Monday, September 30, 2013

Week 23

Hello all!
So this last week was full of ups and downs..

...the best "up" being that Jennifer got baptized on Saturday!
It was kinda stressful haha. She was late getting to the baptism...she forgot a towel...she took 15 minutes getting ready...but it turned out beautifully in the end. :) President Eaton was the one who baptized her! I gave a talk on baptism, which went pretty well. (In front of my mission pressure.) Jennifer is so sweet, and it was so wonderful to watch her be baptized.
With the baptism of Jennifer, we are back to ZERO investigators! Blank slate, I guess! Time to start tracting hardcore! It'll be fun. :)
This weekend I got pretty sick, which was a bummer. I had a bad sore throat, headache, stuffy nose, ear aches...just a bad cold. So, Sister Hehl and I did splits. I stayed at Sister Grisham's, and Sister Hehl went out with two other sisters from the branch. Sister Hehl is such a hard worker. I'm so blessed to have her as my comp.
Going to the Relief Society Broadcast this weekend was THE BEST! I am so so so so so excited for General Conference. Even as a missionary, I still need to fill my spiritual well every once in a while. I loved that the focus of the meeting was covenants. I became very overwhelmed with gratitude as I realized how blessed I am to have made sacred covenants in the temple at the age of 19. I'm so grateful for the temple. I miss it so much! Hopefully we will be able to go to the Seattle temple once or twice in the next year...
So funny story, Jennifer figured out my name from my scriptures, and now she calls me Rachel. Yesterday, in Gospel Principles, I made a comment and she commented after me. "I really agree with what Rachel said..." Everyone started giggling. I heard some people behind me say, "Her name is Rachel?!" You know you're a missionary when your first name is some big secret....
One last thought. During personal study this week, I read from some old Ensigns we have. The particular one I was studying was from the October conference of 2010. David M. McConkie gave a really great talk called "Gospel Learning and Teaching." My favorite quote from the talk: "Successful gospel teachers love the gospel. They are excited about it. And because they love their students, they want them to feel as they feel and to experience what they have experienced. To teach the gospel is to share your love of the gospel." This really made me step back and look at my teaching style. Am I teaching out of love? How can I develop the attitude necessary to be a successful gospel teacher? Well, Elder McConkie answered my questions.

1. Immerse yourself in the scriptures
2. Apply the things you learn to your life
3. Seek Heaven's help
4. Act on promptings you receive
This talk made me realize that to be a good teacher, I need to be a good student. I need to absorb the gospel, and love it with all my heart. :)
I love you all, and I am so thankful to be a missionary. Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow

I don't know about you, but I'm feelin' week tweeenntyy twwooo...

Hello all!
Highlights from this week!
-Stephanie got baptized on Saturday! It was SUCH a great experience. The program went really well, and a good number of people showed up to support her. The best part of it for me though was the actual baptism. Sister Hehl and I got to watch from the dressing room. After Stephanie was baptized, she had the most amazing expression on her face. She was literally glowing. I've never really understood it when people say others can "glow" but I definitely understand it now. As I saw her face, I had the thought: "THAT is why I am a missionary." It is why I am a missionary, to see my brothers and sisters come to Christ. The amazing part about it is I have absolutely nothing to do with it all. I am just here at the right time. The Lord is putting these prepared people in our path! I am so grateful to be here.
-We had an AWESOME lesson with a recent convert from the Dash Point ward on Friday. We were going to teach her about the Gospel of Jesus Christ, but when we got there, I felt like we should just ask her questions about her conversion. She told us her story, and then we asked if she had any advice for us. She told us to relate to people more, because people have had some tough life experiences, herself included. I said, "How am I supposed to relate to people? I'm a little baby nineteen year old girl who is from Utah and hasn't had to deal with anything in life." She sat there and thought for a second, and then she said, "You just can listen and care. You are only nineteen, but at nineteen you are going to change a lot of lives." It was a realllllly spiritual, neat experience. I haven't been through anything close that these people have been through, but I can listen, and I can love them.
-We got a new branch president! I am sad to see President Dueck go, he has been awesome. But, he has a lot going on in his life right now and he couldn't handle it all. Our new branch president is Marty Grisham! He was the first councilor to President Dueck. Marty was the first person we met out here in Federal Way. He has truly become our "mission dad" (Don't worry dad, ain't nobody gonna replace you.)
Well, when I look back on this week I guess not too much happened "event" wise. But it was still a great week. It was hard, it was strenuous, but it was great. I love being a missionary, I love being out here, I love the work. I am learning so much. Thank you all for your prayers and support!
Love always,
Sister Morrow
Rachel still has to be creative on her mission!

Sister Morrow and Sister Hehl

Monday, September 16, 2013

Week 21! Loving Life!

Hello everyone! Yet another week has come and gone. I swear, time goes by faster and faster the longer I am out here!
So! About this week:

-Sister H and I went and served a lady in our area on Tuesday. She is in her forties, and is a quadriplegic. She has a muscle disorder where all her muscles are always tight. She can't move at all. We got to go and help her move her arms and her legs. It was a huge blessing, and an eye opening moment. She can't even move her fingers, and here I am, blessed to be able to walk, run, jump, write, type...We are going to be helping her every week now, and I am so excited. It is such a humbling experience, and I truly love her.
-We had a church tour with our new investigator, Jennifer, on Tuesday. I can't remember if I wrote about Jennifer, but she was found by some Elders in the area and they referred her over to us. At the church tour, we were at the baptismal font, talking about the blessings of baptism and being a member of the church. We asked her what she was thinking, and she looked up at us and said, "I'm thinking I really want to be baptized." It was amazing. The spirit was so strong! It was like an electrical shock when she said it. So, she is going to be baptized on October 12th! She can't wait. Yesterday, we had a new member fireside which gives recent converts an opportunity to bear their testimony. Jennifer came with us. She talked with President Eaton and Sister Eaton and other people. At the end of the meeting she leaned over and said to me, "I want to invite President Eaton to my baptism." Whaaaa?!?! So we walked over and she invited him! He put it in his calendar. Jennifer is absolutely incredible and so prepared to hear the gospel.
-On Tuesday we had a lesson with our investigator Stephanie. We talked about her baptism date, which was September 28th. She moved it up to this weekend!!! I am so excited to see her baptized this weekend. It is going to be such a huge blessing for her. She has so much faith. Her dad still isn't supportive of her getting baptized, but she is going to anyways. She is so strong, and I feel so blessed to have been able to meet her. Get this. She has already expressed a desire to serve a mission! She is so strong in the faith.
Something I was thinking about this week is how blessed I am to be able to serve a mission. Almost exactly a year ago, I heard the announcement that changed my life. I have received so many blessings for being out here, and I have changed so much already even though I've only been out about five months. Some things that I have gained from my mission thus far:
-Love of the scriptures: I actually WANT to read the scriptures. I crave them. I look forward to study and times I can just sit down and read.
-Love of the sacrament: I never really appreciated the Sacrament until I came on my mission. It is so sanctifying, and such a blessing.
-Lessons about agency: Everyone has agency, and sometimes I hate it. But it is such a wonderful gift from our Father in Heaven. He has given us the tools we need to succeed, and all we have to do is choose the right.
-True happiness: I miss Facebook, my music, my iTouch, Pinterest, shopping, no curfews, BYU, my family, my friends...but when it comes down to it, I am so happy here. It is a different brand of happiness. There is absolutely nothing like the feeling that comes when someone makes the choice to follow our Savior, and I am there to witness it.
This church is true! I know it, and I love it. I love you all! Until next week.
Love, Sister Morrow

Week 20

Hello all!
The email this week is probably gonna be a bit shorter! I don't have too much to write about this week, event-wise.
We had some fun "extreme" weather this week! "Extreme" for Washington, that is. :) We had a few thunderstorms and some hail. I loved it. Felt like I was back in good ole' Utah. :) That is one thing I have really really missed about UT, the thunderstorms.
We got a new investigator this week! She was a referral from the Federal Way Elders. Her name is Jennifer. She is SUPER smart. We were teaching her the Restoration and she was asking super in-depth questions like "How did Moses know he was a prophet? Did God physically talk to him?" I need to brush up on my bible stories. And then she started asking about heaven and hell. We briefly talked about paradise and prison, and the three kingdoms. She said, "Wow. I've actually thought about that before, if there is more than just heaven and hell." It was awesome.
I had an inward battle with myself this week. Everyone, here is a confession: I LOATHE tracting with every fiber of my being. I hate having to start conversations with strangers on their doorsteps. Some missionaries think it is a rush. I just get all panicky thinking about it. So I was thinking about it a lot, and questioning why I even have to tract as a YSA missionary. We just end up referring everyone to other missionaries anyways. So, I was praying about it and thinking about it a lot. The conclusion I've come to is: I tract to show obedience so the Lord can bless my efforts. Tracting isn't very effective, but I love the Lord and I am willing to try and show that through the sacrifice of tracting. Something else that I learned while having this battle: Just because I'm not good at talking to strangers doesn't mean I am a bad missionary. I have other talents and skills that are important in missionary work. Talking with strangers just isn't one of them. It was just a reminder to me that we are all different. God has given us different sets of skills, trials, etc. He loves us, and He wants us to use the talents we have, because we all have them.
Well, that's all for this week! I love you all so much. Hurrah for Israel!
Love, Sister Morrow

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

Week 19

Hello everyone!
This week was a long, awesome, exhausting week full of some incredible stuff!
Well, the biggest news was Shannon's baptism! It went soooo well. Well, we had some hiccups but I'd say it went really well. Shannon was just beaming and glowing. It made me SO happy to see the joy in her face. The closing song was "I Believe in Christ." I was sitting next to Shannon, and she was singing so loudly, so confidently. It has been a miracle and a blessing to see the changes she has made and to see her faith grow.
Some other really cool stuff!

This week we had exchanges with our Sister Trainer Leader. Sister Hehl went to that area, and Sister Brittany Barlow from Kaysville, Utah came into my area. She went to Davis, and we have a lot of mutual friends! It was fun to talk about home. But while we were on that exchange, we were working on a list of all the YSA's in the Stake. I can't remember if I have already mentioned this, but we are going through the list to see who is still in the boundaries, who is married, who isn't interested, etc. I saw a name on there and just decided to go there. It turns out that the girl who we had come to visit didn't actually live there, but was visiting with her sister. She had been thinking about coming back to church but didn't know where to start. She was about to go take a nap and thought about praying when we knocked on the door. It was such an incredible experience. And her sister isn't a member, and wants to be baptized! (Unfortunately we are having a hard time getting back into contact with her since she lives in Tacoma)
The second miracle that happened on the exchange is we met a sweet girl named Stephanie who is the friend of some members in the stake. One of the boys in that family returned from his mission in Brazil last week, and has been teaching Stephanie. We came over and had a lesson with her, and she is GOLDEN. She knows this church is true. The spirit was so strong as we testified to her. She said she wants to be baptized, and would be baptized this weekend, but her dad isn't very supportive right now. We are praying that her dad's heart will be softened and that she will be able to be baptized as soon as possible, especially before she goes off to school.
Oh...I should probably talk about transfers haha! Sister Hehl and I are staying together here in the Mirror Lake YSA Branch! We are both so glad we are staying. I personally feel like we still have so much to do here. And we have become such good friends. Sister Hehl is a sister to me. We have so much fun together! I'm so grateful that I will get to be with her for at least 3 transfers. :)
Also, I just want to thank all of my extended family for their support and love. When we get the mail, Sister Hehl and I always tell each other who the letters we got are from. The other day she turned to me and said, "You have so much support from your extended family!" It is so true. The majority of my mail is from extended family. Thank you so much for your love, support, and prayers. I am so blessed to have you all!
I know this church is true. Something that I have really learned on my mission thus far is to rely on the Atonement of our Savior. Every single day, I feel completely inadequate. However, every morning I get on my knees and ask for the help I need to get through the day. I AM completely inadequate, but I am not alone. My Savior took upon himself my sins and infirmities, He knows me perfectly. He knows that I can't do this alone, so He strengthens me. I know that the Atonement is real, and is enabling. I know this church is true!
Love, Sister Morrow