Monday, July 28, 2014

Called to Serve "Yay God!"

Good Morning From Nebraska!

How are you all doing? I hear Mom and Nat and Jace are in Ohio?  are you still there?  That sounds like a fun road trip!  I hope you enjoy the golden cornfields as much as I do.  I love this part of the world.  I'm so grateful to be here :)

So I guess I'll tell you about my interesting week.  Lots of miracles happening everywhere we turn.   We were in our area on Tuesday and Wednesday (two days in a row!)  York is a fantastic little town.  We went and did service at an animal place called Adopt-A-Pet, we meet fantastic people there.  Our favorite is a woman and her husband (Jim and Joannie).  They are an elderly couple that has been through a lot, they're a little rough around the edges looking but the sweetest people on the planet.  Joannie has such a big heart and talks endlessly about how each creature is a child of God, she gets so excited when different dogs get adopted she throws her hands up in the air and shouts "Yay God!"  It's fantastic.  How sweet of an example she is to so many people.  I learn from her to be grateful at all times.  We should always remember to stop and thank the Lord for the incredible blessings we receive each and every day.   

We had some interesting lessons this week, but we focused a lot on the Family Proclamation which is really cool!  We read it with people and really talk about how important our families are especially to Heavenly Father.  One really cool experience happened when we met with our investigator Christy.  She has been investigating for a long time and hopes to be baptized but her husband isn't on board yet... (this is a frustrating pattern) anyway she was talking to us about the book of Mormon, she said that when she first started reading it she thought it would be cool to learn the history and it would be educational to learn about God, but she said she never expected it to "change her life" !  Wow!  Talk about a testimony builder.  The Book of Mormon truly changes our life and learning about Heavenly Father's love changes our hearts forever.  I love this truth.  

Sister Wrubell and I celebrated Pioneer Day on Thursday!  We dressed up like pioneers and listened to the Trek National Tribute CD as we drove to Hastings (aka through 8 million cornfields and pastures) to go to our district meeting.  It was the most epic trek of our lives.  Haha the best part though was when we told Sarah (who we live with)  about our fantastic day and she said "I thought you always dressed like pioneers"  haha what a turkey.  It was a memorable day though! We had to feed the chickens of some members that went out of town so we just felt so pioneery!   Did you all enjoy pioneer day?  

Then Friday and Saturday we did back to back exchanges so we got to go to Nebraska City and Lincoln, It was exhausting! But also soo good!  It's really an incredible opportunity to see how each sister is doing.  The spirit is really strong when we are on exchanges.   While in Nebraska city we went up to the little city of Auburn(passing by the little city of Peru.. who names these places?)and Sister Stutler and I were able to have a lesson with this really sweet lady!  She was a friend of  a member and had so many good questions!  We sat in her kitchen cutting green beans and talked about the restoration of the gospel, and the sweet 17year old girl that came with us testified of Joseph Smith and how he restored the truth to the earth.  I love hearing the testimonies of the future missionaries of the world, what prepared people.  It was a really cool lesson.    In Lincoln we saw lot of miracles too! And I had the most awkward lesson of my life.... you'll have to write me a letter about it for more details... but basically when we got there there was a Jehovah's Wittness teaching our investigator in some chinese dialect... talk about random... I didn't even know what to do... so I prayed!  That went well... :S

Then Church yesterday was busy!  HIlda's family made it for sacrament meeting, unfortunately Julie's family didn't :( Both families have a lot of struggles but Hilda just kept saying "I know that it's probably time for me to get baptized"  I would love to see her family make this covenant and be able to be sealed together for eternity!  What a cool thing.  I love them so much.  I really love this branch too, they are so supportive and fantastic.

So yes busy long week! Hope I haven't bored you too much. I hope you are all having an enjoyable summery week too!  Can't believe that this week is that crazy kid's sweet 16! wow! Thom you are so old.  Have a happy birthday week! Let me know how your week goes!

Love you all so much!

Keep choosing the Right!

Love Always,

Sister McMaster

Monday, July 21, 2014

A Frog is Like a Toaster

One of the most worrisome animals ya know?  You have no idea when it will hop... just like the toster you never know when it will pop!  But the work of the Lord is cooler than both because we don't have to worry, it will pop when it's supposed to and when it does you just embrace being showered with blessings.  That's the kind of week I had family... that's it.

Where to even start really though?  How are you all doing?  Probably not as hot and sticky as I am but that's okay.  It's good to see you climbing to the top of mountains and such!   Let me know when Jace goes mountain climbing... :)  

So we had a busy week!  We do as much as we can when we are in York because we have to leave a lot for weird meetings and such, so it's like power missionary work.  I love it.  We got to take Debbie to the Trail Center this week.  I love the trail center!  We were able to show her paintings that are on exhibit there and they were so powerful.  They are pictures of Christ serving and then a parallel picture of a pioneer serving the same way.  It's amazing to me to see that Christ's mission was to serve and love and that is our mission as well.  We get to serve and love the way the Savior did.   Debbie opened up a little bit about how she feels about the church but she still seems to be an enigma.   

Oh!  Sad story, so we got a call from Elder Coleman (the car guy)  and he said to Sister Wrubell and I "sisters, are you sitting down?"  Which is always the worst question to be asked on the phone.... then he talked about how we have to make sacrifices as missionaries.. yatat yata... But he told us he was taking away our Truck,  so we sobbed a little bit... haha but we get a Jeep!  So we weren't too sad, only kind of really sad.  

Okay so here is the gem of the day, here is the pop of our week!  So we have been teaching a lady named Julie, who is set for being baptized on the 9th of August, she's been super hesitant lately and we haven't been sure how to help get over that barrier, but then one day we went to her house and there was another family over and the mother (Hilda) was so excited to see us!  She started going off on how she had been preparing to be baptized in Las Vegas but when she moved here (over a year ago) she wasn't ever able to find the church.  She was so excited to come to church and her excitement just rubbed right onto Julie who stared asking us lots of question about baptism. :) So Hilda and her 6 children and Julie and her 3 children all came to church yesterday!  WOW!  I've never felt so excited like ever.  Best day ever! There were 97 people in our branch house (Almost enough for us to be building qualified!)  Best line of the day  as Hilda's little clan walked through the door "whelp... we just turned into a ward" haha.  THe miracles that heavenly father has in store for us are just fantastic!  

I'm so grateful for all your love and support.  The work is hastening here, how's it going in Cottonwood Heights?  You having fun missionary experience amongst your crazy summer adventures?? I hope so!

I love you soo much.  Press forward, keep choosing the right and don't worry, the Lord's work will pop when it is supposed to.  

Love you!

Sister McMaster

Monday, July 14, 2014

Missionary Life is the best thing since String Cheese was invented.


Happy pretend friend day!  How are you all doing?  Alive?  Having too much fun to let me know about it?  Aw well I'm having too much fun too so we can be friends.

This week was a blast!  So many miracles and missionary life is the best thing since string cheese was invented.  (Sister Wrubell says that that means a lot... because she knows how much I like string cheese, but she probably would have said Fruit snacks if it were the title to her e-mail)   So I had a dream that my companion had dread locks that were actually pretzels... just a fun fact for the day.

Where to even begin... Miracle 1:  We went on an exchange with the Hermanas!  woot woot!  my prophecy totally came to pass, just in the Lord's way ya know?  We spent the day pretending to speak Spanish (actually everyone we saw happened to speak English so I didn't even have to embarrass myself!)  I have so much respect for missionaries that speak a different language... mind blown.  I learned how to sing I am a child of god in Spanish so I'm pretty much fluent now.  They Serve in Grand Island, so I spent the day on an Island... actually it's just in the middle of nowhere, cool name right?

Miracle 2:  We got a ride to Lincoln for our zone training from my favorite person Sister Ward, she trains dogs and picks black raspberries so we're best friends.  

Miracle 3:  We went to Holmes Lake (yeah a random lake in the big NE... super cool) area and learned how to pray with Faith.  I love when the faith of other sisters helps mine to grow.  If it's the Lord's will and we pray with faith then the miracle will happen, this is the 3 Nephi 18:20 principal and one I'm learning to love and use every single day!

Miracle 4:  We had 3 bags of Fruit snacks in our box when we had previously counted only 2... (or we just can't count... but it felt like a miracle on a thunderstormy sunday evening)  

Miracle 5: We had a whole family come to church that haven't been in quite some time!  And so many people came to the branch yesterday! (apparently Aurora Nebraska is a convenient place to pass through and go to church!) We had a family there from Denmark!  I wished so badly that I knew Danish... Man now that I think of it I could have started singing the happy birthday song... maybe the spirit kept it from my mind for good reasons. :)   

Miracle 6: All the sisters we are working with are doing soooo well!  They all have some one with a date to be baptized! I feel like a little mother hen that has the best chickens in the coop!  

Miracle 7:  We picked eggs with Sarah and made Rolo cookies with her!  Best lesson ever!  And she helped us prepare our training for Zone training.

Miracle 8:  I learned something soooo cool about repentance that I have to share!  Why is it so important to repent?  Because you are WORTH repenting.  How cool is that?  Just think of your celestial self, or even your premortal self,  that self would be begging you to do the little things, would be pleaing with you to be brave and change, to not be afraid to to the things that the prophets ask us to do, It's worth the sacrifice to become that person.  Don't sell yourself short, you are worth it!  

Miracle 9:  Singing a medley of Come thou font and I am a child of God, as we drive from McCool to York

Miracle 10:  I love being a missionary, best year of my life!  

I love you all sooooooo much!  Here's your commitment:  Will you write down 5 miracles a day?  and send them to me?  Or just tell Heavenly Father about them, that's probably better!

Love you forever!

Sister McMaster  

holmes lake exchange!

Falling in love with Nebraska

Monday, July 7, 2014

Happy 4th!

Hello Family!

Wowie!  It has been quite a week.  Full of surprises and joy and laughs.  Sister Wrubell and I laugh a lot.... I had a piece of lettuce stuck in my throat (kind of like a piece of spaghetti) during a lunch appointment and was dying (because lettuce is dangerous)  and as I turned to politely pull it out of my throat she was watching  me and started laughing hysterically... like crying laughter.  So I laughed with her and pretty much this is how our companionship works :)

We had quite a busy week!  I met like 5 million people and my memory is starting to feel weak... but I know the Lord is strengthening me so that's good.  The people in York are fantastic.  We have a lot of really neat people we are working with.  In the last 2 months there have been 5 baptisms in this branch so the work here is on fire!  We have a lot of people we are working with.  (I'm trying to remember all of their stories!)  My favorite people are the people we live with (the Byers)  They are fantastic.  Sarah is their daughter and she's great.  She is so good at helping us and I think she will let me brush the horses hair today... (I'm like a child in a candy store) We have an investigator named Debbie that is super similar to Angie in the Fairview ward (she comes to church every week but hasn't been baptized yet)  I hope that we can help her feel confident enough to make the covenant of baptism soon!  Our Branch President and Branch Mission Leader are also both fantastic individuals, they have the faith to move mountains and are so helpful.  We are focusing on having all families reading the Book of Mormon every day! (cool how we all need this!)   We are seeing a lot of miracles as we do service at different places and love all the people we meet.  I love being a missionary here!

We also had leadership this week in Omaha and we spent the night in bellevue with sister Sitles and her new companion Sister Jones!  It was weird to be back but it was really good too! They've seen a lot of miracles and I pray that they continue to do so.  Leadership was on the 4th of July and it was like an MTC reunion!  Almost all of us from the MTC are now leaders!  Cool right?  It's really a sweet thing to have so many close friends out here in Nebraska.   After our fantastic meeting (all about repentance! Phew! I'll be learning all about repentance this month, you should study it too!)  We drove to Nebraska City and had a mini exchange with those sisters.  We split up and went to 2 different 4th of July events.  I ended up going to a ward party with Sister Stutler and we ended up seeing ward members from fairview! how crazy is that? It was kind of a tender mercy because Sister Stutler has only been in Neb City a week... so she knew as many people as I did..  We met lots of the ward and helped her meet them and get to know them, then we got to swing on a tree swing, so I was in heaven because I love tree swings... (perhaps not as much when you are wearing a skirt.. but still fun!) It was a really cool opportunity to meet a ton of random people! (more of the reason why my brain is going crazy)  
After Nebracity (that's what the locals call it.. haha) We went to Lincoln and visited more sisters (haha I told sister Wrubell we were doing our visiting teaching for the month... kinda...)  I love all the Lincoln sisters, there are a lot of new trainees out and it is sooo motivating to see their fire and excitement to serve.  So weird that that was us just a year ago... weirded out by that.  

Phew... so much happened and so much happening!  Well I have learned more about the atonement over the last month and I am so grateful that as a missionary I can grow closer to my Savior.  I hope each one of you continue to study and pray to have strong relationships with our Savior and our father in heaven.  I am so grateful for this gospel and the opportunity to serve.  It is soo good being a missionary. All you future missionaries don't discredit the time of being a missionary, it literally is the best thing I have ever done in my life.  I know the Lord takes such good care of his missionaries and I feel so privileged to be a part of this work.

Keep the Faith! Happy July!

Sister McMaster