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 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 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.  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 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....


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)



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 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!!!! (:


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 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.

      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