This week has felt like a month.
Days feel like years though. Missionary time is insane. Okay I’m so excited to
tell you this story so I'll tell this BIG miracle first and then all the other
little things this week:)
1.Remember the girl flying her
kite from last week that we talked to?
Here’s the full story that makes this story so cool: Sister west got a call the Saturday before I
came in saying she would be a trainer and for her to bring the car to transfers
because they were gonna sell it. So they brought it and arranged to have a
member pick them up. Turns out it was a miscommunication and our car wasn’t
being sold. The aps felt bad and told us to ride with the member home and then
they would bring us our car within the next couple days. So the first couple
days we walked and got rides. The first night we walked and knocked doors. We
first met a lady and helped carry in her groceries, talked to her and gave her
a Book of Mormon. She had met with the elders before and liked the missionaries
and was thinking about letting us come back.
We walked around this massive
neighborhood most of the evening and ended up going in this big circle. We
ended up heading for home around dusk and passed the same street where we had
helped the lady carry in her groceries. We saw this young woman outside trying
to fly a kite because there was a little wind. We went up and talked to her. (She
lived right across the street from the lady who we carried in her groceries
earlier in the evening.) The kite lady was named M. We gave her a pamphlet and
shared a quick little bit of what we believed. She thought it was very
interesting and wanted to learn more. That was Tuesday. The first night I got
to my area. The only reason we were walking is because we didn't have a car
(the miscommunication with the car that made this possible J).
We wouldn't have met her any other way because our area is mostly country....we
just needed something to do that night and that street was something we could
walk to and try. We made an appointment to meet with her Thursday.
On Thursday she had done her
reading. We talked with her and she loved the Restoration and was taking notes
and things were clicking and making sense to her she told us. We gave her a
BofM and another pamphlet of what we would be going
over next time. We gave her chapters to read. She wanted us to come back
Saturday. Haha she said is that weird? Or is that too soon? She didn't
understand we did this all day--every
day! We went back Saturday--she had
really great questions and truly wondered. As the week went on we met with her
again. On Tuesday we met up and taught her the plan of salvation. I sat there
teaching a woman who graduated from college... has a career and is her late
twenties early thirties and has never heard of the plan of salvation. Something
so special to me (this gospel) she and (many others) have never even heard
of.... The plan of salvation I have learned so many times....I know it well. We
taught it slow and simple. She couldn't get her mind to wrap around it. She had
no idea we once lived with God before coming to earth...and everything
after....was difficult for her to get as well. She kept asking questions and
wanted to know more. That was the cool part. She kept saying this is amazing
but I can't wrap my mind around it. Or this seems so logical.....but
overwhelming. My favorite is when she finally said...this makes sense. If God
loves us he would give us more than one chance. That night we talked a little
more. It felt so good to just tell someone who doesn't know...”I came to know
and so can you!” If you really are
looking you will find an answer.
Long story short....last Tuesday
she was outside and saw two sister missionaries across the street carry in some
groceries for a lady. The thought came to M’s mind that those were Mormon missionaries....she
thought there was no way because there were only boy missionaries. She said so
baldy she wanted to come talk to us but knew we were busy across the street
helping someone else. So she
didn't...she just watched us from her porch hoping God would send us to
her...... She eventually went inside and a little later saw it was windy and
went back out to try to fly a kite. And, by this time we were coming back down
the street to complete our major circle of tracking for the night....M was now
back in her front yard...and we stopped to say hi.
Miracles? I think yes. Heavenly
Father preparing her? Heck ya!!! That
night we invited her to the Book of Mormon study group at the church the next
night. So Wednesday came and we met her
at the church. It's weird how close you can get to someone by teaching them the
Gospel....plus you are praying for them constantly so I guess that helps too :)
haha Well she came to Book of Mormon study and she's been reading as well. Ward
members are amazing....coming up and hugging her and remembering her name from
Sunday. They love her. We watched the
restoration video. Most powerful thing ever. We were all tearing up and the Spirit
was so strong. I was so nervous this
whole lesson because of what we were going to ask her at the end. You could
tell the Spirit hit her like a train. We all sat there and bore testimony to
We are meeting with her again on
Tuesday and we are so excited. yesterday she texted us and told us how happy
she was to start finding truth and how she has had better days and been more
happy so far.:)
2. Sister W started teaching a
man named S the week before I came. So they
only had one lesson and then I met him my first weekend we have been teaching
him a couple more times. So get this...we invited him to be baptized and he
accepted. He told us a couple things that really stood out to me.... ps he is in
his 60's and has a hard core WOW problem. so this will be fun....haha he
said.."I knew this would eventually happen...ever since the start i have
seen the spirit work on me but I haven't wanted to notice it but it is real.
But even more I can see the spirit work in you two girls. I haven't felt this
happy or excited about anything for us a long time."
So those are our investigators
who are committed to baptism and we are so excited for them! the rest of our
investigators are still working on it! We have 2 families we are teaching and a
couple single people and a couple grandpas and grandmas who are so fun.
teaching is the best plus they are real people and not MTC fake investigators.
3.so we are in the country alot
and its spring here and it is BEAUTIFUL! oh my heck I think of you modge whenever
I go past old barns (which is around every bend) and the blossoms are blooming
and there are forsythia (the yellow bush we love) bushes EVERYWHERE :) Spring
is here and its great! You guys will have to come check this place out someday
because I know how much you would love it.
5. So we had a pretty packed day
(I think it was Thursday) and right after one of our appointments Sister W said
she had a feeling we needed to go visit a lady in a rest home that i hadn't met
yet but she was dying...so we went. Good thing we did. We went and I have never
seen anyone hooked up to so many machines. We went and said hi and talked with
her and she was so happy to see us. (and meet me because I hadn't met her). We
asked if we could sing her some songs. ( Okay so I really don't enjoy singing
that much plus I can't sing but I will so don't worry:)) So we sang to her for
a long time and she loved it. Cutest lady ever. Then she whispered...(because
she can't talk) “I wish I could feed you
girls. I always would feed the missionaries...”
We told her not worry at all. Then she pulled out a couple of dollars
and said go eat a nice little dinner with that...We couldn't accept her money
and we tried telling her that...finally she said: "please sisters...I need
the blessings". That really hit me.
She is so amazing . Her name is P and her life is probably going to end soon.
After we said bye to her we
walked into the hall and a nurse came running up to us and said...'I heard you
sing...will you please come sing to this man named Mr. Williams...he won't calm
down?" so we looked at each other and walked with her to meet this man who
was just freaking out. He was so agitated and it was so sad :(
We started singing I am a Child
of God in front of doctors and nurses and all of a sudden he went still and
silent and just listened to us sing. It really was such a cool experience. The Spirit
was brought in and he was calm. The doctors and nurses were in awe. They told
us they have NEVER seen him that calm before.
6.At our district meeting this
week some sisters told us how singing on peoples porches works and immediately
invites the Spirit. So sister W was like: that’s a great idea...and I agreed. (not
thinking we would actually do that...because I Don’t Sing...and if I did sing
in front of people that would be SO AWKWARD). We go knock some doors one evening....we start
walking up a driveway and Sister West goes...Hey let's sing here! and I was
like ehhhh I like the singing idea...but how about the next one...I’m just not
feeling it right now. so she agrees---The next one she knocks on the door and
says: "HELLO! can we sing to you?"
I seriously just busted up laughing...and well I had to sing. Come to find out the Spirit was invited
immediately and he wanted to know more about our church. So that was really
cool. So now when we feel like we should sing...we sing-----and I don't doubt.
7.This week I had the idea of
going to a park and drawing the plan of salvation with chalk and then teaching
it....So we did:) It was a beautiful day
and we just drew the plan of salvation and people came up and started asking us
questions and we were able to teach! So sweet! Who would have thought-- right?
I feel like I have learned so
much this week! There is a Mormon message by Elder Bednar called Revelation or
seeking Inspiration or something like that. Go look it up! It’s a three part little movie and is so
good. I love Elder Bednar. He explains how revelations comes little by
little...like a sunrise. not just someone flipping on a light. he also talks
about how you can be in the fog a little bit but if you have faith to move just
a little bit forward then God will help you come to see the clearing and you
will know what to do. I love that idea. J
An investigator asked me this
week..."aren't you afraid that sometime in your life you will fall away
from the church?" and I thought about it and thought well duh that sounds
scary but no, I’m not afraid of that because it’s not going to happen. Yes, life will be hard-- but guess what I
learned in the MTC? The major difference between conversion and testimony:
Testimony is your knowledge or belief and conversion is acting on it. So I
figured if I’m constantly building my testimony and constantly building my
conversion and ACTING and doing the little things each day then my conversion
will grow strong as well and I will never have to worry about falling away even
when it gets hard…. Well that’s just my thought.
Jacob 6:12 is one of my new
favorite scriptures.....go look it up:)
Whyyyy hello!! I have been so excited for today and to get to talk to you!
This week and a half has been insane! I have only had one Pday so far and
I feel like I just need a breather. I still haven't unpacked from last Tuesday
yet...that's how busy we have been!
The rest of the MTC was awesome of course! I was a little bit sad to leave.
Last Sunday night we had to stay up and pack and all that stuff and clean our
dorms and be at the travel office at 2 AM...ya the struggle was so real. And
its a miracle that I made my bags be 50 pounds....let me tell ya.
As we were landing I just got SO excited! I just felt so good and knew this
is where I was supposed to be. When we came out and saw President Anderson and
his wife...and the 3 AP's...that's when everything got real. They were SO
excited to meet us and so happy and just awesome! they are the sweetest people.
I got to ride with Pres and Sister Anderson and we went to the mission
office. One of the AP's is from Bountiful and knows some of my BHS and
VHS friends. He also knows Brig. They are awesome. Anyways we go through
Brentwood...super wealthy area...oh no worries...2 houses down from the mission
home is where Faith Hill and Tim McGraw used to live. its fine...really. haha
The first thing they did was give us all our own brand new ipads...yep talk
about trust. Everything is so pretty and when I tell people that they laugh and
say...oh just wait for summer:) anyways the next day we went to
transfers. At transfers each of us receive a letter with our assignment
that we read in front of everyone. I read: "Sister Oldroyd...the
Lord has assigned you to Labor in the Christiana area and your trainer will be
Sister West." oh my heck it was the best thing ever. I just was so happy.
On Tuesday and we were coming back home after giving out a couple BofM's
and we saw a girl like college age trying to fly a kite. We decided to go
and talk to her. she was so interested
and took our restoration pamphlet and wanted us to come back Thursday. We went
back Thursday and she was super into it and read all the pamphlet and had
all these questions. We asked her to come to church and ours is at 8:30 am. We
prayed to have her come and she agreed and so we met her at church she came to
SM and SS and liked it a lot. And then the W family met her and we were going
to go have dinner at the W's later that night and so sister W invited her. It
was perfect and we were so happy. Our Zone leaders heard about her and
called her our first miracle. So hopefully she continues awesome stuff this week!
Ah so great! so within 6 days...we met her....(my first day) taught her 2
times...plus when we met her on the sidewalk...invited her to church...she
came...and then she had dinner with us and a ward family.
1. Did you know at Kroger stores here (like smiths) you can scan a BOM and
you get a discount. NO JOKE...so it’s great when you want to give them one too.
Scan it (as a discount for your purchase) then say hey have you heard of this
book. bingo. perf.
2. People here think I'm from England when they first see me and then
EVERYONE thinks I have an accent. I don't think they realize THEY are the ones
with accents. Awkwaarddd....hahah people have asked to talk just to hear my
accent. k that's weird I know.
3. Members here are amazing. We get fed all dinners and some lunches. It’s
so beez but fun. I'm pretty sure I'm going to get fat. Because members are so
generous they make us homemade meals but also guess what...they take us out to
eat. I have been out to eat so much this week...it’s a joke. good thing our
apartments have a gym and we work out in the mornings. It’s nice.
4. So my area is Christiana but we live in Murfreesboro and our ward is
there. so we share a ward with the zone leaders who are just awesome. but I
wish you could see where I am. It’s beautiful. The HUGE country estates with
barns (thinking of you modge) and just rolling hills and rivers and farm
animals and so much. AH I love it! and then you have the sketchier city part.
It’s an adventure. no joke. like for instance...we helped a family move this
week and it was sick. We had to help the elders and we are all there with our
church clothes cleaning and moving with them. You just step back and look
at the gross place where we were, while the elders in white shirts are
helping these people really is something else. I just really appreciated the
elders for their worthiness and just how sharp they are. And I have only known
them a week but just solid guys and it just made me a little bit choked up
because I thought of my friends doing that same thing...serving
missions...worthily amongst gross situations. then I thought about it
more and just thought about Ian and Andrew and how I'm so excited for them to
go and be hard working missionaries and just knowing they will be worthy and
happy to serve and just love what they do.
5. So we went with another one of our investigators this week and she is
looking into our church but also goes to this Massive church down the road
(there are churches on every corner...can't imagine how Joseph Smith felt…)
anyways the church she goes to now is so big that there is a McDonalds and
Starbucks inside the church.....THE STRUGGLE IS REAL THERE. Anyways
she is interested with us and she is so sweet and as we left she just
said...thank you for working for Jesus...I thought that was kind of a cool
6. We are teaching a new member named D. Sister West introduced me to
him this week and like most people ask like 12 times how to say my last name
and so I usually just show them the spelling on my tag....well the awkward
moment when he can't read. he doesn't know how...sad huh? So you have the
super huge rich country estates....the super gross part of town...then the
suburbs and then you have the super poor country people who have such a strong
accent and can’t even read....oh my heck they are my favorite tho. that's
what I decided.
7. So I'm in ward council Sunday morning...the bishop sees me….meets
me and then asks if I can speak UM....hi give me a panic attack. so I tried my
best...gosh dang it... I need to work on that last minute speaking thing.
8. We went to RS and the RS love the sisters...like on Wed they came and
took a pic of me and by Sunday my pics and name and address were hanging up
outside the RS room for the ward to see....cute huh? anyways I got to introduce
myself and talk about my family and I LOVE telling everyone about you
guys. also weird because usually mom's in RS with me. Nope modgy you're in Utah
:( y look so confused!
9. I still haven't unpacked and I'm always so tired. It’s weird how you
NEVER spend time in the apartment. I guess I didn't realize how much you were
actually out. I'm glad though.
Thank you so much for your emails and your letters and just encouragement.
It makes me so happy and makes me want to do better. This week has been
exhausting but the good kind. thank you so much! Thank you for being able to
send me here and thank you for helping me be strong in the gospel because it
freaks me out seeing families who don't have the gospel and I'm just so
happy and grateful we are sealed forever and I'm so glad we have the gospel and
I see how happy it makes us and when people slam the door (ya that's awk) we
just say....wow...that is so sad for them. They won't know what they are
missing out on and someday in the spirit world..they will come and say
sorry….hahah JK but really...
This is seriously the hardest thing in the world but it’s weird how happy
you are when you do it:) It’s the best. I look at my tag every night when I
take it off and it just reminds me how amazing this calling really is! I’m so
happy to be here. Also I have just learned so much in the
past week that the Lord really does love and protect his missionaries and I’m
so grateful for the Holy Ghost in my life and I don’t feel lonely just feel
good and safe.
Hello!!! I love you all so much and miss you all so much! Saying goodbye was so hard but I am so glad that i can write you and that you send me letters! Thank you for all the letters, packages, dear elders. It means so much and i feel like i have the best and biggest support system. Thank you to you guys! Grandpa and grandma, scott and tiff, Jenny...all my friends...ward members. thank you thank you! it makes me so happy to get mail!:))
Well the MTC is amazing. The Spirit is so strong here and I just love it. I have learned so much already and i know the learning is accelerated here. i was nervous I would be overwhelmed here because we learn so much in 12 days, but i have felt very calm and peaceful while being here and it really has been such a great place! Sister Hardcastle in our ward said to me before i left..."remember that the mtc is a very sacred place like a temple...where learning and revelation are increased..." I love that and it's so true! I KNOW angels have walked with me here and have helped me this week. They say make it to Sunday here and you will be fine...yep thats true. I don't have tons of time but i want to tell you what I can! :)
My district is great! Elder Doug Fenwick is in my district. He is the zone leader and I'm a sister training leader. We were on VHS seminary council together. So that is cool! Sister Hochstrasser (Hoke-Straw-sir) is my comp. I see familiar faces all the time... From byu friends who are missionaries here to byu friends who work here...it makes me so happy. Sister Sam Hellewell lives down the hall from me. That has been one of the greatest things...its just a little bit of home. I love it. its crazy to hear her SPEAK RUSSIAN. what the heck!?!? can we pinpoint that? crazy!!!!! speaking of sam...nikki sent me a dear elder and a package! how sweet is that? just with two homemade scarfs! so sweet and I was so excited and one scarf matches sams! (so thank you Nikki). One of my friends works at the Bookstore here and when i was picking up my books the first day I noticed he slipped in a little note...just a little bit of encouragement and it made me so happy! Little things like that help so much! One person i love love seeing is JAY. she is the greatest and she's always so happy and cute. She came and ate dinner with me saturday and i just loved having here there. all of her missionaries come up to me and say you're so lucky sister stanford is your cousin. she is the greatest!! we all love her.
At our orientation the first night...I remet President and Sister Nalley. They can't say enough good about Grandpa and Grandma O. one of Pres. Nalley's counselors spoke to all the new missionaries. He said he was outside watching the new missionaries being dropped off and he saw a sister crying with her family saying goodbye to two teenage brothers..and a much younger sister and a mom and dad.....he said...(as he looked at me) "to that sister....D&C 100:1-2...I promise you that you and your family will be blessed." so that was cool. later that night me and Sister H were asked to teach an investigator in front of a group of about 50 new missionaries....I was freaking out.. I obviously was going to do it but I looked nervous I guess. The teacher looked at me and said..."if ever you are nervous look down at your tag, not only does it say your name but it says your Savior Jesus Christ." that was really cool and our teaching went really well for not even being at the mtc for 3 hours....
I didn't get any mail til friday but when i did I was so overwhelmed by how much love and supoport so thank you! so much! its funny my district says I have fan mail. hahah. I just love you guys so much and thank you so much for sending me so much!!! Mail keeps me motivated and helps me be so happy! i get so excited about it!
My teachers are awesome! they are Bro. Craft and Bro. Staley. It's weird they are BYU students and that they come back and forth to the mtc and I'm still here...hahah. our other teachers Bro. Sherk and Sister Cole are also very good and I really appreciate how kind they are. we are in the classroom for three hours of morning study then we have after lunch study and then night study and class. so we are in a class room for most of our day. its weird having every second of your day planned out by someone else but its good and keeps me busy and not miss home as much. I feel very productive and have learned so much. I have no idea how Tara learned Korean here or how she was here for 9 weeks. I just can't imagine that. I miss her so much. I see Emily van Weezip and i just go and hug her and it reminds me of Tara and how much I miss her.
We have two investigators right now. One is Shawn (he is played by our teacher brother Craft and someone Bro. Craft taught on his mission). We go in and role play with him. Right now he is reading the Book of Mormon and praying if it's true. Our other investigator is from TRC and her name is Barbara. The MTC hires members and non members to come and role play. we go to a certain building and knock on the door and its very real. Barbara is very funny and a grandma. She has a Brooklyn accent and when I talk to her she makes me laugh! I love it! she wants to be baptized and we are helping her prepared for that. They tell us that role playing is so effective if you are in the right mind set. They say that Heavenly Father can teach you certain things you can't learn any other way! I believe that!
I feel like I have learned so much but I have been pretty prepared from the ward Missionary Weeks and all that. Sam and I have talked about it all the time how that is the ONE thing that has given us a head start and that has helped us the most. Its weird at first praying for fake investigators and then you just get so into it..they are very real and I pray for them all the time. It's interesting to see how the Spirit works in the lessons...because it's real. I can't wait to go do this for REAL!!!:))))))
I miss you guys so much! but the one time I really felt super homesick was the temple walk on Sunday...it was right where I had been running and walking and everything when I was at BYU...because we would always go around there...and it was hard to come out of the MTC gates and look down the street-- just a block away and see campus and see everything... I just wanted to cry because I was so close, but then again I was in a totally different world; so that was the hardest thing.
I promised Dad a couple weeks ago that I would work as hard as I could and even when I didn't feel like working...I would still work. And I am keeping that promise. 18 months isn't that long and I feel like I have so much to do! I can't wait to get to TN and start!!!
I really have learned so much I can't believe it! It's a great day to be alive and I love this gospel so much! It's the greatest thing!!!!!! and guess what I have been studying the plan of salvation more in depth and it just makes me appreciate even more the Atonement and that families really can be together for ever because I just love you guys so so so much and miss you so much and just knowing we can be together forever makes me so happy and it makes 18 months away okay!
Ian: CONGRATS ON THE SOCCER TEAM I AM SO HAPPY FOR YOU!!!!!!! YAY
Ang: how the heck is basketball and school? how is band and all the girls that love you so much? how is the new phone?
Gibbs: love you and love the picture you sent me. i showed everyone and I love you!!!
Love you Mom and Dad! Thank you for everything. For helping me be here today and for all the support and love and just thank you for all the encouragement. Love, Sister Olivia Oldroyd