and come to know the most on my mission--- the ENABLING power of the Atonement. It is SOOOO real, and it is my favorite thing to testify of. We can do things BEYOND our natural ability if we only are obedient, and have FAITH IN CHRIST that it can happen. "It is by GRACE that we are saved after all we can do!" Grace is the greatest gift ever. Because of it "With God, anything is possible". That is something that I have studied and done my best to rely on my whole mission, and I finally feel like I am coming to a greater understanding of it. We must use BOTH the redeeming and enabling power of the Atonement. We need them both.
Sister Nielsen also talked to us, the sisters, a lot about finding PEACE in everyday living-- which is exactly what we needed to share with Amanda that night. Yes, life can be chaotic, but the underlining peace, our foundation of peace, will be there if we rely on our Savior.
After the conference, a prayer was answered in that we got to go on a "mini exchange" with Sisters Goldsberry and Weber for the night. So I got to be companions with my daughter again!!:) YAY!!! I had all 3 of my companions in one car... haha it's the funniest thing ever... apparently they all share secrets and stories about me... lol. #scarythought
Anyway, Sister Weber came with me into our area to have dinner with one of my favorite families, and it's amazing to see the great missionary that she is. She is my favorite! So sweet and it was SO fun being able to be companions again for a night. We also saw a sweet tender mercy from the Lord and we can both testify to you that the blessings that come from fast offerings and tithing are REAL.
Sister T and I had some hard days together too.. we had a day this week where we just felt that everyone was upset around us and we were just making it worse. We talked with our WML and did service and things seemed to get worse with our help instead of better, and to make matters worse, there was a huge snow storm, so I was driving super slow, and this car behind us kept HONKING like we were being soooo slow. And just ALL day that day, we wanted to cry because it didn't seem we were helping anything. As much as we wanted to just hide from the world and not cause harm, we kept our faith in the Lord and kept going, knowing that it just meant that SOME miracle HAD to happen that day.... We kept encouraging each other to press forward and our love for each other grew. There wasn't any HUGE miraculous miracle, but we were able to teach a great lesson with Amanda that day, and it was worth it. The hardest days, are the biggest testing days, and they days we learn the most. SO KEEP PUSHING THROUGH THEM!!!!
Anyway, it's been crazy! Overall I am doing really well and I keep pushing forward!!! Life as a missionary is the greatest thing ever!!!! It's never going to end:):):) When life seems impossible, just put a smile on your face, and DON'T WORRY SO MUCH!!! We always tend to beat ourselves up more than we need to. Christ won't beat us up for things we do wrong, he appreciates EVERY effort towards doing His will and praises us for EVERY effort. We need not be so hard on ourselves. DON'T WORRY SO MUCH!!! You ARE enough:)
I love you all!! Keep pressing forward. READ THE BOOK OF MORMON DAILY!!!!!!! Even if it's only a few verses. There is power in those little words. SO MUCH power. And SOOOO many examples of the enabling power of the Atonement.
I'll ALWAYS love you, and thanks for alllll you do for me and for the service you give to our fellow brothers and sisters!!!!!!
Love, Sister Checketts
Picture" #TheseAreAFewOfMyFavoriteThings!!!! Some of my FAVORITE sisters after the Mission Tour <3

Monday, November 10, 2014

"I cannot express that which I feel..."

Hello my beloved family and friends!!! OHHHHH how I miss and love each one of you!! I sooooo appreciate all your letters and emails even still!!! They keep me going:):)
I actually got a bunch of emails from my YSA family!! And just about cried... I miss you all soooooooooooo so so so so much!!!! You have no idea. You guys changed my life!!
So sorry if I don't directly reply to all emails that were sent to me.. I will do my best! :) And Heavenly Father will make up the rest!
This week has been really good! For about 3 days at the beginning of the week, I still felt like I was living in a daze. I knew NO ONE, I had NO CLUE where anything is located, and I just felt SOO LOST. It wasn't till about day 4 that everything sank in. I shed a few more tears, and then I FINALLY felt adjusted to this ward and this area. It was a GREAT feeling once it did come though, and I felt Heavenly Father answer my prayers.
Its crazy the feelings that you feel, that a long time ago, I didn't think I would ever feel. When RM's would describe their mission, and for the longest time I didn't get it... and now I'm starting to.
Elkhorn is GREAT!! Really, it is!!! It's way different than any other of my areas. We have a bunch of investigators... but we're sorting them out seeing if they are TRULY interested, or if they just love the missionaries. It seems to me, that for the past while, things here with the missionaries have been pretty "casual". The members are AMAZING at doing missionary work and inviting their friends to things, but the missionaries have been doing their own work completely separate. Sister T doesn't even know a lot of the members... so we're working on fixing that. Members are my favorite part of missionary work:):)
We've taken a LOT of time this last week to stop and meet as many of the members as possible. We have dinners every night this month and already half of next month. So don't worry about me not getting fed! ;)
One thing that I have been SOOO grateful for is being able to have learned how to be more BOLD in stating our purpose as missionaries and truly getting down to the point in our missionary work. I think Sister Muasau taught me a lot of that <3. We had this saying that we would use "no fluffy stuff" this gospel is important, our time as missionaries is SHORT and we should focus our efforts on those that are ready and prepared to learn. So we're sorting through everyone and figuring that out. It's actually super fun, and once I figured out that that is what I was needing to do, my heart became IN this area.
I've been pretty sick this last week.... and I had even gotten a flu shot a few weeks back... so that has been a mess... Some days I've wanted soo bad to just not do anything, but I know inside that I am well enough to keep going, so I have to keep pushing myself, but rest at the right times.
Sister T was sick a lot before I got here, so I think she just passed it along. We've been quite the pair with our tissues everywhere and our voices gone. But she told me this week, that our numbers have hit a record high for this area almost. So that's sweet:) She said that she has never had this much fun doing missionary work before. She is truly a joy to work with!! :)
One of our "investigators" is a mom of a RC who is actually on a mission right now. It's been really neat to get to know her. She asks a lot of questions because her daughter is out doing what we're doing right now and she doesn't' know anything about the gospel. We love going to visit with her!!
We've met some LA's this week that have softened up to us just because of my name. HOW GRATEFUL I am not only for the name of Jesus Christ on my nametag.. but also for CHECKETTS. Seriously, my family that just recently moved to Texas from this ward are AMAZING!! I think they reached out to like EVERY less-active member of this ward. We go and knock on a door, introduce ourselves, and they give a double take at my name.. they go "... ohhh, we know some Checketts! But you probably ar.." "Yes.. yes, I am related actually!" And they let us in. It's SWEET!!! I KNOW I am here to carry on much of the work my family has done here. THANK YOU GUS & NANCY and KIDS for being SUCH great missionaries!!
We had a miracle this week! The HARDEST part of our day to fill is the hour from 8pm to 9pm at night. Man, in YSA, that time of the day was EASY! Young adults are always up, but in family ward.... we have to be careful. This one night, all our plans had fallen through and we were driving around trying to inspire tract. This are is VERY intimidating knocking on doors because the houses are MANSIONS it seems. But we were driving, and Sister T goes, "why don't we just knock somewhere around here?" And I said, "Okay... There???" And I pointed to a house that was very lit up. We pulled over, said a prayer and got out and rang the doorbell. Two young women answer the door and they were SO nice. We got to talking... one of them is going through "Confirmation" for their catholic church right now and thinks it would be a GREAT idea to look into other religions to help her in Confirmation. Turns out she knows one of the young women in the ward and they have gone to school together for years! So we have another appt with her on Thursday. YAY!  You guys NEVER know who is watching you! When one of your acquaintances runs into missionaries one day, they are going to instantly think of you because they know YOU are a Mormon. It was neat! There are no such things as coincidences.
One of the members in our ward got in a car accident this week and asked us to come help clean their kitchen because her and the kids were sore and hurting. We talked to her for a while and I was SO impressed on all the GOOD she saw that came from the accident. It was her fault, but miracle after miracle she was naming off all these blessings that came from it. She said "this is all new for me! I have never been in so much trial, yet been SO HAPPY because of all the blessings that came from it!" She's a Recent Convert of about 3 years. It made me so happy, and everyone here are amazing mothers and they teach their children all about miracles and that "God will provide!!"
Funny story... we got news that a LA member from Plattsmouth, NE just recently moved here to Omaha in a nursing home in our ward boundaries. So we went to the nursing home to welcome her. Well all the doors were locked, and when I went to open it, an alarm started to go off, so we backed away and went to go try another door. We found another door around back and I went to go open that one, but it too was locked and ANOTHER alarm started to go off... haha we were so confused and couldn't stop giggling. We went back to the front entrance, the whole building full of commotion and noise and followed a man inside. Nurses were inside running around the building trying to figure out which one of their residence had escaped, and we had to tell them not to worry.. because I was the one who set of the alarm.. haha SO EMBARRASSING but they were such good sports about it. Then they led us the way to the lady's room. LOL it was the funniest thing ever. The lady wasn't home.
The next day, we went to go try her again, and as we pulled in the parking lot to the nursing home, we heard sirens going down the road. Sister T just started LAUGHING and kept saying that they were coming for me. We ended up meeting her though and she's a sweetie, totally working to get back to church.
Anyway.... always fun experiences as a missionary!!
Heavenly Father knows us SO WELLL. This week I noticed a lot of things that He did for me in this area that I had been praying for. Sister Tourtillott sings!! So this is going to be a GREAT Christmas. AAAANNNNND He knows how much I LOVE the holidays, so He placed me in a spot where there are going to be SUCH elaborate Christmas lights and decorations, and I am SO CLOSE to other missionaries and the Trail Center. We'll get to go to the famous Gingerbread Festival at the trail center A LOT this year. I'm just in awe at how much He loves us and answers our prayers.
I had an experience at Sacrament meeting yesterday. I was praying to Heavenly Father, telling him that I was still a little overwhelmed because I don't really know anyone, or feel like I belong, and sometimes I just want to stop for a while. When I opened my eyes it was my turn to partake of the water, and as I looked at the tray, there were only 3 cups left. There were 4 of us sitting on the bench.
I thought to myself.. "man, what if there was a limit to the sacrament, a limit to the atonement, and each week there were people that couldn't partake because they 'ran out'".
Then another tray came to the assistance with just a couple more cups of water.
Then the spirit told me... "just hang on, there are still a couple more people for you to touch"
And I realized that those "couple more people" are worth it. I just have to keep going :)
If y'all are still reading the Book of Mormon.. I hope you are!! Our mission should be on page 385! We just finished the WAR CHAPTERS!!!!:):) I love Captain Moroni soooo much. He's probably my number one Book of Mormon Hero!!
He had weakness too! Alma 55:1
Even he had doubts! Alma 59:11
Even he looked back and wished things had been different! Alma 60:16
And He only did things to please GOD, not man! Alma 60:36
He saw blessings amidst trials! Alma 62:12
And "if all mad had been, and were, and ever would be, like unto Moroni, behold, the very powers of hell would have been shaken forever, yea, the devil would never have power over the hearts of the children of men" Alma 48:17
He's the best!!
Also, we need to remember that we are NOT alone!!!
We've been focusing a lot on studying the Enabling Power of the Atonement as a mission to prepare for Brett H. Nielson of the 70 to come to our MISSION TOUR this week!!! And I know that our Savior gives us added strength beyond our own power if we seek for it and do what He has asked.
Heleman 4:14. Our strength is not our own!
Heleman 4:24.  The spirit gives us strength.
And that STRENGTH adds to us the more covenants that we make with our Heavenly Father.
I love you all!!! Sometimes I have those moments where I just get tired, physically and emotionally and I am about ready to be done, but then I remember about the "COUPLE MORE" to reach and I just keep on pushing!! Don't give up!!!
Because the GREATEST feeling is the atonement in our lives, and realizing the growth and the knowledge that we have gained because of the trials we have been through!!! It's the best feeling in the world.
I love you sooooooooooo much!!! I hope you know that!!!!! That love will NEVER dwindle because LOVE is an eternal principle. I'm here if any of you need anything!!!
Keep on Keepin on, and ALWAYS turn to your Father in Heaven who loves you and WILL give you peace!!
Love, Sister Checketts

Monday, November 3, 2014

Goodbye Country!

Bye Sister May!!:(


The Braytons!!:):)

3 of my 6 companions!!

Weber, Me, Goldberry, & Tourtillot:):)

the trio!!!!


Ian's Baptism!!:)


Hello Everyone!!
This week has been one of the hardest/most exciting/ crazy weeks of my mission!!! SO MANY EMOTIONS I think my head is about to explode still!!
I'll start with last Tuesday-- Goldsberry and I were able to drive all the way to Omaha with half of the branch to go to DEPARTING TESTIMONIES!!!!
It was PACKED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! The chapel was SO full and there were people all the way back in the far parts of the gym. It was crazy!!!! But probably the BEST day in my entire mission.
I got to see ALL my companions!!! I said goodbye to Sister Carpenter who is now home in Washington, it was great to see her and how much she has grown!
I got to see my baby, Sister Weber and see how AMAZING she is doing!!!! AHH We just hugged for FOREVER!
I got to see SISTER MUASAU!!!!!!! AHHHHH I cried when I saw her too!!!
And then Sister Goldsberry and I were there together <3 <3
There were people there from ALLL my areas!!! I could not stop BEAMING the whole night!!! I saw the Denkers from OMAHA,
The Nix's, the Braytons, Sister Marcantel, MIchelle (one of our investigators), the Dahls, and more, all from RED OAK.
The dearest Fergusons were there from Lincoln,
And half of our branch was there. It was like a GIANT family reunion!!!!!!!!!!!!!
That, my dear loved ones... is what HEAVEN is going to be like <3 <3
It was so crazy to say goodbye to 3 Elders and like 16 sisters..... I still don't think it has hit me that they are gone. Lots of them had their families there and there were just tears EVERYWHERE!!!!
We left Omaha around 9:30 and so we didn't get back to Kearney until about 1 in the morning. Jordan, our investigator came with us and he had loved it!! I think it was real cool for him to see all the missionaries!
That night, the Denkers had informed me too that Sister Brough had recently been back to the mission to see MARIA get baptized!!!!!!! Maria Lopez was the very first woman I ever began teaching over a year ago in Millard!!! In the last couple weeks, she got married and baptized and I started crying!! That was the GREATEST news!!! I love Maria sooooo much!
The next couple days after that were somewhat a blurr... I knew I would be leaving Kearney, because president had told me that about 5 weeks previous... silly president! And so I tried our best to let everyone know how much I loved them. I wrote letters to them all and spent as much time with the branch and our investigators as I could. I saw so much growth and love in Sister Goldsberry and we helped each other a TON. She is my forever sister <3
Thursday morning came.... and we got a call from The STL's.
....... They were closing YSA.....
SO SAD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! With all the sister missionaries leaving, President is spreading us more thin than we have been in the past. The Kearney sister serving in the family ward would not be over the family ward, AND the YSA branch, as well as being STL's.... CRAZY!!!!!!!! I thought for sure Sister Goldsberry would be staying... we were both really devastated, but we knew everything would work out:)
We spent that day packing up both of us, AS WELL AS getting all the last minute stuff together for our BAPTISM that night!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! It was the craziest day.
Ian Winkelmann got baptized Thursday night!!!! It was the best:) We showed up to fill the font and get everything ready and he was SO ready!! Excited, and nervous, and just looking forward to the things ahead.
His baptism was wonderful. It has been sooooo cool to see Ian transform into a more shy guy who had questions in his heart, to this excited and friendly guy sooo determined to learn about the gospel. He kept telling us "thank you" over and over again.
Then after the baptism, we both had to say goodbye to the branch. I love them so much. They have transformed my life forever.......
It's a normal thing I think to worry about your areas when you have to some-what close it... and the people taking over don't remember all the little details that you would... but we have seen the BIGGEST miracle and we've began to see some of Heavenly Fathers plan for this area.
Throughout the last few months, one of my dearest friends, Nya, has been able to come out with us a LOT on teamups. She's met most all of our investigators and knows what we were doing every step of the way.
Something that brought Sister Goldsberry and I a lot of comfort was knowing that Nya has become the PERFECT missionary for this area. The sisters taking over are going to be leaning on her a LOT because she knows how to do it. THAT Is a huge miracle that we have seen. I KNOW the YSA is in good hands, and I'm grateful for the strength that I have seen come to each and every member of that branch since I have been there. They know what they are doing and they are at the point where they can take care of themselves:): ) They're growing up!!! :') hahaha no really though, those members are some of the strongest I have ever met, and will FOREVER be my friends and family!!!!
The next morning, we took off to Omaha!!!
I am now serving in the Elkhorn ward IN Omaha,
and get this.. Sister Goldsberry is serving with SISTER WEBER in Glenwood!
It's strange having two of your companions serve together... hahah they'll be telling all my secrets now. LOL. I'm excited for them though!
At transfer point in Omaha, while we waited for our luggage, we were able to talk to so many sisters that we hadn't seen in a while. It's going to be fun being back in Omaha-- ending my mission where I started it, with SO many activities and missionaries around me. I'll actually get to go to the zoo! Finally!! After having a free zoo pass for over a year!! hahah:)
The funny thing about me serving in Elkhorn... is I have family, 2nd cousins, who JUST moved out of THIS ward only a few months ago. EVERYONE here already knows the Checketts and, YES, we are related! My family that just moved away from here have been the BEST member missionaries and fellowshippers to SO MANY people. It's SO GREAT that I get to be here to carry on the work they already started.
We have already noticed that some LA's we tried are a little more open to us, just because I am a Checketts. MIRACLES <3 So, THANK YOU GUS, AND NANCY, AND ALL YOUR KIDS for all the work that you have done for people here in Omaha.
This area, I have heard is actually the wealthiest area in the whole mission. Some of these houses are MANSIONS and it is a bit intimidating... I catch myself asking... what do I have to offer these people...? So many of them seem so well off already... in many ways, I have no clue why I am serving here. My companion is an AMAZING teacher and feels at home here with everyone, and it's going to take me a little while, I feel. At some points, I REALLY miss my YSA... hahah  but it's okay:) The greatest knowledge I will always have is that even despite changes and obstacles and unsure-ness, the GOSPEL is always what we can hold onto in these moments and everything will be okay!!! We live in a cute little apartment and will be here for the Holidays.
I really love my companion. Here name is Sister Tourtillot from Sacramento, California! She is the greatest teacher and is soooooooo determined and focused on the work. We will work wonders together. So far, she's a little more reserved and we're still getting to know each other, but it's going to be good!
I'm going to be the 2nd companion she's killing off. She just barely killed off Sister Kent.
I'm excited to be back in Omaha. I hope I can make the family name proud.
It's so important to hold the names we have high. We ALL hold the name of our Savior, Jesus Christ. Are you going to be a good example of Him? Are you going to treat HIs name the way He deserves? You carry His light. Your carry His name.
Something else I have learned is how important it is to ask God the "Why's" and the "What's" for the places we are put.
WHY am I serving in this calling/area/position??
WHAT do I have to give???
Pray, ask these things and Heavenly Father WILL give you the answers. I haven't receive mine yet, but I know I will. The most important thing is just to try and do your best to reach that potential you and your Father see in yourself.
I love you all!! NO ONE is letting me forget how much time I have left....:( it's awful. BE NICE!!!
Keep your head up!! Thanks for ALLLL your support!!!!
This is my new address:
Sister Megan Elise Checketts
20235 Wirt Street #11
Elkhorn, NE 68022