Wednesday, January 30, 2008


This past week was great! I think that yesterday was the best day I've had thus
far on my mission. Guess what happened? You'll never guess.... We actually
set a baptismal date with our investigator Rosemarie for Feb 16th! Crazy,
especially considering the fact that there hasn't been a baptism in the area for
over 8 months. I have been working so hard, and the Lord is really blessing us
here. It is amazing to see just how prepared some people are to receive the
gospel, and how it can be such a quick process. I really felt guided to knock
on her door just over a week ago, and now she is ready to get baptized. It's

Not to leave you without a funny story for the week, get this: We go over to Rose Marie's and we figured we would take Sister Chokan and she could help fellowshipRose Marie since they are around the same age, early 60's. Just picture this for me please: we are sitting around the kitchen table and Rosemarie and Sister Chokan have found some common ground:
Lovely. Just lovely.
As they are discussing the logistics of phone calls, letters, prison life,
falling in love with bad boys, etc. I am at a complete loss for words.
I have nothing to add to this pot of goodness, and neither does sister Tingey.
As I'm sitting in complete shock to everything I'm hearing
(patiently waiting for my turn to teach the plan of salvation),
the cat, Astro, is on my lap. Yes, for some reason every time I am
there he won't leave me alone. Me, the only one in the room that despises
animals. Go figure. Well, I've gotten accustomed to Astro sitting on my lap,
but just then something crazy happened. He started convulsing all over my lap
and coughing and wheezing. I must have looked like a deer in the headlights,
because Rosemarie said, "Oh he's fine... he's just coughing out hair balls...
just slap him on the back sweetie." OH MY GOSH. I can deal with a cat on my lap now, but helping a cat wheeze out hairballs is a different story. At this point in time I started wondering how a good girl like me got herself into this one. Missions are crazy. I would probably never have the opportunity to experience 75% of the situations I find myself in if it weren't for a mission.

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

Missions are really funny!

I never thought I would laugh so hard every day.
Here are a few things that have made me laugh this week:
1. We found a man that missionaries had spoken with about a year ago. He was
totally normal (at least I thought.) He has a nice little family, and lives in
a normal house. We were talking about God with him, and he was really confused.
We talked to him for about an hour trying to explain God's role in our lives.
He looked at us with complete confidence and sincerity and said, "I never told the other sisters this, but do you want to know what I really think? GOD IS AN
ALIEN AND WE ARE HIS SCIENCE EXPERIMENT." The sad thing is that he was
completely serious. We talked with him for a while longer, but he wouldn't
budge. As we left the house Sister Tingey and I fell onto the snow because we
started laughing so hard. IT's sad that he really believes that, but a good
story. Sister Tingey said it definitely makes top 5 crazy theories she's heard on her mission.
2. We tracted into a lady yesterday that was baptized, but left the church. We
asked her politely what her name was and she wouldn't give it to us, complaining
that the church kept tracking her down. She had this wild look in her eye as
yelled, "If Osama bin Laden was Mormon, you would have already found him!!!"
3. The other day we tracted into a catholic deacon. I gave him a short little
shpill and he started screaming, "YOU DON'T BELIEVE IN JESUS CHRIST!" I said,
"Sir, the central focus of our church is Jesus Christ." He replied with "THEY TELL YOU WHAT TO SAY!!!!" hahahaha. Big brother is watching.
4. We were teaching a lesson at Rosemarie and Tina's the other day. Rosemarie
loves her cat, Tina loves her dogs. Rosemaries cat was climging all over me,
and Rosemarie told me to just love it. I was grossed out, but tried to pet it.
Eventually the cat made it's way to my shoulders and sat on top of my shoulders
for a good ten minutes. It was DISGUSTING. It was the nastiest thing I've ever
subjected myself to. At the same time, Tina's little dog was running around
with a mad case of diarrhea. hahahahahaha. Oh the joys of pets.

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Greetings from the coldest place I've ever set foot!

Cleveland, Ohio. Where to begin? I have been here for 7 days now. Here are some of the highlights of my first week in Brunswick.
My first full day in Ohio started with a drive to Kirtland. We got a personal tour of the Kirtland temple. It was amazing. We got to go to the attic where many revelations were received, and Carl Anderson got to give us most of the tour and so we talked about the importance of the Doctrine and Covenants and the revelations given in them, and the great significance of the Kirtland temple. We got to sit
in the chapel and read about when Jesus Christ visited Joseph Smith and Oliver Cowdry in the temple. It was a very spiritual experience to be sitting in the temple in early morning, watching the sun come through the windows and thinking about the events that took place there. Afterwards, Carl asked me to get up and
lead everyone in "The Spirit of God" because the saints sang that song in the temple. It was an experience I'll never forget.

Let me tell you... I think that I had to start my mission in the bitter cold of January, because it's all going up hill from here. It has to. Saying that it is freezing is an understatement here. It is miserable outside. For the past three days it's been snowing (we are talking almost blizzard), and slushing cold rain. I spoke with a woman and she said that she's lived all over (she moves every 9 months) and this is the COLDEST PLACE SHE"S EVER SET FOOT. Figures, doesn't it?

A true trademark of a Brunswick home is a goose statue in the front yard somewhere. Everyone has statues of geese in their yard, and many homes go so far as to dress up their geese in clothes. Sister Tingey once served in an area where a home had 365 outfits for their goose. In order for the goose to be truly authentic, it has to have it's nose, or ear, or some other body part broken off. hahahah. hilarious.
I'm sure Christmas time here is great as far as yard decor goes, because it doesn't have to be christmas for these people to get creative. I've seen statues of dogs, naked men, angels, animals, sillhouetes of human beings, and other indescribably unique objects in the front yards of Brunswick. A true blessing to keep me laughing as I tract.

Tracting is cold, but it's also humorous. I have developed a lot more respect for missionaries that are called to serve in the states. It's tough. People can be really mean and hardened. The other day a woman started screaming at us that had a full on beard. I couldn't even pay attention to what she was saying, becuase I was so engrossed in the curly black and gray hairs hanging down from her chin. That same day we met a true gentleman. We knocked on his door and started talking about Jesus Christ and he interjected, "I don't need Jesus.... I NEED THE BOOZE." Amazing. Sister Tingey and I both stopped immediately to write that one down.

The sisters before us had met with a woman a few times named Dorothy, and so we've met with her about three times this past week. I am so in love with her. She is 88 years old, and has about all the sass in the world. She is hilarious. We taught her about prophets and showed her a picture of President Hinckley. She said she liked his smile. hahaha. We've been reading the Book of Mormon with her and urging her to pray. Yesterday we were teaching her about the plan of salvation. She started getting a little emotional and said how that would be wonderful to see her daughter again that died and see Jesus again. She has been meeting with a Jehovah's witness for about six years now. Yesterday she told us that she's beginning to hope and think that we are right. She was raised Methodist and that means a lot to her... I think it's just going to take some time. She prayed for the first time out loud the other day and it was the coolest thing I've ever witnessed. She thanked God for sending us to her, and she told God that she thinks the things we are teaching her are true. What a gem. LOVE visiting Dorothy.