Tuesday, August 17, 2010

Final Email

Dear family, (The FOUR generation pic on my last day!)

We went to the Albuquerque Zoo and Aquarium as a district today, and didn't get back until 4:00, then we had to run and teach one of our
investigators, he and his wife sat in on the lesson today! I love that family a ton, this is the gentleman from Ireland. I'm hoping he'll get a chance to meet Nadine. The we rushed over to the post office so I could mail off a box of letters and clothing. So we are finally at the library, phew. I still feel like I have a million things to do before I leave Rio Rancho tomorrow morning. More people to visit, information to check on, etc. But I think it will all fall into place.

People keep asking me how I feel. To be honest, most of the time it just feels like any other transfer. It just feels like normal. I don't really know what to expect as far as what it will be like to no longer be a missionary. Although everyone tells me horror stories about the transition to civilian life. One person told me that they've never known someone who had an easy transition. Maybe I'll be the exception. Then there are times, when it hits me that I'll be back home in a few days, resuming my old identity, my old name. And that's a weird thought.

Things have been so crazy that I haven't written in my journal in a long time. Hopefully I'll have some time to do that today, but with 4 more sisters spending the night at our apartment, I bet it will be anything but quiet. But I love those adventures, they are always fun.

Well, what have we been up to this past week? Let me review.

This week was the open house for the new Rio Rancho stake center. I think the stake was hoping for a higher attendance than it got, but I think the experience was still positive. Our "kool-aid" Mormon family came and loved it. They are so excited to get baptised. The mom said she has felt strength in their family since they started taking the lessons. Her husband has been really feeling the spirit. Sister Barello is going to talk to them about moving their baptism date from August to July, because they are so ready to go...why wait? They've been such a highlight these past few weeks. Our ward mission leader met them at the mall playground the first week we started teaching them, and they have started to become fast friends. These are little coincidences, that aren't really coincidences if you think about it.

We taught Nadine about temples and family history work this week. She is so cute. Whenever she talks about her late husband she just lights up, and can't keep from giggling. He passed away less than a year ago, but she promised him that she would always be his wife. When we told her that she could be sealed to him in the temple, she looked like someone just told her that she had won the publisher's clearnighouse sweepstakes! She put her hands over her mouth, and then kept saying "thank you! thank you!" She was so excited to know that she doesn't have to wait a year to do confirmations.

Our other investigator with a baptismal date got into a lot of Brigham Young anti-mormon literature this week. Interesting stuff. Needless to say we had to address a lot of issues. But what was more interesting was that it wasn't even the anti-literature that was bothering him. It was our view on the nature of God. So we'll see what happens to him. He still wants to continue the lessons, but isn't so sure about all of this.

Our neighbor had us over yesterday. It was fun to get to know her better. Some of our neighbors are so adorable.

Well, the work is flourishing here. Sister Barello is getting an awesome sister, so I'm not too worried about anything....well, not worried about the area at least, anyone who know me that I'm always worrying about one thing or another...or making us excuses to worry. Such is the life of Sister Waters.

I got to eat lunch with the Parks this Saturday. That was fun, then one of our investigators got married later that day (she's marrying a member.) So that was good.

Thanks for all your letters. I'm excited to see you all again. To get caught up on the pop culture (speaking of, apparently the movie "Spy Next Door" or something like that w/Jackie Chan was filmed in the main neighborhood here in the Rio Rancho ward where I'm serving), tell you more stories, and just talk. I think that's what I'm most excited for, just talking.

I have loved my mission. It has been difficult at times, but as one of my favorite members explained, Heavenly Father gives us the gift of only remembering the good times. As we look back at life, sure we may remember difficult things, but we don't feel the emotions of those times like we do when we reminisce on the good memories. I'm sure there are lessons that I will continue to learn from my mission as I see how the pieces fit together, or as I recognize things only after I get home. Heavenly Father really does direct this work. I know that. I have felt, in a small way, how important this work is to Him. I have felt of His mercy and love. His plan is so perfect. Thank you for all your support. Here's to the last chapter of Sister Waters' mission entries.

I'll see you in 2 days!

Sister Waters

Thursday, June 24, 2010

Pictures from Santa Fe

Don't have much time today! Going to Santa Fe! Think of Newsies for me.

Nadine was baptised on Saturday. It was wonderful. We set 4 more baptismal dates this week. The work is booming. I love you and will write you a long letter on the train to Santa Fe.

Sister Waters

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

The Work in High Range is Booming! 6/07/2010

Hello Family,

Sister Barello and I got in to our apartment late last night, about an hour later than we should have. So the Zone Leaders freaked out and called the assistants, and so we're in a little bit of trouble, and they asked us to explain ourselves to President. I know very well that blessings come when we are strictly obedient. I regret that we left our phone in the car, but I don't regret what we were doing. We had planned to visit our ward mission leader Sunday afternoon, but when we stopped by, no one opened the door. We received a text message from him later that night apologizing, and we agreed to come by his house right then. I jumped on the opportunity. Anyway, we have a baptism in less than a week that we really need the ward’s help with. Our investigator is very limited physically (spinal problems), so we have been trying to find a stool or something to assist her in the font. We had a lot of issues that needed to be addressed as far as getting the baptism worked out, and I felt like we needed to get these things finalized ASAP, instead of having to procrastinate them, which usually leads to a stressful baptismal service.

Sister Barello and I felt a need to update our ward mission leader on the status of a few investigators, and talk about how much it would help if we could get some ward missionaries called to help us. So that’s why we were in late. Once we got talking with our ward mission leader, I completely lost track of time and wasn’t even paying attention to what time it was. Sorry we caused commotion among our leaders, but I felt like what we were doing was essential. I didn’t intend to stay out that late.

On the good side, the work in High Range is booming, I feel like. What a transformation from how the area was when I first got here. It is really sad that I’ll have to leave the area to go home. Things just keep getting better and better here.

Remember the couple we found last week that wants to move to Utah because of the belief system there? Well, we taught them the first lesson this week, and it was awesome! We gave them the soft baptismal commitment, and the wife turned to her husband and said she thinks that would be “awesome! For him.” She was so excited!

Nadine is so excited to get baptized as well. We reviewed the restoration with her this week, and the Spirit was so thick. She teared up and just said “thank you. Thank you. I’m coming home.” She has been searching her whole life. She looks better every week, and looks happier as well. I just love her. She is one of the people that I will never forget from the mission. It has been such a blessing to know her.

We met with another investigator this week as well. She finally let us inside the house, this time instead of just having doorstep lessons. She is also searching, and asked us so many brilliant questions. Like, after teaching about the apostasy: “So what’s your outlook for the state of the world now?” What a perfect lead in to the restoration!

We had an unusual investigator show up to church yesterday. But I love knowing that all are invited to come unto Christ. I just hope others remember that too. Sorry I don't have time to explain more on this one.

We taught the Plan of Salvation yesterday to a less active member. I love that lesson. I think it really began to sink in. The Parks also called yesterday, but due to the craziness I never got to call back. That was sweet of them. We also had dinner this week with one of my favorite families here in High Range. The spirit was so strong as we met with them. I love them!

So, Santa Fe is in our Zone. We are trying so hard to go there one preparation day before I come home. We’ve just about worked out all the details! I think we may be in Santa Fe next week, so if we don’t get to email you, don’t worry too much. I am also hoping to get some boxes today. Crazy that I'll have to speak so much when I get home, but I guess it's ok. I love you, and thank you for all your support.

I love you. I hope all is well.
Sister Waters

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Updates 6/01/2010

Dear Family,

Thank you for sending us brownies, I forgot to tell you last week I think, but we have loved having them! Thanks!

Sunday was a good day for us, we had four of our investigators come to sacrament meeting. That may be a record high for this area, although none of them stayed for Sunday school. Yesterday we also went to follow up with a potential investigator, and found out that they are thinking of moving to Utah because of the belief system there, and the family values. We have an appointment to teach them more about the church on Thursday, so that's pretty exciting.

Thanks dad for the poem you sent about the "critters" in Ether. We went back to see this particular investigator this week, and he DID finish the Book of Mormon. Wow! He understood a lot of what he read. One of his friends loaned him the money to get his car fixed, so he should be at church next week.

I continue to be grateful to have Sister Barello as a companion. I really feel Heavenly Father was helping me out on this one, because I'm not so sure if it would have been President's idea to have me train this last transfer. I hope everything is going well with you. I don't really feel as if I have much to report this week, so I sorry this will be a short email. I love you.

Sister Waters

Saturday, June 12, 2010

"I Ran Into Some Critters I Don't Know." 5/24/2010


This week was wonderful, it was very much back to the “normalcy” and bliss of mission life that I love and missed for a little bit. So, Nadine has been to church three times so far. I think she loves it and is so excited to get baptized. We took her to see another convert’s baptism this weekend, and she was telling everyone how close she was to her own date. She is so fun to talk to, and she certainly is a talker. On the way out of the baptism, she was telling us: “I can’t believe I lived in contemplative silence….because I just love to talk!” I loved it. She tells us about some of the reasons she left the monastery, and I have written about some of them in past emails, but this week, she told us another reason why she felt called to leave the monastery. As a child, she was taught that it was good to be a mother, but better to live a celibate life doing the Lord’s work. She had some questions about our life as missionaries. So naturally, a lot of our lesson that day was about chastity, the sanctity of marriage, and the importance of the family. We left her a copy of the proclamation to the world on the family. Anyway, during our discussion, she told us that during her time in the convent she had such a strong desire to be a mother. She described beautifully how becoming a mother was the most spiritual and beautiful experience she has ever had in her life. She loved being a mom.

Nadine has felt for a long time that one of her callings in life is to write her life history. We’re excited, and think her story would make a great book. So hopefully we can find a way to make that dream a reality. She’s going to need a scribe first of all. I think we’ve got some good resources beginning to line up.

We just finished a lesson this morning that was amazing. (That’s why this email is a little later than usual. The next three emails you get from me will probably be later on a regular basis because this particular investigator wants to meet on Monday mornings.) Anyway, we had talked about original sin the last time we met, and in the meantime, he read 2 Nephi 2, and 9 all about the fall, Moroni 8, watched the film “The Restoration” and read a big chunk of “Our Search for Happiness.” All in the past 2 weeks! (Transfers and his trip out of town through our meeting time off a little bit.) But he basically taught us the lesson today, and has such a great understanding of the necessity of the fall, agency, and the atonement. Awesome. He’s like a Brigham Young, in that he may study the church out in detail for a few years, and analyze everything, but I think he will be baptized because he grasps these principles so well. I love teaching people with a Catholic background more than anyone else, I think, because the restored gospel fits in so well, with the organization of the Catholic Church. They seem to understand the doctrine so well. We need to get him a triple combination so he can study our pre-earth life in more depth. That is another one of those doctrines that is unique to the restoration. I’ll have to call the distribution center today and see if we can get one within the week!

Ok. Funny story. We stopped by another investigator’s house this weekend and assigned him Ether 2 and 3 to read. I wish I could describe this guy in such a way that I could give you a mental picture of what he’s like. I’ll just say, he’s the nicest guy ever, but he might appear to be kind of rough around the edges, for example, he hasn’t had electricity in about 2 years. Well, a couple hours after our visit, we get a phone call from him. “Hey, I ran into some critters I don’t know.” Sister Barello was on the phone and was wondering what he meant. Was he asking us to come rescue him? Did he need a ride? No, he was reading the scriptures! In Ether 9:19 it talks about cureloms and cumoms. “I thought I knew all the animals,” he said. It was super funny. But he’s doing awesome. He told us that he started reading the assignment, and decided to keep reading until he lost interest, and he hadn’t lost interest yet. “Well, if you get to the end of the Book of Mormon,” Sister Barello said, “just start back at the beginning!”

We tracted into another young man this week that seems to have great potential. We gave him the first lesson on his doorstep, and showed him the Book of Mormon. “Would it be ok if I keep this book?” he asked. He really wanted to read it! It’s all his.

Also, one lady we’re working with is moving to the DC/Virginia area this summer. Isn’t that awesome?

I also had my last Zone Conference this week. It was kind of weird. It was President and Sister Anderson’s last one too… and that was interesting. They were so funny. But President shared a story with the mission that he shares with all the departing missionaries. He showed a statue of Christ that sister Anderson made for his Christmas present, years ago. It was glued to a Plexiglas base that his son made. He talked about how it was the combined best efforts of two people he loved and how, that principle is the same with our Heavenly Father. When we put forth our best effort, although it is imperfect and flawed, it becomes the perfect gift to him. That is so true of the mission. We all make mistakes, but Heavenly Father just wants us to continue to try.

Thanks for your letters this week. So a homecoming talk on June 27th. Ok. I don’t really know what principle would be good to talk on. I know a few experiences I want to share as far as the power of the Book of Mormon in people’s lives, and I’ll definitely probably want to share some of Nadine’s story. But I think mission experiences can be tied in to just about any principle of the gospel…in a roundabout way…whether it’s prayer …or revelation ….or scripture study …or the atonement …or faith…so long as the topic isn’t about something totally obscure…like boy scouts….or gardening…or the history of the relief society. Yes, all topics we’ve covered in sacrament meetings since I’ve been in the field…L unfortunately. I let my companion read the letter you sent dad, and it was pretty funny. I had to explain that you were in the bishopric….otherwise it would have sounded pretty presumptuous.

I’ll try to get better at getting out some letters this week. I’ve been delinquent lately in responding to mail.

Well, I love you all. Have a wonderful week!

Sister Waters

Sunday, June 6, 2010

Yay for "Greenies!" 5/17/2010

Dear Family,

This week has been absolutely wonderful! I just love my new companion so much. She is from Ogden Utah, and has been such a powerhouse sister right from day one. She is really fun, and we get along very well. She isn’t afraid to talk to people, follow promptings, and bear testimony. She is full of stories. New missionaries are the greatest missionaries, I’m convinced. It’s fun to see someone take in the mission through “new eyes.” Everything is so exciting! Giving away the first Book of Mormon, getting the first return appointment, preparing for the first baptism they will see…speaking of, our nun is doing great!

It’s been so wonderful to see this investigator’s testimony develop. She has to be the sweetest woman ever, and just wants to feel loved and accepted. The ward has heard me sing her praises, and is excited to get to know her better. She certainly has quite the conversion story.

Well, thank you for the articles you sent. I read all of them, and they have helped a lot. It’s interesting how something as elementary as the Godhead can be “found new” as I’ve studied it this week. I’m glad that I’ve been able to develop a greater understanding of this, and hope to continue to learn more. For Zone Conference, President Anderson asked us each to memorize a scripture about the restoration and be able to recite it. I chose Isaiah 29:14. In the marvelous work and a wonder of the restoration, it is so true that the understanding of the “wise” men of the earth will be hid as eternal truths are restored.

I can’t believe that this Wednesday will be my last Zone Conference. Throughout my mission, I have loved hearing the “words of wisdom” from departing missionaries’ testimonies. And now it will be my turn in just a few days. So crazy. The time has gone by pretty fast. A mission is something you look forward to your whole life, and then it’s over. Life goes on. Life gets more crazy. I’m grateful for the lessons I’ve learned in the field. I’m grateful to have seen gospel principles from the scriptures played out before my very eyes in the lives of the people I have met. The mission is gospel in action. I’m grateful to have received divine help on my mission, and know that it is always there when we don’t feel like we can do important things by ourselves. Before Sister Crossley went home, she talked about listening to missionaries’ homecoming talks. How they always have a few “miracle” stories. But that not every day is like that. There are a lot of days where you just work, and it seems routine. Most days are like that. I am grateful to have had “miracle moments” on my mission. It is an interesting experience to review what has happened over the past year and a half.

We’re putting a lot of things together as a mission for president and Sister Anderson, since they are going home, signing quilts, flags, and letters. It’s weird to feel like I’ll be going down with the ship. Some of the senior couples that we adore are finishing their missions too.

I swear people have the oddest pets in New Mexico. I told you about the wolf dogs and the Easter colored chicks at the beginning of my mission, but one of our potential investigators has a tortoise, it’s probably about a foot tall and 2 feet long, roughly. They also have tame parrots. I think I will miss meeting the most interesting people, and having the tag as an excuse to talk to everyone.

Brother Parks gave me a blessing this week. Sister Parks may have emailed you another picture, she said she would. I love them. I love being able to receive Priesthood blessings, although I have to admit I’m not the most forward sister about asking for them. One of the brothers in our ward has horror stories about the sisters in his mission asking for blessings. I’ll share it, just because it’s kind of funny.

He served in Argentina, and he went to the sisters’ apartment one day and ended up giving them all blessings because they were sick. But the sisters were all very angry at him for not coming earlier. They said he should have listened to the spirit to know they needed a blessing. He asked them how they knew they were sick…and they said they ate rotten meat. “How did you know it was rotten?” he asked. “It was green,” they replied. Yeah, don’t worry about me. I won’t eat any green meat.

There is another man we are teaching. He wrote a children’s book, so Sister Barello and I both want him to sign copies for us. He hasn’t been active in awhile, but we had the neatest lesson last night. He told us that we answered his questions better than the other people had in the past, and that he would think about everything we said. “Somehow, the Mormons always show up.”

OK, so I’ve basically finished writing everything I want to say. I’m sure sister Barello is just scrambling to type up all her reactions and thoughts about this first week. There is nothing like your first week. I remember sitting at the computer and never feeling like there was enough time. I love her! This last transfer is going to be awesome!

I love you all. Thank you for your prayers. Thank you for your support. Thank you for sending me so many articles. I’ve got the best family in the world.

Sister Waters

Wednesday, May 26, 2010

Testimony 5/10/2010

Mom and Dad,

I am terrified to train again. But I received the impression that this new sister would be a great blessing to me. I still think new missionaries are the best missionaries. They are so ready to get to work!

I miss you so much. It was so good to talk to you on Mother’s Day, I felt so much peace and I felt the reassurance that this is right. But still, I can't wait to be home again.

I know Heavenly Father has answered my prayers and I know He loves me. I know I have felt the Spirit as I have read the Book of Mormon. I remember the feeling I had of being on consecrated ground when we were at the Sacred Grove two years ago. (GOSH! It’s been almost two years!) I have felt the Spirit touch me throughout my mission, especially as I have taught the lessons and the doctrines contained in them. I know we have the light of Christ to help us discern between good and evil. We CAN tell the difference between good and evil. I have felt the Spirit give me ability beyond my own to continue doing this work. I have a testimony that my life has been blessed because of the priesthood. But not having answers to objections people raise against the church is just irritating. And it weighs me down.

Our nun friend has a baptismal date! I am so impressed with her. She has questions about the history and archeology of the Book of Mormon, that no one can definitively answer, but she can still sense that the Book of Mormon is a holy book, and has a desire to be baptized. It reminds me of Alma 32:16 where Alma talks about those who are "baptized without stubbornness of heart, yea without being brought to know the word, or even compelled to know before they will believe."

Well, I think that's all I have to say for this week.
I appreciate you and love you so much!

Sister Waters

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The House of the Lord 5/04/2010

Yesterday was temple day. I am so grateful for the temple, and while there I felt so much peace, I felt at home in my Heavenly Father’s house. We were able to have a chapel session with our mission president, the temple presidency, and their wives. I think that was one of my favorite parts. The temple matron talked about how we can use the prayer rolls, even for ourselves. That thought had not occurred to me before, and I definitely feel as if I need extra help at this time. The temple is a place where we can feel peace. I know that. This past week has been anything but peaceful.

I’ve met a lot of people on my mission who like to argue, who have gotten into anti-Mormon-literature, who try to convince us that we are wrong, deceived, or that we are a cult. It is always difficult to be in these situations. This past week, we were invited into two homes that were very hostile towards us. One was a self-proclaimed biblical scholar. The other person basically told us that he didn’t think we would make it to heaven. Sister Kavatoe doesn’t understand English when people begin to talk fast, so I usually end up defending what we believe. I haven’t really been able to shrug off that “sick to my stomach feeling.” I get so frustrated because I can’t answer all the questions. But I know that I have felt the Holy Ghost give me peace, and witnesses of things that are true and sacred and dear. I remember in one of your first letters dad, how it is so important to remember those experiences with the Holy Ghost because they sustain us. I have been praying very hard lately to feel the Holy Ghost more and for renewed testimony. In the temple, I was able to feel peace and to let all of this anxiety settle. I wish I could have stayed longer. Because I feel like I’m back in a den of wolves, and I feel so worn out. I’ve kind of been an emotional wreck this week.

What is right is not always popular. In the temple, I was reminded of the Savior, when the critics accused him of being possessed of a devil, and doing miracles by the power of Beelzebub in Luke 11. I think that must have hurt the Savior immensely. Definitely, the Savior is stronger than I am, but similar accusations have been difficult to bear this week. I am reminded that it is through the Holy Ghost that we can discern goodness. And it IS possible to discern goodness from wickedness. Every good tree bringeth forth good fruit, and every wicked tree bringeth forth wicked fruit.

Dad, I was so grateful for your letter this week. I’ve read it so much. Thank you. In the midst of trying to be a good missionary, it is important to remember that Heavenly Father wants us to feel happy. He wants us to feel joy! That is the good news of the gospel.

I love you so much. I really can’t wait to come home and hug all of you again. It sounds like things have been difficult at home too. Between family responsibilities and wedding craziness to all the other demands. I guess the take away for me out of all of this, is how much we need to make time to feel the peaceful influence of the Spirit. It is the comforter.

I look at all the concerns our investigators have. The things that weigh heavy on their hearts. It is overwhelming. Truly, the atonement is a miracle. I know that it is a real power. And it is for each of us.

I hope this letter wasn’t too much of a downer. I love you all. Being a missionary is a unique experience. I love what you said mom, about your mission being hard. It is. But you learn a ton.

Have a wonderful week.

Love, Sister Waters

P.S. I get to call you VERY SOON! I am so excited. Weekends are free on the mission’s cell phone plan so I get to call from the privacy of our own apartment! Yay. They are keeping to the white handbook 30-40 minutes. We’ll get home from church probably around 12:30 so I’ll probably call around 1:00 or 2:00 New Mexico time. Depending on if my companion goes first or not.

Monday, May 17, 2010

Should I Go or Should I Stay? 4/26/2010

Hello Family,

During interviews this week, President Anderson asked me if I still had the desire to extend. Out of the three sisters who asked to stay longer, the sister who asked for an extension first is no longer able to stay out till August. It would be helpful if one sister extends so that the new mission president isn’t left with a trio, and so that President doesn’t have to close another area due to lack of sisters. I told him I would still extend. He said he was sorry to keep changing the story and pull us in other directions.

Honestly, I have mixed feelings about extending. It will come as no surprise to you that I have a difficult time making decisions.

As I have contemplated extending my mission, there are days, like today for example, where extending seems like it would be the greatest thing in the world. As the scriptures say, this is the last time the Lord is calling his servants to labor in his vineyard, so why not spend more time doing this eternally important work! If I can assist in helping one more family or individual embrace the restored gospel, then extending for another transfer would be absolutely wonderful. However, there are also days, where I feel as if my efforts are not doing much good. Where it seems like we accomplished very little that day, and the mission seems difficult and I begin to miss my family and get excited about post-mission life. I am still willing to extend, especially if it helps the work move forward. I guess I’m just the epitome of an emotional rollercoaster when it comes to extending.

This morning was so fun! We went to visit one of our investigators, but he had to reschedule the appointment because his daughter was sick. I loved his response though: “I think she’ll be better in a few hours, could I call you then and set something up for later today? If not today then definitely tomorrow.” Maybe it’s just the hopeful anticipating spirit of a missionary in me, but it sounds like he was really eager to continue his discussions! Sadly, it’s too rare an opportunity to teach someone who is so thirsty and eager to learn. I love it! Its days like this that are energizing and I feel as if I could do this work forever. This particular investigator works night shifts with my old ward mission leader from the Bandelier ward. Apparently, they have been discussing the gospel, and Brother Harker even gave him the Book of Mormon on CD. I’m going to have to write the Harker’s today and say “thanks.” In this way, it’s fun to live so close to my old area.

We met with an investigator last week, and for most of the week, I had planned that we would talk about the Great Apostasy more so that they could understand why a restoration was so important. But when I woke up on the morning we were scheduled to meet with him, I had that “uneasy” feeling that I have come to recognize as “Try again, Sister Waters. Your lesson plan isn’t right today, and today, more than other days, it matters what you are going to teach!” Back to the drawing board. It was pretty clear that we needed to teach the doctrine of Baptism. We needed to stress its importance, the authority, the covenants, and the age. Well, you can imagine my surprise when near the beginning of our discussion, our investigator said that today he had a lot of questions about baptism and that it had been on his mind. The spirit bore witness to me again, that it is Heavenly Father who is at the head of this work. He will tell us what to teach, especially when it is critical.

Remember our nun friend? Well she got in a car accident this week and can no longer drive herself. But she still wants to meet with us. The ward stepped up and we have a volunteer to drive and pick her up for her lessons. The Elders were also able to give her a priesthood blessing. It isn’t too often that investigators accept blessings. I am so grateful that she was able to receive a blessing.

One other quick little story from this week, we went back to teach another one of our newer investigators. She said that the book of Mormon makes sense. “Why would it all stop?” she said. I love it when the gospel clicks with people. I could feel the spirit in her home, more so than with other investigators who are searching just out of curiosity.

I am doing well. I wish I had more to tell you this week. It is getting weird that I don’t have all that long left on my mission. I was so glad to get your letters this week. I’m glad to hear that the moving of Mackenzie went well, and that dad is home from China safely. I loved the postcard. Thanks for all the support and encouragement. I really appreciate your letters. I love you and can’t wait to see you again.

Sister Waters

Friday, May 14, 2010

In the Event of an Emergency, Don't Give Sister Waters the Gun 4/19/2010

Hello Family,

This week we had a hilarious district meeting. We were going over the Mission’s Emergency Plan, and our Zone Leaders thought it would be fun to role-play different emergency situations, and demonstrate what you should do in each instance. So, first we role-played what to do if your companion is killed. (Stay with the body until it is in a secure location.) Then, we had to role-play a carjacking. They thought it would be hilarious for Sister Kavatoe and me to be the carjackers, so we consented. They even provided us with a little toy Nerf gun, so we could get dramatic about the whole thing. Ok. So I run up to Elder Kunz and Elder Gregson, knock on their “window” and yell at them to get out of the car. They won’t listen to me, and so I get angrier. “Get Out Of The Car!” (By the way, in the event of a carjacking, we are supposed to comply with the instructions given, FYI.) Well, I lose control of the gun and end up shooting. Unlike Sister Allred, I have never shot gun, and I’m not very good at handling toy ones either. So the “bullet” goes straight though the “car window” and hits my partner in crime, Sister K. At this point, everyone, including myself, lost it, and burst out laughing. It took us a little time to regain our composure. Our district leader closed the meeting by stating, “Well, we’ve learned in the case of emergency, don’t give Sister Waters a gun.” Fair enough.

Remember the former nun that I’ve been writing about for the past few months? Well, she’s officially investigating the church now! We met with her this week at the church building. Her husband passed away last August, so she is planning to build a mother-in-law’s house where she can do more of what she wants, without her family stealing her Book of Mormon. (Yes, we think they took her Book of Mormon). I’ll review her story in case any of you faithful readers have forgotten. We tracted into her back in January or February and she invited us in right away. She told us that she had been praying to know the truth, and had been hoping that she would come in contact with some LDS people. When she was a young adult, her mother convinced her to become a nun, and she was in a cloistered convent near Hollywood California. At this particular monastery, they preformed penance for sins, in the form of sleep deprivation, fasting, humiliation, and whipping. After a time, she realized that only Jesus Christ can atone for the sins of the world, and that our bodies are temples, so she left the monastery. Since then, she has studied a few different faiths, but has a firm testimony of the role of prophets. Because of this faith in the role of prophets, she has united with the Baha’i faith, but in her heart, has concerns or conditions with this faith, because she knows that Jesus Christ was more than just a good prophet, and that in reality, He was the Savior of the world. She was excited to hear about Joseph Smith and modern day prophets. She also read one of the pamphlets we left her, and was thrilled to know that we believe in a pre-earth life, because she has always believed that she came to earth from a good, beautiful place. She intends to read the Book of Mormon some more, and in the closing prayer, asked to know if this was true. When we asked her if she would be baptized when she gets her answer, it was a resounding yes! We found out that she has spinal degeneration, so if she can drive herself to church, most anyone can.

It has been fun to see the work in Rio Rancho pick up, compared to when we got here. We found a few more new people this week who said they want to take the lessons. One of them had attended a t Ballroom dance camp in Provo years ago. We’ll see how all of this progresses. Stay tuned.

Well, I love you dearly and hope all is well for you.

Sister Waters

Hello! 4/12/2010

Hello Family!

More and more, I feel as if I have very little to write! This week was a little difficult, but it was good too. I am so grateful for the opportunity we have to visit the other sisters on preparation day. That has been such a tender mercy for me. There is such a strength there, and an ability to support each other that has helped immensely. I have been even more grateful for special experiences with the Holy Ghost this week. Maybe I am more emotional than usual, I don’t know, but there is nothing like having the reassurance of the Spirit that my Heavenly Father loves me, and that our efforts here, while imperfect, are acceptable to Him.

One of the attributes I wanted to develop on my mission was charity. I am still working on that one, but it has become even more important to me as my mission is drawing to an end. Helping people feel loved, and trying to bear real, pure sincere, testimony, and living witness of the truths I know will be more lasting than the little details that I tend to stress and worry about.

Yes, I fear I have become a “mission rules Nazi.” I tend to get irritated when rules aren’t kept. But then I have to remember that I am not perfect either. We all make mistakes.

We met with the neatest potential this week! She really wants to read the Book of Mormon, and she was going to read it while she flew out to Virginia to visit her ailing father, but ended up falling asleep. But she still intends to read it, and even talked about “next time” we come, which means she isn’t opposed to us coming back! We also met a former investigator that moved into our area. He believes that Christ could have come to ancient America and other lands as well. Yay! Everything in High Range tends to be new, new investigators and potentials. I hope that at some point, the people we meet will progress to be more stable investigators and or members!

My companion didn’t feel well this week, so we spent some time inside, which ended up being productive for me. I went through the area book and probably called 30+ people from the notes on people who had expressed interest at some point. I don’t know if any of them will call back, but at least it was a reminder, and a choice.

Yeah, there are some cultural differences between my companion and me. I’m sure I will look back at them and think it’s funny.

Well, I wish I had more to say. Maybe I will think of more as I sit here.

Love ya!
Sister Waters

Hello 4/05/2010

Hello Family,

I have been lucky not to struggle with homesickness much on my mission, but yesterday was awful. Really awful. I miss you all so much!

Well, if General Conference wouldn’t make a missionary trunky I don’t know what would! It was all about families!

Thank you for your letters, I got them on Transfer day. Yes, Laura Barney is in my ward here. She lives with the Ullibarri family, who I recognize, but I haven’t met Sis. Barney yet. That’s fun news.

Also thank you for the Easter packages. You spoil me a lot! But it was fun to have a new Easter outfit and some homemade cookies. Thank you!

Sister Kavatoe is a great sister. She only had two weeks in the MTC to learn English, but I really do understand everything she says. The Spirit is very strong when she speaks. She’s pretty funny and loves to have fun.

This week was very difficult…maybe one of the hardest weeks I have had in the mission. I think Sister Kavatoe might be convinced that people in the Albuquerque/Rio Rancho area are mean. I think it was just a rough week. I’m praying that the initial success we saw last transfer continues and wasn’t an illusion.

Meeting people who really do not like missionaries really makes me appreciate dinner appointments with members. Sometimes I really think we just need to be around people who will affirm that what we are doing is right. To feel the spirit in a home and to hear the testimonies of other members is a great blessing.

Today we will be spending some time with the Spanish Sisters in Rio Rancho. One of them is from Mexico and the other one is from Peru, so they don’t have driver’s licenses, and therefore are on Bicycles. We’ll be driving with them a lot on preparation days this transfer. It should be fun. And it means we get more miles to drive…which eliminates some of the stress. I’ve been going over the allotted miles lately. Our area is just too big!

I love you all very much and miss you terribly. You are the best family ever, and I cannot wait to see you all again. In some ways it feels like I have forever to go until I see you. Sorry this is so short! Hope all is well with you!

Sister Waters

Thursday, May 13, 2010

Tomorrow I'll Understand, but Today I'll Just Obey 3/29/2010

Hello All!

It’s transfer news time! And my prediction was correct. I’m staying in Rio Rancho for another transfer. I’m learning that there are missionaries that move to a lot of places on their mission, and there are missionaries that stay and hold down the fort. I guess I’m the latter. I’m really going to miss Sister Allred. She had a way of telling me exactly what I needed to hear, and we had a lot of fun together. She is heading to Shiprock, an Indian reservation, and I am getting Sister Kavatoe as my new companion. She is from Tonga, and waited for almost 6 months to get a Visa to come here, so I’m sure she is an amazing missionary. We took her tracting her first day in the mission last fall. At that time, her English was very limited. I’m a little bit nervous about this. The ward is so excited to get another Tongan missionary, apparently they had one a few years ago they just fell in love with.

Honestly, I’m a little jealous of Sister Allred going to the reservation. That is something I had been hoping I’d be able to do my whole mission, and it looks like my opportunity has all but passed. Sister Allred just came to Rio Rancho from the reservation, so she’s a little hesitant to go back. I guess it’s a good thing Heavenly Father is at the head of this transfer business, because I don’t know if either of us would have picked it this way. As Sister Allred says, “tomorrow I’ll understand, but today I’ll just obey.” Yes, I would have loved the chance to serve on the reservation, but as I’ve prayed about it, I’ve also realized that it isn’t something I should ask for. Heavenly Father’s children are just as important in whatever area you serve.

We were telling one of the families we visit that Sister Allred was being transferred, and it was her opinion that transfers are harder on the missionary left behind. I think sometimes it feels that way. But I was reading in D&C 112 this morning, one of my favorite missionary sections, and I’m realizing that I have so much to be grateful for. Verse 19 talks about how an effectual door will be opened before the Lord’s missionaries. I’m serving here in Rio Rancho, and there are a lot of exciting things happening along those lines right here. In just two transfers, we have seen so many new investigators invite us in. We had two people we invited show up to church just yesterday, for example, and one of them even invited their friend! We even had a baptism this transfer, the first in a long time for this ward. (We didn’t have much to do with it though, that I KNOW.) Things are certainly starting to turn around here. As I was studying this morning, I was thinking about how one of my biggest challenges on the mission is to not compare my efforts with the outward signs of success that other missionaries have. Baptisms have been skyrocketing here in the Southwest, but I feel like in my sphere of influence, relatively not much has happened on my mission. As I read D&C 11:8,17 it hit me that the righteous desires of my heart WILL be fulfilled, somewhere along the lines, the work I’m doing now will make a difference. Like President Anderson said on my first day in the mission, “Because you have the Spirit with you, as set apart messengers of the gospel, you are succeeding even when it feels like you are failing.” I was talking with Sister Allred a couple nights ago, and she told me that the ties we build here in the mission field with Heavenly Father, the faith and the reliance on Him will outlast any area, or even the whole 18 month experience. That makes it all worth it.

Well, I’ll get off my little soapbox.

The Baptism on Saturday went very well, but the week was crazy! On Tuesday we found out that there was going to be a funeral, and so our baptism was getting bumped. We spent most of the week trying to move the Baptism to the Stake Center, get keys, and logistics worked out with the time and location change. But all in all, it worked out. When we got there, we found out the font had been filled only full enough for a child’s baptism, so that was another little hitch. And the funeral took precedence that day, so attendance was a little weak. But I’m glad it happened on that day, postponing baptisms is scary to a missionary, and it’s conference weekend this week. I know this brother felt the Spirit strongly. And that’s the most important thing.

Remember the Irish brother I wrote about in some of my last e-mails? Well we got to have another lesson with him this week. He’s been reading the Book of Mormon, but also studying things on-line…which is every missionary’s worst fear. Needless to say, we had a lot of tough questions to answer this week. He is very interested in historical evidence, and mostly we stressed that the witness of the Holy Ghost is more powerful than any other evidence we could obtain. Like Christ told Thomas, more blessed are they who have not seen, and yet have believed. I was so grateful to have Brother Bartlett from the ward with us. Sister Allred and I have gotten very close to this family, and both the Bartlett’s were converted several years ago. It was so powerful to hear Brother Bartlett’s testimony of the truthfulness of the restored gospel. I just hope our friend continues in his reading of the Book of Mormon. At the end of the lesson, we invited him to continue reading the Book of Mormon; I love his response “You know I will!! And If I find out that this book contains the truth, I will be this first to join and give up tea (which will break my heart.)”

Remember when I was in Farmington, and you fasted for and put Crystal and Tommy’s name in the temple? They were the couple that I sent wedding pictures of? Well I’m glad to announce that Crystal did get baptized in January. Also some other people I taught in Bloomfield were baptized. I was surprised to read their names at Zone Conference, because when I was there, it seemed to me as if our visits were more inconvenient than anything. It’s neat how when the Spirit works, attitudes can change relatively quickly.

We also got to visit our Nun this week! Finally! She loved the literature we gave her and would like to meet from time to time, in another location. We got her cell phone number. So that is exciting news.

Well, I think that is most of the news I have for this week. Thank you so much for all you do for me. I really do have the best family in the world. I love you.

Sister Waters

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Here Comes Another Week in Rio Rancho 03/22/2010

Hello Family,

Thanks for working my class schedule out. It’s exciting to see it all come together. It should be a fun semester. The only class I am dreading is my Political Science class. I’ve heard that it is a beast and mostly deals with Statistics. You’ll remember from my senior year how much I love statistics. Gag. But it has to be done sooner or later. Thanks for making all those phone calls. I really appreciate it.

I don’t really have much to tell you about this week. It was a good week though. Our baptism is looking like it will still go through next Saturday, so we’re excited about that. Everything has been thrown together super fast, and we are rushing to finish the lessons, as a formality, but he has been studying the church for three years prior to meeting with us, so it’s not too much to worry about. I am always on “pins and needles” when it comes to Baptism dates, I just don’t want anything to go wrong.

Also, we get transfer news next Saturday as well, so it will be an exciting day. I have no idea what will happen. Although guessing is a futile effort, it’s still kind of fun to try. I think there is a good chance I will stay.

We got to teach a lot of people this week that we had almost given up hope on meeting with. We even tracted into someone we met at Tavern Guy’s house. That was kind of fun. We gave away a couple Book of Mormons to people that seem like they will actually read them.

I like the High Range ward. There are a lot of rumors going around that it will split in April when the Stake Center is finished and when there is Ward Conference. So, we’ll see what happens.

I love you a lot. Sorry this is so short, but I’m at a loss for what to say this week.

You might be interested to know that I am putting in my request to stay the late transfer today. I don't know if it will work or not, but I decided that I would see. I figure six more weeks isn't that long, if this is the last time the Lord is sending His servants out into the Vineyard.

Love you tons!

Sister Waters

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

But Even When You Have the Perfect Kill Shot, the Work Isn't Even Finished Yet. You've Still Gotta' Pack that Sucker Out of There! 03/15/2010

Hello Family

This was a great week. Things continue to go well here in High Range Ward. Sister Allred and I had to give talks yesterday in church. Sister Allred’s talk was hilarious. She was talking about member missionary work and likened the scriptures unto herself in regards to the comparison between member missionary work and hunting. Quotes include:

“Imagine that a local comes up to you, tells you where all the good draws are, and then gives you permission to kill on his property! That’s so much better than scouting out the area for hours.” (Tracting stinks)

“But even when you have the perfect kill shot, the work isn’t even finished yet. You’ve still gotta pack that sucker out of there.” (Talking about keeping converts active and ready to go to the temple)

“Think of the joy you feel when the garage is all washed down and the meat is cut up and placed in the freezer, and how much MORE joy can come from sharing the gospel.”

Her talk was VERY well done, and she had the ward wrapped around her finger. Sister Allred…the fairy tale princess at first glance who doubles as a Bambi’s mom killer. We all love her.

Our ward mission leader spoke and he said the reason it is difficult to share the gospel with those around us is NOT because we are afraid, but because we as a society have stopped letting people into our lives. As we really get to know people on a personal level, the gospel is a less intimidating topic. Do you eat? He asked the congregation? Then you can share the gospel. How hard is it to invite our neighbors over to dinner, where they can see the pictures in our homes, and get to know us better? His talk was also brilliant.

Guess what?!?! We have a baptism date set for March 27! Yay! This is how it all fell into place. Last transfer, we tracted into a gentleman that said his friend was LDS, and that he was reading the literature given to him by his friend. His friend is in the Star Heights ward.

We stopped by a few weeks later, to follow up with this man we tracted into, and found out he had an appointment to meet with the missionaries in the Star Heights ward.

The Elders taught a couple lessons, and then invited us to help them teach.

We are finishing up the lessons, and if all goes well, the 27th will be a Baptism day! He came to church yesterday for the first time, and I think it all went well. Kind of awkward that his first Sunday was the Sunday we were assigned to speak, but it all went okay.

We also met the most amazing family tracting this week. They all sat down to listen to the message (a rarity on the mission) and even the teenage daughters were excited and asking really good, deep questions. Their father is from Ireland, and he is fascinated with other Christian denominations. He’s really been studying and searching, so he invited us to come back in an hour. We grabbed a member from across the street, (because at the time, he was the only adult home) and we basically went through all the lessons in one sitting. In Ireland, there is basically only one religion, Catholicism, so since moving to the US, he has been surprised to drive down the street and see so many different churches, and see people actually attending regularly. He’s been to a handful of churches already. Hopefully, we’ll get to visit with them again this week or next!

One of our other new investigators said this: “Were you praying for me? . . . I could tell.” He’s been pretty good at reading from the Book of Mormon lately, although he didn’t make it to church yesterday, we were sad. He is the investigator that lives way out on the edge of our area, we found out he hasn’t had electricity for the past two years.

So Yay for having people to teach!

Also, I asked President about the option of going home the late transfer. He said that it is an option, since plane tickets haven’t been purchased yet, but that he’ll look to see if there will be an even or odd number of sisters coming into the mission. If we are left with an even number, it would be a bad idea, because it would create a trio. But if there are an odd number of sisters, it might be a really good idea. I have mixed feelings on the subject. I think I’m just going to wait and see if President gets back to me on that. Part of me really wants to go home in June, and part of me thinks it would be great to stay out longer. My MTC companion is here in Albuquerque today for some medical stuff. She is also thinking about going home the late transfer, so that would be fun to have another sister to go home with. I heard they sent the “trunky papers” to all the parents a couple weeks ago. Any thoughts on the matter?

Well I love you tons.

Thanks for all your support. I love you and hope you’re having a great week!

Sister Waters

Friday, April 9, 2010

Being Resourceful with Old and Unwanted Ties from the Elders

Miracles 3/08/2010

This week was amazing! Heavenly Father really helped us out. I don’t know why we had so much success this week compared to others. It could be one of two things. A) Heavenly Father knew I would just about gauge my eyes out if the work didn’t start picking up, and therefore blessed us with people to teach in order to prevent my imminent destruction. B) We finally got help to remove the couch in our apartment. President asked us to only have one couch in mission apartments. I also made a more diligent effort to exercise at least a little bit each day. I don’t know if these little improvements in obedience made the difference, but I do know we were lead to people who would receive the gospel.

We found FOUR new investigators this week. This is huge! Let me describe some of the miraculous things that happened.

First, on Tuesday morning, we were headed out to tract a particular neighborhood, but I felt strongly that we needed to check on a less active member who we heard was sick, and the ward asked us to go by, so we changed plans a little bit and went to visit her. When we got there, we found her to be in perfectly good health. Ok. Maybe it wasn’t really a prompting after all. Then I felt like we should follow up with a lady that we met tracting a couple weeks earlier. We stopped by her house. No one was home. As we got back into the car, the Spanish Elders pulled up and flagged us down. They gave us the name of a woman they had met tracting and told us that we should stop by…we were parked just a couple of houses away from where she lived. That’s how we met Kathy. If we hadn’t followed earlier “impressions”, we wouldn’t have been in a position to meet her that day. She is amazing! She asked us for literature, so we gave her a couple pamphlets, and she looked at us and asked, “Is that all you’re going to give me?” So we taught her about the Book of Mormon and gave her a copy of her very own. She began to ask us questions about why people die horrible deaths, etc. And we were able to use the Book of Mormon to answer some of her questions about death. So we set up a return appointment for Sunday and taught her the Plan of Salvation. Apparently, her grandmother was LDS. As we taught her the Plan of Salvation, she had some of the scriptures we used in 1 Corinthians 15 and Jeremiah highlighted already. We talked about why we have opposition in life. At the end of the lesson, we told her that she could pray about these things and gain knowledge for herself, because she is a precious daughter of our Heavenly Father. We asked her “If you came to know these things were true, would you be baptized?” Now, usually when we ask these questions, people try to dodge it or else protest that they have been baptized already. Do you know what Kathy’s response was? “Well, you would have to be!” She told us that she felt really good. She told us that she knew God was very proud of us because of what we were doing. Kathy had been praying to know truth, and that’s when the Elders found her at home, just a short time later, she has a very strong belief that the Elders were an answer to her prayer. At the end of our lesson, she began to ask us a lot of questions about how to deal with challenges in her family, and we were able to point her to chapters in both the Book of Mormon and Bible that would help her with these questions. She thought that this might be her only chance to get these answers, but was glad to hear that we would come back. That this was more than just a onetime visit. She’s excited to keep learning! Yesterday was such a great day! We also taught a great lesson to another gentleman who also became a new investigator.

On Saturday, we stopped by another less active family’s home. We weren’t sure if we should visit them or not, since the husband’s truck wasn’t there, but we went to visit his wife anyway. When we opened the door, she said, “I’m taking you girls to meet someone.” She grabbed the keys, and we walked down her street to meet with her neighbor. She introduced us to him, and told him that we would be stopping by to visit him. He is in his 80s, and just gave up his dog because he couldn’t take it on walks any more, due to his failing legs. This sister asked us to help him clean up his house (which is full of boxes he could trip over). She says that gradually we can begin to teach him the gospel.

When we got back to this Sister’s house she told us that she was praying this morning about her neighbor, and Heavenly Father told her that the Sister Missionaries would stop by today and that she should take us to visit her neighbor. This good Sister has a heart of gold. She has a long list of neighbors, and friends that she takes care of, and fellowships. The list was starting to weigh down on her, and she came to the conclusion that she should begin to introduce these people to the church and the missionaries one by one. She has poor health herself, and she knows that when she goes, the church can help fellowship all these people that she feels responsible for.

Did we feel prompted to go visit this Sister? Honestly, no, but Heavenly Father is aware of everything we are going to do before we even get to it. I learned a lesson that day, about how Heavenly Father can use us in answer to someone’s prayer without us even being aware of it ourselves. Sometimes we get promptings, but often times, he already knows that we’ll be in a position to help. God really does use us in neat ways when we make ourselves available. It’s a neat thing to be a missionary and hear someone say, “I knew you would come today.” Or “This is an answer to my prayers.” It happens only occasionally.

We met another woman whose nephew is preparing to either serve a LDS mission, or go to minister school. (His grandparents raised him LDS, but someone else in his family is Baptist.) Anyway, she invited us in right away and let us teach her the gospel. Her husband is Muslim, so religion has always been very “general” in their house. Her mother also died a month ago. I’m excited to teach her the Plan of Salvation this coming week!

We also started teaching another man who is so sincere! Missionaries, a long time ago, gave him a Book of Mormon. It was neat to see him pull it out along with pamphlets and reading assignments, they had given him. I am so grateful for those missionaries who planted that seed years ago. I am lucky to teach him at a time in his life where he has time to devote to listening. We brought along a sister who just got off her own mission to Thailand this past August. It was interesting to compare the differences in teaching people who already know the Bible very well, to her experiences teaching people who really didn’t even know much about Jesus Christ. The message is the same, but we approach it so differently depending on the culture of our area.

Also, one of my favorite families from my last area moved into this area! It was so fun to see them at church! That was the first time I had ever seen the husband actually come to church. And now, they are here! Yay!

Also, a part member family invited us for dinner this week. I think it was the Catholic wife who was most enthusiastic.

I am really beginning to love this area. It is neat to see things finally begin to blossom. To really see how the area could transform. I am so grateful to my Heavenly Father for blessing us so much this week. There is no way that we could have accomplished this by ourselves. We were led so often this week, without even being aware of it. All we had to do was get out and keep working. Heavenly Father will use us in his own time and in his own way so long as we keep doing as he asks; even when it seems like nothing is happening.

I love you all, and hope that all is going well back home. I have the best family in the whole world!

Sister Waters

Monday, March 22, 2010

"And if it so be that you should labor. . .and bring save it be one soul unto me." 3/01/2010

Hello Family!

One thing I am grateful for this week is that BOTH our high school girls I wrote about last week kept their appointments. I love teaching them, and really hope that they will feel their Savior’s love and develop an appreciation of the scriptures. Yay for this little blessing! I love teaching young people because they have their whole lives ahead of them. We also had an opportunity to render service this week, helping at the American Legion. A lot of members of the community came to help fill care packages for a troop in Iraq or Afghanistan. That was neat to see.

We’re implementing the 40-day fast that Dad sent me from the Chantilly Ward here. We’re hoping it will help get the ward thinking about missionary opportunities. Thanks for sending it, we actually used it in my last area as well, but I was transferred before its kick off. This area has a lot of potential. Our Bishop called President Anderson to request that Sister Allred and I not get transferred, so at least someone likes us!

There is a certain type of screen door in New Mexico that is metal on the outside, and prevents us from seeing who is on the other side of the door. It allows the homeowner to have a clear view of us. I hate these doors so much! But it led to a funny incident this week. We were talking to this woman, and she sounded to be semi-interested, so we asked what her name was. “David” was the response. Sister Allred and I looked at each other, and realized that since we couldn’t see what the other person looked like; this must be a little boy! We couldn’t help but laugh. Kids usually are more receptive than their parents! They often say things like “try again!” or “Dad, they want to come into our house!” I wonder if children can recognize the spirit because they haven’t been gone as long as us old folk.

Last week, after I finished writing my e-mail, we went to Wal-Mart, and this man decided to pick a fight with us! Two sister missionaries! He asked if we were Jehovah Witnesses (a common mistake) and after learning that we were Mormon, began to criticize our beliefs. I tend to get so angry when people do that! It’s one thing if we’re on the doorstep, after all, we are on their turf and we’re kind of asking for it, but to approach total strangers…at Wal-Mart? Who aren’t actively proselyting? That’s just irritating.

We finally picked up another “real” investigator after weeks and weeks of tracting! We’ve met with him for two Saturdays now, and even got to see him at Wal-Mart as well. (Wall Mart was a very eventful day for us.) He already had a copy of the Book of Mormon, and we taught him about Adam and Eve, the fall, and why we have opposition here in life. He told us that it changed his perspective, and he even wanted to set up a specific time to have us come back! He lives out on the fringes of the ward, right before it gets to a sagebrush desert…but he seems very sincere! Yay! I’m excited to follow up on his Book of Mormon reading.

Remember the former nun that I wrote about a few weeks ago? Well, Sister Allred and I tried to stop by a few weeks ago, and her daughter-in-law (the Jehovah’s Witness) opened the door, and we hesitated to ask for our nun friend, worrying that it might cause family tensions. So, we mailed a letter to their address . . . then we came up with a brilliant idea on Saturday! Why don’t we stop by the house when Kingdom Hall has its Sunday meetings?!?! Yes, that would be a good way to ensure that our nun friend is at home, while the daughter-in-law is gone. So, Sister Allred and I drove to the closest Kingdom Hall, trying to be sneaky of course, and look up the posted meeting times. Well, guess what? They have “wards” just like we do, so deciding what time they meet presented a difficulty. Maybe we’ll have to investigate further.

Well, thank you for all your support. I love all of you so much. I know how important this work is to our Heavenly Father. I’m learning that even when people reject us, we are offering them a clear choice. Hopefully, the testimony we bear will be brought to their remembrance at some point. After all, they say on average it takes seven interactions with the church before a person joins. We’re just adding to the bean pile.

I love you a ton! I hope you know and feel that. I thank Heavenly Father for you each night. I have the best family in the world!

Sister Waters

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Miracles in Rio Rancho and By the Way, Sisters Aren't Old Maids 2/22/2010

Hello from Rio Rancho!

From Monday of last week through Wednesday of this week, we had a total of four different sister missionaries staying at our apartment due to transfers. Sister Ormsby who is from Australia spent a day with us while she was waiting for her new companion who was transferring to our mission from the Chicago mission. We worked as a trio with Sister Ormsby for a day, and it was fun to see her door approaches. I think she can get away with a lot due to her accent. I was impressed with her ability to tell people like it is. While we were tracting with her, we met a family that belongs to what was once the RLDS church, now known as the Community of Christ. Their mom just became a priest, but they were eager to invite us back. Should be interesting to say the least.

Update on Tavern Guy from a few weeks ago: We stopped by to see if we could meet again, and we asked him if he read the pamphlet. Not only did he say yes, but he also gave it to one of his friends, and told him all about the “girl missionaries.” It’s so great when you can get non-members to do missionary work for you! I don’t really know if anything will result from this, but it’s a fun little update since most of my stories in this area are “beginning” stories. There aren’t too many “middle” stories yet, but I’ll try to keep you posted.

So, Relief Society yesterday was super funny. This woman was telling a story about how much her mother didn’t want to serve a mission, although the Spirit was prompting her to do so. She didn’t want to serve a mission because, at the time, Sister Missionaries just became old maids, and she really didn’t want to be an old maid. As it turned out, she went on the mission, had a good experience and married one of the Elders. Later on in the lesson, the Relief Society President made a comment about missionary work and made sure to tell Sister Allred and me not to worry, we wouldn’t be Old Maids. So yeah, kind of awkward, but Sister Allred and I have been laughing about it. We are agreed that marrying an Elder isn’t the most appealing idea, if that’s the moral of the story. Some consolation.

As I have written before, when I first came to this area, my goal was to see miracles. The other day I thought to myself, “Ok, then Sister Waters, what would a miracle look like here?” It was interesting to think about, and I’m starting to realize that maybe we’ve seen some already. As much as I wanted to see more baptisms before the end of my mission, I’m starting to think that our purpose in this area lies more with an 18-year-old recent convert and a less active sister who is only 16. Sure, we have some potential baptismal candidates, but we haven’t really had the opportunity to meet regularly with these new investigators yet, and the only “regular” investigator we have keeps making comments indicating that he’s scared of church and would rather stay with what he knows. After trying for a transfer, we finally set up an appointment to teach our less active-recent convert the new member lessons. She is awesome, and I think the Elders just scared her a little bit (heck, I think they scared the members a little bit sometimes!) But Heavenly Father is so aware of this daughter of his, and maybe that’s why he sent Sister Allred and me here…to be persistent with her. Maybe the miracle is that we get to line up with specific people who have specific needs. Heavenly Father loves her so much, and wants her to have support, since she is the only member in her family…so far anyway. I just hope our appointments with these girls don’t fall through.

We went around yesterday and tried to contact a lot of people, I feel like people are starting to warm up. Hopefully, we’ll start to get invited in more, and our days of doorstep conversations will decrease. The work has to progress! There are too many promises in the scriptures for it not to. As I continue to pray for the missionary work in this area to progress, I’m sure there may be miracles occurring of which I am not even aware.

We met a man who was leaving for Afghanistan in five days and he said he wanted to read the Book of Mormon. So we left him a copy. Its situations similar to these, that I like to imagine are the beginnings of miracles. The kinds of miracles of which I may never be aware.

In sacrament meeting yesterday, someone said, “Bearing your Testimony is Never Wasted.” I think that is so true, and good to remember especially in this area. We as members should never shy away from bearing our testimonies. There is power in testimony, and it is never a waste to bear it. The speaker was talking about how the Holy Ghost can bring all things to our remembrance, and if that is true, we may never know when the Holy Ghost can bring our testimony to someone else’s remembrance. Think of the prophet Enos in the Book of Mormon, who remembered the words of his father, and they sunk deep in his soul!

Well, I don’t have much else to say, aside from, I love you, and continue to pray for you!

Sister Waters

Tuesday, March 2, 2010

New Mexico is Getting Another Mission, the Farmington New Mexico Mission 2/16/2010

My Dearest Family,

This has been a whirlwind of a week. It's official, New Mexico is getting another mission, and as a result, the New Mexico Albuquerque Mission is getting split to create a Farmington Mew Mexico Mission. The boundary changes will affect the Provo Mission, a Texas Mission and two Arizona missions. Crazy. I'm having a hard time adjusting to the realization that when I go home, my mission will no longer exist as I know it. The change will take place on July 1, 2010. I'm thinking that the mission office will send out a letter and maps to all the current missionaries, but if it doesn't happen, let me know. This is too crazy.

We took the new sisters tracting yesterday as part of their orientation, and one of the Elders I came out with was there. He was asking me how many transfers I had left. I really couldn't remember. But he told me that I only have two left, because he won't count the one that just started. Wow. I'm afraid of the time I don't have left. Last week, I would wake up in the middle of the night, realizing that I'm a missionary, and it was the most surreal feeling. I got a notice from the mission office today that my release date is June 23, 2010, and to contact President Anderson if I have any questions. In the back of my mind, I keep toying around with the idea of going home the late transfer in August but 1. I don't know if that is even allowed, since every sister missionary (except for one) has gone home the early transfer as long as I've been in the mission. 2. With a new mission being formed, Church headquarters might have played the number game already with the number of new missionaries being assigned here. And 3. That could potentially have me finishing in a completely different mission than I started in, with a completely different group of missionaries and president, for only about the last 3ish weeks of my mission. That could be traumatic. Also, I would miss going home with the sisters I came out with. So, mostly, there are a lot of reasons why I wouldn't want to go home the August transfer, but at the same time, I really want more time on the mission. It has gone by so fast. Needless to say, this has been a very conflicting week.

Thank you for the Valentines Cookies. That was too sweet of you. I hope you start to thaw out soon. Everyone back here is talking about the snow on the east coast.

Our Zone Leader called us on Saturday night with transfer news. He told us that Sister Allred was going to the Cortez 2nd Ward, and that I was going back to the Paradise Hills ward. Sister Allred and I were so excited by the totally unexpected. But then he told us that it was all a joke. Yes, Sister Allred and I are both staying in High Range.

Back when I was in the MTC, they gave us a devotional about the normal emotional phases that accompany change. Here are the phases I remember the speaker explaining and how they relate to High Range.

1. Honeymoon Phase
Yes! We're going to make this dead area vibrant. We're going to see miracles. This will be an amazing area. We have a purpose here. Complete transformation and huge developing teaching pool, here we come!

2. Homesickness
I miss what I left behind, baptism dates and investigators.

3. Denial
Maybe we'll get transferred.

4. Resentment/Hostility
Mostly frustration that despite working hard and trying to be obedient there is little immediate success.

5. Successful Readjustment
This is what I am still working on. I knew from the moment we got here that we would have to rely on the Spirit, and on Heavenly Father more than in any other area. Yet, I don't understand why the work can't move faster. I guess this is a lesson in patience. When I went to Paradise Hills, I think I had the faith to see direct immediate answers to my prayers. Here, I guess I am learning that even when we have faith, even when we work hard, we don't always get what we want. There are many faithful people who don't get exactly what they want when they want it. Yet, I cannot reconcile this lesson in patience with the Lord's repeated and firm promise that the field is white, ready to harvest! If there are people who are so ready for the gospel, why aren't we finding them? Or why aren't they more anxious to progress? Is there something that I'm doing wrong? Is there a different approach that we should be taking? Is our method for finding investigators the incorrect one for the area? What can I do better? And yet, every missionary should know that it isn't us that drives the work, it's the Spirit. In some ways, it feels like a Catch-22. I guess I'm learning to have more realistic expectations for the area. We're probably not going to have a thriving pool of investigators over night. Yet at the same time, I still yearn to have investigators. I yearn to see miracles. I want the Lord to do for us, in this area, what I simply cannot do for myself. We read those inspirational stories from the Ensign about how missionaries can transform a dead area overnight. How can I see THAT kind of miracle? Maybe the mission isn't about seeing miracles. Maybe, as Sister Allred says, all I can hope to do is my best, and if nothing comes from it, then at least I can know I tried my best. I guess Sister Allred and I will keep plugging away at this area. I have felt the Spirit confirm on a few different occasions that we DO have a purpose here, and I firmly believe that people ARE prepared, or are being prepared. I don't know if I see it yet. I hope that the successful readjustment comes soon. I hope that we won't have to resort to the "imaginary investigators" we're planning to create to make companion study more entertaining. :)

Regardless, if Heavenly Father needs a missionary to work, even when it's hard, I want him to know that he can count on me. It's so easy to be a missionary when the work is thriving. You teach lessons. You have a set schedule. The real challenge is what do you do when the work isn't exactly "thriving". All I can do is try to do my personal best and let Heavenly Father make up for the HUGE difference between my best and what the area needs.

One of the golden people we baptized in Paradise Hills has already gone less active, by moving in with some anti-Mormons. I wish it wasn't so heartbreaking to hear that kind of news.

Also, we met a lady at Pep Boys who started talking about Apostles. We told her that this was our message: we have 12 Apostles today, the gospel has been restored, and we have a living prophet! She seemed to agree, amid periods of slight confrontation. But ultimately, she told us that SHE was an Apostle. Oh boy, the craziness.

Well, I love you dearly, the time has flown by today, and I wish I had more time to tell you what's going on. In good news, we were invited back to a really cool couple's house. I have great hopes for them.

I love you dearly. Thank you for your support and love. I appreciate it more than you ever know.

Sister Waters

Monday, March 1, 2010

The Work is as Slow as Molasses but We Keep Trying 2/08/2010


The work is pretty slow. We tract a lot. We tracted into a scary gangster guy who invited us back. I'm glad Sister Allred had the door approach, she testified about how we have a prophet on the earth again today, and surprisingly, he responded:

"Well that's good to know!"

He actually listened to what we had to say and caught the significance of it! Usually people are so eager to get us off the doorstep that they don't listen to what we manage to mutter out before they shut the door. But like almost all of the people who invite us back, we haven't been able to catch this man again. We'll keep trying. The work is just about as slow as molasses here, but we'll keep praying and trying.

Sister Allred and I finally found something fun to do on P-day. The Elders left us over 30 ties in the apartment along with an assortment of other junk that has been passed down from missionary to missionary. We're sewing them into skirts. Hopefully, we'll get them done before our last district meeting of the transfer. We're going to Goodwill today to see if we can find even more ties that are uglier than sin. Finally, the sisters will have something worthy of competition with the Elders' crazy suits!

Sister Allred and I decided to try to save miles this week. Of course, the day we decide to walk is the day that Rio Rancho gets a snowstorm. A cop offered to give us a ride, people were giving us weird looks, and both Sister Allred and I had mascara that ran down around our eyes. We looked ridiculous, and we couldn't help but laugh. We lasted in the snow for about two hours before we got a member to take us back to the apartment.

One of the members from my last area called saying they had an investigator that lives in our area! She is a single woman who just moved to the United States somewhat recently. When we called her to set up an appointment, she was so excited and wanted to come to church! But when we actually got her address, we found out it was in the Elder's area. At last, we have the hope of a legitimate investigator, and we have to turn it over to the Elders. Poaching in their area has never been so tempting.

I'm sorry this email, stinks. I'm trying to get it done before my remaining time runs out. Love you tons. I've been thinking about you a lot lately. I hear the snow back east is pretty bad.

You're in my prayers!

Sister Waters

Sunday, February 14, 2010

Hello February 02/01/2010

Hello Family!

This has been a very long week. A lot of our appointments cancelled, but I guess that’s the life of being a missionary. We’ve gotten the opportunity to go “finding” a lot this week, and have actually had a couple of good experiences.

We also decided to try to contact a few former investigators this week, and that’s how we met “Tavern Guy.” As we approached this house, he came outside to meet us, and after talking on the doorstep for a while, he invited us in. Now, why do Sister Allred and I call him “Tavern Guy?” Well, it’s because as we were talking with him and his friends, we came to the conclusion that they remind us of people sitting in an 18th century tavern, talking politics, smoking, just down to earth. Tavern Guy has a very strong Jersey accent, if that helps you picture the situation better. He told us how he has studied the Bible and gone to a lot of different churches, but doesn’t feel like he knows which one is true. So as any missionary would, we tried to explain a little bit about the restoration of the gospel. Tavern Guy asked us a few questions and after a while, it just became contentious, almost borderline argumentative. I’ve had my fill of bashers on the mission, but for some reason, this guy was making me really angry. Suddenly I hear myself burst out “Don’t you tell me what I believe!” I was a little surprised at myself, but even more surprised at their response. Tavern Guy said, “I like this one! She’s cool!” Still, I apologized for being out of line. I don’t get upset with people very often, but when I tried to apologize, all three of them turned their heads almost in unison and said “Don’t Apologize!” Instantly, I had gained their respect, and the environment changed from one of hostility to one of respect. Not very often does abrasiveness gain that kind of response, but I guess my instinctive remark to defend my beliefs must have been so unexpected that it was taken well. Towards the end of our conversation, I went to apologize once again, and Tavern Guy had had enough of it. “Did Jesus Christ ever apologize for who he was? Did He? Hmm? No. Did he apologize for what He believed? See? So don’t go there.” Fair enough.

We also met another guy when we were tracting that I can’t decide if he was cool, or really off the rocker. He has studied the Bible for 37 years and knew it very well. He talked to us for about an hour, getting very metaphysical, and deep, yet at the same time telling us that he had died before, and that he had gotten the chance to re-live life. That he had met us before and that this conversation had all happened before, but that he had been given the chance to be more polite and respectful this time than last time. He showed us another passage from the Bible that he said, explained Déjàvu. He reminded me of some character out of a book written by someone like Earnest Hemingway, “Old and Lonely”. We must live life, and enjoy it! Studying the Bible is good, but I think there is a truth in that staying cooped up can make one go crazy.

As we were knocking doors on Saturday, we came across a house with HUGE mean dogs. We could see them through the window, so I thought we were safe and I went to approach the door. Suddenly we hear a woman yelling, “Get out! Get out!” My companion looks at me and says, "We’ve got to go!” So we both start running. I’m not sure if the woman was yelling at us, or if she was yelling at her dogs, and trying to send them out the back door to come and get us. But as we go to the next house, we hear the door open and the woman scream, “I’m Atheist!!!!” Wow, I think she must have felt stupid when there was no one there. We didn’t even knock on her door or anything. People are so crazy.

But for the most part, people have been very good and kind. At church yesterday, we heard the line “when evil is made invisible to you.” I wouldn’t be surprised if that is a blessing we’ve received as missionaries, because this was really one of the first few mean people we’ve come across. Knocking on random people’s doors every day, you would think you’d run into more rotten people, but really I feel like I will come home and say there is more good in the world than bad.

Well, Sister Allred and I have had enough of being lazy on Preparation Day, so today we’re going to Bernalillo, another little town in our stake boundaries, and hopefully we’ll find something cool to do. We might look into visiting a few local attractions.

Hope all is going well back home. I love you all and miss you tons.

Sister Waters

Sunday, February 7, 2010

Catholic Nuns? No, Mormon Nuns. 01/25/2010

Hello Everyone!

I can’t believe another week has gone by. It’s true what they say, the days go by like weeks and the weeks go by like days! I’m sitting here in the library, and as I begin writing my weekly email, I notice that someone is staring me down. I look up and this man says, “Your little badge confused me.”

“Oh!” I respond, hoping that this might be a great missionary opportunity. “We’re missionaries…”

“I understand that,” he said. “I just thought you were Catholic nuns.”

I’ve heard a lot of things on my mission, but I don’t think I’ve ever been mistaken for a nun before. But I guess I can understand that. The title “Sister” must throw some people off. But anyway, no inspiring gospel conversation grew out of that encounter. Such is life.

Speaking of Catholic nuns…we met a former nun this week when we were tracting. Heavenly Father certainly answers our prayers to be able to meet those who are searching for truth. This particular woman opened the door, and I didn’t expect her to be interested, but surprisingly, she let us in, and explained her life history. She was a cloistered nun in a convent in Hollywood, California. I didn’t understand completely, but it sounded as if her convent did a lot of penitence for the sins of Hollywood. Gradually, she came to the conclusion that it is only Jesus Christ who can suffer for the world’s sins, and she fell away from the Catholic Church. She told us that she has been praying very hard to find the truth and that she was hoping she would run into some Latter-Day Saints. Her daughter-in –law, whom she lives with, is a Jehovah Witness, and the day we tracted into this woman, her daughter-in-law was out of the house, otherwise there was no way we would have been able to go inside. I’m finding more and more that timing is so crucial in missionary work. Our former nun friend, said that she believes that there are other holy records out there, and wanted a copy of the Book of Mormon and any other literature we had. She asked us a few questions, and told us that she was learning about the Baha’i faith, and she agreed with some of the things that they taught, but that she was still very open and searching. I really hope we’ll be able to see her again soon.

This week was a kind of “day of reckoning.” Over the past few weeks we’ve tracted a ton, and found so many potential investigators. Our goal was to “pester” each of them until we could narrow this pool down to people who were sincerely interested in learning, and eliminate those who were just trying to be polite. It has been going well, and on Saturday, we were able to nail down three return appointments. Our area is still a little slow, which is frustrating, but I do feel like heavenly Father is pleased with our hard work.

I was studying about Mormon and Moroni out of the Book of Mormon this week, and it struck me that they were some of the most obedient ministers of the gospel ever, yet they had absolutely NO investigators. The people of their time were engaged in some of the most horrific activities that people can be involved in, but their efforts were still important to our Heavenly Father. I think I’m finally internalizing what it means when they say you can’t measure a missionary’s success by outward signs of success, such as baptisms. While I have certainly been blessed to see a few baptisms on my mission, I’ve also had those periods of dry spells. But it’s ok. I really think the work will pick up. One of our new investigators came to church this Sunday (she’s engaged to a member), and filled out a new move in form…so hopefully that means she feels at home here.

We made a very comprehensive map of our area when we first got here, plotting out all the less actives that the Bishop said would be good to visit, and all the potentials that the Elders left us. We were looking at that map yesterday, surprised to see that we’ve tried almost every single person on that map. I want to start on another updated one.

We visited a lot of less active families this week. It surprises me how often, if you invite them to come to church, they accept the invitation without much hesitation. I think people may think it is intimidating to invite less actives out to church, but it isn’t that scary after all! One of the couples we visited is hilarious! She was talking about how the church doesn’t want you to write church headquarters for complaints, and how you’re supposed to send them to the Bishop first. Her big complaint is that all the hymns are too old. They are all from 1820, 1843, and 1890 she complained. She always tells the Bishop about this, and he always tells her not to send a letter. I told her that she sounds just like Gladys Knight. Despite the boring music, they’ve come to church for two weeks in a row now!

Preparation day is going to be pretty low key again. I don’t mind at all. Sister Allred and I are pretty boring, and enjoy writing letters and sleeping on prep day. It’s great.

I love you all and hope everything continues to go well. I’ve gotten a ton of mail this week. Thanks to everyone.

Love You Tons!
Sister Waters

Friday, February 5, 2010

Blessing of Having to Rely on Heavenly Father 01/19/2010

Hello Family,

Our second week in Rio Rancho went very well. It’s still a difficult area in some ways, but I know with all my heart that Heavenly Father is helping us find people to teach. My negative attitude from the initial shock of having almost no investigators has been softened as I have realized that this may be a blessing. We really have to have a lot of faith, and rely on Heavenly Father to find people to teach, whereas before, people were already provided. I am really trying to ask Heavenly Father and then look for the answers. It seems like almost every day, we find someone who invites us to come back. They seem pretty genuine in their invitation too! While we are still trying to turn these potential investigators into real investigators, I think the work will come along. It’s a lesson in patience, faith and perseverance. I continue to trust in the promise that the field is white.

Some of the exciting developments from this week:

It was exciting to get a phone call from one of our potential investigators this weekend. We stopped by her house, and were greeted by a very clearly disinterested husband. She gave us a call and said that she would still like to set something up with us, when her husband isn’t around, so hopefully she’ll get back in touch.

We also visited a part member family that is wonderful. Her husband is Amish! Crazy right? But amazingly fascinating. She said that they realize that their children need religion, but that an Amish lifestyle just won’t work. I hope that she’ll get back in touch with us as well.

Then we went tracting on Saturday and met a woman who is friends with a less active woman that we’re trying to meet with. It was a cool lesson, because she is looking for a church, but hates how many different translations of the bible there are, she was pleasantly surprised to hear that the Mormons use the King James Version of the Bible. Towards the end of our visit, she even made the comment, “I wish I was a part of your church”. I think she still has some concerns and a lot of issues, but it was a good experience.

Funny story of the week:

We met an 82 year old less active member our first week here. She is hilarious. There was a dog barking as we were trying to talk to her at her doorstep. Sister Allred made the comment that those dogs were scary looking. Without missing a beat, Pat responded: “Well, the way I see it is that some people are pretty scary looking too.” Later in the week, the High Priests went to go visit her, and when they told her that they represented the High Priest group, she responded, “Well that’s impressive.” It’s hard to believe she’s in her 80s.

One of the less active members here grew up in a pueblo that is within the stake boundaries. He invited us to come see a dance ceremony with their family. This is a very rare invitation, because in order to enter a pueblo, you must be invited in by someone who is a member of the community. There are only a few times during the year that guests are allowed to go in. We’re hoping that we can get permission to go with their family. Missionaries in the past have gone, but we want to be sure that it’s ok with the mission, since the church’s standing with the pueblos of New Mexico is on very unstable ground. I wouldn't want to cause any more tensions. The Yazzies were telling us about different festivals, feasts, dances, and traditions that occur in the pueblos. For example, whenever a new governor is elected, the family of the governor throws food, household items, and basically everything, off the roof as a thank you to the community for choosing their son. The members of the pueblo all gather round to catch the gifts.

I didn’t get to go to the baptism, but it’s ok. President read one of my letters in Zone Conference this week. It relates to this period of my mission when I have to miss baptisms. Back in October, I wrote:

“One thing that I have known for a while, but really hit me yesterday was how much work went into preparing this area for us. Not only was Heavenly Father preparing the area, but there were some really good missionaries who were persistent in their efforts, but never got to see the fruits of their labors. Having been on the other side of this situation when I was in Bloomfield, it makes me wish I could write some of these Elders and let them know how much good has happened because of their diligence. I know firsthand how hard it is to pour out your everything into an investigator and then never see any immediate success. It can be heart wrenching! But because of their efforts, I get to reap the benefits! I only hope the people I left behind will progress the same way.”

That’s how the mission goes. It’s a tag team effort.”

Thank you for your letter Dad, I needed to hear what you said. It meant a lot.

We’re doing well. Thanks for all your love and support,

Sister Waters

PS As I said, we didn't go to the baptism, there is a policy in place that prevents us, which I understand and support, but as a result, I feel that we were directly blessed that day. We got to teach more lessons that Saturday than we usually do. The Lord understands our "sacrifices." If that is even the right word.

I love you and hope the weather starts to warm up! I love you tons and tons!

Sister Waters