Saturday, December 24, 2011

MERRY CHRISTMAS from the Ohio. (: (12/20/11)

Dearest, darlingest family,

I said it once, and I will say it again, MERRY CHRISTMAS. (:  I can not believe that Christmas is really here!  For one, I still feel like it is....March?...maybe May?  For two, until Saturday the ground was missing that white stuff that tells us it is winter (which is weird because snow should not affect my view of winter....oh well, things change). 

I love this time of year.  I probably always have.  (You know better than I do.)  I love Christmas music and movies.  I love candy canes.   I love stockings, Santa, and sleighs.  I love Christmas lights and decorations.  I love trees and ornaments.  I love gift getting and giving.  I love spending time with family.  I love eating breakfast casserole and Banana Split Cake.  With all of that aside, take it all away, I still love Christmas because I love my Savior.  That's what this season is all about.  I hope we all take a chunk of time to really think about Him this week.  His birth, His life, and His death.  "And he shall go forth, suffering pains and afflictions and temptations of every kind; and this that the word might be fulfilled which saith he will take upon him the pains and the sicknesses of his people.  And he will take upon him death, that he may loose the bands of death which bind his people; and he will take upon him their infirmities, that his bowels may be filled with mercy, according to the flesh how to succor his people according to their infirmities" (Alma 7:11-12 The Book of Mormon). 

He came in to the world for us.  He wanted us to never be or feel alone in our trials.  He was sacrificed for our sins and sorrows.  So what?  So what does that mean to each of us?  That's the sometimes tricky part.  How does this all apply to me?  We, like Christs apostles, must take the charge given by Christ to define who He is to us.  The world has differing opinions, beliefs, facts, theories, "But whom say ye who [he is]?" (Matthew 16:15 Bible). 

We all have to study, think about it, pray, define for ourselves.

I love being a "guide" in helping others define who Jesus Christ is in their lives...in their various situations...with their individual struggles and triumphs.

Point:  Let's remember the meaning behind Christmas.












I LOVE YOU!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

VERY VERY VERY much.

Merry Christmas (again).

XOXO

Sister Spring



PS...no pictures.  Please forgive me. (:

(Mom Spring added these pictures.)
Daddy Spring talking to Sis Spring on Skype Christmas Day 2010
We get to talk to her this Christmas too!!



All of us gathered around the computer to talk to Sis. Spring last Christmas 2010
....pups too, but Josie left.


Christmas 2009 at Grandma Aimo's- last Christmas home before mission
...Grandma, Marie, Sis. Spring and Mom Spring

Hello from the land of Lorain...

December 10, 2011

....again. (:

I hope everyone had a good week.  Mine was good!!  Full of emotional highs and lows, of course.

One minor thing...The missionaries in my mission were encouraged to create a mormon.org profile.  So, Sister Schwanke and I took a little time to type out a few words on the computer.  Here it is: my profile on mormon.org.  Pretty lame, but take a few minutes to look around at other people.  They are much more interesting.  Like Sister Schwanke.  or Sister McAlister.  or Sister Hansen. or Sister Manwaring.  or Sister Fotu.

Yes, that brings me to point number two.

My new companion.

Sister Siniteke Fotu.

Tongan.

Amazing.

We get along well.  Laugh.  Work hard. I am really happy to be with her.

Hopefully she is happy to be with me, too!
MEET SISTER FOTUUUU.  Here in the library. (:


Well, there is a TON happening here in Lorain.  Lots of people to teach.  Lots of opportunites to talk with people.  I love my life as a missionary.  To be honest, (most of the time), it is not even awkward to just walk up to someone in the parking lot.  It is just instinctive because of a sincere desire I have to make sure everyone has an opportunity to hear this message of hope and happiness and change and progression and peace and TRUTH. 

We are still teaching Brother Greg.  Have I told you about him?  I think so.  He is married to a member in the ward.  We go over there every Sunday for dinner (meaning we will spend CHRISTMAS with them....I can't believe it is Christmas time?!?!).  He is preparing for baptism on the 31st of December.  I LOVE THEIR FAMILY.  Anyways, it is amazing to see him change, little by little.  He has more confidence. and motivation. 

Yup.  Well...

I love you.

I will TALK to you soon, okayyyy?   Then I will be more descriptive.  Maybe.

All you really need to know is I LOVE YOU.

And I am happy. (:

Really happy.

Sister Spring

ZOO!
  Sister Milledge (an amazing member in the great Lorain ward!),
me, Sister Schwanke.







Wednesday, December 7, 2011

SCHello. (:

This transfer has been so crazy....it seems like Sister Schwanke and I have been companions forever (not in a bad way) when is reality we have only been companions for four weeks.  And now she is leaving me. 

LAKE ERIE!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! On the West Side.
Sister Fotu is my new companion, as of tomorrow.  She is from Tonga. Happy all the time...at least every time I have seen her.  That is really all I know.

Although I am sad to see Sister Schwanke leave (and Sister Hansen...and Sister Manwaring...and Sister McAlister....and all of the other Sisters) I am really excited for the upcoming transfer.  There is still a lot to do here in Lorain.  I know that Heavenly Father is not only aware of me and my needs, but He is aware of those we are teaching and their needs, too.

Sunday night there was a dinner at the Lorain church building preceding the Christmas devotional (watch it here!).  That was such a stressful night for me!!!!  Erica was there with seven of her eight children and her boyfriend.  Along with a man we are teaching who is somewhat skeptical of people.  Another man we are teaching, Brother Greg Slattery( he is getting baptized December 31!!!!), was there with his wife and four children who are members.  A woman who just moved in to the ward and who has not been to church in a while was there, as well.  Plus all of the ward members.  Point:  There were a lot of people there that I felt responsiblity for and I felt like I was running around the whole night!!  It was really good though.
The Thompson family. 
They are members in the ward here. AMAZING people.

The devotional was a Christmas broadcast from the First Presidency of the Church.  I really enjoyed it (at least the portion I watched in between quieting the children with various tactics....we ended up in the foyer.  Seven children who have never sat through church before...yea...just use your imagination.)  This Christmas season is a special time to reflect on the life of our Savior.  Although the world is changing around us, the true significance of Christmas being lost in the process, I will do everything I can to never forget Christ.  Not only at Christmastime

Sorry this is short and scattered.

We are in a rushy rush rush today.

Lots to do...people to see.

BYEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE

I LOVE YOUUUUUUUUU!!!!!!!! TOO MUCH!

XOXOXO

Sister Spring


The first snow!!! November 30, 2011. Look very closely...there are little white flakey flakes. The weather has been very mild so far!


HI!m

HELLO!
(disclaimer: my brain is hurting.......I apologize for the lack of description in this email.......)

Sister Schwanke and I had a really great week.  Constantly busy.  Time is going fast.  It seems like it goes from morning to night so quickly.  And night to morning even quicker.

This week has been full of finding, teaching, serving, loving.  I love this area.  I love my companion.  I love the people I meet.  I LOVE these people so much.  Let me tell you about one family.  A young  single mom of EIGHT.  Boy (11), Girl (9), Girl  (7),  Boy (6), Girl (4), Girl (3), Gmirl (18months), and boy (7 months). Oh my gosh these kids are so precious.  Oh, did I mention that she is maybe....26?  As you can imagine, she is in a less than desirable situation.  We have been over to teach them a couple of times and what is most amazing is the children's craving for God.  Especially little Aleah.  She is a BEAUTIFUL little angel.  During our first lesson, we watched a movie (http://mormon.org/videos/  Finding Faith In Christ) and talked about why we would want to follow Jesus Christ.  Aleah whispered to Sister Schwanke a request to say the prayer.  Gosh, I just want to do everything for these children!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

Dad told me about the Flower Mound Thanksgiving.  It sounds like a lot of fun! (:  Mine was quite enjoyable.  After spending some time weekly planning, we stuffed ourselves and then watched a Church movie.  Good day, good day.
Thanksgiving. 
Sister Schwanke, Me, Brother Larry Greenleaf, Elder Lundholm, Elder Rollins


I reallllllllllllllllly LOVE YOU all!!! (:

Thank you for your continual support.  I hope you all are doing well.

Sister Spring

Meet Juan. 24-years-old. Sister Schwanke and I met him last Monday night. He is INCREDIBLE...even though he looks semi-goofy here. We have taught him three times over the last week. He is reading and praying and happy. 31st of December. That is when he is preparing to be baptized


Molly Hoax, the woman we were living with two weeks ago. On our move out day.....): So sad..But we see her still. In fact, they had us over for dinner on Wednesday. 
Yum, Chick-Fil-A.


The End.

LOVE YOU!

Nomadic.

Another move.

Let's simplify this thing 

7800 Kirtland-Chardon Road

Kirtland, OH 44094

Use that address. (: 

They will forward my mail.  If I have mail, that is. ;)



HAPPY THANKSGIVING WEEK.  One of my favorites. I hope you all have fun together.  I hear there is a gathering at the Lasseignes.  YUM.  I hope you all have fun.  I know you will. 

Sister Schwanke and I have two feasts lined up for us on Thanksgiving day.  And a long nap planned in the evening.  Thursday will be our PDAY...but we needed to email today because libraries will be closed on Thanksgiving.


We are meeting a ton of people.  I want to tell you about a couple.

Sister Smith and I tracted in to the lady a couple of weeks ago.  Home is Virginia.  Christian.  Young...23ish.  Living with her boyfriend. Anyways, she said we could come back..which we hear all the time without much of a follow through on their end.  That did not stop us.  We went over there last Tuesday evening and sweet, little Tracey invited us right in.  We met her boyfriend, and their twin, infant boys.  Talking with them was a very sweet experience as we discussed the nature of God, our Heavenly Father.  Although I talk about this subject a lot with people, I have yet to become disinterested in the matter.  I am constantly learning more about Him from other people, from Tracey and DJ.  The experience was also tender as I watched them feeding and cuddling their little boys.  At the end of the lesson, we invited the man to pray, and for him and her to begin praying together everyday.  They responded with a sincere, "yes" because they feel it will "bring them closer as a family".  I know it will.  The power of prayer is so real.


Less than an hour after leaving their home, Tracey texted us.  Turns out the man received a call about his portion from his grandmother's estate.  He had just prayed to his Heavenly Father to help him know that everything would be okay (they had previously alluded to some financial struggles).  From this experience I was reminded of a line in the Bible Dictionary under the term "Prayer:

                    "The object of prayer is not to change the will of God, but to secure for ourselves and for others blessings that God is already willing to grant, but that are made conditional on our asking for them."

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

So long, farewell....

Note:  New address on right and no pictures again so I put 2 on....Mom Spring :-)

Perhaps I did not give a sufficient explanation in my e-mail last week.  Oops.

Transfers are tomorrow, October 26.

And I'm out of here....here being Kirtland.

My new area is called Lorain which is West of Cleveland.  Sister McAlister actually served there right before we ended up here in Willowick together.  Lorain is only forty-five minutes from Kirtland...but I will no longer come in to the Visitors' Center while I am serving out there.   So basically it is like I am serving in Timbuktu.  It will be fun!  There are obviously pro's and con's to the whole situation.  The hardest part for me is that ten Sisters go home December 7 (Sister McAlister, Sister Hansen, Sister Manwaring...and others that I love love love!) so I will not be around to say good-bye to them.  I guess that is not the END of the world.....

Our LAST week together has been a good one.  The end of transfers is always crazy with the responsibilities at sites.  For example, we spent nearly six hours putting together a semi-balanced schedule for the Sisters' proselyting area, on-line chatting, and visitors' center time.  That was fun.

Sunday night we did not have a dinner appointment with any members from the ward.  Before heading in to our area, we threw together a little picnic sack of yumminess to eat at an undetermined location that evening.  Around five o'clock, we found a table at a park in our area.  So, we were munching along on these DELICIOUS apples that a kind man in our ward gave us when we saw a car pull up.  A woman got out, walked to the community center door, found out that it was locked.  She started walking back to her car. 

We keep eating...

          and eating

          and eating.....in silence.

Finally I vocalize what we both were thinking...."Let's go talk to her!"

Apples in hand, we stroll over to said woman.  Yelka.  From Bosnia. (Seriously Willowick/Wickliffe area is a melting pot, expecially of Eastern Europe countries.  Right before dinner, we were teaching Nick from Croatia!  Shout out to Mrs. Lurvey).  Anyways, we ended up talking to Yelka for about thirty minutes about the nature of God as our loving Heavenly Father.  We asked if she would be interested in having us come over to talk with her more about God.  So...we will be seeing her Saturday.  Well, Sister McAlister will at least.  We sat back down to eat our dinner.  We see another woman walking her dog this time.  She was not quite as approachable with no words spoken on our part she semi-kindly stated, "No, thanks." 

Back to dinner.

As our tummies were nearing the state of satisfaction, two young guys walked up to get a drink from the water fountain.  Of course, we started talking with them.  Brandon and Chris.  A few minutes later, their friend David joined in the conversation.  They showed instant curiousity in the message we had to share as well as in our lives.  You know, why we chose to go to Ohio, if we were going to school, typical questions people tend to ask us.  They asked questions about churches and why there are so many.  We ended up teaching them right there about the restoration of Christ's church.  http://mormon.org/restoration/  We will be meeting with them again shortly.  It is just amazing to see how Heavenly Father is so involved in my life...I know He is involved in your lives, too.  He knew those boys would be at Manry Park and that we needed to talk with them.  He knew that the community center would be closed but sent Yelka there anyways so we could talk with her. 

Later that evening we were looking at mormon.org at one of the Senior couples homes.  Turns out the lead singer, Brandon Flowers, is Mormon.  Who would have thought?  Anyways, there is a video about him on the website that is very good.  You should watch it. (: 

I'm not sure if Adam reads these things or not...but Congratulations on being a DAD!!!! I can't wait to meet your son, Noah, and your wife, Kaylee!!!  (: 

Well, until next week....

LOVE YOU

Sister Spring

Showing off her bunk at camp to cousins Joe and Danielle - 2009

Cousin Patrick, Great Grandaddy and Sister Spring (On the
 right with bottle in her mouth...she held it like that often)



                                                                    

lovelovelove

Hi! Long time, no talk fam. 

Next week my P-day will be Tuesday because of TRANSFERS.  My goodness.  This transfer went by way too quickly.  Ten Sisters have just one transfer left.  Three of those Sisters are three of my best friends...Sister Hansen, Sister McAlister, AND Sister Manwaring.  Mission life will be strange without them.  (This next information probably should not be made known publicly yet)...BUT I know my fate for next transfer.  No more Sister McAlister.  No more Traning Sister.  No more Willowick.  No more Visitors' Center.  I will be serving in Loraine which is west of Cleveland.  Far, far away from my little bubble here in Kirtland.  When a Sister from the Visitors' Center serves in an area where she does not come in to the Visitors' Center at all, we call that "full proselyting".  Honestly, I have wanted to go out full pros my whole mission so I am pretty content with it.  It will be hard (I will be away from all the Sisters from Thanksgiving and, most likely, Christmas).  It will be different (I have come in to the Visitors' Center pretty much every day of my mission).  But I know it will be good (Opportunity to grow, change, etc).

This past week was crazy, as usual.  More exchanges.  Saturday I was with a new Sister, Sister Gamble from Utah.  We were down in Hiram which is a rural area.  It was so beautiful.  We spent a good portion of the day tracting.  I think we walked 18 miles...not really, but it felt like it.  Near the end of our tracting experience, we met a little family.  Mom, Daughter, Son, and the minister Dad.  Oh man, he tore us apart!  Generally, people are kind and respectful...but it seemed like this man just wanted to make us feel awful.  Perhaps, that was not his intention but it sure felt like it.  If this was his intention, it did not work.  Sister Gamble is incredible.  We were able to share with him boldly what we know to be true because our Heavenly Father has revealed it to us.  No one can take that away from me.

A couple of months ago, Sister Hansen and I were teaching the Wickes (hopefully you remember them...couple in their 50's).  We took a member from the congregation with us who is good friends with the Wickes, Brother Pedersen.  Brother Wickes and Brother Pedersen get along so great.  They are both intellectuals.  Brother Pedersen could answer questions in a way that makes sense to Brother Wickes when we could not...you know me and my brain. (: Well, when Brother Pedersen was asked by Brother Wickes how he can know The Book of Mormon is true when science and history can not prove it, I was impacted by his response.  He explained that science and history have been wrong in the past, that they are wrong now, and will continue to be wrong in the future about some things.  Just like with science, he believes something when he sees accurate results for himself.  For instance, we are told that water, when the heat is reduced, will turn in to ice.  That is something that we can test and try for ourselves.  (silly example...first thing that came to my mind)  So, when he follows the teachings in the Bible and they make him happy...he knows that it is true.  Same principle with The Book of Mormon.  Once he has experiences that show him that The Bible and The Book of Mormon are from our Heavenly Father, the world nor history nor science can sway him.  His personal experience has greater value to him than anything that the world can tell him...That made sense to Brother Wickes.  That made sense to me.  Hopefully I explained the experience in a way that makes sense to you, too.

When I was being talked to by that man on Saturday afternoon, he could not detour me from what I know because of my experiences that I have had with trial and success (AND trial and error when I do it my way...),  The Bible is a real testament of Jesus Christ.  I know that.  So is the Book of Mormon.  I value the words in these books as good and of God.  Again, no one can take that away from me.

Alex came to church yesterday!  I was not there because I was with Sister Scott (MTC companion) in Ravenna...that's okay though.  Sister McAlister said he loved it.  We are meeting with him Thursday so yay. 

I love my life!!!! (:

Love,

Sister Spring

Wednesday, October 5, 2011

You're in or you're out...

Sister Spring will be 22 this Sunday, October 9th.  Surprise her and send her a birthday wish.  Address is to the right.
Marci and  Sister Elizabeth Spring last year @ 21! 
This Sunday the 9th = 22!!


So...I lied in my last e-mail.  Unintentionally, of course. 

Sister McAlister and I slaved over creating a new schedule for the Sisters with sites, proselyting areas, and chat, too.  This made some changes in our week.  My preparation day is now on Wednesday...at least for a couple of weeks.

       General conference was so good!!!  No surprise there; that is a given.  A common theme stood out to me;  when it comes to following our Heavenly Fathers plan, either you're in or you're out...there is no middle ground.  Perhaps this was a theme that only I noticed, who knows?  I have been studying the concept of obedience lately.  In case you have forgotten, I am a little....stubborn.  And I feel like I have been somewhat stubborn with my Heavenly Father lately.  I want to do what I want to do...I want it my way...lalalala.  Shocking, I know.  I was reminded of the ultimate purpose of commandments.  We are given guidelines for our life that, if we choose to follow, will lead us to real happiness.  He gives us the way; but we have to accept.  This principle is real.  I have seen the negative effects of disobedience.  I have also seen obedience effect my life in the best way possible.  The people who spoke on Saturday and Sunday are inspired leaders of God.  If you did not get to watch it, they can be viewed at this website.  www.lds.org/conference

      This transfer has been really hard.  really stressful. (Reminder: hard does not equal bad).  Coming in to Willowick we had zero people were teaching and neither of us knew anyone in the congregation.  I still feel like the ward is foreign to me, but we are developing relationships and meeting tons of people as we are talking with everyone!  Two Saturday's ago we met a man at a gas station.  The timing was perfect.  So perfect, that he was a little...frightened...for lack of better word.  We talked with him a little bit about our purpose as missionaries, to invite everyone to come closer to Christ.  He recognized the effect this could have on his family if he accepted the invitation.  So accept he did. He wanted to talk with his wife (good call) before setting up a specific time.  He said to call him Friday.  We did.

            "Yea, I talked to my wife and...she would love to have you guys come over."

Sunday.  1030 am.  Right before General Conference.  That's when we met his wife and their two children, their little boy (7) and their baby girl (17 months) for the first time.  This was another instance when I felt an immediate love for these precious people!  Over the course of our lesson with them they opened up a lot about family issues.  They have a sincere desire to unite as a family and they know they need the help of our Heavenly Father.  We are meeting with them again tonight.  Oh how I love them!!

     Hey, happy birthday, Marci-ella (and Shane aka Trip).    Marce, please don't think I forgot about your birthday...but with a change in my P-day...your card may get there a little late.  Forgive me? 22? Can you believe it?!  Ten years and counting, babygirl!! Have fun celebrating and just know I am always with you!  ilyimyiwiwwy.  (Mama, Daddy, Stephen, anyone...pass this message along to her please?)

     Well, fall is here!  The leaves are changing.  Halloween decorations are going up everywhere.  I have now witnessed every season here in the Ohio...weird.  

     As always, I hope you know that I am happy!  I know that this is exactly where I need to be because the message I am sharing is true.  It has to be.  If it wasn't I wouldn't be here.  It's too hard. haha (:

I love love love you!!!!

Sister Spring


Last manicure before she left - courtesy of Grandma!

Loving her Grandpa



Daddy's little girl at 2 or 22!

 And with Mom who is always grateful for Sister Spring's
righteous choices and love of the Savior.

Better late than never...right?

(From 9/29)


Sorry for the delay.  Everyone has probably been so concerned....sike.  Yes, I am alive.  And well! (:

Monday we had an activity with about half of the missionaries in our mission that lasted from 9-3 in a location about 45 minutes away from my current home of Kirtland.  This left us with no time to e-mail.  So...we were instructed to use time on a lunch break.  There is my disclaimer so you all know I am not being disobedient by e-mailing on a random Thursday! (:

Quick update.

My life is so good!  (:

I forgot to tell you.... Our first Thursday back together, Sister McAlister and I along with our Zone Leaders, Elder Rangel and Elder Bills, were asked to spend two hours at Ursuline College (a Catholic school) teaching a religion class about The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-Day Saints.  Although I have developed a love for communicating with people and my nerve level has decreased tremendously, let's be honest, I have not changed THAT much.  Public speaking is still semi-terrifying to me.

I was nervous.

Of course, it turned out to be wonderful.  The professor gave us eight topics he wanted us to address and asked that we leave some time for a Q&A segment.  These young people were very inquisitive and respectful.  After the class was over we talked with a few of the students.  They expressed there gratitude to us for sharing our faith and clearing up misconceptions.  Some even shared some of their faith with us and how they find strength through their beliefs.  I would be lying if I did not say it was really satisfying. 

There is so much we can learn from other people.  I think that is why I love people so much.

We are still doing our best to get to know our new area.  There is a lot of potential here!  Over the last two weeks we have met many new people and have lessons set up to teach!

Point: As already mentioned....Life is good!

I love you!!!!! (: 

Sister Spring

Thursday, September 15, 2011

i love my life

Hiiiii Family!!!! (:

    It is a beautiful day here in Kirtland.  Sun shining.  Slightly breezy.  Perfect temperature.  Life is good.  Hope all is well for you all, too!!

        Well, I will start with the big news.  Transfers.

         I am leaving the Kirtland Ward.  ):  The Euclid Ward that I will be transferred to still meets in the same building..but it will be strange to be in a new ward after nearly a year in Kirtland.  AND...guess who my companion will be...SISTER MCALISTER!!!!! Can you believe it?  We will be living in the same house, same bedroom that I started in last November with her as my trainer.  Now, ten months later, she and I will be reunited as the Training Sisters at the Visitors' Center.  Although I am ecstatic to be with Sister McAlister again...I will miss Sister Hansen.  You win some, you lose some...right?  The past three months with Sister Hansen have been so special.  She has taught me a lot about who I want to become by how she lives.  The happiness she feels radiates from her.  It is contagious.  

Change is good.  And I have had the best mission ever thus far.

   Sister Hansen and I have still been recovering this week so we had to "take it easy"..as instructed by our mission president's wife, Sister Sorensen.  It is so hard because all we want to do is just work!  There is no replacement for the joy we feel as we serve our Heavenly Father as His missionaries.  

     A couple of times this week I went out with Sister Downard, a newish missionary, so our sick companions could stay in.  This seeminly shy girl from Idaho is a powerhouse.  Serving at the Visitors' Center has provided me with a wonderful opportunity to learn from so many Sisters and senior couples.  Heavenly Father knew the environment I needed.  And this is it.

    Tours have slowed down DRSTICALLY the past month and a half or so.  Every one is back to school...and sports..and extra-curriculars.  It is weird.  Fall is coming.

     Anyways, life is good.  Now we get to spend the remainder of our Preparation Day packing and cleaning.  Yay! (:

                LOVE YOU,

                          Sister Spring

A photo of your beautiful daughters at their finest. (:
Soup and Ginger Ale in a Fanta bottle...perfect meal for the sicklings.

i.am.happy.

(From 9/9/11)

Hello, hello, hello my sweet family. (:

     I hope you all had a great week...and long weekend!  Thank you (Mom and Dad) for the picture of the gang.  Allow me to be honest, it was kind of weird to see my married, little cousin who will soon be a father!!!  I guess we grew up or something.  Anyways, you all look good!!

     Last Tuesday, Sister Hansen and I (and the rest of our mission) went to a conference with Elder Nash, a member of the Quorum of the Seventy Apostles.  We had been sick.  And were still under the weather, to put it lightly.  However, we were committed to NOT missing this opportunity.  Keep in mind, we spent the whole week in our home minus one hour at Sacrament Meeting and I went on exchanges with another Sister for a few hours on Saturday.  So we went and it was incredible.  Elder Nash has spent the past four years in South America fulfilling his designated responsibilites as an Apostle.  This man radiates Christ's love.  So does his wife, Sister Nash, who also addressed us on Tuesday.  I was reminded of the reason I came on a mission.  I want to bring people the hope that I have found as I have come to know my Savior through the restored gospel.  This word, "hope", I do not use as a loose term.  Rather, it is concrete and sure.  Through Christ's Atonement, there is always hope for happiness right now and for the eternity that is ahead.  There is always hope to change.  This hope of mine is founded in Jesus Christ and in a relationship with our Heavenly Father.  Sometimes I need to be reminded of these important things...possibly too often.

       So we have established that being ill took us down for far too long.  I am going to move past that.  I promise.  Let's talk about being back!!!  Saturday was our first day at sites.  and it felt so good!  We had the 10-3 shift. Our first, and only, tour for the day was around 1230.  There was a group from Columbus, but three of the visitors were originally from Ghana.  They were in AWE that they were actually in Kirtland.  Upon our first moments together, they vocalized their excitement to be in such a sacred place; a place that has been special to them for years, but now it has become real.  Perhaps I have become a bit complacent about Kirtland.  Well...I guess I had...but I had a nice reminder.  Again...I need all the reminding I can get.  We were standing on the a bridge over the Stoney Brook (the first mini-stop on tour) and I was overwhelmed with excitement. gratitude. humility. love.  I wanted a second to talk to Sister Hansen and just tell her how good I was feeling!  Gosh, this place is incredible.  The Saints here were doing everything they could to be obedient to God's commandments.  Walking through the Whitney's home and store, we discover their experiences coming to know their Heavenly Father.  Answered Prayers.  Healings.  Revealed instruction from God. Happy family times.  Work.  School.  Play.  It is amazing.  I love to think about walking through other people's homes and hearing their stories.  It would be so cool to have any of you take me around where you grew up and tell all your stories.  Daddy, I love when we are driving in Dallas and share about your life B.E. as you always say.  (Before Elizabeth).  Anyways, I just love that God gives us opportunities to learn from each other.  I love people. (:

       We went to a few appointments that night and spent all of Sunday at sites.  Life is good.  There are many wonderful things happening here. 

        I love you!!

            Sister

Wednesday, August 31, 2011

"We are like babies...all we do is sleep and eat."


Tuesday afternoon Sister Hansen and I found ourselves with a case of the flu.  Hoping it was the 24 hour bug, we headed home to sleep it off.  Tuesday turned to Wednesday.  Wednesday to Thursday.  Thursday to Friday.  Friday to Saturday.  Saturday to Sunday.  And that brings me here to the lirbrary for my weekly report.  There really is not much to report on.  I went with another sister to teach two lessons.  The first was with a group of young people.  They all live together.  They are all early 20's.  They are all seeking a chance to change.  It was a really neat experience.  The second was dinner at the Jones with the older couple we are teaching.  Well, it was good to be out of the house.  But I paid for it that night.  I will leave that to your imagination.  Sister Hansen and I were determined to go to church but did not make it past the first hour.  Neither of us could concentrate and we kept falling asleep...yikes.  So most of the week was sleep, wake up, eat (Saltines, Toast, Gatorade, sometimes soup), take medicines...

repeat.

repeat.

repeat.

 
I am feeling...better.  Sister Hansen is still a little sickling. 

Hopefully there will be more to report on next week. (:

I love you!!!!!!!!!!!!

XOXOXO

Sister Spring

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Hard does not equal bad

This week was, as the subject implies, hard.

Sister Hansen and I after a very rainy night in Ohio. 
Ohio has nice thunderstorms like the good ole TX
We were exhausted.  Mentally and physically.  Our list of “things to-do” seemed to be ever growing and our minds continually filled with more situations that created constant worry.  With our responsibilities over the Sisters at the Visitors’ Center, we end up knowing a lot more than I would like to know.  This week we were stressing for an event at the sites; A Musical Fireside with speakers and musical numbers intermixed to hopefully create an environment of learning for those that the missionaries are teaching.  We had to rearrange the sites schedule at least six times this week…and that is not an exaggeration.  Plus, many Sisters are struggling right now so we have been mulling over what we can do for them with no progress in that sphere.  Add that to the stress of figuring out how to help those we are teaching…and you get one hard (and GOOD) week.   Oh, if only you could have been in the car with Sister Hansen and I at times this week.  You would think we were two loony Sisters.  Our brains would shut down and the things we were saying were senseless.  It is interesting what a whole lot of stress can do.

Sister Hansen and I with a woman we are teaching.  She is incredible. 

The fireside was incredible.  Our theme was commandments.  During the fireside, we discovered our relationship with God, the need for commandments, how we are given commandments, and the blessings that come as we keep the commandments.  Sweet, little Jordan Jones shared her experience the past eight months.  She recognizes the changes in her life as she follows the teachings of Jesus Christ.  Her happiness is real and pure; a happiness she has never felt before.  I understand her feelings of change.  Perhaps you have seen my happiness level increase as I have changed.  I know, one hundred percent, that the reason I am happy is because I am doing my best to do what God wants me to do.  Of course, I am not perfect.  Not even close.  Thank goodness for repentance.  Sister McAlister sang at the fireside.  I LOVE SEEING HER!!!!!!!!  And her voice is perfect.  She would sing all the time when we were companions.  I could never get enough of it, either.  Her confidence in Christ’s reality is so apparent in everything that she does and says.
 Jordan comes teaching with us ALL the time.  I love it!  She loves it, too!
Last Wednesday, Sister Hansen and I participated in another companion exchange.  I went to Ravenna with Sister Webb (a fellow Texan).  This Sister is incredible.  I know I say that about every Sister but I learn so much from them all.  As you know, I tend to be a complaining hypochondriac.  (For the record, that flaw of mine is improving…slowly. ) Anyways, Sister Webb is such a hard worker.  She has some pretty serious allergies that have effected her health but she pushes through it.  WITH a smile.  Sister Hansen is a good teacher in that category as well.  Heavenly Father is so aware of me.  And you, too.  He knows exactly who I need to be with in order to grow and develop in to the best me possible.
Sister Webb and I
Well....because of exhaustion…Sister Hansen and I have dedicated this Preparation Day to nothing but SLEEP!  Elder and Sister Edman, the Visitors’ Center director and wife, have given us reign over their home.  Right now, our letter writing materials are sprawled across their living room.  It almost feels like we have taken a day off to be at Grand-ma and Grand-pa’s house.  This temporary seclusion is exactly what we both need.  So nap we will.
      I love love love love love you! 
                      Sister Spring
 
PICTURES…finally.
Last night….DONE!


Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Nirvana and Marijuana (legal)

Adventurer @ 18 months
And at 7 years



















Nirvana and Marijuana (legal)

Allow me to expand.
          A couple of weeks ago Sister Hansen and I had twenty minutes before our dinner appointment so we knocked doors in a near-by neighborhood.  We met "V".  Early 20's.  Buddhist.  From Sri Lanka. Friendly.  In town for three weeks.  He invited us back.  He is a self-proclaimed truth searcher.  There are parts of Buddhism that he questions.  There are parts of Christianity that he questions.  And he realllllly wants answers.  We spent the next hour understanding, or trying to understand, the beliefs he has developed in his life thus far.  He explained reincarnation, Nirvana, Karma, Buddha, the four noble truths, and a lot more that I am still attempting to comprehend.  This guy is a thinker.  I loved helping him understand who God is to me.  My Heavenly Father.  The Father of our Spirits.  He asked us to come back.  So we will see him again on Thursday.  (awkward story:  There was a fly at Ven's house that he kept distracting him.  He mentioned a few times..."gosh, that fly...it's driving me crazy....".  So, genius me, decided I would try to clap it between my hands.  "We don't kill in this house."  Yea, reincarnation...duh....I felt so uncomfortable.  For approximately 7 seconds.)
          This week we were planning to teach "Brother D" about the role of prophets and the health code (the Word of Wisdom) that our Heavenly Father has given us through a prophet to take care of our bodies.  To be baptized, he must live this commandment.  We knew there may be some concerns for him.  And there were.  Not really what we had anticipated though.  While we are sitting there on the couch waiting for his son-in-law (Brother H.) to get home, he tells us how he quit smoking and drinking coffee a few days before because he had convictions from God to do so.  (side note:  About 6 weeks ago,"Brother D" was at a breaking point.  He "fell to his knees" and pleaded with God to help him find somewhere to live and to find him a church.  He promised God that he would do whatever he asked of him.  He knows God answered his prayer...so he is keeping his part.  This man is so dedicated.)  Anyways, Brother H had talked with him earlier that week about the Word of Wisdom so he changed.  He just did it.  I do not know how...he just knew he needed to because of his convictions.  One teeny, tiny little hold up.  Legal Weed.  Honestly, I am not quite sure the exact components of said substance.  Not important.  "Brother D" said he had not had a conviction yet that he needed to give up legal weed.  He chose to give it up when he quit smoking cigarettes and drinking coffee, but he was still a little hesitant.  We spent the next little while discovering together why we should not rely on these substances.  At the end of the lesson, humble "Brother D" knew he needed to change.  He understood that this substance was restricting him from being his best self...well, from being himself at all.  It altered his mentality.  I love "Brother D".  It is truly special to be a part of his life.  and his family, too.  (Another side note:  "Brother D" grew up in Austin.  Fancy that.)
        I am at a different library this week...one that gives us a time limit...you guessed it...time is up.
        I love you.  I love you. I love you!!!!!
        Thank you so much for the package, Mama.  AND thank you Sister Smith and the YSA in the Highland Village ward for my package and cards.(:  Everyone is way too good to me!!!!!!!!!!!!
        I am so happy.  This place is incredible!!!!!
                  Sister Spring


(Note From Mama Spring: No pictures again this week.  I hope you enjoy a glimpse of her growing up years)


Baptism Day with Uncle Joe
Pioneer Trek 2008 - Morgan UT

Sister Spring and her brother Stephen -  Best Buddies

Tuesday, August 9, 2011

I took a dip in to the water, and I came out feeling taller...NOR

(Note from Mom:  Sister Spring forgot to attach her pictues :( so use your imagination! ) 


'
So I thank you Jesus Christ cause I know you made me smarter.

Wise words from the rap of Jeremy Hunsucker about his conversion story.

It is incredible to see lives change.  I was not around for the Hunnie's (They prefer Sister Hunnie and Brother H.....) change but I am seeing and hearing the after math.  (I sent a picture of me with him and his wife a few weeks ago).  Sister Hunnie was baptized five-ish years ago.  Her husband was baptized last year.  They have faced a lot of struggles but have overcome them through the knowledge of their Savior and His restored gospel. One miracle of a blessing is currently in process with her sweet father, Brother (Abel) Delgado.  She has been praying and praying and praying for her father for years.  Brother Delgado has openly stated his previous distaste for the LDS church.  He held a grudge for taking away his daughter.  As she accepted the gospel, a change was required which, as I have gathered, took her from her family environment.  He has now seen the joy it has brought to the Hunnie's, the strength in their relationship, and he craves it.  When Sister Hansen and I first walked in to the Hunnie's apartment last Thursday, our hearts were immediately filled with love for him.  It was a humbling experience to see this mans humility.  After talking with him about the restoration of Christ's church and authority through a prophet, we invited him to follow our Saviors example by being baptized by someone holding the proper priesthood authority of God.  His response, vocally and with body language, was so tender.  His face was GLOWING.  In his sweet, sweet voice he responded, "Well, when I know it's true...Yes, I would want to do that."
      He came to church yesterday....again, he was glowing.  It was testimony meeting.  The most spirit-filled meeting I have been to in a really long time...all three hours of church were so perfect.  Church is always great...but this week...it was literally perfect.  A 15-year-old boy shared a simple testimony.  He went to EFY (a week long "retreat" for the youth) and went with a question:  How can I let my Mom and Dad know that I won't deny Christ?  Apparently, he feels as though his parents fear he will take a different path.  After sharing that with us, he said..."Here's my answer.  Mom:  I know the Church is true.  Christ is my Redeemer.  I will never leave Him."  Man, it was powerful.  This 15-year-old kid claiming to a congregation his love for His Savior.  If only you knew him, it would be even more powerful.  Sister Jones shared her testimony of prophets and how grateful she is for the guidance of a living prophet.  All of the testimonies shared were so inspiring.  In Sunday School, we talked about sacrifice.  I really needed to remember why we sacrifice as I have been rather selfish in my thoughts lately...and always.  I am here because I want to serve my Heavenly Father.  I want to share the message of hope that has changed my life.  I want to serve with my whole heart.  I have been slacking.  Thank goodness for repentance. (:  The third hour we talked about personal revelation.  It was all so goooood.
      Sunday evening Brother Delgado and the Hunnie's came to the sites to watch Joseph Smith: The Prophet of the Restoration.  First, we talked about his experience at church and reading the Book of Mormon.  He said he feels peace and calmness when he reads.  While he was church, he felt "fulfilled."  He knows that is his answer from God that the Book of Mormon comes from Him.  After the film, he humbly asked about baptism and why he needs to baptized.  We explained the priesthood authority again, talked about Christ's baptism, and receiving the gift of the Holy Ghost.  He expressed his sincere desire to follow Jesus Christ.  We asked him to set a vision to be baptized on September 3 to show Heavenly Father his dedication.  He, without hesitation and with his simple smile on his face, accepted that invitation.  I wish you could have all seen his daughter's reaction.  Tears of joy immediately poured from her eyes.  It was very evident that she had been praying for her father to accept this goodness from God for a long, long time.  Of course, me being the ballbaby that I am, I had some tears, too.  Sister Hansen, as well.  Brother H teared up a bit. 
      The feeling in that plain, little theater room in Kirtland, OH was indescribeable.  It was a feeling of comfort that I know came from God confirming to Brother Delgado that he is doing the right thing. 
       Sister Hansen and I have been working really hard.  Our time was very scarce in our area this week because we were always at sites, but we were committed to work our very hardest.  We wanted to utilize the two days we had in our area...and we saw miracles.
        Speaking of Sister Hansen....she truly is incredible.  I know I tell you all the time.  But I am so thankful to be with her.  She teaches me so much.  She keeps me sane and smiling.  I can't wait for all of you to meet her and Sister McAlister and all of my Sisters...someday.  You will love them.  And they already love you!!!  (:
        OH...THANK YOU for the postcards.  You all are too sweet to me.  I hope everyone had fun at the reunion.  It looks like it...from the pictures I have seen.  Anyways, I love you all so so so so so much.

        XOXOXOXO,

               Sister Spring


Monday, August 1, 2011

Pictures

Hola familia.
I really do not feel like using my brain right now.  It is a nice rainy (and hailing) day.  Because of my non-functioning brain, I, again, will resort to pictures to help me a long the way.
Sister Lyman, me, Sister Bringhurst, Sister Bills, Sister Hansen, and Sister Manwaring. We had a picnic a couple of weeks ago with all of the Sisters and Seniors. It ended in a chaotic water balloon fight. Here is the outcome. (Sister Lyman is the only Sister that I do not live with right now.)

Brother Allred, Sister Allred, Sister Hansen, me, and Sandra Barwick. This picture has two parts to it. Part one-Sister Allred. She is in the General Relief Society Presidency. Last Tuesday she and her husband came in to sites for a tour. The lucky guides? You got it...us! Part two-Sandra Barwick. We recently started a neat program for the 16, 17, and 18 year old young women in the stake. They designate part of their day or a full day to come in and "shadow" the Sisters. It has been a really neat experience for me...and for them!


 Back: Me, Sister Hansen, Elder Martinez (who goes home this week...weird! He has been in my district for sixish months), Elder Prince. Front: Sister Morrell, Sister Houston, Sister Mayer, and Sister Carver. East Cleveland District. Another transfer?!? Seriously?? Time is cruising along. There are not many changes happening with the companionships this transfer. In fact, there is only one change. A new Sister is coming! Yay. Sister Houston will be her trainer. So Sister Morrell will be transferred. And that is all. Crazy! 


Sister Decker...my companion for a day. (: This is the phone room...where we make phone calls. My time in the phone room has been sparse the past couple of weeks with tours and planning and all of the million little things to prepare for at sites.


Sister Hansen and I love milkshakes. So we have decided to break-up with them. Sad day. But it will be for the best.


Hopefully this wasn't too boring.

Just know, as always, I am happy.  Daddy sent me some pictures of the family reunion...everyone looks SO grown up.  Especially Maddie and Micah!! Oh my GOSH!  So crazy.  I love you!!!

XOXOXO

Sister Spring