Tuesday, July 22, 2014

The Variety of Missionary Life!

 Dearest Family,
Well this week was fine and dandy :)
It was a good week for sure, but there were its minor frustrations!
Cheesey 'Sisters'
     Sorry this letter is getting to everyone a little on the late side... this morning was the only time we could get into the salon at Vernal... one of our ward missionary's daughters is in beauty school and offered to do our nails and cut our hair for free! So we took advantage of that! I got glittery blue hombre toes! (Which nobody can see because they are always in shoes...which is lame...but I love them!) It felt good to get some pampering. It was the first time I trimmed my hair since before my mission.. I thought it was about time! It is no longer all one length! I got my layers back. (OK GIRL TALK OVER!) 
      So this week we met with V, who is getting baptized this next Saturday! She is amazing and I've been working with her for a long time. She has such a strong spirit and it has been amazing to see the gospel work in her life...but because her baptism is getting so close...Satan is being a punk and hitting her hard! Gosh... We have to keep reminding her that he doesn't want her baptized nor her family to make it to the temple. She was able to go to temple square last week with her family and she absolutely loved it and couldn't stop talking about how excited she is to go inside the temple. So pray for her. There are so many people I'm teaching who have kids and I see them and just want to grab them by the shoulders and say "Accept the gospel! ACCEPT IT! Not just for you! But for your child! They deserve an eternal family!  Look at that cute face and tell me you don't want to be with them for eternity!" Sometimes I wish I could make them...but that's Satan's plan and that doesn't fly. I have to remember that without agency I wouldn't have made it to this earth to learn, grow, and become more like my Heavenly Father. 
      So this week we did a lot of service painting. On Saturday we spent all afternoon painting the ceiling for D's parents.... I ended up getting paint on my name tag (it came off...) and on my arms and clothes... I went through 3 of D's beanies before I found one that wouldn't fall off my head to protect my hair. My arm muscles were so sore after that... who knew painting ceilings could make you so buff!
     Thursday we went on exchanges with the STL's. I was with Sis Lyle again. She was actually previously companions with Megan Nielsen (Megan is actually companions with my trainer Sis Albrechtsen right now! Crazy! haha!)  We pulled weeds at the Felkins house and then we painted some doors for a ward mission leader. Later that night we went and saw T who is doing a ton better and seeing the bright side of things! She is great and bouncing back. She is starting the lessons back up and we are starting to work on getting her to the temple. We also went and saw the C’s. G was baptized last year and has fallen back into smoking again...so this week we are going to go to the addiction recovery program with him and another less active we are working with. Thursday we saw S...who we've been teaching since I first got here.... It's been hard teaching her. After multiple times of turning us down when we invite her to be baptized- I asked her if she had prayed if baptism was right for not. She flat out told us that she was scared the answer would be yes.  Her 1 year old daughter Lily was crawling around and smiling at us the whole time and I just felt sad. I wanted to grab her like I said before and yell "ACCEPT IT!" oh...violence is never the answer...
     For DTM this week we had a lot of fun. So my district this transfer is made up of our companionship, and then three sets of Elders...Spanish Elders...those elders are hilarious! We had fun with an activity that I introduced about accountability. They set up an obstacle course in the Relief society room and we played Mary and John. (The equivalent of Marco polo with blind folds and your companion has to tell you where to go to either get away from the other companionship or to catch them) You had to be accountable for your companion.  The elders laughed a lot when Sis McMurray and I were blindfolded and running around like chickens with our heads cut off!
Meradee's Baptism
     This weekend was super slow....a lot of people were super busy...but we did get a new investigator! A girl that has great potential! I'm excited! She wants to get baptized :) Saturday was Meradee Jensen's baptism! It was so great! But I made the mistake of remembering 20 minutes before it started that I had to give the talk on baptism...talk about freaking out!  I made it work though and it actually went a lot more smoothly than I thought it would! It was a very spiritual meeting and Meradee looked lovely in her white dress :) She turns 12 soon & is darling! She got emotional during the meeting and it was just super sweet.
     Saturday night was nuts, because here they have UBIC which stands for "Uintah Basin in Celebration" that lasts for a few weeks, to celebrate when the first settlers came to the Uintah Basin... There was also a HUGE reception that everyone went to for our High Councilman, over missionary work's, daughter. Everyone we were supposed to meet with said "sorry I have to go to a reception tonight" Even our dinner just ordered us pizza and we sat in our car at the church and ate it and talked. We drove by and the whole street was packed with cars, there were lights, and it was nuts... I've never seen a wedding reception that big...except for maybe one of ours...our family is huge not going to lie...
     Sis McMurray and I get along GREAT! I love that girl! We are super similar and have fun talking and laughing a lot! I feel like she's my sister. We are already comfortable enough with each other that she wears my clothes and while I'm finishing getting ready for the day I let her pick out my outfits because she knows what I like haha :)  It's been fun and we teach well together too. That, of course, is the most important.
     Life here is constantly going. Sometimes I'm really stressed, and sometimes I lay down at night and just smile in the dark because I feel like I'm really doing something that matters. This work means everything to me. Helping people come unto Christ means everything to me. 
     I love you all!! Miss you and pray for you!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Monday, July 14, 2014

No growth in the comfort zone!

Dearest Family....
     So you know how last week when I started my email that I said that week was crazier than it had been in a while...yeah well this one was probably just as crazy...lets all just conclude right now that life as a missionary is nuts. Like totally and certifiably insane.... Yup... 
     So for starters...   I lied.  Well I didn't know I was lying at the moment, but later the "fact" that I told you turned into a "lie"....
   Sister Nomo got transferred.... yup. We were surprised too!

5th companion, 4th in Roosevelt
Monday was spent at Dusty's making food and him teaching me how to make shrimp and chicken Alfredo from scratch (He seriously is a boss chef and I would hire him to be a cook in my castle when I get one someday) We also were still dying of heat so we texted everyone we knew, and Sis Felkins ended up bringing us a window fan and a rotating fan...it was Heaven! It was the first time I had actually slept with my sheets on me for like a week...so yeah... Everything was normal. Sis Nomo and I had accepted the fact that we were staying here in Roosevelt, and life was rolling on as usual...
     Then Tuesday morning came around...And I checked our cell phone, and we had a missed call from President McCune...So I ran into the living room where Sis Nomo was with the words Sis Albrechtsen(first companion) once told me running through my head "Transfer week...nobody is safe..." So we called him back...and SURPRISE!!!!!!!!!! He said "Sis Nomo, we actually want to transfer you, so we will need you and Sis Volmer to travel to transfers tomorrow." So yes. I'm still here. You should have seen people's faces this Sunday when they saw me with yet another new companion... this makes my 4th companion here in Roosevelt...haha! Sis Nomo was pretty happy about it. She has some people she has taught in the valley who are going to the temple soon and she wanted to be there. So Tuesday we had to squeeze all our lessons in and go say goodbye to people that she wanted to see before she headed out. We had some good last memories together and laughed a lot! 
     Wednesday we headed out to Provo and got transferred! My new companion is Sis McMurray! She is AWESOME! I love her! She is super chill and really fun to talk with. We have a lot of the same likes and interests and really similar personalities. I knew the second she put one of her CD's in and music from Mulan and the Newsies came on that we were going to get along great!! We have similar taste in music and style and we teach really well together. She is 20 years old and has been out on her mission for 14 months! Can you say crazy??? She will finish her mission with Sis Balero in November... that will be a sad transfer when all of my friends start going home! She is the 2nd oldest of 8 children and has grown up her whole life in the Air Force, which means she has moved every 2 years of her life so far. She left her mission from Ohio...and will be returning from her mission in Ogden... haha funny, right? She loves horses and I knew we would be great friends when she showed me her Disney Princess Uno card deck... This shall be an adventure of a transfer!
      We had a bonding moment Wednesday night...when a huge spider crawled across my sweatshirt and I screamed... It quickly ran under my bed and hid, so I ran to get a flash light and we were both laying on our stomachs trying to see it under the bed. We had to pull the bed away from the wall, and were both screaming as she dropped a cup on top of it, but was too scared to smash it! Finally our Land lady's daughter came in because we were both screaming and she killed it for us....haha.... not a good thing when both of us are scared of spiders.... Thank heavens I didn't get called to some crazy exotic place with spiders the size of my face.... 
     Thursday was an interesting day as well. It actually rained out here... which is really rare...But it poured and made everything smell like rain and it was the best! But as we were driving to dinner a little light popped up on the dashboard. So Sis McMurray tried to look it up in the manual but couldn't figure out what it was so we drove around with it all over the place for the rest of the evening...haha not good. I'm so car illiterate.... When we got to our last appointment as we were about to leave I called after our Ward Mission Leader Bro Crozier (Bro Crozier is like my adopted grandpa... I love to tease him! And he is always pulling my leg) and he came and checked. "Well that's yer tire pressure!" And sure enough... we had a big piece of metal stuck in one of our back tires and it was going super flat...so Bro Prescott who we've been helping him and his wife prep for the temple, is a retired mechanic...and he changed our tire for us super speedy like and we had to go get it fixed.
     This weekend was really slow...lately weekends here have been lacking in productivity... I went and saw T again... she is still struggling but doing a bit better. It still hurts me how much pain some people go through. It's crazy to hear stories about how much people abuse each other and just all around hurt. I'm just trying to help in any way I can to bring them some light and truth that will bring them eternal happiness. Bro F is getting closer to quitting chewing and wants to take his wife to the temple at the end of August! I'm so excited for them! He is finally beginning to improve! Thanks for all those who have prayed for him! This next week we will be baptizing Meradee (the silly one from the video haha) This Sunday we gave talks in church as well! Mine was about preparing to serve a mission...maybe I'll send it to you! Probably not until next week because I wrote it out instead of typing and I'll have to type it up to send it. L and T actually made it to church this week! I WAS SO SHOCKED AND EXCITED! AH! It was awesome!  L is still hesitant...but small steps small steps. It seems like that's what a lot of people here need. Very very small steps...haha. Spencer Felkins, who is like my little brother out here, gave his farewell talk this Sunday and used my music to Come Thou Fount and sang it to the congregation. He rocked it! His talk was stellar too. I'm so so so impressed with the upcoming youth   sometimes...some of them show this amazing light that can really be the change we need...
Lenise is halfway - 9 months!  Get it? 
What a crazy gal!
I feel like I've been growing a whole lot. A quote that I heard in a meeting recently is "There is no growth in the comfort zone and no comfort in the growth zone." This is so true. So so  true.   I've had a lot of change and growth on my mission, but it has come from trials and being stretched. I'm grateful for them, no matter how much they aren't fun in the process. I told that quote to our high councilman and he ended up quoting me in sacrament meeting to try and get members involved in missionary work... I hope all is going well at home and that you are all helping with the missionary work there! I think I've discovered that my biggest pet peeve is when people pray for the missionaries "to be led and guided to find those who will accept the gospel." It's our job to teach the gospel to people.... It's YOUR job to find the people... so when you pray, make sure you are praying for the Lord to help you find people to introduce to the missionaries...
     I love this gospel and I love this church and I love my mission and I love YOU!
     I'm glad you guys had a blast at the coast!!!
LOVE YOU ALL! Miss you! I pray for you!
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer 

Wednesday, July 9, 2014

4th of July Parade

Cave exploring!

Dearest Family,
This week has been nuts.
I know I say that like every week, but this week was more than usual. 
    So let’s start at the very beginning (A very good place to start) Last Monday for P-day we went out into the mountains with Dusty again. First we went and found a smelter, which is pretty much a huge oven that the Spaniards made to melt their Gold into bricks with. Apparently there are a few around the Uintah canyon. Then after that...we may have done something that was against the rules...except I didn't know it was against mission rules at the time!!!! Heck, I didn't even know what the word Spelunking meant... (It says no spelunking in the handbook) But Dusty didn't know either and he took us to this epic cave! We hiked through it with little flashlights and it was super fun to see all the rock formations and climb around. It was super interesting...It wasn't until we got out of the cave that Sis Nomo let us know that it was against the rules.... I was like "Wait... WHAT?" haha oh gosh...(Mom’s note: Why didn’t the companion tell them BEFORE they went in?) Then after that we went to the Sinks... Which was this huge bowl scooped out of the side of the mountain...I'll send pictures....There is this waterfall and it just falls into the earth and disappears! It was awesome!!! And there was this cool little tunnel as well. We even caught a snake. I love hiking and being outside! I think I've missed that about the coast this year... But oh well there will be years and years to come of going to the coast.  
     Later that night we had a lesson with Dusty and it went well. That night was a rough one for me after, because for some reason I started feeling really sick, but it went away by the next morning.
      Tuesday we had to drive to Vernal for a Sisters only meeting. We were trained on companionship unity and also how to be bold and have courage. It was a great meeting and we had a lot of fun.
Great outdoors
     Thursday night we packed up (for the parade), picked up the other Roosevelt Sisters (Sister Russell and Sister Reed) and headed to Provo. It was a pretty entertaining trip...Sis Reed tells the funniest stories and has the best personality so she kept us all entertained.... When we got to Provo we wound up at the Mission home with Sis McCune and all the missionaries there helped decorate the float for the parade that the senior couples would be riding on. It's always so weird going to the valley after having been in Roosevelt for so long...its way more compact and there are so many people...I miss my small town while I'm there. But all of us sisters had fun hanging out outside in the driveway and getting some fresh air and laughing and practicing our parade "walks." We then got picked up by the Pratts. The Pratts are a senior couple that work in the mission office and are over all the cars and housing. We were taken to the Pratts house (They have a HUGE house!) and that's where all the Roosevelt and some of the Vernal Sisters stayed. It felt awesome to get a good shower (The showers here in Roosevelt have really hard water and make my hair all frizzy and fall out...) and also have working AC...At our house I don't think the AC works...we've seriously been roasting at night as we try to fall asleep and I feel sweaty gross all the time. ugh. hahaha. We need a fan...but don't have one...so we'll have to just deal with it...I'll probably start sleeping with an ice pack. 
     The next morning we woke up early to get ready for the parade and had to be there at 7am. We got there and pretty much stood around for 2 and half hours waiting for the parade to begin. It was fun though because I got to see a bunch of missionaries I hadn't seen in months and months and it was good to reconnect with friends. It made me really happy :) I was bummed though because I forgot my camera and so I don't have any pictures of the parade right now. 
     Finally, the parade started and we began walking. It was insane!!! Everyone was cheering so loud and jumping up and down when we walked by and all the little kids would line up to give us all high fives as we passed. There were so many people there (A lot of them camped out the night before on the street to get a good spot!) The route was long and packed the whole way!!! We weren't allowed to wear tennis shoes -we had to wear proselyting shoes. I picked my comfiest ones but apparently they weren't good enough because I got blisters on the back of my heels and also one on the bottom of my feet...that was fun... haha. It was SUPER hot outside too, but it was still a blast! I ran into Aubrey Hunt on the route and also Mindy and also Grant. I also saw Brooklyn Dyck, and Cody Burt, and Jessica Amidan. It was fun to randomly run into them. Hahaha one second I heard Mindy screaming my name, then I was hugging her, and then just as fast I was walking away with the rest of the parade. 
     After the parade our whole mission got together for a huge lunch! We were all pretty exhausted and hot and it was really cramped and humid in the gym where we were eating. We got to talk with everyone and at one point we just went and laid out in the hall to catch a breather. We watched a slide show of pictures from the mission and then helped clean up. Some Polynesian elders did the Hakka for us.
     After that we got back to our car at the mission home and made the drive back to Roosevelt... Which consisted of laughing at Sis Reed again as she told us hilarious stories or told us plot lines from her favorite movies. I aspire to be like Sis Reed someday... :)
      When we finally got back we changed our clothes and I showered real fast.   Then headed to the church to watch Frozen.... WHICH WAS AWESOME!! I loved it!!!! It was sooooooo cute and the music has been stuck in my head ever since! I totally wasn't expecting the whole prince Hans thing....dang. haha, oh well... we actually watched it twice...We had from 5-9 and so we started it at 5:30 and watched it twice in a row back to back because we're nerds like that...it was great. Our whole district about died laughing during the summer song that Olaf sings. 
     The rest of the week has been crazy. I felt like I had been hit by a train Saturday morning and was really sore and tired. I felt like I had a fever too which made the day long and sleepy. But I made it through. Yesterday was a good day because we went to a bunch of wards and I had the chance to share my testimony multiple times. I thought I might be getting transferred today, so I was feeling scared and wanted to get some goodbyes in...BUT GUESS WHAT?! 
Felkin family
     I'm staying in Roosevelt AGAIN! I'll have been here 7 1/2 months by the end of this transfer....haha oh gosh...So is Sis Nomo too. We are staying together.  (Mom Note: NOT true, new companion Sister McMurray in Roosevelt)
      Last night we went to youth singing, which I'm sure I've told you about before... It's were a bunch of the youth get together and sing on Sunday evenings. I ended up taking my music file with me and I sang for them. I sang Savior Redeemer of My Soul, then they requested that I sing another one, so I impromptu sand His Hands for the first time in front of people. It felt so good! To just sing it felt amazing. I seriously haven't had the chance in about two months to do it and I've really missed it.  It was the highlight of my day.     Well I love you guys! I miss you and hope you are having a good time and have a fun rest of summer!!!! LOVE YOU!

Sister Lenise Diane Volmer