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!