Monday, November 25, 2013

Letter 4 - Miracles and Exciting Experiences

I LOVE to hear about all the news and see how things are going. Thank you for keeping me posted! I pray for my family every day :) And Welcome home kyle Chandler! That's exciting that the whole gang is back.
Mom and dad, It sounds like you two truly are missionaries back at home going on splits and helping out the missionaries. Let me tell ya, missionaries are grateful for members. Especially when they go on splits with them! Member testimonies can be so powerful! Just remember that silence is important in a lesson and not a sign of awkwardness. Haha let the spirit work on the hearts of the investigators and don't put in a say too fast! I love silence in lessons :) Alma 19:14, Ammon is a missionary who is NOT afraid of silence hahaha.

So miracles happened this week! God is preparing the people in Canada! This past week our mission had 30 baptisms!!! So happy for those people :)
I got to go on exchanges this week! Our sister training leaders are amazing. I went to Brantford and taught for a day with Sister Griffin. We had the whole day planned, but ended up only teaching one lesson haha. It wasn't a very successful day but I still learned SO MUCH and am so grateful for the experience. In the lesson we taught, things were going well. The investigator told us about what he had been reading in the Book of Mormon, and it was all very profound wonderful insights! But then he continued to talk... He told us about how he knows he is a direct descendant of Jesus Christ and that he has a special mission and special powers. He told us about dreams he has been having lately. And he told us about the real faces he has been seeing on his wall and that he had to scrape them off - he knew it was a sign of what the Lord had in store for him.... Sister Griffin and I had the worst feeling the whole time. And it didn't really help that our member we brought was telling this man that he was crazy and needed special help. Haha we said a prayer, and left and fast as possible. Creepy experience. But hilarious just the same haha.
Mary and Lucy are AMAZING GIRLS!!!! We taught them the Plan of Salvation this week. Lucy got so excited that she went to school the next day, and taught her school teacher the whole Plan of Salvation. Mary has been reading the Book of Mormon. She told us that it feels so real when she reads it. She can feel God speaking to her through the words and that it is so clear to her. She has been sharing her thoughts with her parents, and she actually started reading it with her mom! Every time we go over to teach them, we have another person (family or friend) sit in on the lesson out of curiosity. Lucy planned on coming to church, and she was going to bring a friend with her! They are true missionaries. Blessing everyone with the things they have been learning. They accepted a baptism date for December 15th!
This Sunday was going to be an AMAZING SUNDAY!!!! We had a bunch of investigators coming, and a bunch of less-actives as well! But London had a major snowstorm Saturday night and Sunday morning, and the city pretty much shut everything down and told people they couldn't drive anywhere. Bummer :( So we couldn't make it to our appointments that day and we couldn't go to church, but does that stop the work from moving forward? NO WAY!!!!! Sister Mendenhall and I got on our boots and coats, and started the trek. We walked around and offered to help people shovel their driveway. We talked with literally everyone. And if they didn't want to talk to us, then we would sing them a song haha. After an entire day of being outside, barely anyone was interested. But then we met Jon at 8:30 on our way back to the apartment! We told him about our prophet and the Book of Mormon and he was so interested that we stayed outside in the 5 degree weather and taught him the restoration. I'm so grateful that the spirit gives me a warm feeling inside haha or else I might have frozen to death.
Sister S…., from our district, had appendicitis and had to have surgery. So her companion Sister Green came with us for a couple days! It was a blast. It made contacting SO POWERFUL to have three witnesses. We really hit home on a man trying to argue with us about our beliefs. He yelled a lot and wanted nothing to do with us at first. We have another appointment with him haha.

I have been learning a lot lately how important the scriptures are in proof and testifying. I really have been working on that. I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God and it is PROOF that the truths of Christ's Gospel have been restored. So many people we talk to don't want anything to do with us because we are just another church - just like any other church. I KNOW that the apostasy really happened! I KNOW that Christ's gospel has been restored. I KNOW that this is the ONLY way back to live with God again. and I KNOW this is the way to true happiness and eternal life. WHO WOULDN"T WANT THAT?!?!?!  :)
My favorite chapters lately have been Moroni 7, 3 Nephi 11, and 2 Nephi 31. Go and read them, dissect them, apply them to your life, and feel it for yourself :) The Book of Mormon is amazing.
Thank you so much for your support and prayers. I love you all so much. I am so grateful for you. Continue being the great people you are. Have a great week!
Sister Bodine

News for how Sister Mendenhall and I did this week. Our goal for other lessons taught was 2, and we had 8. We have 9 new investigators. We taught 6 less-active members and MANY were planning on coming to church (...snowstorm....) and we had 7 referral present lessons!!! God is blessing us so much. haha we need to bump up our goals with all these miracles happening!

Monday, November 18, 2013

MTC Pics

Dressed up for Halloween

Sister Sperry

Provo Temple

The famous "District at the Map" photo

Letter 3 - Wow!!!! - November 18, 2013

Hi my family and my friends!!!
Thank you all for the letters, support, and prayers. I can feel your love all the way from Utah and it means so much! I have a pretty awesome family :)
Well I am going to get right into because there is so much to say yet so much to do. But let's just start with: I LOVE THIS WORK!!!!! THE LORD'S HAND IS TRULY IN THIS WORK!!!!
So many people told me before my mission that Heavenly Father has a special place in His heart for the people in Toronto, Canada. I saw that this week :) The Lord is preparing this people, and I want to tell you about a couple of them.
First off, Dave :) I am not using his real name for safety purposes, but "Dave" is AMAZING!!! He is from Iran, with limited English, and a heart of gold. He was a referral from some other Sisters in our area. They met him at a bus stop and started talking to him about the church. We set up a time to meet with him. The first time we met, we weren't really able to talk about the gospel haha because he is a major talker, but we got to know him nonetheless and we build a good friendship. When we told him about our prophets his eyes grew so big and he said "I need to know more about your church!" So we told him about church, an older couple in our ward gave him a ride, and he came to church this Sunday! In gospel principles class, I said the closing prayer and he told me "Every time Bodine prays, I have such a good feeling in my heart. I really like that feeling. I always want to have that feeling." BOOYAH!!!!! Best thing a missionary could POSSIBLY hear! He is wonderful :) Haha he calls us Bodine and Mendenhall - no "Sister" attached. We love it.
Last night the missionaries in our area put together a Resoration Fireside where we sang and shared the Resoration of the gospel. Dave came with the Kellys (the older couple) again and he LOVED it.
Next, Mary :) Mary is senior in high school. When we first met with her she didn't seem interested at all. She is so sweet, but very quiet and timid. We still set up an appointment for Saturday. Not only did the lesson really end up happening, but Mary's little sister Lucy and her cousing Filder came in and participated as well. We we got to the part of the restoration about that fact that we have a prophet on earth today, their eyes went so big and Mary and Lucy said "It's gotta be true! I always wondered why God wouldn't talk to us today. I believe it." BOOYAH!!!!! Greatest thing ever :) We invited them to church. Mary was the only one who could come, and we were a little nervous about how she felt about it. But after church we asked her what she felt, and she said that she could come next week and Lucy was hoping to come too. She wants to come back!! They are so excited for us to teach them God's plan for His children. They asked us so many questions that went along with it, and we told them to prepare for the next time we come. Haha this work is so much fun when you are able to bring a smile and a light to someone's face.
This week I received a witness that Thomas S Monson IS a prophet of God. And all it took was for someone to deny it right before my eyes. We met with a sister named Monica. Funniest lady in the world. The lesson was going great, she loved everything, and everything made sense to her. And then we showed her a picture of President Monson because she wanted to know what he looked like. She saw him wearing a suit, and freaked out. "That is NOT a prophet of God. You're telling me he lives in America, a country that is killing itself and falling to pieces, people are dying, and he is a prophet of God?! You get that man out of his mansion, out of his pretty suit, and into the world where babies are dying and people are being killed, and then I will consider him being a prophet of God...." This went on and on. No matter what we said, she would not listen. There was no changing her mind. During this fiesta, the spirit was so strong. I could feel it pulsing through my whole body. I wanted to just jump into the air and yell "HE IS A PROPHET OF GOD!!!!" That's pretty much what I did haha. She wasn't going to listen, so finally, Sister Mendenhall and i got on our coats, shook her hand, and I bore my testimony, looking her straight in the eye and told her what I felt. I KNOW that President Monson is the prophet of God on the earth today. I KNOW IT. I KNOW IT. I KNOW IT. If you will open your heart and just LISTEN to him, I promise you that you will know it too. We left after that. But Monica hasn't seen the last of us we can tell you that haha. This work is so miraculous.
I better go, but I want to you know how happy I really am. I love these people with all my heart. Every family, every home brings a new story. We see so much poverty every single day in its many forms. Satan is doing his best to bring all of God's children down. Yet amidst this darkness, Christ is shining His light. I love getting to meet these people and show them a love that they have either never felt, or not had in a long time. That is what Christ's Atonement does. It shines a light and brings a glimpse of happiness that these people so badly want/need. When we as missionaries are able to bring that light, there is no greater sight. I love this gospel. I have a testimony of this work. I am learning and growing every day.
Continue to pray. Continue to immerse yourself in the scriptures. Ask questions and search for the answer. Believe in yourself and things God KNOWS that you can do. Smile through every trial and every blessing. And by golly don't forget to keep your standards :) I love you all. I am so happy I get to share pieces of this work with you every week. Praying for you all!
Sister Bodine

Tuesday, November 12, 2013

Letter 2 - First from London, Ontario - November 12, 2013


It's no big deal.... I'm just writing you from a little place I like to call CANADA. That's all :) I'm a missionary. And boy is it great. I LOVE IT!!!! My companion's name is Sister Mendenhall. She has been out for 4 1/2 months now. She is from Alberta. She is quiet, serious, VERY Hard-working, and we have a great time together :) I have been blessed with an amazing trainer. And we are in the GREATEST AREA IN THE WORLD!!!! We are serving in London with the London 1st ward. The members here are SO missionary-minded. We are working hard to have a member with us at as many lessons as we can. People are so kind here. And members LOVE sister missionaries! Haha. We have a dinner appointment almost every night, and people are putting their name down multiple times so we can eat with them. Needless to say this sister is NOT going to be able to keep her weight down if this generosity remains haha. 

We are in a car mission. It is so nice because our area is HUGE, but it is also sad because we do not have as much time to contact people. All the more reason to talk to everyone whenever we are out of the car :) It's the greatest. 

So, the people here..... LOVE THEM! God truly brought us so many tender mercies this week. I forgot to tell you but we are white washing into the area. There were two investigators from the past Elders who were here, but the couple are never home and not answering their phones, and D is just wonderful :) We are still working with her. But anyways, so we are starting from scratch, and the Lord has put so many amazing people in our paths. Young and old, white, black, Muslim, Cambodian, Chinese - this place is so diverse it is crazy. Already after a week, we have had many many people here who we were and come throwing their beliefs at us with fire in their eyes and the desire to kill haha, and then we smile, bear our testimonies, give them a card, and ask if we can talk to their friends and family about our message! haha it's the greatest. Every corner you turn brings a new story because there are so many cultures here in London. 

But back to tender mercies, God has blessed us with some GOLDEN AREAS!!!! Places where we knock on door to door and each one holds a family of nine kids (people from kenya, Samaria, Iran, Sudan, jamaica...) with great people inside! We have a lot of follow-up appointments with people this week so please pray for the people in the London 1st ward area!! We have a new investigator named T. She has 11 kids, 2 live with her; she is very quiet and absolutely amazing. She comes from a very hard life, and she is SO open to our message. I love her. We set a baptismal date for December 1st and we are working to prepare her by then. 

My favorite experiences so far were, first, with a lady named B. she wanted NOTHING to do with our message, and just as she was closing the door and said "Wait I have a question!" She opened it again, and I asked her why she had a British flag on her door. She told us it was where her ancestors were from, and BING! We told her all about family history in our church :) She still didn't let us in haha, but we are coming back to tell her more about family history! Oh B.. :)
Next story, my favorite, we were in our golden area on Huron and we were about to visit a certain house with a boy named A. Just as we got there, a group of people came out of the house with a bunch of stuff and we asked if we could help them carry some things. They said they were fine but no thanks, so of course my companion and I went over and picked up some of their stuff haha and walked with them back to their house. They were just moving in, the mom's name is S. She is from Sudan (I think) and she has 9 kids!! We talked to her and a few of the kids for a while, she is strong in her religion, but welcomed us back for a message sometime! I am excited for tomorrow when we get to see her again :) It was a wonderful experience.

I have to go, but I want you to know that I LOVE YOU ALL!!! The Lord is in this work. We are being blessed right and left in the London area. God is preparing this people (Alma 16:16-17). I know this is where I need to be. It is hard, and it is glorious :) Please keep these people in your prayers. Keep your standards!!!

Sister Bodine

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Welcome to Toronto

President and Sister Scott

New Companion -- Sister Mendenhall 
Serving in London, Ontario, Canada

Monday, November 4, 2013

Sister Bodine is on her way to Toronto

We got a phone call from Sister Bodine at 5:30 this morning.  She was set to fly out a few hours later.  It was a great call.  She is excited, happy, eager, humble and grateful as well as many other positive adjectives.  She saw a lot of friends during her time in the MTC and can't stop talking about the 'amazing' teaching experiences she had.
The testimony she bore as we ended the call dealt mostly with how grateful she is for repentance.  Not that she has any great sins, but she sees repentance as "any change in our lives that brings us closer to Christ".
She is going to be a wonderful missionary!!!!!