Monday, August 25, 2014

Letter 43 - I never know what to put for the title of my emails haha...

Hello Family!

So the transfer news for the whole Toronto Ward was pretty shocking. We felt like there wasn't going to be a lot of changes since all of us but one Elder white washed in two transfers ago, and an area closed down in our ward last transfer, AND we knew that Sister Von Niederhausern was leaving this transfer. But what happened? Elder Meise and Elder Bowman got a call on Wednesday saying to pack all their stuff. Neither one had any idea why haha. So Elder Meise left and Elder Bowman worked with the Zone Leaders, and we took over a bunch of their appointments for the rest of the week. So the South Elders were definitely being white washed out. Sister Von Niederhausern is going home, and I, Sister Bodine am going to Mississauga to be a Sister Training Leader with Sister Hsiung! Haha once again the Toronto Ward is experiencing A LOT of change - poor Brother Nigri (ward mission leader)...
    I'm so excited and feel so blessed for this opportunity to serve with Sister Hsiung in this position. She is known around the whole mission for teaching simply and just being an overall AMAZING missionary. I am beyond excited to get to work with so many amazing sisters in the mission and learn from and be blessed by every single one of them!
    And I just found out that both Sister Mendenhall AND Sister Gillins are training. WOOT WOOT!!

So we had some pretty awesome experiences this week. First off, for the last two transfers we have been trying to get a hold of a recent convert who kind of disappeared after the sisters before us left. We haven't had any luck. On Saturday we were walking away from the area where he lives, not even planning on trying to find him that day. We walked past a laundromat and said hi to a man sitting on a bench outside. Both of us felt like we needed to talk to him so we turned around and walked back. As he introduced himself he told us he was doing laundry for his parents. We stopped, and said, "Wait! What's your name? B... E...?" He said yes with a big smile because we knew who he was. Haha tender mercies! We had a great conversation and got his information to meet with him again. It's so fun when small little miracles like that happen.

The promise in 2 Nephi 31 about the spirit speaking every language is REAL. A few weeks back we met a Hungarian man on a bike. He didn't speak English, but we somehow communicated enough to get his information. We visited him and his wife this past week. Neither of them speak any English. As we were at their home we communicated via Google translate as best we could. But my favorite thing about the experience is that the time the spirit was the strongest, wasn't when we were teaching through Google translate. It was when we were sitting on the couch with them testifying to them in English as simply as we could about God's love. I could see their countenances changing as they felt the spirit. C... began to cry because she "felt so good". They both told us they wanted to come to church. After Sacrament, they both put their hands to their heart showing how happy they were - and they want to come again! I know that God loves all His children no matter what language we speak - the language of the spirit is the same for EVERYONE.

I love my mission so much. I am so happy to be here. And I'm so happy that I still have so much time left! I know time flies by ridiculously fast and I don't want to miss a single minute. I hope we all continue to live our lives loving every single minute we are blessed to have no matter the consequence. "This is the day which the Lord hath made and we will rejoice and be glad in it." Psalm 118:23. I LOVE YOU ALL and HOPE YOU HAVE A GREAT WEEK!!!!

Sister Bodine

Monday, August 18, 2014

Letter 42 - I'm in Canada!

Hello everyone!!

Sounds like you all had a great week. First off, HAPPY BIRTHDAY MOMMY!!!! I thought about you in my personal study and wrote Happy Birthday to you in my study journal :) I hope you had an AMAZING DAY!!
Also, welcome to Utah Grandmommy! I'm so excited and happy to hear that you are going to be staying at our home! Make sure to keep the fam in line will ya :) I love you SO MUCH.
Taryn you're pregnant!!!

This week was a great one. God has been blessing us so much it's been amazing. We have found a bunch of new wonderful awesome amazing people to teach!!! I'll share my favorite experience :)
We were walking home last night in a quiet neighborhood at about 8:45. It was already getting dark and Sister Bodine always gets a little extra cautious and paranoid in the dark haha. A little earlier on the road we passed a young couple hugging. After a couple minutes we hear something running, getting closer and closer to us - I turn around and see a person running towards us and what do I do? Jump and scream at the top of my lungs!!! Hahaha it ended up being the girl we saw a little earlier. She had seen our name tags - and she'd seen us on the bus before - and she was curious about what made us different from other churches. She is 14 years old, and has currently been meeting with the Jehovah's Witness because her math teacher was JW and it caught her interest. We didn't have a whole lot of time, but we answered some on her questions and gave her a Book of Mormon and she was so excited to read it. We're meeting with her on Tuesday. Haha she scared me so bad but it ended up being such a cool experience!!! I absolutely LOVE teaching teenagers. Probably more than anything else.

I recognized a lot this week how much an impact we make as members simply by the way we dress and act. We were in the mall waiting for someone to meet us, and I started talking to this Italian woman. She marvelled at how modest Sister Von and I were dressed and expressed how much she wished her own daughters dressed like that as well. She actually took a picture of us to send to her daughters haha. Another time, I was making eye contact with this woman on the other side of the bus. She kept looking over with a smile on her face - I got up and went over to sit by her and she said something along the lines of "I just love how happy you look. You just smile so much!" After talking to her, I found out that she was from Afghanistan, she converted to Christianity from Islam although her family disowned her, and she moved to Canada. We are meeting with her this week!

Sister Von and I were blessed to go visit John and Nyema Turner! My family! They live about 4 blocks away from the church which was pretty cool when we found that out. Haha they are right across the street from the Elder's apartment building - I wonder how many times missionaries have knocked on their door. But it was a great visit! They are the cutest couple ever. Nyema is very educated and very talkative. She has such a cute personality and has so many great stories! It's kind of like the mom and dad relationship where mom tells the story and dad kind of sits there and laughs and smiles while she talks - adding in things here and there. John is a sweetheart. They fed us DELICIOUS gelato and drove us home which was like a five minute drive away. Very comfortable conversation.  It was really fun.

Here are some quotes from Youth in our ward that really touched me in Sacrament Meeting yesterday:
"The best way to come unto Christ is to invite others to come with you. Every journey is better when you have a companion to enjoy it with you."
"We must do our best to make it back to the Celestial Kingdom because it is our DUTY to give our Heavenly Father a hug for everything He has given us."

Family, I know the Book of Mormon is the word of God. I love it so much. It answers any question and resolves any concern. It brings peace and comfort. It gives you a reason to smile, cry, cheer, laugh, serve - it is AMAZING. As is every other peace to God's beautiful plan :) I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!

Sister Bodine

Monday, August 11, 2014

Letter 41 - Fifteenth Floor Visitor

Hello mi familia!

Thanks for the letters these last couple of weeks. It's so great to hear from you! I love hearing that my brothers are soccer coaches for little teams. Those lucky little soccer players! Having the best coaches around. And Grandma is moving to Utah! So so so happy to hear that.

So you might be interested in what my email title means. Let me start this email off by telling you the story haha. We were getting ready in the morning a few days ago. I was walking in the bathroom when I hear I Sister Von gasp, and with laughter and terror in her voice, Sister Von calls me into the front room. As I walk in, I focus my eyes to our open balcony door where Sister Von is looking. And what do I see? A big, golden cat sticking his head into our apartment! HOW ON EARTH did that cat get into our 15th floor apartment, let alone onto our balcony! Haha my first reaction was to yell, and charge; so we ran, it ran, and we watched the little menace squeeze through the perfectly sized gap in the wall separating our balcony from our neighbor's balcony. So so funny. So we are going to make sure we keep our balcony door closed while we are gone from now on haha.

So kind of cool. If you don't remember John and Nyema, mommy's cousin, lives in Toronto, about four blocks from the church! They have been out of town for the last little while and were supposed to come back on the 5th. So we made a little surprise visit on Wednesday while we were in the area and they were home! They are so sweet. John looks like Uncle Dave to me, with Grandma's nose haha. We couldn't stay for long, so we had a nice little chat and planned on visiting for reals this wednesday night. So excited!

I had a really cool experience in the Subway about a week ago. I saw this man and went up to talk to him while Sister Von was calling some people. He is from Sudan - recently moved here with his family - sweetest man in the world. He is Muslim, but has had a lot of experience with Christianity because of friends and school so he was very open to talking. I invited him to come to church as well as to ESL. We were on the Subway so it had to be a very quick visit, but he accepted both invitations and left it at that. Sunday came and he didn't come to church. ESL came, and ten minutes after it started, we received a call from our friend telling us he was on his way! After ESL we took him on a tour of the church. We ended in the chapel where we talked to him about the sacrament and the purpose of baptism. The spirit was so strong. He told us that he has been invited to many different churches. All of which he has declined. And he added, "But there was something different about you (as he stares at me) - a sense of fire in what you were saying. I don't know what it was. But YOU were what pushed me to come here today." From that experience, I learned how powerful our examples truly are. I know the spirit didn't touch him in anything specific that I said, because we talked very little. I know that the people we are, the examples we share to those around us, are our greatest testaments of what we know to be true. There is a power that comes by having the spirit with us. And when we connect it with something simple like smiling at someone, it can go a loooong way. I love it :)

While I was sitting in church on Sunday, I was watching people come into the chapel. There was a lady who walked in with a boy, and she looked like someone I knew from Orem. I brushed that thought off quickly because it was obviously impossible for someone from home to be here in Toronto. Then she saw me and her eyes got huge, and I realized that I was right!!! Kevin Urquhart's mom was standing right in front of me! haha so cool. Brother Urquhart was on a business trip, so she and her son joined along and they decided to come to church while they were here. It was such a fun reunion!

Sister Von Niederhausern brought up a good point this week. Many times, we make eye contact with people as we get on the bus, and they immediately get out their headphones and start listening to music, or they close their eyes and pretend like they are asleep, and then we catch them peeking at us hahaha it's hilarious. But sometimes, when people see us they immediately pull out their crosses or their prayers beads. Sister Von one day commented, "Sometimes people don't want to talk to us, but it's a good thing they saw us because it reminded them of their own religion - suddenly they remember why they wear their cross, and hopefully some of them even think to themselves 'aw man I need to go back to church sometime!'"
Haha I thought that was awesome. And it's true! Even when people don't want to hear what we have to say, we hope it reminds them of what their beliefs are and gets them thinking about their Savior a little more. Small and simple things!

I love you all! Hope you have a great week! Thanks for everything! Keep your standards!!!

Sister Bodine

Tuesday, August 5, 2014

Letter 40 - Short but true :)

Hey everybody! How's it going?! We are writing on Tuesday because there was a holiday yesterday and everything was closed. What was the holiday you might ask? I have no idea!! Haha

So we had a really really cool surprise at District Meeting on Wednesday. Elder Frame invited me to bear my testimony about the really cool experience Sister Von Niederhausern and I had with teaching Larry the First lesson. Just as I was about to get up, who comes into the room? President and Sister Clayton!! WOHOO!!! I mentally jumped for joy, and physically blushed beyond anything imageinable haha. This was their first time coming to a District Meeting and they came to ours! It was a really powerful one by Elder Frame too so it was cool. During roleplays, President Clayton asked if he could watch Sister Von Niederhausern and I as we taught. I felt honored having him and Sister Clayton there with us. Haha I JUST LOVE THEM SO MUCH!!!

This is what I learned this week: Alma 26 is the perfect example of righteous missionaries (Sons of Mosiah) receiving a righteous reward for their patience and diligence. They were blessed to accomplish all the righteous desires of their hears. If we are doing the right thing for the right reasons, that doesn't mean that trials and complications won't arise. It's a part of the process. Along with our mission being a place where we bless others' lives, it is also a refiner's fire for ourselves - an opportunity for us to find out more fully who we are, but most of all who we can become. I feel that if we are doing our part and we face difficulties, it shows that God trusts us and He is preparing us and strengthening us for something even harder, even greater that lies ahead of us.
   My trials right now are so small in comparison to eternity, but it is so IMPORTANT that I learn everything I possible can from these trials because it will EFFECT my eternity.

I'm sorry this is so short. I got to write a bunch of family, friends, and mission companions during this time. I will be a better letter next week I PROMISE!! But know that this gospel is true and this week is going to be an amazing one for all of us. I know that miracles happen when we put all our trust in God and His timing.

Have a great week and keep your standards everyone! I LOVE YOU SO MUCH!!!!!

Sister Bodine