Monday, September 29, 2014

Sister Monster

Hi Fam!

How are you today? (you should respond to this question) Having a happy week out in UTAH?  Are you all pumped for GENERAL CONFERENCE!!! I sure hope so because I am!  Best weekend of our lives right?  Can't believe that it's here again.  We are so fortunate to have a prophet that speaks to us every six months.  We are so blessed.

So this week was really great and crazy and full of adventures and miracles and blessings and laughter and all of that good stuff.   First off, good news!  Rene (Hilda"s husband)  Is going to be baptized on November 8th! He's super excited about it and asked us 3 questions after accepting the invitation 1. When will we invite his kids (answer this week!)  2. Will we teach him English and 3.  Can he sing at his baptismal service.  Great questions right?   He's such a prepared person.  He and his family are just such a blessing to the branch.  I'm beyond grateful that Heavenly Father dumped this blessing into our hands.   We literally witnessed a miracle with their family this week.  They were having issues with their housing situation and things were looking extra bad.  Things were falling apart and if they didn't get better there was a possibility of the kids being taken away.... so we were stressed, and so was the RS president and the branch president and everyone... yet as we went to help her in her home to fix things and clean Hilda was just bubbly as could be,  she kept saying "we just need to Trust the Lord" or have Confienzas as she would say. So among all the chaos she ran into some random lady at McDonalds and started sharing the gospel with her and invited her to come to church.... (this was all she would talk about as we tirelesly scrubbed and folded clothes)  She just kept saying "sisters I have work for you... for the mission"  Best part of the story is that her friend that she met came to church, and loved it... and they passed the inspection and will get to keep their kids.  Who knew the Lord could literally pour out these kind of blessings.  My faith was strengthened soooo much!  What a miracle.  

I studied in Mosiah today (that's technically where you should be if you're doing 5 pgs a day!)  and Abinidi is probably one of the coolest people ever.  He told the wicked priests that they had forgotten to teach the most crucial principal possible, which is the atonement of Jesus Christ.  That was the closing doctrine he shared before he was killed.  He wanted them to remember that redemption comes only through Jesus Christ.  This really inspired me, this is the most important thing we can ever understand and teach.  Remember the Savior, access the atonement by remembering him.  How great will be your joy as you do.  

Oh story, we went and did service at a little senior meals center in McCool and we met some crazy people!  (I'm good at finding the crazies!)  But they were fabulous.  There was this really sweet lady that came up to us and read my name and said, "Why hello there Sister Monster" 
She was dead serious and it became a fantastic joke... I'm the Sister Monster I guess... kind of like cookie monster?  OKay maybe not that funny... but kind of!

So life is happy in Nebraska, women's conference was amazing, if you didn't see it.. go back and watch it.  And I'd invite you to have a question for conference!  I'll be doing the same and we can compare notes?  Love you all have a lovely week!


Sister McMonster

Monday, September 22, 2014

Fall Leaves and Tamales!

Good Morning Family Dear!

How are you all today?  Spreading joy to the whole world?  I hope so!  Guess what!  Transfers happened and miracle of miracles I get to stay another six weeks in York!   I am soooo happy!  I prayed that I could stay with Sister Beers, and Heavenly Father helped me to see that this is a righteous desire, but now I have a responsibility to make the most of my time here, to work as hard as I can and to give my all to these people and this area.  I love this challenge... it's very exciting.  

So first things first, I know you've all been utterly worried about the missing mouse so I'm here to put you at ease!  The mouse was found!  Under our ridiculously comfortable couch.... ick... I'm basically crying thinking about the little guy.  Freddy is his name... Sister Beers took care of his funeral and gave me clear instructions "Sister, don't look...  stay over there"  I practiced my obedience like a good little missionary and boy was I blessed.  What a great companion I have :) 

In other news... haha  Rene and Hilda's family are just still fantastic.  We had a branch pot luck yesterday and Hilda brought probably hundreds of tamales!  They were delicious, and it is incredible to see Hilda and her incredible faith.  She is such a good missionary.  She is pretty much teaching her husband because he really doesn't speak a lot of English.  The Spanish Hermanas came to York to help us teach him and I'm so grateful they did! It's amazing how he expresses himself when he can say it in his own language.  He should be getting baptized soon (hasn't picked a day yet but that's going to come this week I think!)  Also all of her kids have grown sooo much, they are learning how to be reverent in church and they are also changing as their mom as changed.  That's a cool thing! They get to have the holy ghost in their home more and I know it is effecting their lives.  So cool.   Also cool, she keeps giving away her book of mormon..  haha   She understand so well the power that the book has.  She wants everyone in the whole world to have this joy.  We were reading in Alma 27 about Ammon today in companion study, and Ammon had so much joy he fell to the earth verse 19 is fantastic!  He was so filled with joy his strength left him.  How cool is he?  Hilda reminds me of this.  Her joy is so great she's just going to fall over!
This week I want to have more JOY!  We should all pray for the Joy that makes us fall over!  great visual right?   I've got it!  The leaves on the trees!  They fall to the earth because they are filled with Joy!  Let's be like that!  Fall to the earth because you are so full of joy.

Okay enough with random tangents.... It was a great week.  The spirit was strong here in York.  I'm grateful to be a missionary.  My joy is full.. and I'm filling it continually as strive to do the Lord's will.  It's the best way to live.    Have a really good week this week okay?  Let me know what things bring you JOY!  

Love always,

Sister McMaster


First Leaf of Fall!

Amber and the Sisters in Grand Island

Golden Farm Sunshine... :)

Monday, September 15, 2014

What's Worse Than Mice?........ A Missing Mousetrap.

Hello Family!  

How are you all doing today?  Happy and healthy? Loving school?  I hope so!  

So this week we had a mild winter scare and I had to whip out my sweaters and tights.... it was terrifying.  Not to worry the Sun is back today and Fall is putting up a better fight I believe.  

It was a really sweet week here in Nebraska, so many miracles so many smiles and tears and laughter and donuts!

So we had back to back Zone Trainings this week. One in Grand Island and one in Lincoln.  Sister Beers and I gave a training on how we need to clean the inner vessel and really focus on strengthening our companionships in order to have greater unity in the units we serve and in the mission as a whole.  I loved this topic!  We have a greater desire to do missionary work if we love our companions!  So I thought we could apply that to our family!  When our family is unified we are more likely to be doing missionary work. So here's the question: How can we be unified when we're all everywhere spread out and far far away?  Well for starters the gospel of Jesus Christ unifies us (see 3Ne 3:7 for a bad example of something that unifies people)  so how can we strengthen our Unity as a family?  that's your pondering question okay?  Yeah we trained on that and it was really cool how our companionship was strengthened.  Sister Beers is a really fantastic missionary and I love working with her.

We also had exchanges this week!  We got nearly rained out in the first exchange and had some crazy interactions with people.  We taught the restoration to this new investigator and she was super receptive, then at the end she was like "I'm not going to commit to do anything! Get out of my house!"  So I guess the wicked take the truth to be hard maybe?  She was kinda sweet about her rejection... maybe we'll stop by again if we're in her area... haha.  On our exchange in Lincoln I got to spend the day with Sister May... she's a rockstar!  For our morning exercise we walked to a donut shop... and bought freshly made cherry turnovers... (perhaps not the most useful exercise of my week)  It as delicious... we also had some crazy weird lessons..  but the joy of bearing testimony of the Book of Mormon comes whether they reject you or not :)  

So to top off our crazy week Hilda got baptized!!! It was one of the most powerful baptisms ever!  She was so spiritually prepared. I can't even describe to you how humbling it is to see someone accept the savior and his atonement. It changes people's lives and it's amazing.  As she came up out of the water she just stood there and held her chest, she was just soaking in the spirit.  I truly believe she received a new heart as she made the covenant to serve god until she dies (Mosiah 18:13)  She walked up the stairs and said "Sisters, I feel different, but i'm not complete yet"  And after her confirmation yesterday she was just beaming. She told Brother Byers, "I feel like a flower that has blossomed!".  Man I wish you all could see how incredible this is, it would totally eliminate any fears you ever have about sharing the gospel.   What an incredible week.

Well I love you all! I'm doing well out here in the middle of nowhere fighting off mice and crickets... It prevents sleep occasionally because I dream about mice...that's kind of horrible.  I hope you don't dream about mice.... and yes we woke up this morning and one of the traps we set out is missing... and we found a tail... so now we may not be able to use our kitchen.  Pray for our toes!  
Love you all! Have a great week!

Sister McMaster

(p.s. if you'r on track with the Book of Mormon you should be in 2 Nephi 27)

Monday, September 8, 2014

Tender Mercies: Our Little Reminders to Smile

Hello Family!

How are you all doing this week?  Hope you're smiling a lot, life is such a happy thing and we should always remember to smile! How's your book of Mormon reading going?  If you're on track for finishing by Christmas you should be starting 2 Nephi... so Book of Mormon Marathon if need be :)

We had a busy week yet again!  Heavenly Father truly guided us with where to be and it was a privilege to be a missionary this week.  

Don't have lots of time so I'll just share with you my favorite moment of the week:  Hilda is progressing so well!  We had a lesson at her house with Rene and the two of them are fantastic.  After talking about the Book of Mormon for a little bit she got really excited and asked us to help her find a scripture that she could share with her friend that recently lost her mother.  She then proceeded to tell us all of the people that she has been telling about the Book of Mormon, and how she's been inviting them to see how it can change their life.  She then whispered to us (while Rene was in the other room)  "I asked him if he knew it was true, and he said he does... "  Wow!  So Hilda is convinced that he will want to get baptized soon too! We'll need to find a real spanish teacher though because he speaks less English than Hilda... but He and I make a deal that for every time I pray in Spanish he prays in English... it's great.  I love working with these people.

We had Leadership council this week which is one of my favorite meetings.  I love seeing so many powerful missionaries. It's super motivating and I'm excited to share that excitement this week in our Zone trainings.... We'll be in Lincoln and Grand Island... so it's going to be a crazy week!  

One other cool thing, we had a Relief Society Stake activity on Saturday and I went to Kearney!  That was my first time there.. it was cool to see the place where some of my favorite companions served for a really long time.  Joannie was supposed to come but couldn't make it :(  Hopefully we'll be able to teach her about Joseph Smith this week! She had so many questions!  

Well, I love the Book of Mormon, it's so powerful..  Read it everyday for the rest of your life.  I'm so grateful for the strength that it has brought to my spirit.  I know that no matter where you are in life it will strengthen you and you will truly have a greater understanding of God's love.  How sweet that is, keep reading family!

I love you all! Have a fantastic week!

Love Always,

Sister McMaster

Chocolate Ice Cream with peaches... this week's dessert :)
Sister Long!  My sweet friend that loves peaches and Chocolate :)

Sister Beers and I being awesome...

Tuesday, September 2, 2014

"The Rains Come Down and the Floods Come Up"

Hello From York!  

Happy Tuesday!  I hope you all enjoyed your Labor day weekend!  It sure was a crazy weekend here!  Lots of miracles and lots of craziness... and lots and lots of rain!  We woke up to the horse's pasture being a pond!  

So we went on exchanges in Grand Island this week,  I think it's the 3rd or 4th largest cities in Nebraska... so bigger than York.  It was good to be in a city kind of again.  I also got to work with the Spanish sisters.  I spent the whole day with an Hermana... and alll of our appointments were with very non-english speaking hispanics.  How fun right!?  I felt so lost and confused the whole day!  Ha ha actually it was a miracle because I understood quite a bit.. I just couldn't really say anything.  I tried though!  In two of our appointments they asked me to pray!  I think I understand better what it feels like to be someone unfamiliar with prayer, it's quite scary to be praying and literally to not know what words are accurate to bless a family.  I did my best though and the spirit was strong so it was a really good day.  One crazy moment however was when we were in a lesson with their Investigator Osday, and in walked two deaf ladies that were signing in Spanish.... talk about a braincram.. I had to just stop thinking because they were like soap opera-ing and I wished so badly I could put on some subtitles or something haha it was funny. 

So humbling experience!  Remember how Hilda and Rene are amazing?  But also we are teaching them in English when their prefered language is Spanish?  Well we found out on Thursday night that Hilda was't clear on the word of wisdom (we finally had a spanish team up who could clearly explain it to her)  So we had to move her baptism to Sept 13, so she can be all ready!  It was probably one of the hardest moments I've had as a missionary.  I really didn't want to move it because she is so sincere! And she was so willing to give up her Tea once she understood... and it was "just tea".... I was really trying to justify but the Lord's will is so important!  After lots of prayer and scripture study Sister Beers and I decided we did  need to move it.  And man the Spirit truly testified that this was the right thing to do. We both felt at ease.   
So this is the lesson I learned and want to share with you.  The winds and the rain come, and they blow strongly and the push you back and forth, but remember that this is an important part of life.  Do not be discouraged that things aren't easy, that you don't have a perfect life and that things don't always work out the way you want, because that is not the way Heavenly Father's plan works.  He needs us to learn to trust him, so we must abandon our will and do that very thing! Trust that he knows what he's doing, even if you feel like you've been blown off course, turn to him and know that he will help you become strong.  I know that Hilda's testimony of the Word of Wisdom and all the other commandments is going to be so strong because we moved her baptismal date, and I know that the Lord needs her to be strong.  She will be an anchor to her family and to several members of the Branch.

I'm so grateful that Heavenly Father does help us grow each week, I hope you all have been able to recognized his goodness in your lives this week. I love you all and I pray for you!

Choose the Right!

Love Always,

Sister McMaster