Sunday, December 29, 2013

Merry Christmas Week!

This week in brief summary:  

Monday: Folly Beach with Elena. So. Fun.... I got to see the ocean! We also went and saw the spray paint wall in Charleston. Basically, this boat company let people spray paint all over the back of their building. I'm pretty sure that I took more pictures Monday than I have my whole mission. Also saw the angel oak. (Oldest tree in the world, older than Jesus, and it looks like lord of the rings. so. fun!)


Sister Lamb, Elena, and Bryndee at Folly Beach!

Bryndee enjoying the pier at Folly Beach.

Bryndee at the spray paint wall.

Just a small part of the spray paint wall in Charelston, SC.

Angel Oak...amazing!

Sister Lamb and Bryndee in front of the Angel Oak.

Tuesday: Exchanges with S. Howton from Sacramento, CA. She is such a fantastic Missionary!! It was so fun teaching with her, and learning from her too. We got to put someone on date together.... It was great :) The kid we put on date is named Westley. He's 19ish and looking for the truth about God. He was raised a Baptist, and has been going to a Methodist church, but wasn’t totally happy. We went to go see him, and he was totally open and interested. We taught him about Joseph Smith, and he felt like he could totally relate. He is just honestly searching for the truth. I love teaching people like that :) We also did quite a bit of knocking, and met a fashion photographer! Cool guy! 

Wednesday: LOOOOOONG day. Lots of knocking. Knocked in the ghetto for a little bit (or, as ghetto as Summerville gets... not very :)) and taught Kitt. 

Thursday: Christmas Zone Conference!!! SO FUN! There were trainings (we got to give one on teaching simply) Skits (Funniest one was star wars themed.... Luke I am your home teacher.... This is not the Bible you're looking for... The Methodists strike back... etc. :)) 

Musical numbers (the Spanish elders did Feliz Navidad with huge sombreros and danced.... funniest thing ever.) and we got to watch Ephraim’s Rescue. Oh my heavens, that’s an inspiring movie. Loved it.
Friday: Weird day. I felt so off, because I'd had pretty much nothing but candy to eat all week (the only downer about this ward.... I've had 1 member meal :( oh well!) We saw almost all of our recent converts in one day, so that was pretty cool.  

Saturday: Sister Lamb’s birthday! The Armstrong’s surprised her with a birthday cake and fun stuff of the sort. They're such a fun family! They let us play around on the 3D printer that Bro. Armstrong built.... something I thought dad would appreciate :) anyways, they called Sis. Lamb’s family and let them sing happy birthday to her, and then hung up right after :) she cried. It was fantastic :) 

Sunday: Christmas Sunday. We had an amazing choir sing, and we got to sing like 12 hymns. It was so cool to watch Kitt participate by signing the hymns. I wish I could get a video. It was a great day, full of the Christmas spirit.  

Well, there's my week. I swear, someday I'm going to have time to write an actual, full length letter.... and spell check it too! 

Hope y’all have a blessed Christmas! 

Sister Derrick

Monday, December 16, 2013

Life Spent In God's Service!

First, I wanted to tell y’all about a scary dream I had. I dreamt that I was home, and Porter (my 17 year old brother, for those who don't know) had decided that he no longer believed the teachings of the church. He had decided that he was going over to the Jehovah's Witness faith. Now, I have no beef with the Jehovah's witnesses... In fact, I really respect them for their devotion to their beliefs. But it was the most horrible feeling, because I know, beyond doubt, that this is the only church with God's authority. In my dream, there was no telling porter that. He was so hard hearted.... I just wanted to shake him!
I woke up way freaked out. As I've been thinking about it, I had a kindof lightbulb moment. That intensity of feeling is what I should be feeling with every person I see. It still shakes me up, just thinking about it... and it’s given me new perspective on the way I see people.
Yesterday, I read a really cool article about Neal A Maxwell. When he was serving in WWII (I think?) He was crouched in a foxhole with warfare going on around him. He prayed to heavenly father that if he would spare his life, that life would be spent in Gods service. Elder Maxwell lived, and he kept his promise... even through 8 years of leukemia. He was such a cool example of selfless service.
I got to write for Kitt (our ASL investigator, also my favorite to teach right now) in sacrament meeting yesterday. It was a powerful experience. Kitt has been struggling with the decision to live the law of chastity, and the decision to be baptized. The first talk was Elena’s, on her conversion story. she talked about being scientologist, and watching South Park, and how South Park made fun of a lot of different religions, but no matter how hard they tried, they couldn’t make the Mormon religion seem dumb. She talked about taking the lessons, and how the decision to be baptized was the best one she ever made. Then, a RM spoke on conversion, and constantly and consistently making good choices to be more like our Savior, even when it’s hard. Both talks were custom written for Kitt, it seemed like. I could literally feel the spirit pouring out of my pen. Neatest feeling ever.
Also.... try writing out sacrament meeting sometime. My hand is seriously SO. TIRED. :)
Cool experience last night: Sis. Lamb was a little bit burnt out (it was her first 3 exchange week... poor dear...) and was having a rough time getting up and going. It didn't help that we were struggling with where to go, as all our plans fell through. We prayed to know where God wanted us. Then, lacking the inspiration as to where exactly, but feeling an urgency to go, we went from lead to lead, each time getting a no from the Spirit. It was a little bit frustrating. We finally decided that we were going to go knock a street while we tried to figure out where we were needed. Now, it was 8:15 at night, pitch black, and this is usually not a good time to go knocking in the neighborhood where we went, because there are lots of families with small children that get out of bed when they hear the knock on the door. These people tend to get really irritated at us. But last night, as we knocked, every door that opened (and there were quite a few!) we were able to start a good conversation and were invited back to teach. We ended up with more solid contacts and return appointments in that 45 min. than we had all day! I love how when we get up and do something, even when it’s hard and discouraging, God rewards our efforts and diligence with miracles :)
Hope y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

What a fun treat we received in a package today.  Oh how I miss  her sketches!

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

Season 7, Episode 2 (I have no Idea what that means!)

I only have about 15 min. left of my hour to email, so I’ll be quick:
We had a baptism this weekend. Paula is someone that Sister Lamb and her previous companion had knocked into, who was very, very prepared. That woman has faced more adversity in getting baptized than anyone i have ever met. She had her Interview with President Stubbs on Wednesday, and we were so worried that her husband wouldn't let her go. We got to the church to meet her and found her sitting on a chair in the hallway. She looked up, saw us, and burst into tears. We pulled her into a classroom and she told us that there had been a very scary situation involving guns and alcohol at home, and she was so worried about her family. We were able to read from the book of Mormon with her, and pull the elders into the room to give her a priesthood blessing. I have never felt such a strong spirit as I did in that little classroom. She told us the next day that she had never even thought to call off or postpone her baptism; even with everything Satan had thrown at her... she just knew that it was what God wanted her to do and that she was going to be blessed. I look up to that woman so much.  I loved getting to watch her make covenants with her Heavenly Father. She is super excited to get to go to the temple and do the same for her mother and father. She bore her testimony afterward and said she felt "tickly from the inside out" :) way cute!
Sister Lamb, Paula, and Bryndee
Today, for dinner, we are going to the birthday party of one of our recent converts. It’s FHE themed :) I'm way excited :)
We got to give a training in ztm last Thursday. I've got to say, I've gotten a lot more confident in my public speaking skills. It’s cool to look back in my journal and see how much I've grown in that aspect since I first came out :) It still freaks me out, but.... I'm starting to get used to it I guess :)
Miracle! We got a call from one of our ward members this week: "hey, I heard you were looking for someone to translate sacrament meeting into ASL.... my daughter is less active, but she said that she would help y'all, if you were interested?"
So now we've got a potential baptism and re-activation, all in one! We're super excited!
Welp, I hope your week is blessed, and you're sharing the gospel like crazy!!!
Sister Derrick

Probabally the most creative "mission tree" I have ever seen. 

Friday, December 6, 2013

Monday, December 2, 2013

Home Of The Green Wave!

I know not knowing where I am and who I’m with is killing my mother, so first off…..Hello from Summerville, South Carolina!!! I LOVE this place! It’s about an hour west of Charleston (I think? Geography was never my strong suit…) and so, so busy. There’s Spanish moss everywhere, and it rains all the time.  It’s fantastic.  My new companion is Sister Jessica Lamb.  You’ll never guess where she’s from…….. Queen creek! That’s like, 15 minutes away from my house. It’s been so fun being companions, because she knows a lot of my friends, and went to EA a semester before I did…. Small world! Our entire 1st day was full of “hey do you know……?” “Yeah! We went to High School together!” and the like. We get along great, and are so excited that we live so close (we are already planning on starting a band when we get back ;)) I also live in an apartment with Sister Stolworthy from Vegas, and Sister Robinson from Hawaii. Those two are way funny. J
The work here in Summerville 1st ward is rolling forward at a crazy, breakneck pace. I love it! We have had 4 baptisms in 30 days, and have another one on Saturday! The sweetest little old lady named Paula is SO. Excited to be baptized. She has been on date before, and fell off because she got really sick and all kinds of crazy stuff started happening… so we were pretty worried when she told us Saturday that her husband had to get a hip replacement, and she was starting to get sick again, and…. All kinds of ridiculousness. But then, she followed right up with “but I know that it’s because I’m getting baptized this weekend, and Satan doesn’t want me to. We’re just gonna outsmart him, now aren’t we?” J She is so cool!
We are also teaching a Deaf family. This makes for a really interesting lesson, because neither Sister Lamb or I know hardly any ASL (I knew Kami and I shoulda stuck to those sign language videos…. ;)) and there aren’t any members nearby that know any either.  But we make it work with the little we know, and President is getting us a book we can study. (I’m pretty stoked about that…. It’s almost like I got to go to a foreign speaking mission, without leaving the states! ;)). They came to church yesterday, so I wrote out a transcript of what was going on. When we got to the hymns, Kitt (the dad) did them in sign, and it was way cool to watch. I can almost hear my testimony in sign now! Way cool! Our first lesson was one of the most spiritual lessons I’ve ever had the privilege to teach. They are honestly seeking the truth, and are willing to go through a lot to find it. They have read lots of the scriptures, and are intently praying to know if it’s true. It’s cool how the Lord truly makes us able to do things that would be completely impossible otherwise.
So, Thanksgiving was SO. FUN. Our ward mission leader, Bro. Cicon, had us over for a food network style dinner (seriously…. Way fancy….) and  a few church produced 90’s videos. Haha. His kids are so cute, and love us! It was almost like being home J
A few random side things-
Real quick, shout out to the former Elder Kerr for getting a member on the other side of the country to drive down to transfers to say hey to me…. Kudos.
One thing that comes with being close to the coast…. Storms. We got sent in early my first night because of a tornado watch! Crazy!
Sister Simmons and Sister Mumford are companions now! I’m so excited for them! Those are two of my very favorite missionaries, right there.
Well, I hope y'all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick

Wednesday, November 27, 2013

A Few Pictures From Her Last Days In Spartanburg.

Bryndee, Sister McNeece, and Sister Stout enjoying the cute ear muffs I sent them.  At least they are pretending for my sake.  :-)
Sister Stout, Bryndee (with my earmuffs), Jeffery, and sister McNeece modeling the hats Jeffery bought them. 

Sister McNeece, Sister Stout, and Bryndee with the "Disneyland" of all librarys behind them.  If you know Bryndee and her love of reading a building this large full of books really is "Disneyland". 


Monday, November 25, 2013

See Ya Later Spartanburg!

Welp, transfer calls were this week……………..Audios Spartanburg! I’m pretty sure I’m destined to be the most transferred missionary in the SCCM. I was talking to one of the other sisters, who’s going home this transfer, and she’s only had 4 areas! Ever! And believe it or not…. that’s a normal thing. :) I’m really excited for the new challenge though J should be an exciting week!
This transfer FLEW by. I’m almost at my ½ way point?!? Whaa?!?! That is NOT okay with me. weirdest. thing. ever...... who knew missions went so fast?!? I had my bi- transfer interview with president this last week, and he looked at my record and said "wow. Before you know it, you'll be going home!"
Thanks President..... :P
So, yesterday was my last Sunday in Spartanburg. I was sitting in 1st ward sacrament, and I hadn’t told anyone I was leaving yet, when bishop stands up and announces that he had forgotten to call one of his sacrament speakers, so he asked all 3 of us sister missionaries, from the pulpit, to speak in sacrament. I hear this kind of thing happens often, but… it was the first time speaking in sacrament since I’ve been on a mission. I actually kind of enjoyed it. I got to share a scripture with the congregation, and bear a simple testimony. It was cool to see the people I’d grown to love in the congregation, including Jeffery. I think I’ve written a little bit about Jeffery, but It really hit me as I was sitting on the stand that he was the reason I was sent to Spartanburg. If you look at the numbers, the key indicators I’ve reported these last two transfers, it’s not too terribly impressive. We’ve struggled for people to teach up here. But….. I was so blessed to be a part of Jeffery’s life, in rescuing him and bringing him back into the gospel. He had been to church twice, gotten baptized, and then never came back. When we found him, he was a proud member of 1st Baptist of Spartanburg… but as we shared our testimonies with him, and pieces of the book of Mormon, he grew. He changed. And he came back. The Lord really, really blessed me with that.
This week, we had exchanges with Sister Baker. I love going on exchanges with new trainees.... it’s one of my favorite things. She has so much MTC fire, and just loves being a missionary. We got the opportunity to teach a lot of lessons with her, and her teaching really impressed me. She really knows how to testify with the spirit. We also got to teach a really cool lesson to Te’arra and Domonique. They felt the spirit and asked us if we could teach their deployed sister over skype, and asked us to come to their Thanksgiving dinner to meet all the rest of their family. Awesome J I can’t wait to see Sister Stout at MLC and find out how it goes J
Bryndee, Sister Baker, and Sister McNeece.
So, we had a bit of a scare this week. Our investigator, Wanda (who has a lot of health problems) had dropped off the face of the earth for a few weeks. We finally just stuck a note in her door, and asked her to contact us. A few weeks later, it was still there. Nobody had gone in or out. We were seriously scared that she had died in there……. So we had Bro. Holstein, an undercover cop in the 2nd ward, to go and do a ‘welfare check’ on her (apparently, that’s an actual thing that cops do… who knew?) Good news! She’s alive and kickin’! J we’re eager to start teaching her again.
So, shortish letter this week, but that’s okay. Life is superb, I love being a missionary, and I don’t ever want it to end!!!
Ya’ll have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick
Happy Birthday Sister McNeece
Sister Stout, The Birthday Girl, and Bryndee.

Bryndee and Sister Stout got up early to decorate for Sister McNeece's Birthday. 

Silly girls!  Sister McNeece, Bryndee and Sister Stout

Burrrrrrrr it's cold outside!

Monday, November 18, 2013

Elder Bednar Came and Taught!

So. An apostle of the Lord came to our mission this week. He gathered up every single missionary serving in the state, put them all in the West Columbia Stake Center, and did not teach a single thing.
It was amazing.
When I heard Elder Bednar was coming, I expected him to stand up at the pulpit, and speak to the missionaries… deliver a wonderful, inspiring address on how to better do missionary work. That’s not what happened at all.
He did nothing, all night, but ask us questions. ”Those that were here when I came last year, what happened? What did you learn? What do you know to be true? What did you learn from the 3 talks I sent you to read before I came?” We got to stand up, one by one, and talk with a prophet of God. And then he would let us ask him questions, and answer us with more questions. He never once gave us a straight answer, but he would point us to scriptures, tell us stories, and guide us to figure out an answer for ourselves. He got out of the way of the spirit, and it was so cool.
A few quotes/thoughts/topics:
-The Bednar Book of Mormon. His answer to most of our questions was “I want you to get an inexpensive, paperback copy of the Book of Mormon, and read it with that question in mind. Mark it with the answers you receive from the spirit. Then write a 1 page summary of what you learned in the front, and then put it on the shelf and start a new one with a new topic.” He told us that he has hundreds of copies of the book of Mormon, each with a different topic, sitting on a shelf. His sons often ask him if they could read them. His response was, and I quote “if you so much as touch those, I’ll break your arm.” We all laughed and then he went on to say “but…. I’ll buy you a bookshelf. I want you to learn it for yourself, otherwise it won’t stick.”
-The Lord’s pattern. Basically, the way the Lord teaches. He calls something to our attention, asks us an inspired question, and keeps doing it, gently guiding and shaping our thinking. (Also the current topic of the Bednar BOM I started yesterday J) see D&C 88:122
- “The same person never goes into the same river twice”. We are constantly changing, and so are our surroundings. That’s why we need to continually be learning, and that’s why we can read the book of Mormon so many times, and still learn new things. A cool promise he gave us “if you stay close to the Book of Mormon, and keep reading it for the rest of your life, you will never fall away.” Never is a big word…. Especially coming from a Prophet of God.
-“Let go of the scripts.” He called the western world too scripted, with these visiting teaching conferences and family home evening programs you find on the internet…. They are not that important. “come with me to Africa” he said “where they think their biggest problem is ‘Elder Bednar, we have thirteen to sixteen conformations every week, and we run out of time… should we hold a separate meeting?’ I told that dear brother ‘Count your blessings! You don’t have to listen to sacrament talks! The conformations are important… just get rid of Sunday school! That’s better done at home anyways. What are important are the ordinances of the sacrament and those conformations.”
-“If you can find an answer, that’s better than me doing it.”
-“My only agenda is that you need me less, and the Lord more.”
-“I’m preparing you for your future, not just telling you stories.”
-when investigators ask you a question, invite them to find the answer. “Let’s see if we can find something in the scriptures helpful to you.” Ask “what do you already know about the answer to your question?”

-The Lord asks us to be like Peter, and walk on water. In order to do that, we must jump out of the boat, out of our place of safety and comfort, and keep our eyes on the Savior. We must trust that he will never let us completely drown, but that does not mean that I won’t sink and choke on some water. So many people fall away because they lose that trust.
Throughout this meeting, I have never prayed so hard that I wouldn’t forget anything. The spirit was so strong, but not because of Elder Bednar. It was because of the missionaries, who asked and prepared for it. Elder Bednar just stepped out of the way. That’s the most scary, vulnerable thing I can think of… no agenda, no plans, just go. It was so wonderful!
Y’all have a blessed week!
Sister Derrick
p.s. on a super random note…. Dad- remember a couple years ago when you were teaching the youth about profiles? You made a joke about using it as a pickup line… “So….. Sister Derrick….. I saw your profile….. ;)”
That totally happened to me this week. Way funny J
Haha it was a ridiculous Elder.... made me laugh :) dumb joke, I guess :)
 It doesn't matter what age they are if you give a girl a dress with a full skirt they will twirl!
Some cute kids that kept wanting to touch their hair.
Exchanges with Sister Simmons, Bryndee, and Sister Stout.
Exchanges with Sister Lester, Sister Mcneece, and Bryndee.

Sister McNeece and Bryndee modeling their South Carolina T-Shirts.
(It looks like they found a place to hang their zebra picture)

Bryndee and Sister McNeece enjoying the beautiful weather by studying on the balcony.

Monday, November 11, 2013

Nothin' Could Be Finer...

So, randomly before I start the bulk of my letter, an announcement: remember Dennis Barry? The 70 year old veteran I was teaching with Sister Belyea in Simpsonville? So, Yesterday I got word that he GOT BAPTIZED!!!! It was such a bittersweet moment when I found out. I’m so, so happy for him…. I just wish I could have been there! I bet he had the BIGGEST smile on his face when he came out of that water… he wanted it so bad. I’m so proud of him J
Okay, now for my crazy ridiculous week. We went on 4 exchanges this week! I feel like I haven't seen my actual companions in a month.... but it’s been such a good week. I started with exchanges with Sister Boyson, and then with Sister Gale, and then with Sister Lester, and finished off the week with a stake program called mini-missions (where the youth get to go on exchanges with the missionaries, from 8:30 in the morning until 9:00 at night. So fun.), so my companion was a 16 year old sister from Boiling Springs named Sister Jones. I don’t think I have ever been so exhausted. (I know I say that a lot… But I really mean it this week.) It’s been really, really hard, but so uplifting to serve with so many phenomenal missionaries. I’m excited to get to spend this next week with the sisters in Union, Greenville 2nd, and Boiling Springs.
Things that happened this week:
(In no particular order, mostly because I can’t remember it…)
-Sister Gale, Stout and I put Whitley on date for baptism. I think I’ve written a little about her? She’s a 20 something girl with more sass than Kymber (and that’s impressive!) She is SO. Much. Fun to teach! Anyways, she has been having a hard time believing that she can change. She carries around a lot of guilt and shame for things that have happened in the past, and she wasn’t sure if she was ready to be baptized. We were able to testify to her of the power of the atonement, and let her know that her Heavenly Father loved her too much to let her carry all that around with her. It was such a cool spiritual moment!
-I tried Zaxby’s for the first time. Oh my heavens…. We need to get some of those out west.
-We started a 40 day fast in our ward. Every day, for 40 days, we have a family sign up to fast for missionary work. The first day, Sister Bowman had signed up to fast (the one with the dog?). She wanted to help so badly, but she can’t medically fast from food… so what did she fast from? Facebook Games. J It made me so happy!
-Larry is back on date. He had stopped progressing, so we were getting ready to give him a break. We went over to let him know that we probably wouldn’t be seeing him for a little while, and ended up having a super powerful lesson. He prayed, right then and there, to know if the Mormon Church was the church that Heavenly Father wanted him to go to, and the spirit filled the room so thick you could almost touch it. He stands up, and says that he wants to go to the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints for the rest of his life, even if he has to walk. Awesome moment.
-S. McNeece (by the spirit, mind you…) promised a pretty fantastic blessing to someone. Yeah. She promised someone a girlfriend. J
-We found a new trailer park to knock! Who knew I would grow to love trailer parks and projects so much???
- We had a crazy lesson with a less active sister in the 2nd ward. She kept going off on tangents, and we had to try to bridge her tangents back to the gospel. Who knew you could relate the headless horseman to Enos? J
-I met a Layton from Thatcher! Small world, huh?
-Jeffery, our less active we have been working with in the 1st ward, FINALLY came to church yesterday!!! :D :D :D He had a blast! He walked up to us after Relief Society/ Priesthood, and told us “yall can’t come by after church anymore…” we were a little worried…. But then he follows up with a HUGE grin, and says “I’m not going to be home. I’m goin’ home teachin’!!!!” Best. Moment. Ever.
Jeffery has also told us that he wants to take us to the super bowl (apparently he has tickets…) along with Elder lamb, who he really seems to like for some reason. J
So, there’s my week. Nothin’ could be finer, than serving in south carolin-er! ;
Yall have a blessed week!
S. Derrick

Monday, November 4, 2013

A Multicultural Testimony Meeting!

No we don’t have I pads yet.... but at MLC this week, I got to see one! President is telling us that by December, we will have permission to long on to our old Facebook account, and use them (after a good scrubbing :)) to share the gospel with the world! We also get our own I pad mini, which will replace our scriptures, area books, planners, and GPS's. It will also be ours to keep after our time serving is up. It’s so cool how the Lord advances technology to bring to pass his work in these High-tech times.
Sunday, we had testimony meeting in church. For those less familiar with Latter-day Saint services, a testimony meeting is when members of the congregation are given time to stand at the pulpit and share what they know to be true. We all get to strengthen one another by sharing experiences and how our faith in Jesus Christ helped us and blessed our lives. First we had a sister from Latin America stand and share her testimony of the blessings of the temple, and making promises with God. Then we had a 7 year old girl stand up and share how she was helping her teacher to understand the Gospel of Jesus Christ, through a daily journal entry she wrote. She would take journal topics like "what are your 3 favorite fall activities?" (Halloween, thanksgiving, and General Conference) and "who is your favorite person?" (Heavenly Father) and share what she knew to be true with her teacher. We then had Brother Turner (one of my favorite members. He's African-American, and has hair like Albert Einstein!) Stand up and share his testimony of modern day prophets. He knew that God loved us, and that there was no way that he would just quit speaking to us. It was neat :) we than had a darling little Asian sister stand, and thank her Heavenly Father for the healing of her husband, who had been in the hospital. She didn't speak a word of English, but she had her daughter come up and translate for her. The final speaker was a sister named Candy, who is a California transplant, and just returning to the church. She stood up and emphatically declared that she was "SO STOKED! I HAVE MY TESTIMONY BACK, DUDES!" it was soooo her, and absolutely perfect :) One thing I really love about this church is that it really is for everyone. No matter your race, creed, or kind, the gospel is for you, and it will improve your quality of life. "It could not be of man, man isn’t That Smart..." -Bishop Mather :)
This week was an interesting one for the Spartanburg sisters. We have really been trying to figure out how to balance the work in both of our areas. In the 2nd ward, the work is rolling forward, almost faster than we can keep up with, which is wonderful. In the 1st ward, not so much. We're having a hard time finding solid investigators in that area. The interesting thing is, when we were setting baptismal goals for our two areas, we had originally set it for 2 in the 2nd ward, and 1 in the first ward. We were all feeling pretty confident in our goals, so we went to go pray about it. we had decided to pray individually, so I knelt down and started letting our father in heaven know what we had decided, when I got a very strong impression that our goals needed to be switched. I was pretty confused. I prayed again. I got the same prompting. Then, when we reconvened, I discovered that both of my companions had felt the same way... I don't know how the Lord is going to make it work, but I have faith that he can, and we've decided to work three times as hard to make it happen :)
We also found out that we have an additional companionship to go on exchanges with this transfer, bringing our exchange total to 8. In a 6 week period. We have 3 exchanges this week, and 3 again next week. So busy! It’s wonderful!!!
So, one of our investigators who is moving to Taylors, SC, gave us a GIANT picture of a zebra to put in our apartment. It was way interesting trying to fit that massive picture in our tiny little Jetta. We ended up putting it in our open trunk, and strapping it down with the strap from my purse. Pictures attached.
The very large zebra picture
Well, I hope y’all are being brave, and sharing the gospel like crazy!
Have the most blessed of weeks, y’all!

Sister Derrick

 Fun Halloween slippers I sent them.  Glad I could be a part of their Halloween festivities!
Bryndee modeling her new wool coat and winter clothes I sent.  Looking good Sis!
 A famliy that fed them asked if they could show the girls their "baby".  I can't tell if it is real...what do you think?

A map of the world.  All the red dots are where she has friends serving.  Fun to see!

Monday, October 28, 2013

What Would A Holy Woman Do?

Hello everyone! Hope y’all had a great week!
Sooooo……..Church yesterday. Oh. My. Heavens. It was really fun, but soooooo very exhausting. There is a good reason why church is 3 hours, and not 6.
We had a baptism this week! In the 2nd ward, they’ve been teaching a lady named Ashley, whose mother in law is in the 1st ward. So, we’d been getting updates on how it was going from the mother in law, and then when the areas merged, we got to teach and baptize her! It was way cool. We had her 7 year old daughter sing “I’m A Child of God” at the baptism, and oh my heavens, it was beautiful. She started out really quiet (She was kind of scared) but then when it got to the final chorus, she got this huge smile on her face and belted it out “lead me, guide me, walk beside me. Help me find the way. Teach me all that I must do, to live with Him someday!” The spirit in that room was so powerful, testifying that we really do have a Heavenly Father who loves us. There was not a dry eye in the room.

Ashley and all that were involved in her baptism.
Ashley and her family.
So, exchanges this week: Simpsonville!! I got to go on an exchange with S. Steimlie, and stay in my old apartment!!! It was way weird going back, but it was great to see S. Belyea again, and see how all my investigators down there are doing J Sister Steimlie is way cool, and I was happy to get to work with her. We met this really cool girl down there, who was really into YouTube. We told her who we were and she got really excited. “Oh! There’s these youtubers (apparently, youtuber is a real thing.) I’m obsessed with who are Mormons! They always seem so happy…. It’s cool. I want to be happy like that. I’m glad you came.” I kid you not. It was like something straight out of a conference talk! We were so excited! I love that the Lord really does prepare people to receive the missionaries, and to hear about the gospel. J
On Tuesday, we got the opportunity to go to a Sisters Conference. We talked a lot about being holy women of God. Sister Holm gave us a cool homework assignment. “"What would a holy woman do?"

In thinking about how to learn about holiness, I'm wondering if for these days leading up to our Sisters Conference. Would you be willing to, just once each day, purposely choose one of your daily activities and try to “be holy” while doing it, or do it as a holy woman would do it. For example, how would a holy woman start her day? What would be on her “to do” list? How would a holy woman approach a difficult assignment or a new overwhelming project? How would she read to a child, or exercise? How would she talk with a friend, or shop, or play, or pray, or do laundry?

How would a holy woman handle a conflict or avoid a conflict? What would she read, or say, or listen to, or watch, or wear? What would she do in really difficult situations? If someone said something to her that was confusing, or hurtful, or demoralizing, how would a holy woman respond? What would she do? If she were betrayed, or misunderstood, or falsely accused, what would a holy woman do?
How would a holy woman respond to her own success or failure? How would she respond to the successes and failures of others? How would a holy woman use her time and energy and money? How would she prepare to partake of the sacrament each Sunday?”
As we got to do this, I learned a ton about meekness. A few days after receiving that assignment, there was an Elder that very harshly corrected something that he felt I should be doing better. I was pretty irritated at him, because I felt like I had just been thrown into a difficult assignment, and was still trying to figure it out. As I sat down and fumed, a scripture came to my mind “my [daughter], Despise not the chastening of the Lord, nor faint when thou art rebuked of him. For whom the Lord loveth, he chasteneth.” I thought, how would a holy woman react? I calmed down a bit, and let the spirit teach me. I know that the Lord (and maybe even this Elder) chastens me, because he knows it will help me grow, and become more than I currently am. It’s uncomfortable, but effective.
I hope that this week is a great one, and the Lord teaches you lots and lots!
Y’all have a blessed week,
Sister Derrick
Elder Hansen, Elder Braxton Montgomery, Bryndee, and Sister Stout.
Braxton is from Bryndee's home town.   Ron is his Stake President, he was on Porter's tennis team, and his sister is one of Torie's best friends. To say Bryndee was a little excited to see someone from home is an understatement!

Apparently there is no cursing in South Carolina.  If that's the case I'm ready to move there NOW!!!

Bryndee and Sister McNeece with some YUMMY Ice Cream.
Looks like things haven't changed.  Once her nose is a book a bomb could explode and she wouldn't even realize it.
Bryndee and her best tracting face!

The 3 Nephites!  Their costumes for the ward Trunk or Treat party. 
Bryndee:  Sister Nephi
Sister McNeece:  Sister of Jared
Sister Stout:  Sister Abinadi