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