Wednesday, November 26, 2014

A gift for Grandpa!

 Dearest Family of Mine, 
Hi.  How are you all? 
These two seem very happy in their missionary service.
     Now that the all the hustle and bustle of the funeral is over, I hope you get a chance to breathe and relax. How did Mom and Lance do? I wanna hear their talks! I teared up reading mom's email about the experience, and it sounds like there was a lot of love shared and amazing memories! Grandpa was such an example, and such a great man. I want to marry someone just like him some day! I had a dream this week that was very short and it happened right as I was waking up. And all it was grandpa standing there, and he just reached out and gave me a big warm hug. And that was it. It was over within seconds and my alarm clock was going off for me to get up. But I felt really calm and really happy and really content afterwards. I know Grandpa has to be happy where he is. He is still here with us in so many ways, and I'm thankful for his spirit to help guide and bless us. 
     This week was busy busy busy!
     I haven't knocked doors as much on my whole mission as I have this week! Because YSA records go in and out of wards so fast with all the YSA moving around so much, we have been given an assignment to contact all the Less actives and No-shows in one of our wards, which keeps us pretty busy making visits and inviting people to church. We've had some funny experiences though...One of the days we knocked on a door and heard a dog going berserk inside! Little did we realize there was a doggy door on the FRONT door, and this little evil Jack Russel Terrier jumped out at us and started barking at me and foaming from the mouth! We both squeaked a little bit in fear before this Russian accented woman opened the door and called the dog back in. She only knew enough English to say "Sorry, my crazy dog." and affirm that the girl we were looking for was not there. Sis Gulbranson and I were laughing so hard as we walked back to our car, I'm sure the woman could see our shoulders shaking! 
On the same day as Grandpa's funeral, someone was reborn.
Lenise says, "What a great gift to Grandpa
     Tuesday we taught Chayaane (who got baptized this Saturday!) and he is such a stalwart prepared guy!!! He is just amazing! His conversion story is great too! The teachers in the family ward were knocking doors for fast offerings and happened across him. He had no idea what fast offerings were but paid anyways!!! On their way around the corner of the street, the teachers ran into some Spanish Elders and sent them to Chayanne, and they sent him to us! Awesome, right? He was so so so prepared and solid! He is seriously the most polite mannered guy ever, and he had no trouble accepting the lessons and commandments because he already lived most of them anyways! He is just a well-rounded guy! He has a girlfriend who attends BYU-Idaho, but he made it very clear from the beginning that he wasn't doing it for his girlfriend. He sincerely wanted to know. We already know he is going to be such a good example to his family and generations to come! What a neat guy :) We also taught a girl named C on Tuesday, and she is a recent convert. She is originally from Washington, and was taught the gospel there, but when she was baptized her family kicked her out of her house, and she ended up moving to Utah and is now living with one of the sister missionaries who baptized her and the sister missionaries' family. She is so cute and bubbly and so strong! She is already preparing to serve a mission of her own and it has been a blast getting to know her. We had dinner with that family this week and it was great! I swear, everyone here is obsessed with the BYU creamery and always has BYU creamery ranch dressing on their tables. No joke. I've never even been there. I didn't even know what it was or where it was until we were driving home from Camry's final testimony my first day in the area.
     Any-who, so Tuesday night I met an investigator who apparently they have been teaching for a while. His name is J A and he is a super neat guy! He knows the book of Mormon is true and he knows that Joseph Smith is a prophet...but here's the thing...he's known that his whole life...because he is a member of the reorganized LDS church and is a child of polygamy. Which means he needs to go through special interviews with our mission president, and also eventually with a general authority (usually a member of the 12) if he wants to get baptized. But he is still trying to decide if he wants to or not. He reads his scriptures and prays and has some amazing friends who are great examples to him. He makes it to church regularly as well, but he is still trying to decide what he believes. He loves his dad a whole lot and says that his dad is super Christ-like and doesn't want to disappoint him. It must be hard to decide whether or not you think your dad has the true priesthood. Or if the prophet you've been raised with your whole life is the true one, or the one from our faith is....It's crazy because he knows all the doctrine because he already believes and lives's just a matter of finding answers from him and sincere prayer and listening to the spirit. It's a hard situation, but we support him a lot, and pray for him like crazy. We talked about the plan of salvation this last week and he had some in depth questions. I was able to use my experience with Grandpa passing away to explain the nature of eternal families, resurrection, and following the commandments. God wants us all back to live with him. Not just some of us. And Jordan was really worried about that because he wants to be with his family forever. 
     Wednesday we did soooooooooo much contacting. Contacting is different than Tracting. Tracting you just go knock random doors. That doesn't work here in Utah...Contacting is usually where you have a list of names and addresses of people you already know aren't active or members and a little background, so it's like Celestial focused tracting. And it's easier when you know their names before you knock on a stranger’s door. It's a lot of fun...and super awkward...which can be fun within itself as well. Sis Gulbranson and I end up laughing a lot. We've actually both had two of the same companions, Sis Jones and Sis Nomo. Apparently Sis Jones talked about me a lot and the weird/funny things I would say...because I'm discovering that everyone that has served around her,- when they hear my name- automatically know who I am. Haha it's kinda funny. 
    Thursday was also busy with SO much contacting! Guess snowed several times this week, but never enough to stick...but still it's winter season...and you know what that means? Pot roast - potato - and carrot season. Yup, it's back. Remember how I told you last winter that we got served that 3-4 times a week for 3-4 months? Well guess how many times we had it this week? 3...haha oh goodness. People still feed us here way too much, but hey, I'm so grateful for their generosity and desire to help us out! :) 
     Friday we taught one of our investigators named C.  At the end of our lesson on the restoration she said "I have a question for you...the impossible question. Nobody has been able to answer it yet!" and Sis G and I looked at each other and raised our eyebrows and were like...."Ok...what?" and she said "Where did God come from?" haha :) We explained to her that nobody knew that and it was a question she would have to save for him when she meets him someday. She is super cute!
     Saturday was great because of Chayanne's baptism! We got to meet his girlfriend’s family and they were super nice and helped so much! Chayanne is a little go-getter because he made his own program and was greeting everyone as they came in, and thanking everyone as they left at the end. J A came for the baptism and we were able to say hi at the beginning, but at the end he snuck out really fast and we weren't able to talk with him. But it was a great program! He was confirmed the next day and it was great! He will do amazing things! It was strange that on the same day as Grandpa's funeral I felt like I was helping someone be reborn. I think that is a good gift to give to grandpa. 
     So I'm really starting to get a hang of this new area. It helps that I'm the driver and Sis Gulbranson helps me navigate...which means we kinda get lost a lot...haha! Our ward mission leaders work so hard.
     Well I hope you all have a great Thanksgiving this week!!! It's not going to be the same as last year for me, because YSA everyone goes home for we have dinner plans but the rest of the day we will probably be wandering around wondering who to visit and teach on a holiday...haha. I love you all to the moon and back and miss you tons! You are in my prayers! This gospel is SO true! It is a great time to be a missionary! Hoorah for Israel!
     Love Forever,
Sister Lenise Diane Volmer

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