Monday, November 24, 2014

Walking in a Winter Wonderland

Wow, I did not realize how powerful it can be to help someone come closer to Christ by helping them obey his commandments. Wes is doing so well!:) He says it is so hard, but he knows it will be worth it:) It would have to be hard to stop drinking coffee and smoking when you have done that every day for years! But, Wes already had the desire to stop smoking even before we started teaching him so he is on his way:) He gave us his Electronic Cigarette and nicotine with it haha. He just straight up gave it to us, no questions asked. It was awesome!:) He hardly hesitated! It is just so funny walking home with an e-cigarette in your hand.. haha just doesn’t feel right:) But it is so cool he gave it to us to throw away! GO WES!:) We are just so proud of him!:) Oh my goodness he shaved as well! He looks like a different person! He said that the old Wes with the beard is the smoker and drinker and the new clean shaven Wes doesn’t do those things:) How awesome is he?! The beardless Wes is the new Wes! The Mormon Wes!:) It is just so exciting:)
           I wish I could say every day this week was dandy but.. some days were a struggle haha. It is so cold here in Ohio, already. I can’t believe it! There is so much snow on the ground, which was fun the first day but now I am over it. Anyway Sister Horsley and I don’t have the car this week of course, and it is too icy to ride bikes so we have to walk. Which takes forever. So Sister Horsley and I were out walking for 2 hours in 18 degree weather! 18 DEGREES! We were dying. It is like arctic tundra here in Ohio!! No one was answering and we were really frustrated. This is the down side to missionary work haha. I was pretty warm thanks to all the awesome winter stuff my mom got me, but Sister Horsley was freezing. She thought her face had frost bite haha. I was laughing at her because I was cold, but not THAT cold. It was pretty funny:) Eventually we had Sister Hammond pick us up (our life saver) and she took us to her house and we sat by her fire place and thawed out. She offered hot chocolate but.. I am staying strong for Wes:) We taught him the law of tithing and fasting and he has no problem with it:) So we are super excited for him!:)
           We helped plan a young women’s activity where the girls could invite non-members friend. They did it not even realizing that they were being missionaries themselves by inviting a nonmember to a church activity! We did a murder mystery dinner:) It was so adorable! All the girls dressed up, and the moment they were in character they all suddenly got British accents. We were the servers and they bossed us around like none other haha they loved it! We had a great turn out:) It was super fun!:)
           Thursday was the longest day of my whole mission.. 2nd longest of Sister Horsley’s so that is saying something haha. We were outside walking from 12:30-6:30 in 25 degree weather. Doesn’t that sound fun? We had a lot of people to visit but no one answered so we were literally walking around with no one to talk to. By the end of it I couldn’t feel my legs. Sister Horsley and I were exhausted, not to mention that we were fasting for a Sister in our mission. Walking+fasting= not a happy Sister Slater haha. It was really hard and long and cold but Sister Horsley and I just kept thinking of the pioneers and what they went through and how it was a million times worse! So we knew we could do it. It was really hard though.. being on our feet 6 hours straight but hey! I knew what I was signing up for right? I chose to be here doing this!:) We hope the Elders really enjoyed the car haha. Yeah.. we are so sore we still aren’t able to walk normal haha. 
           Wes was interviewed for his baptism this week!:) He passed with flying colors:) He was so nervous though haha. We tried to freak him out a little:) So he is all set to be baptized November 29th!:) He is sooo excited! Oh my goodness he is doing so well with all the commandments and he is just so ready:) He said this is the best decision he has ever made in his life! We had a lesson with him on the priesthood and his face just lit up! He was beaming when we told him he gets the priesthood soon after he is baptized. He feels so honored to be able to hold that same power Jesus Christ held. It is just so exciting! Ah and at church on Sunday Wes said he had an AMAZING experience. He said he went to church with a question in mind that he wanted to for sure know if this church was true. He said as he sat in sacrament he felt at home. He felt like this is where he needed to be, and he realized that was the answer to his question, that was an answer from Heavenly Father. The church was his home, and he felt like he was finally home by being baptized into it! He has been praying and praying and waiting for answer, and he finally got it in church. He is so excited to be baptized! He is also so excited to do baptisms in the temple. His father passed away 5 years ago and he just cannot wait to get to the temple so he can baptize his dad. That will just be so special. Sister Horsley and I wish we could be there.
           Overall, it has been a crazy and long week of walking, and being cold. Oh! On Saturday morning the roads were pure ice… freezing rain. It happens here, a lot. I will get used to it haha. But the snow is all melted now, it looks like it never even snowed.. welcome to Ohio haha. But I love it here so much! I am so grateful to be here! Remember to think of all you are thankful for this week, and remember to be thankful for this gospel because without it we wouldn’t have true joy:) LOVE YOU!! 

This is Wes' E-Cig and Nicotine!
We were excited to throw them away :)
The District! :)
I took this for Wes... haha the chocolate was tempting me

"Let's get down to business to defeat... Satan." haha :)

Monday, November 17, 2014

Get Baptized Maybe?

This week has been full of miracles.. MIRACLES I tell ya! Heavenly Father is so good to me and Sister Horsley. :)
           To begin this week I am going to tell you a fantastic story! So, when Sister Horsley first found out she was going to train, she had a plan. You see my area, Hayden Run, was a really hard area. It is actually known throughout the mission as a way hard area. The last baptism they had was a year ago, people weren’t progressing, and it was just all around a hard area. Sister Horsley knew though that with the faith of a new missionary, this area could blossom. When I became her companion she just told me how AWESOME the area was, and how amazing the members were, and the people. So I never knew this was even a hard area! I had no idea. The day I came we met so many potential investigators and it was always pretty easy for Sister Horsley and I to find people to teach. The area blossomed overnight. It is just so incredible how the faith of two missionaries could have such an impact on an area. We both had faith that Heavenly Father would bring prepared people to us, and he has. We are so blessed!:)
           Zone conference was Wednesday, it was 7 hours long but so amazing! I feel so lucky to have President and Sister Daines as my leaders. They are so incredible! I learned so much from them! They are truly inspired. They talked about iPads for the mission..:) Yeah, we won’t get them until March.. I guess haha. They keep pushing it back but oh well hopefully we will get them eventually:) We have zone conference only every 3 months so I was excited to see what it was like! It was fantastic of course:) The spirit was really strong! That took up most of our day but hey, it was so amazing!:)
           I went on exchanges this week to London with Sister Jensen!:) It was so fun! I was sad though because I was missing a lesson with Wes but it was still fantastic! We taught this 12 year old named Abby. We talked to her about baptism and she said she doesn’t want to because she is afraid of the things she would have to give up. You see, Abby’s mom doesn’t really pay attention to her so Abby does things like smoke and other things to get her mom’s attention. How sad! A 12 year old doesn’t want to give up smoking... my heart was broken. I know this gospel can bring a lot of happiness into Abby’s life. Goodness I just want to help her. But the lesson went well! She is a sweetheart. IT WAS SNOWING!! First day of snow:) I am glad I was in London with the car cause Sister Horsley and Sister Verhagen were in my area on bikes.. ha. I was pretty grateful because it was freezing!! But the exchange was great! For breakfast we made chocolate cake mix and used it to make waffles in the waffle maker.. healthy I know:) Ha that is what mission life is about! Plus food brings us so much comfort.. it is great!:)
           WES IS GETTING BAPTIZED NOVEMBER 29th!! AHHHH!! I cannot believe it! He was hesitant for December 6th, but we had a lesson with him and he said he will be out of town the 6th so he asked if he could be baptized the 29th. Ha, we didn’t object:) But we still have so many lessons to teach him.. so we are pretty much having a lesson with him every night:) But what a blessing this is! :) We are so happy for Wes and this decision is making! We are starting to plan it and it is just such a miracle. Wes is a man who didn’t even believe in God... he had no relationship with Him. And now look at him! He is on his way to salvation, to be with Heavenly Father forever. Honestly, being a missionary brings me so much joy. The happy moments make all the home sickness, the hard bike rides in the cold wind, and the heart breaks all worth it! Wes is coming unto Christ, he is so incredible! WHOOO!! That is the most exciting thing to happen this weed:)          
     Another thing that is pretty exciting is a bet/goal I made with Wes:) You all know how much I love chocolate. The whole mission knows as well haha. All the members know, and our investigators as well. I am a sugar addict! Even more so on the mission because it does make me happy. So, we had a lesson with Wes on the word of wisdom and we just talked about how hard it will be to follow that but we know we will be blessed:) Well, Wes always makes fun of me for my sugar addiction, so I told him I will go off sugar for these next 2 weeks leading up to his baptism as long as he keeps the word of wisdom. It will be a struggle for both of us but I know we can both do it:) He told me though if I eat candy, then he is done and his salvation is in my hands. Oooh the pressure is on me haha:) I love Wes! He is worth to stop eating treats for... at least leading up to his baptism:) Man, this is going to be hard!! Wes is worth it though!:) Pray for me, this week will be hard.:) 
           Oh! We did catch another fly and tried to tie a string to it so we could have him as a pet... it didn’t work out. Oh well:)
           As Thanksgiving is approaching next week it really makes me think of all I am grateful for, but the top things are my family and this gospel. We are so blessed to have this knowledge in our lives. It can be hard, and there will be trials, but with the help of the Lord, we can get through anything. We are so blessed to know how much our Heavenly Father loves us, and that he wants to give us all He can. I am also so thankful for Jesus Christ, for without him I wouldn’t be able to return to my Heavenly Father and I wouldn’t be with my family forever. It wouldn’t be heaven without my family.
A huge birthday shout out to Kylie:) Can't believe you are 18! Stop getting so old! Love you Ky Bug:)
           I love you all so much!!:) Have a good week:) Just know I am here freaking out for my first baptism! Haha:) AHHH I am just so excited!!

Trying to put a leash on him. He wasn't for it haha :)
Ohio has the strangest street names. Turkey Legs? Really? Happy Thanksgiving I guess haha!
FIRST DAY OF SNOW! Sister Jensen and I were pumped :)
My cute Thanksgiving package from my mommy :)

Monday, November 10, 2014

Chocolate is a Sin.

You guys… riding bikes in skirts is the biggest struggle of my life. It has never really been that big of an issue until this week. Ha I was just riding my bike Tuesday having a grand old time then all of the sudden my bike stopped. It just stopped! What the heck? I yelled to Sister Horsley and I jumped off my bike and the moment I did I knew what was up. My skirt was all wedged and stuck in my wheel. Haha I have heard horror stories of this happening to Sisters. Sister Horsley thought we would for sure have to cut my skirt. But luckily, it came out. No holes in the skirt either! I was pretty lucky:) Until it happened again… and again. Are you kidding me?! This all happened in like a 30 minute period as well. But still, no holes in the skirt. Just some grease but it is still wearable!:) But still, it wasn’t fun. That would happen to me haha. So that was the adventure for the beginning of the week.
Oh my goodness! We taught Wes the plan of salvation and it was the best lesson yet. He loved it! He said it brought him so much peace... and it was funny cause we showed him some bible verses about the plan and he was like “There it is! Right there! Out of the same bible all other religions read.” He is finally starting to get it:) That this church is the same church Christ established when he was on the earth. This is the true church! We can see him believing in Heavenly Father, and gaining a relationship with Him. Wes is just so amazing!:) He also has been reading a lot of the BOM! He is doing all the needs to do to find out if this church is true. We call it CPR: Church, Prayer, and Reading.
There is a woman in our ward who has had seizures her whole life. Well, she just had a brain surgery so we went to see her. She is so amazing! She has the best attitude in the world. It makes me feel sheepish when I complain about things because she is going through so much and hardly complains. She says some people have it worse. I am like wow you are incredible. She is also the coolest:) We love hanging out with her! She is just so happy, I mean some of that is probably the drugs she is on... haha but hey! She is still fun to be around:) It was funny because we had a Zone Meeting Wednesday morning and we were supposed to get our commissary. So that is when we order stuff like Book of Mormons and pass along cards and stuff. The zone leaders had it all packed in their car ready to give to us and they went out to their car in the morning to drive to Zone Meeting and their car was gone. Haha. Turns out it got towed! Therefore, we didn’t get the stuff we ordered. I just think it is so funny their car got towed. Hey! Even things like that happen to missionaries! Oh hey did you no Mormons can’t have chocolate? Haha I mean obviously I didn’t know we couldn’t cause I eat chocolate all day every day. Haha we have had like 5 people this week ask us about chocolate, and not offering us any because we can’t have it because of the caffeine. I just think it is the funniest thing ever! Seriously? Ha I guess I have sinned a lot eating chocolate… it is just so funny what people believe about Mormons:)
We made dinner this week for Sister Midgley and we used my mom’s good old rice and chicken casserole recipe. Yum! It actually ended up really yummy I was pleased with it:) Obviously Sister Horsley and I are professional cooks. Haha not really. But it did taste good and that is all that counts:) She really appreciated it too. I love doing service for people. Even if it is just a simple dinner, it just makes you so happy:)
Sister Horsley’s birthday was Friday. I think birthdays are a big deal so I tried to make it as birthday-ee as possible. Haha. When you are on a mission your birthday is just like any other day. But we tried to make it fun and special:) We opened some of the letters and presents she got in the morning which was fun!:) We also made some funny videos, and played card games during lunch. Haha sounds like a good birthday to me:) Oh, and I took her to dinner at Carabbas. You hardly ever get to go to a nice restaurant on the mission so it felt really special:) Later we went to Steak n’ Shake and met Ryan and Tristan there. It was funny though cause we sit down and the table behind us starts going “oh my goodness. Have you ever heard of Mormons? They are so crazy.” These people were talking way loud and saying all these things! I was feeling so awkward... I didn’t know what to do in that situation. So we turn around and they are members haha. We met them like a month ago. They are super nice and they bought Sister Horsley a milk shake!:) Anyway we had milk shakes with Ryan and Tristan and it totally looked like a date. Sister Horsley was freaking out, but I thought it was hilarious. After Ryan told us his story about how he became a Christian. Overall, I feel like Sister Horsley had a great birthday:) It is fun because I benefit too! haha.
It is Stake Conference week here in Ohio! Yay! Saturday night we had an adult session which all the missionaries were allowed to go to. Boy, am I grateful I was allowed to go because it was AMAZING! And Wes was there so that made it great as well:) Sister Johnson spoke, she just joined the church 40 days ago. Her talk was just so incredible. She talked about never giving up, which is always a good reminder, especially on a mission, because at times I really do want to give up and just go home. But the Lord wants me here hastening his work, and I will “go where he wants me to go, say what he wants me to say, be what he wants me to be.” I love this gospel! President and Sister Daines spoke as well on members working with the missionaries. Do you guys even realize how important members are in conversion? Seriously. I never realized that until I came on my mission. You have no idea how valued members are. It is amazing!:) Elder Seldon of the 70 spoke with us as well. Oh boy did the spirit testify of truth when he spoke. He spoke of Joseph, and my mind went back to Heritage Tours, and my testimony of Joseph Smith grew even more. He said a quote by Elder Eyring that said “I am becoming to know the Savior.” While we are here on earth that is what we are doing, becoming to know the Savior, becoming who He wants us to be, becoming instruments in His hands. How incredible is this gospel? It is true. There is no way it isn’t true. As Elder Holland has said and I do not know the exact quote but it is something like, “I did not give my life for a fairy tale.” It all relates to us, the church is a lifelong commitment of callings, and serving, and everything else! We did not give our lives for a fairy tale. This is real. We will return to our Father in Heaven one day, and we will get to live with him forever. We will get to hug our brother Jesus and thank him for his everlasting atonement. We will get to live with our families forever. We gave our lives for the truth.
I love this gospel so much. I am so blessed to be a missionary. It is the hardest thing I have ever done, and I still have 16 more months which feels like forever haha but, this is the only time in my life where I am 100% dedicated to the Lord. This is truly His work, and I am so happy to be a part of it. I hope everyone has a good week this week:) Love you all!

First time...
Round 2.
THIS IS WES! He is so amazing! We are still counting on the 6th for him but we will see :) He comes to church every week though and we meet with him like four times a week! We love him!! :)
He has a sick Mustang.
Happy Birthday Sister Horsley! :)

Monday, November 3, 2014

Happy Halloween... and Stuff.

Did you know that if you catch a fly, put it in the freezer, let it freeze, then tie a string on it that the fly will un thaw and you will have a fly on a leash? Haha it’s true! So Sister Horsley and I attempted it :) We caught a fly it was a big one too (they are usually the dumbest) and put it in the freezer! Unfortunately, we let it freeze for too long so we killed him, but, if you don’t over freeze him then you can totally have a pet fly! How cool is that?! Ohh boy we did so much yard work Monday. Sister Horsley and I were both so so tired after that but it was worth it! Helping people is the best!:) But who knew that pulling weeds could literally take everything out of you. Transfers are this week… but Sister Horsley and I are pretty much positive we are staying here in Hayden Run and together! Yay!:) I love this area. I for sure am not ready to leave.         
Crazy things are happening with investigators.. we went to go see Richard and when he walked out he was totally dumping us! NOOO! He was pretty much telling us how he didn’t want to meet anymore when all of the sudden he started asking questions about our religion and becoming really intrigued. He asked A LOT of questions about Joseph Smith, and that is because his neighbor (a former investigator) is totally Anti- Mormon so he had a lot of interesting questions for us. Can I just say I am so grateful for Heritage Tours, because a lot of the questions he asked were latter day church history questions. Sister Horsley was very impressed with me because I could answer most all of them :) I told her that is what I get when I am on a bus for 6 hours every day for 3 weeks with nothing to do but to read about all the history sites haha:) Man, I love Heritage Tours. Anyway, so then Richard asked us when we could come back and talk more! What the heck. First he was dumping us, and then he asked US to come back? He has never asked us before! Usually we have to ask him! Miracles I tell ya. Miracles. The Lord is just so good to us:) Looks like you all will be hearing more about Richard:) I have more Wes stories no worries:) He is progressing SO WELL! Oh my goodess! He makes me love being a missionary! We had a lesson with him on the Restoration, and boy did he soak it all in. We watched the Restoration with him and the spirit was so strong. I do not think he knows how to recognize it yet, but he knew he felt something. Brother Hammond told a story about the priesthood and he said he felt the spirit during that story, and he could recognize it. We extended baptism to him and he said he wants to know if the church is true first. He does not want to jump into anything, which is totally understandable. But he said if he did know he would totally be baptized! The spirit was there:) We are so excited for Wes. We told him as he continues to read to BOM he will know. He knows how to build the faith he has:) It was a great lesson! And he is coming to church Sunday! Yay!
P-Day this week was fantastic. We stayed in our jammies until like 2:30, haha it was so great. We made cinnamon rolls for breakfast, did our study and watched The Testament. It was so chill! We also took like an hour nap which is always so nice:) Then we headed to Target and did some shopping. I bought the cutest cheetah cardigan. I have recently decided that cheetah is a neutral, it goes with everything. Target has way cute clothes right now, it is hard being on a budget! Haha:) We also got some new candles, they are Christmasy smelling:) We came home to our apartment sink having a leak. Of course. I swear nothing goes right in this apartment. It is a struggle. On the bright side though we are not being transferred:) yay! I am happy to be staying here with Sister Horsley. There are still things I need to do in this area and people to teach!
Sister Horsley and I have been listening to Christmas music all week. We like to set the mood, chirstmas music+candle= perfection haha. Literally every chance we get music is playing and a candle is lit. It makes us feel like we are at home!:) Can you believe it is the end of October? AHHH!! Where has time gone? Halloween is among us! It is funny because here in Ohio each city has a designated night for trick or treating. So even though Halloween is Friday, the kids in Hilliard are trick or treating Thursday, and they go on Thursday every year. Weird, I know haha. Halloween is Halloween! But whatever, it is still crazy it is Halloween! I remember last year like it was yesterday... Morgan and I dressed up like Harry Potter:) Good times.. but yeah by the time you read this it will be November! What?! Craziness.
Gosh, you have days on the mission where you just get nothing done, and it is awful. That was Thursday. It felt like it was 10000 hours long. Not to mention it was freezing. We went to see people for 3 hours and 2 people answered. And when they did it was like for 2 seconds. It was awful. So to cheer us up we went and saw Ryan. We chilled with him for a little bit then left when the trick or treaters came. Because it was their designated day, oh and they also have a designated time… they can only trick or treat from 6-8. So dumb. I love that even though we stopped teaching Ryan we are still buds with him. Sister Horsley and I were really looking forward to our lesson with Wes later! Are you sick of hearing Wes stories yet?:) Well, I am sure there will be PLENTY more to come:) On Thursdays we have BOM study with Wes where we can just read and share what we learned and stuff it is fun! When we were closing up Wes was telling us how he is excited for church and how he loves church! But then he was saying how he has been trying to find God for a while, and that he is so grateful Sister Horsley and I came knocking on his door, and how he is so grateful for the members. Then he said something that touched me, because it made me remember why I am a missionary. He said “I thank Heavenly Father for you two, and I feel like you two didn’t get transferred because I need you.” That line right there is what missionary work is about. Helping people come unto Christ. Helping them find God. Where ever the missionary may be, people are searching and it is our honor to be representatives of Christ to go find those people so they can be blessed. Wes is just so incredible. I am so grateful for him!
Eek! Halloween was fun! We did some swell Halloween festivities:) We got some pumpkin spice sparkling cider, and some cute Halloween cups and toasted to Halloween which is always fun, and we did our home made photo booth!:) Pictures inserted below haha:) We also “carved” pumpkins! Ok well... we really just drew on them with marker but hey close enough:) We tried to make Halloween festive and fun:) Especially because no one answered their doors that day:( AGAIN! Oh, and it was freezing cold. But hey! Still lovin’ the workJ
Wes came to church on Sunday! YAY! He loves church:) He really enjoyed testimony meeting. Later we taught him a lesson on recognizing the spirit, and he said he will work towards getting baptized December 6! SO EXCITING!!!:) It is cool because Sister Horsley and I found him, and he has progressed so much in just the short 2 weeks we have been teaching him. THIS IS SO AMAZING!:) 
Well everyone, I have made it through one transfer. What a blessing missionary work is. I am loving it! Hope you all had a fantastic weekJ Thanks for all you do!:) LOVE YOU!

Photo booth test-run picture... we were excited.

Companionship love. She was amused. 
Love her!
This was my beautiful missionary pumpkin. Isn't he cute? :)