Monday, February 24, 2014

Random week

Dear Family,
Holy Moly, crazy random week.
    So this week has been really weird! It's been like 60ish degrees all week and super windy! I would have sent a picture of me in the wind but it wouldn't upload off my iPad for some reason...I'll try next week for sure. But seriously Sis Jones and I have been joking about tanning. This is nuts, especially for here in Roosevelt. Spring is definitely coming early.
Lenise and her friends passed around "Henry" before their missions
She found him in a Walmart and had to say Hi!
    This week, on Tuesday I went on exchanges with the STL's, which meant I got to spend a day and night in Vernal with Megan Nielsen :) It was so much fun! It was just like old times, and I loved it! She actually took me tracting for the first time on my mission. It was super fun and we mostly talked the whole time we did it and caught up. She is an amazing missionary and I learned so much from her! She still loves to write like I do and we had fun swapping ideas. I went out contacting members with her too and we shared a spiritual message with them to promote missionary work.
     This week was also Zone Conference on Friday. It was super good. I always love learning from President McCune! It was kind of intense though...some of the missionaries haven't really been being very obedient in some areas, it's been hard. My district hasn't really liked following the rules about not eating out together a lot, so this week Sis Jones and I had to stand up for the rules and we ended up leaving our distract when they tried to trick us into all showing up at a restaurant at the same time on "accident." I was pretty ticked that they were being so rebellious about it, especially after they had been warned so many times.
     Other than that, life is great! I really don't have very much to report this week...We have 7 people on date for baptism next month...So I'm super stoked about that!! 4 of them are scheduled for the same that will be pretty crazy! This week I've been getting hurt a lot...haha. Sis Jones dropped a chair on the back of my heel on Friday on accident, and I thought I had snapped my Achilles tendon it hurt so bad!!! But nope it is just super bruised...and then yesterday Sis Jones accidently slammed the screen door on the back of my other heel and cut it open. haha I felt really bad for her. But we were running late and I started bleeding all over my tights... so I shoved a tissue down my tights and walked around with bloody tight for the rest of the day. It was an adventure. 
    I've been doing a ton of letter writing this week. And missionary work. 
    Life this week has been pretty anticlimactic. Besides the drama going down with our district and the fun time I had with Megan.
   We also met with a lot of less actives this week...     So, there is this family that we are working with and the whole family is active except the dad. But, recently, he started coming to church! He has a hard time coming to church because he hurt his back really bad and it is hard for him to sit in the pews for too long. He also normally takes a lot of medicine to help him through church, too. But, we had a lesson with him last Friday and it went really well! He is normally really quiet, but we had a lesson focused completely on the atonement, and he spoke a lot, opened up a lot, and told us his goals.  He wants to be sealed to his family more than anything and he is willing to do anything for it! I am honored to be able to work with such a family!
     We had an awesome experience with a less-active lady yesterday. She has the desire to come back to church, but she is really scared to come back because she feels like she won't be accepted because of the things she has done in the past. So, she had work off on Sunday, but was too scared to go to church. But, later that night, she texts us saying that there is a fireside that night that she was invited to, and she was currently in the parking lot, and wanted us to help her to get the courage to go in. So, we texted our appointment, that was going to start in 5 minutes, telling them we were going to be late, turned around and went to help. We walked in the building together and poked our heads in the room, and the only open seats were in the front, and she didn't want to sit in the front at all. So, after a little of whispering to each other, a man walked out and invited her in and set up a chair next to him. It was so awesome! She went in and we said goodbye and left. Then after the fireside she texted us back saying that she loved the fireside. Then she texted, "Do you think if I can get enough courage to go to church I would feel the same as at that meeting tonight" And we texted her back saying, YES! We testified of how church can help us and we can feel that feeling that she felt at the meeting: the Holy Ghost. It was awesome. She told us she maybe will come next time she has Sunday off from work, but we will hopefully make sure that she does!
     It was a great week.
    I hope you know how strong my testimony is. It has definitely been strengthened this week. I love the work. I don't know how I haven't been a missionary my entire life, I love it! I feel new, I feel different, I feel really happy. I love you all and miss you all so much! Keep writing! It makes all the difference for me!
Love you loads and HOORAH FOR ISRAEL! Miss you!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer


Monday, February 17, 2014

Valentine's week

Dear Family...
    Well, life is usual. Missionary work is intense, long, hard, awesome, and fun!
    This week being Valentine’s day and presidents day weekend, meant that we had a gazillion cancellations. Rough. Really rough. 

Lots of cancelled appointments on Valentine's Day
makes planning hard.
     I'm not going to lie, I had a bit of a rough week. I was just feeling kind of "Meh." because we had so many lessons fall through this week. It was one of those inadequate feelings that wouldn't go away even though I knew it was coming from the adversary. I just felt like I was running into stone walls with people and it wasn't fun. But then Saturday night we had dinner at a less active's house whose husband isn't LDS. He wasn't home, but she made us Rib-eye steak and those cheese rolls from Red-Lobster that mom makes and she made asparagus and potatoes and I loved it, because for the first time I felt like I was actually eating a meal that felt like home! Steak! Nobody ever makes us steak, and we used to eat it all the time at home! But this lady, her name is T and she is in her late 50's early 60's and she has this problem where her bones are just deteriorating and she is in pain a lot.  She is very social and hates that her body slows her down. But we didn't know that. So I shared a spiritual thought after dinner, and the Spirit suddenly entered the room. It was so strong. I was sharing different quotes from "An High Priest of Good Things to Come" By Jeffery R. Holland, and I looked up and she was just crying and my companion was crying. I was saying something she needed to hear from our Heavenly Father. She was just crying and saying over and over how inspired I was, and asking how I had known what she needed. I was in awe. I hadn't thought much of it, I had just picked a few spiritual thoughts that I had done before that had been nice in the past, but this was exactly what she needed to hear. I feel so humbled to have been the means of answering somebody's prayer. I felt so grateful to my Father in Heaven. I had been feeling like a bad teacher, and suddenly He decided to prove what He could do through me... It doesn't matter if I'm the good teacher...because He's the teacher, not me. I'm just a person, with a mouth. A mouth that I've given Him to fill with words He wants me to say. 

Lenise's bedroom corner!
    Also this week, (funny story!) We were teaching the two cousins who we put on date for baptism last week. The older one is 16 and his name is R, and his younger cousin is named Remo and he is 9. Remo is SOOOO smart!!! We did the restoration with them and invited them to be baptized, then this week we came back to visit them and I was so baffled by Remo. Before we started the lesson we asked if they had any questions. Remo's hand shot into the air! He said "What's that tree thing that they talk about in the Book of Mormon? With the fruit?" and we just stared at him for a second. "The tree of life?" I asked. "Yeah! That one!" he said. We just stared at him. "You've already made it to chapter 8 in the Book of Mormon since we last saw you??" I asked. Then he said: "No, I'm on chapter 13." Bahaha! We about died laughing! The kid is 9 years old! 9!!! I didn't even know how to read the BOM when I was that age! Then when Sis J started reciting the First Vision, he started reciting it with her!!!! Holy cow! That is kid is amazing! He's had a rough life, but he is so interested in the church and he has a great support system now so we are so excited for them to be baptized next month!  

Muddy boots after snow melted.
We miss this happy face.
     Then this Sunday I sang in the YSA sacrament meeting. It was "In Sacred Grove" by Janice Kapp Perry, and it is such a gorgeous song. I sang it with a nonmember named Alyssa, who was introduced to us by a YSA named H. She is an awesome RM who is super into missionary work. A wouldn't agree to meet with the missionaries but she would go to church with H sometimes, and she wanted to sing in sacrament meeting. So then H found out that I could sing and asked if I would do a duet with her. The crazy thing is that A chose the song! It's all about Joseph Smith and the first vision. Then Sis J had an epiphany that I should recite the first vision during the song. So we created a bridge and then I recited then started singing my part. The spirit was so strong as we sang in church...after I recited it the words go “I too have asked of God as Joseph did. That I might learn the truth of all he said, In quiet moments when my heart is full, he sends a witness to my soul. Lord help me share these things that I believe. Lead me to willing hearts who will receive. Then let the spirit through me testify, that they may find the narrow way." It was incredible! I love singing and it's the best way that I share my testimony. A totally felt it because after we were done singing for the ward I asked if she would be willing to meet with us and she said YES!!!!  It was the best!
     It was super muddy this week because of all the snow my boots look GROSS!!! Mud is all over our car too! We even lost our phone in the mud when our car got stuck and had to back track and search through all the boggy mud that we drove through...that was fun....
      Well I love you all and miss you to pieces!!! I hope you all had a happy Singles Awareness day! I know I did! I'm a missionary!
     Thanks for everything you've done for me and for all the valentines and fun pictures and stories! I love them all! I love you all and pray for you every day.
Love Forever,

Sister Lenise Volmer

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

Defined by Christ

Dear Everyone,
Well this week has been crazy!
Let me start out answering questions!
- Yes it's been getting easier and easier to speak through the spirit. It helps to have a lot of practice and work hard to keep him in my mind constantly.
-My room in the new area isn't too's kind of cluttered with all our stuff, but it does its job ok.
-Our study area is in the living room on a folding table we set up against the wall.
-We use our land lady's kitchen for breakfast mostly, but occasionally for lunch and dinner.
-Yes I have been asked to sing in church, and I will be singing next Sunday in the YSA ward. I'm singing this beautiful song by Janice Kapp Perry called In Sacred Grove. I'm actually singing it with a non-member who picked the song out herself! Crazy right?? We are hoping to start teaching her the lessons. She always feels the spirit really strong when we sing together! I think Satan is trying to get in the way because she keeps missing practices because she's sick and stuff... We'll show him! 
 Hope that answered all your questions!
    This week was random. Last p-day we did jousting, like you can see in the pictures I sent. That was a lot of fun and we ended up laughing really hard! We also played live angry birds with stacked boxes and balls and a huge sling shot. We also had a nerf gun war...My district likes to get creative...But it was super fun!
    Then this week we were super successful teaching-wise! We put 4 people on date for baptism within two days! 2 of them were brothers and 2 of them were cousins. I've been teaching the restoration a ton this week also. All 4 people were put on date and it was the first lesson!!  it was our first time teaching with them...and guess what... I'm the one who invited them both times! Most people think that challenging people to be baptized is the scariest part of missionary work. It's actually the most spiritual!  "Will you follow the example that Jesus Christ has set for us, by being baptized by somebody who holds the priesthood authority of God?"....and they are really silent for a moment, they won't meet your eyes, and you just sit there and feel the spirit draped over everything in thick cloud. And then slowly they meet your eyes and simply nod their head yes. I can't explain the feeling that comes with it. The intense and inappropriate urge to jump up and dance around is a good way to explain it... haha but I can just say that the huge grin that Sis Jones gives me and I give back speaks volumes for the way we wish we could sing and shout and dance and laugh and hug everyone in the room. They said YES! They accepted it! They have chosen to follow God's plan! Goodness! I wish I could explain to you all how it feels, how much it just fills you up! Oh man it's been a grand week indeed! haha!
On Friday it was Elder Mclaws birthday and we surprised him at our Zone Training Meeting. We got him a space-themed cake, decorated the whole room, got him a gift, got pizza and princess themed cake plates! All the other elders attacked him as he came in the door.  It was funny because once Elder Mclaws was being attacked Elder Mateer just stood there and watched instead of helping his companion even though he had no idea what was going on. When we asked him why he hadn't helped he just said in his British accent "I would have helped him if it was any day other than his birthday..." 
    Zone Training Meeting was cool, because Megan Nielsen is my STL and she helped out with the training and teaching us. I have exchanges with her next week so that should be fun!
     We had another cool experience the other day. We were teaching follow-up lessons to this recent convert. She's only 12 years old and her parents are less active. We were teaching about the gospel of Jesus Christ and during the lesson we asked her if she had any experiences yet where the Holy Ghost had helped her. She said no. Then Sis Jones had the spirit prompt her to ask her inactive parents...and her mom started telling an experience about how their son almost died from drowning and the Holy Ghost guided her in helping save him. She was just crying and her husband started baring his testimony about how God loves us all individually and how he is always there to help us when we call upon him. He talked about how he hadn't prayed in years until he was in the car on the way to the hospital after his son had stopped breathing and they were life-flighting him to the hospital. He said he'd never prayed that hard. It was super spiritual and we started talking about God's love for us and eternal families. Then we asked "Have you been sealed?" and it just struck them and they had this shocked face as if they just realized that they hadn't even taken part in that blessing yet. They said no. So we offered to help them get to the temple. And they said YES! I'm so excited for them! We've started teaching them all the lessons again and I'm so excited to see their family welcome these blessings into their lives.
    I had an epiphany this week. A lady at dinner one night let us borrow a CD called Defined By Christ by Toni Sorensen to listen to in the car.
    The very beginning of CD made me think really hard. She started by telling a story about how Christ was being mocked and challenged by the Pharisees. In the midst of it all Christ asks "What think ye of Christ?" and then the author switched the words around and made me think really hard. "What does Christ think of you?" It stuck in my mind. As a missionary I have the beautiful and overwhelming privilege that I have talked about before, to feel what the Savior feels for others; the infinite love and adoration for each of us. I've felt the Savior's love for everyone else...but for me? 
 I feel such a potent and consuming love for so many others through Him...but I've never let myself open up my heart to let Him show me the way he truly feels for me. He loves me. He loves me so much. I've never felt it as strongly as I have on my mission. I know He loves everyone else so much too.  I want to be defined by Christ. Let yourselves be defined by Christ and Christ Alone. I love you all so much! I hope this week is amazing for all of you. The church is true!
Love forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Tuesday, February 4, 2014

I love the Roosevelt people!


Dear Family!
    Well, this week has been loco crazy! I'm loving it here in Roosevelt! My district is a lot of fun! They like to go on adventures and laugh a lot. They are crazy and have funny ideas and love to get everyone going. It's a lot of fun at meetings. You'd think we'd be distracted a lot, but really our district and our area is the highest baptizing area and the highest teaching area and the one with the best true fellowshipping. 

     The District Leader Elders are on the Ute Indian reservation, and apparently there are a lot of local legends up there. Lots of scary stories they like to tell us. Just like how back home we have the baby graves, the Finely Ghost, and gravity hill and stuff. But here one of the legends is called the Water Babies. But people like to make up stories. The elders try to scare us… but didn't.   The elders tried to convince us that someone found a water baby scull. And we said "How do you know it was a water baby scull?" and they just said "It was wet..."  haha

Petting or teaching the pony?
   Some other funny things happened this week!
   We are over two old-folks homes and this last Tuesday we went to one to do service. We visit a few of the residence there. We went to go paint some of the elderly ladies nails and I was with Miss A. She's this hilarious 97 year old lady. She kept telling me stories about how she met her husband at a party and he was with another girl, and how he liked her because she had a good figure back then. When she said that she would giggle behind her hand while I laughed. We also teach this older man there who was in WWII and he talks about how he fought in Japan and how at one point there were a lot of dead Japanese soldiers in white boxes in the back of a truck in their camp and they stole some! And then they put them under other soldier’s beds as a prank!! He was just laughing and laughing and I just sat there so appalled! Sis J laughed at my reaction a lot because she was used to his war stories. Another older lady we visit is Virginia. She is 97 too. She's super stubborn and says "I'm not religious, I'm reverent!"  But she likes to sing us songs. The other day I sang to her and she seemed to like that a lot because she just stopped and got all quiet and listened. She usually likes to talk over us, so that was a change!
     A lot of our appointments fell through this week, especially yesterday during the Super Bowl! We had to do a lot of backup plans. It snowed a lot earlier this week and Elders M and M got stuck on their way home and almost had to stay the night in their jeep. We were fine, but a guy in the next stake over got in a bad accident and died, so everyone around town has been really sad about it because he was really well known and a good LDS guy.
     Keanu's baptism was yesterday and it went really well. He's a wiggly 9 year old kid and wanted to play the whole time but when the talks were being given he was a good listener. The water in the font got cold really fast, so we felt bad that he had to get baptized in the cold water! Right after he got dunked, he jumped right out of the water and climbed the steps really fast saying "That is SO cold! I'm out of here!"

Keanu survives cold water.
Lenise gets companion that will sing duets with her.
     Sister J, my new companion and I get along great! We both love to sing to our church CD’s in the car. We try and harmonize when we can find one we both know well enough. She's super into science and Biology and so when we found a huge spider in our bath-tub she wouldn't let me kill it! She got it in a cup and let it go outside! I just wanted it to die...a spider that big shouldn't be allowed to live! :) The little dog that our land-lady has keeps pooping on the carpet which makes Sis B, our land lady, upset! But he's doing better now, but we still close our bedroom door every morning to make sure he can't get in there and get in our stuff.
     Thank you so much for the Valentines’ package! I loved it! And thank you for the letters! They have been great! I'm hoping to catch up on letters this week if I have time! But we have so much more work to do out here! A special shout-out to Sharee for her card she sent. She shared the poem "Stick to the task" that dad and grandpa quote. I hadn't heard it before and was surprised that it seemed so familiar to her. Well it helped out a lot! Ask her to recite it for you! I wrote it out and put it up on my wall. It went perfect with the talk I've been reading recently. It's called "Cast Not away therefore your confidence" By Jeffery R. Holland. If you haven't read it yet... then read it! It is really good and went well with the poem she sent. I'll be writing Riley back soon! Let her know! I've received a few from her and need to catch up! I love you all to pieces! Let me know how things are going back home and any news! Bishop Merkley (new move in right before Lenise left)....I don't remember him...but I bet he'll do great! (Lenise’s Dad just got released as Bishop) I know this gospel is true and I've loved sharing it with the people of Roosevelt! The Lord lifts us and watches over us. My favorite scripture recently is 1 Nephi 21:16. It really describes the Saviors sacrifice for us and His role in our trials. I love you and miss you and pray for you all every single day. Keep up the good work!
Love Forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Kelsy you are almost 18...go out with the sister missionaries! Even before your 18 go with them! Mom you should do splits with them too! Get a taste of what it's like being me! :) Love you!