Monday, April 21, 2014

Letter 25 -- London for Life!

Well Family,

It looks like London is for reals my new home now. I am blessed to be here for almost the first half of my mission. Best place EVER. And I still get to be with Sister Gillins. BOOYAH. Transfers is like Christmas day to me. I always get SO EXCITED to find out how many changes are taking place. Change means different missionaries, and different missionaries means different people and ideas that you can learn from. I LOVE IT. Haha Sister Gillins had to deal with my excitement. Elder Mecham, our district leader told us some of the changes, and after we hung up I started dancing around the apartment with excitement.

HAPPY EASTER EVERYONE!!! It's my favorite holiday :) And yesterday was such a great day. So many wonderful people came to church and everyone was just so springy and happy. Me included. You wanna know why? Because I was asked to play the piano in Sacrament Meeting, in Primary (mom you have the DREAM calling), and we ended up teaching the Gospel Principles lesson.
Not to mention, SISTER GILLINS' FAMILY IS AMAZING!!!!!! Sister Gillins gets a package every week (no joke) and they were kind enough to include me in the Easter Gifts. It felt like Christmas morning unwrapping our gifts. THANK YOU SO MUCH Brother and Sister Gillins and Grandma and Grandpa Gillins. I love you and I love your daughter!!

SO yesterday, Sister Gillins and I were driving over to an area where we were going to drop by some potential investigators. We were sitting at a stop light by the mall, and people were getting off a bus right in front of us. There was this sweet looking little man that got off the bus and was walking across the empty parking lot. The thought came to me to drive over and talk to him. A very inconvenient time to receive that prompting? Yes haha. But Sister Gillins and I have been working to avoid any opportunity of feeling regret and I knew I would regret not stopping. So we ended up turning into the parking lot, we got out of our car, ran to catch up with him, talked, testified, laughed, set up an appointment, smiled, prayed - we have a new friend named M... now. We are really excited to meet with him. Tender mercies!

T... is doing AMAZING!!!! This past week. He prayed on his own "with all his heart" and read the Book of Mormon and felt a sense of peace, like a burden was taken off him for a moment. He attended two sessions of General Conference, came to our ward party this past week, a full block of church AND there was a Single Adult gathering happening in Chatham and he went with a lady in our ward. SO COOL. He has been loving it all. It's so fun teaching him because the biggest thing he needs to keep going and trying it out is encouragement and excitement with keeping commitments and Sister Gillins and I LOVE doing that. It's our specialty :)
I LOVE YOU ALL!!!! Thank you for everything!! Have an amazing week. Find someone to be a friend to and Make them smile!

Sister Bodine

Monday, April 14, 2014

Letter 24 -- He was Born Again!!!!!

Hello family!

Good luck with finals everyone!! YOU CAN DO IT!!!!!!

Great news this week! G..... WAS BAPTIZED!!!!!!! Woopee!!! It was such a wonderful experience. After everything that G... has gone through. With all the changes he has made. Yesterday was the day where his desires came true and he was able to leave his old life behind. It was such a sacred experience. G... told us that while he was in the water he wanted to feel all his old ways and habits just wash right off and remain in the water. The idea felt so good that he wanted to stay in the water and feel that feeling forever, and then it was over, he came out of the water, and it was gone! We are so happy for him :) On Friday, we went and had an amazing lesson with his parents about the Plan of Salvation (They weren't very interested at first, but they seemed hooked after the Book of Mormon was able to answer all the questions they have had haha). But afterwards, G... told us that he wanted to hold off on his baptism for another week because his back and neck were hurting, and he wanted to be baptized the same time he was moving into his new apartment for a more dramatic effect. We didn't think his reasons were worth waiting so we were kind of disappointed. Just as we were leaving, I told him that this decision would mean he would have to wait a whole week to experiences all the blessings he has wanted for so long, and that he shouldn't "procrastinate the day of his repentance" (that last part slipped out of my mouth without me knowing it - both Sister Gillins and I were a little surprised at it haha) - we got in the car and sat there for a second to kind of settle our thoughts a little bit. Suddenly G.... comes Running back outside and says "Okay, okay, you're right! I want to do it this Sunday!" YES!!!! We are so happy for him :) We could tell that he was very very happy with the decision he made.

I love my Heavenly Father so much!!!! With His help Sister Gillins and I were blessed to achieve our goal of having 15 Member Present lessons this week!!! It was so amazing. Our zone had the goal of 100 member present lessons. On Sunday we had 27 to go which is A LOT for our zone. And miraculously it happened! We got EXACTLY 100 Member Present Lessons!!! It was such an exciting week. And it was so much fun being a part of the zone's goal. It really brought a sense of unity, getting texts throughout the week of how we were all doing and figuring out what we needed to do to make it possible. This experience really helped Sister Gillins and I see how the Lord blesses His children "after all [we] can do". Miracles will happen this week :) I can't believe it is already the last week of the transfer.

Speaking of transfers, I am not sure when we are emailing next week because it is transfers AND a holiday. So it might be Monday or it might be Wednesday....

My wart has little blood veins now.... Sister Gillins and I realized that as we were performing some surgery on it last night. Hahaha it was hilarious. I will include a picture. Sister Gillins and I laugh a lot together. It is so much fun :) I love her.

So yesterday was a great day. One of the experiences was we stopped by a less-active's house who just moved in and requested missionaries to come visit. It was in an apartment building and no one was home. So we wrote him a note and left. As we were getting into the elevator, a man was getting out of the elevator with bags of groceries he needed to unload all the while he was being smashed by the elevator haha. So we ran to the rescue and helped him get his groceries to his door. He came back out and talked to us for an hour. He told us that he prayed yesterday for help, and today he ran into two missionaries and KNEW he had been answered. He said he has a HUGE list of questions that no one has been able to answer for him - as he named off several of them, Sister Gillins and I began to smile bigger and bigger. The gospel truly has been restored. The Book of Mormon truly is the word of God. And the TRUTH definitely is again on the earth because there are answers to every one of his questions. It's glorious :)

As a part of our goal to have 15 member present lessons. We had the AMAZING chance to take our dear friend Katie out contacting with us! She is 17 and hopes to go on a mission. We love her so much. We taught her all the basics - from writing info on pass-along cards, to asking questions, to testifying, to asking for referrals.... she did wonderful. It was a blast. Haha she was blessed to see that there are a lot of REALLY INTERESTING people here in London. We get to see of wide variety of people each and every day and I think Heavenly Father blessed us to run into an extra wide variety of people while Katie was there so she could experience it :) Haha lots of fun times!

The weather was AMAZING this week!!! The humid is coming that's for sure haha Sister Gillins and I can tell when we look in the mirror at the end of the day and see the nest that has formed at the top of our heads.

Well that is all for this week!! I love you all so much! Keep your standards! Keep smiling! Look on the bright side! Have fun! Share the gospel! And never forget WHOSE you are!!!

Sister Bodine

Wednesday, April 9, 2014

An Update and some Pictures...

Here are a few pictures of Sister Bodine.  She actually doesn't seem to take many pictures.  We received these from her current companion, Sister Gillins, with whom she is having a WONDERFUL time. 
In fact, since everyone always asks us how Sister Bodine is doing, I thought I would copy a note her companion wrote in her own letter to her family (posted on her blog).  The comments reminded me so much of Sister Bodine, I thought anyone who reads this blog might enjoy them as well...

"Can I start out to tell you all how amazing my companion is? She has the biggest and sweetest heart I know. She has a true love for everyone and this gospel. I have learned so much from her. She has taught me the importance of exact obedience and we have seen the effects of it. Even though we may not have a lot of people progressing, we know that we are trying our best and that gives us the most comfort.
So on Friday Sister Bodine and I tracted. First of all I hate tracting.Talking to people is the hardest for me. Sister Bodine is so good at it. She is such a good example to me in that area. It is so natural for her to walk up to someone random and start talking about the gospel; someday I hope to be like that."


Monday, April 7, 2014

Letter 23 -- Hello Family!

Hey Everybody!

CAN YOU BELIEVE GENERAL CONFERENCE?!?!?!?!??!?!?! One of our dear ward members, Sister Barker, told us that when she was investigating the church, she re-named the Book of Mormon and called it "WOW". haha Love it. I would like to rename General Conference to "WOW" as well. The spirit was so strong. And being out on a mission getting to watch it in a chapel with people who had never heard of Thomas S Monson before they met us is the BEST EXPERIENCE EVER!!!!! General Conference is way too short....... And Elder Ballard's talk has already opened up many more opportunities to teach our member's friends! Woopee!!!!

Lots of great things happened this week! I don't have much time so I'm sorry, but know that Sister Gillins and I are setting goals and working till we drop! Haha we get to bed and we are both so tired it's ridiculous. Such a good feeling. One of my favorite things lately is goal setting and evaluating with Sister Gillins. She has so many amazing insights, ideas, and her testimony and ability to teach is increasing day after day, minute after minute. She has such a strong desire to improve and it is so fun to see. I am learning, from her, humility, patience, LOVE, faith, encouragement, everything a missionary needs. And as a result of her example, encompassed with help from the spirit, miracles are happening this week!!!

We had to do some "Spring Cleaning" in our teaching pool this past week so we lost a lot of investigators and our days this week were more than open haha. After Spring Cleaning we got a call from our Zone Leaders telling us that the zone's goal is to focus on Member Present Lessons (because those are DEFINTIELY the most effective) and we hope to have 100 member present lessons as a zone this week. That is around 7 Member Present lessons for each companionship. They told us that they prayerfully considered it, and felt strongly that the London First Ward (us) could have 15 member Present lessons this week..... Sister Gillins and I looked at each other when they were saying this and immediately did a silent jig out of excitement hahaha we were so excited for this goal!!!! And as nervous as heck because we had little to no appointments scheduled!!!! But that is when the Lord's miracles began to come forth. We have been praying, fasting, and doing a lot of preparing. The past few days we have been calling Former Investigators, talking to new investigators, calling all the members in our ward, praying some more - and miraculously we have been getting call after call of less actives who just moved in and are hoping to get back into the church, athiest who are suddenly hoping to learn more about God, Member's friends who are asking question and showing interest. Our schedule for the next four days at least are filled to the brim and members all around are accepting our invitation to come teaching with us. This week is going to be amazing!!!! Sister Gillins and I are going to do everything we can. We will not "let up, slow down, or be still". WE WILL DO OUR PART.

Every single day I wake up just thanking my Heavenly Father for this opportunity. I am honored each and every morning to be here.

Oh! Also, I am now eating mushrooms, and olives, I can whistle now, I almost killed myself on some loose wooden steps, cats don't disgust me (as much) anymore, and milk in a bag is TEN TIMES better than milk in a carton. These are some changes that have taken place in the last five and a half months :)

D.... refuses to be baptized but she is coming to everything and she is singing the hymns now!!!! She has no idea what they are and what the tune is but she sings with all her heart and it is the cutest thing in the world. Love her.

Well I'm sorry this is so short. Next week will have more info. I LOVE YOU ALL SO MUCH!!!! Keep your standards and be safe and TALK WITH EVERYONE YOU COME IN CONTACT WITH ABOUT THE GOSPEL OF JESUS CHRIST!!!!!!

Sister Bodine