Tuesday, September 30, 2014

Here Comes Goodbye to Roosevlet after 8 months

Dear Family.
     To be perfectly honest, I am sitting here in the Roosevelt family history center trying my hardest not to bawl my eyes out right now.
                      I'm being transferred. 
      I'm leaving my second home: Roosevelt. And I'm a total mess. I love these people so much. I knew this would happen someday, but I didn't expect it to hurt so badly. This is worse than leaving home, because I don't know how many of these people I'll get to see again...This is so hard. There are so many people I feel I need to help here and it is so hard to have to leave them all. But if it's God's will...I'll do it. If there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it's that God knows what He's doing. And he hasn't failed me yet. He promises "I will not fail thee, nor forsake thee." Wherever it is I'm going...He needs me there. No questions asked. But that doesn't mean I'm not still hurting. It's hard have a family and home built so strongly here and then to leave it. 
Saying goodbye to a good friend & Roosevelt, where she has
been for 8 months of her mission.
   I'm so sad to not be with Sister McMurray again. She has become one of my best friends...we've had so many good laughs and inside jokes and such a good time together. We have never had contention at all while we were together. She is the best! She is such a sweet heart! She likes to have adventures and play in rain puddles, she loves horses to death and I've never wanted to learn to ride horses more than when I was with her. She has one more transfer left before going home, so I'm super sad I don't get to spend this last transfer with her!  She comes from a family of 8 and was living in Ohio when she came out, but her family has since moved to Logan Utah and that is where she will be returning. She is going to BYUI in the winter so maybe she can meet Kelsy and Sierra!!! 
     Life here is crazy. It has been a super busy week! We got 6 new investigators! (who I won't be able to teach... :( I was so excited!)        
     Tuesday was super busy and we were running around like chickens with our heads cut off. We had a lot of appointments fall through and cancel, but we were still able to see a few people. Wednesday we had to drive down to Provo because Sis McMurray had a meeting. They are starting this new pilot program in our mission where six weeks before you go home they give you an RM course to do. Each week is a different topic and it helps you prepare for life back at home, setting goals, getting a job, future education, and dating and marriage. Apparently they've had a lot of problems with RM's being lazy and falling away from the church because they need a "break" or something stupid like that. So we drove down there and I got to see and talk with Sister Balero because she is going home the same transfer as Sis McMurray. She asked if we could sing at their final testimony thing. So hopefully that works out! 
     I got to see T Thursday, and I'm sooooo sad to be leaving. It seems like everything keeps piling up and making her life worse, and I'm so sad that I won't be there for her anymore. I will have to write her a ton! Thursday we also got taken out by the Croziers (my third grandparents! They are the best!) and they took us to a restraunt that gave me my dinner on a plate the size of a garbage can lid...it was huge! I barely made a dent in it! Goodness.... All I ever want to eat is soup and watermelon. 
     Friday night we met the Eggett family (4 of the 6 new investigators we got this week) I was so excited to start teaching them because the mom and I really clicked and was so receptive! I hope the new sister can click as well too! I'm so sad I don't get to teach them!
Chandler's baptism
     Saturday was Chandler's baptism! It was great! Except the font got filled too full again! haha! He wanted his uncle to give both the baptism and the holy ghost talk, and so he combined them ..it was seriously one of the shortest baptisms ever...haha but it was still good! 
   The General womens meeting was sooooo good! I loved the rendition they did of I Know That My Redeemer Lives! And I loved Sis Marriot's talk and also Elder Uchtdorf's of course! It was soooo good! I love how he stressed so strongly the importance of obedience and keeping the commandments in our role as making back to heavenly father as His children. Such a good talk. 
     Sunday I woke up sick...and still am. I have a terrible cold. I hate colds. I turn into a snotty mess. Especially when crying about leaving Roosevelt! But I kept it at bay until after I sang His Hands in the Roosevelt 7th ward. (I'll send you the video.) Sunday was a loooooonnngg day. we were up early to get out to White Rocks (30 min away) in time for a 7:30 meeting. And then we were nonstop all day long at churches and meetings and lessons and stuff. We had dinner at Dusty's house last night again because dinner fell through. It was fun playing with his niece and nephew who live there. They have a 9 month old named Thor who is probably the FATEST baby I have ever seen in my life....Like holy cow....Thor fits him so well...haha. And Little Zoe is the cutest thing and is only 3 and has a huge personality and made me play barbies with her. 
     Then last night we got to teach Bri again, which is always super cool and spiritual. I'm going to miss the White Family a lot! They are so much fun! 
     Well... I'm off to start the goodbyes...these next few days are going to be really hard for me! If you could pray for me I would appreciate it! 
     I love you all to the moon and back. This gospel is SO true. I have recieved such a deep love for people as I have served them and am so grateful for the time I have spent on my mission. My mission means everything to me. And I wouldn't change it for the world. 
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Monday, September 22, 2014

Temple....and slashed tires!

They all look happy!
Dear Family,
This week. I can't put it into words. I don't think I've had such a hectic week yet. It was all kinds of amazing exciting awesome outstanding great goodness! And all kinds of horrible in between.  Let's start at the very beginning. A very good place to start.
    Last p-day we went sour patch bowling again...which was a lot of fun and hilarious! We changed it up a little and did some tornado bowling where you have to spin around for ten seconds before you bowl.  I love our district and we have so much fun together! They have all discovered my talent for taking hideous double chin pictures...and I think I am currently the back ground on 3/4 of their ipad screens. Also Elder Quezada challenged me to eat a palm full of the sour powder from the sour patch bag... that was really gross. Then that night we had Jaden's baptism interview with the Zone leaders
    Tuesday we had exchanges with the STL's. I got to go to Vernal with Sis Rogers. She is a sweet heart and we had a lot of fun laughing. We had never been on exchanges before and it was fun to get to know each other. My day with her was super busy and we were on the run all day long. It was

    The next day, Wednesday was SOOOOO busy! We had district meeting and district lunch (at which I snorted like a pig on accident while eating and had all the elders laughing their heads off at me....yeah I'm pretty sure I'm the dumb blonde comic relief in their lives....) and then we were teaching nonstop all day. We were running back and forth, and then we stayed up really late packing EVERYTHING because we were switching houses the next day and had no time to pack before. Two people packing everything at once...that was fun... It was super sad to leave Sis Brighton. :( I love that little old lady! She was the sweetest! She was really sad to see us go, and I was sad to leave. I have never lived somewhere other than home as long as I did at Sis Brightons house. But the next day, Thursday we hauled everything into the Roosevelt 11th ward. We are seriously so much closer to everything in our area now...and I love our new home! The bed is soooooo comfy! And helps a lot with my back! LOVE!  And there are nowhere near as many spiders. (You would be proud of me. Sis McMurray is more scared of spiders than I am, and I have gotten better at killing them...although I can still only do it with a shoe...and I might let out a scream every now and then.)  My legs felt like jello after the stationary bike and treadmill! It's great! Our landlords are the sweetest too! They are so kind to us!

      Friday we got to go to Vernal to the Temple because a less active couple I've been working with for 6 months were going to get their endowments. The Croziers (one of our ward mission leaders and his wife. Bro Crozier is like my adopted grandpa. I wish you guys could meet him. He is everyone’s favorite person and the sweetest!) gave us a ride up. We stopped at a church book store to buy something for Jaden's baptism and somebody there randomly donated $20 to help us buy her a nice journal and get her name engraved on it. Tender Mercy! We then went through the temple session. It was great! It is seriously the BEST and most AMAZING feeling to be able to see people you've been working with enter the celestial room. I was smiling like an idiot the whole time! 
Slashed tires after temple re-dedication.

     Then when we got out of the temple, I found out that the pianist I had arranged to play for my musical number at the baptism the next day had suddenly fell through. It was like 8:30 at night and the baptism was the next day at 10am...I was frantic! I was trying to call anybody I knew who could play the piano....it took forever! And I was so stressed! But finally Sis Wells came through. But I didn't get the music to her until the next morning. So that was stressful. 
      Then the next day the ward mission leader accidentally left the font water on for too long and almost flooded the baptism font!!! Jaden's baptism went well, but when she got in the font the water was up to her neck! We thought we would need a lifeguard or floaties if it had been any higher! Her grandpa who baptized her could have just put his hand on her head and dunked her for her baptism! When she was done her mom was at the door saying "Ok jade, now swim back!" haha! Gosh!
      Saturday evening we got to go back to Vernal to watch Elvis and Debbie Prescott get sealed together, which was really neat! They were so excited and the spirit was really strong. After a stressful couple days it is always just feels so good to be in the temple, to feel everything melt away, and to feel at home. 
     Sunday was cool because we got to go to the Ogden Temple Rededication Broadcast. I have never been to one before (I was too young when our temple was dedicated) so it was cool to experience. We went to two of the sessions and the spirit was really strong! I love our prophet and his apostles! They are so inspired! And I love the temple!
      Something not so great happened afterwards though. We were climbing into our car when one of our Bishop's sons drove by with his new wife and he rolled down his window. So I rolled mine down and he said "Did you know that your two right tires are completely flat?" and I was like "Wait...what?!" so we climbed out of the car and sure enough they were flat. We were racking our brains trying to remember where we had driven recently that could have done that and couldn't think of a thing. We called the zone leaders and they borrowed one of the donut tires from the other sister’s car that matched ours and they came and helped us change our tires. After further inspection we realized that one of them looked like it had been sliced open a little and the other one looked like it had a puncture wound from a knife. I can officially say that while on my mission we got our tires slashed.... yay....not. 
     Sunday night went better though! We got to meet with B! We haven't seen her in forever! I've told you about her once before, forever ago! She lives with the White family. And they are Hilarious!!!! We had a bunch of good laughs last night! They have a son serving in England right now who gets back in May. And after telling me about all his flaws...they then decided that I needed to marry him.....Um....say what?! I've had people try to adopt me before, but this was the first time they tried to marry me off to their son....Hahahaha NO.
      So yeah. Crazy week. 
      I love you all! Thanks for keeping me in the loop! I miss you all to smithereens. 
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Monday, September 15, 2014

You are my Sunshing!

Dearest Family,
     Well this week was random but really good! 
Gifts from good friends passing thru..
Hope Mom screaming in your ear when she
heard where you were didn't hurt to much!
Thank you Stokers for making my day
extra special. 
     Okay, so first! You asked if I actually got to see Brother and Sister Stoker. Sadly, no I didn't :( It made me really sad that I missed them, but I talked to them on the phone briefly. I was actually in the next town over in Duchesne helping out with a benefit rodeo for someone with breast cancer in our stake. So I was about 45 min away. And when I saw their phone number calling, I thought it was a telemarketer. I hesitated when I saw it said Washington....but I didn't follow my gut feeling sadly, and silenced it and resumed helping haul hamburger patties to the food area...Later I was bummed to find out that I missed them...it would have been strange seeing someone from back home in Roosevelt. haha! Home and here seem like two completely different worlds, so it would be weird to have them mix...but I wouldn't have minded :) Be sure to tell the Stokers thanks again! It seriously made my week!
     So, sadly I have no fun adventures to tell you about from last p-day...we pretty much spent three hours at a car garage getting our oil changed...lame...
     Wednesday was just super busy with lots of teaching appointments! We are working with two younger kids to get ready for baptism. C and J. J is the best, I think I already told you about her and she is getting baptized this upcoming Saturday! We are really excited for her! I love her and her mom. They are two people I feel like I was meant to be here for. 
     Thursday was a really slow day, and I wasn”t feeling very good that day so it felt really long... Friday was another long day. We had zone training meeting and it was super spiritual and awesome but I still wasn't feeling very well so it was hard for me to focus and I felt all scatterbrained. I got called on by surprise and totally butchered my answer to the STL's question and it was really embarrassing...  But afterward I felt better and we had a lunch picnic with our district. I love my district! Those elders are so funny and really good at changing my mood around.
     Saturday was busy with my rodeo adventure/service and getting the fun flowers. 
     Sunday was a really busy day for us too. We got up early to go to a ward council meeting at 7:30am all the way in Neola (30 min away) and then we had to give talks in the 8th ward. (Bro Ryan's ward) I gave mine on the Talk "Are you Sleeping Through the Restoration" by President Uchtdorf from the last Priesthood session. (really good talk! read it!) 
Card from a friend & words to a song
from my childhood.
      Later we made some cookie dough to make cookies today or tomorrow for our ward mission leaders to let them know how much we appreciate them! We hope to get them out to them in the next few days! There are 11 of them... Later in the afternoon we were trying to figure out who to see after an apt fell through and Sis McMurray said "We haven't seen T in a while..." and instantly I felt that we needed to go see her. Right then. When we got there her gate was closed to her driveway and chained...But we are missionaries...aint no way that's gonna stop us! So we unchained it and drove right on up. She came out on the front porch squinting at us because she didn't recognize our new car. And it was true. She did need us a lot. She struggles and hurts so much and has so many hard questions. Sometimes all I can do is repeat over and over again that Christ loves her. That if it hurts so much right now it's not the end. It's not. This life is nothing, absolutely nothing compared to the rest of what God has planned for us. If there is one thing I've learned on my mission, it's that I know nothing! There is so much I don't know, but there is so much I am excited to discover in the next life. So I asked if I could sing for her, and she said yes. I sang I Know That My Redeemer Lives. I love that song, and it is so powerful and straight forward. And after it I couldn't help but just cry (because I'm a baby, and music is the way I feel the spirit) and repeat "I know it. He does. I know it." I love T and if there is anybody out here in Utah that I am supposed to be here for, it's her. She has so many obstacles that she needs to overcome still, but sometimes all I can do for the people here is be there. Be there for them. Life is a mix of sunshine and grey and I've learned that I get to be the one to determine how I react to it, and also how I help others get through it. Is it strange that in losing yourself you actually do find yourself? Is it strange that in forgetting myself I've discovered so much more self-confidence? And a greater knowledge of who I am and whose I am? And of where I can go and who I can become. And others who I can bring with me. So many others that I want to bring with me. The least I can do is make it back to heaven. The most I can do is bring everyone else with me.
      I love and miss you all a whole lot! You are all in my prayers! 
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer                                                                                                                          

Friday, September 12, 2014

A mission full of adventures!

Dear Family! 
Alrighty! So! This week was a super fun one! Lot of adventures!
"Should I go in or out?"  Adventures of caves!
     Monday we took our whole district up to Pole Creek for P-day. We had a blast! The elders in our District are Elder Quezada, Elder Taylor,  Elder Rivera,  Elder Elliot! And they are the silliest bunch of elders EVER. They are the funniest people to talk to and I've loved getting to know them all! Our district is super close and we have a lot of fun! We tried to go into pole creek cave like I did with Sis Nomo, but because it has been raining so much lately it was flooded, so we could only make it down into the mouth and entry of the cave, but the rest was waist deep...so that put a ‘damper’ on things, but it was still fun. We also went to the Sinks where there is a waterfall and cave/tunnel thing and took fun pictures. We then "juiced" which Elder Quezada introduced to us...it's pretty much just hiking somewhere and drinking juice at the top in lawn chairs...so we did that.  Dusty always makes things interesting. We had a girl name K with us, and he was asking Dusty if he ever hunted and he said "No I don't hunt, I kill..." in a really creepy voice. We all laughed and she said "Then what do you kill?" and he said "Things that need to be dead...." haha oh gosh...  Afterwards we went and had BBQ at Dusty's with Elder Quezada and Elder Taylor, because the other elders had a lesson. We had a very lengthy discussion on the magical-ness of bacon (silly elders).
Looks like Lenise got her Volmer Reunion t-shirt!
    We've been working this week with a 9 year old girl named J who is getting baptized the 20th. She is super cute and such a tomboy! She seriously is the only girl in all the Uintah basin on the little league football team...yep. She rocks. But she won't cut her hair so it is super long and her favorite color is still pink....haha I wish she was a few years older so we could marry her off to Carl! Her mom is a less active and is coming back to church and she is great! We love her to death too! She is so sweet and we got to go to church, relief society, and primary with them yesterday! It was great! 
    Wednesday morning we went to Randalette to do some service with Elder Rivera and Elder Elliot and the zone leaders. We got there late because of cleaning inspections and so Sis McMurray and I got to lunge the Elder's land lady's horses. I got to brush their mains and comb them and then Sis McMurray (Who owns 8 horses of her own) taught me how to lunge the horses. (It's where you stand in the middle holding the lead rope and a switch while they trot around you in a circle.)
     Thursday was zone conference, which is pretty much a 7 hour long meeting with President McCune....They are always so spiritually uplifting and inspiring and fun! But they can also be overwhelming....It was a really long one, but I felt uplifted. There are a lot of changes I need to make. I'm nowhere near perfect and work on my weaknesses every day. That's one thing about being a missionary...your weaknesses become a lot more obvious to you...But we had a really awkward discussion at lunch during zone conference with Elder Christofferson.....while President McCune and his wife were sitting at our table…. Elder Christofferson started comparing girls to horses (a result of our service on Wednesday) I don't know about you, but I don't exactly appreciate being compared to a horse....but he had some good comparisons I have to admit....You should have seen Pres. McCune’s face. haha
    Friday night we went to a camp out (just for the evening) in Dusty's ward. We rode up to the campground with K (we got to wear JEANS!!!! YES!) on this really bumpy road and had a blast with the ward eating and playing games with the kids and getting to know the members better. It felt good to be out in nature and to interact with everyone. One of the families brought a bull whip and was cracking it. We asked if we could do it too and they taught us how! I was really excited because I remember Grandpa Merkley always cracking his bull whip and I remember trying but never being able to! It was super cool to be able to actually do it! I was pretty sad when I found out Grandpa was taken to Guardian Angel...but after all that grandma and mom have told me, I think it is probably for the best. I pray for him every night. I know that even though he won't have any idea who I am when I get home, that his spirit is still in there and someday I will have my swing-dancing, Butterfinger loving, black sock wearing, tongue-sticking-out grandpa back someday. I am eternally grateful for the plan of salvation, the promise of eternal families, and the resurrection. Let him know I love him!
        Sunday we had all of our investigators on date for baptism make it to church. YES!!!!!!! It was awesome! We got a lot of teaching done and had another BBQ with Dusty for his birthday because dinner fell through...again. I got eaten alive by mosquitoes though...But I heard if you get a spoon and make it hot by running it under hot water, then put it on the bite it's supposed to make it go away. 
   So this week was AWESOME! Loved it and had so much fun! We've been doing really good at reaching our goals and have been finding new people to teach which is awesome!
    I love you all so much and I am so thankful for your letters and testimonies! I've loved getting to see videos of Hannah and Baby Davey this last week from mom! I hope all is going well and everyone is safe and healthy! Thanks for keeping me updated on what's going on with AJ too. We still pray for him every day.
    Miss you and love you all to the moon and back!

Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

Life Goes On! The work goes on!

It looks like Lenise is right at home.
She seems pretty popular with the kids!
Dearest family,
     This week has been strange. And crazy. And normal. And cool. And hard.  And chill. And fun. And just...idk. I guess I can sum it up in a quote by Robert Frost: "In three words I can sum up everything I've learned about life: It goes on." Yes. Yes it does. The work goes on. Life goes on. I keep moving on. I was super surprised and sad to hear about AJ :( thank you so much for the update and keeping me in the loop! We've said lots of prayers for him and I put his and his families’ names in the temple when I went this week. I did the same for Grandpa Merkley. I hope all is okay with him! Tell Grandma I love her and him!
     So my birthday last Monday went good :) a lot of the other missionaries totally forgot it was my birthday and Sis McMurray and I just sat and laughed as each of them filed into the family history center and didn't say a word to me. I never mentioned it so most of them still don't know that I had a birthday! Haha. We went to Vernal and went shopping and then we met up with Dusty who was out there for class and we had Cold Stone for lunch (it was my first time
there....and yes I ate ice cream for lunch. It was my birthday, I can do what I want!) Then when we got back we did some recording with the Ryan family (you will get the end result eventually! ) and had dinner with them. It was the first day of school that day for all the kids so we hit a bunch of ward parties that night. Sis Felkins made me a chocolate cake and we had it at one of the block parties at Bishop Gilleys house and they sang to me. It was a fun birthday for sure!
     Tuesday we worked and worked and worked. We taught a lot! And I went to this guy’s house with a million mounted heads and horns all over his house! (Pics for dad to come!)
     Wednesday was crazy! We had a lot of fun and met a new older couple. The husband is less active and the wife not a member. We talked with them a lot and compared a lot stuff about our church and the Catholic Church. Shout out to Grandpa Volmer for sending me his testimony and story about his conversion from the Catholic Church to ours last Christmas! It helped a lot to know that stuff! As we left she said "finally some Mormons who get what I'm talking about and believe the same things I do!" Haha it was really funny! She asked us right off the bat when we got there if we were getting married right after our missions and when we both gave a resounding "NO!" She was like "I'm going to like you two." Haha she was great! Can't wait to go back and meet with her again!
     Thursday was another day full of teaching! We were super busy and got to meet up with T who has been questioning Gods love for her a lot and feeling lonely .  Well, randomly at an Addiction Reduction meeting a guy in his late twenties was there and when he was sharing his story he kept looking right at her and talking about alcohol abuse and the way it can ruin relationships and marriages.  After the meeting he came up to her and said "are you T?" And she said "um...yes?" And he said "I've been prompted to give a gift to you. Can we find a room with a piano?" She said she was shocked but then helped him find a piano where he then sat down and played his own beautiful arrangement of I Am a Child of God. She said she cried and cried and they had a long talk afterwards. That was just what she needed and I cried when she told me because it was an answer to my prayers as well.
     Saturday was a great day! I got to go to the temple with a less active I have been teaching since I first got to Roosevelt. Can I just say that even better than a baptism is helping someone make it to the temple? When I walked into the celestial room and saw her standing there glowing I lost it. Sharon is older, maybe in her late 60's and is one of the sweetest women I have ever met. She made this goal without her husband and has been working so hard towards it. She looked so happy standing there and she just gave me the biggest hug and kept thanking me over and over again...that is the best feeling. The absolute best. If that moment alone was the reason I served a mission it would be worth it. It is so worth it. Helping someone make those sacred promises and strive to make it back to our Father....I couldn't be happier. Moments like those are why I love my mission so much. Gosh I love these people so much sometimes it hurts.
     Yesterday I got to meet the sweetest four year old girl with Leukemia.  Her and her older brother and sister were super fun to play with before dinner and we had a blast with their family. Maddie was a cutie pie!
    With a lot of the trials come a lot of the blessings. And life keeps moving forward. Today we are going caving and hiking again only this time as a district! I'm so stoked! Pictures to come! Love you all to the moon and back!
 Love Sister Lenise Diane Volmer