Monday, January 26, 2015

Letter 65 -- Hello everyone!

Hello Everybody!

Wow. Could I ask for a better week and life? I will try to put in as many things as possible. So many wonderful things happened this week.

I had kind of a fun surprise happen last night. We were given permission to join in the Stake choir for Stake Conference coming up. And Elder Ethridge, the temple missionary that is the choir director, will be gone for the next four weeks. At choir last night I was asked to be the choir director while he is gone. What?! Life is great. Back to the good ole days. And what's cooler is that K... got baptized last night, his wife isn't a member, and they both joined us for the practice. 
   Also, The ward already has me working in the ward. The Primary chorister told the Primary President Sunday morning that she wasn't going to be there. So Sister Phoenix asked me at church if I would be willing to do it. It was SO great because I have been working really hard to get to know everyone in the ward as soon as I can. So I shocked all the kids by telling each of them what their names were, who their siblings were... they thought I was superhuman haha. We were helping out some sisters this week, and I stayed in their apartment and all I could do was spend 30 minutes looking at the map of Brampton visualizing roads. haha I now know my way around this place.

   So cool experience! We had a sister go home this week, so Sister Hoki and I were blessed to spend her last night with her and take her to the airport. She hadn't been out on a mission for very long, and it was kind of hard for her to think if she had done much out here. The next day we went on exchanges with the sisters in her area and I went to her area with her old companion. They hadn't seen a whole lot of success in finding new people to teach in the past little while so we made the goal to find at least one new investigator that day. We WORKED that day. At the end, about 30 minutes before we were supposed to exchange back, we went to this area, and found ourselves just walking past houses. It felt right so we kept going until we found this house and decided to knock on it. The door opened and this man appeared and Sister Jolie yelled "G...!" Turns out that two weeks ago, while in the hospital, Sister Jolie's companion went over to talk to G... even though missionaries aren't supposed to proselyte there. They had a good conversation there and left it at that. Then we FOUND HIM AT HIS HOUSE! We taught him a little lesson and he is interested in allowing us back. If that is the ONLY reason our dear friend needed to serve the mission she served, it can 100% be counted as worth it - so that she could have met and talked to G... that one time. God works in mysterious ways :)

D... and M... both received the gift of the Holy Ghost yesterday! D... did work for her family two days ago, is set to get a temple recommend on Wednesday to go to the temple with her family names Wednesday night. And we get to go with her! Enduring to the end starts NOW!!!

I love you all! I love this gospel. I hope you have a wonderful week! Keep your standards and know that I love you! 

Sister Bodine


This is a conversation that Sister Hoki had with someone on the phone recently:

Us: "Hi J....! It's the sister missionaries. We just wanted to
know when a time was that we could meet up?"
J: "Well, if you want to meet up today, you must come to the mall. To the BCC."
Us: "Alright, that's---"
Us: "Why will you be at the mall?"
(and then here's what I heard) J: "I'M LOOKING FOR FAYTEN."
Us: "Fayten? Who is Fayten?"
Us: "...Satan? Why are you looking for Satan?"
Us: "...His birthday?"
Us: "Well, yes, but--"
Us: "Well, actually, Satan wasn't born. That's part of the reason that
he hates us so much, and why he doesn't have a birthday. You need to
be born to have a birthday."
Us: [Thinking: PSH. What HASN'T Satan done??]

Monday, January 19, 2015

Letter 64 - Brampton!

Hello family!

Wow. I'm pretty sure I say this every week but it is true every week. I am so blessed to be here. This was my first week in Brampton and I LOVE IT. It is a blessed area. We live not even a kilometer away from the stake center and the Toronto Temple. We are serving with AMAZING sisters. The ward is phenomenal. They are all so strong in the gospel and so open in doing missionary work. Goodness I got to the area and we had a dinner AND lunch appointment pretty much every day!
   So far it seems to be a different type of missionary work here compared to Mississauga. Houses are everywhere, everyone has a car, not as many contacting areas - we spent most of our time tracting, working with members, working with Formers. Haha there is a Macs grocery story across the street from the temple and we stand out there and talk with everyone and everyone is so OPEN. I love being a missionary. 
    My companion is AMAZING!!!! Sister Chieko Hoki is from Pleasant Grove. She went to UCAS and is planning to be a surgeon. She is a genious. And she is a phenomenal painter. She can do everything.

And I was blessed to be here in time to see wonderful Donna get baptized! Wow. So powerful. She is the perfect example of King Benjamin's people when is says "they clapped their hands with joy". When she came out of the water, she squealed with joy and clapped her hands and started dancing in the water. For some, that may be a sign of irreverence, but for Donna it is her way of expressing the way she feels :) It was beautiful. Afterwards she bore her testimony, and it was so sincere, so powerful. She has momma's personality of loving everyone and talking with everyone and making them feel like they are the most important people in the world. She doesn't hold back on sharing her feelings haha. She is SO outgoing and just loves everything about church so much. And the wonderful thing, is her two daughters joined her at the baptism. One of her daughters has been sick with sinusitis and Donna has been reading her the pamphlets and the Book of Mormon while she lay sick in bed. Both of them were just overwhelmed by the spirit, crying the whole time. 
   Sister Mandla was blessed to come to the baptism due to the mid-transfer change. So while she and Sister Hoki were helping Donna after she was baptized, Sister Mencarelli and I got to teach together again! We had planned to share the Restoration, but as we got going, we started by bearing our testimonies about our baptisms - and it felt right so we kept going by talking about receiving the Holy Ghost, and before we knew it we were singing "I Love to See the Temple" with everyone in the room. Haha the spirit is so great. It was cool the way we were prompted to take Donna's experience of baptism and move it to speaking about how it is a step to take to reach the blessings of eternal families. Donna's oldest daughter just had a baby and she was bawling during the whole thing. It was perfect for her. 

And what's more?? Elder Oaks came and visited us on Saturday. Glorious. It was sad because he had planned to be there to speak to the missionaries from 9-12, but his flight was delayed and he didn't end up coming until 1:45. We had a very short visit with him, we shook his hand, and were blessed to stay for the next meeting with the all the recent converts and returning members due to the circumstances. I can't describe the overwhelming feelings of peace that whole time. And it was marvelous because that same feeling came the next day when I partook of the sacrament. The spirit testifies of everything true.

I love you all! Have a great week!

Sister Bodine
Donna Baptism

Monday, January 12, 2015

Letter 63 - Surprise!

Hello Everybody!

So the biggest news is that I am being transferred to Brampton! Yes, it is mid transfer. The reason for the change is that Sister Hoki is dying this transfer, and they planned to transfer Sister Mandla out but didn't want it to be a white wash. So they are switching Sister Mandla and I mid-transfer so I can have a few weeks to get to know the area. Sister Mandla and Sister Mencarelli were companions before so that will be fun for them to serve together again, and I will get to kill 4 of my 8 companions!!! So excited. Sister Hoki is a BRAIN SURGEON. No joke. Hopefully some of her smarts will rub off on me :) haha. I am so excited to serve with her in Brampton. But I am going to miss this place so much. I love Mississauga just like London. These people are my family. They will always have a special place in my heart. Bishop Fuller, his wife and I all shed some tears as we said good bye to each other. 

But what a tender mercy that God allowed me to stay here long enough to see M... GET BAPTIZED!!!! It was a wonderful turn out of members coming to support her. She was so excited, and she looked beautiful dressed in white! M... has a lot of health problems, her back has been really hurting her and she has a phobia for water, but she wanted to be baptized so badly that she said she knew it would all be worth it. Afterwards we asked her how her experience was and she told us that immediately when she got in the water, her back pain was gone and she felt immediate peace. She felt no pain for the rest of the baptism. It came back right after the service ended and it was a testimony  of the tender mercies of the Lord. Wonderful! We have changed up the style of the baptismal program in our missions where now, we have both talks before the ordinance, and we save the welcome to the ward from the Bishop for the next week when they get confirmed, so that the last part of the program is the convert's testimony. When M... came back she shared the sweetest testimony. She shared an experience with all of us that she didn't tell us about before. A few months ago she said she was feeling very alone and didn't know what she needed to do in her life. She prayed to God for guidance. Two days later, we came into her life. She cried during the whole testimony - we had only seen her cry a couple times while meeting with her - it was so sincere. 

Goodness I just love this work. I don't like trying to write it down for you to understand what's in my head. I am so filled with joy, like Ammon, that I sometimes probably seem a little too passionate when I tell people about it on the streets haha. just kidding, there is no such thing as too passionate :) I LOVE sharing my testimony. There is no greater feeling than the spirit testifying to yourself that what you just said is true; the gospel is so good :) I LOVE Sister Mencarelli. I have been blessed with so many amazing companions. 
I love you all and hope you have an amazing week!!

Keep your standards!!

Sister Bodine

Bishop Fuller

M... Baptism

My Mission Wall

Monday, January 5, 2015

Letter 62 - Happy New Year! It's 2015!!

Happy New Year everyone!!! Can you believe it's 2015? Wow. I am so grateful for everything that has happened this past year. I was in London, Ontario last year with people I love so much. I opened up my email today and found a letter from Sister Alders from London, she came across my email and sent me a message. I jumped through the roof. I love these people so much. And I love you all! I am grateful for all of you and your support. You're great!

Great things happened this week! At the end of last transfer, Sister Mencarelli and felt very strongly that we need to put a big emphasis on visiting formers. We have three HUGE binders of people who have been visited my missionaries before from 2001-2014 that have AMAZING stories and little info on what happened to them. This past week we were blessed to find 6 new investigators, 3 of which were former investigators! And we have appointments this week with other former investigators as well! T..., a former, accepted to prepare to be baptized on February 9th and she is just plain amazing! SO many times, people stop meeting with missionaries simply because the missionaries are transfers and the people lost contact. We will find them! Good things are happening here. This week was a GREAT start to the new transfer and the new year.

Our mission started up a new thing this year. Every first Saturday of the month we are having a mission-wide temple trip where all recent converts are able to come and do baptisms for the dead. And the missionaries who taught them are able to go with them when they go for the first time! We received a call from some senior couple missionaries that served in Churchville YSA with Sister Mencarelli. They had some great news that three of Sister Mencarelli's friends she taught and saw baptized were going to be there! We had too many appointments to cancel that day so that both of us could go, so on Saturday, while Sister Mencarelli was at the temple, I was blessed to stay in the area and be companions with Clara Jo for the day. She is 18 and is preparing to go on a mission! We had so many wonderful experiences of being full purpose missionaries - visiting members for dinner, inviting investigators to be baptized, working with progressing investigators, contacting potentials, and spending time with members and getting to know their non-member friends. We even role played and she was laughing her head off the entire time haha. Clara shared her testimony yesterday in Sacrament meeting about what an amazing experience it was for her, and she is so excited for her own mission! MISSIONS ARE GREAT!!! Funniest experience of the day was after dinner at Sister Miner's home, we had to bolt out of there to pick up Sister Mencarelli. Problem is we weren't looking at which door we were going out of. We opened the door, ran outside, and this alarm started going off. We stopped and turned around to see what was happening. It finally registered in our minds that we were in the backyard playground of the building. We didn't get the door on time so we were locked out. We decided to run around the building to find an opening to the parking lot only to find that we were fenced in on every side. No one was coming into the building, and Sister Miner was in a wheelchair so it was going to take some time for her to come down and help us. So we were ten minutes standing outside in the rain, in the kids' playground, locked out of mankind. It was pretty funny.

M... is doing so amazing. She is still going through so many trials right now, it is so sad to see. But the gospel is giving her a true light in her life. We called her this week to follow up on her reading the Book of Mormon. She told us that she had been so busy and overwhelmed that she hadn't been able to read in the past couple of days. So we asked if we could read with her over the phone for a little bit. Starting in Mosiah, we read the account of King Benjamin. We started by trading off back and forth in reading, until M... started getting excited and just kept reading out loud by herself. She stopped and said "goodness now I can't wait until I read what King Benjamin taught!" We ended the call to let her finish reading and she told us the next day that she ended up reading for the next hour. She loves the Book of Mormon so much. The sad thing is she got the flu yesterday and she says that this usually lasts for a while when she gets it. So PLEASE keep her in your prayers!! We have faith that everything will work out so we can continue to teach her throughout the week and help her reach her goal of being baptized next week!

Well I love you all! Have a great week! Keep your standards!!

Sister Bodine