Monday, November 24, 2014

Letter 56 -- Good stuff!

So Sister Mencarelli. She's amazing. Absolutely amazing. I feel so blessed to have her as my companion. She is a spiritual giant. Everyone that knows her loves her and looks up to her so much. She has unconditional love for everyone she talks to. She loves learning and improving. She is humble. We laugh every minute of every day haha she makes me feel so funny because she laughs at pretty much everything that I do. She loves sports, and eating, and talking to people. We have a very similar teaching style so it works very well. All in all, she's great. I have been so blessed on my mission with amazing companions :) And Sister Hsiung is back safely in China! That's crazy.

This was a great week. I don't have too much time to say a whole lot, but to summarize it, the ward is lighting up so much to missionary work. Last week, we had an FHE with this wonderful family where we taught them the Restoration and told them of the importance of continuing to seek for a confirmation that all of this is true, no matter how often they have asked. Yesterday, both of the mothers that were present came up to us and shared all their exciting news with us, about how they prayed every day throughout the week, and they had felt God answering their prayers in many ways. They were so excited about it all that we spent probably 30 minutes after church just listening to them share all their ideas about how they are going to invite their friends to FHE, their extended family to the ward Christmas party, etc. It was pretty fun. 
Another brother in our ward invited us to go and sing with him and his family to one of his neighbors in the building. NOT TO MENTION probably 4 separate families brought a non-member friend to church yesterday. So great.
I still get to play the piano in sacrament meeting, relief society, ESL, and district meeting every week. Good stuff :) I  can play pretty much any song in the hymnbook now. 

Polish. Men. Love. Me. Hahaha oh my goodness. There was a Drunk Polish man that started talking to us, and probably 20 times in four minutes he exclaimed, "You just have... the face. Oh my goodness you just have the face. Are you from Poland? You just have the face." Haha we left that conversation, and the next person we see, we go and say hello. The man turns around hahaha looks at me and the first thing he says "woah. Are you Polish?" 

Sister Mencarelli and I have already been having great opportunities to serve our amazing sisters this past week. I am so grateful for this sacred opportunity. It's amazing how when you have your heart and your ears open, God will just PUT things in your mind to remember or people in your mind to reach out to. It's a true blessing. I'm really grateful for it. 

Well I love you all family! I am grateful for you! You and all my amazing friends are in my prayers! Keep your standards! Be safe! Be happy! Love and forgive everyone no matter what! Bye!

Sister Bodine

Lunchtime: a piece of bread with two tostito chips in the middle. Nutritious :)

This is what we like to wear when we go out to contact. It is very effective. Haha just kidding, more like when we have to keep our hair wet to get a haircut. Pretty funny looking

Monday, November 17, 2014

Letter 55 - READ THIS EMAIL!! God is totally in this work :)

Hey family!

Transfer news! Sister Hsiung is being transferred to China, her new companion is to be determined hehe. We're still not sure what is going to happen with her release, if she is getting released here before she leaves, or over the phone in China or something. She isn't allowed to wear her name tag flying home or anything. We had a really really cool experience a few nights ago while we were laying in bed. A major pep talk. She feels ready now. The spirit was so strong, it was really cool :) I'll tell you about it someday.
As for me, I get to stay in Mississauga. I couldn't be happier :) I could stay here for the rest of my mission and be the happiest person in the entire world. My new companion is SISTER MENCARELLI!!! We called it haha. I am stoked. Claudia Mencarelli - she is from Rome, Italy. She is a convert. I'll let you read about her! Check our her profile:
She was an exchange student with an LDS family in Springville, and she was good friends with all my soccer teammates! Kaisa, Megan, Megan, etc. If you see any of them or are FB friends with them please let them know! So cool! She is a powerhouse missionary from what I've heard. WE are going to have a blast here.

Holy cow Mississauga is in a break through right now with learning to work with members. I could go on and on about wonderful things that happened this week, but we are just so excited about the member work that has been happening that I need to just vomit all my excitement out on you. Haha vomit isn't a very good word to use is it? But anyways here is goes...

Wonderful experience this past weekend!! Sister Hsiung and I have really hoped to gain a better relationship with our Relief Society president, Sister C.... She is Spanish and is very close with the Spanish missionaries and members, but we have felt a little distant from her. On Saturday we called a less-active, Sister Ch.... to see if she could drive one of our investigators to church. She answered that she was unable to but would love for us to visit her that night at eight because she has been going through a hard time. After we hung up, we phoned Sister Ch....'s visiting teacher to see if she could join us. She couldn't. So we decided to call our Relief Society President and she accepted! We picked her up a little earlier and spent the entire ride there talking about her life, her conversion story, how she and her husband met. By the time we got to our less-active friend's house the three of us were in tears haha. It was wonderful. We got into the home with a lesson plan in mind, asked one question to Sister Ch..., Sister C.... responded to the comment with her own testimony about the temple, and the spirit hit the three of us so hard that we needed to change our plans and focus on the temple. The spirit was powerful that entire lesson and Sister Ch.... joyfully agreed to begin preparing for the temple. Afterwards, we praised and thanked Sister C... a lot for her comments and joining us. We left her with a thank-you note that we had previously written for her and her family. The next morning, Sunday, Sister C... approached us saying, "I heard that Sister Z... is unable to take your friend S... to church next week. Maybe you could try asking the Lopez's or the Foutine's to see if they would be able." SHE WAS HELPING US!!! It was a major break through. We were so excited, and we feel so much more confident that we will be able to work with her and help her with her sisters.

Next experience :) We have been singing to members, less-active members, and anyone that would say yes to our invitation to sing! We got a call from Bishop a few days ago saying that the non-member wife of a part member family talked to Bishop's wife about how we went to sing to her and she loved it! Bishop was very excited and pleased. Yesterday, Sister Hsiung and I sang "The Miracle" in sacrament meeting for Sister Hsiung's last Sunday. At the end of Sacrament meeting, Bishop stood up and shared the story of his part-member friend calling his wife in excitement. He also shared the experience from a couple months ago when we sang to his next door neighbor, John, while we were waiting for correlation. Bishop expressed how of all the years he has lived next door to John, and of all the things missionaries have done for him throughout the years, he has never seen John be as excited about the missionaries as he was when he was sung to on his driveway. Bishop announced that he received a very strong impression to invite members to allow the missionaries to sing in their homes and send us to their friends! The spirit was so strong when he made that invitation. During the third hour, he came into Relief Society again and made the same invitation. He said that he feels really strongly about this. I got up and bore my testimony of how we did the Living Christmas Card last year and it was really successful! After the Bishop left the room, our Relief Society teacher automatically announced to the whole class that we as missionaries can go sing to M...' family (a friend of hers that we contacted into a few preparation days ago)! Not only so, a part-member family invited us over to their home for dinner that night and we sang to them! I love the Christmas spirit. The Ward is definitely more unified and loving. They are really excited share their love for the Savior this Christmas Season!! 

And yet another experience, we decided to visit this really cute young family, the A...'s. After our short visit with them - we have been visiting members throughout the week in 20-25 minutes to get to know them and teach them short pieces of the missionary lessons. At the end of the lesson, Brother A... told us that right when we started teaching, a friend of his that lives a couple floors above them came into his mind, and he is planning to introduce him to the gospel. Wow! Can the spirit be any more powerful and wonderful?? It was amazing. 
And there are even MORE stories just from this last week!

Oh and I can't forget this experience!! Holy cow this was amazing. On Sunday morning we called C... to see if she could come, we woke her up when we called her and she said she would get up and get ready. Immediately when we hung up the phone I said "quick! We need to say a prayer!" Haha so we ran (literally) from our bedroom to our study area, kneeled down and said a prayer. As we were praying, I felt the need to say "And if there is anyone else you need to have come to church, even if we haven't talked to them before, please guide them to the church." At the start of Gospel Principles class, Sister Degazon (our YW President) walked into the class with this cute Jamaican lady right behind her. We had this new woman introduce herself to the class and what brought her here. She said, "My name is M...., I am from Jamaica. I live right across the street from here and I was on my way to my own church, but when I passed by here something told me to come here and try it out. So here I am." OH MY GOODNESS!!!!!! It was my turn to teach so I was standing up in the front about to faint with excitement that God had TOTALLY answered our prayer and lead His daughter here. AND WHAT'S MORE!!!! There was another lady who came church, she introduced herself as G.... She is a member from Jamaica, and moved here from Brampton about four months ago but for some reason just couldn't muster up the courage to get to church the whole time she was here. But for some reason, on Saturday night, she really felt she needed to go and her non-member husband was even pushing her to go to church. So she came. She is SOLID. And she testified to Sister Hsiung and I after church that she knew she needed to be here because the day she felt to come back was the day M.... came and she feels she can be the perfect friend for M.... Wow. So happy right now :)

As you can tell, we are just so happy right now. This ward is amazing. We have A LOT of awesome plans and ideas of how to work with members throughout this Christmas season. Living Christmas cards, a life-size plan of salvation with the youth in charge, Book of Mormon testimony signing to give to friends, ward Christmas party, A Christmas musical Fireside. We'll see what will end up happening but for now, people are getting excited. This is going to be great :)

Long letter! Enjoy it! Love it! I love you so much! Have a great week. Keep your standards! Mom and dad Sister Price is coming home November 19th! Her homecoming is November 23rd and she said she would love for you to be there!

Sister Bodine

And most of our District plus Ekam in the middle - greatest member missionary in the world (she is one of us haha)

Our AWESOME District and zone leaders

Monday, November 10, 2014

Letter 54 - Life is great :)

Okay, I just have to start by telling you HOW MUCH I LOVE BEING A MISSIONARY!!!!!! Holy cow it's just the best thing in the world. This week was a wonderful, meeting-filled week with Mission Leadership Council, Zone Training, Exchanges, Missionary Coordinating Council with the Stake President - it was a week of constant spiritual headaches (headaches that come when you feel the spirit really strongly for a long period of time haha). President and Sister Clayton have received revelation for the mission with regards to combining our efforts with the members, and it is going to change the style of missionary work we are doing. I AM STOKED!!!! Haha, every time we have a meeting about it, I get so excited and ideas fly through my head about the type of member missionary I want to be - and then I remember I am a missionary right now and I get to help members be missionaries, and I get to teach their friends and family!!! GAAHHHH!!!! It's so great.
With all the meetings we had this week, our time to talk to people was limited. So every time we were able to get out and talk to people, Sister Hsiung and I were on Cloud nine. You don't really realize how much you love something until you aren't able to do it. Exchanges this week with Sister Crandall and Hermana Okelberry were amazing.

We have been spending a lot more time with the members, developing relationships and building their trust. On short short notice we were invited to attend two different Family Home Evenings on Monday. They were so wonderful. I am sorry for not making Family Home Evening more of a priority while I was at home. I realize our Sunday evenings were pretty much our FHE, and they will ALWAYS be some of my favorite memories, but I could have done better at making sure we incorporated the gospel in it. That will change when I get home :) I invite you to do it in your families every week! It's a commandment from God that will only strengthen, connect, and protect our families. We were blessed to conduct an FHE in a family where the father is inactive. And it was so tender watching him go from sitting on a separate couch as the family, looking away, not saying a thing, to sitting with everyone, participating in the game, laughing with his wife and daughters. Not to mention he committed to reading the Book of Mormon with his family! 

Our last experience of the week happened at 8:45 in the evening just as we were about to leave the area we were contacting in to go home. We saw this lady at the cross walk and she shook our hands and said "hello sisters". A member! She is inactive, she served a mission, and she has a son serving a mission in the Phillippines. It was a very short visit because we had to leave, but the spirit was so strong! And she acknowledged that she felt it and she knew that God wanted her to meet with us. She agreed to meet with us on Tuesday. Sister Hsiung and I felt so happy that we are blessed to help an Elder receive an answer to his prayers by meeting with his mom and helping her come back! 

Transfers are next week! My guess is that Sister Hsiung is going to get transferred to China (companion is still unknown) and I am staying in Mississauga for a little while more. Sister Hsiung thinks otherwise. She thinks she is staying here and I am getting transferred to be a junior companion in YSA work..... haha she wishes she was staying ;) (Sister Hsiung told me to write all that) We have a guess for who my companion will be but we shall see if we are right next week :) We are having a meeting with President Clayton this week with the leadership council and other future leaders. So we will have a little preview of the possibilities haha that should be fun. 

I love you all! Have a wonderful week! Keep your standards!

Sister Bodine