Monday, December 30, 2013

Hectic Holidaze



Dearest Family,

    Well I saw you guys this week!!!! :D It was a bunch of fun to face-time everyone and see you all! I was surprised I didn't cry until after! All the other sisters in my district said they cried the entire time during their Skype. I love you all and miss you all! 

This week was RANDOM!

     So last Monday, you know how I said we were going to go ice skating?...Well that didn't happen. When we got to the rink, it was packed full of people! We decided it wouldn't be safe because some of us didn't really know how to skate (me) and it was too easy to get separated from your companion.  We decided to walk to BYU campus and go bowling we started walking and realized it was a lot farther than we thought...then we found a bus stop with a bus coming towards us that has "BYU CAMPUS" flashing across the top, so we made a split second decision and all got on the bus. When we finally got to the bowling alley on campus it was awesome because we found out that missionaries bowl for free! We had a lot of fun, and I got a strike on my first try!...but it was beginners luck because I kept getting gutter balls after that...I bowled a 50 and rocked it!                                                                                               
                                                                                                          Guessing my gift like Dad does!
    Christmas Eve was a fun day. Most of the day we spent at a less actives’ home helping her wrap presents and clean her house. She just had surgery so she was struggling to get around and we just helped her. Then we had dinner at a home where their son was in town and he was less active and his wife wasn't a member. We had a fun time getting to know them and sharing a Christmas message. Then we spent the evening at the H home. Bro Hair is one of our mission leaders and he's the best! While everyone at home was fighting over presents I was sitting in a "shock" circle in the H living room. They had one of those devices that shocks you and makes your arm go all dead and tingly and we played with that for seriously an hour and laughed our heads off. Everybody thought I reacted the funniest to it, and they kept putting the shocking pads on me; on my arms, legs, the back of my neck, my forehead....I thought I might have a seizure or something! But I was fine and it was a lot of fun. We shared a Christmas message with them and then sang a bunch of Christmas carols. That night we got a gift from a sweet lady in  one of our wards. She owns the cutest print shop and she's this really fashionable classy lady. She gave us super cute sweaters. I love my pajama pants by the way! They were so comfy and warm! :) We laughed when we saw what was on them, 'cause Sis A. and I have been trying to help each other diet, and I said "If I can't eat sweets, I might as well wear them!" The next morning (Christmas morning) for exercise we opened presents! Thank you so much for all the gifts! They were perfect & what I needed.  Shout out to all the relatives who sent gifts too! Like Sharee, Grandma and pa Merkley for the necklace, Grandma and pa for the money and G-pa's testimony, the Giles, and Aunt Mindy. Also tell the ward thank you for all the cards and snowflakes! They are all hanging from my ceiling in the apartment. It was fun opening presents together.  Then after we studied we got ready for the day.  Then I face-timed you guys!!! That was great! I had been feeling a little homesick and seeing you guys made it a lot better. I felt like it was just enough to tide me over until the next time I can Skype you. 

      Christmas Day was spent visiting members’ homes, and our investigators who had invited us over.    The rest of this week was anticlimactic. It was hard because a lot of appointments fell through and a lot of people are getting sick here. Though a lot of the snow is melting there is still a lot of ice all over and it's freezing at night when we are out walking. But yesterday it had melted enough to ride our bikes a little bit again.

    So today we are going to a Painting of Christ Art Tour with all the sisters in our zone. I'm excited because I love looking at art and I heard it was really good! So I'm stoked!

Gift from my brother Carl!
    So G, our golden investigator, has stopped contacting us and we're super sad :( We're still praying for him a lot and hoping he comes back and wants to continue towards baptism.
    This week I learned a lot about putting all my trust and my will into God's hands. You should see if you can find the talk "The Fourth Missionary." It's amazing. It totally changed my perspective and helped me realize how much I need to improve and how much I need to just let go of absolutely EVERYTHING and let God be in control. I like being in control. I'm stubborn. I want to decide for myself what's best for me. But what's best for me is letting God decide what's best for me. It's scary to let go of control. But I've done it before. Especially when I was deciding to serve a mission, I kind of let myself drop into free fall and let God catch me. It's the same out here on my mission and for the rest of my future... The only way to know who I am and who I can become is to let God mold and shape me. The only way to become like Him is to let Him change me completely. If I don't come back from my mission completely changed, practicing meekness, humility, diligence, patience, charity, obedience, faith, hope and every other Christ-like Attribute...then I failed. I'll never be perfect, but if I haven't mastered the game-plan to work towards eventual eternal perfection, then serving a mission profited me and others nothing. I'm working on it. It won't happen all at once. But I'm striving to let God be in control and to be a devoted missionary in heart, mind, might and strength.
     This church is true and God loves us. I love you all and I'm so thankful for the knowledge of eternal families. I miss you and pray for you daily.
Love Forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer                                             Traditional picture with the Christmas gifts!


Thank you for all the letters this week too! I'll try and write you all back ASAP! I have a lot of thank-you notes to get out! 

Merry Christmas


Dearest Family!
Merry Christmas!!!!
    This week has been a crazy roller-coaster. 

    This week was Zone Conference on Wednesday and we got to hear from Elder Arnold of the Seventy. It was a really long meeting, but it was AMAZING! Elder Arnold was super intense and he really inspired us to make and keep goals and plan more effectively! All the sisters also had to be to the meeting super early in the morning to have an extra meeting with Elder Arnold's wife. It was a really spiritual experience, and Elder Arnold said a lot of things through inspiration and it was epic!...

 The Christmas Zone Conference was this Saturday and it was so fun! David Glenn Hatch, the famous pianist was a guest performer and played a ton of amazing Christmas piano music. It was so inspiring to watch... and it looked like his fingers probably got really tired. But we got a picture with him and it was cool! He was a great guy and a musical genius! Then we had lunch and the talent show! I didn't end up singing in the talent show because I didn't get the cd from you guys until later that night! So I'll save it for a different time! The talent show was hilarious...They had High School Musical dance routines, chipmunk-voice 12 days of Christmas, and then Elder H organized his own Christmas dub step song that everyone about died laughing at!  There was lots of singing and a kazoo band too! Then we got to actually watch a movie...which felt really weird.... but it was fun! We watched Up, and I forgot how funny that movie was! Then we opened gifts and took a ton of pictures! Thank you so much for the gifts! I loved the healthy snacks! (Thank you SO much for not sending me candy!) and I loved the necklace and everything else! It was perfect! Also thanks for all the letters in the package and memories and missionary experiences! They made me tear up a bit and laugh when remembering them.
      So our golden investigator G didn't end up getting baptized this week :( At the beginning of the week he was doing REALLY well and super excited! We had it all planned out and then on Thursday he had a really hard day and was fighting with his dad, and when we went to see him he smelled like smoke and kind of brushed us off and said he was busy. We asked if he had smoked and he said he had... so we told him we had to push his date, because he couldn't smoke for at least a week before his baptism...We were really bummed that he brushed us off and wouldn't talk to us...It was really hard and you just feel heart-broken. I really love and care for these people. It's so hard when they make mistakes and lose hope. I want so badly to help them but sometimes they won't let us and it hurts a lot. He texted us yesterday and says he wants to continue so we are going to go see him tonight and hopefully set a new date for his baptism.
    Sis A and I get along amazingly!  Sis A is super silly and she has been telling me stories about how many times she's broken bones because she has five brothers. She's a good singer, so on Christmas Eve we are singing a duet at a family’s house for their nativity program and dinner. At night when we're walking home and it's really cold (It snowed AGAIN!!!!....and it's still snowing outside right now!) we try to distract ourselves by linking arms, huddling really close, and then singing "Angels We Have Heard On High" at the top of our lungs...super super loud...and harmonizing in really creative ways haha! It's great! 

    We gave talks yesterday in a ward Christmas program. I read the poem you sent that I wrote because it went along with my topic, and afterward a bunch of people came up to me about it. One man asked for a copy of it and so I gave him my paper copy because I have it on my ipad, and a couple other people asked for copies too....
    This Christmas has been VERY different than what I'm used to. Obviously I'm not at home or out buying gifts or participating in traditions with you all, but in some ways this Christmas has been the best because I've never felt so close to Christ, and I've seen such an outpouring of service from the members towards the missionaries. Everyone wants to take care of us for Christmas. People bring by food, offer rides, help us with service, organize activities, and so much more. I've seen a lot of service and love in action this Christmas and it has been so humbling. I'm so grateful for all the people who try so hard to make us have a good Christmas. I'm just glad I get to skype you and see you all. That's all I want for Christmas. This Christmas I've really realized Christ's sacrifice for us. The atonement usually goes with Easter, but just Christ's life in general has meant so much to me this Christmas. To remember the spirit of Christmas we need only drop the last syllable and it becomes the spirit of Christ. Pres. Monson is a genius! I miss you all so much and I love you so much! I'll talk to you in two days!!! I'm so stoked!
    Merry Christmas!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer


My district is about to go iceskating...I'm clumsy enough as it is...why on earth would they put blades on my feet...Well this mission I've faced a lot of fears... here goes another one...I'm probably going to spend the next hour on my behind or on the wall of the rink. Wish me luck! 

Christmas is no time to diet!


Dear Family, friends, loyal subjects, slaves, and fans....
    Haha welcome to another segment of Sister Volmer's crazy adventure in Utah; land of the Christmas pageants, potatoes and gravy, and the ongoing conspiracy to make every missionary in the state of Utah obese!
     So, good news!!! I wasn't transferred! My address hasn't been changed and Sis Albrechtsen and I are still together! However we did switch districts, so our district leader is different, (He is the sweetest guy ever!) but not much else has changed. We also got a new Zone Leader named Elder Kartchner...he's Elder Harpole's new companion...the both of them teamed up....Oh my goodness, it's like TWO Elder Harpoles!!! They are hilarious and keep us entertained for a long time! But they are also super spiritual and powerful when they teach! We are so lucky to have the zone leaders we do!
You wouldn't believe how relieved a few of our investigators and mission moms were about us not getting transferred! Sis Woolley was texting us all morning saying "Have they called yet? Have they called yet?" haha. Mom and dad, you might need to look out, I've had three different offers of families wanting to adopt me...I don't know why...hahahaha! But we have lots of different ladies who have designated themselves as our mothers and make sure we have rides everywhere in the snow and that we don't go unfed and that we are warm... everyone makes sure we don't go unfed....I'm super grateful and it saves me a lot of grocery money...but when you have thanksgiving every night for dinner, I've gotta say on the meals we don't get fed, I just don't eat because I'm dreading the feeling of being stuffed later...I used to love food...I still kind of do...but when I'm super full and can't be rude....oh man I dread it...especially on the terrible days when we have two dinners lined up...I dread those days! All I eat at my apartment are apples and bagels...
    So the Riley Family made me Rice-a-roni on Tuesday!!! When she told me she emailed you about it I laughed really hard! It was so great! But because it was so cold on Tuesday that power cut out for an hour and a half so we ate dinner by candle light. What's even funnier is last night, the family we had dinner with made Rice-a-roni too!! I was like "Did you email my mom too!?" and the lady was like "" hahaha
     We've been going to Dragon House (The best Asian restaurant in the world! The owner promised me a job there if I come back to go to BYU) And we are teaching the owner's wife Terry. She is the sweetest nicest woman ever! She is this short Asian girl who has the biggest heart and she loves the missionaries. She loves the positive influence of the Mormons in her neighborhood on her family and she goes to church all the time. We just need to teach her the lessons! She has made pets of all the missionaries in our zone and we leave her little notes and tips whenever she serves us! She's always begging for us to come and visit her and we love her to death! We sing for her too and everyone in the restaurant gives us funny looks but it's great! 

    We've been going to a million ward Christmas parties and meeting so many members that I can't keep them all straight...When you're over 14 wards it's a little difficult to memorize names so I just smile and wave at people and talk to them. We speak in church a lot and teach Relief Society every now and then...we even taught part of the lesson for the High Priests...that was fun! We've had so many invites for Christmas that we don't know who to say yes to. It will be a busy day but it will be fun! I know I'll really miss being home for Christmas but everyone has been so kind to us here and helpful in making sure we have a great Christmas
     Our investigator who is on date for this Saturday, G, got really sick this past week with a fever and his mind is still healing from craving drugs constantly. We had Bro. W and his son T (The one who just came back from Armenia and served with the Eyres. No I didn't get to see the Eyres but we sent them a pic!) Both of them gave G a blessing. We don't know if we will be able to squeeze the rest of the lessons in by Saturday so we might need to push his date to the 28th :( sad! We're going to see him tonight and see what we can do!
    I'm not going to lie, this week was a little crazy for me. I remember right before I left on my mission I couldn't feel anything...I just felt numb. I didn't feel homesick, sad, excited, nervous, anything. It lasted all through the MTC and into the mission field. I was so surprised that I wasn't homesick as much as I thought I would be and that I hadn't was weird. But this last week I think my emotional teenage girl kicked in for no flippin reason! Maybe it's the fact that it's natural for missionaries to feel some stress and tension, but my body didn't know how to release stress...My usual ways are singing at the top of my lungs in the kitchen for two hours or more, reading a book that I can get lost in, writing, or taking a quick nap....I can't do any of those things on the mission...but I felt emotional for some crazy reason and didn't know how to release it.  Sis Albrechtsen is so in tune with the spirit she just took one look at me and said "Sis Volmer, are you okay?"  I kept telling her I was fine, but she kept asking and asking as if she just KNEW that I wasn't... My tear-ducts rebelled and I started crying for no reason.  We had a good long talk, it was a good stress release, and I feel we are much closer.
     For the millionth time I must say I love being a missionary. I've been working on Christ-like attributes from Preach My Gospel and this week has been a growing one for me. We always share Christmas messages with member families and instead of saying "Remember to give on Christmas" and "The true meaning of Christmas is to remember Christ's birth” we instead tie it back to the atonement and the reason Christ came to this earth in the first place. We've been teaching the atonement a lot this last week and the more I learn about it the more it blows my mind what Christ did for us. The most perfect, pure, kindest, sincerest person on the face of this planet had to feel everything in order make it possible for us to return to the Lord's presence someday. Not just the hurt and pain that comes from sadness and mistakes and disappointment. He had to feel what it was like inflict that pain on others. He had to feel what it was like to rob, molest, murder, and destroy. Our most pure older brother had to feel what it was like to commit even the vilest of sins. The more I think of it the more it overwhelms me and makes me so eternally grateful for what he did not just for me, but for every single hurt and lost person I meet out here on my mission. He heals them. I'm so grateful for His sacrifice when I see the healing power of His atonement wash over those who accept this gospel in their life.
    I hope this Christmas season you remember Christ in every aspect of His life and in yours. What role has he played in everything you've ever done or experienced? I miss you all and pray for you every single day. I hope you have a Merry Christmas and remember that the Spirit of Christmas is the Spirit of Christ. I love you!
Love,  Sister Lenise Volmer
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Friday, December 13, 2013

Winter Wonderland

Dear family!!!
      Thank you soooooo much for the Christmas tree you sent me! It seriously made me SO happy! Sis Albrechtsen just kept laughing at me as I excitedly decorated it.  I got Sharee's presents in the mail, but no worries I won't open them like I accidently did grandma Merkley's...but I don't regret opening grandma Merkley's because they have come in handy this week SO MUCH! It snowed aaaallll day last Tuesday which means no bikes until this snow all melts! It snowed again all day Saturday too!  So we just get layers of ice and snow ice and snow. Don't worry I'm keeping warm mom :) So no bikes. Thank heavens. I'm pretty sure I would biff it like crazy if we had to keep riding them! We are supposed to get transfer calls any minute now...but we are still waiting for the phone to ring and tell us! GAH! Driving me crazy waiting. I really don't want to transfer. I'm finally getting to a point where I understand all the streets and I'm just barely getting down names of all the people, and I'm still figuring things out and Sis Albrechtsen is still teaching me new stuff, so I'm really hoping I don't get transferred! :( 
    Last Monday after emails was a zone activity and I don't think I've ever laughed that hard on the mission!! We played "Whose Line is it Anyways" and I'm pretty sure Elder H and I dominated!!  Nobody could guess who we were!! We got so into it, and Sis Albrechtsen was like "Sis Volmer, I don't think I've ever seen you like that before! I've learned something new about you today!"  I love Sis Albrechtsen! We've been getting a lot closer and we crack jokes a lot now and make weird faces at each other...if we end up staying together for transfers, we are going to send out an awesome Christmas card together! warned.... 
     We went on exchanges again this week with the STL's, and I was with Sister J.  She is AWESOME! I love her! She's from Germany and she is the sweetest girl ever! She and I have a ton in common so we talked and talked the entire time we were together!  They celebrate St. Nicholas day in Germany, so she got a package with a bunch of gifts in it while we were together and she let me try some of her German cookies and stuff and they were really good! She told me a bunch of the original Grimm fairytales and they are seriously creepy but so interesting! She says they are really common in Germany, and nobody thinks they are creepy because "In Germany maybe it's common for us to think that if you do something bad you get morbidly punished

    We had a Zone training meeting this week also which was so spiritual! We all bore testimony on Christ, and the spirit was so thick in the room you could cut it with a knife! I'm seriously serving with some of the best missionaries and people I have ever met! It has been such a privilege to get to know them all.
    Earlier this week we met this Bazillion woman who is less active and she is the BEST cook.  She is really funny and loud and just loved to chat our ears off. Everyone here is so kind to us! We had dinner last night with the Hegsted family! The dad, Bro. Hegsted is HILARIOUS and the whole meal reminded me of home so much! They were such a great family and all the kids would tease us and laugh with us.  And then as we were walking out the door Bro. Hegsted pulls out a sharpie and asks me what my first name is...and then he signs a print of this beautiful painting that I've seen before and absolutely love. It's actually one of my favorite ones...and then I stared at it...then at him...and then at it again...and then I was like "Oh my gosh! You painted this???? No way!!!" He got all embarrassed and just shrugged it off and showed us some of his other paintings. I was so amazed! It was cool to see his work and he was so humble about it! After spending all dinner with this guy who made me laugh so much, and then realizing his talent, It was just such a special moment, and the spirit in that home was so great. I hope I can raise a family like that :)
    Here on the mission I see so many families who have the gospel, but still fall apart. Kids fall away, or parents fall away, and judgment gets in the way of the light of the gospel. It makes me so sad, and it worries me about becoming a mother some day in a world where there is so much wickedness and so much temptation. It makes me scared to have kids. But when I see families like that where they love each other, get along, and they are all best friends, it makes me have so much hope. I want so badly to raise a family like the one I was raised in, where I was best friends with my siblings and we would build off each other's testimonies... I see both sides here and it makes me want to work harder to become more like my Savior and be the best missionary I can be, so that later I can be the best daughter I can be, the best sister I can be, the best mother I can be, and the best me I can be.
     Last night was the Christmas Devotional, and at first we thought we wouldn't be able to watch it. There's a family called the B Family, who we've been teaching their daughter Emily. They are all active, but Emily is only 12 and she's been struggling ever since her older brother died of an overdose. It was really hard for their family, and their other son Dustin who has down-syndrome still doesn't completely understand that his older brother is gone. We've been teaching them the entire time I've been here and I've watched as Emily has blossomed and her testimony has resurfaced. Their family is amazing and I was talking to the mother the other week about how we light candles and pop popcorn and watch the devotional. I told her how sad I was that I couldn't watch it this year.      Then somehow we got permission and the B family invited us over. Sis. B was so nice and she turned off the lights, except for a few lamps, and popped me popcorn. I was so grateful that I got a little teary, and it was all amazing. Sometimes you can still feel the pain they feel over their son, but I felt so prompted that their son was there and that he loved them and the spirit was so strong in their home as we talked about the atonement after the devotional. I sang Savior Redeemer of My Soul for them after we had an in depth discussion on the atonement and it was really a special night. 

Our golden investigator G is doing great!! He's still on date for Dec 21st and he's invited a lot of his friends to come to his baptism.  He's really ready for a change and every time we teach him, Sis A and I are overwhelmed by his faith and the spirit we feel with him. We always come back from his lessons on spiritual highs. I hope I get to stay and teach him more!
     It's so humbling to be a missionary. Every time people pray for us I get really emotional. We have so much love and we are so blessed. I absolutely love this work and the spirit it brings. As Christmas comes I miss my family more and more, but they are taking good care of us here, so please don't worry. I can't wait to Skype you on Christmas! I love you so so so much! I hope you all know that I have a cemented testimony of this gospel. I know it's the truth. I know my Savior lives. I know God loves us. Merry Christmas! Until next week!
All my love,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Wednesday, December 4, 2013

Lenise enjoys Thanksgiving


Dearest Family of Mine!
    This past week has been rather adventurous indeed! It was actually really nice outside all this last week, even warm some days, and it was beautiful bike riding weather! I'm starting to enjoy riding my bike more and more and it's becoming a fun way to look at the sky and see the mountains. (I love my mountains here! Sis A and I talk a lot while riding our bikes and we sing every now and then too while riding and that's a lot of fun! 
    There's this amazing thing that I realized yesterday...My milk is ALL MINE! Sis A is allergic so she drinks coconut milk, and I have my own jug all to myself...I've been drinking out of a cup this entire time...and I just realized that I can MUG THE MILK all I want! Wahahaha! (evil laugh implied) It' is a great thing indeed....
    Earlier this week we went over to this older guy's house. He's in his eighties at least and he's from Europe and he has the most awesome French Accent ever! His name is Ivan and he always wears barrettes and flirts shamelessly with Sis A! It's hilarious! Once he kissed her on the cheek before she could even realize what he was doing! She scolded him a lot about that and told him he could give her a hug in 13 months! Hahaha we had a good laugh about that! Well Ivan is amazing because he is a world famous violin maker! He's made hundreds of them and they are amazing sounding and really expensive. He's studied in musical conservatories all over the world and sold violins all over the world! He showed us a few of them and showed us a dvd of BYU students playing his instruments. He's catholic but we're trying to change that ;) But he's very stubborn. Sis A leaked that I could sing and he had me stand up and sing for him right then. I was super nervous because he's this famous musician and violin maker and I'm just a missionary straight out of high school! He just sat there with his eyes closed the whole time and then when I finished he says "You like Italy, no?" and I said "I wish I could go there some day." then he said "You go study in musical conservatory in Italy. You sing from diaphragm. They think you marvelous when you sing from diaphragm. Is very good.”  (She sang the song she sang at her farewell.”  He is such a sweet old man.
    At first I got a little homesick right before thanksgiving, because it was my first thanksgiving ever without my family. But once it rolled around it ended up being a really good day! In the morning we had a turkey bowl, and we played zone vs. zone. I was one of the few sisters who actually got out on the field and played! It was soooo much fun, and we played for 3 whole hours! Our mission president even showed up and played football with us and he ended up getting tackled by one of the elders. It was a super fun morning with all of my mission friends! I was super sore afterwards though! Both Sis A and I could barely get out of bed the next morning, our muscles were so sore! But it was fun, and afterwards the elders had a wrestling match and that was fun to watch and cheer for them. After that we had lunch with our landlords, the Dyers. Bishop Dyer is over one of our wards and they made a huge meal and gave us leftovers afterwards. They have a little granddaughter named Evelyn who is over every day and comes and knocks on our apartment door and we give her candy. She insisted on sitting next to us at the table and chatting our ear off! She's adorable. Then after the Dyers we got picked up by Sis. W (pretty much our mission mom!) Her, her husband, her two daughters, and her son who just got off his mission in Armenia came and got us, and took us into Provo where we had dinner with their very big family! It was great to eat with all of them because it actually felt normal to have so many people crowded in one house with a billion tables set up and everyone eating. That's what it's like at home for Thanksgiving so I was so glad that I felt comfortable there. They went out of their way for us and I'm so grateful. As you've probably seen on facebook, they recorded us singing Count Your Many Blessings with the Spanish Elders and posted it. Haha I love that family! They are amazing and help us so much with missionary work as well. After we ate with them, we were invited to a zone desert party at a member’s house.  We had fun laughing with the Elders and saying goodbye to visa-waiters who finally got their visa's to South America.

    This last Saturday was great, because we got to go caroling!! Our zone got together and we met by Cafe Rio and the market and we sang Christmas songs for a while...but it was so nice outside that we took all our coats off and Sis Child was wearing sunglasses, and we all felt a little ridiculous singing Christmas songs in the we switched to hymns
    Then after caroling...guess what....It was Bryan's Baptism!!! My very first convert baptism on my mission! It was amazing and so spiritual. I gave a talk on the Holy Ghost and Bryan Looked so happy afterwards. He got confirmed yesterday in church and it was an amazing experience.
     This gospel is so amazing. I love watching it make so many people happy and give them hope for their futures! If any of you get the chance read the talk "An High Priest of Good Things to Come" By Jefferey R. Holland. Nov. 1999.  There are good things to come in everyone's future. And to watch the gospel change lives and make people truly happy the way it does is amazing! For example, our amazing referral Gerry just got put on date for baptism yesterday. His testimony is already so strong and his desire so great. We put him on date for Dec. 21st but we're thinking about moving it sooner because he's so eager to be a member of the church! Looking back at my life I wish I would have let myself be happier during different growing experiences and moments for me. I wish I could tell myself "Don't you quit. You keep walking. There are good times ahead." just like Elder Holland says. I love you all so much and I'm so grateful for the love and support you each give me. I pray for you always and miss you tons! Hoorah For Israel!!
Love always and forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

I got this huge pretty advent calendar from aunt Mindy! Tell her thanks for me!!! haha but idk how I can pack it around, so she'll have to store it for me :) But transfers are happening next week and idk if I get transferred until next Monday...I'll keep you updated and let you know.

Friday, November 22, 2013

It's a Small World


Dear Family!!!
Note: no pictures...I forgot my camera cord :0(
Yet another insane week....what can I say???
      I can't believe I've been gone for a month now.... wow...doesn't feel like it. I can still remember everything so clearly from when I said goodbye to everyone and left, it feels like yesterday. Some days it feels super long, but then others fly by and it all seems like a blur. I get my days soooo confused here, it's crazy. The only day that's different is Sunday, and that's because it is the craziest day of our week! A day of rest? Um...NO!  
       Earlier this week was Zone conference which was super fun, because I ran into Sis Child (My mission best friend) again, and I also got to see Elder Griggs from my district in the MTC! Man I miss those guys! Zone conference was amazing and it lasted all day long. President McCune is so inspiring and amazing. He sets us all on fire with the drive to serve more and more! He sat next to us during lunch and laughed really hard with us. One of our zone leaders in named Elder Harpol, and he's been out 21 months. He is HILARIOUS and he does the best general authority impersonations I have ever heard! Even Pres. McCune was laughing and everyone kept looking at our table as if we were crazy, but we were really having the most fun!
    Then on Thursday, I went on exchanges with the STL's and my companion for the day was Sis Lopez. I went to her area where they teach in Spanish and it was an adventure. Sis Lopez is crazy!  She is so funny,  silly, and hyper and I had a lot of fun getting to know her and laughing with her a lot. She was so great. She scared me to death at one point because I had to go to the bathroom really bad while she was brushing her teeth so I went really fast and tried to get out fast so she could spit, and when I opened the door she ran at me growling and she looked like the was a rabid animal because she was foaming at the mouth. I screamed and then fell backwards laughing! I couldn't breathe I was laughing so hard! Then we were double booked for dinner that night....and that was interesting. I can't speak any Spanish so whenever she was teaching I would sit there and smile and nod like an idiot, and have no clue what was being said...I could pick up a few words and slightly follow the conversations but I couldn't speak it at all... but for dinner because she is Hispanic, she could eat what she wanted and decline any other food she wanted to...but because I'm white I had to eat EVERYTHING they served me!!! I about died!! The first dinner was HUGE!  And then I had to eat again at the next one.I've never ever been so full....Sis Lopez thought it was funny. 
    Then the next morning we woke up earlier than usual and went to one of the stake centers and did a hip-hop/kick-boxing workout with their district (kind of like Zumba) and it was super fun and such a good work out! Elder Harpol was there, and I can I just say it's really hard to work out when you're laughing hysterically with Sis Child as Elder Harpol chants "Work it! Work it girls! Punch! Punch!"  Oh it was a good day.
    So the fireside this week I'm not singing at but that's because we had a bit of a mix up with the guy who was helping us organize it. We have a ward mission leader who works for the church with online missionary work through social media. He has all these great programs and ways to be a missionary online and all these statistics on how we can clean out the internet from negative church info. We got to go to the big office and talk to him and others who are working on it and we got to be the companionship to introduce it to Pres. McCune. It is so AMAZING! We really wanted him to do a training at our fireside but the stake kind of freaked out that we missionaries wouldn't be talking enough so we're trying to still sort it all out. If you want to help out with missionary work, an easy way is to go to and it teaches you how! It's a great idea for mutual and they teach you how to teach others to do it too. They have a bunch of programs! Look into it! Some other sites that answer questions that nonmembers have are and and They are great sites!
     This Sunday we spoke in two wards, and as always we were pleading with them to do member missionary work. (NOTE: READ ELDER BALLARD'S TALK FROM THIS LAST GENERAL CONFERENCE AND TAKE THE CHALLENGE!!!!) After the sacrament meeting a 22ish year old girl came up to me and was really excited and was like "Are you Lenise Volmer from Washington???? Was your dad Bishop Volmer from back home??" and I said, "Yes.,.?" and she said "You probably don't remember me, but I was Sis. Call, and I served in your ward for the last 6 weeks of my mission. I was companions with Sis. Crandell." She told me about how she had texted Sis Crandell when I got up to speak and they both flipped out and then she made me give her my number and they are taking us out to lunch sometime this is such a small world...especially here in Utah!!!  I was really excited! I loved Sis Crandell, she was one of my favorites and I loved going on splits with her!
      Also, you will never guess who I met!!! In the ward I was speaking in, I met the mother of the five brothers who make KID HISTORY!!!  We talked to her for a long time and laughed a lot and she showed us a magazine with her sons on the front! She said we should have dinner at her house and I could meet them! I hope we get to! I was a little star struck and she thought it was so funny that I could quote Kid History. 

      We got a few new investigators this week, one of them being a little sweetheart named Grace who is 10, and her dad is coming back into activity. We are still working on Bryan from Ghana, so if you could pray for him, that'd be great. He loves the church organization and how faithful we are, and he's on date for baptism, but he's struggling on a testimony of the Book of Mormon. There is this hilarious couple here, who is less active and we are reactivating them, but you wouldn't believe their story. The guy, (Weston) served a mission and then when he got home he got into World of Warcraft online and was pretty addicted. While online he met Seraphina from Florida and started talking to her about the gospel over world of Warcraft!!!!  She was converted and then moved to Utah and they got married!!!! Bhahaha! I love it! I laughed so hard when they told me their story! It was great. But Seraphina's brother just visited here and he's super interested in learning about religion right now, so we are in contact with him. The work is beginning to pick up a bit, and I really really love it here. It's gorgeous and I'm going to be really sad when I leave. The church is so true and I love serving these people. I heard about mom's missionary moment on Facebook and I'm so proud! Keep it up all of you! I mean everyone! All my siblings, my parents, my friends, aunts, uncles, cousins, grandparents, anyone who reads this, please understand the importance of missionary work. It changes lives, it heals, and it means everlasting happiness. I can't keep this to myself, and neither should you. I love you all so much and miss you all! I wish I had more time to write because I feel like there is still so much to tell you! The light of the gospel is penetrating, far reaching, eternal and true. Spread it please!
      Off to start another hectic week! I love you! I love you all!
Thanks for being amazing examples and so supportive!

Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

p.s. I love the letters and cards! I wish I had time to write you all back so bad! It makes me sad I can't! I'll try....Thank you! Thank you! Thank you!

Mom’s note: I got a Facebook post from a Relief Society President in one of the wards where Lenise serves.  She said Lenise is happy and doing well.  The fireside they were in charge of was very successful and had 300+ youth come to hear her and her companion speak, and the spirit was strong.  Cool huh?

Wednesday, November 13, 2013

Getting stronger Physically & Spiritually

November 13, 2013

Dearest Family of mine!
     What can I say, it is insane here! When they say that missionaries are busy....they are seriously BUSY! 
     I'm slowly getting in bike shape. I can feel the muscles building stronger and it really helps. I just have to remind myself to look up while I ride and not stare at the pavement. I've found that it makes me enjoy the ride more when I look up at all the colorful autumn trees and the mountains. Sis Albrechtsen has been riding a bike her whole life so she is super speedy! She would get lost in thought and just be booking it on her bike and I would be waaay behind her before she realized it! haha She has since started to make me ride in front. She taught me the grid system of the streets this last week and I'm beginning to recognize my surrounding and understand how the street layouts work. Now if only I could memorize all the names of the people I meet! Oh goodness, but really it's coming easier and easier every day. I named my bike Helga...seriously my bike is the devil! haha it makes me laugh, but seriously it is! Its favorite thing to do is switch gears on me without my knowledge, the flat tire in the back loves to go flat, and it makes funny noises...haha but its got character! Maybe I should switch the name to Lucifer or something. Haha!
    On thanksgiving we still go out proselyting, and our host family has called dibs on feeding us Thanksgiving lunch, and I think another family has Thanksgiving dinner...I swear the people here feed us like we're starving...and we definitely are NOT!
      The work has been pretty slow here this week. Yesterday I was really bummed because Meriem, a girl we had on date to be baptized in December, dropped us completely. She just randomly texted us and told us she wasn't ready to commit and wanted to stop having lessons....It was hard...especially since I care so much about the people here. I love everyone so much that we meet and teach, and especially Meriem because she was progressing so when she texted and said that I was really sad. All we can do is keep praying for her and our other investigators. Our investigator from Ghana is getting baptized on Nov 30th though! Let’s hope he sticks with it!
    I had an experience this week that really stuck with me. It affected both me and Sis A. in different ways. We went to the home of the H. family, where the father was less active. We didn't know this at first actually, and thought he was just a nonmember. We asked if we could share a message with him and his daughter and son were there too. We asked him about what his views on religion were....he just went off! He wasn't yelling or anything, but he just started ranting about how religions were exclusionary, and how they took away individuality, and stuff like "What kind of Heavenly Father would send his children to hell just because they didn't know better!" and he didn't like the plan of salvation and how there were three different kingdoms and how that separates families, and he just went on and on and on. We tried to answer his questions and he kind of accused us of being brain washed, and asked how we could be ourselves if so much of the way we acted and were brought up relied on our religion and God. It was the strangest feeling...I felt just so sad...and it wasn't because I was getting a lecture, or even that his Logic made sense, or that his kids were sitting there and blindly agreeing with him. I had every reason to be frustrated and angry at what he was saying... But instead I had one of the most spiritual experiences of my life. I just felt this peace come over me, but also this intense sadness. It was as if Heavenly father were standing next to me with his arm around my shoulders...and I just kept hearing in my head "This is my son. This is my son and I love him." As a missionary I seem to see people the same way Heavenly father does. It's this new thing that I discovered once I came out here, but it's true. I just felt so heart broken, because sitting in front of me was my brother and he was just so so lost. He'd even served his own mission when he was younger and he'd converted people, and now he was just lost. I couldn't feel angry at what he was saying, I was just so sad. I just felt so sad that he knew the truth and he was denying it. I can't even explain to you how shattered I felt for him, and I can't even begin to comprehend the kind of love heavenly father has for him and the kind of sorrow He feels for his wayward son.
     I love my companion! She is seriously so sweet! I'm really used to being the one to help out and serve my companion a lot, and it's been an insanely humbling experience to be trained by her, because she is so nice and patient with me and all my questions and she finds so many ways to serve me! I'm so grateful! I kind of feel like a baby missionary because I have no clue what I'm doing and she guides me a lot. She's a lot more experienced than I am, and she's 21 so I feel like she's way more superior and wiser than I am. I just hope we can become closer and become better friends the longer we're together. She's very determined and she's such a go-getter! She went to BYU Hawaii and even went and did a service mission in Kenya! She's kind of quiet and we don't talk a whole lot, but there are absolutely no bad feelings at all between us. She' super smart and helps me out a lot. 
    I miss my MTC district a lot! I didn't realize how much I would miss them but I do a ton! We had a zone meeting this last week and I got to see Sis. Child. I didn't realize how much I had really missed her until we saw each other and we ran super-fast and gave each other a big hug! haha I love her, she and I are soooo similar and we could talk for hours! We have a zone conference this next week so I hope that I can see some more of my friends from my district there!
     This week at zone meeting was amazing! We talked a lot about our divine roll as missionaries. They stressed a lot how important it is to be a missionary right now and it was kind of intimidating, but also inspiring! It made me want to rise up to the role I've been given, but it's also super intense and scary. Lately they've been drumming it into our heads how insanely important missionary work is right now. Not just for us, but for members too! The stakes here are concentrating hard core on missionary-focused youth activities and lessons and firesides. The adults are too. It has become so important for the members to help out in this regard. Our mission president talked to Elder Perry recently and the two things he told him were very profound. He said, "We are no longer on defence. We are on offense. We can't hold the front lines of this war anymore, we need to be pushing the front lines." and then he said, "It's time to get your running shoes one; this is the final sprint."  I can't express to you all enough how important missionary work is right now. You need to help out! Read Jacob 1:19, and if that doesn't scare you into acting, I don't know what will...I never thought I'd ever want to be in the military, because I never wanted to fight in a war...but I'm starting to realize that I am in fact on "the front lines" right now and I have a huge responsibility to live up to my heritage and my calling.  Missionary work right now it essential. Seriously, everyone in my family, you need to know that this is not a time to keep your mouths shut. We can't keep this knowledge to ourselves; how could we? I for one do not want to face the crowds of people when I reach the other side and say "Sorry, I didn't share the gospel with you. Sorry I didn't share this important information that could have been your salvation... I'm sorry I didn't because I was scared..." Scared? Nervous? Shy? Really? That is NOT a good enough excuse! People NEED this gospel. So I'm inviting/challenging/begging you to go out and help. Serioiusly, every member a missionary. Dad especially, you're a bishop, please stress to the members how important this work is, especially NOW! And mom and dad, even if you can't find anyone to teach, let the missionaries know you are willing to help in any way you can. Let them teach people in our home, where they can see our family as an example. Talk to people. Open your mouth. Romans 1:16 "For I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Christ." 

      I love you all so much and miss you so much that words can't describe. But I also love my Savior and Heavenly father so much that words can't describe, and I love my spiritual sibling so much that words can't describe. I have you guys for eternity, but I have these 18 months to influence them, so I'm here and I can't leave or give up. Please help out!
     I love love love you all! I'll see you sooner than you think :)
Love Always,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Monday, November 4, 2013

Lenise is in Orem

Novemeber 4, 2013

Hello family!

     Greetings from the Cascade and Orchard Stakes in Orem Utah! :) My first area and I'm over two whole stakes! CRAZY! And guess what... I'm on a bike!!!! Thank heavens I didn't have to buy one this transfer because we already had one borrowed from a member, but still! Lets just say that by the end of these six weeks, I'm going to have the most bodacious muscular legs in the world! haha! It's definitely going to take some getting used to, but I can already feel my legs getting stronger, and it's getting a little easier. I have to go get bike shorts today...riding a bike in a dress/skirt is an art, let me tell you...haha But it's good! Except this weird thing has happened to my right leg, where from my knee to the middle of my thigh is just numb. I can't feel it, it's like its asleep and it's been that way for the past five days...It can't tell the difference between temperatures and I can't feel it when I tap it with my pen...but whatever. It doesn't bother me too much. If you wanna google it you can, but I can't. I'm calling the mission nurse later today about it, but my companion thinks it's just sore muscles or something and I'm not too worried.
     My companion is the best! Her name is Sis. Albrechtson and she is super chill and really nice. Her and her last companion were super good friends, so at first I thought she might be disappointed with me, because she loved Sis. Watson, but we are getting along really well.  She is an amazing trainer and she helps me out a lot! She's teaching me the ropes and I'm slowly learning more and more. The one thing I have the most trouble with is the streets here. They are in a grid system and I'm learning how to maneuver through them. Sis Albrechtson also wakes me up to work out every morning. She is really healthy and we go running (along with all the bike riding) and then we do floor workouts after. We have a routine down now, and I'm feeling really tired at the end of the days but really good too.

 I really miss my district from the MTC because we were such good friends and had class every day, and it's different being with just one other person instead of like 10, but I'm really learning to love it here.
     Everybody here is SO nice to the missionaries. We have breakfast and lunch at our little apartment, (which is really just the basement of one of the bishop's houses in our stake) and then we have dinner with the members every night. I love eating with the members, they are so awesome and really funny! My mission president was so right when he told us "Every member a mission president" hahaha. Everyone thinks they know best for the missionaries and their always sharing their own stories and giving advice on how we can do better. haha! I love it though, it's always funny and interesting!
      The first night out of the MTC we had dinner at the Mission Presidents house and learned all the "Do's and Don'ts" of the internet. So I can be on facebook, and I'm in the process of going through all my pictures and things right now, but I can't communicate with friends and family from back home unless it's fulfilling my mission purpose which means "helping others come unto Christ" So I'm sorry I can't message you and stuff, but you can still see and comment on my posts and hopefully I can post pictures soon. I'm not allowed to put up pictures of me unless it has to do with my purpose, and I have to be in missionary uniform, which means I'm not allowed to post pics of me in my p-day clothes. But yeah, that's basically it. My mission president said the coolest thing though when we were talking about why missionaries get to use the internet now. He told us that the prophecy that says the second coming won't happen until the gospel is spread to every nation, tongue, and people has been fulfilled. It doesn't mean we need missionaries in every country means we can spread the gospel and everyone has access to it through the internet. Amazing right?! I thought that was so cool! I love my mission president! He's kind of intense but super nice, and when I had my interview with him he told me a few people had mentioned to him that I could sing and he's planning on having me sing at a couple of zone conferences....greeeeaaatt.... way to make me feel nervous! Ah! haha! And my comp has also volunteered me already to sing at a multi-stake fireside about missionary work on November 20th. She heard me in the shower this morning, and I was done for.
      I saw Megan, Camry, and Kaylyn last Wednesday at transfers and it was so fun to hug them and see them again. They are all doing really well and it felt nice to see familiar faces.
Our little apartment is nice and I sleep on the top bunk. My family picture and my stick-on stars are up as always :) My companion (just like all the girls in my district at the MTC) like to look at the pictures I have and see you guys. I love getting pictures and letters, even though I can't write back as often as I want because I'm so busy. So no, they don't distract me, don't worry mom! If anything they help! I don't feel so far away and out of the loop and they keep me going. Hopefully I can write some letters today!...I got my watch but I haven't gotten any more letters from the mission home this week...I'm sure I have some and I want them, but I have to wait until they bring them all! Blah! :) haha
      We mostly study for three hours in the morning and I read a lot of conference talks on my spiffy new ipad mini. I've never been too good with technology and my Shrek hands don't help when it comes to touch screens. It's freezing here and it's been snowing the past two days which means all I wear are tons of tights, scarves, and big sweaters...and my coats....and gloves. It's just really cold. The first few days it was nice, but now it's yeah. YIPEE! :)
      In my district we are the only sisters, and we have a lot of fun with the elders even though we only see them at district meetings and stuff. The Spanish elders are hilarious, especially Elder Pineda, who sings the nacho libre song in his accent, which is soooo epic! haha he's from El Salvador. For Halloween we were locked up in a chapel and one of the ward mission leaders brought us a ton of pizza and crazy bread and cupcakes. We played soccer and then we set up the big projector and watched Ephraim's rescue, which is a really good movie! I suggest you all watch it! It's made by the same person who did 17 Miracles. Super good. But on the way home my bike chain broke, or something. My comp was really nice about it and she tried to fix it as much as possible and she let me ride her bike while she rode my broken one home. She is a sweetheart and really nice. She's 21 and she went to BYU Hawaii and has served service missions in Kenya. She is so amazing to me and she is like a big sister. But yeah, so my bike broke and I had to pay like $20 to fix it, but I didn't think that was very bad because I got to borrow the bike for free and didn't have buy a new one, so I was okay with it.
     I love the people we teach here so much! Everybody, less-active, nonmembers, and members, all of them. They fascinate me, and I just feel so honored to get to know them no matter their mistakes and flaws and setbacks. If anything, on my mission I've realized how beautiful people are in general. I have this deep love for them that surprises me so much because I feel it so quickly and so intensely. The more flawed, the better, because I love them and want to help them even more. The gospel is so healing. Watching it change the lives of those around me is such a humbling experience. We are teaching a new investigator named Cody who is applying for BYU law school, and he went to Berkeley and he's super smart. We taught him and his dad about the restoration at a member’s house and it was so powerful. When Sis. A recited the Joseph's account of the first vision, she was looking right into his eyes and it just seemed to click. The spirit was so strong and you could see it making sense in his mind. It was the best feeling ever. The same thing happened with a less active name Klint who is trying to get the priesthood. Watching the happiness in his eyes as he realized that he could repent and be made whole was the most gratifying experience ever! I love people and I love teaching them, and it's making me wonder if maybe I want to do something in the future that involves a lot of interaction with people...who knows. I still love to sing and write, but I'm realizing this overwhelming need inside me to help people and to bring the gospel to them. We are also teaching a guy named Bryan from Ghana who is getting baptized at the end of this month. He has a lot of hard questions, but he knows that Joseph smith is a prophet. He likes to Bible bash a little bit because he is still wondering why we need a book of Mormon (he kind of struggles with reading it) but because he knows that Joseph Smith was a prophet, he knows that the BOM must be true. We're working with him and he's such a nice guy. He just has a bunch of questions. We also put another investigator named Mariem on date for baptism in December, but idk if I'll still be here... sad. I want to be here when she gets baptized because she is really beginning to love the scriptures and it's been cool to see her testimony, even though I've only spoken with her once. The other day we ran across a lady who was unloading boxes from her car and crying. We stopped and helped her and asked her what was wrong. She just started sobbing and told us that we had been an answer to her prayer. She said she and her husband were separating and she just really needed some comfort. It was amazing and humbling to be a tool in God's hands to help his children. Though it's hard and I miss you guys sometimes like crazy, I know that this is where I'm meant to be. Is it crazy that I feel so much like I've met everyone here before? All the missionaries I meet, all the members, all the people we're teaching it's like I know them. It's so crazy. But I feel like I really do, like I've seen them all before, and they are all so familiar to me. I'm just trying my best to serve them. I'm trying my best to serve my father in heaven. I hope someday when he introduces me to others he'll add "In whom I am well pleased." I just want to please my father in heaven.
     I love hearing from you all! sorry I can't write back to everyone, but I'm catching up today for p-day so hopefully I'll be able to write Sharee back after her cute cards and I hope I can send another letter home to everyone! Hope Halloween was fun and I loved your costumes! I love you all so much, it's ridiculous! You know how I said I love random strangers now? Well I love you more and I miss you all. Don't change too much...and if you do send pics. hahaha! But yeah, hopefully I can send pics now that I have a new computer to work with! Email me if I left some answers to questions out.
Love love love Your missionary,
Sis. Volmer
(Lenise/Spunk/Niser/whatever else you call me behind my back. haha)

sorry this is so scattered!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Letter #2 Sister Volmer made STL

Hello Family
     I just have to say, I am not the same girl you dropped off at the airport nine days ago. I'm not. I feel so different. It's the weirdest thing but I feel so different, I act different, and I just feel changed...and I hope I can keep it up :) I'm worried I'm going to go back to the way I was before when I get off my mission, but I doubt it. 
     So, anyways, This week has been insane! When they say the MTC is a roller coaster, they aren't lying! I've never felt such awesome highs or learned from such lows. Last Saturday, I was just feeling like a stinker. I wasn't necessarily depressed or sad, I was just kind of fed up with myself. It's hard to get used to having to make sure your companion is with you all the time, and I just kept thinking "I'm going to be doing this for eighteen months???....are you crazy??" I was just being annoying inside my own head and I decided I needed to focus more, but couldn't. Sister Child (one of us four sisters in my district) was having the same problem, except she was more homesick and couldn't focus. So we asked the elders in our district to give us blessings. Elder Banks, (Our Scottish district leader) gave Sister Child a blessing that was beautiful, and then I asked Elder Straub to give me mine. It was insanely amazing. I love dad's blessings, but it was a totally different experience for me to have a brand new elder, who knew so little about me, give me a blessing that was absolutely everything I needed to hear. My respect for the priesthood has grown so much here at the MTC. After Saturday night, we all became super close as a district. 
    Everyone says that once you get to Sunday, you're fine. They say it's a day of rest. They... LIED!!!! It was the busiest Sunday of my life! But that was mainly because Sis. Horne and I got called as the new Sister Training Leaders of our zone. (The STL's are the sister version of Zone Leaders out here in the field) Yep, only five days in and I was already an STL....can you say stressful?? But I love it :) It's helped me to get to know all the Sisters in our zone soooo well and I love all of them so much! Sunday night was a devotional, and then we watched the most amazing talk by David A Bednar called The Character of Christ. It was phenomenal, and I'm pretty sure it's not open to the public, but it seriously changed the way I look at Christ and how I need to follow him. Let's just say that selflessness is key. It makes it so much easier to choose to serve others now, and it has been such a blessing. I got to sit next Tanner throughout the whole talk. I see him pretty much every day and we always talk. He's doing really well and picking up Russian, but he says it's really hard to teach his Progressive Investigator (PI) when they have no idea what they are saying.
We have been talking with our PI a lot and struggling to get him to progress. We finally made some headway this week when I told him more about myself and made the lesson more personal. He really felt the spirit and he finally prayed to see if God is there for him and he got an answer! So we are moving forward slowly. We teach him for the last time tomorrow.
     The Most amazing thing happened with our TRC this week!!!! (TRC's are investigators that are either actors, or actual investigators and we have to teach them twice) So Sis. Horne and I have been struggling a little bit with balance when it comes to teaching together. Sis Horne struggles with feeling the spirit during PI's and roll play because it doesn't feel real to her, but she really felt it when we were teaching our TRC Ballinda. So the first time we taught Ballinda I was terrified because our old zone leaders, Elder Forson and Menasie told us she was really hard. We were a little scattered, and I was kind of scared because she had no religious background whatsoever because she is from Singapore. Those are hard because she doesn't know anything about the bible or anything. So the first time we were with her we told her about who God and Jesus were and we explained the restoration. She even accepted a Book of Mormon. She seemed a little distant and unresponsive, but it went ok. We decided we couldn't act afraid with her anymore and that we needed to be bold and get to know her better, so yesterday when we went in to teach her again, we really got to know her. It was amazing. She is really such an incredible lady. She is SO smart and she is a computer programmer, and she donates a lot to charity, and she travels a ton. She had lots of fun stories. But at the end of the lesson, we got the biggest shocker ever!! We asked her if she had read the book of Mormon a little since we had been there. And in her cute Asian accent she said "Oh  yes. I read whole book." Our mouths literally fell open. I very tentatively asked "So how did the book make you feel?" and she simply said. "I know book is true." I wanted to bounce up and down in my chair and start elbowing Sis. Horne, but I stayed composed. So I said, "Ballinda, if you believe this book is true, does that mean that you believe that Joseph was a true prophet and this church is true, and Christ really did atone for us, and that God loves you." she paused and then nodded really slowly. She told us she prayed about the book, and it seemed shine to her and she knew it was true! So Sis Horne and I looked at each other all excited and I said. "So now that you believe that our message is true, will you follow the Savior's example and be baptized?"......... SHE SAID YES!!!!!! Oh my gosh we were on cloud nine! After we finally finished up and said goodbye, and told her that other missionaries would teach her a bit more before she got baptized, I just started dancing in the hall. Sis Horne thought I was nuts, but I was soooooo excited. Elder Banks and Elder Mateer just stared at me like I was crazy because I couldn't stop smiling and just babbling about the whole thing. hahaha. It was so great! Now we just have to get our PI to accept it too!
     I love my district so much. We are exactly like a family, and I can't imagine leaving the MTC and not being with them all. We tease each other like crazy, and laugh, and joke around a lot, and sometimes we bicker like little kids. They are some of my best friends now and I know I'm just going to be heart broken when we have to split off next week. Elder Banks (from Scotland) is such a character. He acts all serious and pessimistic but he's really a huge softy! he likes to sit in the corner of the room and sing Taylor Swift and Madonna songs to himself. He is such a serious person...except when he isn't. It's so funny. He wears plaid ties, and I've seen pics from the other elders of him prancing around in a lion onsie at night with a bag of pretzels and a Scottish flag. Elder Mateer seemed like a really serious guy at first, but he's opening up a lot. At the beginning he hated to sing, and now he is the one who sings the loudest during hymn singing in class and he always wants to sing We thank thee oh god for a prophet. His accent is hilarious and adorable. He keeps picking up American terms and then when he realizes it he hangs his head in shame. It's super funny, but I think he likes becoming Americanized. He definitely likes the fries and burgers in the cafeteria. Elder Griggs is a goofball and he takes creeper videos and pics of us in class. He keeps all of us entertained with his loud laughing. Him and Elder Mateer are the new Zone Leaders. The four of us had to welcome in 8 new elders into our zone this week, and that was a lot of fun to meet them all and give them a tour. Elder Straub is a sweetheart and he looks like the black haired kid from meet the Robinsons. He gave me the best blessing and he's got the sense of humor that is always surprising. Sis Child is like our mom. She wakes us up in the morning on time and helps me with laundry and she's super protective of all of us. She is hilarious and has the funnies and most sarcastic sense of humor...she is seriously so nurturing and mommy-ish. Sis Horne reminds me of Katie Hansen a lot. She likes to be very clean and healthy, and she gave sis Child and me the most disgusted look when she saw me tasting Sis Child's soup to see if I liked it. hahaha so funny. Sis Robertson is a petite ball of funny energy. She is so quirky and fun and she's really into running. She runs around the track at the top of the gym while Sis Child and I play volleyball with the elders. Volleyball with the elders is funny, because they don't expect us to have better technique than they do, but we do. They hardly know what they are doing and Sis Child and I totally poned them. Sis Love, Sis Trip, and Sis Cochrine, the other sisters in our zone hang out with us sisters a lot and we are like a huge girl group of friends and we have so much fun together.
    Today at the temple we ran into our mission president, President McCune, who just happened to be there trying to receive revelation on who to pair us up with for companions and which areas we should be sent...coincidence?..... I think NOT!  It was great to meet him and his wife. They were so sweet!
     Thank you for all the mail and packages! I've loved hearing from all of  you and I wish I could write you all back as much as you write me. I feel kind of bad I can't respond to everyone! I'm just so busy! So please understand that if I could write more I would! Elder Banks, because he's our district leader, always goes and gets the mail for our district, and every time he comes back to class he says "Volmer! You have more fan mail!" and everyone groans as he hands me at least two to three letters a day, I swear you guys spoil me!!! If you want to dear elder some of the missionaries in my district by Saturday or Sunday, it should get to them before we leave on Tuesday afternoon. Sis Horne, especially, she's my companion and I think she would like it :) Unless you can't because you don't know her first name...but hopefully. Or send one to Sis Child, Sis Robertson, Elder Straub, Elder Banks, Elder Mateer, or Elder Griggs. haha I think it would be funny for them to get mail from my family, especially when they see you writing me so much. :)
    So, sorry this email was super duper long, I just have had so much to say. This week has been the most insanely humbling week ever. I know that this gospel is true, I've seen the light come into people's eyes as they have shared their testimonies or as they first realize that it's true. It is the best feeling ever to watch someone as they accept that the Lord truly loves them, and for them to realize what they can become through faith in Him. I've learned so much about consecrating myself to this work. I've given the Lord my mouth so he can speak through me, my mind so that he can teach through my knowledge, and my heart so that he can love through me. I've learned to love people automatically and see them for who they are as God's children. I love this gospel. This mission is the best possible thing for me right now, and I'm loving every second of it. Please help in the work. There is no greater happiness than watching as this gospel blesses our spiritual siblings, and they come to know the truth.
     I love you all so much. I miss you like crazy! My companion and all the sisters in my residence love to look through my little photo album full of family and friends, and the picture of my family on the wall. I think about you every day and I pray for all of you! I've loved hearing about all the sports games, and birthdays, and Halloween costume ideas, and new jobs, and the babies, and just everything! Please keep me up to date.
Again I love you all! Stay safe, and the church is true!
Love Forever,
Sister Volmer  (Lenise)

p.s. hopefully my camera cord works and I can send pictures...  Note: Lenise was unable to send pictures.